The post-9/11 American empire watches, plunders and kills-19
We continue the publication of Thierry Meyssan’s book, « Before Our Very Eyes ». In this episode, he exposes the transformations of the American Empire thanks to 9/11: the creation of a system of internal surveillance of the civilian population and, externally, the launching of the endless war in the wider Middle East. He also looks at the posthumous influence of the philosopher Leo Strauss in removing any scruples that US and Israeli leaders might have had about implementing such a programme.
Let us return to our narrative. By 2001, Washington had become intoxicated and convinced itself of an imminent shortage of energy sources. The National Energy Policy Development (NEPD) Task Force, chaired by Dick Cheney, had heard from all the private and public officials responsible for hydrocarbon supply. Having met the secretary-general of this body, which the Washington Post called a “secret society”1, I was impressed by his determination and his plans to deal with the shortage. So, knowing nothing about the issue, I bought into this Malthusian vision for a while.
In any case, Washington concluded that it needed to seize known oil and gas reserves as soon as possible to keep its economy going. This policy was abandoned when the US elite realised that other forms of oil than Saudi crude, Texas oil or North Sea oil could be exploited. By taking control of Pemex2, the US will seize the reserves of the Gulf of Mexico and proclaim its energy independence by hiding its failure behind the promotion of shale oil and gas. Today, contrary to Dick Cheney’s predictions, oil supply has never been so large and remains cheap.
In order to control the “wider Middle East”, the Pentagon demands to have full latitude and to distinguish its strategic objective from the wishes of the oil companies. Based on British and Israeli work, it plans to reshape the region, i.e. to disrupt the borders inherited from the European empires, to eliminate the large states capable of resisting it and to create small, ethnically homogeneous states. In addition to being a project of domination, this plan deals with the whole region without taking into account local specificities. Although the populations are sometimes geographically distinct, they are also totally intertwined, making it illusory to separate them except by carrying out vast massacres.
In fact, the team that organised the 9/11 attacks – of which Dick Cheney is a member – knows all this and thought about it long before. It is therefore implementing a vast reform of the armed forces based on the model of Admiral Arthur Cebrowski. This man has already transformed US military practices according to the new computer tools3. He has also developed a strategy to destroy states as political organisations and allow large computer companies to run the globalised world in their place4. The very next day after 9/11, the Army magazine Parameters5 outlined the plan to reshape the ’wider Middle East’ and said that it would be particularly bloody and cruel. It states that crimes against humanity will have to be carried out and may be outsourced to third parties. Then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld gives Admiral Cebrowski an office in the Pentagon to oversee it all.
September 11 was therefore not only a means of urgently adopting an anti-terrorist code, the USA Patriot Act, drafted at least two years in advance, but also of undertaking a vast reform of institutions: the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the creation of clandestine Special Forces (within the armies).
The Department of Homeland Security is not only an umbrella for various agencies such as the Coast Guard or the immigration services. It is also a vast system for controlling the US population, employing 112,000 full-time ’domestic spies’6. The clandestine Special Forces are an army of 60,000 highly trained men, acting without uniform in defiance of the Geneva Conventions7. They can assassinate anyone the Pentagon wants, anywhere in the world. And the Pentagon will not hesitate to make the most of this investment in the greatest secrecy.
THE WARS AGAINST AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ
Operations began with the war against the Taliban, in application of the Cheney doctrine after the breakdown of negotiations to build a pipeline through Afghanistan in mid-July 2001. Ambassador Niaz Naik, who represented Pakistan in the Berlin negotiations with the Taliban, had returned to Islamabad considering the US attack inevitable8 . His country had begun to prepare for its consequences. The British fleet had deployed to the Arabian Sea, NATO had sent 40,000 troops to Egypt, and the Tajik leader Ahmed Shah Massoud had been assassinated two days before the attacks in New York and Washington.
The US and UK representatives at the UN, John Negroponte and Sir Jeremy Greenstock, insist that President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair are applying the right of self-defence in attacking Afghanistan. However, all the chancelleries know that Washington and London wanted to wage this war independently of the attacks. At best, they conclude that they are instrumental in the crime of which only the former was a victim. However, I manage to cast doubt worldwide on what really happened on 9/11. In France, President Jacques Chirac had my work evaluated by the DGSE. After an extensive investigation, the DGSE found that all the elements on which I based my work were true, but it could not confirm my conclusions.
The daily newspaper Le Monde, which had launched a campaign to discredit me, mocked my predictions that the United States would attack Iraq9. Yet the inevitable happenned. Washington accused Baghdad of harbouring members of al-Qaeda and of preparing weapons of mass destruction to attack the “land of the free”. So it would be war, as in 1991.
Everyone is then faced with a case of conscience. By persisting in turning a blind eye to the 9/11 coup, one is prevented from challenging the US discourse and is forced to approve the next crime: the invasion of Iraq in this case. Only a senior international official, Hans Blix, decided to defend the truth10. This Swedish diplomat is the former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He chairs the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, which is responsible for monitoring Iraq. Standing up to Washington, he asserted that Iraq did not have the resources it was accused of having. He was soon under unprecedented pressure: not only the US Empire, but all his allies were pressuring him to stop his childishness and let the world’s leading power destroy Iraq. He would not give in, even when his successor at the IAEA, the Egyptian Mohamed el-Baradei, pretended to play the conciliator.
On February 5, 2003, Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell delivered a speech to the Security Council, the text of which was drafted by Cheney’s team. He accused Iraq of all the evils, including protecting the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks and preparing weapons of mass destruction to attack Western states. In passing, he revealed the existence of a new face of Al-Qaeda, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.
But Jacques Chirac, in turn, refused to join in the crime. He did not imagine that he would denounce Washington’s lies. He sent his foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, to the Security Council. He left the DGSE reports in Paris and focused his intervention on the difference between an imposed war and a chosen war. It is clear that the attack on Iraq has nothing to do with 9/11, but is an imperial choice, a conquest. Villepin will then underline the results already obtained by Blix in Iraq. He then deflated the US accusations to show that the use of force was not justified at this stage and concluded that there was no evidence that the war could achieve better results than continuing the inspections. Believing that this intervention would provide a way out for Washington and that war would be avoided, the Security Council applauded it. This was the first time that diplomats had applauded one of their own in this room.
Not only would Washington and London impose their war, but forgetting Hans Blix, the US would undertake all sorts of operations to ’make Chirac pay’. The French President would soon let his guard down and serve his American overlord more than necessary.
We must learn from this crisis. Hans Blix, like his compatriot Raoul Wallenberg during the Second World War, refused to accept that Americans (or Germans) were superior to others. He decided to try to save men who had committed no other crime than being Iraqis (or Hungarian Jews). Jacques Chirac would have liked to be like them, but his previous mistakes and the secrets of his private life exposed him to a blackmail that left him with no choice but to step down or submit.
Washington plans to place in power in Baghdad Iraqis in exile whom it had selected from a British association, the Iraqi National Council, chaired by Ahmed Chalabi. The fact that Chalabi was considered an international fraudster after his conviction in the bankruptcy of Jordan’s Petra Bank was not taken into account. The aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin created a Committee for the Liberation of Iraq11, of which the former Secretary of State and mentor of Bush Jr, George Shultz, took the chair. This Committee and the Chalabi Council sold this war to the American public. They assured that the US would only assist the Iraqi opposition and that it would not take long.
Like the attack on Afghanistan, the attack on Iraq was prepared before the attacks on New York and Washington. Vice President Dick Cheney had himself negotiated the establishment of US military bases in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in early 2001 as part of the development of the Central Asia Battalion (CENTRASBAT) arrangements of the Central Asian Economic Community. Planners anticipated that the war would require 60,000 tonnes of equipment per day, so the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) was tasked with starting to move logistics there in advance.
The training of the troops only took place after the attacks. These were the largest military manoeuvres in history: “Millennium Challenge 2002”. This war game mixed real-life manoeuvres with staffroom simulations made with the technological tools used in Hollywood for the film Gladiator. From July 24 to August 15, 2002, 13,500 troops were mobilised. The islands of San Nicola and San Clemente, off the coast of California, and the Nevada desert were evacuated to serve as the theatre of operations. This debauchery of means required a budget of 235 million dollars. For the record, the soldiers simulating Iraqi troops were commanded by General Paul Van Riper; using an unconventional strategy, they outperformed the US troops so well that the staff stopped the exercise before it was completed12.
Ignoring Hans Blix’s reports and French objections, Washington launched “Operation Iraqi Liberation” on March 19, 2003. Given the meaning of its acronym, OIL, it was renamed “Operation Iraqi Freedom“. Fire of unprecedented power rained down on Baghdad, causing ’Shock and Awe’. Baghdadis were dazed as the US and its allies took over the country.
The government was first taken over by a Pentagon office, the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA), then after a month by a civilian administrator appointed by the Secretary of Defense, L. Paul Bremer III, Henry Kissinger’s private assistant. He soon assumed the title of Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority. However, contrary to what the name suggests, this Authority was not created by the Coalition, which never met and whose composition is not known13.
For the first time, a body has appeared that depends on the Pentagon, but does not appear on any US organisation chart. It is an offshoot of the group that took power on September 11, 2001. In documents released by Washington, the Authority is referred to as a Coalition body if the document is intended for foreigners, and as a US government body if it is intended for Congress. With the exception of one British official, all the Authority’s employees are paid by US administrations, but are not subject to US law. So they take their cues from the Government Procurement Code. The Authority seizes the Iraqi treasury, i.e. $5 billion, but only one billion appears in its accounts. What happened to the remaining $4 billion? The question was asked at the Madrid conference for reconstruction. It would never be answered.
Paul Bremer’s deputy is none other than Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the UK representative on the Security Council who justified the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq. During the occupation, the United States examined the possibilities of reshaping Iraq, in this case the partition into three states, according to the plan of Democratic Senator Joe Biden. So Bremer sent Ambassador Peter Galbraith – who had organised the partition of Yugoslavia into seven separate states – to advise the Kurdish Regional Government.
Bremer works directly with the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, who defined the future US strategy upon the dissolution of the USSR. He is a Trotskyite Jew who was trained in the thought of Leo Strauss. He has installed many followers of the German philosopher in the Pentagon. Together they form a structured, very coherent and united group. According to them, learning from the weakness of the Weimar Republic in the face of the Nazis, Jews cannot trust democracies to protect them from a new genocide. Instead, they must side with authoritarian regimes and place themselves on the side of power. In this way, the idea of a world dictatorship is legitimised in a preventive way14.
Wolfowitz set the broad lines of the Coalition Provisional Authority’s work, namely the de-Baathification of the country – i.e. the dismissal of all civil servants who are members of the secular Baath Party – and its economic plunder. On his instructions, Bremer awarded all public contracts to friendly companies, usually without competitive bidding; this excluded, as a matter of principle, the French and Germans who were guilty of opposing this imperial war15.
The entire membership of the Project for a New American Century, the think tank that prepared 9/11, is incorporated, directly or indirectly, into or works with the Coalition Provisional Authority.
From the outset, these people raised a lot of eyebrows. First, that of the representative of the UN Secretary General, the Brazilian Sérgio Vieira de Mello. He was assassinated on August 19. 2003, allegedly by the jihadist Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, whom Powell had denounced to the UN. The diplomat’s relatives, on the contrary, underline the conflict that opposed him to Wolfowitz and directly accuse a US faction. Then, it was General James Mattis, commander of the 1st Marine Division, who worried about the disastrous consequences of the de-Baathification. He eventually fell into line.
Carried away by their successes in the United States, Afghanistan and Iraq, the men of 9/11 direct their country towards new targets.
From October 12 to 14. 2003, a strange meeting was held at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. According to the invitation card: « Israel is the moral alternative to Eastern totalitarianism and Western moral relativism. Israel is the ’Ground Zero’ of our civilisation’s central battle for survival. Israel can be saved, and the rest of the West with it. It is time to unite in Jerusalem. »
Several hundred personalities from the Israeli and US far right are being entertained at the expense of the Russian mafia. Avigdor Lieberman, Benyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Olmert congratulate Elliot Abrams, Richard Perle and Daniel Pipes.
All of them share the same belief: theopoly. According to them, the ’End of Days’ is near. Soon the world will be ruled by a Jewish institution based in Jerusalem16.
This meeting worried the Israeli progressives, especially since some speakers referred to Baghdad, which had been conquered six months earlier, as the ancient “Babylon”. It is obvious to them that the theopolitics that this congress claims to follow is a resurgence of Talmudism. This school of thought – of which Leo Strauss was a specialist – interprets Judaism as a thousand-year-old prayer of the Jewish people to avenge the crimes of the Egyptians against their ancestors, their deportation to Babylon by the Assyrians and even the destruction of the Jews of Europe by the Nazis. He considers that the “Wolfowitz doctrine” prepares the Armaggedon (the final battle) which will be the establishment of chaos first in the wider Middle East, then in Europe. A general destruction that will mark the divine punishment of those who made the Jewish People suffer.
Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak realises the mistake he made in refusing the peace he himself had negotiated with Presidents Bill Clinton and Hafez al-Assad; a peace that would have preserved the interests of all the peoples of the region and that the theopoliticians did not want. He began to gather the officers who would try in vain to prevent the re-election of Benyamin Netanyahu, in November 2014, within the Commanders for Israel Security. He would continue his fight until he delivered his speech in June 2016, at the Herzliya conference, in which he denounced Netanyahu’s policy of the worst and his desire to institutionalise apartheid. He would call on his compatriots to save their country by blocking these fanatics.
(To be continued…)
List of episodes:
1Energy Task Force Works in Secret, Dana Milbank & Eric Pianin, The Washington Post, Avril 16, 2001.
2Muerte de Pemex y suicidio de México (2014), Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, Orfila (Mexico).
3Transforming Military Force: The Legacy of Arthur Cebrowski and Network Centric Warfare, James R. Blaker, Praeger (2007).
4The Pentagon’s New Map, Thomas P.M. Barnett, Putnam (2004). Contrary to what this book suggests, Barnett was Cebrowski’s assistant in the Pentagon.
5“Stabiliy American’s Ennemy”, col. Ralph Peters, Parameters #31-4 (winter 2001).
6Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State, William M. Arkin & Dana Priest, Back Bay Books (2012).
7“Exclusive : Inside the Military’s Secret Undercover Army”, William M. Arkin, Newsweek, May 17, 2021.
8Interview of Naiz Naik by Benoît Califano, Pierre Trouillet and Guilhem Rondot, Dokumenta-ITV (2001). Not broadcast.
9«Le Net et la rumeur», Editorial, Le Monde, 20 mars 2002.
10Disarming Iraq, Hans Blix, Knopf Doubleday (2013).
14It is essential to read the testimonies of the students of Leo Strauss to understand the difference between his public teaching and that reserved for his chosen disciples. Political Ideas of Leo Strauss, Shadia B. Drury, Palgrave Macmillan (1988). Children of Satan : the ’ignoble liars’ behind Bush’s no-exit war, Lyndon H. LaRouche, EIR (2004). Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire, Anne Norton, Yale University Press (2005). Leo Strauss and the conservative movement in America : a critical appraisal, Paul Edward Gottfried, Cambridge University Press (2011). Leo Strauss, The Straussians, and the Study of the American Regime, Kenneth L. Deutsch, Rowman & Littlefield (2013). Leo Strauss and the Invasion of Iraq: Encountering the Abyss, Aggie Hirst, Routledge (2013). Straussophobia : Defending Leo Strauss and Straussians Against Shadia Drury and Other Accusers, Peter Minowitz, Lexington Books (2016).
16« Sommet historique pour sceller l’Alliance des guerriers de Dieu », Réseau Voltaire, 17 octobre 2003.