MEDIA BOOK REVIEW:

War and Globalization by Michel Chossudovsky

Reviewed by Scott Loughrey

In his book, Chossudovsky examines the true nature of US foreign policy and argues that the terrible events of 9/11/01 have changed little of it. Material this provocative and well-researched must not be ignored.

The Washington Post had special editions when the one-year anniversary of 9/11/01 came around. They had features, photographs, eyewitness accounts and reassuring quotes from powerful figures in government. Two months later their website still sums up their view of President Bush and that day:

“Prior to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, President Bush seemed more comfortable with domestic issues than international ones and a tax cut was the main goal of his presidency. After the attacks, Bush was credited with capturing the emotions of the moment and calming a nation full of fear (Washington Post).”

Note the use of the words, “was credited,” as if the Washington Post is playing no role in manipulating public perception. However, what was most remarkable about the Post’s coverage was what they failed to publish. They are making no real effort at investigating what happened that day. Indeed, it has been shown by Canadian Professor Chossudovsky and others that the Washington Post has been actively discouraging their general audience from looking further into what happened.

The liberal media hasn’t been much better. Several of the writers that I have considered heroes over the years have completely swallowed the Official Story. Outside of Wayne Madsen and some other writers appearing on the Counterpunch website, I can’t recall anyone from the left in the US who has had the nerve to try to start from the beginning. What happened? What was the US government’s response? Who is Al Qaeda? Who is Osama bin Laden (OBL)? What is the relationship between the US government and Al Qaeda/OBL? What are the relationships between powerful members of our government with Al Qaeda/OBL? Where is the proof that there were 19 Arab hijackers on those planes, what was on the flight recorders, and what is on the air traffic control transcripts? Not only are these questions not being raised by many leftist writers, but more than a few have written in one form or another that there is no reason to pursue those lines of inquiry.

In this mad and terrible time there is a glut of information being circulated by leftists who are deeply concerned about the apparent descent of the US into fascism. While keeping ourselves informed we must not overlook Professor Michel Chossudovsky’s great book, War and Globalization (published by Global Outlook and the Centre for Research on Globalization, 2002).

Chossudovsky starts by dispelling the fiction that the US and Al Qaeda have been long-term adversaries. In particular, according to Congressional testimony and State Department publications that he cites, the US government has had long-standing ties with Al Qaeda. This is confirmed as late as 1998-1999 as the Clinton administration used Al Qaeda as an intelligence asset in the campaign to arm the KLA insurgency in Bosnia. While these links were revealed to Congress around the same time that Clinton was being impeached for lying about his sex life, the issue was kept under wraps by Congress and the US media. History might have been changed if Clinton’s impeachment were about more substantial issues than oral sex.

Chossudovsky also probes US oil policy, which is obviously of particular concern to George W. Bush. Chossudovsky argues that the US has a much different relationship between Russia and China than is ever indicated in the mainstream (or progressive) press. Simply put, the US is moving into the countries which neighbor Russia and China in order to plunder natural resources and expand the reach of the US Empire. Pakistan’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been playing a key role in destabilizing the region as well as offering support in other intelligence matters.

With regards to the latter, Chossudovsky discusses how the Washington Post marginalized the story about an unusual breakfast meeting that took place between top-ranking members of Congress and the Pakistani Lieutenant General named Mahmoud Ahmed, who was the head of the ISI on 9/11/01. (Ahmed is also said to have been the money man who wired $100,000 to alleged hijacker Mohamed Atta.) I have confirmed with a visit to my local library that this Washington Post article says what Chossudovsky claims it does. Still, the left media is eerily quiet about this matter, as if by ignoring the problems associated with the Washington Post’s “journalism” will make them go away.

War and Globalization is full of surprises, even for those of us who consider ourselves well-informed. Chossudovsky is examining the true nature of US foreign policy and arguing that the terrible events of 9/11/01 have changed little of it. Whether he is right about his conclusions or not should be of great interest to many. This is particularly true with progressives. Material this provocative and well-researched is ignored by the left at great peril.


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This story was published on November 9, 2002.