On this, the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, I thought it might be interesting to re-print here on my blog, the column I wrote about the attacks for Scanner Fanzine, in November, 2001.
Obviously some of the things within the article have since been proven inaccurate with the passage of time (for instance: 3,000 people died that day, not 5,000, as first thought; and the very notion that a group called “al-Qaida” existed before the attacks, and were unquestionably responsible for the attacks, has since been called into question). But I was nineteen years old when I wrote this – just a shocked and scared kid trying to figure out what the hell was going on during this crazy and turbulent time. In the eight years that have followed, however, I have since earned a Ph.D. in political philosophy that actually gives good credence to a lot of the arguments contained within; not all of them, I hasten to add – but some. Being nineteen at the time though, and not yet a trained academic, it is important to point out that what follows was an OPINION PIECE, written for a punk rock fanzine at a time before all the dust had settled, and it does not necessarily reflect the fullness of my views today. That said – despite some obvious failings of youth and naivety, I have to say it’s pretty unbelievable than an untrained nineteen year old could have gotten so many things RIGHT about the subsequent war on terror that followed, at a time when so many alleged specialists and journalists were unable to see similar inevitabilities.
If I could come to these conclusions – a nineteen year old with just a few books and a laptop – then how the hell couldn’t the professionals?
To know the answer to that, you’re probably gonna have to read a little Chomsky…but my comments certainly bear repeating as our unjustified war against Afghanistan continues into its eighth year…
THE JAIL WHERE TERRORISTS MAKE THE RULES (Scanner #11): WHY TERRORISTS CAN’T FIGHT A WAR ON TERROR.
by DaN McKee, (07/11/01)
"Ordinary people do fucked up things
When fucked up things become ordinary"
"They're trying to build a prison
(for you and me to live in)"
- System of a Down
When I wrote my article in SCANNER a few issues back about the Prevention of Terrorism Act and it's implications on activists, I had no idea the extents that our government, and governments worldwide, would be using terrorism as a scapegoat and political excuse for repression, destruction and death on such a scale as we have seen the past few months.
Before I begin this piece, I need to make very clear exactly how disgusting and horrific the attacks on September 11th 2001 were to me, so that you are under no illusions that I am just a cold-hearted, uncaring bastard, and you realise I am saying the things I will be saying with a full grasp of the vileness of the atrocities that have sparked our current war in Afghanistan.
I was on the phone to Tom, one of my best friends, and the Bullet of Diplomacy guitarist. We were just shooting the shit, the regular pointless but essential chatter that all good friendships are made of, when he noticed on the muted television in front of him that two planes had smashed into the World Trade Towers in New York City. Curious, I switched on my own TV and we watched together as the tragedy began to unfold.
Initially the both of us, along with the news presenters were confused as to how a pilot could commit such a stupid mistake as to crash into those blatant buildings…but then the sickening realisation began to hit, just seconds later, that our question was exactly the answer. No pilot would make that mistake, let alone two, within minutes of each other. This was intentional. Two planes had kamikazied themselves into two of New York's biggest landmarks and we were watching this madness live on TV!
It was too insane to be real. Watching on in grim fascination, Tom and I couldn't quite believe our eyes…it was too much like a movie. The years of growing up with big-money, action adventure, special effects cavalcades had taken their toll, and as we witnessed the flames and plumes of smoke rising from the smashed sides of the twin towers – and alongside the disbelief and panic that was rising within – we were joking about how much like the movie Independence Day this all was and, wouldn't it be cool if, into all kinds of landmarks across the world, planes were descending fast on similar missions of destruction?
Hanging up the call, with no one to continue the Hollywood daydreaming with, I was faced with just the stark reality…two planes had crashed into two heavily populated buildings in a city that I loved, and the world was suddenly spinning out of control.
Suddenly, it didn't seem so cool anymore.
You see, half my family comes from The Big Apple. My Mother was born and raised in Manhattan and we have spent a lot of time there over the years visiting friends and relatives. The city had always been special to me…strangely alluring amidst all its filth and dirt, and as a dual UK/US citizen I'd always considered New York a home from home. In fact, I've always planed to live there some day.
Not only that but I'd just been there a week before.
My grandmother had died a few weeks previously and we had gone over for the funeral, leaving strange fresh memories in my head of that magic, grizzly, city to dance around as I watched it's assault live in my living room.
And worse still, my mother had remained in the city to sort out my Gran's affairs, and on September 11th, as I and the befuddled newscasters tried to make sense of the senseless, she was still there in Manhattan!
I tried getting through to the New York number repeatedly as I watched the news, but to no avail.
So I sat there scared and shocked as the World Trade Centre burned on, and suddenly the facetious speculation of Independence Day style destruction came true as we were informed that another plane had hit the Pentagon.
There was no escaping the scale of the attack now, or being awed by the enormity…there was just fear.
And then the towers collapsed.
There are no words that describe that feeling of seeing those eternal features of the New York skyline plummeting to the ground and knowing that there were thousands of people inside each one. Of knowing that you are witnessing a massacre.
There are no words, and more disturbing still there doesn't need to be because, thanks to the joys of television, we all saw it happen ourselves, over and over again, both in real speed and slow-motion. Both in unsettling silence and with heart-rending and tragic soundtrack. Live and in re-run, again and again and again, those two hideous moments. Mass destruction, death, and damage; and still I couldn't get through to my mom.
"The crowd roars, it's deep and so unhealthy"
- Faith No More
Yes I was traumatized. I spent the next three days glued to the television and slept at night with the radio on, only leaving my house to buy newspapers. I got through to my mother after about five hours of trying and found her to be safe and well, but her flight home had been cancelled as U.S. air-space was closed, stranding her for a week, and it was days before we'd managed to get though to and account for all the various other New Yorkers we know.
But by the third day I had to switch off the TV. The baying for blood that had started just hours after the attack was reaching a crescendo, and after days of Americans interviewed telling me "we're gonna kick the ass of whoever did this to us", of Tony Blair telling me we'd stand "shoulder to shoulder" with anything the US decided to do in wake of the atrocity, of continued patriotism and stars and stripes montages, of everybody on the screen wanting someone to blame and someone to kill back (because it was so appalling to…see people killed?) it all came to a head as the House of Commons stood for a three minute silence in respect of those who died – even as they were talking war.
I couldn't stomach anymore the ignorance and the hypocrisy, the blatant lies and the heinous manipulation of anger into war-fever.
September 11th 2001 affected me very deeply and significantly and I will never forget those stark images and the feeling of watching thousands die before my eyes, but underneath all the horror and all the shock there was another feeling inside me that day. A feeling of total and utter expectance and acceptance.
Even as those buildings crashed to the ground and those thousands lost their lives, a voice inside my head was saying: of course, who didn't see that one coming; I'm surprised it took so long.
"Rational thought is demonised"
- Four Letter Word
Now I don't mean to sound uncaring and unfeeling and when I say that I expected something like this I am not saying that I wanted something like this to happen, but when both myself and the shocked newscasters made the sickening realization that the crashes were intentional, it simply made sense to me.
America is hated worldwide.
It is a vicious thing to say, but it is true.
Thanks to US foreign policy since World War II, which has exploited, corrupted, and oppressed too many countries to count worldwide and carved up a world-order in which the globe is it's personal playpen, real and justified anger towards the US has been growing.
When I say real and justified anger, I mean that anger directed towards the U.S. government and businesses; those who make the policy. I do not mean the sad, side effect of this anger that takes the form of wider anti-American racism by people, who pass on their anger at what U.S. policy is doing to their lives, to the people of that nation. And I am not being an apologist for the September 11th terrorists. I am just stating that the United States has a foreign policy widely acknowledged to protect it's own financial and political interests at any and all human cost and that this foreign policy has been economically crippling many countries and robbing them of their resources, and in many cases, sovereignty. As a result of this continued foreign policy, many people justifiably see the USA as a country that has screwed them over, and thus are logically angry at that.
Anti-American feeling is huge, and it was ineluctably obvious that one day some group or individual would be taken to extreme measures in their rage and try to commit some act of devastation against the country. So as September 11th and it's aftermath unfolded, I was not surprised that it had happened, and the idea that whoever had committed the crime did it because they were jealous of America's freedoms did not rub with me at all.
So, what did we have post-September 11th?
We had five thousand plus people dead, part of a city destroyed, and a shocked and scared populace. We also had that all-important question of why it had happened and what we should do about it.
What we have since decided on these questions, or more correctly, what our governments decided for us on these questions is as follows…
That September 11th was a terrorist act by Osama Bin Laden and his al-Qaida network, and that it was an act of war.
That it happened because Bin Laden not only hates America (although, thus far, it is still only US targets that have been hit), but "the entire civilized world" and he hates it because it is so damn free.
That we should fight back against not only these particular terrorists, but all terrorists everywhere and embark on a multi-national War on Terrorism (registered trademark) and vanquish terror from the world.
That we will be best set for eliminating terrorism from the world by bombing Afghanistan, a poor country already devastated from decades of war. We will bomb it even though it has barely anything to bomb, and if bombs don't work, we will send in ground troops. We will use everything in our arsenal from normal common or garden carpet-bombing, to cluster bombs, to Daisy Cutters-the biggest thing we have that's not nuclear. This military action will destabilize al-Qaida, or the Taliban – depending on which day it is and who is doing the speaking – and maybe we'll even be able to kill that nasty Bin Laden.
We will give the CIA permission to commit political assassinations again to help us in this cause, ignoring the dubious ethical grounding of such a law anyway, and more importantly, the CIA's past history since the end of the second-world-war.
Basically, the killing of thousands of innocent people is a terrible outrage and morally wrong, and to oppose this kind of evil we will…kill many more thousand innocent people through war, and possibly millions more through foreseeable starvation as a result of this war.
This is what was decided for us.
"Nonsense is better than no sense at all"
- No Means No
Now call me crazy, but I don't see this as the best thing to do in reaction to September 11th's attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
I don't think what the US/UK governments and the rest of the worldwide coalition to stop terrorism are doing to Afghanistan is going to stop terrorism. I don't think it is the correct response and I think this for various reasons, that I am now going to explain.
The reason September 11th was so appalling, and the suicidal kamikaze plane attacks so disgusting, was because innocent people were killed.
That is why terrorism is such a terrible thing. People's lives are treated contemptuously, as mere obstacles in the way to a political goal. They are just pawns, and even murder is acceptable if it means the right political outcome.
September 11th didn't stun the world because they saw over five thousand American people die…it stunned them because they saw five thousand people die, end of story.
It is that useless loss of innocent life that is so hideous, and to fight against that outrage by doing exactly the same thing on a larger scale is even worse.
War is just terrorism writ large.
Bombing Afghanistan, we are not killing the terrorists; we are killing innocent people, with more and more casualties and fatalities by the day. Not just killing them brutally but quickly with our not-so-smart bombs (each war we have those fucking things go off course and kill hundreds of innocents at a time, something we always "deeply regret", but it is just ridiculous that such homicidal disregard is shown by our armies and governments who just tot up these "unfortunate" victims as "collateral damage". Once could be classed as a terrible mistake, but over and over again war after war after war…you just don't make those kind of mistakes.), no, not just quick brutal deaths but leaving millions to a long lingering death by starvation in the coming winter.
While claiming humanitarian concern by showing us that they are dropping food parcels to the people of Afghanistan (who Bush and Blair continue to remind us "we are not at war with"), what our governments are not too keen to parade is the fact that international aid agencies like Oxfam have said that at best these airdrops will merely feed 130,000 people-just 3.5% of the total population!
Not only that, but human right organisations have claimed that the meagre amounts of food they are dropping has several other problems. Firstly, many Afghans are traumatized from the past war with Russia back in the '80s, when the Soviets would drop toy dolls from their planes that were actually explosives. After an experience like that you would be very distrustful and scared of picking up anything that had fallen from an army plane. Also, this previous war with Russia has left the majority of the country plagued with landmines. Reporter Robert Fisk, writing in the Independent before the bombing, put the area of land contaminated with landmines at 80%, thus, just to get to the dropped aid packages, there is a substantial risk of injury.
But finally, if the pre-existing landmines weren't hazardous enough, the food packages are alleged to be the same colour as something else dropping from our warplanes… cluster bombs. Cluster bombs break open as they fall into many separate shells and the ones that don't hit an immediate target essentially become like landmines, waiting to explode. So if the Afghanis brave the horrors of the past and put their lives on the line to try and pick up one of the descending drops, there's a good chance that instead of food, they will get a cluster-bomb!
So it is a given, begrudgingly even admitted by our leaders, that innocent people will die in this war. War is a miserable business, as they say, somewhat apologetically.
But what if we do, through bombing, or even through employment of ground-troops, manage to get rid of Osama Bin Laden or the Afghani al-Qaida?
The al-Qaida group operate in sixty-four countries and are stronger than just one man . Within these sixty-four countries are some of our allies and members of the coalition who we are not intending to bomb, so ultimately, while getting rid of one cell of the group-we will not be stopping the entire organization and therefore not stopping their terrorism.
I mean, the whole idea of a war on terrorism is crazy for that very reason, as we are not going to fighting back at some very real terrorism that is occurring within the coalition. Are we going to bomb Israel, Northern Ireland, The UK, and The USA? No…this rhetoric just doesn't work even under the slightest speck of analysis.
The only probable outcome of killing Bin Laden and ousting the Taliban (a group the US helped create and finance right up until earlier this year), is that America will install a new government in Afghanistan that is friendly to it…as they've done in all major conflicts they've ever gotten involved in.
So we have a plan of attack that is doing more of the thing we are claiming to want to stop, that ultimately will not possibly provide the proclaimed desired outcome of an end to terrorism, and will only ultimately have a foreseeable outcome of causing more anger towards the US and it's allies, more rallying round the Taliban in the meantime, and more of the despair that leads people into suicidal attacks such as those seen on September 11th in the first place.
And worse of all in this whole outrageous situation, is that one crucial fact that we seldom talk about anymore…that we still don't know for sure who actually was responsible for September 11th!
Sure we've been told it was Bin Laden and that Blair and Bush have seen compelling evidence that proves it all, but come on! Why won't they show it to us? That old adage of National Security.
Well I say fuck National Security, if you want my support for killing potentially millions of people then I want to see why.
Because the US intelligence services just aren't the most trustworthy bunch of people in the world you know? Like when they lied to justify bombing Quadafi back in 1986, or when they said Soviets were building a military base in Grenada, or when they claimed that Sandinistas in Nicaragua were running drugs, when in fact it was the US. Just a few examples but enough evidence for me that to just take their word for something is not the safest thing to do!
All we've been told, is that out of the nineteen alleged hijackers, three were linked to Bin Laden.
Not out-and-out-definite-here's-the-facts members, but linked.
And again, the actual proof of this is missing, and all we are given is conjecture and speculation based on assumptions and flimsy scraps of evidence.
I mean, isn't it weird that if it is Bin Laden he hasn't admitted to it yet? That whoever committed the act, causing such destruction and attention has not capitalized on this yet and stood up to brag – yes it was us, we were the ones who kicked the US's ass for a day! If someone did such a monumental thing I'd have thought they'd be using it as a PR tool for years to come.
For Bin Laden, what's the worse that can happen by admitting it? The US may want revenge; try to kill him and bomb the country he's living in? Oh right-THAT'S ALREADY HAPPENING! So why wouldn't he admit it, what has he got to lose? Why would he constantly and consistently deny it?
Now…what I'm about to say is purely a conspiracy theory of my own, and I'm not sure that I believe it, but, there is as much evidence for my next accusation as there is for al-Qaida being responsible, and as we're willing to kill so many based on the government's flimsy scraps of evidence, I may as well put this equally plausible theory across.
OK, here goes…
…The Bush's did it!
You see, back in the early sixties, America's top military leaders are reported to have drafted plans to get US support for a war in Cuba by…orchestrating violent acts of terrorism in US cities! In a proposed Operation Northwoods, plans were laid out to raise public opposition to Cuba by blaming them for acts of horrific terrorism that in reality would have been committed by the US themselves.
The operation was luckily not put into practice…but the story does not end there.
George Bush's tenure as CIA director in 1975 would have no doubt meant he had access to these old plans as head of intelligence, however it turns out that we don't even have to speculate as to his knowledge of Operation Northwoods for some sources place George Bush as working for the CIA as early as 1961 , right about the time these plans were being drawn up! Not only that, but he is believed to have worked on the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion, the very incident that Operation Northwoods was supposed to be a response to.
So there's good chance that George Bush Senior knew about the concept of terrorizing the US and blaming it on someone else to justify a war with them.
Then we have his son, unconstitutionally pushed into the position of president by a biased and unjust Supreme Court decision, with an administration of his father's old friends. A son who, like his father, and his vice president, Dick Cheney is big on oil.
Now Afghanistan is a crucial geographical location in regards to getting oil from the Caspian sea and the US would love to control it. I know this, because Cheney himself has said this before he was vice president, but how do you go to war against an impoverished country who's rulers you've just recently given several million dollars of aid to? How do you get an American public into a war like that?
Send some planes into the World Trade Towers, blame Bin Laden, blame Muslims, blame whatever…just get our armies into Afghanistan so we can fuck shit up and take over! Five thousand dead isn't that big a number when looking relatively at America's historic disregard for human life. It's a price that, I think, they'd think is worth it, to paraphrase former secretary of state Madeline Albright when she was asked about the deaths of half a million Iraqi children.
Five thousand is a relative pittance when faced with the total death toll of American interventions.
Yes, that's right, my speculating, conjecture and assorted facts all add up to a compelling case against the Bush family as being responsible for September 11th. And if we are to accept the flimsy evidence of Bin Laden's responsibility we must be forced to admit that my own case against the Bush's is just as convincing, if not more so, because as at least mine has some facts in it that make sense!
"All we want to do is change your mind
All you need to do is close your eyes"
- Bad Religion
So not only is the current war not doing what it says it is doing, but it is a war against someone we don't know for sure is responsible! Sure Bin Laden is a terrorist, but is he responsible for September 11th? Now the way I see it, war is a very heavy thing to get into…you'd have thought we'd make one hundred percent sure first that we were fighting the right people before we went that far, but it seems we haven't. So it could turn out that our soldiers die over in Afghanistan and their families get to find out years later, when all the secret documents have been declassified, that not only did their loved ones die in another war for oil (because Bush conspiracy aside, the oil interests are real), but that they weren't even fighting the real people responsible for September 11th in the first place.
And let's not forget that, just as George Bush senior ignored Saddam Hussein's offers to leave Kuwait before the Gulf War…The Taliban offered to hand Bin Laden over three times before the bombing. All they requested before they did this was evidence that Bin Laden had really done it, and the US and UK wouldn't give it to them.
I really don't think it can be seen as contemptuous or war-mongering to want solid evidence for someone's extradition before you extradite them, but apparently, to George W Bush, it was, and the bombing commenced anyway, with him telling us all diplomatic routes had been tried and they had failed.
To be fair, the Taliban's offer for Bin Laden, was not the offer the US had demanded…they wanted him given with no evidence, and given straight to them – as opposed to a third party neutral country for trial as the Taliban suggested – but the key to diplomacy is compromise. The facts are, the will was there to give Osama over, and with some genuine negotiating, and fair legal practice of supplying evidence, he could have been given over and tried in an international war court somewhere without a single bomb being dropped…but the US refused. "We did not ask for this war", George Bush said as the first bombs began to drop…but he did everything in his power to ensure it happened.
Maybe they didn't accept the Taliban's offer because they'd have to make overly public their opposition to an international war-crimes court which they have been vetoing for years because the US harbours many war-criminals…pretty much all their living ex-presidents to name but a few.
Or maybe they didn't accept the Taliban's offer because they don't have the evidence they were asked to show and the Taliban would laugh them out of Kabul at the pathetic dribbles of information and assumption that they have.
Or maybe they didn't accept it because, most likely, war, and especially a crusade of a war that can be fought in any country anywhere under the auspices of fighting terror, is good for Western governments and the U.S.. It's good for business; it's good for control?
Whoever was responsible for September 11th, it is clear the U.S. have manoeuvred the aftermath towards this war since the start.
But all doubt aside, let's assume, for the sake of argument, that Bin Laden did do it. Is the U.S. the right country to declare a war on terrorism?
The U.S., who trained Bin Laden in the first place when he was useful to them in ousting the Russians from Afghanistan and who helped established the very Taliban they are fighting today.
The U.S., who have sponsored, underwritten, protected or engaged in themselves, terrorists and terrorist acts in countries such as Iraq, Columbia, Nicaragua, Brazil, Uruguay, Cuba, Guatemala, Indonesia/East Timor, Zaire, Angola, South Africa and given unconditional support for Israel's vicious oppression and slaughter of Palestinians to name just a few of their worldwide terror operations that have killed many more than the relatively low number of deaths in the World Trade Towers (not that five thousand is insignificant, I am just saying that, ultimately, the U.S. have killed many times over that amount throughout the years).
The U.S., who have safeguarded Cuban refugee terrorist groups along with other terrorist groups useful to their global policies such as El Salvadorian, Haitian, Vietnamese and even German Nazi terrorists.
The U.S., who for the past fifty-five years have run a terrorist school in Fort Benning, Georgia, the former School of the Americas and now, Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or WHISC?
Is this country, who has had it's finger in every terrorism pie you could mention over the last fifty years, who is still killing innocents in Iraq and Columbia at the same time as they speak about stopping terrorism, really the right country to lead a "crusade" against terrorism?
A country who is turning a blind eye to it's allies’ acts that kill just as many, if not more, than those killed on September 11th, as long as they go along with the war – most notably Russia, who have been essentially given a green light to do as they please in Chechnya in return for their support.
The answer, quite clearly, is no.
A terrorist country can not claim to be the leaders in a war on terrorism, and their actions in this claimed war are just going to prove that as they merely cause more and more terror, death, destruction and chaos in their quest for another country to control.
"Cull memory for assimilation"
The way to stop terrorism is simple.
First of all, stop doing it yourselves.
There, that would already cease the majority of global terror; but in regards to September 11th, what about that? What do you do to combat those wicked individuals who committed such an atrocity? People demand justice, and families of lost loved ones want some retribution.
Well, you start by realizing that whoever did it was not wicked, they were desperate. They killed themselves and thousands more because, for some reason or another, they were aggrieved about something.
This ignored facet of information is crucial.
There was a reason whoever was responsible did what they did and that reason has to be looked into, because, whatever it was (probably the US foreign policy I've mentioned so many times already) it is a real problem. People do not just hijack a plane and crash it into a landmark building for the shits and giggles…it is a desperation manoeuvre, and whatever caused that desperation needs to be looked into and sorted out.
Stopping terrorism requires a serious and self-critical look at our policies and practices that are tearing the world apart as our governments use, use, use everyplace and everybody they can to maximize their profits and power without a second thought for the lives, cultures, and planet that they are destroying in the process. Until they are willing to do this then their words about stopping terrorism are just that.
Words and nothing else.
Right now, all that has happened in the aftermath of September 11th is our governments have shamelessly capitalized on it to put forward a program of repression and warfare that they have duped us into accepting as necessary, unscrupulously manipulating our very real shock and outrage at the tragedy to their own political needs.
It will not make it better for the people who had friends and family killed that day, or for the public who watched on outraged as it happened live on TV. It will just create many more people to loose loved ones, and who have to watch people die in front of them as their countries are ravaged by uncaring, unfeeling and murderous bombs. It will create more chances of terrorism too, as this anger, like our own anger at September 11th, is manipulated into wanting retaliation instead of just, an end.
"Don't believe the hype-It's a sequel"
- Public Enemy
The War on Terrorism is just a new Cold War. A cover-all blanket of excuse to do whatever the U.S. want, wherever they want, no matter how despicable; all in the name of "fighting terrorism".
Replace the rhetoric of the Cold War from "communist" to "terrorist" and you see comparisons that would be laughable if they weren't so scary. As the U.S. used the name of anti-communism to do whatever it wanted both at home and abroad, the latest coalition headed by them will do the same thing with anti-terrorism. We have already seen, just months following the events, many repressive laws rushed through in both the U.S. and the UK that, under normal occasions, would have been hotly contested, including the introduction of internment here in Britain on a larger scale than even the repressive Prevention of Terrorism Act already allowed, and we are already hearing talk of the war lasting for years in Afghanistan and beyond. One US official even claimed that the war might not end in our lifetime!
Businesses are capitalizing too, downsizing gratuitously as we accept it as a cost of this war, not thinking about how, if their profits really are down, they could just cut their CEO's pay and their executive’s, and continue paying their workers. We just are told, it's to prevent a recession in the wake of September 11th…but if there are so many more people unemployed now thanks to these huge redundancies, then who will buy their products? Surely that too will lead to recession?
And after Afghanistan?
Iraq is being mentioned, nuclear weapons are being mentioned, and once again we seem to be entering a state of permanent war.
Anyone the U.S. doesn't like can be deemed terrorist. Any group that are getting out of line can be deemed terrorist. Any lifestyle that threatens the world-order can be deemed terrorist.
Basically, it is blank cheque to do anything, anywhere, with just the flick of the tongue. Call someone terrorist and anything goes.
"Killing so fat-cats can plunder, I bet he pleased all the shareholders
But he can't ever get his fucking life back!"
- Academy Morticians
Now I am for a genuine end to terrorism, but I want an end to all terrorism, and I recognize that terrorism can't be solved through warfare. We need diplomacy, and lots of it. Discourse to find out what is wrong. A will to change our own practices that are causing anger and hostility in the world.
We will not bomb terrorism away and we cannot buy into this phoney war.
They know they are on shaky ground, hence all this talk of "losing the propaganda war". There is no propaganda war…there's the coalition trying to stop the truth coming out, plain and simple.
When we're told that our forces have killed innocent people, we're supposed to treat this information as dubious because we can't trust the Taliban…but have our media exactly got a gleaming track record for war-time reporting? No. In just over a decade, from the Gulf, to Kosovo, and everywhere in-between, we have been lied to time and time again by our government and media…so why should we take their word now? Especially when they are overtly working on propaganda, CNN downplaying Afghani misery, Fox news (part of Murdoch's News International so who knows how far this edict goes?) deciding that civilian casualties isn't news, Hollywood being rounded up to make to make pro-war patriotic movies, and UK media being told to give everything that comes from the Taliban a "health warning" claiming that it is unreliable and unverifiable.
They are terrified of us losing faith in this war…and they are terrified because they know it is built on bogus premises and bullshit foundations. Do you really think bin Laden making videos in a cave in Afghanistan can compete with our billions of propaganda dollars and media monopoly?
All that they are afraid of is the truth getting out: that this war is suspect, and not at all what it is claimed to be.
Oppose the bombing of innocent people, oppose terrorism and oppose Bush and Blair's war. Protest, fight and resist. We must make our leaders realize that this official line is not washing, and that we want to see genuine attempts at ending terrorism; starting first with ending our own! Force them to look into the mirror and see that they are the problem and hold them to account.
Fuck the war on terrorism.
(this article, written November 7th, 2001, originally appeared in SCANNER fanzine, issue 11, December, 2001, pp. 35-40). SCANNER WEB-ZINE