Guest Opinion: The Big Business of Terrorism

By Nils Dahl

Date: September 28, 2001


Just what is the truth behind the horrible terrorist acts of September 11?
Answer - It is all about money and power.


In the world of the ultra-rich, there can develop a mindset that values only riches and power while ignoring the value of human life. Some grow up knowing nothing about "human behavior" - often because they are given anything they want. The child in such people never grows up. Consider the case of the Menendez brothers - who killed their parents after being deprived of the latest models of specific cars. Pure sociopathic behavior.

Osama bin Laden is likely a variation of that sociopathic behavior. He is rich and has no regard for human life except as it serves his goals of power and accumulation of riches. He carefully plans and instigates programs of terror that enable major chances in the financial world - and has his paid minions ready to profit from the subsequent panic selling or commodity price increases. He runs and hides when threatened. His el Qaeda organization is undoubtedly an international combine of businesses and support groups that could benefit greatly from intimidating the rest of the world - just by being able to whisper that "this is what could happen to you if you refuse to co-operate with us".

There are many countries where splinter groups preach and practice dictatorial religions that promise heaven as a reward for suicidal acts performed in a "war" to empower that religion - more often empowering that particular religious leadership. Here we find the few pawns who can be used to carry out the suicide plans of the enablers.

Of course the big show is the "holy war to retake our sacred religious homeland" bit that inspires those great shows of public spirit - and means nothing but does help gain participation of many in supporting terrorist cells Unfortunately, a symbolic holy war attack means that some symbolic targets of the "enemy" are chosen.

Pay no attention to the public show. Look for the man behind the curtain.

Whenever you see a ruler arise who preaches some philosophy of social reform, often you must look at the people supporting and enabling that individual - to see the real purposes that are kept hidden from view. Power through oppression needs to be justified by creation of some perceived "enemy". The confiscation of wealth and elimination of opposing power groups invariably follows.

From our point of view, spreading industrialization throughout the world means bringing work and many of the advantages of a modern society to third world countries. Doing that endangers the rule of oppressive dictatorships that rely on depriving the citizens of education, communications, and ways of improving their poverty lifestyles. Once people are able to choose, they often decide to fight for more freedom. And then whole empires crumble. Know any country where that happened? Of course you do.

This is just what President Bush has stated it to be - a war against specific individuals who enable terrorist acts and against the groups those individuals have enabled. I am glad that I voted for Dubya. A real leader is a most refreshing change from the long line of politicians who spout nonsense philosophies in public while behaving like spoiled children in private.

The pawns who carry out such acts are also a particular breed of sociopath. They are insane. How else can they live in the countries they are dedicated to attacking, enjoying all the benefits of those societies, while denying that this lifestyle is superior to their own in every way? Their behavior IN NO WAY reflects the real attitudes of the majority of citizens of their countries of origin. But when a government's enforcers are armed - and everyone else is disarmed - survival often calls for agreeing with the guys who are allowed to kill you if you just look "wrong" to them - or if they just feel like some target practice.

The overwhelming desire for wealth (and the power to oppress that wealth enables) are the driving forces behind drug production and distribution too. Of course we could treat drug addiction as a sort of sickness and treat it - thus eliminating the flow of wealth that enables the whole industry.  But it is easier - and far more profitable for many people - to ignore the lessons of Prohibition, when a certain country tried to outlaw a social behavior that had thousands of years of cultural traditions as a basis. How sad.

Follow the money - and the power - to decide for yourself just why this practice of criminalizing a physical addiction persists. Money and the desire for it enable many things besides terrorist activities.

Now why did I mention drugs in this opinion piece? Afghanistan is a major producer of opium - and shipper of heroin. Such activities always require a ruthless, armed organization to protect against intrusion and to facilitate movement of the drugs to markets all over the world.  bin Laden's organization is the most likely facilitator of this "business" at all levels worldwide.

nils dahl
just an old man


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