Recently many people are asking why did the U.S. government ignore various indicators leading up to 9/11 that perhaps something horrible would happen if there weren’t changes in U.S. policies. Okay…I suppose it isn’t an entirely unreasonable question. And similarly for wondering how come the media was so obtuse to the events.
But to put this question into some proportion, how about considering a different one:
Why did the U.S. government ignore the uncontested testimony of virtually every relevant aid and human rights organization on the ground in Afghanistan that to bomb that country post 9/11 would risk the lives of literally millions of Afghan civilians. When we then did bomb in order to delegitimate international law, show that we are a violent rogue nation, and initiate a worldwide campaign that would increase terrorism but also help redistribute power and wealth toward elites, why didn’t media run headlines saying things like – U.S. risks killing millions of Afghans to avoid legitimating the World Court?
It seems to me that the first question about 9/11, even explored honestly which it isn’t in our political system, of course – palls in importance next to the second one.
An analogy might help.
Suppose there was some soul-searching in Al Qaeda. They decide to hold hearings about some disturbing concerns that have arisen in their camp. What they query is why their intelligence operatives were unable to find sufficient information to more fully harm the Pentagon with the third plane, or why they didn’t have better advance information on the scale and targeting of the post 9/11 U.S. bombing of their outposts in the Afghan countryside. What they fail to ask is why they knocked down the buildings and killed thousands of civilians and why in their eyes it was worth not only the immediate carnage but also the calamity that predictably befell them thereafter.
Most people would probably agree that even though its questions were interesting, the bias of the hypothetical Al Qaeda inquiry went beyond self serving to obtusely amoral and vile. Isn’t the same true of the bias of our inquiry?