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Sep-09-2011 22:22printcomments

What Real Motivation was Behind the Terrorist Attacks on the United States?

Almost 3,000 innocent people died, and freedom we enjoyed before 9/11 was abridged by the same government that claimed it wanted to protect it.

911 destruction
Photo: Greg Sebreriange - NYC Aviation Unit

(LAGUNA BEACH) - On September 11, 1973 my wife and I were in New Delhi, India. While walking over to the American Express Office in Connaught Circus we picked up a copy of the Times of India and read with horror that the military had overthrown the democratically elected government of Chile.

September 11 1973 - Chile's CIA-backed Terror

The Hindustan Times, another English language newspaper, had on it’s front page a three panel cartoon showing a military plane dropping a bomb on the the bold face word “Chile” in the first panel, an explosion in the second panel, and the word “CIA” in the third panel. The insight of that three panel cartoon in the Hindustan Times that September morning was confirmed years later when the question of “why” was finally answered.

On September 11, 2001 I was stepping out of shower when my wife called out and said a plane had crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. My first thought was that this was a repeat of the tragic accident in 1945 when a Mitchell B-25 crashed into the Empire State Building. While watching the World Trade Center tower burning, we were stunned to see another plane crashing into the second tower. Again my first thought was this was pay back for the overthrow of the Allende government in Chile on September 11th all those years before.

Driving to school that morning my wife and I listened intently to National Public Radio as the various announcers and reporters told us “what,” “when,” “how,” “where,” and after repeating that over and over an announcer finally put forward a possible “who.” Despite the fact there was no credible information as to “who” conducted the attacks, NPR was speculating that the attacks were carried out by al Qaeda. On the other hand no one on NPR that morning attempted to speculate on the “why” question.

At school the “why” question was paramount on everyone’s mind. The overwhelming consensus revolved around some vaguely understood connection between the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Towers and Israel and the Palestinians.

Later at home my wife and I watched the news. CBS played a tape of President George W. Bush’s remarks at Emma Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida immediately following the attacks. President Bush said, “Today, we've had a national tragedy. Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country....I have ordered that the full resources of the federal government... conduct a full-scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act.” I turned to my wife and said I did not hear the “why” question answered. My wife told me to sit tight because she was certain the “why” question will be answered in due time.

CBS then played another taped message from the President delivered from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana where the President said, “....Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward. And freedom will be defended.” I again turned to my wife and asked here if she was satisfied with that “why” answer.

Following the Barksdale message CBS News broadcasted an address to the Nation from the Oval Office by President Bush. Bush said in part, “Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts....These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat....America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world.” The President had elaborated on his Barksdale Air Force Base speech but the answer to the “why” question remained vague and shadowy.

On September 20, 2001, President Bush addressed a Joint Session of Congress Following the 9/11 Attacks. The President said, “Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom....On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country....a world where freedom itself is under attack....Americans have many questions tonight. Americans are asking: Who attacked our country? The evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations known as al Qaeda.... its goal is remaking the world -- and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere....”

Nine days after the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush continued his theme that the terrorist attacks were motivated by al-Qaeda’s hatred of American freedoms. But the President added another new layer to the “why” question when he asserted al-Qaeda had a dream of remaking the world in al-Qaeda’s own image. Again I felt let down and more uneasy then ever because the “why” question was being answered too simplistically. There had to be more to these horrendous terrorist attacks than an enigmatic hatred of American freedoms.

I remained bothered by the failure of President Bush and the corporate news media to answer the “why” question in a more profound and penetrating way. Moreover, President Barack Obama’s lack of interest in the “why” question when he became President of the United States was also disconcerting. I finally resolved to dig deeper myself.

Several years ago I came across an interview with Osama Bin Laden conducted by the PBS show titled Frontline. The Frontline interview was conducted in May 1998 nearly three and a half years before the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

See the Frontline interview

This is what Bin Laden said:

“The call to wage war against America was made because America has spear-headed the crusade against the Islamic nation, sending tens of thousands of its troops to the land of the two Holy Mosques over and above its meddling in its affairs and its politics, and its support of the oppressive, corrupt and tyrannical regime that is in control. These are the reasons behind the singling out of America as a target... They rip us of our wealth and of our resources and of our oil. Our religion is under attack. They kill and murder our brothers. They compromise our honor and our dignity and dare we utter a single word of protest against the injustice, we are called terrorists.”

According to Bin Laden, his hatred for America is rooted in American foreign policy in the Middle east particularly where 60,000 American troops had been stationed at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia (land of the two Holy Mosques, Mecca and Medina) and the propping up of the Saudi family dictatorship.

Later I discovered a speech given on September 20, 2001 by then former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the U.S. Government Reform Committee. Netanyahu said, “A simple rule prevails here: The success of terrorists in one part of the terror network emboldens terrorists throughout the network. This then is the Who.

Now for the Why... the main motivation driving the terror network is an anti-Western hostility that seeks to achieve nothing less than a reversal of history....This hatred is the product of a seething resentment that has simmered for centuries in certain parts of the Arab and Islamic world....(the) West (had) penetrated Islamic realms in North Africa, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.

For them the mission was clear: The West had to be first pushed out of these areas. Pro-western Middle Eastern regimes were toppled in rapid succession, including in Iran....Nothing better illustrates this then Osama bin Laden's call for Jihad against the United States in 1998. He gave as his primary reason not Israel, not the Palestinians, not the 'peace process', but rather the very presence of the United States 'occupying the Land of Islam in the holiest of places' and where is that? 'The Arabian peninsula' says Bin Laden, where America is 'plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, and humiliating its people'. Israel, by the way, comes a distant third....”

Were the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 motivated by al-Qaeda’s deep hatred for American freedoms or was it motivated by American foreign policy in the middle east? Which ever “why” answer one finds compelling, there are, none-the-less, two certainties which have emerged from the terrorist attacks. First, almost 3,000 innocent people died.

The United States Government owes the victims and their families a truthful and definitive reason why they died. Second, what ever freedoms we may have enjoyed before September 11, 2001, those freedoms have been abridged by the very same government that claimed it wanted to protect our freedoms. Look no farther then the United States Patriot Act.


Tyrone Borelli, a resident of Laguna Beach for the past 27 years, is a retired high school physics and earth science teacher. He started teaching back in 1973. Tyrone's first high school teaching job was at George Washington High School with the Department of Education in Guam. He later taught math in San Marcos, Texas for several years, and finished his teaching career at Santa Ana Valley High School where he taught GATE and AP Physics and GATE Earth Science for 23 years. You can write to T.C. Borelli at:

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Motivation September 17, 2011 9:31 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks for this article, i enjoyed reading it..

T.C. Borelli September 11, 2011 3:00 pm (Pacific time)

At WOW...then you tell me why the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon were attacked on 9/11/2001?

Anonymous September 10, 2011 8:52 pm (Pacific time)

Why could DJ not cross the border into the U.S.? I think it would be good for him to visit and see just how good we really live here, rather than the poor impression he has.

DJ: I'm planning on coming down next year. 

Anonymous September 10, 2011 6:11 pm (Pacific time)

What should really concern you DJ is not what's happening in America, but how Canadian authorities are making your medical files available to U.S. Border enforcement, and thus we are keeping many of your citizens from coming in. It is your own internal security that is far worse than what's happening here. In fact all of your computer medical files are available to us, all of them in your national database. Just look it up, then come and say we are worse off...not! In fact you would not be able to cross our border DJ.

wow... September 10, 2011 3:11 pm (Pacific time)

The way I look at it, the patriot act really is only threatening those who have reason to be threatened. I absolutely have no concern over any sneak and peak tactics, unmanned drones flying at our borders (which consequently is against the law and does not occur) or anybody listening in on my telephone conversation. Then again I can't speak for all of you. Maybe you have some concerns...
Hurry up and get back to NPR as I'm sure you have more conspiracy theories to concentrate on.

DJ: I agree with your basis premise that those who have nothing to hide, have nothing to fear. But that's not taking into account the rogue nature of much of the U.S. government's activities going back at least a half century that I can attest to: Notably Iran (1953), Chile (1973), Iran-Contra, etc. Although actions against Americans within the nation's borders are illegal, who knows what goes on that has never been discovered or uncovered.  

Josh September 10, 2011 11:15 am (Pacific time)

A good discussion of who carried out the 9/11 attacks and their agenda:

Anonymous September 10, 2011 9:11 am (Pacific time)

You are correct Genie, and the evidence is so overwhelming, that anyone who does not see it, does not want to see it.

Ralph E. Stone September 10, 2011 7:33 am (Pacific time)

Prior to 9/11, the threat of radical Islamism as a massive, sinister organized force of destruction, specifically in the form of al-Qaeda, was a myth perpetrated by politicians in many countries—and particularly American Neo-Conservatives, i.e., the Bush inner circle—in an attempt to unite and inspire their people following the failure of earlier, more utopian ideologies. 9/11 put al-Qaeda on the map and our bombing of Afghanistan and ultimate occupation of both Afghanistan and Iraq gave al-Qaeda legitimacy and an excellent recruiting tool. In the meantime, the fear of future attack, the American people gave up their privacy and rights in the name of security.

Genie September 10, 2011 12:27 am (Pacific time)

"The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity…The country behind this propaganda is the US." [Washington/London/ Jerusalem axis] Robin Cook

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