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Pearl Harbors Past and Present 

Edmund Connelly 

December 7, 2008 

Sixty-seven years ago today, Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and America was thrust into World War II. Ever since, the term “Pearl Harbor” has evoked a sense of casus belli for Americans. Thus, in our own times, the terrorist attack on America on September 11, 2001 is considered the “Pearl Harbor” that prompted America’s attack on first Afghanistan, then Iraq. 

George Bush had not been in office a year when this event defined his administration. Now that we are nearing the end of his eight-years in office, it might be useful to reconsider what the 9/11 attacks may in fact have been. 

While the official story that nineteen young Arab men hijacked four civilian airliners and caused the damage stands, a robust counter narrative has also emerged. David Ray Griffin, professor emeritus of philosophy of religion and theology at Claremont School of Theology, might be considered the leading light of this movement thanks to his meticulous books casting doubt on the official story. 

Griffin employs the term Pearl Harbor in two of his most critical books. The first, published in 2004, was The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11. In that book Griffin outlined in detail the doubts surrounding the collapse of the Twin Towers and Building 7, the alleged crash of a Boeing 757 into the Pentagon, and the crash of Flight 93 into a Pennsylvania field. 

In the next to last chapter of the book, “Is Complicity by US Officials the Best Explanation for 9/11?,” Griffin approvingly quotes a writer who asks "cui bono?": 

The forensic principle of “who most benefits from the crime?” clearly points in the direction of the Bush administration. One would be naive to think the Bush Jr. faction and its oil, military-industrial and Wall Street backers . . . do not benefit astronomically from this mass-kill explosion. If there was a wish-list, it is all granted by this numbing turn of events. . . . The military, the CIA, and every satellite armed security apparatus have more money and power than ever, and become as dominant as they can over civilians in “the whole new era” already being declared by the White House.” 

As good as Griffin’s 2004 book was, events have overtaken it. Fortunately, the indefatigable Griffin saw fit to revise and update the book, and in the latter half of 2008 released The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, The Cover-Up, and the Exposť. (When I say Griffin is an indefatigable writer, I mean it. When is the last time you found a five-page footnote such as the one Griffin includes?)  

Griffin does not mince words. In his view, “the evidence that 9/11 was an inside job is overwhelming.” In over two-hundred and fifty pages plus notes, he makes an intriguing case. 

Consider, for example, testimony Griffin has unearthed from experts associated with the original planning of the World Trade Center. “The buildings have been investigated and found to be safe in assumed collision with a large jet airliner traveling at 600 miles per hour. Analysis indicates that such collision would result in only local damage which could not cause collapse.” Another expert averred, “I believe that the building could probably sustain multiple impacts of jet liners.” 

Griffin’s analysis of the architectural strength of the Twin Towers is damaging to the official account of collapse caused by airliner strikes. For example, the oft-argued claim that heat from the burning jet fuel weakened the steel is brought into question. “The fires on 9/11 would have taken many hours . . . to slowly raise the temperature of the steel framework as a whole to the point of weakening even a few exposed members.” Even the National Institute of Standards and Technology officially admitted that “only three columns had evidence that the steel reached temperatures above 482˚F,” far below the required 1,112˚F necessary to deform the structural steel. 

One of the quotes Griffin employs to sum up his belief in what happened that day has it that “it is impossible that heavy steel columns could collapse at the fraction of the second within each story and subsequently at each floor below.” As the structural engineer in question articulated it in engineer-speak, “engineering science and the laws of physics simply don’t know such possibility. Only very sophisticated controlled demolition can achieve such result.” 

Obviously, it is impossible to do justice to Griffin’s book in this column, but I would like to mention Griffin’s debunking of the alleged phone calls from aboard the hijacked planes. With respect to Flight 77, for instance, which was destined to strike the Pentagon, Griffin proves that the phone calls we heard about were fake. “According to the FBI, therefore, Ted Olson did not receive a single call from his wife using either a cell phone or an onboard phone.” 

Remember the “Let’s Roll” story of martyred heroes who knew they were going to be used as a flying bomb to hit Washington? Allegedly, United Airlines Flight 93 was hijacked by Arab terrorists, but male passengers such as Todd Beamer overpowered the hijackers and the plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field. 

The official account from the beginning highlighted claims that some passengers had made cell phone calls from cruising altitude, but Griffin shows that the technology of 2001 absolutely precluded that possibility. As one expert confirmed, that numerous cell phone calls could be made from an airliner flying above 31,000 feet was “flat out impossible.” Yet the narrative remains with us, preserved in celluloid in films such as United 93 of 2006.

As an aside, Griffin throws in but never develops the curious fact that on the day before 9/11, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld admitted at a press conference that a whopping $2.3 trillion dollars was missing from the Pentagon. As luck would have it, the portion of the Pentagon that was most damaged that day was the Army’s financial management/audit area.  

If there is a weakness in Griffin’s account, it lies in apportioning the blame for the government complicity Griffin sees in 9/11. Like many others, Griffin indicts the Bush administration as well as senior government and military officials. But in the “war on Iraq for oil” vs. the “war on Iraq for Israel” debate, Griffin comes down solidly in the former camp, dismissing Jewish neoconservative participation with a wave of the hand. 

To be sure, Griffin sees the theory that the neocon agenda was central to 9/11 as a false flag operation. But he goes out of his way to exonerate Jews acting as Jews in their actions on behalf of Israel. “The term ‘neoconservative’ is . . . used here to refer strictly to an ideology, not to any biographical facts about those who hold this ideology. I mean ‘biographical facts’ to include ethnicity. Although many of the prominent neoconservatives have been Jewish, leading people to think that Jewishness is a necessary condition for being a neoconservative, this is not so.” 

Of course this reasoning is flawed because it completely ignores the degree to which Jews acting on behalf of perceived Jewish interests have dominated the neocon movement. The presence of non-Jews such as Cheney and Rumsfeld does not change this well-documented fact. (See here, here, and here.) 

To make up for this deficiency, I now turn to scholar James Petras. In three important books, Petras illustrates how Israel and its agents within the United States have manipulated public policy to benefit Israel at the expense of  America and other countries. In The Power of Israel in the United States (2006) and Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire: Bankers, Zionists and Militants (2007), he analyzed the neocon power structure that controls Washington. (See my review of both books here).  

In this year’s Zionism, Militarism, and the Decline of U.S. Power, Petras adds to his previous consideration of who is to blame for 9/11 and the wars that followed. He began his 2006 book by asking “Who fabricated the Iraq War threat?” His answer: “The Jewish Lobby, not Big Oil.”  

He then addressed the issue of September 11 and the Israelis, pointing to Carl Cameron’s Fox News reports about Israeli spying in America. Reportedly, sixty Israelis were detained for engaging in a long-running intelligence operation in the US. “Many of those arrested were active Israeli military or intelligence operatives.” More seriously, experts believed that these Israelis had advance knowledge of 9/11 plans yet did not share it with Washington.  

Petras accepts the charge that Israel had prior knowledge of the attacks but he explains that “the lack of any public statement concerning Israel’s possible knowledge of 9/11 is indicative of the vast, ubiquitous and aggressive nature of its powerful Diaspora supporters.” Thus, he tells us not to expect that the Israeli connection to 9/11 will be publicly disclosed. And he notes that suppression of this topic from public discourse is not astonishing at all “if we understand properly the ‘unique relationship’ between the US Empire and Israel, a regional power.” 

Petras devotes a chapter to “provocations as pretexts for imperial wars.” Because wars in a democracy require the consent of highly motivated masses, the need to invent a cause for war is strong. Since no foreign foe is openly attacking America, rulers such as Bush must fabricate a reality which paints the target as an “invader.” 

Rulers do this, according to Petras, by creating a threat to the homeland, thus making the casus bellicus “immediate, dramatic, and self-righteously defensive.”  He then briefly describes previous American incidents of such contrived threats, beginning with the attack on Pearl Harbor, followed by pretexts for wars against Korea and Vietnam. 

Petras situates 9/11 as a false flag operation in that mold. The goal was to provide justification for attacking Israel’s enemies. After all, in 2001 few Americans had the stomach or desire to launch a new war in the Middle East  this despite the vigorous efforts of Israel and the neocons to inflame a pro-war mood.

Consequently, the key challenge for the militarists in the Bush Administration was how to bring the US public around to support the new Middle East war agenda, in the absence of any visible, credible and immediate threat from any sovereign Middle Eastern country. The Zionists were well placed in all the key government positions to launch a worldwide offensive war. They had clear ideas of the countries to target. 

One man who ties together Griffin’s critique of the official 9/11 account and Petras’s exegesis of Zionist control of Washington comes in the person of Philip Zelikow, who later went on to direct the 9/11 Commission Report. Remarkably, in 1998 this Jewish academic had presciently written that in order to realize an agenda of American permanent global war, a trigger was necessary. “Like Pearl Harbor, this event would divide our past and future into a before and after. The United States might respond with draconian measures, scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects and use of deadly force (torture).” 

Coincidentally (or not), the heavily Jewish neocon think tank The Project for the New American Century had written a year before 9/11 that “some catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a New Pearl Harbor,” would be necessary to galvanize public opinion in favor of a preemptive war in the Middle East. 

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Zelikow and Jewish think tanks in Washington got their war justification. 

Petras fingers the Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC) as being the principal domestic backer of US military activity: 

No other organized political-economic force consistently  supports all US military efforts in each of the zones of conflict. No other group backs US military action in countries where there is little or no oil. No other group totally ignores the “overstretch” of the US military—the overextension of US military forces in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa at the expense of providing military defense of other strategic imperial regions. Only the ZPC, of all theoretically possible influential “interest groups” has put all countries—Islamic or secular—critical of Israel on the US’s military hit-list.  

Petras further claims that ”never in the history of the US republic or empire has a powerful but tiny minority been able to wield so much influence by using our nation’s military and economic power and diplomatic arm-twisting in the service of a foreign government.”  

He also makes the important point that “Judeocentrism is the perspective which guides the organized, active minority driving the major Zionist organizations and their billionaire camp followers. And it is always the organized, zealous and well-financed minority, which assumes 'legitimate' claim to speak 'for the community.’” This characteristic of Jewish activism has also been documented extensively by Kevin MacDonald.

Since 9/11 we have certainly seen the results of this process. 

Given the immense power of the Zionists in America, the unshakeable will of their leaders to work for Israel’s interests, plus the plethora of committed Jews in key positions of power, is it too much to suspect a ZPC hand in the execution of 9/11?  

Further, would the stubborn propagation of the official 9/11 story be so hard to explain if we took into account Jewish power not only in government but the media as well? This might explain a mystery Griffin ponders: “The official story about 9/11 is so filled with implausibilities and outright impossibilities and contradictions that it should have been exposed as a big lie within weeks, if not days.”  

Why hasn’t it? 

By taking seriously these books by Griffin and Petras, one may gain needed insight into what officials and the media studiously ignore or treat as “conspiracy theories.” The best part of reading both authors, however, comes with the cross-fertilization obtained by pairing doubts about the official 9/11 story with a cold look at what power is actually directing our nation in so many ways.  

The 1941 Pearl Harbor resulted in horrible deaths for millions. Before letting that happen again as a result of a “new” Pearl Harbor, we should at least avail ourselves of the facts surrounding this event.

Edmund Connelly is a freelance writer, academic, and expert on the cinema arts. He has previously written for The Occidental Quarterly.

Permanent link: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Connelly-9-11.html



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