By Amir Mohammad Esmaeili

9/11 made the world skeptical of the U.S. official narrative: American analyst

September 11, 2020 - 19:0

TEHRAN - Andrew Korybko, an American analyst based in Moscow, believes that 9/11 and its aftermath affected people's perceptions of the American government and its narrative on everything.

“What is most important to pay attention to, however, is the impact that 9/11 had on people's perceptions of the American government,” Korybko, a member of the expert council for the Institute of Strategic Studies and Predictions at the People’s Friendship University of Russia, tells the Tehran Times.

Korybko also says though the U.S. exploited the 9/11 attacks to invade Afghanistan and Iraq and advance “its Greater Middle East plan… the grand strategy failed to be implemented in full and even backfired in some respects.”

The text of the interview with Korybko is as follows:

Q: Some experts have cited reasons to question the official 9/11 narrative. They believe that for many reasons the official story is a myth that does not correspond to reality. What is your view?

A: The undisputed fact is that members of the U.S. intelligence community were aware that Al Qaeda was planning these attacks, though what's debatable is whether they put the separate pieces together in time in order to have a chance at taking preventive action to stop what ultimately happened. Another point of controversy is the collapse of World Trade Center 7, which wasn't hit by either of the two aircraft yet was destroyed in what some suspect was a controlled demolition. The same can be said for the way in which the other two main towers collapsed as well, according to popular interpretations of the available footage.

It's therefore difficult to determine exactly what happened, but in my opinion, it really doesn't matter anymore in the grand sense. Everyone is already familiar with both narratives -- the official one alleging that the U.S. intelligence community was such an uncoordinated mess that it wasn't able to take preventive action in time to stop the terrorist attacks, and the alternative one speculating that the authorities allowed the attacks to happen and might have even facilitated their outcome by secretly planting explosives in the two targeted buildings and World Trade Center 7.

This means that everyone's interpretation of what happened is a personal one since they have more than enough information available to reach their own conclusions. Those who ascribe to the official narrative are more trusting of the U.S. government than those who support the alternative one, the latter of whom suspect that members of the “deep state” (permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies) and some of the political elite (high-level members of the Bush Administration and a few folks in influential think tanks such as the “Project for a New American Century”) committed treason through their alleged involvement in 9/11.

Each side's mind is therefore already made up and isn't likely to change. All that's important is that both narratives are equally well known, which is already the case. They're as irreconcilable as Trump and Antifa are, and each interpretation will continue to influence subsequent generations, who will only become more polarized as time goes on. That's the only real significance of debating the origins of 9/11 nowadays, to influence the younger generation into accepting one or the other viewpoint. Those who already hold such beliefs probably won't change their mind nearly two decades after that incident happened.

Q: How do you see the relationship between 9/11 and the Greater West Asia (Middle East) plan?

A: 9/11, regardless of its origins, was exploited as the pretext for executing the Greater Middle East plan. The obvious cause and effect, especially considering the fact that the Greater Middle East plan precedes that event, partially explains the popularity of the alternative narrative.

Q: In your view, has the U.S. succeeded in that respect?

A: Yes, insofar as the 9/11 was successfully exploited as the pretext for invading Afghanistan and Iraq, which in turn enabled the U.S. to make progress in advancing its Greater Middle East plan, though that grand strategy failed to be implemented in full and even backfired in some respects. The region hasn't (yet?) been formally “Balkanized”, and the weaponization of chaos theory there created outcomes disadvantageous to U.S. interests such as opening up opportunities for other countries to challenge American influence there. Iran, Russia, China, and Turkey -- though not necessarily in full coordination with one another or sharing the same outlooks -- have expanded their influence in the “Greater Middle East” following the U.S.' invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, though that didn't of course happen right away but took some time to occur.

Q: Some scholars argue that 9/11 was the death of the “American Dream”. What's your take on this?

A: The “American Dream” is difficult to define and varies depending on each individual, but it's generally understood to refer to the socio-economic and political opportunities that people are expected to have in the U.S., which are portrayed as being better there than anywhere else. 9/11 set into motion a chain of events that indirectly led to socio-economic difficulties for Americans, but it's unclear whether they'd have experienced such challenges even if that event didn't transpire. What's most important to pay attention to, however, is the impact that 9/11 had on people's perceptions of the American government.

The alternative narrative claims that members of the “deep state” and political elite conspired to commit treason by at the very least “passively facilitating” (if not outright actively participating in) those attacks, while the official one acknowledges the bureaucratic inefficiency of the U.S. intelligence community, though cynics suspect it's just a distraction from what they truly believe was an inside-job to some extent. Nevertheless, the very fact that the official narrative claimed (or as cynics might phrase it, felt compelled to claim for “face-saving” reasons) that this branch of the “deep state” couldn't do its job properly shows that the U.S. is imperfect.

That in and of itself discredited the notion of “American Exceptionalism” (which implies perfection) and directly contributed to fueling the alternative narrative. It's not difficult for many to believe that the U.S. government staged a so-called “limited hangout” by revealing an “open secret” (“deep state” divisions and inefficiency) in order to cover up for a more devious one. In any case, the prior trust that many Americans had in their government was lost, albeit to varying extents depending on which narrative they believe. This in turn led to each person questioning their interpretation of the “American Dream” that they previously took for granted.

All told, 9/11 was an epochal moment not just for historical and geopolitical reasons, but also in terms of global perceptions of the American government. Its most stalwart supporters at home and abroad might never have previously acknowledged the U.S. imperfections (to put it mildly), yet even they were now forced to at least recognize the official narrative claiming that its intelligence community didn't function like it was supposed to. After 9/11, a lot of people began to question the U.S. official narratives, which ultimately led to the deterioration of its soft power to the point where most folks now treat all of its statements with skepticism.

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