The 9/11 dust is finally settling. Blumenthal takes us on a nightmare tour of the landscape, starting with two key moments in 2018 that dramatically expose the plot behind the passion play taking place even as we sip our morning coffee: Trump’s absence from the establishment’s lovefest-funeral for McCain, and a few days later, the New York Times editorial ‘I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration’, excoriating Trump’s ‘amoral leadership’.
McCain has been latched onto as the anti-Trump icon (he’s safely dead so he can’t mess things up, a habit this very Trump-like loose cannon was prone to). At the virtual state funeral (absent the head of state), McCain’s daytime talkshow host daughter Meghan repackaged McCain’s ‘finest hour’, the (illegal, horrible, criminal) Vietnam War as a fight for the ‘life and liberty of other peoples in other lands’, a celebration of American empire, rebuking Trump (America was always great) as a threat to its survival.
Blumenthal’s message is crystal clear: US-Israel policy from 1979 on has been to create and support Muslim terrorism, even as it claims to be fight terrorism. It used jihadi in Afghanistan to undermine the Soviet Union, and has used them against Iran and Syria. Create the problem, and provide the solution.
Hillary 2009: The people we are fighting today, we funded 20 years ago… It wasn’t a bad investment to end the Soviet Union, but let’s be careful what we sow because we will harvest.
Jake Sullivan 2012 email to Clinton: AQ [al-Qaeda] is on our side in Syria.
Trump understands this and that it is wrong, and was elected to end the unending wars. He tried in Afghanistan and Syria, but failed. Perhaps due to his incompetence, but more likely because the deep state/ Pentagon like the permanent wars (good for business, Israel’s bidding, young male safety valve, distraction from social problems).
He thought he could satisfy Israel with Jerusalem and settlements, but Israel is never satisfied. It openly nurtured Muslim terrorism in Syria, bombing Iranian troops and Hezbollah who, along with Assad and latecomer Russia, were the only actors actually fighting the terrorists.
Efraim Inbar (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies): The destruction of Islamic State is a strategic mistake’: the West should seek the further weakening of Islamic State, but not its destruction. It is a useful tool in the fight against Iran and its proxy Hezbollah.
The goal is a buffer zone between Israel and Hezbollah, like Israel’s use of Maronite Christians in Lebanon in the 1980s, perpetrators of the infamous Shabra and Shatila massacre of 460 Palestinian refugees. The Golan Knights (I’m not kidding) is/ was a unit of the Free Syrian Army to which Israel allows cross-border travel, and provides food and construction equipment. They help Israel in their bombing of pro-government (especially Iranian) positions. When they mistakenly lobbed a mortar at Israel, they apologized, as Israel admitted publicly.
Israel is unhappy that ISIS is mostly washed up. Hence the urgency of direct war on Iran.
Only war against Iran will satisfy Israel (for the time being). Which Trump seems eager to launch. And which was a centrepiece of McCain’s warmongering.
So when Trump solemnly pontificated in 2017: We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote, he was disingenuous, as he was falling into the same trap, legalizing and allying with (terrorist) MEK, in his goal of overthrowing the Iranian government. But then Trump loves Israel, the world’s biggest terrorist (next to the US). So whether or not the deep state likes him, he is mostly doing their dirty work anyway.
Blumenthal provides telling quotes from earlier Trump suggesting the opposite. My favourite is Trump during the election campaign: Russia wants to get rid of ISIS. We want to get rid of ISIS. Maybe let Russia do it. Let them get rid of ISIS. What the hell do we care?
But that was before Russiagate. Like punishing a naughty schoolboy using dirty language, the neocon school principal had to rap Trump’s knuckles. They seem to have browbeat him into more-or-less conformity, even earning brownie points for his wild actions against Iran, but he spoils even that by turning the entire world against him.
At this point, Trump’s next move is impossible to predict. Perhaps he has realized he can’t ‘make America great again’ and keep US world control at the same time. Besides meaningless stats on employment, America has not moved ahead on any count of ‘greatness’. Perhaps Trump has forgotten about MAGA and is back onboard with the deep state after all, counting on his solid right wing base and the current cultural civil war in the US to get reelected.
Meanwhile, al-Qaeda et al are happy to take the challenge in the World Monster Championship, welcoming US destablization of ‘kufar’ governments in the Muslim world (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Sudan), assuming that the oppression will lead Muslims to emigrate to their shiny, new caliphate, still hanging by a thread in Syria. That this is hopeless doesn’t matter, as Allah will come thundering in to save the day eventually. It’s highstakes gambling that seems to have made this a lose-lose outcome for both sides.
Jihad theorist Abu Bakr Naji, inspired by the invasion of Iraq in 2003, coined the terms management of savagery, establishing administrations of savagery to exploit chaos from US regime-change wars. This will fill the US-induced security vacuum, and is the mirror image of the US neocon Project for a New American Century’s ‘Rebuilding America's Defenses’ in 2000, advocating a global Pax Americana unrestrained by international law. ‘Who needs international law?’ ask both the neocons and the terrorists.
What about the 9/11 Truthers?
Maybe there was/ is Hillary’s ‘vast right wing conspiracy’. Yes, the CIA et al have a colourful history of false flags per Operation Northwoods. Yes, the industrial-military complex benefited from 9/11. Yes, the 9/11 Commission was riddled with omissions and distortions, shaped into something that would not rock the foundations of US empire.
Yes, the deep state/ PNAC called for ‘a new Pearl Harbor’, but that was wishful thinking. The capitalist system is adroit in turning historical tragedies to its own advantage. Yes, Israel knew about 9/11 plans, but they were in Israel’s interests, so it allowed the tragedy to proceed, much like it knew about and allowed the blast that killed 241 US Marines in Lebanon in 1983.
And if PNAC and some cabal was the mastermind of 9/11, would it really broadcast its plot openly, just months ahead of the event? PNAC, like Netanyahu and Barak, were happy to indulge in schadenfreude after the event, but they did not ‘do’ 9/11, as something that big destabilizes the US, its milkcow. Not wise.
The chain of events that brought us to Trump:
*US intervention in Afghanistan from 1978 precipitated the Soviet intervention,
*empowering jihadist godfathers like Zawahiri and bin Laden. That led to
*the 9/11 spectacle, precipitating
*more disastrous wars (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen), leading to
*ever-worsening world jihad,
*which led to a populist reaction against the deep state. Voila, Trump. QED.
The deep state underestimated the visceral hatred for the political establishment, catapulting a self-made anti-establishment wildcard, a Duterte, a Zelenksy, into control of the world. The problems are intractable, the political system dysfunctional, so might as well elect a joker.
While false flags are the staple of video games, they are dangerous and used sparingly in the ‘real’ world. Straightforward imperialism is usually enough and is much ‘safer’. The US national security state laid the groundwork for the worst terrorist attack on American soil (only hurricanes come close to 9/11, Pearl Harbor was 2500 dead), but it did not orchestrate it.
Blumenthal’s bete noire on 9/11 is Ali Mohamed, a CIA-Egyptian Islamic Jihad double agent, trainer for the 1993 WTC bombing.* Another shady character is InfoWars’ Alex Jones, famous for his compelling and very bizarre anti establishment rant** in Linklater’s Waking Life (2001). Blumenthal documents that this was followed in July by an Austin Texas anonymous radio message: Please! Call congress. Tell ‘em we know the government is planning terrorism. Bin laden is the boogeyman they need in this Orwellian, phony system. There is something fishy there,*** but it is not the work of the deep state.
This is all very reminiscent of the ‘Holocaust denier’ conspiracy which peaked in the 1980s. Zundel and others insisted the ‘Holocaust’ is a WWII false flag conspiracy by communist Jews intent on governing the world, citing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The same 9/11 conspiracy scenario: a false flag, media manipulating the sheeple, simpleton presidents fronting for the sinister Zionist elite.
Sorry guys. Communism was a boguey man. It was not the enemy, but yes, there is conspiracy at work. It’s called capitalism, which spawned imperialism, which loves war and destruction, coz it’s good for profits. Like Bill Clinton’s ‘It’s the economy, stupid!’ we can say ‘It’s capitalism, stupid!’
Replace ‘anticommunism’ with Islamophobia and you have the latest model. Yes, Zionism is an integral part of that, and yes, 90% of Jews support Israel, but there’s no ‘conspiracy’. Only zealous imperialists, and brainwashed, indifferent masses.
‘Truthers inadvertently run interference for the imperialist power elite they claim to disdain.’**** Jones added an anti-immigrant and globalist plan to destroy US culture into the mix. Yes, a decaying culture. (Zundel’s ‘cultural Marxism’) But no conspiracy, communist or Jewish. Again, just the logic of capital. Writes Blumenthal: If Jones had not existed, the establishment might have had to create him. Or perhaps, if one wants to get conspiratorial, it did.
Some delightful details:
*The McCain Defense Authorization Bill 5515 for Fiscal Year 2019. Wow. The US is so obsessed with laws, they dedicated billions of dollars in war spending to him.
*It’s hard not to chortle at Trump’s merciless flailing of Jeb Bush during the primaries in 2015-6. Trump decimated Jeb Bush over his brother’s failed wars. This was unprecedented, and left the deep state squirming. Trump 2015 vs Jeb: We’re giving hundreds of millions of dollars in equipment to these people---we have no idea who they are! They may be far worse than Assad. Look at Libya, look at Iraq, look at the mess we have after spending trillions of dollars, thousands of lives. The WTC came down under your brother’s reign. That’s not keeping us safe! Of course, Jeb’s sponsors knew perfectly well ‘who they are.’
Undermining Obama’s legacy
Sadly, Trump’s legacy appears to be little better than Bush or Obama (and for all his sniping, McCain). His loathing of Obama meant Trump would do all in his power to undermine the major positive element of Obama’s foreign policy -- the nuclear deal with Iran.
Determined to one-up Obama, egged on by Israel, Trump tore up the Obama deal, overriding Europe and the UN, bringing the US to the brink of war by provoking Iran ceaselessly, hoping for a pretext to justify an invasion. If there is anyone still not aware of the evil of US imperialism, Trump’s fatal mistake on Iran is the nail in the coffin. Even Congress decided enough was enough, and passed a resolution making launching war against Iran illegal. But that won’t stop a US president.
How ironic that McCain-hater Trump will be remembered as having fall into McCain’s trap, as immortalized by Vince Vance & The Valiants in 1980 during the US embassy hostage crisis in Iran in their rendition of ‘Barbara Ann’ as Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran.
*Mohamed’s dead drop mailbox at the Sphinx trading co was the same one used by 9/11 hijacker Mihdhar. In October 2000, he pleaded guilty to five counts of conspiracy to kill nationals of the United States and to destroy US property. He disappeared into CIA limbo, too damaging to put on trial.
**The 21st century is gonna be the age of humankind standing up for something pure and something right!
***Alex Jones is from Austin. Linklater studied film in Austin.
****Blumenthal, Savagery, 92.