Is the 9/11 Commission Doing the Right Thing?


The 9/11 Commission is trying to study the deadly attacks of September 11, 2001 so we can learn what to do to save more lives when we are attacked again. What they should be doing is trying to learn what caused the Islamic terrorists to attack us in the first place, so we can, if possible, remove the reason and prevent further attacks. I think I found that answer while watching CNN.

While an image of former New York City Mayor Giuliani was on the TV screen, text across the bottom was telling of an Israeli helicopter missile attack on a large group of Palestinian demonstrators in the besieged refugee camp of Rafah. The Palestinian death toll is at ten, and the wounded count is estimated to be around 50. Many of the dead and wounded are children.

We need to keep in mind that the 'Israeli' helicopter is really an American Apache helicopter that the American government has given to the Israeli government as a gift. And the missile fired from that American helicopter was an American missile. The Palestinian survivors of this deadly attack on civilian demonstrators must feel hatred for America and the Americans that gave the helicopter and missiles to Israel. That's only natural. I'm sure Americans would hate and attack Japan if the Japanese government was giving billions of dollars worth of weapons to Cuba so they could occupy Florida and kill and maim Americans.

The rage against America and Americans spreads to not only the local Palestinians, but to their fellow Islamic brothers and sisters around the world. Fellow Moslems like the ones who flew the planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. And the ones, if their reason for action is not removed, who will attack and bomb us again.

Why does the American government give deadly weapons to Israel? One key reason is Israel's powerful lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. According to Fortune magazine, which conducted a survey of hundreds of Washington insiders, AIPAC was voted to be the second most powerful lobby group in America, second only to AARP, which represents America's retirees, as opposed to AIPAC, which represents the interests of a foreign country. This is even more astonishing when you consider Jews only make up about 2% of the total US population, while the percentage of retired Americans who AARP represents is estimated at more than twice that number. For the interests of a foreign country, AIPAC has the politicians jumping through hoops like trained dogs in a circus.

Retiring (so he can afford to be somewhat honest) US Senator Ernest Hollings agrees with Bush advisor and executive director of the 9/11 commission, Philip Zelikow, that the reason Bush started the war in Iraq had nothing to do with US interests, but was instead for Israel's security. Hollings said, "With Iraq no threat, why invade a sovereign country? The answer: President Bush's policy to secure Israel." Why would Bush put the lives of more than 100,000 American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines in danger for a foreign power? Re-election. Politicians are greedy careerists whose reason for being is self-promotion, and self-promotion for a politician is to be either elected or re-elected. Hollings wrote, 'He (Bush) came to office imbued with one thought ' re-election. Bush felt tax cuts would hold his crowd together and spreading democracy in the Mideast to secure Israel would take the Jewish vote from the Democrats.'

Hollings has refused to back down from his article despite being told to do so by Abraham Foxman, the leader of the powerful Jewish group The Anti-Defamation League of B'ni B'rith.

Bush's deadly plan is working very well. Many American Jews are supporting Bush because of his disgusting willingness to put the Jewish state's interests before the interests of his own country. Some Jews who disagree with Bush on important issues still vote for him simply because of his pro-Israel stand.

The death hold Israel has through the Israeli lobby on Congress and the White House, and, thus on both political parties and the United States itself, was made crystal clear during the Howard Dean campaign. Dean made the mistake of saying the US should be 'evenhanded' in its dealings with the Palestinians and Israel. He also blundered and said, "It's not our place to take sides." It was not long after these words were spoken that Dean lost any chance of winning the Democratic nomination. Even his fellow Democrats turned on him. As reported, 'On Sept. 10, 34 Democratic members of Congress, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, wrote Dean an open letter. 'American foreign policy has been -- and must continue to be -- based on unequivocal support for Israel's right to exist and to be free from terror . . . .' they wrote. 'It is unacceptable for the U.S. to be "evenhanded" on these fundamental issues . . . . This is not a time to be sending mixed messages; on the contrary, in these difficult times we must reaffirm our unyielding commitment to Israel's survival and raise our voices against all forms of terrorism and incitement.''

I guess US politicians don't see Israel's invasions of Palestinian territory and military attacks against Syria as state sponsored acts of terror.

The Salon article summed up the sad situation of American politics and our so-called democracy with this paragraph, 'If Dean's Israel position really puts him far out on the left, it proves that not showing unequivocal support for the Jewish state remains a political poison pill -- for members of either political party.'

The rest of the world can see how foolish America is in its dealings with Israel. In particular, the victims of this foolishness, the Palestinians and their co-religionists, are painfully aware of the deadly, life-shattering effects the 'un-evenhandedness' in the US position in the Middle East brings to their lives and the lives of their families. To truly remove the threat of terrorism against the US, the 9/11 commission should recommend the US government adapt an evenhanded policy for its dealings in the region. It's only common sense. And it's the right thing to do.

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Robert L. Johnson's picture
Columns on STR: 94

Robert Johnson is a paralegal and a freelance writer in Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after reading Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, he became a Deist. In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists and in 1996 he launched the first web site devoted to Deism,  He is listed in Who's Who in Hell and is the author of Deism: A Revolution in Religion, A Revolution in You and An Answer to C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity.  He wrote the introduction to The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition and also writes for