This month witnesses the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Whilst many will rightly be mourning the loss of civilian life (though the West ought not to forget about Iraqi, Syrian, Donbass or Libyan civilians), many more will come to the realisation that the biggest long term casualty of 9/11 is the death of trust.
Governments have been lying to the public since the beginning of the notion “modern government”, and far from being an exception, late-modern America is a prime example of this. Yet 9/11 was something of a watershed in the breakdown of trust between government and citizen not just in America but in much of Europe as well.
On the 10th of September in the year 2001, there was much to mourn.
Those in the West could have mourned the deaths of Iraqi children due to crippling and inhumane sanctions, but most didn’t because they weren’t Iraqi.
Those in the West could have shed tears for the Serbian civilians murdered by NATO in 1999, but they didn’t because most had never even heard of Kosovo.
The list goes on and on. But 9/11 was a great ‘it could have been me’ moment for the West, and because of that the shock was profound.
Naturally once the initial shock wore off, questions were asked but answers were few and unsatisfactory.
Inevitably, the first people who asked questions were labelled ‘conspiracy theorists’ by the mainstream media even though asking a question is the antithesis of a conspiracy theor;, it implies a lack of a theory combined with objective doubts about an official story.
Recent polls have now shown that a majority of Americans and an even wider majority of the world do not accept the official interpretation of the events of 9/11.
That famous conspiratorial think tank called The United States Congress has recently been tearing themselves apart over whether to declassify information about the role the Saudi Arabian government played in the attacks, a role previously denied in full by both the Bush and Obama administrations.
There are many theories as to what actually happened on 9/11 ranging from the clinical and expert to the far reaching and fantastical. They can all be easily found on line and also increasingly in print. But enough of theories.
The solid statistical truth is that there is no consensus over the facts behind a major world event and the official line doesn’t seem to be selling, even amongst the corridors of officialdom.
Any trust the wider American public had in their government prior to 9/11 was erased in the aftermath of the atrocity. Everyone from members of the public up to Congress and possible future president Donald Trump are questioning the veracity of the official response and official statements in the aftermath of 9/11.
Condemning the events of 9/11 is necessary and obvious. But condemning the failure of officials to be transparent is equally necessary.
It is also necessary to condemn the wars still being fought by the West in the Middle East, wars which started in earnest after George Bush’s government linked Iraq to the attacks and Tony Blair said that after 9/11 the West had a duty to ‘re-order the world’.
A recent video from America, shows that when interviewed in the street, many Americans still believe Saddam Hussein was somehow responsible for the attacks; others blamed Syria.
There’s a lot more work to do if truth and justice are to be restored.