September 18, 2011
While soap opera on the WTC square is over again it might be time to make a cool assessment – what is the bottom line behind correct statements, condolences and sentimental sob stories. It is understandable that sc human interest aspect gets the main role in headlines, it as well conspiracy theories are good marketing tool for media. The other perspective can be found by studying the main economical and political beneficiaries due to 9/11 and after that.
The main beneficiary last ten years has been U.S. Military-industrial complex. War on terror is a lucrative business and the extra profit can be made through complicated and nontransparent nature of money flow (on August 2011 U.S Congress investigation reported USD 30 billion waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan). Anyway quite reliable estimations suggest that cost of War to the United States in Afghanistan have been around USD 450 bn and in Iraq USD 800 bn so these these two total USD 1.250 bn (it is 1,250,000,000,000 bucks) only in US, the US allies increase minor part the investment mentioned. The effect of 9/11 to turnover of military industrial complex is huge: spending after 9/11 is 3 to 4 times compared pre 9/11 spending, it is more than spent at height of cold war with communist block.
The WTC attack shifted drastically political playground for benefit of military-industrial complex as finally after the breakup of Soviet Union there was again an enemy to justify military spending. The WTC attack also boosted neo-conservative/neo-imperialist right wing policy in U.S into new highs and this policy has some common interests with business life. The war on terror has demanded U.S to establish new military bases abroad which by change are located near important gas and oil fields or near energy transport routes. Also the intervention logic is strangely following the U.S energy needs.
Besides war profiters the 9/11 boosted also civilian security sector. Not only airports got new security measures but also the societies, the physical and virtual environments are now better guarded and followed than before. Politically a phrase “every Muslim is not a terrorist, but every terrorist is Muslim” is now popular in western societies creating tensions not only on the frontiers between the cultures but also inside U.S and Europe.
Coming back to humanitarian aspect after 9/11 the numbers are shocking. Coalition military fatalities (deaths) in Afghanistan are nearly 3,000, accidentally now almost the same than with 9/11 attack. Estimation of direct and indirect deaths of civilians is 18,000 – 40,000. In Iraq the death toll of coalition forces is nearly 5,000 but for civilians the war have been fatal. Different estimates suggest hat the death toll of Iraqi civilians is from 700,000 to even 1.2 million people due the conflict. So for comparison the deaths caused by the U.S. invasion of Iraq are already over the death toll of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Some conspiracy theories suggest that 9/11 was planned and partly implemented by U.S government and/or by military-industrial complex to boost their political and economical interests. I doubt that this is true. There might be some reason to draw conclusions that 9/11 was allowed to happen but better explanation could be the uncoordinated information flow in U.S homeland security machinery. Instead of active planning of 9/11 by U.S officials and business sector in my opinion the fast commercialization of WTC attack is realistic approach as the bottom line is that both U.S military-industrial complex and its political wing or “War Party” in U.S institutions still are the biggest beneficiaries after 9/11.
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A Finnish freelancer and project management expert Ari Rusila, covers issues of conflicts, crisis management and geopolicy and regionally the Balkans, the Black Sea and MENA regions. His main blog is Ari Rusila’s BalkanBlog .Ari Rusila