Why the real motive for 9/11 remains so unpalatable
Of the countless tomes of literature spawned by the 9/11 atrocities, almost all avoid the one thing a cop looks for after a crime: the motive.
Why so, I ask myself, after 10 years of war, death, lies and hypocrisy? Have we managed to silence ourselves as well as the world with our own fears? Are we still not able to say those three sentences: The 19 murderers of 9/11 claimed they were Muslims. They came from a place called the Middle East. Is there a problem out there?
Long before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a collection of books arrived to justify the war after the war. Most prominent among them was ex-CIA spook Kenneth Pollack's The Threatening Storm.
There were two themes to this work by Pollack. The first of which was a detailed account of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction; none of which actually existed. The second theme was the opportunity to sever the "linkage" between "the Iraq issue and the Arab-Israeli conflict".
The Palestinians, deprived of the support of Iraq, went the narrative, would be weakened in their struggle against Israeli occupation. Pollack referred to the Palestinians' "vicious terrorist campaign" - but without any criticism of Israel. America's bias towards Israel was no more than an Arab "belief". Well, at least the egregious Pollack had worked out that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had something to do with 9/11, even if Saddam had not.
In the years since, of course, we've been deluged with a rich literature of post-9/11 trauma, from the eloquent The Looming Tower of Lawrence Wright to the Scholars for 9/11 Truth. Their supporters have told us that the plane wreckage outside the Pentagon was dropped by a C-130, that the jets that hit the World Trade Centre were remotely guided and that United 93 was shot down by a US missile. Given the secretive account presented by the White House, I am not surprised that millions of Americans believe some of this, let alone the biggest government lie: that Saddam was behind 9/11.
And now we're being deluged with TV specials. So far, not one of these programmes has mentioned the word 'Israel'. Brian Lapping's Thursday night ITV offering mentioned 'Iraq' once, without explaining how 11 September 2001 provided the excuse for this 2003 war crime. How many died on 9/11? Almost 3,000. How many died in the Iraq war? Who cares?
I'm drawn to Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan whose The Eleventh Day confronts what the West refused to face in the years that followed 9/11. "All the evidence ... indicates that Palestine was the factor that united the conspirators - at every level," they write. One of the organisers of the attack believed it would make US citizens concentrate on "the atrocities that America is committing by supporting Israel".
The motivation for the attacks was "ducked" even by the official 9/11 report, say the authors. Its two most senior officials, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, were later to explain: "This was sensitive ground. Commissioners who argued that al-Qaida was motivated by a religious ideology - and not by opposition to American policies - rejected mentioning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In their view, listing US support for Israel as a root cause of al-Qaida's opposition to the United States indicated that the United States should reassess that policy." And there you have it.
So what happened? The commissioners, Summers and Swan state, "settled on vague language that circumvented the issue of motive". There's a hint in the official report - but only in a footnote. In other words, we still haven't told the truth.
When the Israeli Prime Minister gets even the US Congress to grovel to him, the American people are not going to be told the answer to the most important and "sensitive" question of 9/11. Why?