With today being another anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it’s important to recall why it was that that deadly event came about.

No, the terrorists didn’t attack us because they hated our “freedom and values,” as U.S. officials and American interventionists claimed after the attacks. Instead, the attacks occurred in retaliation for what the U.S. national-security establishment, specifically the Pentagon and the CIA, had been doing to people in the Middle East prior to the 9/11 attacks.

Recall the Persian Gulf War in 1991, when the U.S. government intervened in a conflict involving their old partner and ally, Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq. Iraq had gotten in a territorial dispute with Kuwait, which ended up with Iraq invading Kuwait.

U.S. officials felt that they could not let Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait to stand, which is somewhat strange given that the U.S. government supported Iraq when it invaded Iran in the 1980s. Without the congressional declaration of war the Constitution requires, the U.S. government went to war against Iraq, killing multitudes of Iraqi people in the process and wreaking untold destruction across the country.

During the conflict, the Pentagon ordered the destruction of Iraq’s water-and-sewage treatment plants, after a study revealed that such destruction would help spread infectious illnesses within the Iraqi populace.

Then once hostilities were ended, the U.S. and UN enforced one of the most brutal systems of sanctions in history against the Iraqi people, which proceeded to kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, especially since the sanctions prevented those destroyed water and sewage treatment plants from being repaired. The U.S. government’s ambassador to the UN, Madeleine Albright, declared that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children were “worth it.”

There was also the Pentagon’s intentional stationing of U.S. troops near Islamic holy lands, knowing full well the effect that such an action would have on Muslims.

There was also the brutal “no-fly zones” over Iraq, which enabled the U.S. planes to wreak even more death and destruction in Iraq.

There was also the unconditional support given by U.S. officials to the Israeli government.

The rage that all that interventionism produced within people in the Middle East is what brought on the 9/11 attacks. It also brought on the anti-American terrorism that preceded 9/11 attacks: the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, the attack on the USS Cole, and the attacks on U.S. embassies in East Africa.

Unfortunately, rather than acknowledge what their pre-9/11 interventionism produced, the Pentagon and the CIA doubled down and used the 9/11 attacks to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. Those interventions were followed by interventions in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere.

All that new interventionism added fuel to the pre-9/11 rage, which produced more anti-American terrorism, which then caused the Pentagon and the CIA to react even more forcefully against the terrorism.

That’s how we have ended up with an endless supply of terrorists, an perpetual war on terrorism, and the destruction of liberty and prosperity here at home, all of which, of course, has kept the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA in high cotton in terms of both money and power. It’s quite possibly the biggest racket in U.S. history.

Reprinted with permission from The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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