Why At Least Two Nuclear Super-Powers Are Essential

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

My distinguished colleague at Strategic Culture Foundation, Federico Pieraccini, has recently argued that “nuclear-armed powers decrease the likelihood of a nuclear apocalypse”, and this is a response to that:

Obviously, if there were no nuclear-armed powers, then the possibility of a “nuclear apocalypse” would be zero; so, that statement is false on its very face. However, in a carefully modified form, I agree with something not too far different from it; and here is that form:

In the nuclear-weapons era, at least two nuclear super-powers are essential in order for there to be any realistic possibility of warding off a nuclear apocalypse, global annihilation.

Here, the concept of “nuclear super-power” is absolutely core (merely “nuclear-armed power” is not): a nuclear super-power is a nation that possesses second-strike capability, the ability to retaliate so effectively against a nuclear attack from any other nuclear power so as to annihilate that attacking country, even though this responding power might be annihilated by the attacking one.

As I have documented in prior articles (such as here), the United States, ever since at least 2006, has been virtually officially pursuing the goal of achieving “Nuclear Primacy” so as to be able to ‘win’ a nuclear war and conquer Russia — the prior military geostrategic system, called Mutually Assured Destruction or “M.A.D.,” being ended on the American side. (Russia’s Vladimir Putin says that it had actually ended when U.S. President George W. Bush made the — as was brilliantly explained here — “decision in 2001 to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and the bipartisan failure by both the Bush and Obama administrations to engage meaningfully with the Russians over their concerns about American missile defenses.”

However, I have argued that, in essence, the U.S. regime had already made the decision for nuclear primacy and secretly imposed that decision upon its allied or vassal-regimes as being henceforth the U.S. side’s aim, back on 24 February 1990, and that decision was made by George Herbert Walker Bush but has continued ever since. Putin is politic; so, he needs to filter what he says through a political screen, in which he refers to the United States as being a ‘partner,’ which I — myself an American and no politician at all and not representing any country at all — do not need to do.

Whereas the U.S. regime has been committed for a long time to achieving nuclear primacy (regardless whether it’s since 2006, or since 2001, or since 1990 — the initial decision was actually made on 24 February 1990, and has merely been in its execution-phase on the American side from that time till now), Russia has been responding to that decision as best it has been able to. A crucial effort on the part of Russian President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s to deal with it produced the so-called “NATO Founding Act,” but the U.S. regime trashed that in 2016. President Putin recognized as soon as George W. Bush trashed the ABM Treaty, that unless Russia would somehow block the U.S. from achieving nuclear primacy (if any side even is capable of achieving nuclear primacy now or in the future), then a surprise intended planned nuclear first-strike against and annihilating Russia would be the outcome (given the U.S. regime’s by-then clear record on the matter); so, he has carefully worked, ever since that time (2002), so as to not only block it, but, finally, on 1 March 2018, announced to the entire world, that Russia is now able, reasonably and with evidence, to say that Russia is securely in a position so that if the United States attempts a surprise nuclear attack against Russia, then the United States will also be annihilated.

What is crucial here, during the nuclear-military age, is that there be at least two nuclear super-powers, not just one.

As I have argued elsewhere under the heading “The Three Global Suerpowers”: “There are currently three global superpowers, three nations that lead the world: China, Russia, and US.” However, this is true regardless of whether or not China is a nuclear super-power (I don’t think it is), because China is clearly a leading economic power, and may come to lead above the United States in other fields as well. In economic matters, the trend-lines are watched with at least as much and close attention as are the absolute or current numbers, and China, in any case, is clearly one of the three global super-powers already, regardless of whether it’s a military super-power.

What, then, will be the result if China comes to be a third nuclear super-power? The problem, if any, is not whether there will come to be a third nuclear super-power: the problem is whether there will, ever again, be a nuclear super-power that is attempting military conquest of the entire world. This was the point that Putin was making in his March 1st speech.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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Checking In on the Four Intersecting Cycles

Correspondent James D. recently asked for an update on the four intersecting cycles I’ve been writing about for the past 10 years. Here’s the chart I prepared back in 2008 of four long-term cycles:

1. Generational (political/social)

2. Price inflation/wage stagnation (economic)

3. Credit/debt expansion/contraction (financial)

4. Relative affordability of energy (resources)

Here are four of the many dozens of essays I’ve written on these topics over the past decade:

Long Cycles: Cheaper Goods, Costlier Capital, Income Disparity Increases (August 1, 2008)

Beyond the False Dawn: Global Crisis 2020-2022 (February 18, 2011)

A Disintegrative Winter: The Debt and Anti-Status Quo Super-Cycle Has Turned(December 5, 2016)

We’re in a Boiling-Point Crisis of Exploitive Elites (June 19, 2017)

The key point that’s not communicated in the chart is there are dynamics that interact with each of these cycles. For example, demographics are influencing each of these trends in self-reinforcing ways.

Governments are borrowing more to fund the promises made to seniors decades ago when there were relatively few retirees compared to the working populace. Now that the ratio of those collecting government benefits to workers is 1-to-2 (one retiree for every worker), the system is buckling.

The “solution” is to borrow increasing sums from future taxpayers to fund pay-as-you-go healthcare and pension programs for retirees.

Technology is another dynamic that is actively influencing all these cycles in self-reinforcing ways. As technology is substituted for human labor, wages stagnate and the size of the populace paying taxes dwindles accordingly. The “solution” is once again to borrow more to substitute for declining purchasing power.

The dynamics driving wealth/income inequality and the rise of politically/financially dominant elites are also powering these cycles. As Peter Turchin has explained–a topic covered in my essay When Did Our Elites Become Self-Serving Parasites? (October 4, 2016)– social disunity / discord rises when the number of people promised a spot in the elite far exceeds the actual number of slots available.

In summary, the four cycles are intact and poised to intersect in a very messy fashion within the next decade. various centralized efforts have been made to paper over the secular stagnation, political polarization, brewing generational wars, resistance to globalism, rising cost of capital, decay of opportunity, soaring debts, rising dominance of speculation / malinvestment /mis-allocation of capital, diminishing returns on centralization, the marriage of Orwell, Huxley and Kafka in officially sanctioned propaganda, increasingly dysfunctional and self-serving institutions and the rising costs of energy, but every one of these makeshift efforts further erodes the resilience of the overall system and increases systemic fragility and vulnerability to self-reinforcing failures of key subsystems.

Here are a few charts that illustrate the trends / cycles:

Total systemic debt: note that the tiny wobble in credit expansion in 2008 nearly collapsed the entire global financial system.

Here’s political polarization: notice any common ground?

The elites that are safely protected by the moat of the status quo are doing just fine while the disgruntled debt-serfs who were promised security and rising wages/wealth are massing beyond the moat.

Meanwhile, asset bubbles and soaring debt are the status quo’s go-to fix for every problem:

If you think this is a robust, resilient, stable system, please check your Ibogaine / Hopium / Delusionol intake. 

Read the first section for free in PDF format. 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

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Torture-Tainted CIA and State Nominees Recall Failure to Prosecute Bush-Era Abuses

By Nat Parry, Consortium News.

President Donald Trump’s nominations of Gina Haspel to lead the CIA and Mike Pompeo to be America’s top diplomat are the latest indications of steadily eroding human rights standards in the United States and the rollback of the rule of law that has characterized U.S. counterterrorism policies since Sept. 11, 2001.

Haspel, a CIA operative who oversaw the torture of terrorism suspects at a secret prison in Thailand and then helped destroy tapes of the interrogations, and Pompeo, who has made statements in support of torture and mass surveillance, are both expected to be confirmed by the Senate with little fanfare.

After all, when Pompeo was nominated for his current post of CIA Director his confirmation sailed through the Senate on a vote of 66-32. This, despite what Human Rights Watch’s Maria McFarland Sanchez-Moreno called “dangerously ambiguous” responses to questions about torture and mass surveillance.

“Pompeo’s failure to unequivocally disavow torture and mass surveillance, coupled with his record of advocacy for surveillance of Americans and past endorsement of the shuttered CIA torture program, make clear that he should not be running the CIA,” Sanchez Moreno said in January 2017.

Shortly following Pompeo’s confirmation, his deputy director at the CIA was named as Gina Haspel, who “played a direct role in the CIA’s ‘extraordinary rendition program,’ under which captured militants were handed to foreign governments and held at secret facilities, where they were tortured by agency personnel,” the New York Times reported last year.

She also ran the CIA’s first black site prison and oversaw the brutal interrogations of two detainees, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. In addition, she played a vital role in the destruction of interrogation videotapes that showed the torture of detainees both at the black site she ran and other secret agency locations. The concealment of those interrogation tapes violated both multiple court orders as well the demands of the 9/11 Commission and the advice of White House lawyers, as Glenn Greenwald has reported.

Despite these serious misgivings, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he is not currently urging Democrats to oppose Pompeo’s nomination to be Secretary of State or Haspel’s nomination to lead the CIA. So much for the #Resistance.

The Democratic acquiescence follows a long pattern of tolerating human rights abuses and normalizing torture. When President Barack Obama declared that he wanted to “look forward, not backward,” and to close the chapter on the CIA’s torture practices under the Bush administration without allowing any prosecutions for crimes that were committed, he ensured torture would remain a “policy option” for future presidents, in the words of Human Rights Watch.

Tortured Debate

We began to see this play out during the Republican primary debates in 2016, when the GOP contenders were all jockeying for the pro-torture vote. At the time, Trump made clear his unambiguous support for the use of torture. When he was pressed on his statements about bringing back waterboarding and devising even more brutal torture methods, Trump decided to double down rather than backtrack.

On Feb. 7, 2016 candidate Trump appeared on “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos. “As president, you would authorize torture?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“I would absolutely authorize something beyond waterboarding,” Trump said. “And believe me, it will be effective. If we need information, George, you have our enemy cutting heads off of Christians and plenty of others, by the hundreds, by the thousands.”

When asked whether we “win by being more like them,” i.e., to mimic the tactics of Islamic State terrorists, Trump stated flatly, “Yes.”

“I’m sorry,” he elaborated. “You have to do it that way. And I’m not sure everybody agrees with me. I guess a lot of people don’t. We are living in a time that’s as evil as any time that there has ever been. You know, when I was a young man, I studied Medieval times. That’s what they did, they chopped off heads.”

“So we’re going to chop off heads?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“We’re going to do things beyond waterboarding perhaps, if that happens to come,” Trump replied.

Trump has even insinuated that his competitor in the GOP race Ted Cruz was a “pussy” for hinting that he might show some degree of restraint in the use of torture. Alarmed, several human rights groups jumped in to remind the U.S. of its moral and legal obligations not to engage in sadistic and cruel practices such as waterboarding.

Amnesty International’s Naureen Shah issued a rebuttal to the debate over waterboarding, which she described as “slow-motion suffocation.” She pointed out the obvious that “the atrocities of the armed group calling itself Islamic State and other armed groups don’t make waterboarding okay.”

Policy Option

What the “debate” over bringing back torture highlighted, and what the current nominations of torture advocates to lead the State Department and CIA drive home, is why prosecutions of the Bush-era CIA torture program were essential, and why it was so damaging that the Obama administration shirked its responsibilities in this regard for eight years.

As human rights advocates have long maintained, prosecuting Bush administration and CIA officials involved with the torture of terrorism suspects in the post-9/11 period is needed so that torture is not repeated in the future by subsequent administrations who may consider themselves above the law.

Indeed, this is precisely why there is a requirement under international law for allegations of torture to be investigated and prosecuted – so that torture does not become a policy option to be utilized or shelved depending on the political whims of the day.

This is a point that UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counterterrorism Ben Emmerson made following the release of the Senate’s torture report in late 2014. Senior officials from the Bush administration who sanctioned crimes, as well as the CIA and U.S. government officials who carried them out, must be investigated and prosecuted, Emmerson said.

“It is now time to take action,” Emmerson said on Dec. 9, 2014. “The individuals responsible for the criminal conspiracy revealed in today’s report must be brought to justice, and must face criminal penalties commensurate with the gravity of their crimes. The fact that the policies revealed in this report were authorized at a high level within the U.S. government provides no excuse whatsoever. Indeed, it reinforces the need for criminal accountability.”

International law prohibits the granting of immunity to public officials who have engaged in acts of torture, Emmerson pointed out. He further emphasized the United States’ international obligation to criminally prosecute the architects and perpetrators of the torture methods described in the report:

“As a matter of international law, the U.S. is legally obliged to bring those responsible to justice. The UN Convention Against Torture and the UN Convention on Enforced Disappearances require States to prosecute acts of torture and enforced disappearance where there is sufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction. States are not free to maintain or permit impunity for these grave crimes.”

Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that it’s “crystal clear” that the United States has an obligation under the UN Convention against Torture to ensure accountability.

“In all countries, if someone commits murder, they are prosecuted and jailed. If they commit rape or armed robbery, they are prosecuted and jailed. If they order, enable or commit torture – recognized as a serious international crime – they cannot simply be granted impunity because of political expediency,” he said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed hope that the release of the torture report was the “start of a process” toward prosecutions, because the “prohibition against torture is absolute,” Ban’s spokesman said.

Needless to say, these appeals largely fell on deaf ears, with no criminal investigations launched whatsoever. Instead, the U.S. Congress responded with a symbolic “reaffirmation” of the ban on the torture – a largely redundant and unnecessary piece of legislation since torture has long been unambiguously banned under international law, the United States Constitution and U.S. criminal statutes.

For his part, Obama used the publication of the Senate report as an opportunity to tout the virtues of the United States, and actually praised the CIA for its professionalism in carrying out its responsibilities.

American Exceptionalism

Following the publication of the Senate report, in a statement obliquely trumpeting the notion of “American Exceptionalism,” Obama said: “Throughout our history, the United States of America has done more than any other nation to stand up for freedom, democracy, and the inherent dignity and human rights of people around the world.” He went on to offer a tacit defense of the torture techniques while touting his own virtue in bringing these policies to an end.

“In the years after 9/11, with legitimate fears of further attacks and with the responsibility to prevent more catastrophic loss of life, the previous administration faced agonizing choices about how to pursue al Qaeda and prevent additional terrorist attacks against our country,” he said. Although the U.S. did “many things right in those difficult years,” he acknowledged that “some of the actions that were taken were contrary to our values.”

“That is why I unequivocally banned torture when I took office,” Obama said, “because one of our most effective tools in fighting terrorism and keeping Americans safe is staying true to our ideals at home and abroad.”

He went on to claim that he would use his authority as President “to make sure we never resort to those methods again.”

But clearly, by blocking criminal investigations into the policy’s architects, Obama did very little in a practical sense to ensure that those methods are not used again. And now that we are faced with the prospect of torture-tainted heads of the CIA and State Department, we are reminded once again of the importance of upholding the laws of the land.

Nat Parry is co-author of Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush

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Trump Promotes Longtime Russia Hawk Just as Russiagate Loses Momentum

By Caitlin Johnstone,  CaitlinJohnstone.com,

Rex Tillerson, whose hotly scrutinized ties to Russia have been a centerpiece of Rachel Maddow’s conspiratorial ravings for many months, has been fired. Replacing him as Secretary of State will be Mike Pompeo, who has been a consistent and longstanding Russia hawk for years, going so far as accusing President Obama of endangering America by simply agreeing to meet with Vladimir Putin in 2015.

Like pretty much everything that happens anywhere ever, this occurrence is being cited as evidence of collusion between Donald Trump and the Russian government.

“Tillerson Fired by Trump Hours After Blaming Russia for Chemical Attack in U.K.,” blared a headline from the increasingly pro-establishment Intercept, referring to a comment Tillerson had made about the plot hole-riddled claims of the UK government that a Russian double agent had been poisoned by the Kremlin.

“By firing Tillerson one day after he publicly stated that Russia behind a WMD attack on British soil, we now have proof Trump is colluding with Putin,” tweeted Vanity Fair editor and tentacle porn connoisseur Kurt Eichenwald. “I don’t know if he did in the election. But he is doing it NOW in front of our eyes. He is Kremlin-owned.”

“Interesting that Tillerson’s ouster came one day after he very publicly broke with the official WH line and said the poisoning of Sergei Skripal ‘clearly’ came from Russia,” said a popular tweet from The Atlantic‘s Natasha Bertrand.

“WH saying Tillerson was informed Friday, but State Dept statement today seems to indicate he just found out today. Which *really* makes one wonder about the role of the Russia statement yesterday,” chimed in MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.

This is plainly stupid, and the exact opposite is likely the case. Rex Tillerson had been making comments against Russia throughout his brief career as Secretary of State just like Pompeo and many others in Trump’s cabinet, recently blaming Moscow for chemical attacks in Syria and warning of future interference in US elections in the 2018 midterms. He was not replaced by a far more virulently anti-Russia hawk because he sided with the establishment narrative on Russia as he had many times before.

For his part, Trump told reporters “it sounds to me like it would be Russia” in response to questions about who was responsible for the UK poisoning, and cited differences with Tillerson on the Iran nuclear deal as a reason for his firing. If you take Trump on his word (not that I am suggesting anyone should ever do such a thing), his administration is likely to side with the UK on any escalations it chooses to make against the Russian Federation, and he fired Rex Tillerson because this administration and its allies want to advance a more aggressive agenda against Iran.

And that could very well be among the reasons for Tillerson’s firing; Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did reportedly talk “Iran, Iran, and Iran” in their recent meeting. It could also have something to do with the possibility that Pompeo is being groomed for a 2020 presidential candidacy, as sources have reportedly told WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange.

I think another possibility worth considering is the timing of the fatal blow the Russiagate narrative has suffered as House Intelligence Committee Republicans officially ended their investigation with the conclusion that there is no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, and no evidence that Vladimir Putin tried to help Trump win the election. The Mueller investigation still continues, as does the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stating that “We have a responsibility to get to the very bottom of what happened in the 2016 elections and to report on those findings in an unbiased way. If the House isn’t going to do it, the Senate must.”

But going by what we’re hearing from the Senate Intelligence Committee it looks like their investigation might be heading in the same direction, with Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr telling CNN on Monday that he’s seen no evidence of collusion either.

“I’ve read a lot about it, but haven’t seen any,” Burr said.

It is worth weighing the possibility that now that the American public has been paced into supporting new cold war escalations with Russia, the Russiagate psyop which was used to harness rank-and-file Democrats’ fear of Trump to inflame fears of Putin is no longer necessary, and is now being let go in place of more brazen hawkishness. As far as the US intelligence community and its allies are concerned, Russiagate’s only purpose has been to manufacture public support for escalations against Russia to secure strategic regions and ultimately hobble the Russia-China tandem, and that scaffolding can safely be removed if Russia hysteria no longer requires fear of Trump collusion to be sustained.

The soulless Mike Pompeo would be a fine overseer of that agenda, and as Secretary of State, the position Hillary Clinton used so effectively to spearhead the decimation of Libya, he’d be in an excellent position to do so.

Also noteworthy is the fact that Trump just promoted a torture supporter in Mike Pompeo and an actual torturer in his replacement as CIA Director Gina Haspel, yet leading Democrats are largely concerned that the administration won’t be “tough” enough.

“If he’s confirmed, we hope that Mr. Pompeo will turn over a new leaf and will start toughening up our policies towards Russia and Putin,” said Chuck Schumer, arguably the most powerful Democrat in America, who recently sparked controversy for citing religious voodoo in defense of the oppression and warmongering of the Israeli state.

This administration is continuing and expanding all of Bush and Obama’s most bloodthirsty agendas, and if it attacks Iran it will likely surpass both of them in terms of psychopathic bloodshed, and yet they’re worried he’s not “tough” enough. They criticize Trump for weakness over his willingness to meet for peace talks with Kim Jong Un after feigning shock at his obnoxious tweets about the North Korean leader, and they blast him for being too cuddly wuddly with Russia despite this administration’s already having caved to the longstanding neoconservative agenda to arm Ukraine against Russia, killed Russians in Syria as part of its insane regime change occupation of that country, adopted a Nuclear Posture Review with greatly increased aggression toward Russia and blurred lines between when nuclear strikes are and are not appropriate, sent war ships into the Black Sea “to counter Russia’s increased presence there,” forced RT and Sputnik to register as foreign agents, expanded NATO with the addition of Montenegro, assigned Russia hawk Kurt Volker as special representative to Ukraine, shut down a Russian consulate in San Francisco and thrown out Russian diplomats.

In short, both parties appear to be doing everything in their power to get as many people killed as possible, and nobody seems to have their foot anywhere near the brake pedal. Heads up.

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9/11: Israel Didn’t Do It; The Plan Was Co-Led by U.S. & Saud Governments

Eric Zuesse

To judge by articles and reader-comments about 9/11, many Americans who think that the 9/11 attacks weren’t done by the Sauds working in conjunction with the U.S. Government, think that those attacks were done by Israel’s Government working in conjunction with America’s Government. I wrote the only critical analysis of the main ‘evidence’ that is cited for the Israel-did-it argument, and found the argument to be based on false timelines and misrepresentations of what was in the FBI files.

The U.S. Government blames Iran for 9/11. But that hypothesis is even more ridiculous than is the Israel-did-it hypothesis. Clearly, the Saud family (otherwise known as the Saudi Government) were the U.S. Government’s partners in this operation. (However, on the day before President-Elect Donald Trump nominated Congressman Mike Pompeo to be the new CIA Director, Pompeo tweeted — 17 November 2016 — “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.” The U.S. regime don’t call the Sauds that, but they are, and the only terrorism that Iran has been associated with at all, has been some of the terrorism against Israel.)

The Wikipedia article, “Responsibility for the September 11 attacks”, mentions only “Saudi Arabia” in its section “Financing the attacks.” None of the proponents of the Israel-did-it hypothesis includes any coherent documented evidence that Israel financed the operation. And even the U.S. court that (based upon pressures from Israel and from the Sauds) ruled Iran to have caused 9/11, offered no evidence, that Iran, instead of Iran’s enemy the Saud family, was the main funder of the 9/11 attacks. None of the 19 alleged 9/11 terrorists was Iranian; none was even a Shiite, at all; 15 of them were Saudis, and all 19 were fundamentalist Sunnis; Al Qaeda is (so far as is known) a 100% fundamentalist-Sunni organization. (Furthermore, a google-search for “shiite member of al qaeda” produces: “No results found for ‘shiite member of al qaeda’.” Not even one such person has been publicly cited.) No real evidence exists that any of the money for the 9/11 attacks came either from Shias, or from Jews (nor from Israel’s Government).

9/11 was a well-planned operation, whatever it was. Substantial money paid for it, but little if any of that came from either Iran or Israel. It all came from fundamentalist-Sunnis.

And, if all of the money was fundamentalist-Sunni, then the only non-Sunni people who could have been involved in planning the operation would have been George W. Bush and his friends. One of his close friends happens to have been “Bandar Bush” — Saudi Prince Bandar, who was the Saud family’s chief geostrategist, and a longtime buddy of Bush’s, and whom the FBI found to have been personally funding at least two of the 19 hijackers, right up to 9/11.

Even Hillary Clinton, though supported by the Sauds, privately acknowledged that, “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” Al Qaeda is of Saudi origin, and it was the largest Sunni terrorist group worldwide. Osama bin Laden’s bag-man who personally picked up the suitcases full of cash from the biggest donors, said that “without the money of the — of the Saudi, you will have nothing”, and he named there most of the Saud princes (including Bandar) as having been people he had personally picked it up from. He said nothing whatsoever about Israel (nor about Iran).

And, then, there are the hypotheses that the U.S. Government wasn’t complicit in allowing the attacks to occur. 9/11 was just ‘failures by CIA, FBI, etc.’ That Wikipedia article ignores all evidence indicating complicity by the White House, but some of this evidence will be cited and linked-to here:

“Politico Reports Bush Knew 2001 Terror-Attack Was Imminent and Wanted It”, I headlined on 17 November 2015, about this article in Politico, which had provided the evidence, but without analysis of it (and especially with nothing at all to the effect that Bush wanted serious terrorism in the United States by Al Qaeda to happen — just the evidence that he did).

When the 9/11 attacks happened, Americans didn’t conclude that George W. Bush was either incompetent or else evil (or some combination of both). This country was now the opposite of Harry S. Truman’s famous dictum about the Commander-in-Chief and President: “The buck stops here.” To the exact contrary: Gallup’s 7-10 September 2001 job-approval rating for Bush by Americans immediately before the attacks was 51% approval and 39% disapproval; and the very next survey, 14-15 September 2001, showed 86% approval and 10% disapproval. The number of Americans who disapproved of him declined around 75%, and the number of Americans who approved of him increased around 70%, as a result of 9/11. So, instead of causing his approval to decline around 75% to 13%, and his disapproval to increase around 75% to 70% — which would have made sense, under the circumstances — what happened was exactly the opposite. Democracy cannot function that way (and it doesn’t).

This shows, as clearly as can be, that extremely few Americans had basic intelligence — a basic ability to reason logically from the best existing evidence regarding a given matter. The best existing evidence made unequivocally clear that Bush was either catastrophically stupid or else catastrophically evil (or both), but his job-approval numbers just soared, instead of shrank. This was an enormous failure of our schools to teach basic critical-thinking skills, and also a failure by America’s press to control in the right way the public discussion about what had happened, a failure by its editors and producers, their failure to demand a focus on the key question: Which of the two possibilities — fool, or fiend — is the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief? After a catastrophe like this, there needs to be accountability; but, instead, Bush’s job-approval soared. Nobody was asking: What type of catastrophic leader is this? Not the media; no one. All U.S. institutions of supposed authority failed.

Accountability was thrown out the window immediately. That question wasn’t asked at all (except perhaps by some fringe component of the U.S. public, whose submitted op-eds and other commentaries to the press were being rejected en-masse by editors and producers — hidden from the public by them).

How can a country such as this be a democracy? The public aren’t prepared to function as a democracy, and the Establishment (as represented by the leaders and chief stockholders in the news media) have no interest in helping them to function as a democracy. What does this suggest — perhaps a country whose Establishment is so profoundly corrupt as to do everything they can to prevent there being accountability for the people at the very top of the nation’s power-structure? (The intense corruption happens also within states, too, not merely at the federal level.)

What the Politico story documented is that President Bush had instructed his staff to keep away from him the key intelligence officials (except, of course, in situations where they couldn’t have in-depth private discussions with him about what the facts are and what the options and likely consequences are for him in order to address the emerging situation). That, alone, means his complicity. (One might speculate that he hadn’t instructed Condoleezza Rice to block such private access to him, but in that case he would have fired her for having done so. She suffered no repercussions from enforcing his deniability — Bush’s entire life was instead a repudiation of accountability, a rejection of any “The buck stops here.”) Bush, clearly, needed to preserve deniability. He was, clearly, an evil man, even if he wasn’t necessarily a stupid one — and he was nobody’s fool.

And the press just looked away, while it all happened. This is what happens in a country that’s going to rot. And it’s what has, in fact, happened in America. 9/11 and its aftermath are just a sign of that. One of many signs, but a clear one.

This is no attempt to exonerate America’s enemy Israel. It is an attempt to document America’s enemy the Sauds. In both cases, the American public’s enemy is the American aristocracy’s friend. Israel’s Government is the American aristocracy’s friend, and Saudi Arabia’s Government is also the American aristocracy’s friend. And, clearly, the U.S. Government represents only America’s aristocracy, not the public.

The problem certainly isn’t Jews nor Muslims. The problem is the aristocracy, which controls Saudi Arabia, and the aristocracy which controls Israel, and the aristocracy which controls America. The victim is the public, and the victimizer is the aristocracy. It’s not just 9/11. It’s much bigger than that. And it is pervasive. And, also, that’s why, when 9/11 happened, “Accountability was thrown out the window immediately.” This system serves the aristocracy just fine. That’s why it exists.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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