Pino Arlacchi on 9/11, Writes, the U.S. Has Become a Mafia ‘Protector’
Sept. 10, 2021 (EIRNS)—The following article, datelined today, appears in the Sept. 11 issue of the daily Il Fatto Quotidiano. The author has authorized EIR and the Schiller Institute to publish an English translation of it.
by Pino Arlacchi
The coincidence between the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the 20th anniversary of September 11 suggests that a cycle has ended. Many identify it as the cycle of the American empire.
U.S. hegemony over the “free world” was established after 1945 and was based on an offer of protection from the main external threat, the expansionism of the U.S.S.R. The threat was conspicuously inflated, and only served to legitimize the claim of an American world government. But the U.S. offer ended up being accepted because in Europe the Soviet danger gradually became a self-fulfilling prophecy. It matters little that Russian rearmament was an effect and not a cause of the Cold War. Anyone on the continent who found themselves within range of Soviet missiles ended up willingly joining the proposed protection of the Stars and Stripes. Uncle Sam’s protection was legitimized.
The situation began to change with the defeat in Vietnam, but the radical turning point was the sudden collapse of communism in 1989. A serious problem then emerged. With the disappearance of the Great Enemy, how can we justify the continuation of American protection, and of the power bloc it gave birth to, that is, the military-industrial-political complex that today is called the “Deep State”?
From 1989 to September 11, 2001, the world government and the deep state went through a crisis of survival. It was clear that sooner or later, once the epochal opponent was defeated, the moment of truth about cutting military spending would come.
The Clintonian Belle Epoque passed in search of a new enemy. The concept of “multiple sources of threat” was elaborated. After the great communist dragon was killed, there were in its place so many big snakes and small snakes to behead: the mafias, the drug lords, the “axis of evil” of the so-called rogue states.
But these little snakes weren’t very convincing as existential threats to the security of America and the planet. They could not be considered dangers to be faced with the classical military paraphernalia. To keep them under control, a few tens of billions of dollars of intelligence, satellites, and special forces could be enough.
Unfortunately, quite a few of these dangers also began to run out in the 1990s. Both ordinary and organized crime began to decline, international détente favored negotiations with Iran, Libya and North Korea, and terrorist attacks began to decline by an almost unbelievable 83% from 1991 to 2000. Under Clinton, the U.S. military budget fell by 45% and the complex overlooking Washington began to fear that its days were numbered.
Given this situation, it is no exaggeration to say that Sheikh bin Laden has saved the U.S. deep state from a lethal threat. The immense backlash of anger and fear caused by September 11 generated the disastrous wars in the Middle East and the great rearmament of the United States that has lasted to this day.
This rearmament, however, was not supported by the entry of any real, new threats. Beyond the rhetoric of counter-terrorism, none of the allies, and Europe in the first place, has followed the U.S. in the increase in military spending and in military strategies to combat terrorism.
The underlying reason for American protection has thus disappeared. No partner of the United States today feels threatened in its existence or in its vital interests by any irreducible enemy. Not even from China and not even from Russia.
The semblance of legitimate protection of the past has then turned into a typical mafia extortion, where the person offering the service is also the person who creates the threat.
Consciously or not, the United States has created in recent decades the threats against which it claims to offer its protection today.