Look at the 9/11 commemorations for what they are: an opportunity for the U.S. ruling class to use a collective trauma to whip up jingoist and super-patriotic sentiment. The goal of this whipping up is to convince much of the population to rally around the U.S. flag and support Pentagon military intervention anywhere in the world.
In 2001, the ruling group in George W. Bush’s White House used the trauma to declare a “War on Terror” as a pretext to unleash wars of terror on the people of the world.
That’s no exaggeration. According to a 2020 study by the prestigious Watson Institute of Brown University, U.S.-backed wars since Sept. 11, 2001, have transformed a minimum of 37 million people into refugees, driving them from their homes with only their clothes, starving them and their children. The study involved Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya, and Syria, for which both Republican and Democratic administrations can be blamed. (tinyurl.com/y2h5uxn3)
The Bush administration’s neocons and their successors in the Democratic administration had a goal. The goal was to reconquer, for imperialist domination, parts of the world that had achieved a certain amount of sovereignty.
The existence of the Soviet Union until 1991 had defended that sovereignty from direct imperialist intervention in most cases. With that defense now removed, the Empire has been waging war to replace its yoke firmly on the backs of the world’s people.
Whether refugees from this U.S. strategy fled inside their country, fled to neighboring states or tried to make it to wealthier places in Europe or the United States, each one has a tale of human misery. Each piece of suffering was caused by imperialist strategists seeking obscene profits. And that includes the millions of people killed in these wars.
Recall the official public details of the September 2001 attacks. The Saudi citizens in al Qaida, allegedly angry over the U.S. occupation of their country since 1990, targeted symbols of imperialist power: Wall Street financial capital, the Pentagon war machine, and − with the aborted Pennsylvania plane crash that both Trump and Biden visited − probably the U.S. Capitol.
Bush’s gang punished none of its Saudi allies. Instead, they wielded the popular trauma like a club. They first invaded Afghanistan, then invaded and occupied oil-rich Iraq. In the name of the “War on Terror,” Bush’s administration and, following it, Barack Obama’s Democratic administration intervened with weapons or fighters in the countries named in the Watson study.
Trump has followed by fronting bi-partisan threats against Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and has imposed murderous sanctions on many other peoples, including those of Cuba and Venezuela, stretching beyond all recognition the concept of “War on Terror.”
The 9/11 attack on symbols of U.S. oppression also had human victims − a real cross section of the U.S. population who worked in the World Trade Center, including all types of essential workers who maintain buildings, serve and clean up food, as well as every type of office worker, of all beliefs and from all parts of the world, including all oppressed nationalities, gender identities, able-bodied and disabled. People who wrote then and continue to write for this newspaper worked at the WTC or near enough to share the risks and the trauma, and we mourn the victims.
These losses make us even angrier at U.S. strategists who use the anniversary to again manipulate the feelings of people here, hyping up a false national identity to build toward the next imperialist war.