By Pepe Escobar
September 9, 2011
Asia Times Online

The West in vain tries to find a form of agony worthy of its past
– E M Cioran

Enduring Freedom is how the United States government defined its official, military response to 9/11. It should have been Operation Infinite Justice; but then some apparatchik found out that also happened to be a definition of God. Ten years after 9/11, facts on the ground spell out a world shocked and awed to endure war rather than justice, while freedom, shrinking by the minute, is just another word for everything left to lose.

Osama bin Laden used to define 9/11 as Yaum Niu York (“the day of New York”). Little did the now decomposed corpse at the bottom of the Arabian Sea know he would unleash an early 21st century conformed as a wasteland littered with militarized newspeak [1].

Ground Zero spawned the George Bush-designated global war on terror (GWOT), a nonsensical war against a tactic. A more realistic Pentagon called it The Long War. United States national security morphed into Homeland Security. The threatened hyperpower rushed to manufacture a fearful civil liberty shredder, the Patriot Act, approved by Bush on October 2001, and enshrined as permanent in March 2006.

For Washington, 9/11 was never about blowback. It happened because of a dysfunctional system displaying failure of imagination. After the fact, world public opinion never ceased to be massaged by an army of message force multipliers, from defense specialists to security experts. And an array of Code Oranges, elevated security concerns and specifics-free warnings kept the US masses on its toes.

Faster than the speed of rumor, Humint, Sigint, Imint (human, signals and imagery intelligence), backed up by Techint and CI (technical and counter intelligence) merged into a swarm of psyops (usually relying on bad humint). But for all its technical wizardry, the US government botched the elusive goal of Total Information Awareness (TIA) – a megalomaniac, Dr Strangelove-style project by the Pentagon’s DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).

After the end of the USSR, a flimsy al-Qaeda had been elevated to the status of global bogeyman. That was in reference to al-Qa’eda al-Askariyya (“the military base”), an obscure outfit whose existence was officially acknowledged on February 23, 1998 as part of a World Islamic Front to fight Jews and Christians, founded at a meeting in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Bin Laden always characterized al-Qaeda as a training-and-fighting, loose network – as much as he exhorted the cavalry of Islam to do battle. Bin Laden was essentially a fundamentalist Wahhabi who felt a duty to fight jahiliyya (“ignorance”) – understood as much in Egyptian fundamentalist Sayyid Qutb’s sense (as infidel Arab regimes), as in the ignorance predominant before the arrival of Islam in the 7th century.

Instead of being bombed to the stone age, Pakistan under then-president Pervez Musharraf (or “Busharraf”) joined GWOT. In a planetary screenplay, jihadis – or Islamo-fascists – were universally depicted as the bad guys, while the mujahideen had been the good guys when still promoted as freedom fighters during the 1980s anti-Soviet jihad.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban were duly bombed out of power. Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri escaped from Tora Bora to a black void. And then the dark side became the new normal.

Link to the rest of the article Enduring freedom forever