George W Bush launched his "war against terrorism", starting first in Afghanistan and then moving into Iraq, with the excuse that it was necessary in order to make the world a safer place. Three years on from the attacks on the Twin Towers the world is in no way a safer place to live. The latest atrocity in North Ossetia in Russia is testimony to this. Yesterday's bomb attack in Indonesia is another. We have also witnessed many more such attacks in the last three years. Iraq itself is far from becoming a stable "democracy". In fact the so-called war on terror has achieved none of its supposed aims, apart from the military occupation of Iraq, and even that is not secure, as the resistance is making more and more progress and controls whole areas of the country.
Nobody should have any doubts about the real reasons for this so-called war on terror. It was an excuse for the invasion of Iraq. We have written about this on more than one occasion. The plan to invade Iraq had been made ready long before the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2004.
Several factors determined this. The Middle East is very unstable. The Saudi regime is among the most unstable. The problem was, and is, that Saudi Arabia and Iraq together hold some of the largest reserves of crude oil in the world. Next door there is the Iranian regime, also sitting on huge reserves. The Iranian regime could fall in the coming period. The Saudi regime could be facing overthrow soon. To have Saddam Hussein still in power in such a situation would have meant US imperialism in particular facing a serious problem of control over oil resources. There is also the ongoing conflict in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians.
For all these reasons and more, an important section of the US ruling class, gathered around Bush and his clique, decided long ago that it was necessary to establish a strong military presence in the Middle East. In this sense the September 11 attacks played a useful role in providing the ideal excuse for sending US troops into the Middle East. Prior to that the US ruling class was still trying to get over the Vietnam syndrome. After the humiliating defeat of the US army in Vietnam back in 1975, the mood in America had changed. Ordinary working Americans were not prepared to support any further such adventures. That is why Bush needed something big in order to shock American public opinion and turn the mood in favour of war and invasions of other countries.
This has led to a lot of speculation and "conspiracy theories" about who was really behind the attacks. The most exaggerated of these say that the Bush administration actually attacked the Towers itself. Pages and pages, and even books, have been written, looking into every little detail, trying to prove these theories. Most of them are quite easily answered and require no serious further thought.
However, once one removes the fantastic, almost science fiction style, stories that have been built up, there remains some information that does lead to some interesting conclusions.
Last night on British Channel Four TV we had a documentary going into some of the conspiracy theories that have developed. Last year in a similar programme on CBC-TV looked into the same theories.
After all the more incredible theories are discarded - such as the one that says that the failure of the U.S. intelligence to prevent the September 11 attacks from taking place is proof that the whole thing was a plot cooked up by the U.S. government - there remains the main point, which cannot be so easily answered or ignored. There is growing evidence that US intelligence agencies may have known more than they are ready to admit now. What may not be so far-fetched is that they knew some form of terrorist attack was going to take place. How big and how many victims there would be they could not have known, but that something was being prepared they most likely knew about.
The US intelligence services and the inquiry that later took place do in fact admit that they had a large amount of evidence and information that an attack was being prepared. As far back as 1995 (and this became even more concrete in 1998) intelligence services had found plans that included attacks such as those that were carried out in 2001. So the most credible of these conspiracy theories is the one that says the US government didn't do everything it could have done to stop the attacks. The logic of this would be that a bomb attack would be useful in rousing public opinion in favour of war. Therefore let us not stop it. No doubt, they did not expect such a big attack.
Whether such a theory is correct or not is yet to be proved. What we have to ask ourselves is why is it that so many people are prepared to give time and credence to such theories? The answer to that is easy to find.
The attack on the Twin Towers was claimed by and attributed to Osama bin-Laden's al-Qaeda. This is an organisation financed mainly from wealthy Saudi Arabian sources. But Bush went to war against Iraq. Under Saddam Hussein there were no al-Qaeda cells operating in Iraq. Iraq had nothing to do with al-Qaeda or the attacks on the Twin Towers.
All this would indicate that not all the conspiracy theories are fantastical imaginations. It is quite clear that Bush and his clique had prepared long ago to go to war in Iraq, not for reasons of “fighting terrorism”, but to defend the economic, strategic and military interests of US imperialism. That is why thousands of Iraqi people, and with them hundreds of US soldiers, have died. They have died not for democracy but for the profits of Bush and his ilk.
History shows that sooner or later the truth emerges. When the full picture of what has been done in the name of the “American people” emerges, the workers and youth of America will begin to understand the true nature of the system they live under and they will want to change it.