Attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center
show that the U.S. may have to pay for its foreign policy
by William Mandel
The attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center are
the most important event in world history since the collapse of
the Soviet Union.
The disappearance of the USSR ended a half century in >
which two powers dominated the world. The casualties in New York,
Washington, and in the skies made an end to the belief that the
United States could continue waging wars costing us no blood,
whether in no-fly zones over Iraq, in Kosovo, or anywhere else
on any continent.
For fifty-six years Washington has successfully conducted
> mass murders of noncombatant civilians from the air with
no fear of retaliation. In 1945, when Japan could no longer strike
back, there was Hiroshima, 75,000 killed. Then Nagasaki, 40,000
killed. The Korean War cost that country, with no possible means
of harming the United States, 4,000,000 dead [Encyclopedia Brittanica]
versus 34,000 Americans, or more than 100 Koreans per American.
Most of the Korean deaths were caused by American carpet bombing
(white phosphorus, napalm, explosives)to break the will to resist,
and therefore were predominantly civilian.
The numbers in the Vietnam War were of the same orders of
magnitude. "Desert Storm" has slaughtered an average
of 6,000 Iraqi children each month since the end of the fighting,
due to the embargo against necessities.
Until now the vast majority of Americans have clucked their
tongues over these things and gone about their business. No more.
The deaths in the collapsed New York towers, the Pentagon, and
the plane crashed in Pennsylvania total 6,000. [Number corrected
after 9/11]. The super-expensive, space and information age espionage
technology of the National Security Agency, as well as the more
conventional activities of the CIA and FBI are now the laughing
stock of the world. As to the Defense Intelligence Agency in
the Pentagon, I wonder if it was accidental that the plane striking
that building hit exactly the section where that agency was housed.
There is simply nothing Washington can do to restore the situation
existing before this morning. Even if it decides to blame >
Saddam Hussein and nukes Baghdad off the face of the earth, it
will > accomplish nothing in a world of suicide bombers and
underground organizations capable of working in complete secrecy
and with perfect coordination. Undoubtedly U.S. "intelligence"
(?!)operations will be multiplied. That guarantees absolutely
The Korean War was accompanied by the rise of McCarthyism.
It is possible that today's events may bring similar hysteria
and suppression of civil liberties. Not only would that further
diminish the civil liberties that are one of this country's proudest
achievements, but by so doing it would reduce the ability of the
citizenry to ask the necessary questions about the policies responsible
for the hatred of the United States expressed in this catastrophe.
The time has come to realize that the motivation that brought
about our Revolutionary War in 1776 is the strongest single force
active in the world today. Peoples will be independent, no matter
what Washington, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley want to do with
and in their countries. The United States must either adapt to
that or suffer the fate of ancient Rome.
William Mandel, Oakland, California
11th, 2001 - New York City