Fist              Organ of Alliance Marxist-Leninist (North America)    Volume 1, Issue 8; October 2003 $1.00

            A L L I A N C E ! A Revolutionary Communist Monthly

                                                                                       Mourning victims of 9/11 Terrorist attack

Was 9/11 a New Pearl Harbor? By Tom Wakely UK; (special to ALLIANCE!)
Editors note.
Alliance had very early on used the analogy of Pearl Harbour - in its' analysis of the 9/11 terrorist attack (see: World Trade Center Terror 2001 at WTC  ).
This article from the UK, focuses on the growing realisation in the UK that "9/11" -was indeed in the interests of USA imperialism.
So profound is this realisation that senior cabinet ministers of Tony Blair - now also use the anlaogy of "Pearl Harbour".

    Divisions within the ruling class are sometimes allowed to surface in a capitalist media keen to display its liberal credentials. These may be of a most surprising kind, as for example in an article by Michael Meacher, former environment minister in the Blair cabinet, published in the Guardian newspaper on 6.9.03. Meacher takes the Labour government to task for its support of US foreign policy over Iraq and starts by correctly identifying the war against terrorism as being “bogus” (i.e. spurious or counterfeit, not genuine). He points out that long before 9/11 Bush’s cabinet intended to take control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. In support of this contention, he quotes from a September 2000 publication entitled ‘Rebuilding America’s Defences’ from the right wing think tank, Project for the New American Century (PNAC). In this document can be found the following statement: “while the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein”. This document, drawn up by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Jeb Bush among others supports an earlier one stating that advanced industrial nations should be discouraged from challenging US hegemony, and referring to key allies such as the UK as “the most effective and efficient means of exercising American global leadership”.
Written a year before 9/11, the same document pinpoints North Korea, Syria and Iran as dangerous regimes justifying the creation of a “world wide command and control system”. Meacher argues that this blueprint for US world domination provides a much better explanation of what actually happened before, during and after 9/11 than the global war on terrorism. He points out that the US authorities did little or nothing to pre-empt the events of 9/11. For example, fifteen of the hijackers obtained their visas in Saudi Arabia, where the CIA since 1987 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. It is reported that five of the hijackers had received training at secure military installations in the 1990s (Newsweek, September 15th 2001). Instructive intelligence leads prior to 9/11 were not followed up, and the reaction on September 11th itself was astonishingly slow with no fighter aircraft scrambled from US Andrews airforce base
Continued on page twelve.
(just ten miles from Washington) until after the third plane had hit the Pentagon.
US federal crimes prosecutor, John Loftus, was provoked to comment, “The information provided by European intelligence services prior to 9/11 was so extensive that it is no longer possible for either the CIA or FBI to assert a defence of incompetence”. The lack of a serious attempt to capture Bin Laden or other al-Qaida and Taliban leaders is incompatible with the idea of a determined ‘war on terrorism’. Rather it appears that the so-called ‘war on terrorism’ is being used as a cover for achieving wider US strategic geopolitical objectives. A key clue was provided by Tony Blair when he declared that “To be truthful about it, there was no way we could have got the public consent to have suddenly launched a campaign on Afghanistan but for what happened on September 11” (Times, July 17th 2002). Similarly, Rumsfeld was so intent on obtaining a rationale for attacking Iraq that he repeatedly asked that the CIA find evidence linking Iraq to 9/11, something they proved unable to do.
There is no doubt that 9/11 offered a pretext for putting the PNAC plan into action, oil as always being the motivating force. As a report prepared for the US government from the Baker Institute put it, “the US remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma. Iraq remains a destabilising influence to  . . . the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East” so that “military intervention” was a necessity (Sunday Herald, October 6th 2002). Having been thwarted by the Taliban’s unexpected intransigence over oil and gas pipelines, the 9/11 attacks provided an invaluable pretext for invading Afghanistan. This failure to avert 9/11 despite accumulated intelligence relating to a planned attack has a compelling historical parallel in the assault on Pearl Harbour. Advance warning of the Japanese raid had been received but news 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” was likely to be a long one ‘in the absence of some catastrophic and cataclysmic event – like a new Pearl Harbour’.
Meacher rightly concludes that the 9/11 attacks allowed the US to press the “go” button for a strategy in accordance with the PNAC agenda that would otherwise have been politically impossible to implement. His main conclusion is therefore 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”. So far so good - but just where does such an analysis leave this ex-minister and lifetime supporter of the Labour Party? His conclusion, however, is not that imperialism is the enemy of peace and progress for humankind, but that the policy of British imperialism should cease from being aspiration to a junior partnership with the US and instead must be driven by its “own independent goals”.
If anyone has any illusions that such “independent goals” are anything other than furthering the particular interests of British imperialism they will find Mark Curtis’s recently published book ‘Web of Deceit: Britain’s real role in the world’ (Vintage, London 2003) invaluable reading. Curtis is a former Research Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs and has written extensively on US and British foreign policies. This book should be compulsory reading for those who believe in such things as the Labour Party’s ‘ethical foreign policy’ or that Britain stands for fairness and evenhandedness in the world. Before the war in Iraq began, the Blair government had indulged in at least six specific violations of international law: in conducting without UN authorisation the wars in Afghanistan and Yugoslavia; in committing violation of international humanitarian law in bombing Yugoslavia; in the illegal bombing of Iraq in 1998; in maintaining the illegal ‘no fly zones’ over Iraq (a permanent ‘secret’ war) and in maintaining sanctions against Iraq. In addition, ‘New Labour’ had been supporting and condoning numerous further violations of international law and human rights by its key allies such as Turkey in its Kurdish regions, Russia in Chechnya, and Israel in the occupied territories. The reasons for this approach are not difficult to divine since oil was (and is) the main Anglo-American interest in the Middle East. In 1947, British planners described it as ‘a vital prize for any power interested in world influence’; there is no reason to think this analysis has changed.
When it came to war on Iraq, Blair made it clear that opposition by the UN would not be seen as a bar to action by the UK. Bourgeois political culture promotes the myth of Britain’s energetic support of the UN, whereas in fact, open defiance of the UN is a permanent feature of British foreign policy. Early in 2003, the two favourite pretexts for the invasion of Iraq were the existence of weapons of mass destruction, and a putative link between the Iraqi regime and al-Qaida. When neither of these claims could be substantiated, Blair asserted the ‘morality’ of war against Iraq. Past brutalities against the Kurds in northern Iraq in the 1980s were regularly invoked to support this argument, conveniently ignoring the fact that British policy prior to the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 had been to support Saddam’s Iraq as a counter to Iran. At the time, this involved ignoring suppression of the Kurds, with London opposing self-determination for the Kurdish nation in order not to risk the destabilisation of Turkey. Far from distancing itself from Saddam's regime on moral grounds, between 1980-1990 Britain provided £3.5 billion in trade credits to Iraq, and sold £2.3 billion worth of machinery and transport equipment. The Labour government has remained quiet about human rights abuses in Turkey despite the fact that between 1994-8 the Turkish government destroyed 3,500 Kurdish villages, made at least 1.5 million people homeless and internally displaced and killed untold thousands more. In 2002, even Royal Air Force pilots protested against being ordered to return to their base in Turkey in order to allow the Turkish air force to bomb Kurds in the ‘no fly zone’.
Curtis’s book goes on to describe the anti-democratic machinations of British imperialism across the world and the fact that such reactionary policies have enjoyed the full support of Labour governments. Among the lessons to be learned from Meacher’s article is that there are bitter antagonisms among the imperialist powers. This represents a chink in the armour of world imperialism that has the potential to be exploited by the working masses to their advantage. At the same time, to believe that one’s own bourgeoisie are ’better’ or more moral than someone else’s, whatever their protestations is an inexcusable folly. Let them be judged by their actions and not their words.