CXI – Cui Bono Revisited

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Cui Bono
is not the rock musician who fashions himself mankind's
ambassador to the governments of the world. It is, rather, the
question asked when an official was murdered in ancient Rome:
"who benefited"? It is the question gullible minds
have long forgotten to ask themselves following politically-motivated
atrocities.

The state
saves us the difficulties associated with asking and exploring
such a question. Following the bombing of the federal building
in Oklahoma City, as well as the 9/11 attacks on the WTC, the
political establishment locked most Americans into one explanation:
"terrorists." It is amazing that, for all the criticism
heaped upon so-called "intelligence agencies" for
their "failure" to anticipate 9/11, federal officials
were able to identify the alleged perpetrators of these crimes
— complete with photographs of same — within hours after the
attacks!

The state
doesn't want disquieting questions to be asked. In fact, it
urges the public to "remain calm," and not be distressed
by destructive events. The state will explain it all in terms
that serve its ends, with no need for minds to be sidetracked
by "cui bono" inquiries into other possible causal
factors. Thus, one of President Bush's first acts, following
9/11, was to remind people what their minds had already been
conditioned to reject, namely, "conspiracy" explanations.
That he immediately spouted conspiratorial theories of his own
(e.g., "axis of evil," Al-Qaeda, Islamic terrorism)
did not register, in the minds of most, as just one more of
this man's glaring contradictions.

I subscribe
to the sentiments of a friend who said "I am not interested
in conspiracy theories; I am interested in the facts
of conspiracies!" Those who deny, outright, the existence
of conspiracies, have a difficult time explaining the events
of 9/11. Was there some kind of "harmonic convergence"
that brought the nineteen hijackers onto these planes without
any concerted intentions on their parts? Was it nothing more
than fate — what Middle Easterners would call "kismet"
— that brought these total strangers together that morning to
bring about the unplanned orchestration of these deadly and
destructive acts? Intelligent minds would reject such an explanation,
leaving us to find causation in a conspiracy.

But Mr.
Bush — and all the mind-setters in academia and the media —
warns us to resist temptations to look to conspiracies for causation;
that those who seek such inquiries are "paranoid"
and probable hate-mongers. On the other hand, it is quite acceptable
to embrace conspiracies identified by the state. We are
to listen only to the booming voice of "the Great Oz,"
and to "pay no attention to that man behind the screen."

The question
becomes, then, not whether conspiracies exist, but who has
conspired to bring about massive acts of death and destruction?
A beginning point is to ask the question instinctively posed
by Romans: "cui bono?" Who has benefited from these
various acts? Such an inquiry does not necessarily provide one
with the correct answer but, like police investigators who focus
upon the spouse of a murder victim as the initial suspect, it
is a rational way to begin.

The facility
with which politicians, media spokesmen, and other statists
were able to inculcate gullible minds in the catechism of "Islamic
terrorism," illustrates the dangerous nature of mass-mindedness.
Efforts to contrast "terrorism" and governmental behavior
only create distinctions without meaning. Each group uses terror
— consisting of violence and the threat of violence — to accomplish
their respective ends. American planes bomb Baghdad in a program
named "shock and awe," while Iraqi insurgents retaliate
with suicide bombers. Each effort is designed to terrorize the
Iraqi people into obedience to one side or the other.

Intelligent
minds — such as those who might have had a basic course in physics
in their youth — ought to recognize Newton's "third law
of motion" playing out in all of this. If Al-Qaeda activists
were responsible for 9/11, their motivation in having done so
is more plausibly to be found in reactions to American foreign
policy, than in some collective Islamic envy over the cell-phones,
blue jeans, popular music, and Hollywood movies that represent
so much of American culture. I have a difficult time imagining
a suicide bomber crashing into his target with his last thoughts
being "take that, Howard Stern!"

The statists,
of course, don't want you to understand how such forces of butchery
are causally connected to each other; how they necessarily derive
from the very nature of coercive power. You are expected to
regard these competing influences of destructiveness as polar
opposites — what President Bush so childishly labels the
forces of "good" versus "evil." There is
nothing new in the creation of such false dichotomies. America's
first King George doubtless regarded Jefferson, Franklin,
Sam Adams, John Hancock, et al., as a cabal of "terrorists"
(although "traitor" was more likely the adjective
du jour). The practitioners of American "Manifest Destiny"
looked upon American Indians as the equivalent of "terrorists"
(i.e., "savages") for their active resistance to the
7th Cavalry's efforts to slaughter and despoil them.
The Jews in the Warsaw ghetto, and the members of the French
resistance movement in Paris were likewise regarded as "terrorists"
by the Nazi regime.

Such thoughts
were rekindled as I watched the political class and its obsequious
media describing today's bombing of subways and a bus in London
that has killed many people. The "terrorist" catechisms
are again offered up for reaffirmation by the faithful; the
bifurcation of "good" and "evil" are provided
by President Bush who contrasted the "ideology of hope
and compassion" with the "ideology of hate."
Such infantile reasoning has played well to an American audience,
so why would we expect this man to alter the script?

Other politicians
raced to the television cameras to capitalize on this event.
Tony Blair — with his fellow G8 Summit participants standing
behind him (including George Bush in his Marshal Dillon stance)
— repeated the party line with nary a break in meter that might
otherwise have been occasioned by an awareness of the connection
between this atrocity and Britain's participation in the Iraq
war. In a show of moral resolve, even New York Governor Pataki
held a press conference to condemn the bombing of innocent people
(i.e., in London, not Baghdad).

This is
an opportune time for intelligent men and women to begin formulating
their own questions, rather than continuing to internalize
answers fed to them by those with an interest in conditioning
their minds. Such an inquiry ought to include the possibility
that some of these events might be the product of provocateuring
(i.e., the political establishment engineering attacks in order
to arouse public sentiment on behalf of expanded police powers
and a war agenda). The very existence of the word admits of
its historic role in matters political. The burning of the German
Reichstag facilitated Hitler's rise to power, while Roosevelt's
conscious efforts to bring about the bombing of Pearl Harbor
made it possible for him to overcome public opposition to entering
the war.

Those who
might be inclined to consider such a possible explanation for
9/11 are invited to read David Ray Griffin's book The
New Pearl Harbor
, in which he invites such an inquiry.
To raise such a possibility as a question to be examined is
not to make an accusation, but only to follow the "cui
bono" question to embrace all who might have so benefited.
If we are to understand the vicious nature of our world, we
must follow wherever the evidence leads us; we must not foreclose
any inquiry by political fiat.

So-called
"Islamic terrorist" groups might also benefit from
such attacks and must, therefore, be kept on the list of suspects
to be examined. For the same reason that Americans coalesced
around state authority following 9/11, "terrorists"
who aspire to state power use such attacks — as well as American
military attacks upon other countries – as a basis for
recruiting followers of their own. To say, therefore, that state
systems and "terrorist" groups each benefit from acts
of violence upon others, is simply to identify the symbiotic
nature of all politically-based systems.

And thus
do we come to the crux of the matter. Nations that war upon
other nations ignite angry responses from the victims of such
attacks. Such reactions often take the forms we have witnessed
in New York City, Iraq, and now London. Politicians and the
more observant members of the media know what they do not want
you to know: the way to end "terrorist" attacks
is to stop having foreign policies that make other people angry!

None of
what I have said is meant to justify what are called "terrorist"
acts. What these groups do is every bit as indefensible as Americans
bombing Iraqi cities and torturing Iraqi citizens. What I am
urging is an end to the divisive thinking that underlies the
mutually destructive nature of all political systems.
The state — whatever its form — is terror, for it depends
upon threats and violence to obtain obedience to its will. Americans
need to understand that their government, as long as it persists
in using offensive military power against others, is making
America a most insecure place. The real "homeland
security" is to be found in the United States announcing
to the world that it intends to live with others by free trade,
not by force of arms; that it will withdraw its military, its
intelligence-agency operatives, and other perverse influences
from the lives of others; and that Americans will, in the words
of Lysander Spooner, "go home and content themselves with
the exercise of only such rights and power as nature has given
to them in common with the rest of mankind."

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