Published: September 21, 2011
I want to applaud City Paper for examining the events of Sept. 11 a little closer than most. It must be hard to stare down the flag-motif g-string thong this country seems to drape itself in and have a look at inconsistencies in the throbbing, decade-old martyrdom that has justified our bloody economic subjugation of millions.
Your story on Bill Doyle (“Unfinished Business,” Feature, Sept. 7) captivated me, and I was touched by the description of the loss of his son in the towers, but I was confused by the man himself. He unearthed some difficult facts and put all the pieces together himself, but his festering Wall Street-style jingoism seems to struggle with the love of his son, making all the obvious conclusions tumble before him like a controlled demolition.
I wish Bill Doyle and his allies all the luck in taking the Saudi regime to court on the charge of financing Osama bin Laden’s World Trade Center attack. Mentioned in the article are two serious mid-’90s bombings of U.S. bases in Saudi Arabia. As revealed by then Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz in a May 2003 post-Iraq invasion Vanity Fair interview, the problem of the presence of U.S. bases there was one of the Bush administration’s primary rationales for invading Iraq. Here is the key part of that interview.
Q. Where do we stand now in the campaign that you talked about right after September 11th?
A. Wolfowitz ( . . .) There are a lot of things that are different now, and one that has gone by almost unnoticed—but it’s huge—is that by complete mutual agreement between the U.S. and Saudi government we can now remove almost all of our forces from Saudi Arabia. Their presence there over the last 12 years has been a source of enormous difficulty for a friendly government. It’s been a huge recruiting device for al Qaeda. In fact if you look at bin Laden, one of his principal grievances was the presence of so-called crusader forces on the holy land, Mecca and Medina. . . .
I don’t want to speak in messianic terms. It’s not going to change things overnight, but it’s a huge improvement. . . .
Q. So this notion then that the strategic question was really a part of the equation, that you were looking at Saudi Arabia—
A. I was.
Clearly, despite its public position of never giving in to terrorist demands, with its “strategic” (vis-ֳ -vis Saudi Arabia) Iraq invasion, the Bush administration caved on bin Laden’s primary demand, the removal of U.S. troops from “the holy land.”
Herman M. Heyn
Correction: Our story on Bill Doyle’s lawsuit against the alleged Saudi financiers of the Sept. 11 attacks (“Unfinished Business,” Feature, Sept. 7) mistakenly reported that Deena Burnett first proposed the lawsuit, when in fact it was her father-in-law, Tom Burnett. City Paper regrets the error.