Gullible Americans

I was in China when a July Harris
Poll reported that 50 percent of Americans still believe
that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when Bush
invaded that country and that 64 percent of Americans
still believe that Saddam Hussein had strong links with

The Chinese leaders and
intellectuals with whom I was meeting were incredulous.
How could a majority of the population in an allegedly
free country with an allegedly free press be so totally

The only answer I could give the
Chinese is that Americans would have been the perfect
population for Mao and the Gang of Four, because
Americans believe anything their government tells them.

Americans never check any facts.
Who do you know, for example, who has even read the
report of the 9-11 commission, much less checked the
alleged facts reported in that document. I can answer
for you. You don`t know anyone who has read the report
or checked the facts.

The two co-chairmen of the 9-11
commission report, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, have
just released a new book, "Without Precedent: The
Inside Story of the 9-11 Commission."
Kean and
Hamilton reveal that the commission suppressed the fact
that Muslim ire toward the United States is due to U.S.
support for Israel`s persecution and dispossession of
the Palestinians, not to our "freedom and democracy,"
as Bush propagandistically claims. Kean and Hamilton
also reveal that the U.S. military committed perjury and
lied about its failure to intercept the hijacked
airliners. The commission even debated referring the
military`s lies to the Justice Department for criminal
investigation. Why should we assume that these
admissions are the only cover-ups and lies in the 9-11
commission report?

How do you know that 9-11 was a
Muslim terrorist plot? How do you know that three World
Trade Center buildings collapsed because two were hit by
airliners? You only "know" because the government
gave you the explanation of what you saw on TV. (Did you
even know that three WTC buildings collapsed?)

I still remember the enlightenment
I experienced as a student in Russian studies when I
learned that the Czarist secret police would set off
bombs and then blame those whom they wanted to arrest.

When Hitler seized dictatorial
power in 1933, he told the Germans that his new powers
were made necessary by a communist terrorist attack on
the Reichstag. When Hitler started World War II by
invading Poland, he told the Germans that Poland had
crossed the frontier and attacked Germany.

Governments lie all the time —
especially governments staffed by neoconservatives whose
intellectual godfather, Leo Strauss, taught them that it
is permissible to deceive the public in order to achieve
their agenda.

Some readers will write to me to
say that they saw a TV documentary or read a magazine
article verifying the government`s explanation of 9-11.
But, of course, these Americans did not check the facts,
either — and neither did the people who made the
documentary and wrote the magazine article.

Scientists and engineers, such as
Clemson University Professor of Engineering Dr. Judy
Woods and BYU Professor of Physics Dr. Steven Jones,
have raised compelling questions about the official
account of the collapse of the three WTC buildings. The
basic problem for the government`s account is that the
buildings are known to have fallen at free-fall speed, a
fact that is inconsistent with the government`s "pancaking"
theory in which debris from above collapsed the floors
below. If the buildings actually "pancaked," then
each floor below would have offered resistance to the
floors above, and the elapsed time would have been much

These experts have also calculated
that the buildings did not have sufficient gravitational
energy to accommodate the government`s theory of the
collapse. It is certainly a known and non-controversial
fact among physicists and engineers that the only way
buildings can collapse at free fall speed into their own
footprints is by engineered demolition. Explosives are
used to remove the support of floors below before the
debris from above arrives. Otherwise, resistance is
encountered and the time required for fall increases.

Engineered demolition also explains
the symmetrical collapse of the buildings into their own
footprints. As it is otherwise improbable for every
point in floors below to weaken uniformly, "pancaking"
would result in asymmetrical collapse as some elements
of the floor would give sooner than others.

Scientific evidence is a tough
thing for the American public to handle, and the
government knows it. The government can rely on people
dismissing things that they cannot understand as
"conspiracy theory."
But if you are inclined to try
to make up your own mind, you can find Jones` and Woods`
papers, which have been formally presented to their
peers at scientific meetings, online at

Experts have also pointed out that
the buildings` giant steel skeletons comprised a massive
heat sink that wicked away the heat from the limited,
short-lived fires, thus preventing a heat buildup.
Experts also point out that the short-lived, scattered,
low-intensity fires could barely reach half the melting
point of steel even if they burned all day, instead of
merely an hour.

Don`t ask me to tell you what
happened on 9-11. All I know is that the official
account of the buildings` collapse is improbable.

Now we are being told another
improbable tale. Muslim terrorists in London and
Pakistan were caught plotting to commit mass murder by
smuggling bottles of explosive liquids on board
airliners in hand luggage. Baby formula, shampoo and
water bottles allegedly contained the tools of suicide

How do we know about this plot?
Well, the police learned it from an

"Islamic militant arrested near the Afghan-Pakistan
border several weeks ago."
And how did someone
so far away know what British-born people in London were

Do you really believe that Western
and Israeli intelligence services, which were too
incompetent to prevent the 9-11 attack, can uncover a
London plot by capturing a person on the Afghan border
in Pakistan? Why would "an Islamic militant" rat
on such a plot even if he knew of it?

More probable explanations of the
"plot" are readily available. According to the

Aug. 11 Wayne Madsen Report
, informed sources in the
United Kingdom say that "the Tony Blair government,
under siege by a Labor Party revolt, cleverly cooked up
a new `terror` scare to avert the public`s eyes away
from Blair`s increasing political woes. British law
enforcement, neocon and intelligence operatives in the
United States, Israel and Britain, and Rupert Murdoch`s
global media empire cooked up the terrorist plot,
liberally borrowing from the failed 1995 `Oplan Bjinka`
plot by Pakistan- and Philippines-based terrorist Ramzi
Ahmad Yousef to crash 11 trans-Pacific airliners bound
from Asia to the U.S."

There are other plausible
explanations. For example, our puppet in Pakistan
decided to arrest some people who were a threat to him.
With Bush`s commitment to "building democracy in the
Middle East,"
our puppet can`t arrest his political
enemies without cause, so he lays the blame on a plot.

Any testimony against Muslim
plotters by "an Islamic militant" is certain to
have been bought and paid for.

Or consider this explanation. Under
the Nuremberg standard, Bush and Blair are war
criminals. Bush is so worried that he will be held
accountable that he has sent his attorney general to
consult with the Republican Congress to work out
legislation to protect Bush retroactively from his
violations of the Geneva Conventions.

Tony Blair is in more danger of
finding himself in the dock. Britain is signatory to a
treaty that, if justice is done, will place Blair before
the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

What better justification for the
two war criminals` illegal actions than the need to foil
dastardly plots by Muslims recruited in sting operations
by Western intelligence services? The more Bush and
Blair can convince their publics that terrorist danger
abounds, the less likely Bush and Blair are ever to be
held accountable for their crimes.

But surely, some readers might
object, our great moral leaders wouldn`t do something
political like that!

They most certainly would. As
Joshua Micah Marshall wrote in the

July 7 issue of Time magazine,
the suspicion
is "quite reasonable" that "the Bush
administration orchestrates its terror alerts and
arrests to goose the GOP`s poll numbers."

Marshall proves his conclusion by
examining the barrage of color-coded terror alerts, none
of which were real — and, yes, it all fits with
political needs. 

And don`t forget the plot unearthed
in Miami to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago.
Described by Vice President Cheney as a "very real
the plot turned out to be nothing more than
a few harmless wackos recruited by an FBI agent sent out
to organize a sting.

There was also the "foiled plot"

blow up the Holland Tunnel
and flood downtown New
York City with seawater. Thinking New Orleans, the FBI
invented this plot without realizing that New York City
is above sea level. Of course, most Americans didn`t
realize it, either.

For six years, the Bush regime has
been able to count on the ignorant and naive American
public to believe whatever tale that is told them.
American gullibility has yet to fail the Bush regime.

The government has an endless
number of conspiracy theories, but only people who
question the government`s conspiracies are derided for
"having a conspiracy theory."

The implication is even worse if we
assume that the explosive bottle plot is genuine. It
means that America and Britain by their own aggression
in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by enabling Israel`s war
crimes in Palestine and Lebanon, have created such
hatred that Muslims, who identify with Bush`s, Blair`s
and Israel`s victims, are plotting retaliation.

But Bush is prepared. He has taught
his untutored public that "they hate us for our
freedom and democracy."

Gentle reader, wise up. The entire
world is laughing at you.



Paul Craig Roberts

] was Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration.
He is the author of

Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider`s Account of
Policymaking in Washington
and the Soviet Economy

Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy
and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of

The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and
Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name
of Justice
. Click

for Peter
Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts
about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.