by Michael Meacher
September 06, 2003
It was last updated at 12:15 on December 04 2003
Massive attention has now been given - and rightly so - to the reasons why Britain went to war against Iraq. But far too little attention has focused on why the US went to war, and that throws light on British motives too. The conventional explanation is that after the Twin Towers were hit, retaliation against al-Qaida bases in Afghanistan was a natural first step in launching a global war against terrorism.
Then, because Saddam Hussein was alleged by the US and UK governments to retain weapons of mass destruction, the war could be extended to Iraq as well. However this theory does not fit all the facts. The truth may be a great deal murkier.
The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses, was written in September 2000 by the neoconservative think tank, Project for the New American Century (PNAC). The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power.
The PNAC blueprint supports an earlier document attributed to Wolfowitz and Libby which said the US must,
It refers to key allies such as the UK as "the most effective and efficient means of exercising American global leadership". It describes peacekeeping missions as "demanding American political leadership rather than that of the UN".
It spotlights China for "regime change", saying
"it is time to increase the presence of American forces in SE Asia".
Finally - written a year before 9/11 - it pinpoints North Korea, Syria and Iran as dangerous regimes, and says their existence justifies the creation of a "worldwide command and control system". This is a blueprint for US world domination. But before it is dismissed as an agenda for rightwing fantasists, it is clear it provides a much better explanation of what actually happened before, during and after 9/11 than the global war on terrorism thesis.
This can be seen in several ways.
Fifteen of the 9/11 hijackers obtained their visas in Saudi Arabia. Michael Springman, the former head of the American visa bureau in Jeddah, has stated that since 1987 the CIA had been illicitly issuing visas to unqualified applicants from the Middle East and bringing them to the US for training in terrorism for the Afghan war in collaboration with Bin Laden (BBC, November 6 2001). It seems this operation continued after the Afghan war for other purposes.
It is also reported that five of the hijackers
received training at secure US military installations in the 1990s
(Newsweek, September 15 2001).
One agent wrote, a month before 9/11, that
Moussaoui might be planning to crash into the Twin Towers (Newsweek, May 20
There were standard FAA intercept procedures for hijacked aircraft before 9/11. Between September 2000 and June 2001 the US military launched fighter aircraft on 67 occasions to chase suspicious aircraft (AP, August 13 2002). It is a US legal requirement that once an aircraft has moved significantly off its flight plan, fighter planes are sent up to investigate.
The former US federal crimes prosecutor, John Loftus, has said:
Nor is the US response after 9/11 any better. No serious attempt has ever been made to catch Bin Laden. In late September and early October 2001, leaders of Pakistan's two Islamist parties negotiated Bin Laden's extradition to Pakistan to stand trial for 9/11.
However, a US official said, significantly, that,
The US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Myers, went so far as to say that "the goal has never been to get Bin Laden" (AP, April 5 2002).
The whistleblowing FBI agent Robert Wright told ABC News (December 19 2002) that FBI headquarters wanted no arrests. And in November 2001 the US airforce complained it had had al-Qaida and Taliban leaders in its sights as many as 10 times over the previous six weeks, but had been unable to attack because they did not receive permission quickly enough (Time Magazine, May 13 2002).
None of this assembled evidence, all of which
comes from sources already in the public domain, is compatible with the idea
of a real, determined war on terrorism.
Indeed Tony Blair himself hinted at this when he said to the Commons liaison committee:
Similarly Rumsfeld was so determined to obtain a
rationale for an attack on Iraq that on 10 separate occasions he asked the
CIA to find evidence linking Iraq to 9/11; the CIA repeatedly came back
empty-handed (Time Magazine, May 13 2002).
A report prepared for the US government from the Baker Institute of Public Policy stated in April 2001 that,
Submitted to Vice-President Cheney's energy task
group, the report recommended that because this was an unacceptable risk to
the US, "military intervention" was necessary (Sunday Herald, October 6
The BBC reported (September 18 2001) that Niaz Niak, a former Pakistan foreign secretary, was told by senior American officials at a meeting in Berlin in mid-July 2001 that "military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October". Until July 2001 the US government saw the Taliban regime as a source of stability in Central Asia that would enable the construction of hydrocarbon pipelines from the oil and gas fields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean.
But, confronted with the Taliban's refusal to accept US conditions, the US representatives told them,
Given this background, it is not surprising that some have seen the US failure to avert the 9/11 attacks as creating an invaluable pretext for attacking Afghanistan in a war that had clearly already been well planned in advance. There is a possible precedent for this.
The US national archives reveal that President Roosevelt used exactly this approach in relation to Pearl Harbor on December 7 1941.
Some advance warning of the attacks was received, but the information never reached the US fleet. The ensuing national outrage persuaded a reluctant US public to join the second world war. Similarly the PNAC blueprint of September 2000 states that the process of transforming the US into "tomorrow's dominant force" is likely to be a long one in the absence of "some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor".
The 9/11 attacks allowed the US to press the "go" button for a strategy in accordance with the PNAC agenda which it would otherwise have been politically impossible to implement.
Terrorism Attacks in US
BBC have admitted that this video is genuine but they refuse to reveal the source of the press release that stated that WTC-7
(then more commonly known as the
"Solomon Brothers Building") had collapsed...
and proves that the BBC had foreknowledge of how events would unfold that day.
The overriding motivation for this political smokescreen is that the US and
the UK are beginning to run out of secure hydrocarbon energy supplies. By
2010 the Muslim world will control as much as 60% of the world's oil
production and, even more importantly, 95% of remaining global oil export
capacity. As demand is increasing, so supply is decreasing, continually
since the 1960s.
Another would extend eastwards through Afghanistan and Pakistan and terminate near the Indian border.
This would rescue Enron's beleaguered power
plant at Dabhol on India's west coast, in which Enron had sunk $3bn
investment and whose economic survival was dependent on access to cheap gas.
And when a British foreign minister met Gadaffi in his desert tent in August 2002, it was said that,
The conclusion of all this analysis must surely be that the "global war on terrorism" has the hallmarks of a political myth propagated to pave the way for a wholly different agenda - the US goal of world hegemony, built around securing by force command over the oil supplies required to drive the whole project.
Is collusion in this myth and junior participation in this project really a proper aspiration for British foreign policy?
If there was ever need to justify a more objective British stance, driven by our own independent goals, this whole depressing saga surely provides all the evidence needed for a radical change of course.