Monday, September 18, 2006

Truth ache

TRUTH-ACHEOn the fifth anniversary, SchNEWS gingerly dips a toe into the murky waters of the great 9-11 debate...
It’s the big fight over ‘the truth’. In the blue corner we have the US government’s official version of 9-11 events and in all the other corners we have proponents of various ‘conspiracy’ theories. But in these days of governments caught telling outright lies about WMDs etc, and a massive groundswell of cynicism about any official pronouncement - just what is a conspiracy theory? What happens when ‘common sense’ is hijacked and the fringe goes mainstream? And does it matter anyway?
The self-proclaimed 9-11 truth movement, in many ways a genuine grassroots movement (or cult?), is growing and its ideas are gradually filtering into the mainstream. No anti-war event is complete now without a new 9-11 conspiracy DVD and flyers to some new talk / book launch - and our inbox often overflows with new ‘revelations’. Every possible, and some quite impossible angles are covered - from the relatively mainstream question marks hanging over the US administration’s possible advance knowledge of the plot, to off-planet assertions about holograms, missiles and alien DNA. This kind of thing will always delight the ‘Elvis faked the moon landings with a black helicopter’ Internet crowd, but with polls showing that a third of Americans and nearly half of New Yorkers believing US officials either knew about the attacks or were actively involved, this represents a major uprising of disbelief. This has forced the US govt into producing a series of rebuttals, asserting their ‘truth’ and challenging the accusations.
The two main strands of theorising could be summed up as “they knew in advance” and “the whole thing was faked”. At the more plausible end we have the idea that the Neo-Cons had anticipated or were complicit in the events of 9-11. In any case, the event enabled them to put into practice an agenda for global domination hatched years before. It is all laid out in the year 2000 paper, ‘Rebuilding America’s Defenses’ published by the Project for a New American Century, a think-tank whose members included Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz (See SchNEWS 387). It talked about the fact that a “catastrophic and catalyzing event - a new Pearl Harbor” would be needed to transform the public’s attitude to war. Certainly there were no flies on the Cheney-Bush axis when it came to taking advantage of 9-11’s propaganda value, and even now Bush routinely invokes it as an emblem of America’s need to be militarily aggressive.
At the other end of the reality spectrum, are those that are sure that all the buildings were pre-primed with explosives, that all the Jews who worked there were given advanced warning, that the planes never existed and were in fact holograms disguising missiles etc etc. The trouble with all these theories is that they require mind-boggling numbers of people to have been ‘in on it’. It seems unlikely that the clique responsible for the disaster in Iraq could have organised something so slickly. And why would they need to go to the trouble? Two planes striking the towers would have been more than enough to serve as the big catalytic terrorist event... And if you were orchestrating the whole thing, why bother faking it with missiles or holograms anyway? Just use real planes... much simpler.
Perhaps this is why too much speculation on these points leads inevitably to a paranoiac world view where only secret cabals who control everything from behind the scenes could pull the wool over everone’s eyes in such an all-encompassing way.
The ‘truths’ arrived at by some of these theories are so way out there, we began to wonder if they’d been spread deliberately to sow confusion, making it easier for the authorities to discredit the whole 9-11 debate by association. Conspiracy on conspiracy – where does it end?
There’s no doubt that big questions about the role of the US government remain unanswered (for example, relationships with Saudi elites), but it seems they’re in danger of being drowned out by the clamour of outright lunacy.
Poster-boy of the UK branch of the 9-11 Truth movement is former MI5 agent David Shayler. An acknowledged ‘insider’, he must have seemed a great asset to the fraternity. But at the Big Green Gathering this year, SchNEWS were confronted with the spectacle of a man who appeared to have swallowed and regurgitated the entire works of David “blame the lizards” Icke. No stone was left turned, no subject demystified as Dave told us how aliens have been negotiating with our government and 500 abductees are the only people who’ve got any real idea about all this 9-11 stuff. That includes 7/7 and 11/7 (date of Mumbai bombings by the way) - all evidence of an underground plot by a ‘shadow Zionist secret government’. Amongst other interesting points conjured forth were that the Royal family is descended from multi-dimensional Annunaki lizards (and ‘flaws’ in evolutionary theory prove it!) Riveting though this stuff is, it is, unfortunately, a load of bollocks.
On the other hand, the documented existence of a shadow world of CIA mounted black-ops and coups makes the idea that 9-11 was a ‘false flag’ operation seem within the realms of possibility. American intelligence has a long and bloody history of covert operations, instigating coups and funding opposition against those that challenge their authority. Coups such as the one on the less well remembered September 11th - 1973, when the CIA helped overthrow the democratically elected leader of Chile, Salvador Allende, and usher in a brutal military dictatorship. Doubts over 9-11, the cornerstone of the US’s ideological crusade, make it easier to appreciate that it’s just all in a days work for the US to fund and arm people like Saddam and the anti-Soviet forces in Afghanistan, which gave rise to Al-Qaeda.
The fact that these theories are catching on so widely is partly due to the huge growth of scepticism about the role of governments in the entire War on Terror™. In this country we already know that our government plotted the war on Iraq well in advance, lied about Iraq’s WMDs and engaged in a systematic propaganda campaign to support the invasion. We know that our government, in alliance with the US, is engaged in secret renditions, torture and aggressive war. Public awareness of the true nature of power has probably never been higher - and the fact that so many are willing to believe that the US government may have slaughtered its own citizens shows how the ideological ground is shifting. It’s not, in the end, the truth of the allegations but the effect they’re having that’s important.
The 9-11 truth movement clearly sees the anti-war crowd as fertile recruiting ground (maybe we should return the compliment). They argue that proving 9-11 a hoax should be the main focus of any faction opposing the Neo-Con-men. But in reality, whether or not 9-11 was orchestrated, we should be concentrating on the broader US-led capitalist agendas, and their catastrophic consequences. 9-11 was a symptom rather than a cause of a ‘big picture’ which doesn’t need science fiction to explain it. World power is not a neat pyramid structure with aliens, Jews or a cabal of men with a secret handshake at the top. It makes more sense to see a range of competing power blocks, alliances and cartels in a shifting, perpetual power play – with governments, nationalist and business interests doing what they’ve always done, battling for control of land, resources, workforces and populations. There is one conspiracy that doesn’t lurk in smoky rooms behind closed doors – it’s called global capitalism

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