Journalists, hacks and 'thinker' are expending much time on the significance of 9/11 one decade after the spectacular and devastating attack on the Twin Towers in New York.
One commentator, Gary Young, writes in The Guardian today with regards 9/11 that it acted as a pretext for the administration of George Bush II to embark on a unilateral and imperialist foreign policy that was disproportionate to the threat of Al Qaida and counter-productive.
A decade on the US ability to crush al-Qaida still depends almost entirely on its ability to negotiate with Pakistan and doing a deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan, where last month there was the highest US military death toll since the war began.
The Taliban have had very little to do with Al Qaida since 2001 and the US only last week attempted to negotiate with the Taliban in secret talks. These were stymied by Hamid Karzai who is afraid of being sidelined by any rapprochement between the Taliban and the US.
The war in Afghanistan was never merely about some "war on terror". More it was and has remained part of the geopolitical strategy contemplated throughout the 1990s, that is, the construction a pipeline through it, one now called the TAPI pipeline.
The completion date for the TAPI pipeline, finally sealed and signed with US approval in 2010, has been repeatedly put back but it co-incides with the withdrawal date of 2014. The construction of a New Silk Route is a major Western gambit to integrate the regional economies under the auspices of US/NATO.
The reason that Karzai is potentially expendable lies not merely in his failure to rein in corruption but also the way he has allowed Russian interests in the TAPI pipeline to develop. One reason why Andrew Mitchell's memorandum, photographed as he left Downing Street, revealed that the UK government is not concerned with Karzai's departure.
The need to negotiate with the Taliban lies in their ability to control regions such as Helmland in the south where many troops have perished and through which the pipeline is set to run and the increased revenues from opium caused by the futile poppy eradication schemes.
Yet the "war on drugs" as with the war for a pipeline is less about imperialism and more about the decadence of Western consumer democracies,sections of which are addicted to heroin and certainly on the use of fossil fuels that these nations are seeking to control in Central Asia and the Middle East.
Without that context, few in the USA or in Britain are able to understand why the 'war on terror' was a term which could be useful in conflating a multitude of enemies together who stood in the way of the access and control of oil-the lifeblood of advanced consumer freedom and car use.
The TAPI pipeline was supported by NATO because it removed control of gas pipelines ( which can be liquefied natural gas ) away from Russia and would ensure that the rival IPI pipeline that would bypass Afghanistan would no longer be as attractive nor freeze out Western influence.
If completed the TAPI would unite the regional economies of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India together more closely and prevent collusion between Russia, China and Iran to the exclusion of NATO from controlling Central Asia and its oil and gas wealth.
This is less do with straightforward imperial greed, as all regional powers are competing in this New Great Game. The fact is that the USA and Europe are dangerously overdependent upon oil and gas from lands far away to maintain their wealth and lifestyles.
Long before 9/11, Zbiginiew Brzezinski was aware of the importance of Central Asia and the danger that the West was becoming decadent as far back as 1993 when he wrote 'Out of Control' in relation to 'hedonistic cornucopia' that could erode the will to maintain Western global hegemony.
In fact, the truth is starker: the NATO powers need to invest in alternatives in oil and gas, develop public transport far more and live within their means far more. The failure to connect the consumer lifestyles, that even Gary Younge might enjoy, to the presence of NATO troops in far away lands is now dangerous