Sunday 20 May 2018

How the world has forgotten West's great 'War on Terror'

Thus, too, the final British government report on 9/11 crucially excluded the 28 pages - in fact, 29 pages - of evidence about Saudi Arabia's connections to the hijackers. The pages were jealously guarded, for "security" reasons, of course, until this year, when - blow me down - they were released with a few censored passages (or "redacted" as our pusillanimous journalists called them) and revealed only what we have known for a long time: that the Saudis had been funding groups who encouraged the killers.

The "security" label, however, was deadly serious. For if the Saudi identity of the whole operation had been acknowledged from the start, how could the US and the country led by a prime minister whose name I find it difficult to utter, have claimed so imperiously that Saddam Hussein's Iraq - not Saudi Arabia - was behind the destruction of the Twin Towers. The very proposal to go to war in Iraq would have been highly questionable if we had absorbed the information contained in the censored passage of the 9/11 report. That - and that alone - was why the report was so important. It was tampered with so that we would attack Iraq and leave our Saudi allies in peace.

No wonder the Muslim response on this fifteenth anniversary of 9/11 has been so indifferent. Iran and Lebanon were among the first nations to offer their condolences in 2001. But I am struck by the words of a Pakistani doctor a few days ago. "It's a non-event," she said, "when they see the damage the Americans have done in the Arab-Muslim countries, the September 11 is the last of their worries - and not because they support terrorism."

Exactly. And just as the Great War led to the Second, so the 'world war' against Al-Qa'ida led, via Iraq, to the 'war' against the 'apocalyptic' Isis - the extraordinary word of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. We did try to stop history. Brits marched against Blair's murderous attack on Iraq before it began. But off we went. Forget Afghanistan - a good war, hadn't we defeated the Taliban? - and let's head for Baghdad for part two of the 'Great War'.

It was folksy stuff. Secluded far from Washington after 9/11, George W Bush demanded to return to the White House. He asked after his wife and two daughters. Assured that they were safe, he asked: "And Barney?" Barney was the family dog. And from that moment, we all were. (© Independent News)

From Page 23

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