¹ Sep, 12 2001
 
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Collision of airplane with World Trade Centre. Video record
Pravda.RU:Main:More in detail
14:32 2001-09-12
ALAN BOCK: THE PRICE OF EMPIRE

One can understand the shock, the horror, the unbelief as the war most Americans didn't know was going on or didn't choose to acknowledge came home in such a brutal, deadly fashion in lower Manhattan and the Pentagon. This was obviously a coordinated attack, carried out with skill and stealth. Its success reflects a failure of Intelligence and intelligence on a massive scale.
In short, the United States, as a government and to some extent as a society, seems to have no idea how it is perceived in much of the world and no effective defense. It is hardly unique in history for officials to prepare for the last war, or to operate on assumptions that haven't been valid for decades.
WAITING FOR REAL INFORMATION
The media have been full of speculation about which groups, organizations or states might have been involved in these terrorist acts. I talked with Geoffrey Kemp, Middle East expert at the Nixon International Center in Washington. Knowing a good deal more than most people about the people, players and organizations in the Middle East, he simply refused to speculate. He believes it could take several days for the first intelligence breaks that could be viewed as reliable to come through.
While the operation was clearly well-coordinated, highly professional, and had to have at least some kind of cooperation from what Mr. Kemp referred to as foreign "entities," it is simply impossible to be sure at this point who carried out these terrorist attacks.
It is difficult to wait for reliable information, but to respond without reliable information -- to target, just to take a recent example, an aspirin factory rather than a real terrorist headquarters -- would be worse than ineffective. It would increase resentment.
ASKING OTHER QUESTIONS
I talked with Chalmers Johnson, political scientist, authority on Japan and author of Blowback: The Costs of American Empire, published last year by Henry Holt. He was saddened but not surprised by the attacks. His book had come close to predicting similar attacks on American soil as resentment, hatred and hopelessness become more commonplace around the world that the United States tries rather desultorily to run.
Certain pertinent questions have been studiously ignored in most of the media and in most of the centers of policy-making and analysis, says Chalmers Johnson. Why was the United States a target? Why was the World Trade Center the target? Was it a symbol of capitalism or a symbol of American hegemony? What has the United States done to create such intense and organized hostility?
"We have 65 major U.S. military installations in other peoples' countries right now," Johnson told me, and not everybody in those countries is happy about those bases' presence. Although plenty of people have speculated, for example, that Osama bin Laden, a Saudi national who is supposedly estranged from the Saudi government, has been behind numerous terrorist acts and masterminds a worldwide terrorist network, nobody has suggested that the United States withdraw its troops or bases from Saudi Arabia. If we were simply considering possible alternatives without preconceptions, that would be on the table as an option.
FAILURE OF INTELLIGENCE
The remarkable success of the terrorist assault -- the ability to get hijackers through airport security and onto four or five different airplanes, to hijack all these airplanes simultaneously, to have people available who could not only fly an airplane reasonably competently but were willing to undertake a suicide mission -- suggests a catastrophic failure of intelligence. But it is not just a failure of information-gathering but a failure of imagination and understanding of how the world is, rather than how it was.
Chalmers Johnson maintains that US defense and intelligence services have seemed incapable of imagining the world as it really is for at least a decade. He thinks that the Cold War actually ended, in terms of the Soviets posing a genuine threat, before the Soviet Union deteriorated. Even if that's arguable, however, the world changed profoundly in 1989 and our defense and intelligence agencies, whether through bureaucratic inertia or the comfort of old preconceptions or a number of other reasons, still don't understand -- and haven't even tried very hard to understand -- the new shape of the world.
Thus we are almost completely unprepared for the dispersed, decentralized kind of terrorist threat that was proven, yesterday, to be capable of creating incredible destruction.
BLOWBACK
Even more important, however, is a failure to understand just how deeply hated the United States is in many parts of the world. It's not just that most CIA analysts have never even been to the countries they are supposed to be analyzing, nor that they often don't speak the language. It is that we are careless and arrogant in our ignorance, that we exercise our hegemony without much forethought, analysis or intelligence.
"Blowback" is a CIA term referring to an operation that comes back to bite you, often in unpredictable and certainly unintended way. The terrorist operations against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon can be seen as blowback, the unintended consequences of American hegemony.
RESPONDING FOOLISHLY
The temptation US leaders will struggle with in the next day or so is to respond intelligently and in a measured fashion rather than blindly and disproportionately.
Plenty of people have compared this attack to Pearl Harbor, and in terms of casualties and the surprise element the comparison may be apt. Chalmers Johnson reminded me, however, that one of the responses to Pearl Harbor was what he called a "racial pogrom" against Japanese-Americans, almost all of whom had nothing to do with the attack and had no sympathy for their former country.
WHEN HOPE DIES
Chalmers Johnson points out one more phenomenon that makes such attacks, especially suicide attacks, feasible.
What we have seen -- perhaps most notably in the Middle East but elsewhere as well -- is a loss of hope among wide swaths of people. When people have no hope or see no possibility of a decent life for themselves and their children, then war and even suicide become less unthinkable. Insofar as increasing numbers of people have lost hope for the future, perhaps we will see more people willing to engage in what most of see as incredibly desperate acts of violence and terrorism.
I hope Chalmers Johnson is wrong about that one. But there is little question now that the United States has begun to pay the price in bloodshed at home for the arrogance and breastbeating of our almost breathtakingly ignorant foreign policy leaders. One may hate those consequences, but until we begin to recognize that retaliation against innocents is among the consequences of our foreign policy, we will make little progress either in understanding September 11 or avoiding more attacks in the future.

ALAN BOCK
ANTIWAR.COM


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U.S. Full Coverage
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Pravda.RU:Main

20:21
THOSE WHO CAN GAIN PROFIT FROM THE AMERICAN TRAGEDY ARE KNOWN
The American President held a session of the national security council today in the White House. Defense Minister Doland Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, President’s adviser for national defense issues Condoleezza Rice, CIA director George Tenet and other top officials of the American administration were present at the session More detail...

18:50
SENSATION: RUSSIA ALSO BECAME AN OBJECT FOR AIR TERRORISTS’ ATTACKS
“Generally it is impossible to carry out an act of terror on the scenario which was used in the USA yesterday”. This was said by the commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, Anatoli Kornukov. “We had such facts too” More detail...

18:45
OSAMA BIN LADEN. ONE OF THE SUSPECTED OF TERROTIST ACTS?
Terrorist groups of the whole world joined in the play with title “That are just we!”. Because of wish to be regarded as organizers of terrorist acts in the USA, a Japan “Red Army” quarrelled with Islamite group “Lashkar-e-Taiba”. More detail...

18:26
RUSSIAN POLITICIANS ASTOUNDED WITH TERROR IN USA
Tremendously awful acts of terrorism in the USA became the central news subject for the Russian political life. The majority of the Russian politicians expressed their opinion regarding the most horrible events in the US ever More detail...

17:48
JUSTIN RAIMONDO: TERROR AT HOME - THE PRICE OF HEGEMONY
The World Trade Center – monument of the New York business community, towering over downtown Manhattan like twin silver phalli pointed at heaven – is but a pile of smoldering rubble. More detail...

17:21
SILENCE MINUTE IN MEMORY OF TERRORIST ACTS’ VICTIMS IN USA DECLARED TOMORROW AT NOON IN RUSSIA. EDICT ABOUT IT SIGNED BY VLADIMIR PUTIN
On Thursday, a silence minute will be declared in Russia in memory of the terrorist acts’ victims in the USA as a sign of solidarity with American nation, Vladimir Putin declared while meeting in Kremlin with prime-minister Mikhail Kasyanov and Central Bank’s head Viktor Geraschenko. More detail...

17:18
ANATOLI BARANOV: AMERICAN TRAGEDY. WHO NEEDED IT?
America is defenseless – this is the conclusion to come to according to the plan of those who organized a series of acts of terrorism in the United States – the American tragedy, like it is already called More detail...

16:30
US SPECIAL SERVICES' IDEAS BECOMING ENTANGLED MORE AND MORE. VERSIONS ABOUT ARAFAT AND BIN LADEN’S GUILTY PASSED, NOW SADDAM’S TURN
To the end of this day US, special services seem not to manage to come upon the tracks of criminals guilty of the unprecedented tragedy in the USA. More detail...

16:20
“WE ARE WAGING WAR THOUGH WE DO NOT KNOW YET WHO IS OUR ENEMY”, US SENATOR SAYS. REVENGE FEELING TAKES FIRST PLACE IN US ELITE
The Senate War Committee’s member James Inhouf (Oklahoma) supposes that in contrast to previous terrorist acts which were ended just with a court examination, this time a blow of the same power must be an answer. More detail...

16:10
AHMAD SHAH MASUD’S ADHERENTS DECLARED THEMSELVES RESPONSIBLE FOR MISSILE SHELLING KABUL. NOTHING SAID ABOUT FROM WHERE THEY HAVE CRUISE MISSILES
Without referring to any information sources, CNN reported that the Northern Alliance was guilty in Kabul explosions. More detail...

16:05
YUGOSLAVIA’S REACTION TO RECENT EVENTS IN USA CHARACTERIZED HERE AS “UNPRECEDENTED TERRORISM”
A meeting between Yugoslav president Vojislav Kostunica and political leadership connected with acts of terrorism in the USA has been carried out today. More detail...

16:00
EXPLOSIONS IN KABUL. US BLOW IN RETURN
According to TV company CNN reporting from Kabul, several powerful explosions have resounded in Afghan capital, RIA ‘Novosti’ correspondent reports. More detail...

15:05
RICHARD WAGENAAR: DUTCH REACT SHAKEN AT TERRORIST ATTACKS IN THE US
The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and on the Pentagon in the US have had great consequences for life in the Netherlands. Not only did the public life come to a standstill with people following events in the US also fear and security measures have been taken. More detail...

14:58
OUR READER VELJKO ABOUT TRADEGY IN USA: PLEASE, STOP VIOLENCE AND START LIVING IN PEACE THIS VIOLENT ACT WAS NOTHING UNEXPECTED
To all human race: If we want to survive, this worldwide violence has to stop, now! I am scared in what kind of world my children will have to grow up. I wish I was never witness of horror in Croatia in 1991. I wish I was never witness of horror in Bosnia in 1993. I wish I was never witness of horror in Kosovo in 1999. I wish I was never witness of horror in Macedonia in 2001. But I was. And that's just a small fragment of what is going on in this poor world for the past 55 years. More detail...

14:32
ALAN BOCK: THE PRICE OF EMPIRE
One can understand the shock, the horror, the unbelief as the war most Americans didn't know was going on or didn't choose to acknowledge came home in such a brutal, deadly fashion in lower Manhattan and the Pentagon. This was obviously a coordinated attack, carried out with skill and stealth. More detail...

14:02
OUR READER NEIL RICHARDS CONCERNING THE ARTICLE FORTRESS AMERICA PENETRATED EVERYTHING YOU HOPED FOR THE AMERICANS HAS COME TRUE
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey writes (quote) The fact is that however horrific the events of today have been, and everyone around the world remembers the families of the victims on such an occasion, this has been a much expected occurrence and in a perverse way, the USA is lucky the attack was not carried out with a nuclear or biological weapon (unquote). More detail...

13:48
LEE MORELAND: PLEASE PRAY FOR US, AND THOSE INNOCENT WORKERS IN NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON WHO'S LIVES WERE STOLEN BY COWARDS
My friend, As you and I have previousaly corresponded, I felt it appropriate to write to you again regarding the terrorist attacks on the United States. More detail...

13:41
LETTER OF PRAVDA.RU READER JAMES HECKEL: WE TRULY DESERVED TO BE BOMBED
I predict that the United States won't exist as a superpower much longer. If you want evidence, you need look no further than England or France. They were superpowers; now they are not. I would encourage those in Europe, Asia and the rest of the world to boycott American goods and buy only from your own countries. Visit to Letters to the editor

11:05
LIFE EXPECTANCY IN AFRICA: 47 YEARS
In the Forum against poverty held in Dacar, African experts have revealed that the life expectancy in this continent is 47 years of age, as compared with 78 in Europe. More detail...

11:04
SKOPJE ACCEPTS INTERNATIONAL FORCE – WITH RUSSIANS
Skopje’s reticence about accepting an international force on its territory is softening, after initially it declared itself against the continuation of NATO’s forces in Macedonia. More detail...

11:03
COLOMBIA: MISCONCEPTIONS AND MISTRUTHS
Mention Colombia abroad and the first images which spring to mind are cocaine cartels and FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), tarred with the brush of ignorance and wrongly derided as drug-trafficking pseudo-revolutionaries. More detail...

11:02
FORTRESS AMERICA PENETRATED
Kamikaze attacks on nerve points in New York and Washington sent the United States and the rest of the world into shock. By 10.00 EST, two planes had destroyed the World Trade Center, another had hit the Pentagon, a fourth had crashed near Pittsburgh, while there were reports of numerous car bombs and a fire in a shopping mall. It is now reported that the water supply in New York has been contaminated. More detail...

10:16
SCOTT MCCONNELL: WHY MANY ARABS HATE AMERICA
After the assassination of John F. Kennedy – before today, the most traumatic event for Americans in my lifetime – Malcolm X said "the chickens have come home to roost." Malcolm was reportedly gleeful and rancorous, and his audience laughed at his words: he meant to convey that Kennedy's death meant very little, compared to what whites had done to his people. More detail...

09:50
DREW CURTIS TO INNA NOVIKOVA: LATEST NEWS ON THE TERRORIST ATTACK. EVERYONE HERE IS READY TO GO FIGHT
I get the feeling that if the palestinians do another terrorist act in the next 48 hours, they might get hit by the US military with all force behind it. That's just my opinion. More detail...

09:21
JOSEPH SOBRAN: THE UNKNOWN ENEMY
It was predictable. For years I’ve been writing that the U.S. Government has been making more enemies than Americans really need, all over the globe, and that one of these days some of them would have a nasty surprise for us. More detail...

04:50
BUSH ADDRESSES NATION
US President George W. Bush made a televised address to the nation with yesterday's terror acts in Washington, D.C., and New York City. More detail...

02:47
REPUBLICAN SENATOR EXPECTS OF PRESIDENT BUSH RESOLUTE ACTIONS
Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe, prominent on the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, expects President George W. Bush to take resolute action in response to Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the nation's centers of power and commerce. More detail...

02:06
VIAGRA – GOING WITH A BANG
The wonder medicine Viagra, the cure for brewer’s droop, the miracle which transformed tired businessmen into veritable Don Juan’s, the magic wand which transformed just another Monday into a starry, starry night for bored housewives has finally had its come-uppance: statistics. More detail...

00:22
CHARLES TEASLEY: THE TERRORIST ATTACK HAPPENED THIS MORNING HAS FORCED ALL MAJOR INTERNET NEWS SITES IN THE US TO BE OVERLOADED
Just wanted to say thank you for a different view point of world affairs. Pravda reports on some things that don't make the news here in the U.S. The terrorist attack that happened this morning has forced all major internet news sites in the US to be overloaded. More detail...

23:18
RUSSIAN AIR-RAID DEFENCE IS IN FIGHTING TRIM
Russian air-raid defence is ready to repulse possible attacks according to American scenario. That has been reported recently by spokesman for headquarters of Russian Air Forces. “Russian air-raid forces are carrying out and anti-terrorist operation connected with terrorist acts committed in New York and Washington”, the headquarters’ representative said.

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Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service Keeps In Touch With US Secret Services

Russian Senator Convinced Osama Bin Laden Stands Behind US Terror Acts

Mikhail Margelov: U.S. Airlines Employees Helped Organise Terrorist Acts

Former USSR
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Fun
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Hot spots
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Letters to the Editor
HSolobay@aol.com: The people of our great nation will stand by its leaders

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Politics
Russian Speaker Says International Terrorism Act Is A Challenge

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Regions of Russia
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Society
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Patriarch Of Moscow And All Russia Calls On Global Community To Join Efforts Against Terrorism

USA
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Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service Keeps In Touch With US Secret Services

Osama Bin Laden Claims Terrorist Acts In USA Were Committed By Some American Terrorist Group

World
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