Oil and 9/11
By Michael Hasty
Online Journal Columnist
March 2, 2005—The political dialogue in post-constitutional America has become so bizarre and corrupted that, even when the unvarnished truth makes a rare appearance in the New York Times—confirming some of the most important tenets of 9/11 "conspiracy theory"—it is hardly noticed.
This was the case for a couple of Times articles that appeared early in February. The first was about an addendum to the 9/11 Commission report revealing that, "in the months before the September 11 attacks, federal aviation officials reviewed dozens of intelligence reports that warned about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, some of which specifically discussed airline hijackings and suicide operations." The report had been suppressed by the White House for more than five months, until it was handed over to the National Archives shortly after Condoleeza Rice's confirmation as Secretary of State.
Even the declassified version could have been political dynamite during the presidential campaign. But the anticlimactic timing of the report's release guaranteed that it would do little more than fizzle when it finally came to public attention. It was, predictably enough, little more than a one-day story in the corporate media—whose primary function in the Bush regime is to "define deviancy down" so far that systematic lying, stolen elections, torture and state terrorism are regularly shrugged off as "government as usual." And for the 9/11 truth movement, although victims' families were understandably upset by the new report, it essentially just confirmed "old news."
Thus, a successful long-term psychological operation has transformed an event that "no one could have predicted"—in Rice's earliest descriptions of 9/11—to an "historical" (as she characterized the notorious August 6, 2001 presidential daily brief, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US") inevitability. Of course, the White House knew. But no one could have predicted what exact flight the terrorists would hijack. Get over it.
Almost as dramatic as the Times' 9/11 article, but receiving less attention, was an article by Jad Mouawad published the next day, about record profits for the 10 largest oil companies in 2004. The profits are so large (over $100 billion) they are being returned to shareholders, because there is too much money to invest in further oil development. Despite the fact that oil prices are triple what they were just six years ago, the article reports, "one reason exploration spending is declining is quite simple—there's less oil left to drill for in places that are open for exploration."
This touches on a number of issues that go to the heart of the 9/11 event—specifically, motive.
In his book, "The Grand Chessboard," Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Secretary of State, and co-founder (with David Rockefeller) of the Trilateral Commission, talked about the crucial geopolitical importance of the US gaining control of the oil resources of Eurasia. He thinks America's status as a "benevolent" superpower and "guarantor" of democracy makes it imperative that the US continue to dominate world politics throughout the 21st century. Brzezinski took careful note of the fact that it would be difficult to enlist the support of the American public for such a nakedly imperialist undertaking, absent what he termed a "new Pearl Harbor."
It is significant that this concept of the "new Pearl Harbor" was subsequently adopted by the neoconservative think tank, Project for a New American Century (PNAC), in a 2000 report which urged essentially the same foreign policy goals as Brzezinski's book proposed. PNAC's membership included leading architects of the Bush regime's imperial strategy, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz (among others), and personally representing the Bush family's interests, Jeb Bush.
None of this information will be new to skeptics of the official 9/11 story. The goal of capitalist elites to secure control of Eurasian and Middle Eastern oil has, from the days immediately following 9/11, been central to the "theory" that the Bush regime was either complicit or deliberately negligent in preventing the 9/11 attacks. (One of the most important books defending this theory, by theologian David Ray Giffin, takes its title, "The New Pearl Harbor," from the PNAC report.)
But what has added to the plausibility of this theory is the concept of "peak oil"—that is, that the world's oil supply is more finite than generally believed—and it is this concept that the New York Times article explicitly confirms.
One of the principal objections to 9/11 conspiracy theory is that no American government would be so evil as to stand by while 3,000 of its citizens were murdered. But I've always thought this argument was specious—primarily on the grounds that the first loyalty of the US government, particularly in the years following JFK's assassination, has been to the oil companies that supply the lifeblood of the military-industrial complex. And with the oil industry, you have a corporate entity that has not only historically demonstrated a callous disregard for human rights and well-being wherever it has extended its tentacles, but is ignoring its own role in creating a threat of global climate change in which even the Bush-appointed head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admits, "We are risking the ability of the human race to survive."
Seen in that context, a few thousand lives would scarcely register as a concern.
Certainly, we know from Daniel Yergin's book, "The Prize," among other sources, that the Bush family's first loyalty has always been to the oil industry. And no industry has fared better since George W. Bush's theft of the presidency (especially Exxon/Mobil, the most profitable corporation in the world last year, which the Center for Public Integrity has identified as the firm with the closest link to Bush).
Of course, the confirmation of the peak oil phenomenon in the nation's "paper of record" hardly proves that the Bush cartel engineered (or deliberately overlooked) the attack on the World Trade Center. But it does confirm the motive, as expressed in the PNAC document. Added to other evidence—like the fact that the first Bush national security meeting in January 2001 centered on regime change in Iraq; and that Cheney's energy task force was mapping out Iraq's oil fields in May 2001; and that the contract for building a pipeline from the Caspian oilfields across Afghanistan to Pakistan has been finalized—and you have a pattern of behavior consistent with treason of the highest order.
Moreover, news of the past few weeks provides even further evidence for the idea that gaining dominant control of the world's disappearing oil supplies is the Bush regime's most desperately urgent foreign policy goal. The Chavez administration in Venezuela (America's fourth-largest oil supplier) has very publicly announced its suspicion that the CIA is yet again seeking to overthrow the government there. And US saber-rattling against Iran was a centerpiece of Bush's recent European trip. As soon as he returned home, the administration quietly announced that it was giving the Europe/Iran diplomatic initiative, intended to curb Iran's nuclear program, a deadline of June to get results. Coincidentally, Scott Ritter, the former UN weapons inspector, said recently that he has learned from Pentagon sources that Bush intends to bomb Iran in June. The deadline announcement adds weight to Ritter's prediction.
In an article published last October, analyst William Clark suggested that the "real reason" Iran would be the Bush regime's next target had nothing to do with allegations of nuclear weapons development, and everything to do with oil: the same reason the US invaded Iraq, and with the same phony rationale.
"In 2005-2006," Clark wrote, "the Tehran government has developed a plan to begin competing with New York's NYMEX and London's IPE with respect to international oil trades—using a euro-denominated international oil trading mechanism. This means that without some form of US intervention, the euro is going to establish a firm foothold in the international oil trade. Given US debt levels and the stated neoconservative project for US global domination, Tehran's objective constitutes an obvious encroachment on US dollar supremacy in the international oil market."
The frailty of America's oil-based economy has become so obvious that even the corporate media have been forced to take notice. A February 27 headline in the Washington Post business section described it as "an economy dancing with disaster." The US has entered uncharted economic waters, our ship of state piloted by gambling fools.
In many respects, we have also entered a time of apocalyptic madness. Having built our entire economic system on a finite resource that is disappearing, we can hardly be surprised that the masters of that system would engage in increasingly desperate acts to protect and enhance whatever is left of their dwindling interests—especially when the iron fist within the Empire's velvet glove (in columnist Thomas Friedman's infamous analogy) would be impotent without the oil that fuels its fearsome technology.
In that mad perspective, the deliberate incitement of Middle East chaos and instability (which raises the price of crude oil, and thus profits), the abandonment of international law, the random torture and murder of innocents, the grotesque indifference to catastrophic climate change, and even the purposefully deceptive destruction of the World Trade Center, all look like perfectly rational acts.
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