September 11th: On This Date In History
 storm warning

After the attacks, everyone wondered if the calendar was to blame. Holiday historians spun legends about events that supposedly happened on Sept. 11 in years past. Could one of these have inspired the perpetrators to pick that day? I decided to investigate.  

After several hours of research, I found that many "Sept. 11 in History" claims were plain wrong. This was no surprise. Simple facts are easily corrupted, and always demand verification. Equally predictable was that Eurocentrism prevails. I have yet to see anyone ask, at least in English, whether a solution to the riddle should be sought in the Muslim calendar. Not for the first time since last September, I wished I knew Arabic. Or does a command of Arabic numerals suffice? As we shall see, a bunch of numerologists believe the truth is in the numbers themselves: 9 and 11. 

As I considered the various histories and claims, I was struck suddenly by the brilliance of Divine Plan. Every one of the confirmed past Sept. 11 events connects to 9/11/01 in eerie and prescient ways that cannot be dismissed as coincidence. Stunned, I gradually drew the only logical conclusion:  

The timing of the attacks was operational. Once the plotters were ready, they picked a Tuesday in September. End of story.  Now let's tell some good ones, in the spirit of Ambrose Bierce. 

Jack Riddler, June 2002
YES. = Looks true. 
NO. = Looks false. 
??? = Unknown. Any scholars care to confirm? 


1609: Kooyanisqatsi. 1683: Turks. 1786: Constitution. 1919: Marines. 1922: Mandate. 1936: Dam. 1941: Pentagon. 1948: Jinnah. 1971: Khruschev. 1972: Olympics. 1973: Allende. 1978: Peace. 1978: Smallpox. 1990: Bush. 1994: Kamikaze. 1998: Monica. 1999: Putin. 2001: Qaeda. 2001: Rudy. Numerology and Revelation. 119 and 911: Emergency Day?  

(A few other listed events listed in italics are taken from an ABCNEWS list.) 

Sept. 11, 1297.  
Scots under William Wallace defeat the English at Stirling Bridge.  

Sept. 11, 1609  
"Henry Hudson discovers Manhattan island." 
Does the choice of Sept. 11 for the attack on the World Trade Center signify that the lost descendants of the Manhattan tribe have returned to reclaim their island? Unfortunately for this most romantic of all impossibilities, trusty Encyclopedia Britannica dates Hudson's sighting of Manhattan to Sept. 3, 1609. Anyway, the first European conquistador to spot the later New York harbor was actually Giovanni da Verrazanno, in 1524. 

But let's not have that get in the way of a story! The year of Hudson's voyage is correct, and he explored the river later named for him as far north as Albany. So let us fantasize that his crew made a landfall on Manhattan and claimed it on behalf of their Dutch paymasters on Sept. 11, 1609. That way, Sept. 11 becomes the day on which New York City was born. In 1624, the Dutch dispatched a garrison and a governor for the territory, Peter Minuit. To the local Mohegan Indians, Minuit gave a pile of trinkets (which future historians valued at 24 U.S. dollars, for some unfathomable reason). Lacking a concept of land ownership, the tribe of Manhattan did not realize that the crazy European thus turned their island of streams and gentle hills into his real estate. The Dutch began building New Amsterdam, in the area south of Wall Street, and property values have never been the same. The Mohegans disappeared from the area, done in by European diseases and guns. The English renamed the colony New York, after seizing it in 1664. About 336 years later, terrorists started knocking the city down. 
But where is the Indian connection to the miniature Apocalypse in Manhattan? For that, we must travel almost to the other side of the continent, to the territory of the Hopi. 

In three verses, a centuries-old Hopi prophecy predicts the future doom of America and its civilization. The first verse has been translated as follows:  
If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster. 

This, the Hopi say, refers to uranium, oil, coal and the other fuels of the white man's civilization, the use of which has always created disaster and is certain to bring greater ones. Uranium is the special disaster of the Southwest Indians, who lost much of their uranium-rich holy land to America's nuclear programs, and many lives to cancer working as miners. 

The second verse:  
Near the Day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky. 

Now Sept. 11 was not the Day of Purification, although it may have been a harbinger. The Day of Purification is actually more like what Bob Marley meant, when he sang 

Some people think  
great God will come from the sky  
take away everything  
and make everybody be high. 

On the Day of Purification, everything the white man has built disappears. The land is restored to its pristine state and rightful people.  

As for the "cobwebs in the sky," we are all familiar with those. For the moment, world air traffic has declined from its all-time high, which we shall date, for convenience, to Sept. 10, 2001. 

The third verse:  
A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans. 

Out of hallowed ground, the white men drew uranium, from which they made their container of ashes: The Bomb. This verse has been rendered in English as a conditional - "might be thrown" - so it leaves us with the hope of avoiding the nuclear conflagration it implies. 

Or maybe the translator of the third verse was an optimist, and he used a conditional form to keep us from despair. A forgivable mistake. Translating from the Hopi is said to be difficult, because of the language's unusual verb forms. Scholars are fascinated by the way Hopi expresses concepts of time and space. "An event at a great distance from the speaker is characterized as having occurred in the distant past," Britannica writes. "The shorter the spatial distance, the less the temporal distance is seen to be." In other words: Stand on the right spot, and all history exists in a single, universal now. 

The Hopi prophecy serves as inspiration and script for one of the greatest films ever, Koyaanisqatsi, directed by Godfrey Reggio and photographed by Ron Fricke over ten years time before its release in 1981. Indelibly beautiful, its majestic visual style radically affects the next 20 years of film history, and is adopted by many a maker of ads and music videos. The film renders the prophecy in real-life footage, set to a choral symphony by Philip Glass, with no dialogue or actors. Dispassionate, the camera adopts the perspective of space aliens discovering the North American continent, mostly in remote, wide-angle views of natural and human landscapes. Stop-action photography shows days go by within minutes, revealing cities, highways and factories as supertechnical anthills bursting with life - and busily burning more than nature will restore. The art of it lies in reaching that not as a moral but as a visible conclusion. The Hopi word, koyaanisqatsi, has several related meanings: "1. crazy life; 2. life in turmoil; 3. life disintegrating; 4. life without balance; 5. a state of life calling for another way of life." Like no other, the film shows how and why all of these meanings apply to modern-day America. 

In the most dramatic sequence, vast stretches of land are rent by a series of increasingly terrible explosions: Thousands of tanks arrayed in rows, poised to strike in battle. Stock footage of quarrying and earth moving. Controlled demolitions of skyscrapers. Whole districts knocked down. Surplus warplanes bombed in target practice. Atomic tests in the desert. Patches of jungle incinerated in Vietnam. Chorus and orchestra reach a crescendo just as the series ends, abruptly, in complete silence, with the eeriest moment of all. We see the Empire State, the Chrysler and other Midtown New York buildings stand, as though empty, amid slow-moving wisps of clouds. The panorama is viewed from a high-altitude, static vantage point, to the south. A distant wind blows. The message is clear: as your civilization reaps, so it sows. One day the endless, grasping war on earth and fellow man shall visit the great, opulent city of ghosts. You are not immune. 

More than any other image in the film, this one bespeaks a Ground Zero of the future. The footage is shot from the roof of World Trade Center 1. 

Sept. 11, 1683 
"Turkish army defeated at the gates of Vienna." 
As an answer to "Why the suicide killers chose September 11," Christopher Hitchens wrote in The Independent (Oct. 3, 2001) that this was the day on which the "conquering armies of Islam were met, held, and thrown back at the gates of Vienna." In this overwrought fantasy, the hijackers timed their attack as a symbolic reversal of the Turkish defeat - and as the first blow in a new conquest of European civilization. I see at least two problems. First, the battle, in which a Polish army defeated the Turks, was actually won on Sept. 12, 1683.  

The more important error is conceptual. Although they were Muslim, the Turks were not the "conquering armies of Islam," but of the Ottoman Empire. Unlike the Arab and Moorish invasions of Spain and France in the 8th century, the Turkish campaign, 900 years later, was not driven by religious fervor but by imperial expansionism. Calling the Ottomans at Vienna an Islamic army is like calling the British colonization of India a Christian crusade. The Arab Islamists who allegedly pulled off the Sept. 11 attacks are unlikely to have viewed the Ottoman Turks, who dominated the Arab world for centuries, as the role models of an Islamic revival. But the idea serves Hitchen's intent of portraying "Islamic fascism" as an enemy that must be defeated militarily, at all costs. In his gut, he seems to have understood that mixing up Arabs with Turks, Muslims with Persians, and Islamists with fascists has long been an essential feature in the American (and British) practice of war in the Middle East. Alas. Hitchens was a man of greater subtlety, before he decided to lead the war charge from the left.

Sept. 11, 1777.  
General George Washington and his troops are defeated by the British under Gen. Sir William Howe at the Battle of Brandywine in Pennsylvania. 

Sept. 11, 1786  
"Convention of Annapolis opens with the aim of revising the Articles of Confederation." 
This was the first conference of the Constitutional Convention, which led to the adoption of the constitution and the establishment of the federal government the next year. Sept. 11 in a sense was the day when the United States was born. Were the Sept. 11 attacks therefore the work of enemies who hope to kill the American nation? Or perhaps of enemies from within, who hope to undo the Republic by initiating the founding of a new, imperial form of government? Today's new constitution is not being written by a convention; it is being announced at press conferences by Tinpot Ceasars reading prepared scripts.

Sept. 11, 1789.  
Alexander Hamilton appointed first U.S. secretary of the treasury. 
Sept. 11, 1814.  
U.S. forces led by Thomas Macdonough route the British fleet on Lake Champlain. 
Sept. 11, 1864.  
A 10-day truce is declared between Generals Sherman and Hood so civilians may leave Atlanta, Georgia (in advance of the city's destruction by Sherman's forces). 
Sept. 11, 1885.  
Author D.H. Lawrence born in Eastwood, England. 
Sept. 11, 1916. 
The "Star Spangled Banner" is sung at the beginning of a baseball game for the first time in Cooperstown, N.Y. 

Sept. 11, 1919  
"U.S. marines invade Honduras." 
The incursion actually lasted from Sept. 8 to 12, according to "Instances of Uses of United States Armed Forces Abroad," a 1975 list prepared by the Congressional Research Service. "A landing force was sent ashore to maintain order in a neutral zone during an attempted revolution," the report states. Not unlike CNN today, the report does not specify who defined the "neutral zone" (easy enough to guess), what its purpose was, or what the sides in the conflict were. This was during the Wilsonian period of frequent U.S. aggressions in Central America and Mexico, and the fifth invasion of Honduras since 1903. Now for the bonus question. On how many days in the calendar did U.S. forces not land somewhere? (See 1965.)

Sept. 11, 1922  
"British Mandate for Palestine." 
If true, this raises the possibility that the "Attack on America" was timed as a rejection of the history that gave birth to Israel. But the British did not declare a mandate on Sept. 11, as is claimed on many sites. British forces took Palestine from the Turks in 1918, and set up a colonial authority in 1920. Britain officially declared the Mandate for Palestine in April 1922, and it was approved by the League of Nations, reluctantly, on July 24. According to a contemporary British report, new governors took their oaths of office in Jerusalem on Sept. 11, 1922. A letter-writer to The Independent claims that Arabs proclaimed that a day of mourning, but in my brief research I have found no independent confirmation. Britannica says the mandate "came officially into force" on Sept. 29, 1923, but even if accurate, this is yet another nominal distinction. Fact is, the British civil administration began in 1920, and it allowed a high quota for Jewish immigration starting in that year, infuriating the Arab population. The names by which British power later called itself need not concern us. Sept. 11 may have stuck in the Arab consciousness as the symbolic beginning of the Mandate. The key question is whether the alleged Sept. 11 terrorists believed this to be the case. 

Any Arabic speakers out there care to clarify this story?

Sept. 11, 1936  
"FDR dedicates Boulder Dam, now known as Hoover Dam." 
A significant economic milestone. The building of large-scale dams around the world in the early part of the 20th century practically transformed civilization. For many millions of people, dams stopped annual floods and brought electricity. As projects requiring huge organization and resources, they were engines of development and nation-building. States buttressed their dominance within economies as the providers of infrastructure. The environmental consequences of salinization, a consequence of dam-building, may cause even greater disasters than Sept. 11, and the collapse of the towers was not unlike a dam break. In either case, potential energy stored by human action is released in a single, catastrophic blow. But it is safe to say that the dedication of the Hoover Dam had no direct relation to the 9/11 attacks.
Sept. 11, 1941  
"Ground was broken on construction of the Pentagon." 
Now that IS spooky! Sixty years later, to the day, it gets hit. So far, I have confirmed only that Pentagon construction began in Sept. 1941, but I have found no document specifying the 11th for the groundbreaking. Obviously, this a big item for those who believe the Pentagon is an occult design, much like the attacks themselves. 
Same day:  
"Roosevelt authorizes warships to open fire at German and Italian ships." 
In a sense, this was the day on which the United States entered World War II. The lend-lease program had begun in 1940, now American shipping to Britain was being hit regularly by German submarine warfare. Roosevelt therefore authorized warships accompanying convoys across the Atlantic to fire first at approaching German and Italian warships. 
Sept. 11, 1944.  
American troops enter Luxembourg. More than 6,000 trucks of the Red ball Express kept gasoline and other vital supplies rolling in as American troops and tanks pushed the Germans back toward their homeland. 

Sept. 11, 1948  
"Death of Jinnah, founding father of Pakistan." 
"Mohammed Ali Jinnah, also called QA`ID-E A'ZAM (Arabic: 'The Great Leader'), b. Dec. 25, 1876 in Karachi, India (now in Pakistan), d. Sept. 11, 1948, Karachi, Indian Muslim politician, founder and first governor-general (1947-48) of Pakistan." (Britannica) 

Sept. 11 has since been celebrated in Pakistan as Jinnah Day, a secular holiday. There is an apparent connection between the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI, and Mohamed Atta, the presumed lead hijacker of the Sept. 11 attacks, but it's a stretch to think the attacks were timed as a commemoration of Pakistan's founder, a relatively secular leader. Yet what was the head of ISI, Mahmud Ahmad, doing in Washington on Jinnah Day, 2001? He had been there for more than a week already, conferring at length with his contacts at the White House, Pentagon and CIA, on his second intensive visit in less than three months. What were they talking about? (See here.)

Sept. 11, 1962.  
Thurgood Marshall is appointed a judge of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. 
Sept. 11, 1965.   
"The 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) arrives in South Vietnam and is stationed at An Khe."  

Sept. 11, 1971  
"Nikita Khrushchev dies of a heart attack at 77." 
The death 30 years ago of a Soviet leader who was deposed in 1964 surely has nothing to do with the attacks, but even this has inspired a theory. A writer called J.R. Nyquist claims that Soviet insiders are still running Russia behind the scenes and (I love this part) are close to fulfilling a 40-year plan, hatched by Khrushchev among others, to lull the West into complacency by having their empire appear to fall apart - before delivering a surprise death blow. The Sept. 11 attacks, in this scenario, were a distraction, timed as a tribute to one of the commies who came up with the original plan. Patriots beware, because the next stage will involve the nuking of every city in America later this year, using megaton-range suitcase nukes filled with "red mercury," on the October anniversary of the Russian Revolution.  

So, um, if the Russians are really getting ready to destroy us that utterly (supposedly in an alliance with China, Iraq and all of the usual Enemies of America), why would they ruin the surprise and endanger their plan by engaging in a peripheral "distraction" like Sept. 11? And did the 40-year plan to flatten America by suitcase nuke really require that the fall of the Soviet Union be faked? The most interesting thing about this story is that the writer, who denounces "conspiracy theories" insofar as they do not involve commies, has the reputation of a superbrain on the right-wing scene. 

Sept. 11, 1972  
"The troubled Munich Summer Olympics end." 
This is what FOXNEWS wrote in a piece connecting this event to the attacks of 2001:  

"For 21 hours, under live television cameras, hooded gunmen of the Palestinian faction Black September held Israeli athletes hostage, killing 11 of them during a botched getaway and airport firefight with German antiterrorism squads."  

However, the actual terror attack ended a week before Sept. 11. All that happened on Sept. 11 was that the Olympics came to an end, and so the connection is tenuous at best.  As for the events of Sept. 1970, from which the "Black September" group took its name, go here and click on "Kamikaze Precedents."

Sept. 11, 1973  
"Chile's president, Salvador Allende, killed in a military coup." 
Salvador Allende was too popular for his own good. He committed the unprecedented heresy of coming to power in a democratic election as an avowed Marxist, and of striking an independent course for his nation. A CIA study in 1970 noted that the "U.S. has no vital national interests within Chile" and that Allende's election would not alter "the world military balance of power." But the Agency warned that success by Allende would pose the threat of a good example, encouraging other countries to follow the same path. 

A CIA-sponsored anti-communist scare campaign helped prevent an Allende victory in the 1964 elections. In 1970, he won a plurality of 37 percent, in a three-way split, and took power with the blessings of the defeated president, Eduardo Frei. The U.S. immediately imposed a credit embargo and other measures to "make the economy scream," as CIA director Richard Helms advised in a memo. U.S. copper interests, whose Chilean holdings were nationalized, and the multinational ITT cooperated in a broad campaign to destabilize Chile. As it had since 1964, the CIA continued to plant anti-Allende scare stories through paid assets in the Chilean press. 

Nixon's national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, was highly devoted to the effort. Newly released documents cited by Christopher Hitchens establish Kissinger's role in the 1970 assassination of the commander-in-chief of the Chilean army, Rene Schneider, for the crime of supporting the democracy. The U.S. government hoped for a successor who could get over "the apolitical, constitutional-oriented inertia of the Chilean military" (CIA memo, Blum, 210) and stage a coup d'etat against Allende. Incredibly, while leading a trade boycott on Chile, the U.S. increased military aid to the country, as a means of penetrating the army. Fearing his own officers, Allende was forced to accept this offer. 

In March 1973, despite a sabotage campaign, his United People party captured an all-time high of 44 percent in parliamentary elections. The presidential palace was attacked by military elements loyal to a right-wing party in June. Fatefully, Allende refused calls from within his party to distribute arms among the people. On Sept. 11, the presidential palace was occupied by troops under the command of General Augusto Pinochet, with U.S. backing. Allende was taken away and shot to death.  

Pinochet's forces rounded up thousands of Allende loyalists in Santiago Stadium and instituted a reign of torture, execution and assassination that cost more than 3,000 lives, according to present estimates. Subversive books were burned and women were made to stop wearing pants. Economists of the Chicago School were called in to guide the country on tight monetarist reins that foreshadowed the policies of Margaret Thatcher (a staunch defender of Pinochet to this day). Everything was re-privatized, down to the government pension plans, unions were crushed and the general population further impoverished. But Chile was restored as an "open market," with high profits for multinational corporations. By meeting all debt payments and IMF requirements, Chile qualified for regular praise as an "economic miracle" in the pages of the New York Times. By 1990, when democracy was restored, the Times was refering to the dictator as "President Pinochet," now "seeking a fourth term." 

Sept. 11, 1973, raises at least three questions that matter today: 

1) The CIA has often destabilized societies and overthrown legitimate governments, but the bloody coup of Sept. 11, 1973 has gone down as the textbook case. Chile became the spearhead for Operation Condor, a CIA-directed alliance of six South American dictatorships, who agreed to track down and extradite each others' dissidents. Geostrategists have blithely recommended the "Pinochet Solution" as an option for dealing with economic instability and uppity populations in Iran, Russia, Brazil... and why not the United States itself? Is it far-fetched that those who live and prosper from applying terror to foreign countries will one day use the same means on their own people? 

Click here to read how the U.S. government and military have worked for 35 years in developing an apparatus for domestic military rule that can be activated at any time, without need of a formal announcement.  

2) In a now famous comment on Allende at a 1970 White House meeting, Kissinger made no secret of his contempt for democracy: "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people" (Marchetti, 48). Had Allende been a cruel and unpopular tyrant, he might have won the CIA's favor. His sin was that he was a democrat, and that he hoped to do good for his people. Whether or not his politics would have worked, absent the foreign disruption, is another question. He did not deprive Chileans of their right to remove him from office in an election, and this made him vulnerable to removal by a foreign power. The elected government of Jacobo Arbenz, in Guatemala, suffered the same fate in 1954, when it was overthrown in a coup directed by the CIA. This initiated a series of American-armed military regimes that killed hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans. From the case of Arbenz, Fidel Castro said he learned that allowing democratic government is futile, if the United States is determined to destroy it. Is Castro paranoid? What would have happened to the Cuban Revolution, had Castro not turned Cuba into a dictatorship? Would he have survived, only to be ousted in a fair and democratic election? Or would he have been done in, like Allende? 

Click here and search the NARCONEWS site for items about the most recent U.S. project to destroy democracy in Latin America, the April 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela. It failed, unlike the Pinochet coup, and it was condemned by a majority of Latin American nations. Perhaps times are changing, and the day will come when Castro can finally loosen up his act.  

3) General Pinochet endured a surprise house arrest in Britain in 1997, but finally escaped punishment. The most culpable living perpetrator on the American side, Kissinger, is celebrated as a foreign policy genius on TV and still serves as a top-level private adviser to the present administration, NATO, and foreign powers including China. The day after the attacks on New York and Washington, the man behind the bombing of Cambodia and the rape of East Timor issued a barely disguised call for a world war on all enemies. He wrote, "any government that shelters groups capable of this kind of attack, whether or not they can be shown to have been involved in this attack, must pay an exorbitant price" (Washington Post, Sept. 12, 2001, italics mine). The example of Chile shows that the U.S. government shelters groups capable of massive terrorist attacks, and that one of their masterminds is Henry Kissinger. What price should this government pay? 


William Blum, Killing Hope. U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, 1995. 
Edward Boorstein, Allende's Chile. An Inside View, New York, 1977. 
Christopher Hitchens, "The Case Against Henry Kissinger," Harper's, June-July 2001, also available as a book. 
Victor Marchetti and John Marks, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, New York, 1974. 

Sept. 11, 1978  
"Signing of Camp David accords between Israel and Egypt."  
The peace talks between Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter were held at Camp David from Sept. 5 to Sept. 17, 1978. While Sept. 11 falls within those two weeks, nothing was actually signed on that day. The deal between Israel and Egypt took effect officially on Mar. 26, 1979. "Camp David" has since been a metaphor for U.S.-led peace processes. Some have suggested the terrorists chose Sept. 11 to signal their rejection of peace with Israel, but this has no basis. After the attacks, the White House rather implausibly claimed that Camp David might have been the intended target of United Airlines Flight 93, the plane that crashed in a Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11. Why? The isolated summer residence was unoccupied, and inoccuous as a landmark. There would have been no cameras to record the attack.
Sept. 11, 1978  
"Death of Janet Parker, war photographer, final victim of smallpox (contracted in lab accident)."  
Janet Parker contracts smallpox in a lab accident in Britain and dies at age 40 on Sept. 11, 1978. Let us pray she remains the final victim. The coincidence is spooky, because ever since the Sept. 11 attacks the specter of this particular disease has been raised as the worst-case scenario for bio-terrorism.  

From ancient times until the announcement in the 1970s by the World Health Organization that smallpox had been eradicated, the wildly contagious pathogen killed untold millions, including a number of Mohegan Indians in the future borough of Manhattan. But has smallpox really been wiped out, or is that just a myth propagated as a public relations success by WHO? In fact, outbreaks have been claimed many times in Africa since 1978, and most recently just last week, in Pakistan. Are these outbreaks really of smallpox, or of a different form of pox?  

At any rate, the scientists who engage in debate on whether they should wipe out the last remaining strains seem to think smallpox has been eradicated, so I shall trust them for now, and assume that the outbreaks since 1978 have been of different pox strains.  

"The Agency" had an episode last March about an Arab terrorist who turns himself into a smallpox bomb, but except for the set of the CIA-sponsored CBS series, the only known stockpiles of the pathogen are in the possession of the U.S. and Russian governments. After smallpox was wiped out, the superpowers kept samples "for research, if necessary." This was Janet Parker's doom. She was infected by a leak of borrowed samples, in a lab where she was taking medical photographs. 

Why don't the Russians and Americans kill the virus? "We are just beginning to understand the functions of the genes of viruses that belong to this class" of pox, says Bernard Moss, a virologist at the National Institutes of Health, who is quoted in a fascinating piece about smallpox on the "Urban Legends" site. "It may be that five years from now, or ten years from now, we will have a question and we will either need access to the DNA of the smallpox virus, or the smallpox virus itself," Moss says. 

This fuzzy answer suggests Moss has no clue why smallpox should be kept, except that scientists always know better than mortals. Here is an item that speaks far more plainly:  

"In the summer of 1971, the Soviet Union apparently conducted an open-air test of a biological weapon containing smallpox virus. The experiment caused a smallpox outbreak that killed three and required a massive vaccination campaign to confine it to a port on the Aral Sea, in Kazakhstan..." (IHT, June 17)  

Moss simply does not want to admit that the only realistic potential use of the smallpox virus stockpiles is as a weapon of biological warfare, and that neither the Russians nor the Americans trust the other side to completely destroy their stockpiles. 

The same pathology of bad logic was evident when the U.S. military secretly bred new forms of anthrax in the 1990s, in violation of U.S. law and the international biowarfare conventions. When this was revealed last year, after the anthrax attacks on the media and Congress, the excuse was that Saddam, or somebody, might cook up a similar pathogen. In other words: "By making this anthrax, even before the Iraqis conceive of it, we might be able to develop an effective vaccine."  

Of course, given the rich variety of life, Saddam's scientists could invent some other, unrelated germ. That would render the "preventive" breeding of anthrax useless as a defense, but we would still have viable material for, um, just in case. Yeah, that's right. Like, maybe for retaliations. Yeah. Wait, no, not retaliations per se, but, um, this anthrax is also good to have around for experiments. You know, like, scenarios. 

In the past, the U.S. military has conducted pathogen tests on the populations of American cities, for example spraying contagions over San Francisco and in the New York subway to see how well they spread. This fits into a gruesome history of experimentation on unwitting human subjects, such as the U.S. radiation experiments in the 1950s.  

Last December, the New York Times claimed William Capers Patrick III, the dean of American biowarfare scientists, once authored a secret paper on the effects of sending anthrax through the mail. (See Wayne Madsen in Counterpunch, Apr. 8, 2002, www.counterpunch.org). Patrick denied this, but the BBC repeated the story and said a CIA contractor used his paper in designing tests to determine the viability of mailed anthrax.  

Of course, even if all this is true, only by coincidence did someone else later have the same idea, in Oct. 2001. Only by coincidence was one of the U.S. military's illegal anthrax strains used in mailings to the media and the Congress, killing five people. Unlike the original CIA experimenters, anyone who did something that irresponsible would have been a rogue element. A lone perpetrator. Of course.  

Here is a translation of the all-purpose government alibi:  
Gee, officer, I only drove the bus up to the abyss and parked it safely, with the front wheels barely hanging over edge. I didn't think it would actually fall over. Maybe I forgot to lock the brake? Gosh, I'm sorry about all the explosives I left in there.  

Meanwhile, a team of international scientists last year thawed out three dead men in Norway, who were frozen in the tundra after succumbing to the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918. That pathogen killed 20 million people before it disappeared. Its workings are entirely unknown to science. The biologists want a sample to study possible cures, just in case the disease ever returns. 

Dense lay people have been known to ask questions like, how can influenza return if it is otherwise extinct? Well, come on, imagine that the pathogen should escape! Say, in a lab accident. Yeah. Say it leaks somehow from a lab, where a team of international scientists are working hard on coming up with a cure. Say it catches on, and starts killing people again. What will we do then, without a cure, if we never let the scientists start their research in the first place? 

Poor Janet Parker died in a lab accident. The connection to Sept. 11 suddenly starts to make sense. Students of tragedy may mistake all this as evidence of hubris. Students of comedy will recognize it as their old friend, stupidity. 

Meanwhile, at a secure underground facility... 

Or, wait... (the head of the research team thought) 
What if Saddam gets a hold of one of these frozen Norwegians? What if the Bagdad Anthrax Lady uses a sample from them to create a new super-flu? Like, what if she engineers the flu to go after specific genes in humans, so they only kill members of a given ethnic group, say, our own? ... 
Oh, my God, what if she engineers it to go after the Y-chromosome, so it only kills men?! ...  
Obviously, we had better develop this capacity ourselves, right away, so we can have a vaccine ready before that bitch even gets the idea...  
Let's see here, I guess we'll need one for Arabs, one for Chinese, one for Africans, one for Latins... 
Are we forgetting anybody? Say, maybe we can combine an ethnovirus with one that targets the Y-chromosome, so, like, it only kills males in each group, and leaves the women. Like in the Bible, where they massacre the men and keep the virgins. Oooh... Just kidding. Of course, now that we have thought of it, we will have to try it, to see if it's possible. You never know what the Anthrax Lady might come up with... 
Hmm, the ethnic part is not so easy, but we've come up with a lot of ways to hit the Y-chromosome. Why not? A whole separate structure, fat and rich for the bombing... 
Once we cook it up, we'll need to vaccinate, of course. - Starting with every single employee of this lab, I might add. I want you all to know that YOU are our most precious asset... 
Hey! What are you doing? Nimrod. You can't just pour that down the sink! We didn't zap it yet!...  
Great. Now it's alive, and loose. Which one was it, the one for Polynesians with hunchbacks?  
What's that? It was the one for men? Which men? You mean - unadulterated? All the men? You just poured the unfiltered Y-chromosome killer down the sink?  
Oh, shit... 
Shut down the sewers! Can we somehow raise the acid content of the water supply?...  
Come on. Come on, people, I want ideas! You're supposed to be the best. That's what you're paid for and this is a national emergency. Fuck, a world emergency!...  
What are you smirking at, Tina? Care to share your thoughts with the rest of us? No? I didn't think so. (Under breath: goddamn lesbians)... 
Well, nothing's happened yet. Maybe it just died. But let's have a story ready to pin the blame. Just in case...

Damn you, Anthrax Lady! 
You just wiped out the male sex!
Sept. 11, 1985. 
Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds recorded his 4,192nd hit, breaking Ty Cobb's career record. 

Sept. 11, 1986  
"Biggest one-day plunge on Wall Street."  
The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls 86.61 points to 1,792.89, the biggest one-day decline by points until that time. Yawn. How boring, compared to the crash of Oct. 1987, or the market's inflation and volatility in the years since. Nowadays 86 points is a quiet day. Who can make a decent margin, just out of that? I hate slow market days!

Sept. 11, 1990  
"President George H.W. Bush delivers 'New World Order' Speech to Congress." 
Iraq occupied Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990. At that point, the U.S. government had armed and assisted the Iraqi tyrant for more than a decade, pitting him against the despised Shiite theocracy in Iran. The Iraqi invasion came as the climax of an enormously complicated history of secret deals and double-crosses, which bears reviewing because of its relevance to events today.  

In 1978, an Islamic fundamentalist revolution overthrew the Shah of Iran. He had been the country's dictator since 1953, when the CIA and the British had helped him overthrow the parliamentary government of Mossadegh, who had committed the crime of nationalizing the country's oil assets.  

In November 1979, Iranian students seized the personnel of the U.S. embassy as hostages, creating a terminal crisis for the Carter administration.  

Carter's domestic situation was further exacerbated by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan of Dec. 1979, although this was the intended effect of a U.S. covert destabilization of Afghanistan, as admitted since by Carter's national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski. The idea was to get the Soviets into their own "Vietnam," and it worked. In the next decade, the U.S. would covertly funnel four to six billion dollars (matched dollar for dollar by the Saudis) into the Afghanistan jihad, organizing the effort under the Zia heroin-money dictatorship in Pakistan and assembling an "international" of Islamist mercenaries like Osama Binladin: the "Afghan Arabs." 

In Sept. 1980, Saddam invaded Iran in an attempt to grab oil-rich territories - after receiving a green light from the U.S. government, which thus thought to extract revenge and put pressure on Iran. At the same time, the Reagan presidential campaign under William Casey was engaged in the illegal "October Surprise" negotiations with Iran, promising to supply arms if the Iranians held the hostages until Carter had lost the Nov. 1980 election.  

The Iranians released the hostages a few minutes after Reagan's inauguration, and the covert U.S. arms shipments to Iran began in early 1981, via Israeli arms dealers. Casey became the chief of a CIA that ran the ongoing war in Afghanistan, training the likes of Osama Binladin, and started a series of genocidal conflicts in Central America. 

In other words, from the beginning the key players inside American politics acted in away that encouraged the mass slaughter between Iran and Iraq, by giving clandestine support to both sides. The Iran-Iraq war continued for eight years, during which the arms dealers of the West celebrated it as an opportunity to sell to both sides.  

The U.S. arms shipments to Iran became a scandal with the "Iran-Contra" revelations of 1986, but the most significant U.S. support went to Iraq. The Atlanta branch of the CIA-connected Italian Bank Lavoro financed Saddam's arms purchases with billions in loans guaranteed by the U.S. Agriculture Department. American defense contractors built Iraq's supergun, and even its weaponized anthrax originated with a U.S. company in a government-approved deal.  

Early in the war, Saddam discovered that it was not so easy to take territory from a country with three times the population of Iraq. By the mid-1980s the Iranians were inching towards Bagdad, and the long-suffering peoples of Iraq grew restless. Luckily for Saddam, the CIA fed him the satellite surveillance data that he needed to survive the various Iranian "final offensives" of 1985 to 1987.  

Reports in 1987 that Iraq had used poison gas to kill 5,000 civilians in the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabjah passed with little more than a burp of protest from the United States - although they have since been taken up as Exhibit 1 in the list of Saddam's crimes. This is almost certainly a myth. The Iraqi victims of Halabjah died during a battle in which Iranian and Iraqi forces both used poison gas, against each other. 

Regardless, Bush and Saddam were allies throughout the 1980s, at a time when Iraqi forces commited horrific crimes. Saddam's ultimate victory in the war he began consisted in staying in power and battling the numerically superior Iranians to a final stalemate in 1988. 

And what had he gained? All he held, in the end, were untold billions in debt, the lion's share due to the two countries who financed and benefited most from Iran's containment: Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Following the war, these same two rich ingrates raised oil production against the wishes of Iraq and other OPEC hardliners, causing prices to fall and putting the squeeze on Saddam's ability to pay them off.  

But Saddam still had his arms, if not the cash, and decided this was a good moment to rediscover the injustices of colonial history: In the 1920s the British, the better to control their Empire in the Near East, had peeled an oil-rich coastal section of Iraq away and bestowed it upon a local feudal clan, known today as the royal family of Kuwait. As long as Saddam was fighting Iran, and Kuwait was willing to give him money, this had not mattered. But now his speechwriters recalled that Kuwait is the "17th province" of Iraq. Further, Kuwait was drilling diagonally into oil fields under Iraqi territory, and disputing Iraq's claim to two unoccupied coastal islands.  

Saddam saw a chance to cut his debt and solve many other issues to his favor, maybe even grab the whole of Kuwait. He massed his forces to the south and began issuing ultimatums to the Kuwaitis. Most readers are probably aware that as the crisis peaked, on July 30, 1990, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, visited Saddam and delivered a non-commital statement of neutrality in the conflict among Arab neighbors. To Saddam (and to anyone who has read the transcript), it sounded just like the green light for an invasion of Kuwait. 

When the invasion came, President Bush had a revelation. At last, he saw the insanity of covert entanglements with military dictatorships, fundamentalists and feudal monarchies.  
He saw the folly of a whole economy based on the territorial resource of oil, and he was appalled at the great cost of America's attempt to control that resource at the source by maintaining a military hegemony on the other side of the world. Above all, he understood that government by secrecy had led to nothing but disaster.  
In a daring Sept. 11 speech to the Congress, he set the nation on a bold new course. He revealed the full details of the above history and promised there would be no more secret deals and subversions of democracy. The United States would cease to arm its future enemies. It would redirect the untold billions until then devoted to subsidizing the profits of American oil companies to measures of energy conservation and the development of alternative energies and sustainable settlements. This would serve ultimately to end dependence on oil from the Middle East, and usher in a new age of peaceful coexistence with the world.
Ha ha ha! But seriously, folks... 

After Saddam took the bait and invaded Kuwait, the United States began deploying half a million troops to Saudi Arabia, starting on Aug. 7. That date became the obsession of a Saudi hero of the Afghanistan jihad, Osama Binladin, who objected to the presence of U.S. troops, and who insisted that Saudi Arabia could organize its own defense. This was actually true, for several reasons. For one thing, Saddam was never going to invade Saudi Arabia in the first place, as was clear already at the time. The alleged Iraqi threat to Saudi Arabia was little more than a pretext to deploy the American troops. 

Second, Saudi Arabia was extremely well-armed, having bought an estimated $200 billion in military technology from the United States during the 1980s. Much of this went into the construction of a network of sophisticated military harbors and "superbases," with secure underground tunnels and bunkers criss-crossing the landscape. (One day "we" may get to bomb these, just like with the ones we built in Afghanistan.) These bases, built by local contractors like the Saudibinladin Group, met the exacting technical specifications of the U.S. military - so that as the American troops arrived, they found themselves well-provided with a familiar and extensive infrastructure already in place. It was as though someone had been preparing to accommodate a large American force for ten years. Which they had! 

So nicely set up, the war still needed its political justifications. Bush martialed a coalition of 28 allies and got the Japanese, Germans, Saudis and Gulf States to pony up many billions for the liberation of Kuwait (The war was the first ever to make a direct profit for the Pentagon). At home, he was confronted with a moderate level of protests and nearly half the Senate against him. With the deployments underway, Bush therefore spoke to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 11, 1990, delivering a speech entitled: "Towards a New World Order."  

Here is the passage where he uses the miscreant phrase: 

We stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment. The crisis in the Persian Gulf, as grave as it is, also offers a rare opportunity to move toward an historic period of cooperation. Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective -- a new world order -- can emerge: a new era -- freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony. A hundred generations have searched for this elusive path to peace, while a thousand wars raged across the span of human endeavor. Today that new world is struggling to be born, a world quite different from the one we've known. A world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle. A world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice. A world where the strong respect the rights of the weak.
A new era was indeed a-dawning, above all because the Soviet Union was in a state of advanced collapse. Brzezinski's Afghanistan gambit had succeeded as one of many factors in the Soviet decline. (It had also spread the CIA-trained "Afghan Arab" network around the world.) Bankrupt and plagued by nationalist uprisings, the Soviet empire was opening up to Western capital, as China had done since the late 1970s. The Western power elite understood that great changes were coming in the world order. The old system was entering a new phase, which has been called globalist, and which involves a greater role for openly "internationalist" institutions.  

But nobody needed Bush to tell them that! 

Many people think Bush's speech was the declaration of a one-world government. They seize on the phrase, "new world order," as though it signifies a specific, organized power, the N.W.O. - something apart from "America," something that may one day subject the U.S. government and its people to the strictures of the United Nations, NATO or some other globalist structure. To me, this idea is hash. Bush was always the player and front-man of the Old World Order, the same American-centered power elite that governed most of the planet long before the Berlin Wall fell. 

Bush needed a war. For many reasons, in part because we live in a system that requires the occasional war as a condition of its reproduction - but mainly to preclude the possibility that the decline of the Soviets would be accompanied by a call to withdraw American military hegemony over the world. The true enemy was the potential for "Peace Dividend" now that the Cold War was ending. 

This was why Saddam was so convenient. A cornered animal, he joined the ranks of renegade tyrants when he swallowed Bush's bait, and tried to take his cut of the international gangsters' pie by force. 

In reality, the function of the "New World Order" speech is depressingly ordinary. Bush does not want to "supplant" anything. He intends to prove the rule of the jungle, in which the strong subjugate the weak, by showing that the strongest can subjugate anyone they please. Since this is not the sort of justification for a war that flies with the voting public, Bush says the opposite of what he means. When politicians go to war, they always rediscover the lofty Western ideals that they otherwise never mention. Their speechwriters reach into the Churchillian bag and pull out assurances about how war brings peace, justice and order to the world. This allows them to go blow up and starve a few hundred thousand Iraqis, during the war and in the 10 years since killing a larger number of civilians than the population of Kuwait itself, so as to keep restore a medieval regime with a clear conscience. 

(In the process, the United States itself suffers on the order of 100,000 casualties. Oh, you didn't realize? "Casualties" includes the wounded as well as the several hundred dead. What do you call a victim of the no doubt multi-causal ailment known as "Gulf War Syndrome"?) 

Although I can believe that the Bush mob (or their friends and underlings) are involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, I doubt the timing was meant to secretly honor Papa's words. Brigands plunder when the time is ripe for plunder; they do not ask a calendar for permission.

Sept. 11, 1994  
"Kamikaze steals Cessna, takes off for White House." 
A Cessna crashed into the wall of the White House at 3 a.m. on Sept. 12, 1994, two stories below the Presidential bedroom. The Clintons were not in Washington. The government released the following account: Frank Eugene Corder, a criminal with suicidal tendencies, stole the plane from Baltimore on the previous night (hence Sept. 11, my little cheat). He flew it to DC, looped around the Washington Monument, and finally smacked into the White House, causing minor damage. The pilot was killed. As a result, the government tightened restrictions over Washington airspace. The rumor among reporters ever since was that anti-aircraft missiles were installed to protect the building against a repeat attack.
Sept. 11, 1997. 
Scots voted to create their own Parliament after 290 years of union with England. 

Sept. 11, 1998  
"Starr report submitted to Congress."  
As though two years of having the universe revolve around the O.J. Simpson Trial were not enough, the Starr Inquisition achieved a new low point in the crusade to stupify the American mind. 

Forget what real crimes Clinton may have committed. Revealing those would have implicated a whole system, including the Republicans - in fact, starting with the Republicans. As governor of Arkansas in the 1980s, Clinton was involved in protecting CIA-sponsored shipments of arms to the Contras and cocaine into the United States through the airport at Mena, Arkansas. Could the Republicans have nailed him for that? Obviously not. The trail would have led back to Oliver North and George Bush, the true kingpin of the 1980s crack trade. Mena thus became Clinton's ticket to the top - really the beginning of a vast practical joke on the American people. Thanks to Mena, Clinton had the goods on Bush, and vice-versa. They ran against each other for the presidency, but with their shared secret they knew that neither would ever rat out the other. Clinton could safely become president, and be trusted not to take the lid off of the October Surprise, the Bush regime's war crimes in Central America and Iraq, the dealings with Saddam prior to the invasion of Kuwait, or (the salient point) the CIA drug business at home. 

Still, the true-blue Republicans hated Clinton! Oh, did they ever want to nail him. They tried a song-and-dance routine called Whitewater, but Clinton's business cronies were too resistant to interrogation (or too terrified) to talk, and anyway the affair smelled too much like the routine of corrupt money dealings known to the majority of politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, to really stir the public's ire. So the opposition settled on the safest course, which was to satiate the unspoken urges of the Puritan right wing: They talked about Clinton's dick. 

For eight years, the Republicans wielded Bill's scary appendage as a substitute for their own lack of a presentable politics, and the media played along. Hell, even dipshit Bill played along. At any time, starting with the 1992 campaign, he could have banished the peeping toms with a few strong words: "My private life is not a subject of political discussion. My consenting relations with other adults are none of your business. Get your noses out of my crotch!" Any sane and self-respecting person would have done this. One such statement, phrased with the right mix of diplomacy and force, could have made up for the gaping paucity of Clinton's achievements. The man from Hope and candidate of Change changed nothing of substance while in office, but with twenty honest words, he could have at least helped America grow the fuck up. 

Clinton never said anything remotely like that, not even after he achieved the only real goal of his first term by winning a second term. Instead, he consistently let himself get roped into the sex-scandal trap.  

In January 1997, a reporter at the post-inaugural press conference asked what kind of underwear he wore: briefs or boxers? And he answered! His Vaunted Braininess, the Rhodes scholar, was the only guy in the room who apparently didn't get the joke: that he was about to spend his second term getting hammered yet again for his affairs, in this case the unconsummated fling with Monica.  

And even in 1998, when the tawdry game was all too obvious, he was suckered into saying he "never had sex with that woman, with Miss Lewinsky," although he knew this was exactly what Mullah Starr was waiting for him to say, so that he could spring the trap. How could Wild Bill have been such a willing patsy in the hijacking of his own member? Was it on a bet? Was it a game he arranged with Newt and Ken and the rest, as a way of keeping politics trivial and concealing the true scandals of American life? 

Maybe it was! 

Osama Binladin entered the American consciousness as the No. 1 Enemy of Civilization at around the same time that Monica burst into fame as the naive intern with the big mouth. The month before Starr presented his report, on the Aug. 7 anniversary of the 1990 U.S. deployment in Saudi Arabia, large bombs were exploded outside the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing some 280 mostly local people. (As usual, the U.S. appears to have known what was coming in advance, but we'll cover that elsewhere.)  

Osama Binladin was credibly blamed for inspiring, and possibly planning the simultaneous embassy attacks. The CIA, already then under George Tenet, suggested three targets for the president to retaliate upon. One, in Sudan, turned out to be a pill factory, completely unrelated to terrorist activity. Another, a base in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, was not training Qaeda but Pakistani fundamentalists backed by the ISI. The third was actually one of Osama's bases, but he had just left it when U.S. cruise missiles rained down on all three targets, on Aug. 20. 

And what was the scream that thereupon arose on the Republican right? "Clinton is only bombing those countries to distract us from Monica!" (Just imagine the embassy attacs had come under a Republican administration!)  Pretending to be appalled, the Republicans did everything they could to assure that the bombings would be ignored, and that everyone's attention would focus on Monica when the Starr Report came out in its full pornographic (and totally irrelevant) glory on Sept. 11. This set into motion the impeachment hearings, the charges of which were restricted to the truly laughable matter of Clinton having lied to the Starr Inquisition about his relationship with Lewinsky. (In other words, if there had not been an inquisition, this "crime" could have never been committed.) 

Meanwhile, Saddam had kicked out UN weapons inspectors and refused to allow them back into Iraq if they included Americans, charging credibly that the U.S. inspectors were spying out targets for the frequent U.S./UK bombings of Iraq - one of the few things not actually allowed under the terms of Iraq's arrangement with the UN. The U.S. issued a series of ultimatums and finally staged a large-scale four-day bombing of Iraq starting on December 18... the day of Clinton's impeachment!  

Once again, a hue and a cry among the Clinton bashers: "He's only bombing Iraq to distract us from Monica! It's just like Wag the Dog!"  

The impeachment hearings dragged on through a long part of the next year, during which the U.S. led a NATO war on Yugoslavia in support of the Kosovar Albanian insurrection - after demanding that Yugoslavia accept occupation of its entire territory by NATO forces or be bombed. This is not the place to go into the full story of how this illegal war was manufactured and justified. The point is that the U.S. and its allies engaged in 78 days of bombing, destroying Yugoslavia's infrastructure and killing thousands of civilians, against the protests of most of the world's countries. Accusations of genocide were raised against the Serbs, which later turned out to be fabricated.  

And what were the pundits of the American right-wing (and many an average American) once again screaming? "He's only bombing Yugoslavia to distract us from Monica!" Now ask yourself: How much U.S. media coverage did the Kosovo war get? How much coverage did the impeachment get? 

I humbly propose a Copernican reversal of the Republican Theory of Clinton. They say he bombed this and he bombed that to distract us from Lewinsky, but think about it: Which was the real crime? Could it be that Monica actually served as the distraction from the bombings? And that this strategem worked best with the Republicans who were most in love with her? 

The elder Bush needed a fancy speech to justify his war. When war was waged under Clinton, so many people were busy with the Monica Show that they didn't even notice. Maybe the handlers of Bush Jr. can learn from that, and arrange for the next murderous bombing of Iraq, possibly with nuclear weapons, to be sold to the American people as an irrelevant distraction from The Pretzel. 

In some quarters, the Bash-Clinton routine is supposed to continue ad infinitum. One need only read the various organs of near-religious Clinton-hating that arose in the 1990s, like WorldNetDaily and NEWSMAX, to see that they now seek to pin responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks on him - mainly because they think he insufficiently funded a U.S. defense budget that exceeds that of the next 25 nations combined. As was the case throughout his administration, the least of Bill's sins (or his occasional odd merits) are to be recycled indefinitely as a symbolic scapegoat for the crimes of an entire establishment - one that includes both him and the Republicans. 
I shall leave it to professionals in Clinton Bashing, like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, to devise a connection between Monica's cigar and the cigar-shaped airplanes, as they shall, inevitably, and must. They cannot help themselves, but I shall resist. Let him wear chainmail undies, for all I care: I am not touching that man's penis! 

The true conjunction of Sept. 11, 1998 with Sept. 11, 2001 lies in this:  A society obsessed with infantile diversions will never know what hit it until far too late. 

Do you wrestle with dreams?
Do you contend with shadows?
Do you move in a kind of sleep?
Time has slipped away. 
Your life is stolen.
You tarried with trifles.
A victim of your folly.
-- Frank Herbert
Sept. 11, 1999  
Darkness in Moscow.  
No bombs went off in Moscow on Sept. 11, 1999, as far as I am aware. The Russian capital was in the grip of a series of random bombing incidents that killed more than 300 people between Aug. 31 and late September. These were blamed on Chechen terrorism, with thousands of ethnic Caucasians rounded up or expelled from the city that autumn, but the authorship of the attacks has never been officially explained. Another wave of bombings, attributed to separatist Muslim rebels, was underway in Dagestan, the Russian province neighboring Chechnya. 
In mid-August Boris Yeltsin had appointed a new premier, the until-then relative unknown vice-mayor of Petrograd, Vladimir Putin, former head of the FSB, the successor organization to the KGB. Putin was Yeltsin's fourth choice of prime minister in one year. The Yeltsin presidency had reached its low point, its leader enfeebled and alcoholized, the treasury emptied over many years in a coordinated plunder by his cronies and allied oligarchs, the country's second and most devastating economic crash of the 1990s having come the year before. Many observers speculated on his accession that Putin's would be the last in the merry-go-round of Yeltsin governments, that he was the choice of a "strongman" faction at FSB and the security services who wished to impose order on the country's chaos.  

Just before the terror wave begins, the intelligence service STRATFOR predicts that when Yeltsin's mood next changes, as is wont to happen on a three-month basis, it will be Putin who deposes Yeltsin, and not vice-versa. Within weeks of his appointment, five apartment houses collapse in horrific explosions and the populace is pitched into a panic. Putin shows a firm front and prepares a new offensive in Chechnya, from which federal Russian forces had withdrawn after a bloody debacle and amid widespread protests by Russian soldier's mothers in 1996.  

The last incident occurs on Sept. 23, when local authorities announce they have defused another large apartment bomb found in the Moscow satellite city of Ryazan. Two men who allegedly planted the bomb are arrested by the police, after attempting to get away by flashing FSB identification cards. The FSB acknowledges that the two men are its agents, and states that the "bomb" was actually a fake using powdered sugar instead of real explosives in a security exercise. Members of the local bomb squad still insist the powder was a real explosive, and the apartment dwellers in Ryazan to this day remain nervous, believing they only narrowly escaped death. This was the end of that year's apartment bombing incidents.  

The FSB story drops out of the media and into the realm of febrile rumor. Russian forces launch a brutal offensive in Chechnya, reducing to dust whatever was left was left over of Grozny from the 1996 action. On the evening of Dec. 31, 1999, Yeltsin goes on television to abruptly announce his resignation, elevating Putin to the post of interim president and endorsing him as his successor. It later leaks out that Putin forced him out with threats - and the promise that his family and immediate circle would not be exposed for their role in the emptying of the country's treasury by Russian oligarchs, old spooks and mobsters, and their international associates who spirited much of the booty offshore and to Switzerland.  

By law, Yeltsin's resignation moves the long-awaited presidential elections of June 2000 up by three months to March 2000, destroying the hopes of a variety of long-term challengers-in-the-waiting by virtually guaranteeing victory for Putin. Once again, a Russian election has been subverted. Putin thus catapults from relative obscurity to Russia's Savior in four months flat. A new party is founded just for him. He is elected and inaugurated in a ceremony of astonishing pomp, marching through the palace over a red carpet that goes on for miles as trumpets blare.  

Over the next two years, the country's independent media are shut down, appropriated by state-owned companies or Putin allies. Journalists and political organizers are subject to mass harrassment and arrest. There is a break with Boris Berezovsky, former Yeltsin ally, last of the media oligarchs, who flees the country to London. There, he produces a 2002 documentary claiming the Sept. 1999 attacks were authored by elements within the FSB.  

Putin is meanwhile greeted into the halls of world power as the man who got Russia back on keel, cultivating a buddy-buddy relationship as a German-speaker with Chancellor Schröder. In early 2001, he has his first summit with the freshly-appointed American president. Bush tells the American people that he has "looked into President Putin's eyes, and seen that he is a man with a good soul." After Sept. 11, 2001, Putin becomes a reliable ally in Bush's anti-terror campaign, so far exceeded in his protestations of loyalty to the cause perhaps only by Tony Blair. The link is drawn between Qaeda and the various Chechen rebel factions. Putin says his country faces the same enemy as America.  

What did he and Bush really see in each other's eyes? 

Sept. 11, 2001: The Attacks.  
On the morning of the attacks, presumed Qaeda members convicted for the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania are scheduled to receive their sentence at the New York federal courthouse, just a few blocks away from the World Trade Center. This is postponed by the attacks. 
need we look any further for reasons why Qaeda would choose this date, if it is responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks?!  
Excuse my shouting. Helps, sometimes. 

Now that we have settled that, let's see what else is going on. Here is some well-founded speculation about what people are doing as the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 breaks around the world, from time zone to time zone: 

Mullah Omar wakes up in Afghanistan. 
Osama Binladin and his doubles wake up, presumably in various southern Asian locations. 
Prince Turki wakes up to the third or fourth day of his sudden retirement, presumably in Saudi Arabia. 
Henry Kissinger wakes up in Berlin. 
Alan Greenspan wakes up in Zurich, Switzerland. 
Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari take an early flight to Boston from Portland, Maine. 
Mahmud Ahmad, head of Pakistani intelligence agency ISI, wakes up in Washington, DC, as do Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and many others. 
The Carlyle Group convenes its annual meeting of investors in Washington, DC, Frank Carlucci presiding, with James Baker and representatives of the Binladin family present. 
Warren Buffet wakes up in Omaha, Nebraska and heads to Offut Air Force Base for a charity breakfast, at which he meets with leading executives, at least one of whom would normally have gone to work that day at the World Trade Center. 
George W. Bush and his entourage visit Emma Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida. 
John O'Neill can't believe what is happening.  
Neither can anyone else. 
Colin Powell smells the coffee in Lima, Peru.

Rudy: Footnote to History? 

Sept. 11 is also election day for primary contests across the United States, including the mayoral primary in New York City. This is postponed because of the attacks. A week later, Mayor Giuliani, saying he is the only man who can lead New York during the crisis, proposes he stay in office three months past the end of his term, in violation of the city's charter. If he does not get his way, Rudy threatens to push for an immediate repeal of term limits so that he can run again. Republican candidate Michael Bloomberg and one of the two Democratic primary candidates, Mark ("Spineless") Green, say they are ready to accept Il Duce's idea. Fernando Ferrer, the other Democratic candidate, refuses the deal and stares Rudy down, forestalling the establishment of New York City's first open dictatorship. Green edges out Ferrer in the rescheduled primary, amid allegations of vote fixing. Bloomberg reaches into his own pocket for a 15 million dollar ad blitz during the last week of the campaign and takes the general election from Green, amid allegations of vote fixing. Count Rudy returns to his crypt, to await his next chance.

And now for the Satanic anti-climax: Numerology  

Numerology seems to rely on the art of fudge. Numerologists produce the results they desire by arbitrarily adding, subtracting or multiplying digits as convenient. Here is a sample of one numerological speculation I discovered on the Net: 

The flights that were hijacked were: #11, #93, #175, #77...add the seperate flight numbers  
Eleven thru 14...Done in order.....is this coincidence?...naw!...these birds do it all by the "numbers" 
Of course not. Just click your heels together, Dorothy, because nothing is ever, ever a coincidence!  

At any rate, it requires little fudging to find that many elevens are associated with the events of Sept. 11: We have the date, the 11th, and the Twin Towers themselves, the largest eleven in the world. Before you laugh, consider that New York's Channel 11 spotted this obvious feature and used it in a mid-1980s ad campaign, in which the station's director of marketing wanders desperately around the city looking for the "Biggest 11 in New York," and yet never notices the towers, which are always in the background behind him. Long before the the World Trade Center construction plans were approved, the architects would have become aware that the towers look like an eleven, even if this was not their initial intent (I suspect, but cannot prove, that the initial idea behind the design of giant block-towers without offsets was to maximize rentable space!) The first of the crash flights was AA11. As the first letter of the alphabet, A has a numerological value of 1, so "AA" is also an eleven. The second flight, UA175, thus has an eleven in the form of "A1." The third flight, AA77, is a multiple of 11 (7x 11=77). That's already seven semi-unfudged elevens.  

Eleven is supposed to be the number of power (or hubris) in various numerological cosmologies, so many people have seized on this as evidence of an occult dimension to the attacks.  
In this view, the unforgettable and traumatizing, televised destruction of the towers is a spell, cast on the general population by the top-level conspirators of the power elite who orchestrated the attacks. Their psychological ritual is designed to sap our energies and make us submissive, possibly to feed their vicarious need for fire and blood. Whether there is a physical basis to this dark magic doesn't matter. It still might serve as the motive for the presumed high-level occultists, who believe in it.  

Have we not already accepted that the attacks were committed in the name of a religion? Maybe so, just not the one we thought. 

This kind of speculation usually ends with a look at the bible, and the logical stop there of course is the last book, Revelation, the story of the apocalypse and second coming. Wherein we find that verse 9:11 reads: 

"They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon (Destroyer), and in Greek he is called Apollyon (Hyacinth)."  

This refers to the king of a plague of machine-like locusts who devastate the land in the one of the book's prophecies of doom, but it stands alone quite well, doesn't it? 

Not that I buy it. But like all the rest of what we have discovered on this fanciful little trip: Spooky. 

119 or 911? The Day of Emergency. 

As a final numerological game of the author's choosing, we shall note that 9/11 is the reverse of 11/9. In American date notation, that would be November 9th, the date on which the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. Rarely are the start and end points of an historical epoch so clearly demarcated, in two single days, in fact, in two seconds, just short of 12 years apart, to be more precise 11 years and 10 months - from the moment a chisel is hesitantly taken to the Wall in Berlin, its holder wondering whether he or she will really be allowed to chip it away, to the second when AA11 flies into the Tower, as though fired into the forehead of the world.  

The Lost Years, an age of bubbles and phantoms, of false starts and illusions, of the lie that "We Never Had It So Good." Of fattening the Sheeple for the Slaughter?  

From 11/9 to 9/11, Leviathan-who-spans-the-globe, centered in America but not exactly American, had every opportunity to choose reason, freedom, justice and peace in the world. What could Leviathan, greed incarnate, born of war, ever choose? 

In American date notation, Sept. 11 comes out to 911, which is the number for police, ambulances and fire fighters, so many of whom were caught and killed when the Towers fell. Some ask if the date was chosen for the implicit psychological message:  

From now on, life is an emergency. Out of whack. 

Leviathan, War, thou art Kooyanisqatsi. 

But if you know what your life is worth 
You'll fight for yours right here on Earth 
Now you see the light. 
Stand up for your right! 
Bob Marley

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