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?
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.
9/11 was used to drive fossil fuel consumption and thus climate crisis.
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.
- To ramp up censorship and narrative management dramatically.
- To set groups in the U.S. against each other.
- To enrich the already wealthy.