9/11 and the Road to Iran
May 9, 2008
Richard M. Dolan
Played Like Suckers
As the father of two homeschooled children, I find myself doing all kinds of unusual, albeit engaging, activities that I might not otherwise be doing. For instance, my son, Michael, who is nearly 12 and shares many of my interests, graciously encourages me to read some of the books that he’s reading. He’s still trying to hook me on his Dungeons & Dragons library – not much luck there yet – but we do love history both ancient and modern. Last year, we read all of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey together. Most recently, we finished George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
I have been a fan of Orwell since my teens. Yet, it’s been many years since I read this little classic novella, a brilliant allegory of the Russian Revolution. Napoleon the pig was modeled on Stalin – he eventually becomes indistinguishable from the humans, even to the point of walking on his hind legs and carrying a whip.
One of the horses, Boxer, is the tragic hero. Boxer believes in the Revolution, he believes in Animal Farm. He works and works, and then works himself into exhaustion. His two mottos are “I will work harder,” and “Napoleon is always right.” At the end, he is sold to the slaughterhouse and turned into glue. The money from his sale brings in a crate of whisky for Napoleon.
Orwell was describing the betrayal of the Russian peasants and workers, and the lies foisted upon them by unscrupulous leaders. But the sad feeling I got while reading it had more to do with things going on in my own country today.
I think of loyal Americans who are still trying to believe in their increasingly bankrupt country, working 60 or more hours a week without health benefits or job security, for less pay than they earned 20 years ago. Or those other Americans overseas, fighting, dying, coming home with broken bodies and minds. Many of these people still believe in their country. Like Boxer, they have been chewed up and spat out.
This war. Sorry … these wars. I wonder how many Americans would have predicted a mere decade ago that they would be living in a country that was in a permanent state of war? A permanent state of Code Yellow? For there is no end in sight. More money, more lives, more destruction, more lost credibility. The dollar has collapsed. Can there be any doubt as to the role played by fighting these wars which we obviously cannot afford? With what money? With massively overprinted and devalued money, that’s what money.
And now the Bush administration wants to fight Iran despite the obviousness of one overriding fact: America has neither the troops nor the dollars to occupy that nation. After five years, it still hasn’t pacified Iraq, a much smaller nation. So what will the plan be against Iran? Bomb them back into the 10th century and just walk away?
Everyone knows that these endless wars, while disastrous to ordinary people and economies, have been very profitable to select groups; groups with close access to the White House, and which have no incentive to end the bloodletting any time soon. We have been told to expect a long, long period of war.
Beneath all of this – the endless wars, the Homeland Security State, the loss of our fourth amendment right to privacy – sits the foundation of a Great Untruth. And yet, after nearly seven years, it remains an untouchable topic in polite society. I am speaking of what happened to America on September 11, 2001.
Living in a 9/11 World
The funny thing about 9/11 is that when you get people alone to discuss it, they are often quite willing to agree that the official explanation of events just doesn’t cut it. I think that if 9/11 had occurred elsewhere in the world – say Beijing – the American media and power structure would point out that the official version of events did not comport with the facts as we have come to understand them. As long as that were politically useful.
But 9/11 happened in America. In the immediate aftermath, President Bush announced, “Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th.” Without a doubt, the American political and media groups have strenuously avoided raising any troubling issues about that day, except to lay any crazy conspiracy theories to rest.
Look. Rather than get into yet another detailed discourse on why the official 9/11 explanation is so barren, I will restrict my problem to a single issue.
How is it that the North and South towers of the World Trade Center collapsed in 10 seconds? A brick falling from rooftop level would have landed in just over 9 seconds. Thus, the combined resistance of about 100 floors of steel and cement amounted to roughly one second. How is this credible?
An independent crime scene investigator – not a knee-jerk patriot who believes everything the President says – would be asking some difficult questions. Because in the history of construction, only one type of event had ever been able to cause the total collapse of a steel frame structure – this was demolition.
There are no known exceptions to this: not fire (which has been speciously argued and refuted). Earthquake? Never. Not even the historic Kobe, Japan earthquake of 1995 caused complete and total collapse of steel-frame structures.
Moreover, in terms of speed and visual appearance, the collapse of the North and South towers, and also of WTC Building 7 (which was not hit by any aircraft), closely matched what occurs during controlled demolitions.
Therefore, would we not begin our investigation by asking the logical question: were these buildings brought down in such a manner – since all known total collapses in the past had been caused in this way? But this is the question that was never asked. Not publicly, and not in a context that would force an open answer from the authorities.
Here is what would change my mind on the matter. An academic, scientific study in a peer-reviewed journal, by a qualified physicist or mathematician proving how a virtual free fall speed of collapse was possible. An explanation of the WTC collapse first appeared in the Journal of Engineering Mechanics ASCE within days (yes, days) of 9/11, so there is no chance that proper peer review could have taken place. Because of its immediate publication, the study contained extensive guesswork and many questionable assumptions. Subsequently, the primary author of that piece, Zdenec Bazant, has published another study which, while attempting to prove the “progressive collapse” theory, heavily references his earlier paper, and still does not explain how three of the world’s largest buildings collapsed at virtual free-fall speed. It is worth noting that his paper was funded by the National Science Foundation, e.g., the U.S. Government.
There have been a few, scattered efforts by academicians that attempt to show how the buildings could collapse. There is also the debunked“pancake” theory by FEMA and Nova, the 2005 study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to say nothing of the shameless propagandizing of Popular Mechanics.
Still, no one is willing to put their reputation on the line to demonstrate how, mathematically, these three buildings could collapse at the speed with which they did.
There have, however, been some who have put their careers on the line by demonstrating problems with the official story. Professor of Physics Steven E. Jones has also done extensive work on the World Trade Center, arguing that the collapse was the result of a controlled demolition. As a result, he was relieved of his tenure position at Brigham Young University. Small wonder why so many academicians stay away from this topic.
This is why I love Jesse Ventura, by the way. When he was elected in the 90s to govern the noble state of Minnesota, I thought, “what the hell has gotten into those people?” Then I realized that America is a nation that elects all kinds of actors and entertainers to political office, so why not professional wrestlers? But in the last few years, and again very pointedly in the last few months, Jesse Ventura has really earned my respect.
For the former Governor has the candor to point out how ridiculous the official 9/11 explanation is. Lately, he has been talking about the speed of the collapse of the WTC buildings. It may help that the former governor now lives in Mexico. I am reminded of the time-honored motto: tell the truth and run.
Still, it is one thing for an ordinary citizen to question 9/11; but for a major public figure to do so takes tremendous fortitude. After all, the risks to one’s public reputation are severe. Thank you, Mr. Ventura. Add him to a long list of prominent people, including many scholars, who have taken a stand on this issue.
Opening Pandora’s Box
Dissecting the problems of the 9/11 explanation opens Pandora’s box. The obvious question is, was 9/11 America’s Reichstag Fire? For some years, I have been saying “yes it is.” I will continue to say this until reason and mathematics can show me otherwise.
Why should people be so surprised that there are behind-the-scenes machinations to major world events? Forget Hitler and 1933. Look at America’s own history. “Remember the Maine!” was the catchphrase of 1898, caused by the sinking of an American vessel while docked in Havana Harbor. American yellow journalism used the event to propel the nation into war with Spain. Never mind that Spain never attacked The Maine, and there is even reason to believe that the ship’s explosion was internally caused. The important thing was that Cuba and the Phillippines became American colonies.
Regarding the Second World War, there is now growing academic support for the idea that President Roosevelt knew of an impending Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and allowed it to happen as a way to force America’s entry into a war that Americans did not want. A stronger case for public manipulation concerns the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, which led to the “blank check” to fight an undeclared war in Vietnam. The ramp-up to the 1991 Gulf War included the infamous Kuwaiti baby incubator hoax, as well as non-existent satellite photos of Iraqi troops “massed” at the Saudi border. And maybe one day the full story will emerge about the fateful, alleged “green light” meeting in 1990 between U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie and Saddam Hussein. Or of the fictitious “weapons of mass destruction” said to exist in Iraq that have justified our current fiasco.
The sad fact is that America has a long history of its leaders twisting truth so far that truth becomes a lie – a major Orwellian theme. Ordinary working people are usually in no position to challenge official propaganda. That is supposed to be the job of an independent media, academia, and scientific community. The problem is that these groups are either overmatched or simply co-opted by those who are calling the shots.
As America approaches its next Presidential election, I wonder whether we are in for another 9/11, this time to justify a war with Iran. The recent forced resignation of Admiral William Fallon from U.S. Central Command (forgotten since it occurred during the Elliot Spitzer dust-up) was an event of great potential magnitude. Fallon was widely perceived as the last military figure willing to stand up to the Bush administration on Iran. “Not on my watch,” were his now-famous words when asked about a potential war with that nation. Well, Fallon is now out of the way.
Fallon’s departure from Centcom has been interpreted by many as a signal that America is planning a strike against Iran. From a military, political, and economic standpoint, this is sheer madness. And yet, many believe it is possible, even likely.
The problem, however, is that the rest of the world sees no justification for a strike on Iran. None of the rhetoric emanating from the White House has persuaded anyone outside the tight confines of the neoconservatives who make policy. But even they recognize the need for positive spin, and the need of a sufficient justification.
Such a justification would have to be something very major, and then pinned on Iran. I imagine that people in the Bush administration would like for it to occur before the 2008 election. If so, would such an event also be used to excuse a “delay” to the election? Back in 2004, such possibilities were quietly discussed, although the normally comatose American media woke up and the Bush team quickly backed off. Apparently, it was easier simply to rig the election again.
But how many elections can you rig before people begin to talk out loud? Hence my concern that Fallon’s ouster from Centcom is the signal for a major “something” to occur within the next few months. If seven years of the Bush administration have taught us anything, it is that the men and women running it would not scruple against expending more American lives and dollars in pursuit of grandiose plans of wealth and global hegemony.
It is noteworthy that in May 2007 the President signed the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive. This has received hardly any media attention, but it specifies procedures for continuity of the government in the event of a “catastrophic event.” Substantial portions of it remain classified, and even the relevant members of Congress have been denied access to it. The directive appears to allow for the President to claim a national emergency and take over the government without oversight from Congress or the Supreme Court. It does not specify who has the power to declare any such emergency over.
The betrayal of the American Dream by the current occupants in the White House has not occurred as brutally as the Stalinist betrayal, so deftly portrayed by George Orwell. Nothing in history is ever exactly the same. And it is important to point out that such betrayal is a fully bi-partisan effort, for the Democratic Party sold its soul to the requisites of globalization and empire long ago.
But Orwell’s vision and ideas ring just as true today as they did sixty years ago. Let us not end up like old Boxer – loyal, worn out party-liners to the bitter end. We deserve better, but only if we wake up to what is happening all around us. America is no longer the country of our youth. We have been betrayed. The culprits are many, and the solution – as it always does – begins in speaking the truth. If we owe anything to future generations, we owe them this.