Strike at the Root

© Robert Anderson PhD

(4 February 1942 – 5 December 2008)

Originally appeared in American Friends' Journal


Robert Anderson is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). This article is based on his personal opinion.


“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” Thoreau


One of the sacred duties of any Quaker is to speak truth to power. There are now many articles appearing regularly on promoting peace, particularly following the events of 9/11. This includes the American Friends Journal, commonly read by Friends worldwide. In the March 2008 issue, an article edited by Karen Reixach, A Movement of Conscience in New York Yearly Meeting, discusses the fact that ‘conscience’ is an inward knowledge of right and wrong. She goes on to say that, “A movement of conscience arises when the dictates of conscience are violated by the laws of governments.” The assertion that Friends have a conscientious objection to paying for war is commendable. But should we not also inquire as to whose war this really is? Karen Reixach suggests that it would be well to start with the response of New York Yearly Meeting to the events of 11 September 2001. There is now ample evidence that the “9/11” event is identified as a ‘false flag’ operation to encourage the US public into supporting the Bush administration’s blood-soaked and illegal war on Iraq.

Our Quaker Peace Testimony – advising us that “We actively oppose all that leads to violence among people and nations” - would surely encourage the support of such groups as the 9/11 for Truth Movement.i Across the US, groups demanding the truth of 9/11 are growing in number and resolve.

Such groups also now flourish in the UK.ii So many attended a meeting of the 9/11 for Truth Movement in September 2006, introduced by ex-MI5 officer, David Shayler, it resulted in standing room only. The main speaker was Professor Ray Griffin, the founder member of the 9/11 Scholars for Truthiii movement in the US, and he was joined by 75 academics who have produced books, journals, essays and peer-reviewed documents showing they have overwhelming evidence that shatters the official version of events of the 9/11 attacks.

I am saddened that many Friends have no real knowledge of the possible treasonable event committed on 9/11. We can thank the mainstream media for its success in this endeavour - censorship by omission. When people do find out, it almost invariably forms an example of cognitive dissonance. It is just too much for the mind to grasp that a government could be culpable of such a heinous act against its own people, despite false flag operations previously being used to draw citizens into wars they would normally not support. For example:

 (1) Pearl Harbour. It has been shown that the Japanese secret code was broken nine days prior to the attack and that the US administration knew this, but let it take place in order to facilitate its entering the war. A cover-up followed and the Chief of Staff reportedly ordered a gag on any inquiry.

 (2) Operation Northwoods in 1962, whereby the US administration could have precipitated war with Cuba. This operation involved hijacking a US passenger plane and blaming it on Cuba.

 (3) The Gulf of Tonkin. An alleged attack by Vietnamese naval forces on two US destroyers. Researchers found that it never took place.

 (4) Weapons of mass destruction, followed by the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Weapons’ inspector and world expert, Dr David Kelly, proved there were no WMDs.

 (5) The 9/11 attacks on the two towers which ‘justified’ the virtual obliteration of a country and its people.

Let Friends be sure of one thing. The root of the Iraq war does not lie with Saddam Hussein or any claimed weapons of mass destruction. Research increasingly points to an administration bent on the destruction of an innocent country in order to appropriate that country’s oil reserves. As one British MP remarked, “Would we have invaded if Iraq exported carrots?”

For governments to continually lie and cover up the truth is unconscionable. For example, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) began a campaign in late February of 2008 to rewrite the history of the Iraq War for schools.iv Their attempts to sanitise this act of homicide in the “Teachers Guide” is transparently dishonest:

GUIDE: Iraq was invaded in early 2003 by a United States coalition. Twenty-nine other countries, including the UK, also provided troops.

REALITY: The “coalition of the willing” was a rag-tag group of countries that included Eritrea, El Salvador and Macedonia. It does not mention that the US, backed by Britain, waged its war without a United Nations authorization.

GUIDE: Iraq had not abandoned its nuclear and chemical weapons development programme.

REALITY: The “Weapons of Mass Destruction” allegation, central to the case for war, was proven bogus.

GUIDE: The invasion was also necessary to allow the opportunity to remove Saddam Hussein, an oppressive dictator.

REALITY: Regime change was not the reason given in the run-up to the invasion, but to appropriate the Iraq oil fields with no mention of the enormous cost in both US and Iraqi lives.

GUIDE: From hospitals to schools to wastewater treatment plants, the presence of coalition troops is aiding the reconstruction of post-Saddam Iraq.

REALITY: Baghdad and most of Iraq still receives only a few hours of intermittent power daily. Children are kidnapped from schools and held for ransom, and families of patients undergoing surgery at hospitals are advised to buy blood from sellers who congregate outside. Many Iraqi doctors have been targeted and killed, or have left the country. Fear and suspicion abound in almost every city in Iraq and the country is virtually in a state of civil war.

What effect will such lies and propaganda have on the world of Islam? Will it promote peace and trust, furthering our understanding of our different cultures? Obviously, not. News centres, such as Islam on Linev and Al Jazeera, gave full coverage to the attempts to sanitise the war. As a Quaker and fellow human being, I cannot be silent while so blatant a crime is covered up by unprincipled government officials, aided and abetted by a corporate compliant media.

Neither are we innocent in New Zealand. Despite sending troops solely to help clean up and re-establish normality for the innocent victims of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, we have to be vigilant. The media ignore or skirt the edges of the truths of 9/11, thus supporting US and UK government views. Unlike Pearl Harbour and other false flag operations, we should refuse to wait 30 or 40 years until the truth is released. We have a duty to speak truth to power now.


Robert Anderson Bsc(Hons) PhD

(Robert Anderson held a PhD in Science Education. When retired, he gave public lectures on genetic engineering and other areas of science, environmental issues and social justice. He was the author of ten books and contributed regularly to periodicals. Rober was a member of Tauranga Recognised Meeting, New Zealand.)

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iv Teachers told to rewrite history with sanitised account of Iraq war.,