• The terrible injustices inflicted on millions of
completely innocent Palestinian women and children by the governments of Israel
and the US • US government military and covert operations that led to
the suffering and deaths of millions of Palestinians, Iranians and Iraqis
• US government meddling in the internal affairs of Middle Eastern nations, on
the assumption that Americans always know what is best for other people
How do we know that these are the real reasons for the 9-11 attacks?
The 9-11 Commission, headed by Vice Chair Lee H. Hamilton, held 12 public hearings during the course of its investigation of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, convening for a total of 19 days and taking testimony from 160
witnesses, all of whom testified under oath. On June 16, 2004, the 9-11 Commission heard testimony from law enforcement and intelligence experts on the real reasons for the 9-11 attacks. During this hearing Lee Hamilton
asked,"I'm interested in the question of motivation of these hijackers, and my question is really directed to the agents. What have you found out about why these men did what they did? What motivated them to do it?"
His witness at the time was FBI Special Agent James Fitzgerald, who replied, "They identify with the Palestinian problem, they identify with people who oppose repressive regimes, and I believe they tend to focus their
anger on the United States."
His response was stricken from the written record for obvious political reasons (Americans are not allowed to criticize the government of Israel publicly), but can be viewed on YouTube because the proceedings were filmed:
On September 20, 2001, George Bush told a joint session of
Congress and the American people that the Islamic extremists responsible for
9/11 "hate our freedoms—our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our
freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other."
According to Bush, not exactly the sharpest card in the deck, people in
the Middle East hate our "freedoms" and our "values." But is this really true?
Despite all the hard evidence to the contrary, many Americans still subscribe to the fairytale
that Israel and the US are innocent victims of irrational Muslim aggression. But
the simple truth is that our government is hated and despised by people in the Muslim
world for entirely legitimate reasons, such as Muslim women and children being
treated like rightless serfs, animals and insects by cruel, arrogant, hubristic,
hypocritical Jews and Christians.
Lee Hamilton, the Vice Chair of the 9-11 Commission, explained it like this:
"Foreign policy gets very complicated. When you take certain actions to
support a friend, the security of Israel, as we did, it has consequences.
No question about it."
Another way to explain the problem, metaphorically, is this: Suppose you have a
friend who keeps getting drunk and pounding his wife and stepchildren to a
bloody pulp. Now suppose that rather than counseling your friend to stop
drinking and abusing his family, you kept providing him with sympathy, money,
booze and brass knuckles. Would you be surprised if the mother's family saw you
as part of the problem, and chose to attack you in her defense, and her
Supporting a friend who beats women and children unmercifully can,
unsurprisingly, have consequences.
Polls of the Islamic world reveal interesting facts. Most Arabs, it
turns out, have positive feelings about Americans and share
American values such as education,
healthcare, employment and personal security, which are areas of common concern.
However, Arabs quite understandably have negative attitudes towards
America over things like Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and America’s interference in the internal politics of Middle East countries. More
than anything, they despise American hypocrisy. How can Americans say that they
believe in equal rights for all human beings, then always favor Jews over
Page 147 of the 9-11 Commission report sheds light on the motives of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
(KSM), whom the report calls the "mastermind of the 9/11 attacks":
KSM's animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences there
as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy
KSM's nephew, Ramzi Yousef, who was sentenced to a prison term of 240 years for
the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, also accused the United States of
supporting Israeli terrorism against Palestinians, saying that he was proud to
fight any country that supports Israel.
Michael Scheuer, a CIA analyst and author of Imperial Hubris: Why the West is
Losing the War on Terror, explains that Osama bin Laden's "genius" is his ability to
exploit U.S. policies—first and foremost, our government's one-sided support for
Israel—that are most offensive to Muslims, and notes that it is particularly
difficult to have a serious debate regarding U.S. policy toward Israel.
If its mindless support for Israel is the main
reason our government is hated and despised in the Arab
world, why is the subject taboo? What if Muslims are
correct to demand equal human rights for Palestinians? Why do American
politicians insist that we are being attacked because of our "freedoms" and
"values" when in fact we are being attacked because we support an nation,
Israel, that denies equal human rights, freedom, justice and representative
government to millions of people, most of them completely innocent women and
Even the 9/11 Commission, in its otherwise thoughtful treatment of issues
related to the 9-11 tragedy, skirted this important issue by merely noting in
passing that "America’s policy choices have consequences. Right or wrong, it is simply
a fact that American policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and
American actions in Iraq are dominant staples of popular commentary across
the Arab and Muslim world."
The real question is whether American policies and actions in the Arab and
Muslim world are just or unjust. If American policies and actions in the Middle
East are racist and unjust, and always favor Jews over non-Jews, then we have
betrayed our stated ideal of equal human rights for all human beings, and are
nothing but hypocrites and criminals.