The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America

The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America

The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America

The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America

Synopsis

This is an ambitious, meticulous examination of how U.S. foreign policy since the 1960s has led to partial or total cover-ups of past domestic criminal acts, including, perhaps, the catastrophe of 9/11. Peter Dale Scott, whose previous books have investigated CIA involvement in southeast Asia, the drug wars, and the Kennedy assassination, here probes how the policies of presidents since Nixon have augmented the tangled bases for the 2001 terrorist attack. Scott shows how America's expansion into the world since World War II has led to momentous secret decision making at high levels. He demonstrates how these decisions by small cliques are responsive to the agendas of private wealth at the expense of the public, of the democratic state, and of civil society. He shows how, in implementing these agendas, U.S. intelligence agencies have become involved with terrorist groups they once backed and helped create, including al Qaeda.

Excerpt

On March 17, 2003, President George W. Bush presented Saddam Hussein with an ultimatum; it became clear that he would soon declare a preemptive war against Iraq. It was a shock—a shock that forced me to recognize, against my will, how much America had changed since I immigrated here from Canada in 1961. Acute social problems beset the 1960s, but dreams of justice and equality were still alive. Today many of these same dreams are being abandoned, at least by the state.

When dreams are abandoned, a nation’s fate is altered. The America of 1961 has not vanished, but it has changed direction. The country has swerved from its traditional path, toward a different post-America where traditional rights, freedoms, and openness have been seriously eroded. When I say this, I am not just referring to the corporate crimes of Enron and others that have helped finance the gap between our political parties and the quest for social justice. I am not just referring to the Bush administration’s scrapping of international treaties on topics ranging from arms limitation to torture, nor to its boorish diplomatic behavior and defiance of the UN charter itself. I am not just recalling the abuse of electoral procedures in Florida, nor the judicial abuse that ratified it. Nor am I just talking about the redefinition of our government and civil rights in the name of “homeland security.” I am talking about deeper changes beneath all this corruption, ineptitude, malevolence, and hysteria.

Empires always become “bad news” for their home countries, as the economist J. A. Hobson pointed out a century ago. Spain, one of . . .

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