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20 Years After 9/11, We're Still Morons
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If crisis creates opportunity, we couldn’t possibly have squandered the possibilities presented by 9/11 more spectacularly. We certainly couldn’t have failed its tests more completely. Twenty years after 9/11, it is clear that the United States is ruled by idiots and that we, the people are complicit with their moronic behavior.

“We had to do something.” That was, and remains, the generic explanation for what we did in response to 9/11: invading Afghanistan and Iraq, directing the CIA to covertly overthrow the governments of Haiti, Venezuela, Belarus, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and a bunch of other countries, lamely legalizing torture, kidnapping via extraordinary rendition to Guantanamo and other concentration camps, building a drone armada and sparking a drone arms race.

Acting purely on speculation, news media was reporting as early as the afternoon of Sept. 11 that al-Qaida was responsible. That same day, Vice President Dick Cheney argued for invading Iraq. We began bombing Afghanistan Oct. 7, less than a month later, without evidence that Afghanistan was guilty. A week later, the Taliban offered to turn over Osama bin Laden; Bush refused. Before you act, you think. We didn’t.

What should we have done … after giving it a good think?

A smart people led by a good president would have had three priorities: Bring the perpetrators to justice, punish any nation-states that were involved and reduce the chances of future terrorist attacks.

The 19 hijackers were suicides, but plotters such as al-Qaida’s Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who lived in Pakistan, were not. Since we have an extradition treaty with Pakistan, we could have asked Pakistani authorities to arrest him and send him to face trial in the U.S. or at the international war crimes tribunal at The Hague. Instead, we kidnapped him to CIA “dark sites,” including Guantanamo, and subjected him to waterboarding 183 times. Because of this and other torture, as well as his illegal detention in violation of habeas corpus, Mohammed can’t face trial in a real, i.e. civilian, court. Not only will 9/11 families never see justice carried out, but we’ve managed to turn Mohammed into a victim, just as he wanted.

The Inter-Services Intelligence agency, Pakistan’s CIA, financed and provided intelligence to al-Qaida. Pakistan harbored bin Laden. Pakistan played host to hundreds of al-Qaida training camps. Pakistanis I talked to after 9/11 were shocked that the U.S. didn’t attack their country, instead giving its Taliban-aligned dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf billions in military and financial aid.

Evidence linking top Saudi Arabian officials to 9/11 has been scarce. But 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi, several are reported to have met with midlevel Saudi intelligence agents before the attacks and, most notably, Saudi Arabia exports its radical brand of Sunni Islam, Wahhabism, all over the world. The Taliban and al-Qaida initially recruited many of their members from Wahhabi madrassas financed by the Saudis in Pakistan and Central Asia.

ORDER IT NOW

We should have treated 9/11 for what it was — a crime. Police officers, not soldiers, should have tracked down the perpetrators. They should have been given lawyers, not torture. They should have faced fair trials. But if we had to go the military route, we should have invaded Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the two countries responsible, not Afghanistan and Iraq, two countries that had nothing to do with it. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were, and remain, far more dangerous to their neighbors than Afghanistan or Iraq.

Occupying Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest exporter of Islamic extremism and global terrorism, would have done a lot to reduce the threat of another 9/11. But the most effective way to make us less of a target is to make the rest of the world look upon us with favor. Some people will always hate us; that’s inevitable. Our goal should be to reduce their number to as close to zero as humanly possible.

We can’t eliminate anti-Americanism by killing its adherents. We’ve been trying to do that for 20 years using drones and missile strikes. All we’ve accomplished is killing a lot of innocent people and making the rest of the world look at us with disgust and contempt. You kill anti-Americanism by treating people everywhere with respect and kindness. That includes those we suspect of doing us harm.

Unfortunately for us and the world, we learned nothing from 9/11. Not even losing Afghanistan back to the Taliban in the most humiliating U.S. defeat since Vietnam, having nothing to show for 20 years of war, has taught us a thing. We’re still a hammer that sees everything as a nail — a blunt, stupid people whose idea of a plan is to keep indiscriminately bombing innocent civilians.

Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, is the author of a new graphic novel about a journalist gone bad, “The Stringer.”

 
• Category: Foreign Policy, History • Tags: 9/11, CIA 
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  1. A smart people led by a good president would have had three priorities: Bring the perpetrators to justice, punish any nation-states that were involved and reduce the chances of future terrorist attacks.

    I.e., promptly shoot any surviving perps in the back of the head, bomb Mecca into the dirt, and close the borders.

    And Ted Rall would squeal with liberal outrage like a stuck pig.

    • Replies: @Bubba
  2. TG says:

    “Some people will always hate us; that’s inevitable. Our goal should be to reduce their number to as close to zero as humanly possible.”

    Yes to the first part. A partial yes to the second.

    But first of all: just don’t let them come here! 9/11 could never have happened if we had actually enforced the laws against illegal immigration, as we used to – and very effectively I might add – before 1965.

    As you say there will ALWAYS be people that hate us. If we have open borders, we will have to treat our own country as a prison, spying on everyone and searching them before boarding every airplane or entering any government building etc. But I am old enough to remember when we didn’t have open borders, and none of this intrusive security was necessary.

    If we have security at the borders, we won’t need it inside. If we don’t have security at the borders, we will need to treat every citizen as a potential terrorist.

    Japan basically doesn’t allow ANY muslims to come to their country. And Japan has basically zero islamic terrorism (and basically zero crime and homelessness etc.etc.). But the rich want cheap labor, they want to drive wages down and rents and profits up, so I guess we go with the prison state.

    And now Biden has basically opened a pipeline for random Afghanis to be imported into the United States, 1000 jammed into each cargo plane like cattle, completely unvetted, highly inbred 80-IQ wife beating pederasts that hate the United States, most of whom either did not assist the US or fought against us, and likely an increasing number of Pakistanis etc. because the rich just want to pack in more numbers and nobody will check, we are handing out blank visas to anyone with a pulse. What could go wrong?

  3. Al Kayder says:

    it was pretty much a zionist inside job, because “inside job” makes sense when you realize we live in a jewish state. i can literally give you flight logs/seating info, background of every major figure. i can give you aeronautical and chemical info that empirically demonstrates the impossibility of the “official story.” i can give you like 50 known mossad and hasbara figures, their names. i can tell you that benjamin netanyahu, israeli pm and coiner of the term “war on terror,” and explain how he literally called larry silverstein, the owner of the towers, everyday. but you would still think of me as a “conspiracy theorist” for some reason, maybe because you were conditioned to see people who ask questions like this.

    you were shown images of “truthers” as dumb rednecks and alex jones people. same thing with kennedy, which was basically israel taking full control of america, getting rid of a guy they knew admired hitler, killing a catholic leader (jews hate catholics more than anyone). and then doing the disinfo to make everyone blame the cia, or “deep state” etc. rather than seeing the obvious and quiet coup of the 20th century takeover of the west by zionism. but even people here will still just say “we’ll never know really what happened” and fail to see that these two acts catapulted zionism into world hegemony

    • Agree: FreedomAndTruth
  4. Ivymike says:

    Couldn’t invade Pakistan because they have nukes. Occupy Saudi Arabia? An infidel nation occupying the holy sites would be attacked by every Muslim in the world.
    It is true we effed up by treating the attack as war instead of crime. Americans are more stupid every day. I think we’re all secretly happy that we avenged 9 11 many times over by slaughtering 500,000 Arab civilians. But is 500k enough when world Muslim population is 1.8 billion? First, kill all the liberals.

    • Replies: @Alfa158
  5. Al Kayder says:

    muslims are based. judeo-christians are noahides

  6. Ted says Saudis though it was a Mossad Hit, supported by American Zionists infesting our government

    • Agree: FreedomAndTruth
  7. ‘We should have treated 9/11 for what it was — a crime. Police officers, not soldiers, should have tracked down the perpetrators.’

    though to do so means risking career, and more.

    i would caveat some of the above, while i openly opposed the invasion along with others for many and more of the same reasons you note, i did not dismiss the use of covert operations.

    additionally, i thought if we do invade — error ridden as it was — our posture should have been one of total war, in which call the shots period. ‘house rules, but for everybody’

    selfishly its painful to watch so many who got so much wrong still in places of influence

  8. Bubba says:
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    I.e., promptly shoot any surviving perps in the back of the head, bomb Mecca into the dirt, and close the borders.

    That’s exactly what should have been done after 9/11 along with ending dual citizenship and deporting tens of millions of illegals.

    And all sentient Americans would agree that Jonathan Pollard should have been dropped over Israel without a parachute from 38,000′ on 9/12/01.

  9. Yes, we are morons. Do I need to prove it? We have the Republican flavor & the Democrat flavor. Bill Clinton wanted to save Somalia. Remember, that one? Didn’t change the country. Americans believe they can have-it-all. Just turn on the television & they will tell you what to think.

  10. Resartus says:

    Bill Clinton wanted to save Somalia.

    Really….
    Bush I sent the troops in, with the equipment to do the job….
    Clinton pulled out the equipment that would have allowed the job to be done right….

    Shades of “Bay of Pigs” …..
    No plan survives contact with Democrat Leadership…..

  11. Ted Rall, speak for yourself, you’re the moron, a shill for the Deep State.

    9/11 was an Israeli job. Laurent Guyenot
    https://www.unz.com/article/911-was-an-israeli-job/

    9/11/Israel did it
    https://wikispooks.com/wiki/9-11/Israel_did_it

    9/11 cover-up director Philip Zelikow appointed to chair COVID cover-up–video-26 min
    https://stateofthenation.co/?p=77128

    9/11 was either a Mossad job with the collusion of Rumsfeld/Cheney/Project for the New American Century Zionists, or it was a joint US-Israeli operation, which is practically the same thing. And now Zelikow, the Zionist who chaired the 9/11 cover-up, is chairing the plandemic cover-up. Does that mean anything to you, Ted, you stuck-in-a-groove broken record? Read Laurent Guyenot’s concise essential book “JFK – 9/11: 50 Years of Deep State” and wake up from your wokeist slumber.

    The self-styled “progressives” and “liberals” and wokeists are lining up for their genetic jabs, which have already put their health in grave jeopardy and will damage them much more if they’re dumb enough to get a “booster”. They mentally project their arrogance and stupidity onto the unvaxxed who were sensible enough to avoid the kill-shots. Today’s “progressives” and “liberals” are nothing of the sort, they are the Good Germans and fellow-travelers who marched in lockstep with Hitler and Stalin.

    Ben Garrison, aside from his misplaced faith in the pseudo-populist demagogue Trump, is a million times better cartoonist than you have ever been. You should study all his cartoons and accompanying essays every day and learn from them.

    • Agree: FreedomAndTruth
  12. The lesson of 9/11 is an inconvenient truth called blowback. You can’t spread death and destruction across the planet without someone sooner or later figuring out how to repay you in kind. New York is a prime target because that is where the bean counters turn subjugation into quarterly dividends for the one percenters. But I guess collective guilt applies only to evil races, like the Germans, and not to god’s new chosen ones in the Exceptional Nation™.

    It is undeniable that great horrors have been visited on the people of the Middle East since the Ottoman Empire was conquered in the Great War. Today’s radical Islamic faction recalls the Ghost Dance of the Plains Indians, the understandable but ultimately suicidal supernatural fantasy of a people profoundly traumatized by a century of brutal oppression by foreign elements too strong to expel from their homelands by conventional methods. The xenophobic elements of Islam are the glue that holds their futile struggle together and what gives hope to the hopeless, however unlikely its success.

    There are a billion plus Moslems from every ethnic group living on every continent. The notion that the members of this vast global community are “at war” with us is a western fantasy. The doctrines of the handful of isolated fanatics who dream of a New Caliphate because of intolerable conditions unique to their Middle Eastern homelands mean nothing to the hundreds of millions of Moslems who don’t live there. There is no commonality based on religion any more than the local religious customs and festivals of Malaysian or Australian Christians preoccupy Christians in the United States. There is no central Vatican-like Islamic authority, radical or otherwise, imposing its dictates on the global community. None is sending invincible mighty armies onto our lands to take our natural resources or mock our traditions or seduce our children into a selfish lifestyle of thoughtless materialism.

  13. @VibrantVaxxer

    9/11 was either a Mossad job with the collusion of Rumsfeld/Cheney/Project for the New American Century Zionists, or it was a joint US-Israeli operation, which is practically the same thing.

    I agree overall that this is what happened, saying “CIA/Mossad” instead though, meaning the location of most the activity and their relative rank. I strongly disagree that it is a “joint US-Israeli” operation, implying that it was official government operations, done by legal procedures.

    Legally, they are not the same thing at all. That it is functionally true is disturbing and a red flag that a supposedly democratic Constitutional Republic operates with way too much classified data and compartmentalization.

    The distinction is huge for how this gets investigated, revealed, and tried. If it were an official government operation, nation state level, then obviously the participating governments have no role in the prosecutorial process. The alternative is a cabal that has infiltrated the government that did it, it was not the government itself.

    This is why it is imperative that the current government break the “wall of silence of perceived self-preservation”, rip the scab off the wound, and start prosecuting these war criminals that violated not only the Constitution, but the trust of the American and world public.

    Anything else makes it look official, and then the rest of the world has motivation to act.

  14. Anon[159] • Disclaimer says:

    Ted Rall is the Moron…

    Kissing Jew Ass for a living might result in luxury here on Earth, but wait til you go to Hell Rall… You’ll be the bitch of Sharon… Ariel, that is.

  15. Alfa158 says:
    @Ivymike

    Not to mention that would have shut down the supply of Arab oil, leaving a lot of friendly countries, including the European ones, in a severe energy shortage and triggering an economic crisis.
    No one in charge wants to shut down that flow of black gold. That is probably one of the reasons the Deep State hasn’t attacked Iran. In the fighting there would be no tanker traffic through the Straits of Hormuz. (That and the fact that the Iranians would ultimately win a defensive war. )

  16. @VibrantVaxxer

    You should study all his cartoons and accompanying essays every day and learn from them.

    Etiquette dictates that you should phrase this sentiment in the suggestive tone rather than the mandative one unless you can provide evidence of your expertise to declare such a statement.

    You see, declaring there are objective standards to the quality of art is historically a very dangerous road to go down.

  17. ….it is clear that the United States is ruled by idiots….

    They are not idiots Ted. They are in the service of evil.

  18. Not that I don’t agree with some of the sentiments, but this is a complete plonk —
    “Occupying Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest exporter of Islamic extremism and global terrorism, would have done a lot to reduce the threat of another 9/11”
    Yes, attack S. Arabia. It’s only the home of Mecca — now that be a classic study in the concept of “blowback”….

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