The Facts About Ahmadinejad’s UN Speech

A large portion of the American people, on the basis of media reports, probably think that during his UN speech Sept. 23 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that the U.S. government secretly arranged for the 9/11 attacks. He did not say that, however.

In its Sept. 24 article about the speech the New York Times headline read: “Iran Leader Says U.S. Planned 9/11 Attacks.” The first paragraph declared: “President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran made a series of incendiary remarks in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, notably the claim that the United States orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks to rescue its declining economy, to reassert its weakening grip on the Middle East and to save Israel.”

On the basis of his remarks, the U.S. led 33 nations in theatrical walk out from the General Assembly while he was talking. And the next day, in an interview with the BBC’s Persian service, President Barack Obama said Ahmadinejad’s 9/11 remarks were “offensive. It was hateful. And particularly for him to make the statement here in Manhattan, just a little north of Ground Zero, where families lost their loved ones, people of all faiths, all ethnicities who see this as the seminal tragedy of this generation, for him to make a statement like that was inexcusable.”

On Sept. 25, the Times published a correction: “A headline on Friday with an article about an incendiary speech in the United Nations General Assembly by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran summarized his remarks about the Sept. 11 terror attacks incorrectly. In his speech, Mr. Ahmadinejad asserted various theories about the origin of the attacks, including the possibility that they had been planned by the United States. He did not say that the United States had planned the attacks.”

The Times was one of many U.S. newspapers, TV and radio news reports that suggested Ahmadinejad accused the U.S. government of secretly instigating the attack — a conspiracy theory believed by some Americans and others. Following are the few paragraphs pertaining to this matter from the Iranian leader’s text:

It was said that some three thousands people were killed on the 11 September for which we are all very saddened. Yet, up until now, in Afghanistan and Iraq hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, millions wounded and displaced and the conflict is still going on and expanding.

In identifying those responsible for the attack, there were three viewpoints.

1- That a very powerful and complex terrorist group, able to successfully cross all layers of the American intelligence and security, carried out the attack. This is the main viewpoint advocated by American statesmen.

2- That some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime. The majority of the American people as well as other nations and politicians agree with this view.

3- It was carried out by a terrorist group but the American government supported and took advantage of the situation. Apparently, this viewpoint has fewer proponents. The main evidence linking the incident was a few passports found in the huge volume of rubble and a video of an individual whose place of domicile was unknown but it was announced that he had been involved in oil deals with some American officials. It was also covered up and said that due to the explosion and fire no trace of the suicide attackers was found.

Ahmadinejad did not suggest these were his views. He was incorrect to claim that a majority of Americans subscribe to a well known conspiracy theory that is strongly held by a minority in the United States.

In a 2009 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, 14% of the American people believe “President Bush intentionally allowed the 9/11 attacks to take place because he wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East.” Many of the people who hold this view are war opponents, but it is not the perspective of the large majority of the U.S. peace movement.

In 2006, a Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll reported that “more than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East.”

In a 2008 poll conducted in 17 countries by WorldPublicOpinion.org, majorities in nine countries blamed al-Qaeda. In all countries there were minorities which blamed the U.S. The percentage of many who blamed Washington was in single digits or teens but in Germany, for instance, it was 23%, South Korea 17%, Mexico, 30%, and Turkey 36%. The average of all countries as to the responsible party was al-Qaeda 46%, U.S. 15%, Israel 7%, Other 7% and Don’t Know 25%.

So while not putting forward such arguments himself, Ahmadinejad exaggerated or misspoke regarding the proportion of those who think that the Bush Administration was involved in a 9/11 conspiracy that is evidently being covered up by the Obama Administration. If it was true, how could Obama not know? Many Americans, accustomed to Washington’s long demonization campaign against Ahmadinejad and Iran, now believe the Iranian leader grotesquely accused the U.S. of conspiring to murder thousands of its own people to create a pretext for launching wars.

We have never believed the conspiracy theory, not least for two reasons:

• Washington hardly needs an excuse of such magnitude to launch a war against small and basically defenseless nations. U.S. governments frequently attack such countries, and the usual excuses of “spreading democracy” or “humanitarian intervention” suffice to deceive the majority of Americans time and again.

• If Washington sought to stage a pretext for invading poor, bedraggled Afghanistan it didn’t have to engage in one of the most complex and dangerous conspiracies ever devised in history. It would take thousands of government operatives from many departments to plan and execute the attacks on the Pentagon, World Trade Center and the failed attempt on the White House. And if just one conspirator talked, out of all the people involved, the blowback would have destroyed the Bush Administration, the Republican Party, the cover-up Obama Administration, and completely discombobulate the entire country for decades. It’s simply unnecessary and illogical.

But there was a “conspiracy,” of course. It was a state conspiracy to dominate the entire oil-rich Middle East, overthrowing regimes in Iraq, Iran and possibly Syria in the process, and also extend U.S. hegemony into Central Asia to compete geopolitically with China and Russia. This conspiracy is known as U.S. foreign and military policy, and most of the details are available in a great many public government and media reports, assuming one has enough knowledge to read between the lines when necessary.

It is a fact the Bush Administration used 9/11 as an immediate rationale for gaining a foothold in Central Asia, and partially used 9/11 to replace the Ba’athist regime in Iraq with a government responsive to Washington’s diktat in preparation for regime change in Iran. But the U.S. had been active in Afghanistan since 1979, and could have found any number of pretexts to take out the Taliban. And the planning to overthrow the Baghdad government began during the Clinton Administration in the 1990s, and would have taken place with or without 9/11, especially after Iraq was so weakened by U.S./British/UN sanctions that it was a military pushover, until the unexpected guerrilla insurgency forced a stalemate.

From time to time President Ahmadinejad is his own worst enemy because of his incautious remarks. In judging him it’s more important to watch what he does than what he sometimes says. He has taken no aggressive foreign action, and there is no proof Iran is building nuclear weapons. His government’s military strategy is entirely defensive.

While the Obama Administration continues to complain about Ahmadinejad’s 9/11 remarks, little is said about his simultaneous call for early negotiations about swapping enriched uranium. And his agreement with Brazil and Turkey earlier this year to achieve the uranium swap Obama was demanding encountered derision from Washington when it was announced, followed by the increased sanctions the U.S. and Israel considered more important than a settlement.

For different reasons, the U.S. even more so must be judged by its performance, not its words. While Washington talks peace, it is fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, vastly increasing its drone attacks, and is now deploying Special Operations forces in 75 countries, 15 more than last year. And while Obama usually speaks softly. he constantly wields — directly in Ahmadinejad’s face — the big stick of a potential crushing attack by the U.S. and Israel.

Jack A. Smith is editor of the Activist Newsletter and a former editor of the Guardian (US) radical newsweekly. He may be reached at: jacdon@earthlink.net. Read other articles by Jack.

8 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. MichaelKenny said on September 27th, 2010 at 7:59am #

    The interesting thing about the 9/11 whodunnit is that if it was carried out by those whom the US Government accused, then they pulled off the biggest political coup in history. They provoked the US into destroying itself! But precisely for the same reason, if the attacks were masterminded by US and/or Israeli interests, then they committed the biggest political blunder in history. So we should either doff our hats or laugh our heads off!

  2. bozh said on September 27th, 2010 at 8:56am #

    If US richest plutos [governors of US] are even a bit worried about their wealth diminishing because of US warfare, no one has to date reported it.
    But, then, the richest americans don’t need to talk to anyone;having mouthpieces in the army, cia, fbi, judiciary, ‘media’, ‘congress’, CNN ‘experts’ [in bulshito] et al.
    And these appear forbidden to reveal any fears or no fears of the paymasters or know by instinct to stay away from this topic.
    And homeless, hobos are not going anywhere. There, of course, may be more of them; hopefully at least 50 mn.
    Imagine how much good that wld do for ‘our’; oops, “their” planet? I am almost homeless.
    I don’t heat my house any more; so, i do stay outside a lot or hang in warm places like shopping centers. tnx

  3. 3bancan said on September 27th, 2010 at 2:43pm #

    “We have never believed the conspiracy theory”

    Who is/are this “we”??? This sentence/assertion and the arguments supporting it show very clearly how “radical” this “radical” Jack A. Smith is.

    MichaelKenny said on September 27th, 2010 at 7:59am:
    “So we should either doff our hats or laugh our heads off!”
    MK is again doffing his hat and laughing his head off while gloating over the destruction of millions of innocent lives and waiting for his wet dream to come true – that the US “destroys itself”…

  4. Bandolero said on September 27th, 2010 at 6:26pm #

    @Jack
    I agree with you citing the opinion polls that in the U.S. it’s not a majority beieving 9/11 was an inside job.

    But I disagree with you dismissing the rationale of Ahmadinejads arguments. I believe Ahmadinejad lined out very convincing arguments for an international investigation into 9/11.

    See them again:

    “1- That a very powerful and complex terrorist group, able to successfully cross all layers of the American intelligence and security, carried out the attack.”

    Questions for starters:

    1. How did Al Qaeda manage not to get infiltrated by intelligence agencies, so that their plan was not uncover before the attack?

    2. How did Al Qaeda manage it’s terrorist cells not being arrested before the attacks based on the work of data mining intelligence officers like Anthony Shaffer and Scott Phillpott or FBI people like Coleen Rowley and Behrooz Sarshar?

    3. How did Al Qaeda manage to have it’s attack planes come across the U.S. air defense?

    4. Why is the FBI stating it does not have enough hard evidence to link Osama Bin Laden to 9/11 and therefore Osama Bin Laden is only wanted for the embassy bombings in Kenia and Tanzania?

    “2- That some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime.”

    Your main argument is, that there was no reasonfor the U.S. to do 9/11 to make war, because U.S. is used to make war on other pretexts. So there was no benefit and reason for the U.S. to do a 9/11 inside job. Ahmadinejad says 9/11 may have been for the sake of Israel (the Zionist regime).

    And now see what Bibi Netanyahu said on Ahmadinejads rationale in April 2008 (according to Haaretz):

    “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq,” Ma’ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events “swung American public opinion in our favor.”

    Your 2nd argument is, that US couldn’t have done it, because thousands of conspirators would have known it, and i just one of these patriots talked, all would have been spoiled. Ahmadinejads rationale goes in the direction, that most of the conspirators may sit in the Mossad, who have never sworn any oath to be loyal to the U.S. and therefore a long history of false flag attacks like Lavon affair or USS Liberty.

    And now question to you: How many US conspirators do you need to pave Al Qaeda the way, so that it would manage to be “able to successfully cross all layers of the American intelligence and security”, when most operation planning is done in Israel?

    Air defense: Rumsfeld changed air policing rules weeks before the attack.
    DIA: Antony Shaffer was forbidden by DIA top level to inform FBI on Atta before the attacks.
    FBI: Coleen Rowley was not granted a search warrant against Zacarias Moussaoui by FBI headquarter. Behrooz Sarshar was simply fired.

    Did you know: Netanyahus and Sharons buddy Larry Silverstein bought the towers just weeks before the attacks. And accidently, instead of the expected great losses from purchasing asbestos contaminated towers, he made good profit, because he had signed an extraordinary good insurance contract against terror attacks.

    Rumsfeld declared just shortly before 9/11 that Pentagon can’t account for 2.2 trillion dollars. And then exactly the accounting department of the Pentagon was destroyed and all possible corruption charges impossible.

    And then look what was inside WTC7 and guess who wil have been happy that it was destroyed and all files and evidence inside gone.

    Can you see the rationale of Ahmadinejads argument, that all this should be examined?

  5. hayate said on September 28th, 2010 at 2:50am #

    Hey, somebody planted the nano thermite in those buildings…

  6. Sonja said on September 28th, 2010 at 5:06am #

    Of course, the official 9/11 version is still the biggest conspiracy theory.

  7. Rehmat said on September 28th, 2010 at 6:22am #

    Ben Obama on Friday condemned as “hateful” and “excuseable” suggestions by Iranianian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the US government may have been behind the September 11, 2001 attacks. Dr. Ahmadinejad’s response to the ‘self-denials’ was that they should have the moral courage “to listen”.

    One of the first person among the international spy community was Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul, the former head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. He was reported by Newsweek (Sept. 14, 2001) and United Press International (September 26, 2001), as of the opinion that Osama Bib Laden is not responsible for 9/11 and that he believes the attacks were perpetrated by the Israeli overseas intelligence service Mossad and renegade elements within the US Air Force.

    Gen. Gul Hamid told Newsweek: “F16s don’t scramble in time though they had 18 minutes after the first plane hit the World Trade Center…. A flight to Los Angeles turns to Washington and is in the air for 45 minutes, and the world’s most sophisticated air defense doesn’t go into action”.

    In an interview with UPI editor Arnuad de Borchgrave, Gul Hamid said: “The attack against the Twin Towers started at 8:49 a.m. and four flights were diverted from their assigned air space and no air controller sounds the alarm. And no Air Force jets scramble until 10:00 a.m. That also smacks of a small scale Air Force rebellion, a coup against the Pentagon, perhaps? Radars are jammed, transporation fails. No IFF – friends or foe indentification – challenge….”

    “In Pakistan, if there is no response to IFF, jets are instantly scramble and the aircraft is shot-down with no further questions asked. This was clearly an inside job,” said Gen. Hamid Gul.

    In December 2008, April Gallop, a former administrative specialist at the Pentagon filled a civil suit against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, vice-President Dick Cheney and US Air Force General Richard Meyer – alleging that they all were part of conspiracy to facilitate the terrorist attacks and purposefully failed to warn those inside the Pentagon, contributing to injuries she and her 2-month-old son incurred.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/911-obama-lives-in-self-denial/

  8. conradelledge said on September 28th, 2010 at 8:33pm #

    So I am guessing the author here has a mouse in his pocket which he uses for the basis of his statements including “we”. I certainly disagree that the government explanation of the 911 attacks is complete.

    Jack Smith could ask himself why the government refuses to release the Pentagon video of the Boeing jetliner striking the Pentagon. Why do they refuse to do that?

    Do the research and try again.