Sunday, February 1, 2009

War on Crime - War on Terror

Andres Kargar (

For years, America’s crooked politicians have advanced their careers by claiming to be the true warriors in fighting crime. Their victims were working-class poor, blacks, and minorities, mostly from inner cities.

It was a perfect set up. The corporate media had nothing of any significant content to print or broadcast aside from sensationalist reporting of local murders, muggings, drug deals or sports. Corporate America had already found out that the best way to keep the country’s working folk in check was through scare tactics exaggerating imaginarily rising levels of crime. Security companies, the insurance industry, and the prison-industrial complex have been making a killing in terms of profits, and the politicians have been the true leaders and champions of this fight.

It wasn’t that this scam was limited to the Republican party. The Democrats were just as zealous. Regardless of party affiliation, political candidates always tried to outdo the rival by depicting him as weak in fighting crime.

These mean-spirited policies would not have been possible without the help of the media and their pundits who did not just comprise of thugs like Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly. Remember the Crossfire TV program with Robert Novak (at times John McLaughlin) and Tom Braden? The conservative right-winger and the so-called liberal made a lot of noise, but beneath all the hoopla they both stood and spoke for the same system. They both accepted the premise that crime is that which is committed by the poor and the downtrodden, the poverty-stricken blacks and swarthy minorities. They just differed on how to fight it. Their difference of opinion was between shooting the so-called criminal on the street versus reading him his rights and then putting him behind bars.

Few establishment liberals would be attempting to expose this charade, and even fewer would be pointing out that real crime is corporate crime and malfeasance committed by politicians in power. It was seldom discussed that compared to corporate crime, street crime should hardly ever be mentioned.

Today, this phony war against crime is superseded by yet another phony ruling-class, bipartisan crusade: the "War on Terror." The victims continue to be from the most oppressed communities in the United States and around the world. Again each party and each candidate tries to depict the rival as weak against terrorists.

Moreover, since this time, the most immediate targets of this assault are the people of the Middle East, the US ruling class needs to deploy all cultural/intellectual resources to dehumanize this region’s population and perpetuate the superiority of the imperial and colonial culture. Such an effort would be too complex an undertaking for the likes of Bill O’Reilly. To accomplish this task, the colonial project require more refined pseudo-intellectuals, and here is where people like David Horowitz, Christopher Hitchins, Marc Cooper and many others find their relevance. Journalists who consider it their patriotic duty to toe the line(1), college professors who invent all sorts of justification for aggression, torture and inhumanity (e.g., UC “torture” law professor, John Yoo). Among them are even many who criticize Bush and the neo-conservatives for having failed in the war against “terrorists.” They offer their alternative vision of how the fight against terrorism should be conducted, further giving credence to the official myth. “We should have deployed more troops,” they criticize Bush. “The real danger was not Iraq, it is Iran or Pakistan”, meaning the US should have attacked Iran or Pakistan instead. “Eavesdropping on US citizens is not an effective way of identifying terrorists”, meaning feel free to promote your colonial ambitions and label those resisting as terrorists, but just don’t totally subvert and destroy the Constitution.

Yet, these Bush critics refuse to raise the point that real terror comes from repressive governments (such as our own) and corporations. Their “patriotism(2)” stops them from facing the fact that the activities of fundamentalist groups or right-wing militias pale in comparison to state or corporate terror. Who has done more damage to the fabric of the American society? Is it Enron or Mohammad Atta? Would it be Geogre Bush and his efforts to gut habeas corpus or a couple of white supremacists in the boondocks of America? Perhaps one has to set aside a great deal of prejudice and years of being brainwashed in the belly of the beast to be able to honestly face such questions.

I can understand the incredulous crowd that cannot fathom that the government is capable of committing the heinous 9/11 crime and yet questions the ridiculous official account. I can empathize with those who might claim there might not be sufficient evidence for such an accusation but who demand to seek the truth. I can even respect those in the progressive movement who differ with us on this issue of 9/11 and steadfastly continue on with their own activities, but these pseudo-intellectuals who viciously attack the 9/11 truth movement, bemoan as if their very being were threatened by our accusations, and the question in my mind is why their existence is so closely tied to the existence of this decrepit system that is more and more shedding any pretense of civility and openly curtailing the civil and human rights of the American people and people of other countries.

I honestly question their misplaced motives: what are they trying to prove by stating that Bush & Co. had nothing to do with the September 11 attacks? What political objective are they attempting to achieve?

I ask you: is the Bush administration pouring millions and millions of dollars, building the biggest embassy in Iraq in anticipation of being voted out of office in less than two years? Do you think the gutting of the writ of habeas corpus is just a coincidence or simply out of mean-spiritedness of these people rather than an extensive plan to take away your liberties, overrun the Middle East, make off with its resources, and deal with China(3)? Do you think they would tolerate all the hassle of proposing such laws if they were not planning to be using them extensively?

The Bush White House has been committing all these atrocities by pointing to the 9/11 “terrorist attacks” as justification and you nod your head, call the 9/11 truth movement “Conspiracy Theory Nuts” and thus end up confirming Bush’s silly story? No wonder so many Americans prefer to hold their noses and vote for the Republicans who despite being criminal thugs are at least not as silly, confused, or impractical as you.

I categorize those who attack the 9/11 truth movement as follows:

a. People in power - the culprits in the government whose interest it is to classify any information that might harm them as “State Secret”.
b. Establishment liberals: “My President would never do that” - those who need such a government, so they can be its critics. They are an integral part of this system of capitalism and are mostly too brainwashed to accept that apart from mistakes or bad policies, the administration can engage in any such criminal behavior.
c. Textbook leftists and pseudo-intellectuals who prefer to deal in generalities rather than specifics: “the ruling bourgeoisie is the cause of all wars and miseries, but I refuse to deal in its day-to-day crimes, such as the election fraud, the 9/11 acts of terror, banking or stock market scandals”, etc.
d. All those who are scared to death of being labeled crazies or “conspiracy theory nuts” as they used to be scared to death of being labeled communists before.

I should also point out that the more headway the 9/11 truth movement makes in delivering its message to the general public, the more vicious attacks we should be expecting from the government, mainstream media, and these establishment liberals. Today, thanks to the tireless activities of individuals such as Professor David Ray Griffin and many others, the alternative views on the subject have been slowly leaking into the mainstream media. Mindful of its role as the guardian of the official 9/11 story, America’s corporate media is more and more being forced to deal with and attempt to distort alternative views. Our persistent attempts and this administration’s repressive posturing can only trigger and start the flood of the public opinion that could be washing away the entire system of corporate fascism this administration is trying to establish.

And finally, I have a word with people in the 9/11 truth movement. I urge you to be as courteous to other progressives as possible. Do not label them agents, gatekeepers, or anything else as they label us. We cannot afford to lose any allies, and we certainly do not want to fall into any government trap through our sectarian behavior. Obviously, in a true popular democracy, people have a definite right to alternative viewpoints that must be respected by all.


(1) Remember Dan Rather mutating from a journalist to a Bush soldier after 9/11? Of course, under America’s corporate media industry, this does not seem to present any contradiction.
(2) That reminds me of the slogan of some Spanish anarchists: “patriotas - idiotas”.
(3) The neo-conservative ”Project for the New American Century”.