Sunday, September 21, 2008

Resist 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

This month has seen a concerted push for respectability by the 9/11 ‘truth’ movement.

Around the seventh anniversary of the attacks in New York, some more ostensibly rational ‘truth’ activists such as Ian Henshall, Belinda McKenzie and Ian Neal, along with the ex-MI5 spy Annie Machon, are looking to hang out in press rooms and have attempted to buy major advertising space in at least one national newspaper.

Whilst cloaked in the language of opponents of US/UK foreign policy (among which we include ourselves) it should be understood that behind their charm offensive are the all too familiar shrill voices and oddballs who tell us 9/11 was carried out by the US government, Mossad, beam weapons, remote control planes, controlled demolition etc, etc

The ‘truth’ movement seeks to rebrand itself under the banner of ‘Reopen 9/11’ and ‘Make War History’ because people were repelled by the absurd arguments, cult like behaviour and rampant anti-semitism that characterised their previous incarnation – the UK and Ireland 9/11 Truth Movement.

Perhaps most worryingly of all the 9/11 truth movement has spawned mutant offspring, with theories looking to blame anyone but the actual perpetrators of subsequent terrorist outrages such as the 2004 Madrid bombings, the July 2005 London bombings and even the attack on Glasgow Airport. Any future bombings will no doubt be explained away in the same manner.
What price social cohesion if we cannot even recognise the challenge events like 7/7 pose to all our communities?

Encouragingly some former activists are beginning to see the danger of the 9/11 ‘truth’ movement. One such person, Mick Meaney, comments:

"In my experience, the truth movement provides a safe haven for anti-Semitism and is a breeding ground for ludicrous theories that only serve to divert attention away from the valid concerns about the War on Terror and the erosion of our civil liberties."

"During my involvement with the truth movement I have seen first hand racism and prejudice towards the Jewish people. Influential members of the movement will often label those who oppose this fascism as “shills” or other government agents, making the problem almost impossible to combat as those in prominent positions refuse to acknowledge its disturbing presence."

"Attacks against those who refuse to share their conspiracy theories have become all too common as journalists, terrorist attack victims (and their families), politicians and members of the public have been subjected to harassment, insults and slurs. What could have once been a credible campaign for justice and freedom has festered into a shameful display of aggression, racism and ignorance."

Heidi Svenson, on behalf of 9/11 Cultwatch, London.

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