9/11 fantasists pose a mortal danger to popular oppositional campaigns

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Michael Deibert

9/11 fantasists pose a mortal danger to popular oppositional campaigns

Post by Michael Deibert » Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:14 am


9/11 fantasists pose a mortal danger to popular oppositional campaigns

These conspiracy idiots are a boon for Bush and Blair as they destroy the movements some of us have spent years building

George Monbiot
Tuesday February 20, 2007
The Guardian

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Co ... 05,00.html

'You did this hit piece because your corporate masters instructed you to. You are a controlled asset of the new world order ... bought and paid for." "Everyone has some skeleton in the cupboard. How else would MI5 and special branch recruit agents?" "Shill, traitor, sleeper", "leftwing gatekeeper", "accessory after the fact", "political whore of the biggest conspiracy of them all".

These are a few of the measured responses to my article, a fortnight ago, about the film Loose Change, which maintains that the United States government destroyed the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. Having spent years building up my leftwing credibility on behalf of my paymasters in MI5, I've blown it. I overplayed my hand, and have been exposed, like Bush and Cheney, by a bunch of kids with laptops. My handlers are furious.

I believe that George Bush is surrounded by some of the most scheming, devious, ruthless men to have found their way into government since the days of the Borgias. I believe that they were criminally negligent in failing to respond to intelligence about a potential attack by al-Qaida, and that they have sought to disguise their incompetence by classifying crucial documents.

I believe, too, that the Bush government seized the opportunity provided by the attacks to pursue a longstanding plan to invade Iraq and reshape the Middle East, knowing full well that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. Bush deliberately misled the American people about the links between 9/11 and Iraq and about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. He is responsible for the murder of many tens of thousands of Iraqis.

But none of this is sufficient. To qualify as a true opponent of the Bush regime, you must also now believe that it is capable of magic. It could blast the Pentagon with a cruise missile while persuading hundreds of onlookers that they saw a plane. It could wire every floor of the twin towers with explosives without attracting attention and prime the charges (though planes had ploughed through the middle of the sequence) to drop each tower in a perfectly timed collapse. It could make Flight 93 disappear into thin air, and somehow ensure that the relatives of the passengers collaborated with the deception. It could recruit tens of thousands of conspirators to participate in these great crimes and induce them all to have kept their mouths shut, for ever.

In other words, you must believe that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their pals are all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful, despite the fact that they were incapable of faking either weapons of mass destruction or any evidence at Ground Zero that Saddam Hussein was responsible. You must believe that the impression of cackhandedness and incompetence they have managed to project since taking office is a front. Otherwise you are a traitor and a spy.

Why do I bother with these morons? Because they are destroying the movements some of us have spent a long time trying to build. Those of us who believe that the crucial global issues - climate change, the Iraq war, nuclear proliferation, inequality - are insufficiently debated in parliament or congress, that corporate power stands too heavily on democracy, that war criminals, cheats and liars are not being held to account, have invested our efforts in movements outside the mainstream political process. These, we are now discovering, are peculiarly susceptible to this epidemic of gibberish.

The obvious corollorary to the belief that the Bush administration is all-powerful is that the rest of us are completely powerless. In fact it seems to me that the purpose of the "9/11 truth movement" is to be powerless. The omnipotence of the Bush regime is the coward's fantasy, an excuse for inaction used by those who don't have the stomach to engage in real political fights.

Let me give you an example. The column I wrote about Loose Change two weeks ago generated 777 posts on the Guardian Comment is Free website, which is almost a record. Most of them were furious. The response from a producer of the film, published last week, attracted 467. On the same day the Guardian published my article about a genuine, demonstrable conspiracy: a spy network feeding confidential information from an arms control campaign to Britain's biggest weapons manufacturer, BAE Systems. It drew 60 responses. The members of the 9/11 cult weren't interested. If they had been, they might have had to do something. The great virtue of a fake conspiracy is that it calls on you to do nothing.

The 9/11 conspiracy theories are a displacement activity. A displacement activity is something you do because you feel incapable of doing what you ought to do. A squirrel sees a larger squirrel stealing its horde of nuts. Instead of attacking its rival, it sinks its teeth into a tree and starts ripping it to pieces. Faced with the mountainous challenge of the real issues we must confront, the chickens in the "truth" movement focus instead on a fairytale, knowing that nothing they do or say will count, knowing that because the perpetrators don't exist, they can't fight back. They demonstrate their courage by repeatedly bayoneting a scarecrow.

Many of those who posted responses on Comment is Free contend that Loose Change (which was neatly demolished in the BBC's film The Conspiracy Files on Sunday night) is a poor representation of the conspiracists' case. They urge us instead to visit websites like 911truth.org, physics911.net and 911scholars.org, and to read articles by the theology professor David Ray Griffin and the physicist Steven E Jones.

Concerned that I might have missed something, I have now done all those things, and have come across exactly the same concatenation of ill-attested nonsense as I saw in Loose Change. In all these cases you will find wild supposition raised to the status of incontrovertible fact, rumour and confusion transformed into evidence, selective editing, the citation of fake experts, the dismissal of real ones. Doubtless I will now be told that these are not the true believers: I will need to dive into another vat of tripe to get to the heart of the conspiracy.

The 9/11 truthers remind me of nothing so much as the climate change deniers, cherry-picking their evidence, seizing any excuse for ignoring the arguments of their opponents. Witness the respondents to my Loose Change column who maintain that the magazine Popular Mechanics, which has ripped the demolition theories apart, is a government front. They know this because one of its editors, Benjamin Chertoff, is the brother/nephew/first cousin of the US homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff. (They are, as far as Benjamin can discover, unrelated, but what does he know?)

Like the millenarian fantasies which helped to destroy the Levellers as a political force in the mid-17th century, this crazy distraction presents a mortal danger to popular oppositional movements. If I were Bush or Blair, nothing would please me more than to see my opponents making idiots of themselves, while devoting their lives to chasing a phantom. But as a controlled asset of the new world order, I would say that, wouldn't I? It's all part of the plot.


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Post by Guysanto » Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:29 am

Let's follow a story about a boy who cried wolf. It's a compelling new version.

[quote]Published on Wednesday, February 21, 2007 by Ted Rall, http://www.tedrall.com
The Bush Who Cried Wolf
by Ted Rall

George W. Bush claims that Iran has been shipping weapons, including bombs used against U.S. military convoys, to Shiite militias in Iraq. I believe him. Iranian leaders would be idiots to sit out a war whose outcome will affect them for decades to come.

Bush denies that he's about to go to war against Iran. Again, I believe him. After all, we don't have enough money or troops to invade, much less occupy, a nation three times bigger than Iraq.

Apparently I'm the only person in America who thinks Bush can tell the truth--er, a truth. Or two.

Granted, Administration's j'accuse! press conference were reminiscent of the phony aluminum tubes and mocked-up anthrax bottles presented during the pre-Iraq War propaganda blitz. The only things missing from this set of metal tubes were "Compliments of the Ayatollah" and "Made in Iran" stickers. As a result of Bush's ham-fisted replay of 2002, the objectively obvious observation that Iran is arming its proxy militias in Iraq has been greeted by what The New York Times called "a healthy dose of skepticism."

"Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers," reported the paper on February 13, "said that while that while they do not doubt that the weapons are being used to attack American troops, and that some of those weapons are being shipped into Iraq from Iran, they are still uncertain whether the weapons were being shipped into Iraq on the orders of Iran's leaders."

Even General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, refused to take Bush at his word, saying he "would not say by what I know that the Iranian government clearly knows or is complicit." To describe Bush's credibility as merely damaged would understate the case. Fool us 10,000 times, shame on you; fool me 10,001 times...

If Bush says the sky is blue, people feel compelled to look up and check it out for themselves.

Democratic Senator Chris Dodd sums up Bush's lost credibility: "This Administration has attempted in the past to cook the books to serve their policy goals...I'm getting uneasy that they are trying to set a premise for some future broader military action in Iran."

Such irony! When Bush told twisted, impossible tales that defied logic, history and common sense, everyone believed him.

Saddam Hussein, the secular socialist targeted for death by Islamic fundamentalists, was bin Laden's best friend.

The CIA, which repeatedly warned that Iraq probably didn't have WMDs, was responsible for a "failure in prewar intelligence" that led to the debacle.

People who torture aren't torturers.

All obvious B.S., all accepted at face value.

Now that Bush is finally telling the truth, we assume he's lying as usual. "For the umpteenth time, we are not looking for an excuse to go to war with Iran," Defense Secretary Robert Gates begged us to believe. "We are not planning to go to war with Iran."

Trouble is, the Bushists made identical statements during the run-up to the Iraq War. ("You said we're headed to war in Iraq," Bush told a Washington Post reporter on December 31, 2002, over a year after he'd decided upon war. "I don't know why you say that. I hope we're not headed to war in Iraq. I'm the person who gets to decide, not you. I hope this can be done peacefully.") The Iran lie, however, happens to be true.

It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for Bush--to whatever extent a genocidal maniac who will be responsible for a million deaths by the time he leaves office in 2009 deserves pity.

Public distrust of the Bush Administration in particular and government in general dwarfs the cynical peaks of Watergate. A Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll finds that 36 percent of Americans believe that federal officials took part in 9/11 or sat on their hands, deliberately allowing the attacks to occur "because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East." One out of six, 16 percent, think the Twin Towers were brought down by planted government bombs, not hijacked passenger jets.

"One out of three sounds high, but that may very well be right," says Lee Hamilton, former vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission. "A lot of people I've encountered believe the U.S. government was involved."

How did 9/11, the backdrop for Bush's "steaming pile" speech at Ground Zero in New York and the blank check he cashed in to wage two wars, turn into yet another subject of paranoia and contempt? "I certainly didn't think of conspiracies when 9/11 first happened," said Elaine Tripp, a 62-year-old resident of Tabernacle, New Jersey who now says she thinks Bush was behind the deaths of 3,000 Americans. "I don't know if President Bush was aware of the exact time it was going to happen. But he certainly didn't do enough to stop it. Bush was so intent on having his own little war."

Our failure to find WMDs in Iraq after Bush and his top henchmen said we were absolutely certain to find them is leading previously sheepish citizens to question the entire narrative of the post-2000 era, to the point of embracing outlandish theories supported by little to zero evidence. (At one point Bush even claimed to have found them. "For those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong. We found them," he said in the summer of 2003.)

All politicians lie. Bush's rhetorical Rubicon was his certitude. He could have avoided our wrath by saying something like: "There's significant evidence that Saddam Hussein may possess some weapons of mass destruction." When the Iraq War turned ugly, he probably still would have lost some support. But he wouldn't have suffered anything close to his near-total, irreversible contempt that has reduced him to one of history's most reviled presidents. Of course, anything less than a statement of total certitude wouldn't have convinced the public or Congress to invade in the first place.

Bush is again fighting the lies that started the last war, resorting to an improbable blend of waffling and smug certitude that brought us such classics as Donald Rumsfeld's "We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."

Here he goes again:

"I can say with certainty that the Quds Force, a part of the Iranian government, has provided these sophisticated IEDs that have harmed our troops," he said. "And I'd like to repeat, I do not know whether or not the Quds Force was ordered from the top echelons of the government. But my point is, what's worse, them ordering it and it happening, or them not ordering it and it's happening?"

We Americans used to find his addled cowboy act bold and compelling. For a short time, watching one of the stupidest humans to have appeared on a television screen insult our intelligence became mildly amusing. Now that he's pissed us off, he'll find us impossible to get back.

Ted Rall is the author of "Silk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East?," an in-depth prose and graphic novel analysis of America's next foreign policy challenge.

Copyright © 2007 Ted Rall [/quote]

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