When the attacks were launched against the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon two years ago today, who had ever heard of Fallujah or Hillah? When the Lebanese hijacker flew his plane into the ground in Pennsylvania, who would ever have believed that President George Bush would be announcing a "new front line in the war on terror" as his troops embarked on a hopeless campaign against the guerrillas of Iraq?
Who could ever have conceived of an American president calling the world to arms against "terrorism" in "Afghanistan, Iraq and Gaza"? Gaza? What do the miserable, crushed, cruelly imprisoned Palestinians of Gaza have to do with the international crimes against humanity in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania?
Nothing, of course. Neither does Iraq have anything to do with 11 September. Nor were there any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, any al-Qa'ida links with Iraq, any 45-minute timeline for the deployment of chemical weapons nor was there any "liberation".
No, the attacks on 11 September have nothing to do with Iraq. Neither did 11 September change the world. President Bush cruelly manipulated the grief of the American people - and the sympathy of the rest of the world - to introduce a "world order" dreamed up by a clutch of fantasists advising the Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld.
The Iraqi "regime change", as we now know, was planned as part of a Perle-Wolfowitz campaign document to the would-be Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu years before Bush came to power. It beggars belief that Tony Blair should have signed up to this nonsense without realising that it was no more nor less than a project invented by a group of pro-Israeli American neo-conservatives and right-wing Christian fundamentalists.
But even now, we are fed more fantasy. Afghanistan - its American-paid warlords raping and murdering their enemies, its women still shrouded for the most part in their burqas, its opium production now back as the world's number one export market, and its people being killed at up to a hundred a week (five American troops were shot dead two weekends ago) is a "success", something which Messrs Bush and Rumsfeld still boast about. Iraq - a midden of guerrilla hatred and popular resentment - is also a "success". Yes, Bush wants $87bn to keep Iraq running, he wants to go back to the same United Nations he condemned as a "talking shop" last year, he wants scores of foreign armies to go to Iraq to share the burdens of occupation - though not, of course, the decision-making, which must remain Washington's exclusive imperial preserve.
What's more, the world is supposed to accept the insane notion that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - the planet's last colonial war, although all mention of the illegal Jewish colonies in the West Bank and Gaza have been erased from the Middle East narrative in the American press - is part of the "war on terror", the cosmic clash of religious will that President Bush invented after 11 September. Could Israel's interests be better served by so infantile a gesture from Bush?
The vicious Palestinian suicide bombers and the grotesque implantation of Jews and Jews only in the colonies has now been set into this colossal struggle of "good" against "evil", in which even Ariel Sharon - named as "personally" responsible for the 1982 Sabra and Chatila massacre by Israel's own commission of inquiry - is "a man of peace", according to Mr Bush.
And new precedents are set without discussion. Washington kills the leadership of its enemies with impunity: it tries to kill Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar and does kill Uday and Qusay Hussein and boasts of its prowess in "liquidating" the al-Qa'ida leadership from rocket-firing "drones". It tries to kill Saddam in Baghdad and slaughters 16 civilians and admits that the operation was "not risk-free". In Afghanistan, three men have now been murdered in the US interrogation centre at Bagram. We still don't know what really goes on in Guantanamo.