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Five years since 9/11: A political balance sheet
by wsws (reposted)
Monday Sep 11th, 2006 6:19 AM
The following is the first part of a report delivered by David North, the chairman of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site and national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of the US, to an SEP aggregate meeting held over the weekend of September 9-10.

The second part of the report will be posted Tuesday, September 12.
What is known about the events of 9/11?

Monday marks the fifth anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001. On that morning, the total number of innocent civilian lives that were lost as a consequence of coordinated terrorist actions was over 2,500. It is difficult to think of another single event in recent history that had such a visceral effect on mass consciousness. The symbol “nine-slash-one-one” does not have to be translated anywhere in the world. It evokes universally not only the mental image of dense smoke billowing out of the Twin Towers, but also the sense that world politics, as a consequence what occurred on that date, veered off radically in new and dangerous directions.

However, the real significance of 9/11 is not as obvious as the Bush administration, the political establishment and much of the media would have everyone believe. There is no question but that September 11, 2001 marked some sort of major turning point in American and world politics. But it is necessary to distinguish between the visual and emotional impact of the events of that day, magnified by relentless state-orchestrated propaganda, and the objective role of the terrorist attacks in motivating the subsequent actions by the US government.

The question is: Were the actions taken by the Bush administration after 9/11 largely determined by the events of that day? Or did the terrorist attacks provide a pretext for the implementation of policies developed long before, but for which, without 9/11, there would have been no substantial popular support?

The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the assault on democratic rights, the violations of international law, and the ever-expanding scale of violence that the Bush administration (joined most conspicuously by the governments of Britain, Australia and Canada) is planning as part of its never-to-end “War on Terror” derive their legitimacy from the claim that brooks no argument: “9/11 changed everything.”

And yet, for so fateful a date in world history, September 11, 2001 remains shrouded in mystery. Nothing remotely resembling a serious, professional and credible investigation has ever been conducted by any branch of government or government agency into the events of 9/11. The so-called 9/11 Commission was nothing more than a cynical and mendacious exercise in politically-expedient cover-up, organized with the more or less explicit purpose of blocking a real criminal investigation and preventing the discovery of evidence that 1) linked the 9/11 terrorists to US intelligence agencies, and 2) exposed criminal complicity on the part of elements within the state in facilitating and abetting the success of the 9/11 conspiracy.

Read More
§Part two
by wsws (reposted) Tuesday Sep 12th, 2006 8:30 AM
§Part three
by wsws (reposted) Wednesday Sep 13th, 2006 6:48 AM
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