The 9/11 Conspiracy Theories are getting too silly, too widespread and far too pervasive. In their frantic dash to prove the complicity of the Neo-Cons, the 9/11 Truther Movement has given the Bush administration exactly what it wanted in the first place: a population mired in minutiae and utterly convinced of its own impotence.
The Call to Adventure
I’ve been avoiding this issue, if the truth be told, for months now. I started dabbling with the 9/11 conspiracy theories that have been evolving this last two or three years, a few months back, by listening to podcasts, reading articles and yes, watching the movie Loose Change – the home-made student film on 9/11 which sits at the very centre of most of the recent conspiracy theories.
Whilst you have to admire the ingenuity of those responsible for the movie, you also feel forced to point out that this is, for some, a movie so ridiculous in its claims, so hysterical in its tone, so keen to find evidence to fit its theory that one exasperated blogger recently likened watching it to being ‘bukakked with stupid‘.
However, George Monbiot, as always, writing into today’s Guardian, puts it slightly better:
‘To qualify as a true opponent of the Bush regime, you must also now believe that it [the Bush regime] 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.
Well said Sir.
Refusal of the Call
Now, wait. Calm down. Take a deep breath. Before we get ourselves dragged back into yet more arguments about ‘what plane did what at what time’, I’d like to suggest that an issue far worthier of discussion is the basic matter of why these conspiracy theories exist at all. Why has there been such an enormous ground-swell of venomous, almost religious fervour which demands that we now accept 9/11 as an inside job? What do these stories do? What’s their function?
A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at home listening to the James Whale show on Talksport Radio in London. I generally try not to listen to his show too much (it makes me vaguely ill), but this particular evening David Icke was on.
Now David Icke is a fascinating character. He’s charming, he’s witty and he’s articulate. But he’s also deeply paranoid. There’s a job-lot of references to ‘they’ and not a lot on who ‘they’ actually are.
He sees shadowy government agents at every turn – that’s right, anyone wearing a yellow jacket (parking attendant, cop, security guard or just anyone that ever tells David to do anything) is a government agent. Even if they don’t know it themselves. The Illuminati haunt almost every utterance and nothing is ordinary. Everything seems extraordinary.
But there’s nothing there. I’m sorry, there just isn’t. There’s nothing. Nothing. No evidence. No documents. No learned testimony. No verifiable facts. And whilst would-be Forteans such as ourselves here at Blather.net are supposed to remain impartial and seek a condition of ‘negative capability‘, there are occasions when the sheer critical mass of acceptable stupidity and the ease with which so many are buying into this half-assed, hysterical, unverifiable conjecture as though it were fact, simply becomes too much to bear. And, it is no different when it comes to 9/11.
Crossing the First Threshold
Now, conspiracy theorists are intriguing. They’re usually passionate, articulate and persuasive people.
But, I’m also fascinated by the belief-systems at work. The ‘storytelling’ that goes into creating a conspiracy and what we can learn about ourselves by looking at the mechanics of that story. Some suggest that the words we use shape the way we see the world. And conspiracy theory, whether genuine investigative journalism or thrash Sky News text-poll snap judgements, creates quite a world.
The Belly of the Whale
For me though, the only ‘truth’ in all of this, is that conspiracy theorists are searching for meaning in chaos. The problem is that sometimes, there is no meaning. There’s just chaos. Meteorites fall from the sky every day. People get cancer. Bad shit happens. All the time.
The Road of Trials
To stick with Icke for a second, I’m sorry, but I have a problem with accepting an army of Lizards are responsible for 9/11 and every other significant political event on our planet. Sometimes there’s just chaos. And there’s nothing you can do about it. Elvis left the building a long time ago. That UFO you saw? Be honest, it was probably a Chinese lamp.
For me Icke’s insistence that we have no free choice, that every event in our lives is dictated by a nefarious, unseen cabal of illuminati, is in itself, the ultimate fascism: the rabid, never-ending insistence that we have no choice.
And it’s the same for the 9/11 Truth Movement. The subject is different (but related) but uses the same ‘with us or against us rhetoric’ which is so similar to that of the Regime which is seeks to depose.
Some, in their quasi-messianic zeal to prove that Bush and the Neo-Cons orchestrated 9/11, have done such a good job of convincing their audience of the sheer scale of the conspiracy, that they have done a rather excellent job of convincing them of their political impotence.
Am I the only one who thinks that some conspiracy theorists are trying to fill a God-shaped hole with sinister organisations that simply don’t exist?
The Meeting with the Goddess
Our world needs no Illuminati. It needs no saucer people who live below the polar caps. It needs no race of super-human, blood-drinking mole-people to govern us like serfs. We have the UN Security Council to do that for us.
You want to investigate something? Get over to Greg Palast’s site and investigate how it is that the Republicans stole an entire election. Find out where the Enron money went. Ask why it is that the Japanese government are hell-bent on killing over 900 whales for ‘scientific study’.
Temptation Away from the True Path
Sometimes, it seems that when something horrible happens to a nation, people, naturally, search for meaning in it. Quite frequently there isn’t any. Michael Collins was assassinated in 1922, in Beal na mBlÃ¡th in Ireland. And people are still speculating as to who shot him. Diana died ten years ago. Because she slammed into a wall at over 100 miles per hour. Not because of some vast Masonic conspiracy. Katrina was a hurricane. Not a Tesla weapon.
To take a local example, when the IRA bombed Warrington and Manchester, Canary Wharf and Remembrance Day parades, no-one looked to blame the British Government for organising these atrocities – even though it can be argued that the terrorist campaign gave the government powers it could never have hoped for in peace time. You know why? Because the British people were used to it. The British People knew what they were dealing with – terrorists. That is, men and women who kill without remorse, who don’t care how many die and who, certainly in the case of Al Qaeda anyway, actually revel in the death toll.
Atonement with the Father
America has no cultural experience of this. No lens through which to understand events such as this. Having never been invaded or carpet-bombed, never suffered the real ravages of terrorism and having exported its war across the globe, many citizens of the United States are bereft of the ‘language’ with which they can make sense of the sheer scale of what 9/11 was.
And perhaps, ultimately the real problem is just that: the sheer scale of the event. It was so spectacular, so ‘bad Hollywood movie’, that almost immediately people start rooting around for the 24-like grand-plan, when in actual fact it’s far more likely that 9/11 was the result of the work of a bunch of evil, scheming religious zealots who despise America and every thing that it stands for. There’s nowhere near as many of them as you’ve been told there is and they ain’t that hard to find: just go to the poorest places on earth.
Now don’t get us wrong: we are under no illusion as to what kind of people Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of that shower are. Yes, 9/11 helped them. Yes, it was convenient. But only because the people of America allowed it to be so. It was not engineered by the CIA or even by Bin Laden, or indeed by the ‘Project for a New American Century‘. It was organised by a loosely-connected group of religious fundamentalists – the majority of whom all came from one of America’s closest ‘allies’. Ask about that before you start screaming for Iran’s invasion.
The Ultimate Boon
It’s time to up the game. Time to get better. Time to write better blogs, make better movies and ask better questions. We’re sorry, but Loose Change and the 9/11 conspiracy theorists are just not doing that right now.
Yes, there are aspects of 9/11 that are troubling. The 28 missing pages are a serious issue. But to buy in completely, well, let me go back to George:
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.
Anyone wishing to post links or comments which provide information on the 9/11 Truth movement can do so in the comments section below. Thanks for reading.
‘9/11: Debunking the Myths’ from the Popular Mechanics show.