The war was not meant to be won. It was meant to be continuous.
George Orwell, 1984
Our 9/11 coverage this year, the 20th anniversary, has been focused on viewing the attacks of 2001 through the lens of the Covid “pandemic” rollout.
The point is not that both Covid19 and 9/11 are necessarily part of the same grand plan, were carried out by the same people, or were in any way directly connected. Rather, they are thematically connected, on the meta-level.
They spring from the same collective urge all rulers and governments harbour, and are employed to the same end.
They are different tools designed to achieve the same end. Different approaches to the same problem. Different evolutionary stages of the same animal: The decades-long change in the core aims of warfare and even the very meaning of “war” itself.
War has always been vital to the preservation of the state. Wars make rulers rich, and people scared. They unite nations behind leaders, and distract from domestic political issues.
But, as nations become more powerful, weapon technology more advanced, and global power centralises in giant corporations rather than nations, war – in the traditional sense – becomes more expensive, more dangerous, and largely meaningless.
Essentially the old-fashioned motivations for warfare no longer apply, but the ancillary domestic benefits of war-like policy remain. While the state, and their corporate backers, no longer need to take part in pitched battles over the best farmland, they do still need their subjects to believe they are under attack.
In short, by necessity, “war” has gradually shifted from genuine inter-state conflicts over control of resources, into a top-down tool of psychological manipulation.
And the first stage of that evolution was 9/11.
9/11 AND THE WAR ON TERROR
9/11 was an inside job. Any objective examination of the evidence can only lead to that conclusion. (I’m not going to lay that out here, we have dozens of articles detailing that. That’s not what I’m writing about today.)
The US government blew up their own buildings, killed their own civilians, terrified their own people. The ruling class engaging in what Orwell called “war against their subjects”, in a very literal sense.
Much like the Reichstag fire in Nazi Germany, this staged “attack” was done to create a war-like mentality. To make people believe they were under threat, and serve as the basis for new “temporary emergency powers” for the government.
But 9/11 went further, serving as the casus belli for a war: “The war on terror”.
The War on Terror was a new kind of war, yes it was used as a starting point for more traditional wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and then proxy wars in Syria, Libya and Yemen, but its main target was actually domestic. A nationwide psy-op war designed to keep 350 million people in a semi-permanent state of fear.
It was the natural next step in the Orwellian redefinition of “war” as a concept.
If the primary aims of your war are a) To maintain domestic control of your population, and b) To funnel tax-payer money into bloated contracts with the private sector, then do you really need to declare war on a foreign country?
In fact, do you need an actual physical “war” at all? Isn’t the idea of a war just as good?
And if all you need is the idea of a war, what better way than to declare war on an idea. Why not make your enemy an abstract concept?
Because the great thing about going to war on an abstract concept is you can’t ever lose, and you never have to win. The war can go on forever.
This idea was first trialled with “the war on drugs”. But that didn’t work because a) people actually quite like drugs and b) Drugs are a vital income stream for the deep state. So it fizzled.
The war on terror is better. Since “terror” is an abstract noun with no solid reality, it can mean anything you want it to mean. “The war on terror” can be domestic or foreign, political or military, overt or covert or both. It can’t be won, it can’t be lost, and it only ends when you say it does.
Well, almost perfect.
There are still a few issues.
For example, it’s actually quite difficult to keep people afraid of an abstract concept. You need real-world reminders. Essentially, for the war on terror to continue, you need to keep reminding people terror is out there. Which means terrorism needs to happen. Which means either letting it happen or making it happen (the vast majority of the time it’s the latter).
If you’re staging terror attacks they either have to be real, resulting in real victims and real grieving families asking real questions…or they’re fake, meaning paying actors. Either way is logistically complicated, difficult to control and potentially embarrassing.
There’s also the problem of the terrorists themselves. You’ve publicly declared war on them…but they’re also very useful. There’s a reason you’ve funded them for decades. The inevitable result is you end up with “good terrorists” in country A, and “bad terrorists” in Country B. And when they are revealed to be essentially exactly the same, well that looks bad.
But the biggest problem, really, is that it caps your ambition.
You may have chosen an abstract concept as the target of your war, but that concept needs to take human form somehow. And any human enemy can only be so scary, and can only do so much damage. There’s no way you can frighten everyone at once that way.
Plus, picking a human enemy – along racial, national, ethnic or ideological lines – is inescapably divisive. You can’t ever unite everyone behind that flag.
In short, a war on terror and terrorists is fine if you want to rule a country, but what if you want to rule a planet?
Well, what you need then is a new enemy. An enemy that can be anywhere and everywhere, and that definitely isn’t human.