9/11 And Covid-19 Have A Lot In Common

Protesters in Kabul December, 2021 demanding “Let us eat” and “Give us our frozen money” Source: Al Jazeera Photo: Mohd Rasfan/AFP

The demise of the U.S. empire is foretold by mass suffering in Afghanistan 20+ years after the unfortunate events of 9/11.

More than half of Afghanistan’s 39 million people need humanitarian help and six million are at risk of famine. More than a million children are “estimated to be suffering from the most severe, life-threatening form of malnutrition” and could die without proper treatment.. — Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coodinator, to the United Nations Security Council August, 2022 as reported in Al Jazeera.

$7,000,000,000 in Afghan government assets were frozen by the U.S. when the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan amid a messy, embarrassing withdrawal of U.S. forces in 2021. Now, in 2022, many nations have responded by going off the dollar, a process hastened by economic sanctions that have ramped up in the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.

Sold as a humanitarian intervention, what was two decades of war in Afghanistan really about? 

Some things are best understood in retrospect.

That nearly 3,000 “Americans” (27 were actually foreign nationals) died in the World Trade Center was a fact repeated as often as the videos of both towers collapsing. Oh, and WTC Building 7 which collapsed 8 hours later. This magnitude of death was the pretext for going to war on Afghanistan which allegedly harbored the Saudi masterminds of the terrorist attack. Except it was Pakistan doing the harboring. But they have nuclear weapons, don’t they?

Meme with Monopoly rich guy character on a pile of dollars and the logos of corporations Northop Gruman, Raytheon, and Boeing with the headline: Congratulations to the winners of the war in Afghanistan

The main thing that 9/11 provided was an enormous spectacle to justify the endlessly profitable wars of imperial expansion for the U.S., sometimes doing business as NATO.

The other signficant thing that 9/11 provided cover for was the 300 page so-called Patriot Act which gutted constitutional rights of citizens and terrorists alike. Swiftly gutted them, and created the Department of Homeland Security and created ICE — both of which we had gotten along without prior to 9/11.

A lot of torture happened after 9/11. No, not the torture of being an Afghan or Pakistani child trying to sleep while surveillance robots droned overhead 24/7 waiting to unleash their Hellfire missiles on your home. Torture in secret prisons and in the gulag known as Guantánamo which is on Cuba’s territory without their consent.

Torture then led to persecution of torture whistleblowers

Persecution amounting torture of Chelsea Manning for refusing to reveal how she shared evidence of U.S. war crimes. 

Persecution amounting to torture of Julian Assange for sharing evidence of U.S. and allied forces’ war crimes and dirty financial dealings. 

Persecution of John Kiriakou, the CIA officer who blew the whistle on that agency’s role in torture programs in 2007.

9/11 was used to justify war on Iraq via lies that Saddam Hussein had something to do with it. Also bombing people in Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. And justification to support Israel’s brutalization of Palestinian people in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.  

Infographic titled "1.2 Billion Metric Tons of Greenhouse Gases: U.S. military emissions since the beginning of the Global War on Terror in 2001". Includes a comparison of military emissions as equivalent to emissions if the number of cars in the U.S. doubled.
Source: Brown University, Watson Institute, Costs of War Project

9/11 was used to drive fossil fuel consumption and thus climate crisis.

A class of 5th graders holding identical posters of the twin towers with a background of the U.S. flag.
Source: The Daily Times “Eagleton fifth-graders study 9/11” Sep. 10, 2016 

9/11 was used to produce a lot of canned curriculum that teachers are told they must use to inform kids that are not upset about 9/11. 

Because they were not even born when it happened.

And really, how much should they care about 9/11? Their young lives have been upended by a public health disaster, still rampaging out of control in the U.S. 

A disaster — like 9/11 — that many argue was at worst planned and at best allowed to happen. How has the Covid-19 pandemic been used?

Sound familiar?

One thought on “9/11 And Covid-19 Have A Lot In Common

  1. Lisa, you have made many important points here. It’s outrageous that the U.S. froze seven billion dollars of Afghanistan’s money, waging war against the people of Afghanistan, causing massive starvation. The thought crossed my mind that the U.S. is spending that money in Ukraine, as well as using arms from Afghanistan.

    Lately it seems that the president and Congress are hell-bent on waging a hot war with both Russia over Ukraine, and China over Taiwan. What madness! But there is method to the madness, and it’s increasingly thuggish. It also feels increasingly desperate.

    We, the people of the United States, need to consider how we can not only resist what is happening in politics, Wall Street and corporate profiteering, but also how we can create better systems, better government, and a better economic system. It’s a massive undertaking, but we must carry it out. The power of the people is in our numbers.

    Yesterday I attended a Purepecha consejo here in Mexico with discussion on how to fight capitalism, to protect the water and the lakes, to protect the land, the women, the children, and the communities from being taken over by capitalist interests, especially in the production of avocados, but also with mining interests and cutting down trees.

    A couple of the men got carried away with shouting into the microphone, which hurt my ears, so I wandered off into the surrounding fields. There I saw all the foliage jumping with tiny grasshoppers about the size of the tip of my thumb. I was telling a friend about it and how the fields were teeming with them everywhere I went. He told me that they would double size in a couple of days and wipe out all the vegetation. That’s the power of numbers!

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