Richard K. Moore
many other viewers, I shrank back in disbelief when the images
of the World Trade Centre (WTC) attack first began to flood
the airwaves. How could this happen? Who would want to do
such a thing? How could four different airliners all be hijacked
at the same time? How had security systems and air defenses
both failed so miserably? How would America respond?
then the answers to such questions started coming in… within
hours the authorities “knew” that the perpetrators were linked
to Bin Laden, and President George Bush was already announcing
a “War Against Terrorism”. While images of the attack were
still being replayed, over and over again, US Congress had
already authorised the President to take “any necessary measures”,
and had allocated $40 billion to that purpose. Within days,
the US had persuaded NATO to declare that this “attack on
one member nation was an attack on all”. Then it turned out
that the $40 billion had come from America’s social-security
fund, and $15 billion was being allocated to bailing out the
airline industry. Next we were being told that Americans would
need to give up their civil liberties, and Congress was rapidly
approving the “Combating Terrorism Act of 2001”. The War on
Terrorism was going to be largely a covert war, a war “unlike
any other”, a war that would go on indefinitely into the future.
this time, my disbelief began to turn into suspicion. How
had the US government come up so quickly with such a comprehensive
and coordinated response? How had they decided within hours
that an extended War on Terrorism was the appropriate action?
How did they know that $40 billion was the exact amount needed?
And then as background reports began to appear, my suspicion
deepened. It turns out that the airlines were already in deep
trouble, before the attack. And the US had other reasons to
go after Afghanistan, having to do with oil reserves, and
pipeline routes. And there had been earlier signs that the
social-security funds might be raided for other uses. And
still, no actual evidence had been produced linking Bin Laden
to the attacks.
whole scenario began to fit a very familiar pattern, a pattern
that has characterised American history from its earliest
days. This led me to a quite different analysis of the events
than we were being fed over the mass media. I am not claiming
that this alternative analysis is correct, I offer it only
for your consideration. The various claims I make in this
article are my opinion only. There may be some factual errors,
but in my humble opinion, given the reports I have seen, this
seems to be the most-likely scenario...
History – A Series of Suspicious Warpath ‘Incidents’
we look back at history, we find that every time the US has
entered into a major military adventure, that has been enabled
by a dramatic incident which aroused public sentiment overwhelmingly
in favour of military action. These incidents have always
been accepted at face value when they occurred, but in every
case we have learned later that the incidents were highly
suspicious. And in every case, the ensuing military action
served some elite geopolitical design.
for example, the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which gave President
Lyndon Johnson an excuse to begin major escalation of the
Vietnam War. Supposedly, in that incident, a North Vietnamese
boat launched torpedoes in an attempt to sink an American
warship. It is now generally accepted by historians that the
attack did not in fact occur, and that Johnson had been preparing
to escalate all along.
of my correspondents on the Internet summarised a portion
of the history this way:
“The US Government lied to the American People about the following
events. Each of these incidents led the United States into
“1898…THEY LIED about the sinking of the battleship Maine.
(Spanish American War)
“1915…THEY LIED about the sinking of the ocean liner Lusitania
(World War I)
“1941…THEY LIED about the attack on Pearl Harbor. (World War
“1964…THEY LIED about the Gulf of Tonkin affair. (Vietnam
the media coverage of the recent WTC attack, the comparison
with Pearl Harbor has been frequently raised. Thousands of
American troops were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor,
and thousands of American civilians were killed in the attack
on the WTC. In both cases the American people responded (quite
understandably) with deep shock and outrage. In both cases,
overwhelming public sentiment was for retaliation, and for
giving the President total support for whatever course he
chose. In 1941, as now, any suggestion that the US government
knew in advance of the attacks, and could have prevented them,
would have been met by angry disbelief by almost any American.
Nonetheless, the evidence now seems to favour the view that
President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) did know about
the impending attack on Pearl Harbor, and that he could have
mounted an effective defense.
now know that elite US planners, during the period 1939-1941,
had come to the conclusion that the Japanese conquest of Asia
had to be stopped. The planners determined that Southeast
Asia, in particular, was critical to US economic interests.
But US public opinion was overwhelmingly against entering
the war. It now seems that FDR figured out a way to get the
US into the war, and that Pearl Harbor was the key to his
the Japanese began to threaten Southeast Asia, FDR froze Japanese
assets in US banks, resulting in a cutoff of Japanese oil
supplies. This was considered an act of war by Japan, and
Japanese retaliation was expected by American planners. As
the Japanese fleet approached Pearl Harbor, intelligence services
in Britain and the US evidently knew of that approach. British
Prime Minister Churchill notified his Pacific commanders that
the Japanese were heading for Pearl Harbor. FDR, on the other
hand, did not notify his commanders. Instead, he sent the
most strategic ships (the aircraft carriers) out to sea where
they would be safe, and instructed key observation outposts
on the island of Kauai to stand down. It was over Kauai that
the Japanese made their approach to Pearl Harbor.
seems that FDR intentionally set the stage for a ‘surprise’
attack – shocking the nation and instantly shifting public
opinion from non-interventionism to war frenzy. I am suggesting
that this same scenario must be considered in the case of
the recent WTC and Pentagon attacks. Unbelievable as this
may seem, this is a scenario that matches the modus operandi
of US ruling elites. These elites show callous disregard for
civilian lives in Iraq, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, and dozens of
other places around the world. Is it so surprising that they
would sacrifice a few thousand American civilians if they
considered that necessary in order to pursue their geopolitical
Let us now consider in more detail the possible motives for
such a crime scenario.
Capitalism in Crisis
must have growth and change in order to operate. The engine
of capitalism is driven by wealthy investors who put their
money into the economy in order to increase their wealth.
If the economy offers no growth opportunities, then investors
withdraw their money and the whole system collapses. A minor
collapse is called a recession, and a major collapse is called
a depression. The history of capitalism is punctuated by such
came into existence along with the Industrial Revolution in
the late 1700s in Scotland and northern England. Before that
time societies were not based primarily on growth. Certainly
there were people before then who sought to increase their
wealth, but economies as a whole did not require growth in
order to operate. Societies were ruled by aristocratic elites
whose wealth was measured by the estates they owned, and the
peasants who worked their land. Such aristocrats were more
interested in stability than change, and more concerned with
maintaining their estates than with economic growth.
the Industrial Revolution came along then all this began to
change. With the cotton gin, steam engine, and other new technologies,
it became possible for an entrepreneur to make a great deal
of wealth rapidly. A new wealthy elite began to emerge made
up inventors, industrialists, bankers, and traders. These
were the people who built the factories, invested in them,
and figured out ways to get the new products to markets.
interests of this new elite clashed with those of the old
aristocratic elite. The aristocrats favoured stability, and
laws which provided stability – such as tariffs, price controls,
etc. The new elite, on the other hand, wanted change and growth
– they wanted to develop new products, build new factories,
and capture new markets. While aristocratic wealth was based
on land and stability, industrial wealth was based on investment,
development, change, and growth.
new kind of economics, based on investment and growth, came
to be known as capitalism. And the new elite, gaining its
wealth through change and growth, is the capitalist elite.
At first capitalism existed alongside aristocracy, competing
with it to control the laws of society. But then in Britain,
and later in other nations, the capitalist elite won out.
Laws, economies, and societies were transformed to favour
capitalism and growth over stability and land-based wealth.
Banking, monetary systems, and taxation were re-engineered
so as to compel businesses to seek growth whether they wanted
to or not. Thus our economies were transformed into engines
designed to increase elite wealth. Rather than economies which
serve the needs of societies, we have societies which serve
the needs of capital growth.
one can deny that capitalism and its growth have brought many
kinds of benefits to some people. America was based on capitalism
from its very founding, and American wealth and prosperity
are legendary. But there is a fundamental problem with capitalism.
How is it possible for an economy to grow endlessly? How can
growth be forever achieved in a finite world? Is capitalism,
in the final analysis, sustainable?
fact, providing for ongoing growth has been the primary challenge
faced by every nation that has adopted capitalism. The history
of the 19th and 20th centuries has been primarily the story
of nations competing for markets and resources to support
growth. Our history books tell us about noble causes and evil
enemies, but in truth every significant war since 1800 has
been about competition among Great Powers for economic growth.
capitalism, nations built empires because kings or individuals
were greedy and wanted more territory and wealth. After capitalism,
nations developed empires out of necessity. If they didn’t
expand their markets and access to resources their economies
would collapse. As industrial capitalism got into high gear
in the late 1800s, that was accompanied by an unprecedented
expansion of imperialism on a global scale.
1800 until 1945 the world system was a matter of competition
among Great Powers for empires, in order to provide for capitalist
growth. In each empire there was a core nation which ruled
over peripheral territories. The peripheral territories were
exploited in order to provide growth for the core ruling nation.
The populations of the core nations were convinced by propaganda
that they were helping or aiding the periphery to develop.
This propaganda was lies. The fact was suppression, exploitation,
and the prevention of healthy development in the periphery
– so as to enable capitalism to flourish in the core Great
1945 this global system was radically changed. Under American
leadership, with the help of both incentives and coercion,
a new paradigm of capitalist growth was launched. Instead
of competitive imperialism, a regime of cooperative imperialism
was instituted. Under the protection of the American military,
the so-called “Free World” was opened to exploitation by capitalism
generally. This led to the rise of immense transnational corporations
which were no longer limited in their growth to a single national
empire. This new post-1945 system was invented in order to
provide another round of growth to capitalism.
the post-1945 system, part of the scheme was to provide prosperity
to the Western middle classes. In Europe, the USA, and in
Japan as well, populations experienced unprecedented prosperity.
Cooperative imperialism provided immense growth room for capitalism,
and the wealth was being shared with the core-nation populations.
no matter what system might be set up, growth eventually runs
into the limits of that system. The post-1945 system was no
exception. By the early 1970s the growth machine was beginning
to slow down. Recessions began to replace prosperity. As a
consequence, the global capitalist elite designed yet another
system, offering yet another round of capitalist growth. This
new system goes under the name ‘neoliberalism’, and it was
launched under the auspices of Ronald Reagan in the USA and
Margaret Thatcher in the UK.
purpose of neoliberalism was to steal the wealth of the prosperous
capitalist nations and transfer that wealth to the capitalist
elite and the corporations which they own and control. That’s
what privatisation, deregulation, and other so-called ‘reforms’
were all about. In addition, neoliberalism was aimed at disempowering
democracy itself – because it was the democratic nations which
were implementing laws which limited the power of corporations.
Any limit on the power of corporations is a limit on their
ability to grow. And the one thing capitalism cannot tolerate
is limits to its growth. That is a matter of life and death
as must always happen, the neoliberal system also began
to run out of growth room. In this case, the system only provided
growth for about ten years, the decade of the 1980s. And thus
we were brought to the era of globalisation. Propaganda
tells us that globalisation is simply the continuation of
‘natural’ trends in technology, trade, and commerce. This
is not true. Globalisation represents an intentional and
radical policy shift on the part of the global capitalist
amounts to four radical changes in the world system. These
are (1) the destabilisation of and removal of sovereignty
from Western nation states, (2) the establishment of an essentially
fascist world government under the direct control of the capitalist
elite, (3) the greatly accelerated exploitation and suppression
of the third-world, and (4) the gradual downgrading of Western
living conditions toward third-world standards. By these means,
elites hope to achieve yet another round of capital growth.
most of the decade of the 1990s globalisation proceeded almost
unnoticed by the world’s population. The World Trade Organisation
(WTO) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) began to establish
their tentacles of power without publicity. Government leaders
worldwide, under the pressure of capitalist elites, were quietly
signing their sovereignty over to the new global institutions.
When globalisation was mentioned at all in the media, it was
described in propaganda terms as sharing ‘progress’ with the
downtrodden of the world.
then in December 1999 the people of the world began to wake
up. The demonstrations in Seattle marked the beginning of
a new global movement. In fairness, one must acknowledge that
there were earlier signs of the movement in Europe and the
third world. But only when the movement reached the USA did
it become ‘real’ in the eyes of the world. And ever since
Seattle the movement has been growing by leaps and bounds
on a global scale.
movement does not yet have well-defined goals, but it is a
very promising and very radical movement. It is based on a
clear understanding that global capitalism is leading us to
ecological disaster and to tyranny. The movement does not
have a clear organisational structure, but that itself is
promising. The decentralised nature of the movement points
the way to a new kind of genuine, locally-based democracy
– a democracy that is not subject to elite manipulation as
have been our Western pseudo-democracies with their manufactured
presented this (highly abbreviated) historical background,
I can now describe the nature of ‘the global crisis of capitalism’.
On the one hand, the capitalist elite must accelerate the
pace of globalisation in order to continue providing room
for capital growth. On the other hand, the people of the world,
including in the West, have begun to wake up and oppose the
dangerous and ominous path of globalisation. The elite know
that as the path of globalisation is pursued more vigorously,
more and more people will rise in opposition. The crisis of
globalisation is a crisis of population control, requiring
tightened political management of the people of Europe and
in the third world have been subjected to imperialist tyranny
for centuries, and this has been possible because of suppression
by Western military force. If the people of the West arise
in opposition to globalisation, then the hegemony of the capitalist
elite is seriously threatened. This is the crisis of global
on Terrorism” –
A Solution to Capitalism’s Crisis
Bush calls it a “War on Terrorism”, but what is it really?
Let’s look at some of the specifics...
Congress has authorised the President
to do “whatever is necessary”.
Congress has allocated 40 billion dollars to
The $40 billion came from Social Security funds.
$15 billion is being allocated to bail out
the airline industry. Thus, terrorism is being used as an
excuse to steal the savings of workers and transfer it to
large corporations, including airlines and weapons contractors.
For the first time, NATO has invoked the treaty
clause which says “an attack on one nation is an attack on
We’ve been told to expect significant curtailment
of civil liberties.
Bush declared that “Every nation in every region
now has a decision to make. Either you are with us or you
are with the terrorists.”
Fleets, planes, and ground troops have been
dispatched to the Middle East to do “whatever”.
We are to expect a long, protracted war, much
of which will be covert and we won’t be told what happened
even after it’s all over.
After Bin Laden is dealt with, Secretary of
State Colin Powell tells us “we will then broaden the campaign
to go after other terrorist organisations and forms of terrorism
around the world.”
Bush tells us that “We will use every necessary
weapon of war”, and “Americans should not expect one battle,
but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen.”
The Pentagon specifically refuses to rule out
the use of nuclear weapons.
is a very comprehensive agenda. Bush has a blank check to
do whatever he wants, wherever he wants, using whatever means
he chooses. He has made it clear he intends to pull no punches
and that he will keep drawing on this blank check for a long
time to come. From such an agenda, one cannot easily predict
where it will all lead. In such a case, it is instructive
to look at the historical precedents.
Harbor aroused the wrath of Americans against the Japanese...
but as soon as the blank check was signed, it was Europe that
received the initial focus of American military attention.
After the Battleship Maine was blown up (from an internal
explosion we have since learned), the thirst for revenge was
translated into the imperialist capture of the Philippines.
In other words, when one of these outrage incidents occurs,
the modus operandi of the US elite is to pursue whatever objectives
are most important to it – regardless of the incident that
provided the blank check.
the most important issue before the elite at this point in
history is the preservation of global elite rule, the acceleration
of globalisation, and the suppression of the anti-globalisation
movement. They must deal with the crisis of global capitalism.
this perspective, the real meaning of the “War on Terrorism”
begins to come into focus. Permit me to speculate as to the
scenario which is likely to unfold...
Nearly every country in the third world has some local ethnic
group which is struggling against some kind of dictatorial
government, usually installed by the USA. Every one of these
ethnic groups can be labelled ‘terrorist’. Thus Bush can always
intervene anywhere he wants for whatever reason and call it
part of the “War on Terrorism”.
In the Middle East, Balkans, and Western Asia,
the US will continue the process of turning much of the region
into an occupied imperialist realm, as we now see in Kosovo.
Afghanistan occupies a very strategic geopolitical position,
and military bases there will be important in the coming confrontation
with China. Vast reserves of oil remain in that region, along
with other minerals, and control over these resources will
be critical as global supplies become increasingly scarce.
In particular, Afghanistan is the planned route for a pipeline
to transport huge Caspian Sea oil reserves to Western markets.
US dominance of the NATO agenda will be important
in this region, as will the careful management of European
public opinion. One should not be surprised if US intelligence
agencies covertly arrange for terrorist attacks in Europe
along the same lines as the WTC attacks.
Even without covert US encouragement, one can
expect terrorist responses to the indiscriminate US bombing
unleashed in Afghanistan and who-knows-where-else. Any such
terrorist attacks will galvanise Western public opinion still
further, adding depth to Bush’s blank check.
The “Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001” is almost
unbelievable in the degree to which it will turn the USA into
a full-scale police state. Terrorism is very loosely and broadly
defined, and life imprisonment is authorised for any offense
which comes under this definition. The bill is retroactive
and there is no statue of limitations. This means that people
who were activists back in the 1960s or 1970s could be imprisoned
for life, if their acts in the past could be construed as
‘terrorism’ under this new police-state bill. Even those who
merely attended the demonstrations, or helped plan them, could
be punished equally with those who actually committed the
acts. Broad new powers of surveillance, preventive detention,
and searches of homes without warrants are included in the
police-state bill. Even minor computer hacking would be ‘terrorism’
and would be punishable by life imprisonment. And there many,
many other equally frightening provisions.
Already Greenpeace and many other progressive
organisations are categorised as ‘terrorist’ in the FBI lexicon.
And it is the anti-globalisation movement, which includes
such organisations, which is the real threat to the global
capitalist elite. Agent-provocateur tactics have already been
used against the movement, from Seattle to Genoa, and in the
media the movement has been falsely portrayed as being essentially
a violent movement. When Colin Powell talks about going after
“other forms of terrorism”, it seems very clear that the movement
will be systematically suppressed on a global scale. The overt
fascism we saw in Genoa will be raising its ugly head in the
US, Germany, the UK, and elsewhere. Right-wing paranoia about
Federally-managed concentration camps in the USA will soon
seem much less paranoid.
Bush senior announced the New World Order, and it seems that
George Bush junior is destined to complete its implementation.
With a blank check to dominate the globe militarily, and to
suppress the American people in the name of ‘security’, there
seems to be little to stand in his way. This does not mean
that the movement should give up. It means that the movement
needs to be aware that the game being played is totally hardball.
And hardball does not mean violence, at least not on the part
of the movement. Hardball means we need to realise that the
enemy is nothing less than global fascism. The sooner we realise
that and organise accordingly, the greater chance we have
of changing things while there are still human beings alive
and out of prison on this Earth.
from the draft
US Anti-Terrorism Bill of 2001:
302. ALTERNATIVE MAXIMUM PENALTIES FOR TERRORISM CRIMES.
person convicted of any Federal terrorism offense may be sentenced
to imprisonment for any term of years or for life, notwithstanding
any maximum term of imprisonment specified in the law describing
303. PENALTIES FOR TERRORIST CONSPIRACIES.
person who attempts or conspires to commit any Federal terrorism
offense shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed
for the offense…
C. Korten, The Post-Corporate World, Life After Capitalism,
Kumarian Press, 1999.
tells us that capitalism is the same as free enterprise, and
that the only alternative to capitalism is state-run socialism.
Korten clearly explains why both of these beliefs are false.
He examines market economies, as articulated by Adam Smith,
and shows that capitalism is something entirely different.
Market economies are based on competition among equal buyers
and sellers, while capitalism is about monopoly control by
Martin, Nonviolence versus capitalism, War Resisters’
International, London, 2001.
Shoup and William Minter, “Shaping a New World Order: The
Council on Foreign Relations’ Blueprint for World Hegemony,
1939-1945”, in: Holly Sklar, ed, Trilateralism, South
End Press, 1980, pp. 135-156
B. Stinnett, Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl
Harbor, Free Press, 2000.
B. Stinnett, “December 7, 1941: A Setup from the Beginning”,
Honolulu Advertiser, December 7, 2000. Online at:
Greider, Who Will Tell the People, the Betrayal of American
Democracy, Touchstone - Simon & Schuster, New York,
P. Huntington, The Clash Of Civilizations and the Remaking
of World Order, Simon and Schuster, London, 1997.
who organised death squads for the CIA during the Vietnam
War, is now an honoured history professor at Harvard. He specialises
in publishing new-world-order propaganda, and “Clash of Civilizations”
is perhaps his masterpiece. The current “War on Terrorism”
can be seen as an attempt to implement Huntington’s diabolical
Fresia, Toward an American Revolution, Exposing the Constitution
and Other Illusions, South End Press, Boston, 1988.
must-read if you want to know what America is really about
– rule by wealthy elites.
Quinn, The Story of B, Bantam Books, New York, 1996.
Copyright 2001. Richard Moore runs the Cyberjournal
"list" on the Internet. Email:
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