The atmosphere of cringing obedience to the US government which kept the social peace for the eight months from September 11th. has evaporated.
The accusations range from incompetence to complicity. "Bush Knew!" screamed the New York Post. Less hysterical but more damning, a carefully researched book by Nafeez Ahmed, Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Development in Brighton, UK entitled The War on Freedom: How and Why America Was Attacked, argues not only that the administration had plenty of warning, but that it was in its interest to ignore them. There are even theories that say Osama bin Laden still works for the CIA! And, naturally, those who think Israel was directly responsible. What a ludicrous idea!
It will be difficult for the administration to amalgamate its critics in an attempt to tar them all with the brush of the lunatic fringe, because they range from the usual right-wing suspects to human rights activists like Ahmed and the protest site Indymedia.org. This doesn't stop some liberals from trying, though. See Z Magazine's attempt to refute September 11th conspiracy theories.
Vice-President Dick Cheney's attempts to defend the boss against any criticism by accusing them of being unpatriotic just isn't cutting any ice. The more defensive they get, the more even the DC press corps say they must have something to hide. It's turning into another Something-gate - 'Osamagate' is the current favorite. It is becoming more difficult to find support for the invasion of Iraq, to which Bush is so publicly committed.
The FBI are breaking ranks, with junior agents asking why their superiors suppressed their reports about Islamic fanatics taking flying lessons - just flying, thank you, not taking off or landing. Their superiors in turn are blaming the CIA.
The administration has also wheeled out the old "hindsight" argument. They accuse critics of "Monday morning quarterbacking". This amounts to saying that, just because the FBI had intelligence that Muslims from the Middle East were taking flying lessons with the intention of crashing planes into buildings, doesn't mean they should have concluded that Muslims from the Middle East were taking flying lessons with the intention of crashing planes into buildings.
Political crises bring down governments, but not capitalism. The working class has to take advantage of bourgeois crises of confidence. There are some signs that the class struggle is not quite dead, but we won't bore you with a list of strikes, protests and so on.
In short, the political capital Bush mined from the ruins of the World Trade Center and over three thousand people's lives is beginning to run out. The reason governments such as Israel and India hitched their war machines to the anti-terrorist bandwagon so promptly and forcefully is because they can see it will soon run out of steam.
Richard Tate, May 26, 2002
Sensational news, Sept 9th 2002:
How the Taliban warned America about the Sept. 11 plot.