Revisiting 9/11 (by Antonio C Abaya)
September 13, 2006
By Antonio C. Abaya
Written Sept. 10, 2006
For the Manila Standard Today,
September 12, issue
In my article titled More Cost Effective than Pearl Harbor (Sept. 14, 2001), written three days after 9/11 – and archived in www.tapatt.org – I wrote that:
“Whoever plotted that diabolical attack on the World Trade Center last Tuesday, Sept. 11, must have had some engineers advising him on the technical aspects. I do not agree with the view that the terrorists were just lucky and knocked down the twin towers purely by chance.
“My sense is that they set out deliberately to destroy the towers and then worked their way backwards to determine what logistics they needed to accomplish that mission.
“Their structural engineer calculated how much heat energy they would need to melt or at least soften the steel skeleton of the buildings and thus cause them to collapse.
“Their chemical engineer calculated the amount of burning aviation fuel they would need to raise the temperature beyond the melting point of steel and to keep it at that level for x-number of minutes.
“It is no coincidence that the aircraft that they chose to hijack were all gassed up to fly non-stop from the East Coast (Boston, Newark, Washington DC) to the West Coast (Los Angeles, San Francisco).
“If (those hijacked planes) were flying only from, say, Boston to Memphis, or from Newark to Atlanta, (the hijackers) would not have massed enough potential heat energy to (collapse) the towers. And the death toll would have been “only” in the hundreds, instead of in the thousands..”
How many actually died at the World Trade Center?
On Sept. 14, 2001, I calculated the (possible) American casualties. “Based on the announced working population of WTC of 50,000 and a total of 227 floors, there was an average of 220 persons per floor. I calculated a total of 70 floors, above the impact floors, from which there was no possible escape, and multiplied that by 220, and added to that product the passengers in the two doomed airplanes, and the 350 or so missing and presumed dead firefighters and policemen, and I came up with a casualty total of more than 16,000 fatalities.
“The Americans have since claimed that there were only 10,000 to 20,000 persons in the building at the time of impact – how could they have possibly known that? – but that would still mean 3,000 to 6,000 dead..”
The official death toll has since been placed at 2,973,.including the 230 or so lost at the Pentagon and in rural Pennsylvania.
And at what cost to the attackers?
In my Sept. 14, 2001 article: “Understandably, comparisons have been made between Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center. Both were surprise attacks of giant proportions. But the similarities begin and end there.
“In 1941, the Japanese used some 350 torpedo planes and dive bombers that took off from six aircraft carriers, which in turn were protected by a screen of battleships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines.” The Pearl Harbor attack killed a total of 2,403 Americans.
“In 2001, the Muslim hijackers – all 19 of them – bought plane tickets (for seats) in four commercial airliners which they used as giant Molotov cocktails against the awesome symbols of American economic and military power, and probably paid for those tickets with credit cards which will never be debited for the amount owed.
“In effect, they paid only with their lives. So in the macabre profit and loss calculation of modern warfare, this was the most cost effective (military) operation ever…”
Are the Americans safer now in 2006, after they exacted their revenge in Afghanistan and Iraq in the intervening five years? The answer has to be NO even if no other attack, large or small, has been hurled against the American homeland since.
The incontrovertible fact is that Americans are now hated by more people around the world than ever before, especially in the Arab and Muslim countries, assuring an endless supply of saheed or martyrs ready to blow themselves up if they can take at least one American or perceived American surrogate with them.
And more usually pro-American erstwhile US allies, not to mention tens of millions of otherwise patriotic Americans, despise the government of President George W. Bush as no US government has been despised before.
And the one responsible for this state of affairs is none other than George W himself, the often tongue-tied dummy of neo-conservative ventriloquists led by Vice-President Dick Cheney (who used to be CEO of the Halliburton oil giant) and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and their predominantly Jewish think- tank advisers-intellectuals. Condoleeza Rice used to be with Chevron, while George W himself was CEO of two smaller Texas oil companies.
This lethal combination of greedy oil-interests and unabashedly pro-Israel strategists has given the world the endless war in Iraq – and soon, Iran? – on the pretexts that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, was building nuclear bombs, and was working hand-in-glove with Osama bin Laden. All of which are now universally acknowledged to be unadulterated lies.
Even those who supported the US punitive action against the Taliban in Afghanistan – including this writer – have since turned their backs on Dubya and the neo-cons when the pursuit of Bin Laden became secondary to the invasion of Iraq. The priorities are self-evident: 135,000 troops against Saddam, compared to only 19,000 against Osama.
The invasion pf Iraq, it turned out, was planned several years before 9/11 by a neo-con group led by Paul Wolfowitz, according to the strategic goals of the neo-cons, first stated in September 2000 – one year before 9/11- which called for, above all else, full military control of the Middle East. “Full military control of the Middle East” refers to its vast oil resources, not to its bottomless supply of dromedary dates and camel dung.
The most damning proof that oil and Israel dominate the strategic thinking of the neo-cons is that North Korea, which is known even by the neo-cons to have a more advanced nuclear weapons program than Iraq’s or Iran’s, and far longer-range ballistic missiles than Iraq’s or Iran’s, with which to deliver them, was left to simmer on the back burner, while the neo-cons went gung-ho against Iraq on a pack of manufactured lies.
Iraq’s al-Samoud missiles are limited by the United Nations to a range of 150 kms, and cannot even reach Israel, much less Europe and North America. On the other hand, North Korea’s Taepodong-1 missiles have a range of 1,000 kms and can hit any target in South Korea and Japan, as well as parts of China and the Russian Far East.
The neo-cons are aware that North Korea is developing the Taepodong-2 missile, which will have a range of 6,000 kms and will be able to hit Alaska, Hawaii, Midway, Guam, and Okinawa, which all have US military and naval bases, plus Taiwan and the Philippines..
And yet the neo-cons considered Iraq a bigger threat to the US than North Korea, and activated their war machine accordingly.
Why so? Because Iraq is awash with oil, but there is not a drop in the Korean Peninsula. And because Pyongyang is not a threat to Israel, but Baghdad is. See my article War for Oil and Israel (Jan. 30, 2003), written three months before the invasion of Iraq.