America Must Have an Enemy 4
That direct contribution to unchallenged American hegemony was neither
the last nor the most significant by the violent transnational Islamic
networks the United States helped finance and train for work in Afghanistan.
As a result of the successful American-sponsored guerrilla war against the
Soviet Union, violent extremist groups proliferated. They created havoc,
everywhere not least in New York City on September 11, 2001. These terrible
events were reprisals for American Middle East policies and the work of
assassins, whom the United States initially encouraged and even in some
cases trained.

The crime against humanity committed on September 11, 2001, had the
unintended consequence of serving the breathtaking expansionist plans of
the neoconservatives who dominated the Bush administration. Only a
plausible enemy was lacking to make their execution possible. From the
storehouse of the Western historical imagination, age-old images of a
hostile Islam were retrieved. Islamic terrorists conjured up in a believable
form for a frightened America the “threat to civilization” that every empire
requires to justify its own violent acts of domination.

The Islamist Imaginary in the service of the neoconservative version of
empire was born. The administration used all the resources of media
control at its disposal to make sure that no links were made between the
9/11 crime and unjust U.S. Middle Eastern policies and the bloody
instrumentalities the United States forged to enforce them. Plans for the
United States to topple the Taliban and occupy Iraq, and for the Israelis to
“resolve” the Palestinian issue by force, were all in place before 9/11. The
most expansive version of the neoconservative agenda to advance U.S. and
Israeli interests found forthright expression in a position paper written for
the newly elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud
party in 1996. It is entitled “Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the
Realm” and was published by the Institute for Advanced Strategic and
Political Studies. The document calls for a “clean break from the peace
process,” the annexation of the West Bank and Gaza, and the elimination of
Saddam’s regime in Iraq, as prelude to regime changes in Syria, Lebanon,
Saudi Arabia, and Iran. The authors all became influential players in the
second Bush administration
America and Islam