9/11 and Afghanistan Post-Mortems: Lessons in Safe Logic
By Edward Curtin
Sep 20, 2021 - 2:37:38 AM
In the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the 20th anniversary of the mass murders of September 11, 2001, the corporate mainstream and alternative media have been replete with articles analyzing the consequences of 9/11 that resulted in the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and its alleged withdrawal after two decades of war.
These critiques have ranged from mild to harsh, and have covered issues from the loss of civil liberties due to The Patriot Act and government spying through all the wars "on terror" in so many countries with their disastrous consequences and killing fields. Many of these articles have emphasized how, as a result of the Bush administration's response to 9/11, the U.S. has lost its footing and brought on the demise of the American empire and its standing in the world. Some writers celebrate this and others bemoan it. Most seem to consider this inevitable.
This flood of articles has been authored by writers from across the political spectrum from the left through the center to the right. All were outraged in their own ways, as such dramatic events typically manage to elicit much spilled ink informed by the writers' various ideological positions in a media world where the categories of left and right have become meaningless.
These articles have included cries about phony tears for the wrong victims (those who died in the Twin Towers, Pentagon, and on the planes), how good intelligence could have prevented 9/11, how so many died in vain, how it all led to torture, how whistle blowers were not heeded, how the military was right, how the collapse of the towers led to the collapse of the American empire, how bin Laden won, how evil U.S. war making came home in the form of 9/11 evil, how the longest war was in vain, how the Pentagon received vast sums of money over the decades, how the withdrawal from Afghanistan was a betrayal of the 9/11 victims, etc.
Many of the points made were valid; others were not. This flood of opinionated outrage was very emotional and no doubt stirred deep feelings in readers. It fed on the widespread feeling in the country that something dreadful has occurred, but what it is isn't exactly clear. The sense of mass confusion and continual disaster permeating the air and infecting people's daily lives. The sense of unreality existing everywhere.
These articles have almost run their course and a new series of post mortems can be anticipated as fear and trembling attaches to new matters, particularly the ongoing Covid-19 fear porn minus the dire consequences of government policies. Fear is the name of the game and untruth snakes through the media hidden in the grass of truth. Many of the articles I referred to above - and you can check for yourself as I have purposely left out names and links - contain truths, but truths that disguise deeper untruths upon which the truths are allegedly based. I will leave the logic lesson to you.
Since many of these articles have been penned by liberal writers, some of whom one might naively expect to grasp essentials, and since those further to the right are considered defenders of Pax Americana, I will quote the outspoken anti-war singer/songwriter Phil Ochs, who prefaced his trenchant 1965 song, Love Me I'm a Liberal, with these words about logic:
In every political community there are varying shades of political opinion. One of the shadiest of these is the liberals. An outspoken group on many subjects. Ten degrees to the left of center in good times. Ten degrees to the right of center if it affects them personally. Here, then, is a lesson in safe logic.
So here's the rub about the logic. Almost without exception (there are a handful of truthful writers aside from those I am here referring to, such as Kit Knightly, Michel Chossudovsky, Pepe Escobar, et al.), from the left to the right and everywhere in between, the authors of all these articles about the mass murders of September 11, 2001 and Afghanistan have based their points on a false premise.
A false premise. This is the way minds are shaped in the era of mass propaganda and servile journalism. Assume (or make believe) something is true despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and build from there. Slip in this premise or background assumption as if it were truer than true. This is what has happened throughout the media in the last two weeks. It is not new but worth pointing out.
The false premise is this: That 9/11 was a terror attack carried out by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda as blow-back for American wars against Muslims, and this terror attack on the U.S. led to the invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.
The evidence is overwhelming that this premise is false. In fact, the evidence makes clear that 9/11 was an inside job, a false flag attack, carried out by sinister forces within the government of the United States with a little help from certain foreign junior partners to justify its subsequent war crimes across the globe. I will not explore here the ample evidence concerning 9/11, for it is readily available to readers who have the will to look. Even the use of the shorthand - 9/11 for the events of September 11, 2001 - that I have used here for brevity's sake, is a crucial part of the linguistic propaganda used to frighten and to conjure up thoughts of an ongoing national emergency, as I have written elsewhere.
One is not supposed to say that the mass murders of September 11, 2001 were a false flag attack, for it touches a realty that is so disturbing in its consequences that all the hand wringing post mortems must deny: That nearly three thousand innocent people in the U.S. had first to be murdered as a pretext for killing millions around the world. It is a lesson in radical evil that is very difficult to swallow, and so must be hidden in a vast tapestry of lies and safe logic. American innocence can survive the disclosures of U.S. atrocities overseas because the deaths of foreigners have never meant much to Americans, but to bring it all back home is anathema.
It is another example of the unspeakable, as the Trappist monk Thomas Merton said long ago and James W. Douglass referenced in his monumental book, JFK and the Unspeakable, to explain why John Kennedy died at the hands of the CIA and why that fact had to be suppressed. The mass murders of September 11, 2001 recapitulate that systemic evil that defies speech.
It is the void that contradicts everything that is spoken even before the words are said; the void that gets into the language of public and official declarations at the very moment when they are pronounced, and makes them ring dead with the hollowness of the abyss. It is the void out of which Eichmann drew the punctilious exactitude of his obedience...
From true writers and journalists we should expect something better - that they don't repeat official declarations, utter hollow platitudes, and build analyses on false premises - but these are not the best of times, to rephrase Ochs, and safe logic keeps one's legitimacy intact and protects one's brand.
It's always personal when it comes to the unspeakable.
Reprinted with the author's permission.
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Edward Curtin [send him mail] is a writer whose work has appeared widely. His website is edwardcurtin.com. He is the author of the new book Seekinging Truth in the Country of Lies.
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