by Richard K. Moore
Like many other viewers, I shrank back in disbelief when the images
World Trade Centre (WTC) attack first began to flood the
airwaves. How could this happen? Who would want to do such a thing?
How could four different airliners all be hijacked at the same time?
How had security systems and air defenses both failed so miserably?
How would America respond?
And then the answers to such questions started coming in… within
hours the authorities “knew” that the perpetrators were linked to
Bin Laden, and President
George Bush was already announcing a “War
Against Terrorism”. While images of the attack were still being
replayed, over and over again, US Congress had already authorized
the President to take “any necessary measures”, and had allocated
$40 billion to that purpose. Within days, the US had persuaded
to declare that this “attack on one member nation was an attack on
Then it turned out that the $40 billion had come from
America’s social-security fund, and $15 billion was being allocated
to bailing out the airline industry. Next we were being told that
Americans would need to give up their civil liberties, and Congress
was rapidly approving the “Combating Terrorism Act of 2001”. The
on Terrorism was going to be largely a covert war, a war “unlike any
other”, a war that would go on indefinitely into the future.
By this time, my disbelief began to turn into suspicion. How had the
US government come up so quickly with such a comprehensive and
coordinated response? How had they decided within hours that an
extended War on Terrorism was the appropriate action? How did they
know that $40 billion was the exact amount needed?
And then as
background reports began to appear, my suspicion deepened. It turns
out that the airlines were already in deep trouble, before the
attack. And the US had other reasons to go after Afghanistan, having
to do with oil reserves, and pipeline routes. And there had been
earlier signs that the social-security funds might be raided for
other uses. And still, no actual evidence had been produced linking
Bin Laden to the attacks.
The whole scenario began to fit a very familiar pattern, a pattern
that has characterized American history from its earliest days. This
led me to a quite different analysis of the events than we were
being fed over the mass media. I am not claiming that this
alternative analysis is correct, I offer it only for your
consideration. The various claims I make in this article are my
There may be some factual errors, but in my humble
opinion, given the reports I have seen, this seems to be the
US History – A Series of Suspicious Warpath ‘Incidents’
As we look back at history, we find that every time the US has
entered into a major military adventure, that has been enabled by a
dramatic incident which aroused public sentiment overwhelmingly in
favor of military action. These incidents have always been accepted
at face value when they occurred, but in every case we have learned
later that the incidents were highly suspicious. And in every case,
the ensuing military action served some elite geopolitical design.
Consider, for example, the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which gave
President Lyndon Johnson an excuse to begin major escalation of the
Vietnam War. Supposedly, in that incident, a North Vietnamese boat
launched torpedoes in an attempt to sink an American warship. It is
now generally accepted by historians that the attack did not in fact
occur, and that Johnson had been preparing to escalate all along.
One of my correspondents on the Internet summarized a portion of the
history this way:
“The US Government lied to the American People about the following
events. Each of these incidents led the United States into War....
“1898…THEY LIED about the sinking of the battleship
“1941…THEY LIED about the attack on
(World War II)
“1964…THEY LIED about the Gulf of Tonkin affair. (Vietnam War).”
In the media coverage of the recent
WTC attack, the comparison with
Pearl Harbor has been frequently raised. Thousands of American
troops were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, and thousands of
American civilians were killed in the attack on the WTC. In both
cases the American people responded (quite understandably) with deep
shock and outrage. In both cases, overwhelming public sentiment was
for retaliation, and for giving the President total support for
whatever course he chose.
In 1941, as now, any suggestion that the
US government knew in advance of the attacks, and could have
prevented them, would have been met by angry disbelief by almost any
American. Nonetheless, the evidence now seems to favor the view
that President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) did know about the
impending attack on Pearl Harbor, and that he could have mounted an
We now know that elite US planners, during the period 1939-1941, had
come to the conclusion that the Japanese conquest of
Asia had to be
stopped. The planners determined that Southeast Asia, in particular,
was critical to US economic interests. But US public opinion was
overwhelmingly against entering the war. It now seems that FDR
figured out a way to get the US into the war, and that Pearl Harbor
was the key to his plan.
When the Japanese began to threaten Southeast Asia, FDR froze
Japanese assets in US banks, resulting in a cutoff of Japanese oil
supplies. This was considered an act of war by Japan, and Japanese
retaliation was expected by American planners. As the Japanese fleet
approached Pearl Harbor, intelligence services in Britain and the US
evidently knew of that approach.
British Prime Minister Churchill
notified his Pacific commanders that the Japanese were heading for
Pearl Harbor. FDR, on the other hand, did not notify his commanders.
Instead, he sent the most strategic ships (the aircraft carriers)
out to sea where they would be safe, and instructed key observation
outposts on the island of Kauai to stand down. It was over Kauai
that the Japanese made their approach to Pearl Harbor.
It seems that FDR intentionally set the stage for a ‘surprise’
attack – shocking the nation and instantly shifting public opinion
from non-interventionism to war frenzy. I am suggesting that this
same scenario must be considered in the case of the recent WTC and
Pentagon attacks. Unbelievable as this may seem, this is a scenario
that matches the modus operandi of US ruling elites. These elites
show callous disregard for civilian lives in Iraq,
Yugoslavia, and dozens of other places around the world. Is it so
surprising that they would sacrifice a few thousand American
civilians if they considered that necessary in order to pursue their
Let us now consider in more detail the possible motives for such a
Global Capitalism in Crisis
Capitalism must have growth and change in order to operate. The
engine of capitalism is driven by wealthy investors who put their
money into the economy in order to increase their wealth. If the
economy offers no growth opportunities, then investors withdraw
their money and the whole system collapses. A minor collapse is
called a recession, and a major collapse is called a
history of capitalism is punctuated by such collapses.
Capitalism came into existence along with the Industrial Revolution
in the late 1700s in Scotland and northern England. Before that time
societies were not based primarily on growth. Certainly there were
people before then who sought to increase their wealth, but
economies as a whole did not require growth in order to operate.
Societies were ruled by aristocratic elites whose wealth was
measured by the estates they owned, and the peasants who worked
their land. Such aristocrats were more interested in stability than
change, and more concerned with maintaining their estates than with
When the Industrial Revolution came along then all this began to
change. With the cotton gin, steam engine, and other new
technologies, it became possible for an entrepreneur to make a great
deal of wealth rapidly. A new wealthy elite began to emerge made up
inventors, industrialists, bankers, and traders. These were the
people who built the factories, invested in them, and figured out
ways to get the new products to markets.
The interests of this new elite clashed with those of the old
aristocratic elite. The aristocrats favored stability, and laws
which provided stability – such as tariffs, price controls, etc. The
new elite, on the other hand, wanted change and growth – they wanted
to develop new products, build new factories, and capture new
markets. While aristocratic wealth was based on land and stability,
industrial wealth was based on investment, development, change, and
This new kind of economics, based on investment and growth, came to
be known as capitalism. And the new elite, gaining its wealth
through change and growth, is the capitalist elite. At first
capitalism existed alongside aristocracy, competing with it to
control the laws of society. But then in Britain, and later in other
nations, the capitalist elite won out. Laws, economies, and
societies were transformed to favor capitalism and growth over
stability and land-based wealth. Banking, monetary systems, and
taxation were re-engineered so as to compel businesses to seek
growth whether they wanted to or not. Thus our economies were
transformed into engines designed to increase elite wealth. Rather
than economies which serve the needs of societies, we have societies
which serve the needs of capital growth.
No one can deny that capitalism and its growth have brought many
kinds of benefits to some people. America was based on capitalism
from its very founding, and American wealth and prosperity are
legendary. But there is a fundamental problem with capitalism. How
is it possible for an economy to grow endlessly? How can growth be
forever achieved in a finite world? Is capitalism, in the final
In fact, providing for ongoing growth has been the primary challenge
faced by every nation that has adopted capitalism. The history of
the 19th and 20th centuries has been primarily the story of nations
competing for markets and resources to support growth. Our history
books tell us about noble causes and evil enemies, but in truth
every significant war since 1800 has been about competition among
Great Powers for economic growth.
Before capitalism, nations built empires because kings or
individuals were greedy and wanted more territory and wealth. After
capitalism, nations developed empires out of necessity. If they
didn’t expand their markets and access to resources their economies
would collapse. As industrial capitalism got into high gear in the
late 1800s, that was accompanied by an unprecedented expansion of
imperialism on a global scale.
From 1800 until 1945 the world system was a matter of competition
among Great Powers for empires, in order to provide for capitalist
growth. In each empire there was a core nation which ruled over
peripheral territories. The peripheral territories were exploited in
order to provide growth for the core ruling nation. The populations
of the core nations were convinced by propaganda that they were
helping or aiding the periphery to develop. This propaganda was
lies. The fact was suppression, exploitation, and the prevention of
healthy development in the periphery – so as to enable capitalism to
flourish in the core Great Powers.
In 1945 this global system was radically changed. Under American
leadership, with the help of both incentives and coercion, a new
paradigm of capitalist growth was launched. Instead of competitive
imperialism, a regime of cooperative imperialism was instituted.
Under the protection of the American military, the so-called “Free
World ” was opened to exploitation by capitalism generally. This led
to the rise of immense transnational corporations which were no
longer limited in their growth to a single national empire. This new
post-1945 system was invented in order to provide another round of
growth to capitalism.
Under the post-1945 system, part of the scheme was to provide
prosperity to the Western middle classes. In Europe, the
USA, and in
Japan as well, populations experienced unprecedented prosperity.
Cooperative imperialism provided immense growth room for capitalism,
and the wealth was being shared with the core-nation populations.
But no matter what system might be set up, growth eventually runs
into the limits of that system. The post-1945 system was no
exception. By the early 1970s the growth machine was beginning to
slow down. Recessions began to replace prosperity. As a consequence,
the global capitalist elite designed yet another system, offering
yet another round of capitalist growth. This new system goes under
the name ‘neoliberalism’, and it was launched under the auspices of
Ronald Reagan in the USA and Margaret Thatcher in the UK.
The purpose of neoliberalism was to steal the wealth of the
prosperous capitalist nations and transfer that wealth to the
capitalist elite and the corporations which they own and control.
That’s what privatization, deregulation, and other so-called
‘reforms’ were all about. In addition, neoliberalism was aimed at
disempowering democracy itself – because it was the democratic
nations which were implementing laws which limited the power of
corporations. Any limit on the power of corporations is a limit on
their ability to grow. And the one thing capitalism cannot tolerate
is limits to its growth. That is a matter of life and death to
Again, as must always happen, the neoliberal system also began to
run out of growth room. In this case, the system only provided
growth for about ten years, the decade of the 1980s. And thus we
were brought to the era of globalization. Propaganda tells us that
globalization is simply the continuation of ‘natural’ trends in
technology, trade, and commerce. This is not true.
represents an intentional and radical policy shift on the part of
the global capitalist elite.
Globalization amounts to four radical changes in the world system.
destabilization of and removal of sovereignty from
Western nation states
(2) the establishment of an essentially
fascist world government under the direct control of the capitalist
(3) the greatly
accelerated exploitation and suppression of the third-world
(4) the gradual downgrading of Western living
conditions toward third-world standards
By these means, elites hope
to achieve yet another round of capital growth.
During most of the decade of the 1990s globalization proceeded
almost unnoticed by the world’s population. The World Trade
Organization (WTO) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) began to
establish their tentacles of power without publicity. Government
leaders worldwide, under the pressure of capitalist elites, were
quietly signing their sovereignty over to the new global
institutions. When globalization was mentioned at all in the media,
it was described in propaganda terms as sharing ‘progress’ with the
downtrodden of the world.
And then in December 1999 the people of the world began to wake up.
The demonstrations in Seattle marked the beginning of a new global
movement. In fairness, one must acknowledge that there were earlier
signs of the movement in Europe and the third world. But only when
the movement reached the USA did it become ‘real’ in the eyes of the
world. And ever since Seattle the movement has been growing by leaps
and bounds on a global scale.
The movement does not yet have well-defined goals, but it is a very
promising and very radical movement. It is based on a clear
understanding that global capitalism is leading us to ecological
disaster and to tyranny. The movement does not have a clear
organizational structure, but that itself is promising. The
decentralized nature of the movement points the way to a new kind of
genuine, locally-based democracy – a democracy that is not subject
to elite manipulation as have been our Western pseudo-democracies
with their manufactured ‘majorities’.
Having presented this (highly abbreviated) historical background, I
can now describe the nature of ‘the global crisis of capitalism’. On
the one hand, the capitalist elite must accelerate the pace of
globalization in order to continue providing room for capital
growth. On the other hand, the people of the world, including in the
West, have begun to wake up and oppose the dangerous and ominous
path of globalization. The elite know that as the path of
globalization is pursued more vigorously, more and more people will
rise in opposition. The crisis of globalization is a crisis of
population control, requiring tightened political management of the
people of Europe and North America.
People in the third world have been subjected to imperialist tyranny
for centuries, and this has been possible because of suppression by
Western military force. If the people of the West arise in
opposition to globalization, then the hegemony of the capitalist
elite is seriously threatened. This is the crisis of global
“War on Terrorism” – A Solution to Capitalism’s Crisis
President Bush calls it a “War on Terrorism”, but what is it really?
Let’s look at some of the specifics...
• Congress has authorized the President to do “whatever is
• Congress has allocated 40 billion dollars to do “whatever”.
• The $40 billion came from Social Security funds.
• $15 billion is being allocated to bail out the airline industry.
Thus, terrorism is being used as an excuse to steal the savings of
workers and transfer it to large corporations, including airlines
and weapons contractors.
• For the first time, NATO has invoked the treaty clause which says
“an attack on one nation is an attack on all”.
• We’ve been told to expect significant curtailment of civil
• Bush declared that “Every nation in every region now has a
decision to make. Either you are with us or you are with the
• Fleets, planes, and ground troops have been dispatched to the
Middle East to do “whatever”.
• We are to expect a long, protracted war, much of which will be
covert and we won’t be told what happened even after it’s all over.
• After Bin Laden is dealt with, Secretary of State
tells us “we will then broaden the campaign to go after other
terrorist organizations and forms of terrorism around the world.”
• Bush tells us that “We will use every necessary weapon of war”,
and “Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign
unlike any other we have ever seen.”
• The Pentagon specifically refuses to rule out the use of nuclear
This is a very comprehensive agenda. Bush has a blank check to do
whatever he wants, wherever he wants, using whatever means he
chooses. He has made it clear he intends to pull no punches and that
he will keep drawing on this blank check for a long time to come.
From such an agenda, one cannot easily predict where it will all
lead. In such a case, it is instructive to look at the historical
Pearl Harbor aroused the wrath of Americans against the Japanese...
but as soon as the blank check was signed, it was Europe that
received the initial focus of American military attention. After the
Battleship Maine was blown up (from an internal explosion we have
since learned), the thirst for revenge was translated into the
imperialist capture of the Philippines. In other words, when one of
these outrage incidents occurs, the modus operandi of the US elite
is to pursue whatever objectives are most important to it –
regardless of the incident that provided the blank check.
And the most important issue before the elite at this point in
history is the preservation of
global elite rule, the acceleration
of globalization, and the suppression of the anti-globalization
movement. They must deal with the crisis of global capitalism.
From this perspective, the real meaning of the “War on Terrorism”
begins to come into focus. Permit me to speculate as to the scenario
which is likely to unfold...
• Nearly every country in the third world has some local ethnic
group which is struggling against some kind of dictatorial
government, usually installed by the USA. Every one of these ethnic
groups can be labeled ‘terrorist’. Thus Bush can always intervene
anywhere he wants for whatever reason and call it part of the “War
• In the Middle East,
Balkans, and Western Asia, the US will
continue the process of turning much of the region into an occupied
imperialist realm, as we now see in Kosovo. Afghanistan occupies a
very strategic geopolitical position, and military bases there will
be important in the coming confrontation with China. Vast reserves
of oil remain in that region, along with other minerals, and control
over these resources will be critical as global supplies become
increasingly scarce. In particular, Afghanistan is the planned route
for a pipeline to transport huge Caspian Sea oil reserves to Western
• US dominance of the NATO agenda will be important in this region,
as will the careful management of European public opinion. One
should not be surprised if US intelligence agencies covertly arrange
for terrorist attacks in Europe along the same lines as the
• Even without covert US encouragement, one can expect terrorist
responses to the indiscriminate US bombing unleashed in Afghanistan
and who-knows-where-else. Any such terrorist attacks will galvanize
Western public opinion still further, adding depth to Bush’s blank
• The “Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001” is almost unbelievable in the
degree to which it will turn the USA into a full-scale police state.
Terrorism is very loosely and broadly defined, and life imprisonment
is authorised for any offense which comes under this definition. The
bill is retroactive and there is no statue of limitations. This
means that people who were activists back in the 1960s or 1970s
could be imprisoned for life, if their acts in the past could be
construed as ‘terrorism’ under this new police-state bill. Even
those who merely attended the demonstrations, or helped plan them,
could be punished equally with those who actually committed the
acts. Broad new powers of surveillance, preventive detention, and
searches of homes without warrants are included in the police-state
bill. Even minor computer hacking would be ‘terrorism’ and would be
punishable by life imprisonment. And there many, many other equally
• Already Greenpeace and many other progressive
categorized as ‘terrorist’ in the FBI lexicon. And it is the anti-globalization
movement, which includes such organizations, which is the real
threat to the global capitalist elite. Agent-provocateur tactics
have already been used against the movement, from Seattle to
and in the media the movement has been falsely portrayed as being
essentially a violent movement. When Colin Powell talks about going
after “other forms of terrorism”, it seems very clear that the
movement will be systematically suppressed on a global scale. The
overt fascism we saw in Genoa will be raising its ugly head in the
US, Germany, the UK, and elsewhere. Right-wing paranoia about
Federally-managed concentration camps in the USA will soon seem much
George Bush senior announced the
New World Order, and it seems that George Bush junior is destined to complete its implementation. With
a blank check to dominate the globe militarily, and to suppress the
American people in the name of ‘security’, there seems to be little
to stand in his way. This does not mean that the movement should
give up. It means that the movement needs to be aware that the game
being played is totally hardball. And hardball does not mean
violence, at least not on the part of the movement. Hardball means
we need to realize that the enemy is nothing less than global
The sooner we realize that and organize accordingly, the
greater chance we have of changing things while there are still
human beings alive and out of prison on this Earth.
Excerpts from the draft US Anti-Terrorism Bill of 2001
SEC. 302. ALTERNATIVE MAXIMUM PENALTIES FOR TERRORISM CRIMES.
...A person convicted of any Federal terrorism offense may be
sentenced to imprisonment for any term of years or for life,
notwithstanding any maximum term of imprisonment specified in the
law describing the offense.
SEC. 303. PENALTIES FOR TERRORIST CONSPIRACIES.
...Any person who attempts or conspires to commit any Federal
terrorism offense shall be subject to the same penalties as those
prescribed for the offense…
David C. Korten, The Post-Corporate World, Life
After Capitalism, Kumarian Press, 1999.
Propaganda tells us that capitalism is the same as free enterprise,
and that the only alternative to capitalism is state-run socialism.
Korten clearly explains why both of these beliefs are false. He
examines market economies, as articulated by Adam Smith, and shows
that capitalism is something entirely different. Market economies
are based on competition among equal buyers and sellers, while
capitalism is about monopoly control by large operators.
Brian Martin, Nonviolence versus capitalism, War Resisters’
International, London, 2001.
Laurence Shoup and William Minter, “Shaping a New World Order: The
Council on Foreign Relations’ Blueprint for World Hegemony,
1939-1945”, in: Holly Sklar, ed, Trilateralism, South End Press,
1980, pp. 135-156
Robert B. Stinnett, Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl
Harbor, Free Press, 2000.
Robert B. Stinnett, “December 7, 1941: A Setup from the Beginning”,
Honolulu Advertiser, December 7, 2000. Online at:
William Greider, Who Will Tell the People, the Betrayal of American
Democracy, Touchstone - Simon & Schuster, New York, 1993.
Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash Of Civilizations and the Remaking of
World Order, Simon and Schuster, London, 1997.
organized death squads for the CIA during the
Vietnam War, is now an honored history professor at Harvard. He
specializes in publishing new-world-order propaganda, and “Clash of
Civilizations” is perhaps his masterpiece. The current “War on
Terrorism” can be seen as an attempt to implement Huntington’s
diabolical world architecture.
Jerry Fresia, Toward an American Revolution, Exposing the
Constitution and Other Illusions, South End Press, Boston, 1988.
A must-read if you want to know what America is really about – rule
by wealthy elites.
Daniel Quinn, The Story of B, Bantam Books, New York, 1996.