The tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the USA triggered an orgy of selective retrospection by Western mainstream media. Here, two examples from Sweden: “We were all Americans” declares The Local, a news website based in Stockholm (although many reader comments express an emphatic distaste for that sentiment). “The sorrow still remains” intones Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's leading newspaper, with a full front-page concern that fails to include the vastly greater sorrow still remaining in Vietnam, Nicaragua, Iraq and so many other countries afflicted by U.S. aggression.
Phillip Agee and the 9/11 streetcar to the “war on terror”

There is much to suggest that many or all of the repressive and
hegemonistic policies implemented by U.S. governments
during the past 10 years were planned well in advance.

In his book, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and The Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg explains how the U.S. government made extensive preparations for an invasion of Vietnam and then waited for a suitable excuse to begin: “Patrols were ordered back into the Tonkin Gulf for the first time in five months, with the mission of provoking an attack.… The American public, in the dark about the Administration's objectives and sense of commitment in Vietnam, still needed to be given a plausible reason for dropping bombs on [northern] Vietnam. But it shouldn't take long now for one to come around. McGeorge Bundy recalled later that it was like waiting for a streetcar.”

The streetcar came shortly thereafter and became known as the Tonkin Gulf incident; it was an attack by the Vietnamese that never happened, despite all the provocations documented by Ellsberg and The Pentagon Papers. But with a lot of help from the mainstream press, it sufficed to “justify” the long-planned invasion and all the subsequent horrors infllicted on the peoples of Indochina during ten or more years of appallingly aggressive war.

Ten years ago today, another streetcar came along in the form of the terror attacks in New York and Washington on 11 September 2001. This time, it was real enough-- airplanes crashing into large buildings, annihilating those in New York with an ease and rapid efficiency that have aroused suspicions among numerous technical experts that other factors must also have been involved.

Whatever the ultimate resolution of those suspicions, the fact remains that the 9/11 attacks have been used by U.S. governments as its excuse for several wars of aggression, massive violations of norms and laws relating to civil and human rights, and more. As President Bush II and several members of his government observed, the attacks provided an excellent ”opportunity”.

That choice of words and much else suggest that, like the Vietnam War, many or all of the repressive and hegemonistic policies implemented by U.S. governments during the past ten years were planned well in advance. If the 9/11 streetcar hadn't come along, there would have surely been another one soon enough,

That is certainly a conclusion that may be drawn from a speech given by Philip Agee in Stockholm on 24 September, thirteen days after the streetcar named 9/11. The speech was remarkably prophetic, as events have unfolded pretty much as he foresaw and explained-- no doubt reflecting Philip's perspicacity and foresight, but also the predictability of the U.S. power elite for anyone familiar with its patterns of thought and behaviour.

Accordingly, the text of Philip's speech from ten years ago is well-worth studying, whether for the first or an additional time. It is in PDF format and can be accessed by clicking on the following link:
Text of Agee speech
(PDF: 1.5 MB)
Related items
   Tribute to Philip upon his death in 2008
    Review of Secrets byDaniel Ellsberg (PDF: 60 KB)

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To the Editor
The Independent (U.K.)
11 Sept. 2011
Channel 4 and The Independent on Sunday have chosen to contemplate the fates of children left behind by victims of a rare act of aggression against the United States ("9/11 10 years on: The children left behind", 4 September).

I cannot recall any corresponding interest by the mainstream press in the children left behind by victims of habitual US aggression in Indochina, Latin America and the rest of the world.

Granted, a fair treatment of that subject would consume a vastly greater and constantly expanding space. Still...
Al Burke