The September 11 Terrorist Attacks
Part 1: Warnings in advance
By Patrick Martin, 16 January 2002
The least likely and least credible explanation of the events of September 11, 2001 is that the vast US national security apparatus was entirely unaware of the activities of the hijackers until the airliners slammed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
15 January 2002
Dear Sir or Madam,
By Patrick Martin, 14 January 2002
Hooded and shackled throughout a 27-hour flight from Afghanistan to the Caribbean, the first Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners arrived January 11 at the US Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where they will be detained indefinitely in conditions which are clearly subhuman and illegal.
12 January 2002
A number of readers have commented on the article by Patrick Martin, posted January 3, 2002, which detailed the connections between Zalmay Khalilzad, the new US special envoy to Kabul, and the California-based oil company Unocal. Below we post a selection of these letters and some replies by the author.
By Patrick Martin, 11 January 2002
Recent statements by US government officials and reports in the American and international press indicate that the Bush administration and the Pentagon are carrying out a military buildup in Central Asia whose object is not merely support for the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, but a permanent military presence in the oil-rich region.
By Peter Symonds, 8 January 2002
Thousands of captured Taliban fighters, many of whom have been detained since mid-November, continue to be held in terrible conditions in jails and makeshift prisons across Afghanistan. Access to the POWs is strictly limited but reports have begun to emerge of overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, lack of food and medical care and the use of torture.
The strange case of Zacarias Moussaoui: FBI refused to investigate man charged in September 11 attacks
By Patrick Martin, 5 January 2002
The case of Zacarias Moussaoui raises many questions about the conduct of the FBI and other US intelligence agencies in the period leading up the September 11. It is the clearest example of the almost inexplicable refusal on the part of these agencies to take any action that could have prevented the bloodiest terrorist attack in American history.
By Peter Symonds, 4 January 2002
Amid a rising toll of civilian casualties, pressure is mounting on the newly-installed interim Afghan administration, led by chairman Hamid Karzai, to call for an end to US bombing.
By Patrick Martin, 3 January 2002
President Bush has appointed a former aide to the American oil company Unocal, Afghan-born Zalmay Khalilzad, as special envoy to Afghanistan. The nomination was announced December 31, nine days after the US-backed interim government of Hamid Karzai took office in Kabul.
By Kate Randall, 29 December 2001
Speaking with reporters on Friday, George W. Bush defended the US war in Afghanistan, making the case for an open-ended military campaign in the Central Asian country and giving no timetable for a withdrawal.
By Julie Hyland, 22 December 2001
The US bombardment of Afghanistan has killed at least 3,767 civilians, according to the first independent study made into civilian casualties in the war-torn country.
By Peter Symonds, 22 December 2001
The new Afghan interim administration headed by Hamid Karzai is due to be sworn into office in Kabul today. While UN officials are withholding details of the two-hour ceremony for security reasons, it promises to be a low-key affair. To be held in the Interior Ministry auditorium, it will be attended by the 30-member cabinet, UN Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, US special envoy James Dobbins and a handful of other UN officials and diplomats, including the foreign ministers of Iran and Pakistan.
By the Editorial Board, 18 December 2001
The recently released videotape in which Osama bin Laden gloats over the World Trade Center atrocity and avows responsibility for it provides a graphic demonstration of the political bankruptcy of terrorism.
By Peter Symonds, 17 December 2001
The US military is continuing its relentless bombing of the Tora Bora area of Afghanistan after sabotaging a surrender deal negotiated last week between Afghani militia leaders and pro-Taliban fighters holed up in cave complexes in the rugged mountains. Claiming that it now has Osama bin Laden and other senior Al Qaeda figures cornered, the US is conducting what amounts to a systematic slaughter.
By Jerry White, 13 December 2001
Scores, if not hundreds, of Taliban prisoners of war suffocated to death inside metal cargo containers where they were imprisoned after surrendering to Northern Alliance and US forces in the Afghan city of Kunduz in late November. The Taliban prisoners, mostly foreign volunteers from Pakistan, died of asphyxiation and injuries inside the airtight shipping containers during a two or three day journey to a prison in the town of Sheberghan, according to a report in Tuesday’ s New York Times.
By Chris Marsden, 13 December 2001
Britain’s foreign policy is in a state of utter confusion. This week it appeared that Prime Minister Tony Blair had achieved a small victory, when US Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Number 10 and praised Britain for offering to lead an international military force in Afghanistan to enable the setting up of a Western proxy government.
12 December 2001
Below we post a selection of recent letters on the US massacre of POWs in Afghanistan.
By Julie Hyland, 12 December 2001
Veteran British journalist Robert Fisk, who writes for the Independent newspaper, was attacked and beaten by Afghan refugees in Pakistan last weekend.
By Patrick Martin, 11 December 2001
The American media has been focused for the last several days on reports from the Bush administration that it has in its possession a videotape of Osama bin Laden allegedly taking responsibility for the September 11 terrorist attacks. The White House has not yet released the tape, or even a transcript, but that has not stopped media pundits from parroting the government account.
By Peter Symonds, 11 December 2001
The Taliban have abandoned their last remaining stronghold in southern Afghanistan in a deal brokered by the country’s interim prime minister Hamid Karzai. Last Friday militia groups from rival Pashtun tribes began taking over Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city, as well as other towns in the region.
By David Walsh, 10 December 2001
The New York Times returned to the question of the Bush administration’s police-state measures in an editorial December 2 (“War and the Constitution”).
By Mike Ingram, 10 December 2001
The Labour government has refused Amnesty International’s demand for an inquiry into the massacre of hundreds of Taliban prisoners at the Qala-i-Janghi fortress in late November.
10 December 2001
Dear David North and David Walsh,
By Peter Symonds, 8 December 2001
After nine days of backroom haggling in the Petersberg hotel near Bonn, the UN conference on Afghanistan produced an outcome on Wednesday: the announcement of an interim administration of hand-picked Afghani political figures as the first step in a drawn-out political process that excludes any voice for ordinary Afghanis and relegates elections to the distant future.
As major powers jockey over aid
By James Conachy, 7 December 2001
Nine weeks of US bombing and the seizure of much of the country by the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance has put large sections of the Afghani population at risk from starvation, exposure and disease. Winter is setting in and vital food, clothing and medicine, on which an estimated seven million people depend, has not been distributed.
By WSWS Editorial Board, 7 December 2001
On December 1 the last of some 80 survivors of the US-British-Northern Alliance assault on the Qala-i-Janghi prison fortress outside Mazar-i-Sharif emerged from their underground hideouts and surrendered to their assailants. For six days, beginning Sunday, November 25, American and British special forces joined with troops loyal to Northern Alliance General Rashid Dostum in a massive and one-sided attack on 400 to 800 non-Afghan Taliban who had surrendered the previous day in Kunduz. The US, Britain and Northern Alliance justified their slaughter of the prisoners, most of whom were killed in two days of American air strikes, on the grounds that the Taliban captives had staged an uprising.
5 December 2001
Below we post a selection of recent letters on the massacre of Taliban prisoners of war near Mazar-i-Sharif.
By Kate Randall, 4 December 2001
US bombing raids continue to pound Kandahar, as tribal and other opposition forces move towards the last stronghold of Taliban fighters in the southern Afghan city. The US has nearly doubled the number of combat helicopters at a desert airstrip southwest of the city, and has sharply increased its fire power.
By Peter Symonds, 3 December 2001
The sudden arrival of 12 Russian military cargo aircraft at Bagram airfield just north of Kabul last week has underscored the intense behind-the-scenes rivalry now underway between the US and other major powers for a stake in Afghanistan. Having supported Washington’s military intervention, each is now seeking, under the guise of humanitarian concern, to establish a presence inside the country to further its interests in resource-rich Central Asia.
30 November 2001
Below we post a selection of recent letters to the WSWS.
By Peter Symonds, 29 November 2001
The UN-sponsored talks on the political future of Afghanistan opened on Tuesday in the Petersberg Castle, a luxury hotel just outside the German city of Bonn. The meeting was opened with due pomp and gravity by German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and UN special envoy to Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, who read out a message from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
By Jerry White, 29 November 2001
Journalists and International Red Cross representatives reported a horrific scene of carnage Wednesday as they entered the prison compound near Mazar-i-Sharif, where up to 800 foreign Taliban prisoners were slaughtered during a three-day siege of the fortress directed by US special forces and CIA operatives.
By Jerry White, 28 November 2001
Despite the silence in the American media and the lies from Bush administration officials, there is growing international outrage over the systematic massacre of hundreds of Taliban prisoners of war in Mazar-i-Sharif on Sunday and Monday. This act of mass murder was carried out by US warplanes and helicopter gunships, directed by US Special Forces and CIA personnel, and backed by several thousand soldiers of the Northern Alliance. As many as 800 prisoners were killed at the Qala-i-Janghi fortress.
By the Editorial Board, 27 November 2001
The killing of as many as 800 captured Taliban prisoners Sunday in Mazar-i-Sharif is a war crime for which the American government and military, right up to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush, are politically responsible. This massacre reveals the real nature of the US attack on Afghanistan. The terrorist attacks of September 11 are but a pretext for a colonial-style war of pillage and mass murder.
27 November 2001
Below we post a selection of recent letters to the WSWS
24 November 2001
Below we post a selection of recent letters on Patrick Martin’s “US planned war in Afghanistan long before September 11”.
By Peter Symonds, 22 November 2001
The conditions are being established for a slaughter at Kunduz, in northern Afghanistan. Up to 20,000 Taliban fighters, including several thousand of the Taliban’s foreign supporters, are trapped in the city—many of them fled there last week after neighbouring cities such as Mazar-e-Sharif and Taloqan fell to the US-backed Northern Alliance. Apart from the southern city of Kandahar, it is the last significant Taliban stronghold.
By Joseph Kay, 21 November 2001
An opinion piece in the November 13 Wall Street Journal (“As Taliban Falter, We Must Show No Restraint”) reveals the thinking of the most militaristic and fascistic-minded sections of the US ruling elite, whose views are routinely expressed in the Journal’s editorial pages.
By Steve James, 21 November 2001
Just before the Northern Alliance marched into Kabul on Monday November 12, US armed forces dropped a 500-pound bomb on the studios of the popular Arab satellite TV station al-Jazeera (the Peninsula). No one was hurt, as the building was not occupied at the time by any of the 10 al-Jazeera journalists and technicians based there, a decision having already been taken to evacuate the building in advance of the Northern Alliance’s entry into Kabul. The same attack damaged nearby offices of the BBC and the Associated Press.
By Mike Ingram, 20 November 2001
Up to 100,000 people marched in London November 18, to demand an end to the bombing of Afghanistan.
By our reporter, 20 November 2001
A number of participants in the London demonstration against the war in Afghanistan held November 18 spoke to the World Socialist Web Site.
By Patrick Martin, 20 November 2001
Insider accounts published in the British, French and Indian media have revealed that US officials threatened war against Afghanistan during the summer of 2001. These reports include the prediction, made in July, that “if the military action went ahead, it would take place before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.” The Bush administration began its bombing strikes on the hapless, poverty-stricken country October 7, and ground attacks by US Special Forces began October 19.
By Chris Marsden, 19 November 2001
Last week, Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair, announced that the dossier of evidence supposedly linking Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network with the September 11 terrorist attacks had been updated and strengthened.
By Peter Symonds, 19 November 2001
Following the collapse of the Taliban regime over the last week, Afghanistan is rapidly reverting to the political pattern that existed in the early 1990s, with rival ethnic and religious groups, tribal clans and militia leaders all staking their claim to power.
By David Walsh, 19 November 2001
“Samuel Johnson’s saying that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels has some truth in it but not nearly enough. Patriotism, in truth, is the great nursery of scoundrels, and its annual output is probably greater than that of even religion. Its chief glories are the demagogue, the military bully, and the spreaders of libels and false history. Its philosophy rests firmly on the doctrine that the end justifies the means—that any blow, whether above or below the belt, is fair against dissenters from its wholesale denial of plain facts.”—H. L. Mencken
SEP meetings in Britain
By Chris Marsden, 16 November 2001
The following is the text of a speech delivered by Chris Marsden to a series of four public meetings in the British cities of Sheffield, Leeds, London and Manchester. Marsden is the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Britain) and a member of the editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site .
By Peter Symonds, 15 November 2001
The rapid disintegration of the Taliban hold over much of Afghanistan, including the fall of the capital Kabul on Tuesday to the US-backed opposition forces of the Northern Alliance, has left the US and its allies scrambling to cobble together a regime to fill the political vacuum.
SEP meetings in Australia
By Nick Beams, 12 November 2001
This is the second and concluding part of a report delivered by Nick Beams to Socialist Equality Party public meetings in Sydney and Melbourne on November 4 and 8 respectively. The first part was posted on November 9.
By Richard Tyler, 12 November 2001
The first month of the war being prosecuted by the richest and most powerful military state on the planet has seen America unleash a terrible arsenal of destruction against one of the world’s poorest countries. The full panoply of modern airborne munitions is being deployed against a land that has already been ravaged by war and civil war for over 20 years.
By Patrick Martin, 10 November 2001
The speech delivered by George W. Bush in Atlanta Thursday night was billed by his aides as the most important since he addressed a joint session of Congress nine days after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. By raising public expectations ahead of time, the White House focused attention on an event that only highlighted the combination of cynicism and intellectual incompetence that distinguishes the “commander-in-chief.”
SEP meetings in Australia
By Nick Beams, 9 November 2001
This is the first part of a report delivered by Nick Beams to Socialist Equality Party public meetings in Sydney and Melbourne on November 4 and 8 respectively. Part 2 was published on November 12. Beams is the national secretary of the SEP, Australia and a member of the World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board.
9 November 2001
Below we post a selection of recent letters to the WSWS on the US war in Afghanistan.
By our reporter, 6 November 2001
The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) held the first of two meetings to outline a socialist perspective on the US-led war against Afghanistan in Sydney on Sunday. It was attended by 100 workers, students, professionals, housewives and pensioners from Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and as far afield as Adelaide.
Interviews from SEP public meeting:
By our reporters, 6 November 2001
The World Socialist Web Site interviewed several people who attended the Socialist Equality Party public meeting in Sydney on the war in Afghanistan. All of them felt that they had gained a greater understanding of the reasons behind the war after it had been placed within its historical and international context.
2 November 2001
Below we post a selection of recent letters to the WSWS.
A commentary on the Abdul Haq debacle
By James Brookfield, 2 November 2001
The collapse last week of the ill-fated incursion of Abdul Haq into eastern Afghanistan provides yet another indication of the corrupt and anti-democratic nature of the so-called “war against terrorism” being carried out by the Bush administration. Haq, 43, was pinned down by the Taliban military October 25, captured and executed, having crossed the border from Pakistan two days before, avowedly to overthrow the Kabul regime.
By Julie Hyland and Chris Marsden, 2 November 2001
Guardian journalist Gary Younge has presented his own political blueprint for the anti-war movement, designed to emasculate any opposition to the Blair government.
Hawks demand attack on Iraq, troops in Afghanistan
By Patrick Martin, 1 November 2001
While US bombs and cruise missiles rain down on Afghanistan, another kind of warfare is taking place in Washington: a bitter internal struggle within the Bush administration and the political and foreign policy establishment over the direction and methods to be employed in the American military onslaught in the Middle East and Central Asia.
By Richard Tyler, 31 October 2001
An internal newsletter sent to nearly 3,000 Lloyd’s “Names”—rich individuals who pledge their wealth to back insurance risks—says they stand to make huge profits in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks.
By Bill Vann, 30 October 2001
The Bush administration and its media apologists have repeatedly compared the foreign and domestic measures that are being carried out under the mantle of a “war against terrorism” to the Cold War against the Soviet Union. Earlier this month, on the eve of a visit to the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sounded this theme. “It undoubtedly will prove to be a lot more like a cold war than a hot war,” he said.
Socialist Equality Party and World Socialist Web Site public meetings in Britain: "Why we oppose the war in Afghanistan"
30 October 2001
Sheffield Thursday 8 November, 7.30pm St Matthews Meeting Rooms Carver St, S1 4FT
29 October 2001
Below we post a selection of recent letters on the US war in Afghanistan.
By David Walsh, 29 October 2001
An editorial in the October 14 New York Times (“Reconsidering Saudi Arabia”) partially lifts the veil on one of the dirtiest secrets of US foreign policy: the sordid nature of the relationship that Washington has maintained for more than half a century with the semi-feudal Saudi Arabian regime.
By Chris Marsden, 27 October 2001
Britain’s media has hardly distinguished itself during the US bombing of Afghanistan, other than for its willingness to parrot the official line emanating from Washington and London. But it has proved increasingly difficult for the press barons to maintain a united journalistic front.
By Nick Beams, 26 October 2001
Two recent newspaper articles—an editorial in the Washington Post and a comment piece in the Financial Times —have pointed to some crucial political issues arising from the US-led war against Afghanistan.
SEP public meetings in Australia
25 October 2001
The September 11 attacks on New York and Washington and the US-led war against Afghanistan mark a profound turning point in world affairs. Washington and its allies are seeking to exploit the justifiable revulsion felt over the loss of innocent lives in the US to stampede public opinion into supporting military aggression against one of the world’s most backward countries.
By Peter Symonds, 25 October 2001
The following is the second article in a two-part series on the history of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan. The first part was published yesterday.
24 October 2001
The following is a selection of recent letters to the WSWS.
By Peter Symonds, 24 October 2001
The target of the latest US military aggression in Afghanistan is the Taliban. However, one searches in vain in the extensive media coverage of the “war on terrorism” for any coherent explanation of the origins of this Islamic extremist organisation, its social and ideological base, and its rise to power. The omission is no accident. Any serious examination of the Taliban reveals the culpability of Washington in fostering the current theocratic regime in Kabul.
By Peter Symonds, 23 October 2001
In his first overseas trip since the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, US President Bush used the proceedings at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders forum in Shanghai last weekend to consolidate support for his administration’s “war on terrorism”. Despite the fact that the gathering took place in the midst of the continuing US bombardment of Afghanistan, none of the leaders present made even the most muted criticism of Washington.
23 October 2001
The following is a selection of recent letters on “Pacifist moralists rally behind the US war drive”
23 October 2001
The following is a letter on David Walsh’s October 19 article, “Pacifist moralizers rally behind the US war drive,” and a reply by the author.
By David Walsh, 19 October 2001
As various commentaries posted on the World Socialist Web Site have explained, the American establishment has seized upon the tragic events of September 11 as an opportunity to implement policies both at home (attacks on democratic rights) and abroad (expansion into Central Asia) it had formulated long before the terror attacks.
18 October 2001
Below we post a selection of letters on “The Media and Mr. Bush” by Barry Grey.
By Nick Beams, 18 October 2001
From the outset of the military assault against Afghanistan, the World Socialist Web Site has explained that this is not a war for justice or security against terrorist attacks but is bound up with the geo-political aims of United States imperialism.
By Jerry White, 16 October 2001
President Bush is flatly rejecting offers from the Taliban government to hand Osama bin Laden over for trial if the United States stops bombing Afghanistan and provides proof that the Saudi exile was involved in the September 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington.
By Barry Grey, 16 October 2001
In its efforts to portray George W. Bush in the most flattering possible light, the liberal press in the US has jettisoned whatever shreds of decorum and journalistic integrity it previously retained. In the course of the past month, testimonials to Bush’s astounding metamorphosis from mediocrity to greatness have become almost commonplace in the pages of such journals as the New York Times and the Washington Post.
12 October 2001
Below we post a selection of recent letters on our October 9 statement “Why we oppose the war in Afghanistan”
10 October 2001
Below we post a selection of letters on our October 9 statement “Why we oppose the war in Afghanistan” and earlier articles on the US war buildup in Central Asia.
By Julie Hyland, 10 October 2001
Anger at the US bombing raids on Afghanistan has unleashed protests in many countries, sometimes leading to violent clashes.
By WSWS Editorial Board, 9 October 2001
The World Socialist Web Site condemns the American military assault on Afghanistan. We reject the dishonest claims of the Bush administration that this is a war for justice and the security of the American people against terrorism.
By Barry Grey, 5 October 2001
In the two weeks preceding the September 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington, there was a sudden and unaccountable rush of speculative trades on the US stock and bond markets that indicate some wealthy and well-connected investors had advance knowledge of the impending catastrophe.
3 October 2001
The following are some of the letters we received on the September 22 article “Anti-Americanism: The ‘anti-imperialism’ of fools.”
3 October 2001
To the editor of the WSWS:
By Paul Sherman, 3 October 2001
Tens of thousands of people marched in the United States and Europe this past weekend to oppose the use of military force in retaliation for the September 11 terror attack on New York and Washington that left over 6,000 people dead.
2 October 2001
Below we post a selection of recent letters on “Bush lied about threat to Air Force One”
26 September 2001
Below we post a selection of recent letters to the WSWS .
20 September 2001
The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site on last week’s terror attacks and US preparations for war.
18 September 2001
The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site on last week’s terror attacks and US preparations for war.
By David North and David Walsh, 12 September 2001
We are republishing the World Socialist Web Site’s analysis, first posted on September 12, 2001, of the 9/11 terror attacks that killed over 3,000 people and became the pretext for launching the “War on Terror.”