by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Hat tip: Global Research
There is something disturbing in the nature of post 9/11 public discourse. Incessantly, on a daily basis, Al Qaeda is referred to by the Western media, government officials, members of the US Congress, Wall Street analysts, etc. as an underlying cause of numerous World events. Occurrences of a significant political, social or strategic nature –including the US presidential elections campaign– are routinely categorized by referring to Al Qaeda, the alleged architect of the September 11 2001 attacks.
What is striking is the extent of media coverage of “Al Qaeda related events”, not to mention the mountains of op eds and authoritative “analysis” pertaining to “terror events” in different part of the World.
Routine mention of Al Qaeda “fanatics”, “jihadists”, etc. has become –from a news standpoint– trendy and fashionable. A Worldwide ritual of authoritative media reporting has unfolded. At the time of writing (March 24, 2012), “Al Qaeda events” had 183 million entries on Google and 18,200 news entries.
A panoply of Al Qaeda related events and circumstances is presented to public opinion on a daily basis. These include terrorist threats, warnings and attacks, police investigations, insurgencies and counter-insurgencies, country-level regime change, social conflict, sectarian violence, racism, religious divisions, Islamic thought, Western values, etc.
In turn, Al Qaeda – War on Terrorism rhetoric permeates political discourse at all levels of government, including bipartisan debate on Capitol Hill, in committees of the House and the Senate, at the British House of Commons, and, lest we forget, at the United Nations Security Council.
All of these complex Al Qaeda related occurrences are explained –by politicians, the corporate media, Hollywood and the Washington think tanks under a single blanket “bad guys” heading, in which Al Qaeda is casually and repeatedly pinpointed as “the cause” of numerous terror events around the World.
Human Consciousness: Al Qaeda and the Human Mindset
How does the daily bombardment of Al Qaeda related concepts and images, funneled into the Western news chain and on network TV, affect the human mindset?
Al Qaeda concepts, repeated ad nauseam have potentially traumatic impacts on the human mind and the ability of normal human beings to analyze and comprehend the “real outside World” of war, politics and the economic crisis.
What is at stake is human consciousness and comprehension based on concepts and facts.
With Al Qaeda, however, there are no verifiable “facts” and “concepts”, because Al Qaeda has evolved into a media mythology, a legend, an invented ideological construct, used as an unsubtle tool of media disinformation and war propaganda.
Al Qaeda constitutes a stylized, fake and almost folkloric abstraction of terrorism, which permeates the inner consciousness of millions of people around the World.
Reference to Al Qaeda has become a dogma, a belief, which most people espouse unconditionally.
Is this political indoctrination? Is it brain-washing? If so what is the underlying objective?
People’s capacity to independently analyze World events, as well as address causal relationships pertaining to politics and society, is significantly impaired. That is the objective!
The routine use of Al Qaeda to generate blanket explanations of complex political events is meant to create confusion. It prevents people from thinking.
The American Inquisition
The notion of Al Qaeda –”the outside enemy” which threatens Western civilization– is predicated on “an inquisitorial doctrine”. The Homeland Security State personifies what might be described as the “American Inquisition”.
As in the case of the Spanish Inquisition, the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) consensus cannot be challenged.
Reference to Al Qaeda as a central paradigm used to understand the world we live in is ultimately intended to instil fear and insecurity. In the words of Britain’s comedy group Monty Python: “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise…surprise and fear…fear and surprise…. Our two weapons are fear and surprise…and ruthless efficiency…. Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope….”
Unconditional submission to the Homeland Security State in today’s America is not dissimilar from the process of “fanatical devotion” prevailing under the Spanish feudal order. What is at stake in our contemporary World, in the words of Monty Python, is “fear and surprise” and the unconditional compliance to the “ruthless efficiency” of a dominant political, economic and military order.
The American Inquisition redefines the entire legal and judicial framework. Torture and political assassinations are no longer a covert activity as in the heyday of the CIA, removed from the public eye. They are “legal”, they are the object of extensive news coverage, they are sanctioned by the White House and the US Congress. Conversely, those who dare confront the “War on Terrorism” consensus are branded as “terrorists”. Upholding true justice by challenging America’s “holy crusade” against Al Qaeda becomes an outright criminal act.
A new threshold in US legal history has unfolded. High ranking officials within the State and the Military no longer need to camouflage their crimes. In fact, quite the opposite. Torture of Al Qaeda suspects is a public policy with a humanitarian mandate:
“Yes we did order torture, but it isn’t really torture, its not really war, because these people are terrorists and “we must fight evil”. And the way to uphold democracy and freedom is to “go after the bad guys”, “wage war on the terrorists”. “Its in the public interest.”
Moreover, anybody who questions our definition of “fighting evil” (which of course includes torture, political assassination and concentration camps directed against “the bad guys”) is by our definition also “evil” and can be arrested, tortured and sent to concentration camps. (Michel Chossudovsky, The Spanish Inquisition, Made in America, Global Research, 2004,
Al Qaeda is presented to public opinion as the terror instrument of “radical Islam”, which threatens the Homeland, undermining Western civilization and moral values. Everybody must comply; nobody dares to question “the American Inquisition”.
Al Qaeda and the “Big Lie”
The Al Qaeda Legend sustains the “Big Lie”. It turns realities upside down. It creates both a perception and a belief which cannot be questioned. It permeates US foreign policy and the conduct of international diplomacy. Al Qaeda and the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) constitute a central component of US military doctrine.
“Al Qaeda did this”, “Al Qaeda did that” statements provide a simple and trouble-free elucidation of complex events, while disguising and concealing “the real reasons”, namely the unspoken and forbidden truth behind these events.
Nobody seems to take the time to examine “who is this elusive enemy Al Qaeda”, which has succeeded, with limited military means, in confronting America’s multibillion dollar war machine.
The Al Qaeda blanket explanation not only overshadows the normal channels of human comprehension, it also precludes a move to the next step of rational explanation, which consists in saying: if Al Qaeda is “the cause” as stated in numerous press reports, then: “What is Al Qaeda?” and “Who is behind Al Qaeda?”
But these are questions which in the post 9/11 era are rarely addressed. To investigate “Who is behind the terrorists” has become unmentionable, a political taboo, despite evidence pertaining to the historical role of US intelligence in creating and promoting the Islamic jihad.
Today, if Al Qaeda were to be revealed for what it really is, –e.g in the context of a specific false flag terrorist attack– the legitimacy of the “war on terrorism” and those officials in high office who support it, would collapse like a deck of cards.
While the identity of Al Qaeda is fully documented, including its links to US intelligence, the truth has not trickled down to the mainstay of public opinion.
Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives)
Al Qaeda and the Role of Western Intelligence [to be continued in Part II]
Acknowledged by the CIA, the Islamic jihad “was” a US sponsored “intelligence asset” going back to the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war (1979-1989).
The intelligence community admits, yes we created the Mujahideen, we set up the training camps and the koranic schools together with Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). Acting on behalf of the CIA, the ISI was involved in the recruitment, training and religious indoctrination of the “jihadists” described by President Ronald Reagan as “Freedom Fighters”.
From the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in 1979 to the present, various Islamic fundamentalist organizations became de facto instruments of US intelligence and more generally of the US-NATO-Israel military alliance.
Unknown to the American public, the US spread the teachings of the Islamic jihad in textbooks “Made in America”, developed at the University of Nebraska:
… the United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to spur resistance to the Soviet occupation.
The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books,..
The White House defends the religious content, saying that Islamic principles permeate Afghan culture and that the books “are fully in compliance with U.S. law and policy.” Legal experts, however, question whether the books violate a constitutional ban on using tax dollars to promote religion.
… AID officials said in interviews that they left the Islamic materials intact because they feared Afghan educators would reject books lacking a strong dose of Muslim thought. The agency removed its logo and any mention of the U.S. government from the religious texts, AID spokeswoman Kathryn Stratos said.
“It’s not AID’s policy to support religious instruction,” Stratos said. “But we went ahead with this project because the primary purpose . . . is to educate children, which is predominantly a secular activity.”
… Published in the dominant Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtun, the textbooks were developed in the early 1980s under an AID grant to the University of Nebraska -Omaha and its Center for Afghanistan Studies. The agency spent $ 51 million on the university’s education programs in Afghanistan from 1984 to 1994.” (Washington Post, 23 March 2002)
The role of Western intelligence agencies in support of Al Qaeda affiliated organizations will be outlined in Part II