by Trude Malthe Thomassen

I’m not writing as an expert, rather as an everyday human-being, concerned with the working of society. I’ve made use of my democratic right to take part in the social debate – a debate which – by and large – is non-existent.

I’ve used sources available to all – mainly newspapers, but also books and periodicals. Further, certain net-sources have proven interesting.

My method has been extremely simple. I have sought to retain such facts as have come forth and not forgetting them in light of subsequent events. Our public memory is distressingly short, we can often find it difficult to understand what is happening. The danger with disconnected news-reports is not only the frustration we feel over our helplessness, but – even worse – the violent emotional reactions such reports can unleash and their resulting consequences.

Our hopelessness and frustration prevent us from saying “No” to the bombings of Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. Violent emotions unleashed by Milosovic’s persecution of the Kosovo-Albanians prompted us to accept the bombing of Yugoslavia – not to mention the feelings released on Sept. 11th 2001 which led to the bombing of Afghanistan. In October this year Norway too joined actively, with the participation of six F-16 bombers – at the same time we were again assured that we were not at war.

Our feelings are addressed continuously - a danger of which we must be constantly aware. We know that many news items are sifted with care, simply to bring forth a desired reaction. There are also propaganda apparatuses as well as a production of deliberately erroneous information.

Consider just who could appreciate such news, for whom could it prove useful, what reaction is it supposed to call forth, who stands behind it and what are they seeking to attain, what will be the consequences?

In other connections – such as the bombing of Afghanistan or an attack on Iraq – it can prove useful to consider whether one agrees with the objective – or whether such an objective can justify use of a means so in opposition to it. Can one, for example, wage war to achieve peace, or use violence to introduce democracy? Etc. Are the objectives really what they appear to be?


When President Bush described the attack as a turning point in history, it was hard to take him completely seriously. Why in the world should this attack be any more significant than other forms of terror? Let us recapitulate briefly.

On Sept. 11. 2001 two American domestic aircraft shifted course toward each their tower of the World Trade Center in New York. They struck and both towers collapsed within a couple of hours. Shortly thereafter a third plane crashed into the Pentagon – US military headquarter. A forth plane crashed near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to investigation, this last plane was to have struck the White House in Washington. The number of dead totalled roughly 3000.

What is special about these events – among other factors – is that they took place in the United States. Until then, only U.S. foreign service personnel, had been exposed to so-called international terrorism. Another thing worth noticing is that American domestic passenger planes were involved – not to mention the targets. This was no “everyday” hijacking with hostages and specific demands. The planes were used as bombs to destroy buildings and spread fear. And the buildings hit were clear-cut symbols of American society. The World Trade Center was the supreme symbol of globalization by the financial elite. Here one struck the heart of economic liberalization and one of the basic values (assuming it can be termed such) of American society. Economic liberalization is one of the main engines in the USA’s drive for elite global power. The second target, the Pentagon, symbolizes the USA’s military might, which is also of global scope. If we choose to believe that the fourth plane was to have hit the White House, we must assume that this represented an attack upon the political system.

The terror unleashed on Sept. 11. represents a highly symbolic attack on the three fundamentals of American foreign policy: the economy, the political system and the country’s military might. For what, after all, is the USA’s official justification for its global struggle? Market-liberalization, naturally, as well as democracy, so-called, and security.

An example of this may be seen in NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia because Milosovic threatened European stability. When he was presented with the Rambouillet agreement it included a demand for market-liberalization and a privatising of state properties. All state property was not only to be privatised, but sold on the international market. Milosovic’s choice was to accept or be bombed. Yugoslavia, as we know, was bombed – and in June this year all state property was advertised for sale in the Financial Times.

The bombing of Yugoslavia has no direct connection with Sept. 11. But it can be seen as a prelude to an historic turning-point. The Security Council refused to back the bombing of Yugoslavia, but for inscrutable reasons a united NATO did. Until then NATO had been a defence union, and in principle still was. With this, the Norwegian people and Parliament were calmed into believing that Norway was not at war. So Yugoslavia was bombed for 70 days in a “peace keeping” operation to assure the stability of Europe.

Immediately after this test of NATO members’ loyalty vis-à-vis the United States, the American NATO chief laid forth a new version of military cooperation. The major change in relation to the original North Atlantic Treaty, was a clause dealing with so-called non-article-five-operations. Article 5 concerns eventual attack upon a NATO country, which will be defended by a united NATO: “One for all, all for one”.  Non-article-five-operations, on the other hand, are NATO actions where no NATO land is attacked.

In this way, the new NATO-concept has transformed NATO from a defence-union into an attack-alliance. NATO has guaranteed itself the right to attack any and all countries outside NATO threatening political stability. This new NATO concept defies the UN charter’s paragraph 51 which tolerates only wars of defence. And what might threaten the political stability is decided by the USA – for the USA has reserved the right to chair the top position in NATO.

The military and political leader has to be an American. Today it is General Rawlston. Most believe, in all likelihood, that the Secretary-General is the supreme leader of NATO – and that is what we are supposed to believe – as it is he who stands forth before the public to defend NATO’s actions.

But this position is civilian and is today held by the British lord Robertson, and above him again stands an American who does not stand forth.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, and NATO lost its main raison d’etre, there was a time when considerable confusion surrounded the question of NATO’s future. Did we need NATO?  From American quarters, on the other hand, we heard continually about international criminality, narcotic trade and terrorism. These were the new enemies. But just how NATO was to be used against these new enemies was quite unclear.

It was the ethnic conflict in Kosovo that got the ball rolling. All the NATO members realized at once just how vital it was to join in the battle for human-rights.

The terror threat to which the USA had called attention for several years was the alleged chemical and biological weapons Saddam Hussein was said to have developed. Information regarding these weapons came, in all likelihood, from Great Britain, Germany and France who had supplied Iraq with the necessary technology and “know how”. And the USA itself had delivered bacteriological cultures to Bagdad

Iraq is currently a point of renewed interest on the part of  the USA. But before we go deeper into that matter – a bit more about the terror-attack of September 11.

It is difficult to give any simple explanation for the attacks of Sept. 11. Secrecy surrounding the events plus sifting information provide - in any event – grounds for considerable speculation. What supports the conjecture that it was an attack from the Muslim world, was the choice of symbolic targets. Further, one can understand how certain Muslim elements can have wished to strike the super-power they regard as the embodiment of Muslim cultural decline.

Arguments to the contrary, however, are in my opinion, far more numerous and far more sinister. But this need not be a matter of either-or – rather a little of both.

The official explanation of the events of September 11 assumes that 19 men – all connected to al-Qa’ida – were to be found aboard the four planes. All four domestic aircrafts were seized by men with knife-like instruments, linoleum knives or Stanley knives, who were able to maneuver the planes single-handedly, as several of them had taken flying lessons in the USA. Plans for seizing the aircrafts were also found in an abandoned car. So much we have been allowed to know. But President Bush finds the evidence overwhelming. It just can’t be made public, as intelligence has labled it secret. In other words, we know nothing.

No organization has taken responsibility. Traditional terror or hijacking actions – if one can use the term – have always carried a clear-cut message. Concrete demands have been made and the perpetrator has taken responsibility. In this case, no one has taken responsibility and no demands have been made. And it is unlikely that the 19 Arabs alone stood behind the planning of such a sophisticated attack.

On the other hand, there seem to be those who were aware that something was under way. Shortly before September 11, there was a terminal trading of stocks in firms later to be affected by the attack. Speculators could buy these stocks before the attack at prices they were to bring after the attack (in other words a low price), and they made agreements upon sale after the attack (when the prices had dropped) at the high pre-attack rates. Speculators cleared a profit of 15 billion dollars.

As the catastrophe unfolded, some 100 million dollars poured through the computers in the World Trade Center. The extent of these transactions was extraordinarily high, according to director Peter Henschel of the German firm Convar, which is helping the FBI with the investigation.

Large firms have a routine data-back-up, making it possible to reconstruct even such large transactions in a relatively short time. Neither should it be so difficult to determine which firms were involved. But here again, we know nothing – perhaps this too is an intelligence secret. We may ask why.

The German magazine Der Europeer goes so far as to question whether the planes were actually seized. None of the four American pilots sent the hijack warning code 7700. Such a message can be sent from several points in a plane over a combined radio transmitter and receiver. Each plane has its own identity, so there can be no doubt as to which of them is sending the message. The messages are recorded in one of two armoured “black boxes” and can be read after a plane crash.

There was little left of the planes which struck the World Trade Center, and their “black boxes” have never been found. The plane which struck the Pentagon, however, was relatively intact. Eyewitnesses who saw the other plane crash near Pittsburgh maintain it was whole when it hit the ground. Immediately thereafter came a violent explosion, for wreckage was strewn over an area of several square miles. The area was immediately roped off and no pictures of the crash-site were ever published before the site was cleared. This seems strange, considering how pictures from the World Trade Center have rolled across our TV screens time after time. Pictures from the World Trade Center are admittedly more spectacular, but people were also killed in both the Pittsburgh and Pentagon planes. As far as I know, no information has ever come forth regarding the “black boxes” in either of them.


An article from the internet, written by a British flight engineer appearing in the German periodical “Der Europeer” could provide an explanation as to how the planes might have been seized without it being possible to send a hijack warning – and in fact without there being a hijacker aboard.

Other aspects bring this mysterious terror attack into even sharper relief: the strange phenomenon, for example, that none of the 19 hijackers appear on the official passenger lists, and that none of those taking flying lessons would – according to their instructors – have been able to man far less complicated planes than the advanced types which struck their selected targets with such precision.

In the mid-seventies two American multi-national firms cooperated with the US Defence Department Division for Advanced Projects to develop a system for maneuvering  and landing a plane from the ground. Called “Home Run” it was developed in an effort to prevent the hijacking of aircraft. For it to function after a plane has been seized, the pilot’s control must be cut out, so that the plane may be operated independently from the ground like any model plane or the drones used in war today.

When “Home Run” s activated, the “black box” recording conversation is cut out. The sound tape continues to roll, but nothing is registered. This could possible explain why no warning signal was sent, and no conversation recorded. In other words, there was simply nothing to make public. In the 90’s a large European airline removed the steering computers from its planes, on suspicion that the Americans could take over control of the aircraft without the owners’ permission.


Not Many days after September 11, the United Nation, on US initiative, urged all member states to pass terror-legislation and provisional emergency laws. In Norway the army was granted immediate permission to shoot down civilian aircraft on suspicion of hijacking. One can wonder when there can be suspicion of hijacking. Before, it was either hijacking or not. But since there was no hijack warning from any of the four planes which crashed on September 11, a suspicion now seems sufficient ground for opening fire.

In April 2002 the government opened hearings on a proposed antiterrorism-bill, and only two months later on June 12, the bill became law. Terror-legislation is not in the form of a statute, rather in the revision of numerous paragraphs of the existing criminal code. The main principle underlying these revisions is that you no longer need to have committed a criminal act in order to be indicted. Neither do you need to have planned such an act, nor do you have to intend to plan it. It is enough to be suspected of intending to plan… The question, however, is how anyone can prove that you are intending to plan anything – or to disprove it, for that matter.

In the wake of the Lund Report (a report on illegal political surveillance), the unbelievable has taken place, in that the Surveillance Service has been granted extended authority. Six months before the right to see the contents of one’s dossier has expired, the police are permitted to place sounding devices in clothing or objects, and to commit forced-entry in order to place such devices – provided you are suspected of intending to plan – or if you are suspected of lending economic support to someone who is suspected of intending to plan a criminal offence. In such event, all your assets can be frozen without notice. You can try to sell your house, but it will prove impossible. It is no longer under your control. Your can try to draw your salary from the mini-bank or from the teller, but your account is blocked. Perhaps you wonder why, but no one is allowed to tell you. You are under suspicion, and the court’s ruling is secret, - in any event for you. And it can be extended indefinitely, four weeks at a time. It is not hard to imagine how things will be. You have nothing to live on; you can’t pay your bills. The authorities will probably let you keep your phone and internet connection, since they are the best surveillance sources. Such is the state of Norwegian jurisprudence today thanks to September 11.

Many may argue that these laws don’t concern them. It’s one thing that surveillance – and not least secret court proceedings – are not worthy of a state based on law, but many argue that as long as one has nothing to hide, the laws mean nothing. This is the reaction that the legislators have counted on. If you are always in agreement with the rulings of any given government, and you never give a cent to any idealistic organization, then the antiterrorism laws do not concern you. But the moment you are in the least concerned with the unjust distribution of the worlds’ wealth, for example, or the policies of the ruling government, you are in the danger zone. Actually, however, you can find yourself in the danger zone the moment someone might find it convenient. In so far as proceedings are secret, with the freezing of your assets, there is no one who can clarify eventual misunderstandings. Today we find there are many who have been under illegal surveillance in the past. What is to prevent it happening in the future?

A sinister aspect of surveillance is that it is free from public control. The worlds intelligence services operate within an international network over which no government exercise control. One may be permitted to ask under which guidelines they do operate.

The American antiterrorism acts, however, go far beyond laws of any existing dictatorship. The political dexterity achieved here simply knows no equal. To defend democracy, a law has been passed stipulating that an individual may be tried before a secret military tribunal and sentenced to death without any revelation of evidence. It has been passed because – as Bush puts it: “This is the fight of (…) tolerance and freedom.”

What kind of freedom is involved here, and to whom is tolerance to be shown? Let us use the process of elimination: None of the 60 countries which the president of the United States maintains are sheltering terrorists are included here. No, not a single country, for every single nation on earth must make a decision: either they are with the US or they are with the terrorists. In other words, no country is extended freedom or shown tolerance. And the terror statues make sure that neither is any individual permitted to make up his own mind, or – at any rate – to express it. The White House press officer, Ari Fleischer, advised the American public in the following diplomatic terms: “Be on guard for what you say and what you do.” While he had later to retract his words and apologize, they are nevertheless not so far from the truth.

With the antiterrorism laws the last vestiges of democratic freedom have disappeared, thanks to September 11.


On thing seems clear: September 11. proved most convenient for the US’ offensive to strengthen control of the world community and to increase its defence and intelligence budgets. Further it had a powerful effect in mobilizing public support for next planned military operation – the war in Afghanistan.

Lately we have learned that the war in Afghanistan was well prepared. Long before September 11. – and during the days just before – several contingents of British and American troops were stationed in the vicinity of Afghanistan. Between the first and tenth of September 25.000 British soldiers took part in maneuvers in Oman, in what proved to be the biggest fleet movement in British history since the war in the Falkland Islands. Two American aircraft carriers moved at the same time in towards the coast of Pakistan, and 17.000 American soldiers joined in a NATO exercise in Egypt. The attack on Afghanistan was supposed to take place in mid-October, according to a Pakistan diplomat on BBC. In addition, the US had since 1999 built up close military ties with Usbekistan. In other words, the US planned to attack the very regime which it – most unofficially – had helped bring to power. For 22 years earlier, before the Soviet invasion, the CIA had asked Pakistani and Saudi-Arabian intelligence for help in building up Muslim guerrilla activity in Afghanistan in what was to become al-Qa’ida. Nothing was to be said of the US’s involvement. The CIA was to pay Pakistani intelligence (ISI) was to develop the network, Saudi-Arabian intelligence was to recruit soldiers and find a suitable front figure. Osama bin Laden proved to have the right qualifications.

A budding Muslim fundamentalism in Afghanistan was a threat to the Soviet Union. The Soviet feared that fundamentalism could spread to neighbouring Soviet states, and that this could spark demands for independence. Such developments could be an obvious objective for the USA, but better still would be a Soviet invasion of Afghanistan which could bring greater losses. Am exhausting war there would reduce the Soviet Union’s military might, and a conflict with Islamic fundamentalism would give the USA better condition for building up the al-Qa’ida. When the Soviet moved into Afghanistan the American political adviser Brzezinski was heard to exclaim: “We managed it!” Almost at once it proved easier to recruit soldiers for al-Qa’ida. To cover the US’s backing of the Taliban Soviet arms were procured via third parties and presented to the Taliban so as to appear as captured weapons.

Officially the USA supported the Mujahedin, also known as the Northern Alliance. Mujahedin received all possible humanitarian aid, while the democratic Movement received not a single dollar. In other words, the Mujahedin received no military aid from the USA. At the same time, and highest unofficially, the CIA was building up the al-Qa’ida network with help from Pakistan and Saudi-Arabia. Some 100.000 soldiers were recruited from 40 Muslim countries. When the Soviet withdrew 10 years later the conflict evolved into a civil war, mainly between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban, both, in different ways, supported by the USA.

In 1998 the American Embassies in Nairobi (Kenya) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) were bombed. The USA charged the al-Qa’ida and demanded that Osama bin Laden be extradited from Afghanistan. Al-Qa’ida did not claim responsibility for the attacks, and Afghanistan, ever more in the hands of Taliban, refused to extradite bin Laden to the United States.

Following the United Nation’s unsuccessful peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, the Taliban won ever-greater control, and by August 1999 controlled 90% of Afghanistan.

About that time the US bombed a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan and sent cruise-missiles in over Afghanistan and Pakistan to revenge the attacks against the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Two years later, in February 2001, the US had good reasons to fear that the plans for invading Afghanistan were on their way out. Word had come that the Taliban regime was now willing to extradite Osama bin Laden. But it wished to send him to his homeland Saudi-Arabia, while the Taliban feared he would not get a fair trial in the USA. But the US held fast, wanting him to be turned over to them, and thereby avoided the release that could frustrate its war plans.  Seven months later , and one week after troops and naval forces from the US and Great Britain were strategically placed in the area, came the terrorist attack of September 11, as though on order. 


Investigation of the terror-attack on Sept. 11, gave surprisingly rapid results, not least considering how no evidence had been made public. Within a week a near-state of emergency had been declared over a large part of the globe. And on September 20, President Bush held a speech in Congress which could send a chill down anyone’s back. The perpetrator had been determined. But the address did not single out only Afghanistan, al-Qa’ida and Osama bin Laden. It pointed a warning finger at the world at large. Anyone who did not hereafter join loyally in the USA’s war on terrorism, could not avoid being stamped as a terrorist state. And the consequence of this would soon be experienced in Afghanistan. Bush’s demands to Afghanistan could not be negotiated. Only complete compliance and the extradition of al-Qa’ida leaders would be acceptable.

In his speech, Bush held that there were thousands of terrorists in more than 60 countries. As to how they were to be dealt with, he had this to say:  

“We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network. (…)Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes.  Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen.  It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success.  We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, (…).And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism.  Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

   Only one month after September 11, the USA was again struck by a terrorist attack. This time by a biological attack with anthrax spores, something long feared. Between October and December 5 persons died, 23 were infected and 30.000 placed on a preventive antibiotic cure. Then, in the beginning of December, investigators revealed that the anthrax had been traced to an American bio-weapons program. Since then, nothing has been heard of the matter.

Russia experienced a similar “bloomer”, but it took so long for the facts to come forth that the “terror action” still had its desired effect. I include this story as another example showing how terrorists aren’t always those one believes. Here again, the “terror actions” came quite conveniently. Russia had long been in conflict with the government of Chechenia, which had broken out of the federation of former Soviet republics (CIS). Russian authorities favoured an invasion of Chechenia while the Russian populace was against sending soldiers there – what with the Afghan war fresh in mind, Official Russian propaganda maintained the Chechens were terrorists, but this won little acceptance either at home or abroad.

But then explosions occurred in two Moscow apartment blocks and the authorities lost no time in blaming the Chechenian terrorists. Now the public could experience at first hand what terrorism meant. Opinion suddenly shifted in favour of a renewed war effort in Chechenia. There was only one catch: the terrorists had tried to blow up three apartment blocks but managed only two, and were caught redheaded when they tried to place explosives in the cellar of the third. The “terrorists” proved to be Russian security forces.

It can seem as though the secret forces had the task of arranging circumstances so as to justify a policy which the public would find hard or impossible to accept had its true reasons or motives been known.

Whether the secret forces themselves carry out such a task, whether they pay another country’s intelligence to do so, or whether they inspire certain political or criminal groups for that matter, is of little interest. What is important is that a certain type of action be carried out which in all probability will prompt a certain type of reaction. This particular reaction then, is what is sought after. The secret services operate in dark. We, as bearers of public opinion, are kept in the dark and manipulated towards just such a reaction.

In time past, intelligence, as well as NATO, grew out of the cold war. Today it is admitted that intelligence is part of a world-wide cooperation. The USA’s Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice told Der Spiegel that her country profits from an enormous network of secret services and intelligence sources encompassing the whole globe. But who gives them their orders or “right” inspiration?

From one aspect it is perhaps correct to describe the world empire now nearly completed as American, what with its emergence through American politics. It is promoted through the USA’s engagement in WTO, GATS, etc., as well as various international and regional agreements giving multi-national business a free hand. It is these multi-national companies that are the first to profit from the USA’s policy. This American empire is an empire of the global elite who enjoy a valuable tool in the form of American policy.


In retrospect, our immediate history shows just how much took place following World War II. Here we will try to look more closely at various aspects of the strategies used.

The Marshall Plan was a first step in the building of a new Europe. Countries participating in this aid program had to adhere to a number of restriction and demands. Among other, they had to become members of the OEEC (Organization for European Economic Cooperation) – renamed since 1961 the OECD. This OECD seeks to promote economic growth, market-policy cooperation and increased world trade. With the forming of the OEEC in 1948 a similar body was formed for the American continents (OAS).

Without going into details it can be sufficient to recall how all the international and regional institutions launched by the USA and Great Britain were formed for the sole purpose of promoting economic growth through market liberalization. However, it should be noted that the IMF (International Monetary Fund) – a special organization under the UN – was established in 1945, and the World Bank in 1946.

The goal of the OEEC was to join the 16 - later 18 - member countries into a political as well as an economic union. It can be worth noting that it was the USA which stood behind the first initiative to bring about what is known today as the EU.

Originally the GATT agreement, negotiated in 1947, was to have led to a special organization under the UN. But the USA was among the countries refusing to sign until it stood separately. When it eventually stood independently, the USA went in with full force, and has increasingly pressed for the inclusion of farm products in this international free-trade agreement. It was in 1994 that GATT members agreed to form the WTO (World Trade Organization), and with this a giant forward step was taken in the liberalization of world trade. The Uruguay Round, as these talks became known, include the Farm Sector, as well as the disputed Service Sector (GATS), the Copyright and Patent Sector (TRIPS) and the sector relating to public purchases. Negotiations covering the privatising of services is known as GATS. These include water supply, power sources, the health sector, the school sector, etc. – by and large, such areas as have long been the responsibility of state and municipality. Our common social assets built up by tax payers over generations are now to be placed on the international market.

At regular intervals the OECD publishes a report on member countries. These reports contain specific “advice” – so called – as to the direction a member-country’s policy should take. We have been told, among other things, that we can not use our oil incomes domestically, but should invest them abroad.

In July 2002 the African countries reformed the Organization of African States into an African EU, The African Union (AU). Like the EU, this new organ will set up a commission, a court, a central bank and a security council which can send armed forces to quell crimes against humanity. The body will work towards an eventual political union. It is worth noting that two weeks before the AU was formed, the G8 countries formed an organization known as NEPAD (New Partnership for Economic Development). Its task will be to promote foreign investments in Africa, in return for a guarantee of good government. Just what “good government” consists of will be determined, naturally, by the G8 countries, and in the final instance by the USA. The point here is to assure a system giving influence to the trans-national economy. A good deal could be said about a number of other organizations. What they have in common is a liberalization of world trade, the UN included, as the UN statutes say that the world’s raw-materials should be open to all countries on an equal footing.


In 1997, the American political adviser Brzezinski published a book entitled “The Grand Chessboard”. This Brzezinski is not just anybody. Earlier (1966-68) he was a member of the State Department’s Council for Political Planning, and later, President Jimmy Carter’s adviser on national security matters. “The Grand Chessboard” was written for Brzezinski’s students to – as he puts it – help them create the world of tomorrow. He opens by confirming that with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the USA is the first and only true global power. But for the USA to exercise and establish this power, an unquestionable influence in Europe and Asia is of prime importance. Eurasia, as the connected landmasses of Europe and Asia are known, is the chessboard where the contest for global supremacy is being decided in our day, according to Brzezinski.

Through Brzezinski’s book it is possible to trace the course of conflicts arising in Europe, Asia and the Middle East since the book appeared. But every bit as important as military conflicts for the establishment of American world hegemony, are the more indirect methods built up over decades. “Cultural domination has been an underappreciated facet of American global power”, continues Brzezinski. “Whatever one may think of its aesthetic values, America’s mass culture exercises a magnetic appeal, especially on the world’s youth. (…) American television programs and films account for three-fourths of the global market. American popular music is equally dominant, while American fads, eating habits, and even clothing are increasingly imitated worldwide. The language of the Internet is English, and an overwhelming proportion of the global chatter also originates from America, influencing the content of global conversation. Lastly, America has become a Mecca for those seeking advanced education, with approximately half a million foreign students flocking to the United States, with many of the best never returning home. Graduates from American universities are to be found in almost every Cabinet on every continent.” “The appeal and impact of the democratic American political system”, continues Brzezinski, “has also been accompanied by the growing attraction of the American entrepreneurial economic model, which stresses global free trade and uninhibited competition. (…) As the imitation of American ways gradually pervades the world, it creates a more congenial setting for the exercise of the indirect and seemingly consensual American hegemony. And as in the case of the domestic American system, that hegemony involves a complex structure of interlocking institutions and procedures, designed to generate consensus and obscure asymmetries in power and influence.” (author’s italics) 

In every American initiative one can note how economic liberalism and a so-called democratic form of government are invariably linked. According to Brzezinski this is a straight-forward political message appealing to many. We become infatuated by the idealism in the democratic system, while economic development appeal to our collective ego.

Brzezinski maintain that “… The Atlantic alliance, epitomized institutionally by NATO, links the most productive and influential states of Europe to America, making the United States a key participant even in intra-European affairs. The bilateral political and military ties with Japan bind the most powerful Asian economy to the United States, with Japan remaining (at least for the time being) essentially an American protectorate. America also participates in such nascent trans-Pacific multilateral organizations as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), making itself a key participant in that region’s affairs. The Western Hemisphere is generally shielded from outside influences, enabling  America to play the central role in existing hemispheric multilateral organizations. Special security arrangements in the Persian Gulf, especially after the brief punitive mission in 1991 against Iraq, have made that economically vital region into an American military preserve. Even the former Soviet space is permeated by various American-sponsored arrangements for closer cooperation with NATO, such as the Partnership for Peace.

   In addition, one must consider as part of the American system the global web of specialized organizations, especially the “international” financial institutions. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank can be said to represent “global” interests, and their constituency may be construed as the world. In reality, however, they are heavily American dominated…”

   “Unlike earlier empires”, continues Brzezinski, “this vast and complex global system is not a hierarchical pyramid. Rather, America stands at the center of an interlocking universe, one in which power is exercised through continuous bargaining, dialogue, diffusion, and quest for formal consensus, even though that power originates ultimately from a single source, namely, Washington, D.C.”  Most of this “system emerged during the Cold War, as part of America’s effort to contain its global rival, The Soviet Union. It was thus ready-made for global application, once that rival faltered and America emerged as the first and only global power.”

   Perhaps the single leading political maneuver promoting global expansion of capitalism was the legislation of capital control. This took place first in the USA in 1974. Great Britain followed in 1979, while the EU and Japan followed  in the course of the 80’s. In Norway the Syse government removed the last vestiges of capital control in 1990. The right to freely move blocs of capital gives its owners enormous power. The economy of a whole country can be toppled should a single investment-fund so desire. Further, the absence of capital control can open the way for economic criminality as well as for arms and narcotic trade. When one can freely move large amounts of money over national boundaries it becomes far easier to operate illegally and to launder money. These consequences, following liquidation of capital controls has prompted a call for police and intelligence cooperation over national boundaries.

   In other words, it was first the politicians who smoothed the way for international criminality. Thereafter they could point to the dangers, but carefully avoid any reference to the connection. At the time, one of the arguments for removing capital controls was simplification of trade between countries. And in Norway we learned that it would be easier to buy a house in Spain. But this, of course, was not the real reason. In reality, international trade accounts for only a fraction of the enormous capital transfers taking place each day. The remainder represents capital movements financing speculation in foreign currencies  and stock trading. There is also a kind of trade in goods not tolerating the light of day, or trade routes long and purposely complicated so as to make it difficult to trace just who has sold weapons to whom. What with the possibility to move large sums unhindered over national boundaries, it is no longer difficult to deal in arms and narcotics.

   And so comes the call for control – not of capital, as would seem natural, but of individuals considered a “threat to public order and national security”. The fact that we now accept higher appropriations for surveillance and intelligence, and tolerate anti-terror legislation without a whimper, can not possibly be explained logically. 


In May 2000, a book appeared, written by a former member of the German Secret Service Control Committee. His name was Andreas von Bülow. The committee’s task was to guarantee the democratic control of the intelligence service. Andreas von Bülow  felt hat information provided to the Control Committee was not satisfactory. Among other things, he had requested a systematic account of the relationship between trade in arms and narcotics, money-laundering and terrorism. This proved impossible, the reason being that integration of the several data registers was not permitted in Germany. This was probably not an outright lie, but rather a half-truth. The registration control in Norway seeks in any event to discourage the joining of data registers. But if one notes police and intelligence cooperation within the EU and between the EU and the USA, the whole point lies in this integration of data registers. In the EU we have the SIS, SIRENE, Europol and Eurodac and now there is talk of connecting these registers to corresponding registers in the USA. And what about all registered data moving over the Internet, anyone can now keep informed. Originally Internet was an American military communication system which after some time was offered to the universities, before it became common property.

   Andreas von Bülow did not settle for the answer he received, but decided to investigate on his own. He read hearings, reports, books and articles, to which he refers in 1072 footnotes, and did not only find a connection between trade with narcotics, illegal sale of weapons, money laundering and terrorism, but a systematic infiltration of all these with the intelligence services. These services finance illegal operations and assassinations through the narcotics trade, for example. But what’s the point? Why do the secret services take part in such illegal operations and assassinations? Andreas von Bülow maintained there are three questions one can ask oneself if any sensible explanation for such apparently meaningless violence and terror is to come forth. These are: “Who can benefit by it?” “Who does it harm?” and “Where does the money come from?”

   As to September 11, about which he has written in German newspapers, von Bülow contends that the only ones benefiting from this mass assassination are the armament industries and the secret services. 


In the beginning of August 2002 the American Congress appropriated twenty billion dollars for a war against terrorism, in addition to sizable appropriations earlier. Of this, 200 million was earmarked for Israel for the planned war against Iraq. The US has great plans for the Arab world, plans which would have been difficult to realize without the terror attack of September 11. Success of such a project will depend on new leaders in Palestine and introduction of a so-called modern democracy in a Muslim state. If all works well, the same can be applied to a Kurdish state, a Shiit-Muslim state and a Turkish region which may be carved out of Iraq. With the end of military operations, some 70.000 American troops will thus be stationed in Iraq. According to plan, Israel will then move in with personnel and technology to rebuild the country. This, it is estimated, will demand a yearly investment of between 15 and 20 billion dollars over a period of ten years.

   Without September 11, Congress would never consider appropriating such sums – in any event not o launch an attack on Iraq for removing Saddam Hussein. For that matter, they would probably not have done so now either, as the money came as a general appropriation for the war against terrorism, as requested by President Bush, with no mention made as to just how it would be used.

   Until now the USA has had no success in removing Arafat, who after all was legally elected by the Palestinians. But the bitter conflicts this spring and summer may have increased prospects somewhat. After Israel had systematically destroyed the Palestinian security system and infrastructure, Defence Minister Benjamin Ben-Elizer laid forth a peace plan whereby security responsibility for Bethlehem and parts of Gaza would be turned over to the Palestinians. To the extent that their security forces managed to keep Palestinian militants from attacking Israelis, Israel soldiers would be steadily withdrawn  from cities on the reoccupied West Bank. Unfortunately Israel had already left few chances for this to happen. So the first phase of the US plan is to shift out Arafat and his team, and to set up a Palestinian democratic Muslim state – so-called – under joint Israel-American protection.

   The USA has awakened little or no understanding for an attack against Iraq. Many countries have come with warnings or have stated outright that they are against such a move. But the USA’s planning rolls on, and there are sizable troop movements in the immediate areas. Early September 2002 there was heavy bombing of the southern part of the “forbidden zone” declared by the USA and Britain and covering nearly a third of Iraq. For that matter, US planes have dropped bombs daily on Iraq the last 11 years.

   Then something occurred which can prove interesting in  light of the anthrax attack of October 2001. That time the anthrax spores were traced to an American biological weapons program and the terrorist attack was evidently intended to call attention to Saddam Hussein. In August 2002 the American media had gotten hold of films showing experiments with poison gas. These were carried out in Iraq, but in an area under the protection of the USA, namely in the northern part of the “forbidden zone”, populated by Kurdish groups. It soon developed that the CIA was well aware of these experiments, actually down to the most minute details, having followed a man at close quarters who had been accidentally exposed to the gas, and recording each development until he died. When the matter became known, it was reported that the CIA and Pentagon planned an attack using special forces. President Bush, however, didn’t think it worthwhile to risk American lives on such a minute laboratory.

   One can draw one’s own conclusions, but to me it seems reasonable to surmise that the “forbidden zone” assures American influence in a part of Iraq from which an eventual gas or biological attack could conceivably originate. Too bad it was discovered. For what could turn the opinion, the Congress and the NATO allies towards a bloody war faster  than evidence that the propagandists were right – that one or more terror attacks with chemical, biological or some form of atomic weapons had actually been launched. And most effectively in the heart of Europe, so that this time it would be we who begged the US to attack Iraq. 

   Now it’s a matter of keeping one’s head cool and one’s heart warm – and not being carried away by big words about democracy and human rights. For neither of these concepts has much value after the September 11th attack. 

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