9/11 and the Left

Reposted as a rebuttal to Mother Jones' new hit piece.


Several prominent liberal writers are arguing that 9/11 is a distraction from the fight for liberal causes. Are they right?

Riddle Me This

Before I address that question, let me ask another one:

Q: What do Daniel Ellsberg, Lewis Lapham, Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Thom Hartmann, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Marc Crispin Miller, Howard Zinn, Ray McGovern, Robert McChesney, Gore Vidal, Robert Fisk, Medea Benjamin, Doris "Granny D" Haddock, Paul Hawken, David Cobb, Randy Hayes, Ernest Callenbach, Dennis Bernstein, Paul H. Ray, Michael Franti, Janeane Garafalo and Ed Asner all have in common?

A: All of these leading liberal voices question the Bush administration's account of what happened on 9/11.

(See this article and video, this short video, and this article, this short posting, this petition, this article, this book review , this review, and this one).

Moreover, Noam Chomsky is calling for the declassification of 9/11-related documents. Former ambassador to Iraq Joseph Wilson is dissatisfied with the government's explanation for 9/11. And the former president of the National Lawyers Guild and many other prominent progressive legal scholars question 9/11.

So before you go "representing" the liberal position on 9/11, take a look at what these prominent progressives have said.

Between Iraq and a Hard Place

Okay, now let's get down to substance.

The administration's false claims linking Iraq and 9/11 helped convince a large portion of the American public to invade Iraq. While the focus now may be on false WMD claims, it is important to remember that, at the time, the Iraq-911 link was at least as important in many people's minds as a reason to invade Iraq.

Moreover, the trauma of September 11, 2001 is what galvanized many Americans to rally around the Bush administration in general, to close ranks in time of peril, and to give Bush his "mandate" (putting questions of election fraud to the side). Ever since 9/11, the American people have been terrified -- and thus irrational -- based upon the trauma of the vicious attacks. Since most Americans believe that the bad guys are "out there" and are about to get us unless we have a strong leader to fight them, they will not and CANNOT make any logical decisions about any other foreign or domestic issues -- including withdrawal from Iraq -- until "we get the bad guys".

Indeed, the WMD hoax probably would not have worked if it wasn't for the anti-Arab hysteria after September 11th. And the government policy of torture would not have been tolerated if we weren't misled into thinking that Saddam and Al-Qaeda had formed an unholy, all-powerful alliance on 9/11, and had to be stopped at any costs. Thus, the Saddam-911 deception was necessarily a precursor to the administration's WMD lies and torture policies.

I Spy

Indeed, the Bush administration is now using 9/11 as an excuse for domestic spying without warrant, and will use 9/11 as an excuse for every other unconstitutional, undemocratic, unAmerican destruction of civil liberties which it takes.


How about war with Iran? That's an important issue for liberals, isn't it? Well, Americans are still terrified about Arabs with weapons. Moreover, since Americans are still largely ignorant about the use of "false flag operations" by governments to justify wars, Americans will fall for a faked provocation. What am I talking about? Well, the National Security Adviser for President Carter recently told the Senate that a terrorist act might be carried out in the U.S. and falsely blamed on Iran to justify war against that nation. Similarly, a current Congressman has said "a contrived Gulf of Tonkin-type incident may occur to gain popular support for an attack on Iran". And a progressive member of the British Parliament stated that "there is a very real danger" that the American government will stage a false flag terror attack in order to justify war against Iran and to gain complete control domestically.

In other words, if 9/11 was, in fact, a false flag operation, and that fact is not exposed by the left, then that will enable the neoconservatives to use another faked terror incident in order to justify a war against Iran.

Thus, 9/11 is central for those interested in peace.

The Reality Based Community?

Liberals proudly proclaim the superiority of rationality over propaganda, blind passion and illogic. Right?

If you spend even 5 minutes looking at how completely the government investigations into 9/11 have failed to meet even basic tests of rationality, you will realize that liberals must demand a new, impartial investigation.

Other Liberal Causes

What about other traditional liberal causes? What about global warming? Women's rights? Gay rights? Helping the poor? Other liberal causes? Well, as a blogger from the University of Winnipeg in Canada says:

"[failing to fully address what really happened on 9/11] will only serve to undermine all they would otherwise hope to accomplish -- in terms of the environment and social equity -- and for one fundamental reason: ... it is the war on terror that is the primary "displacement activity" burying progressive causes, not 911 skepticism.

The war on terror is such a potent metanarrative that it is driving a host of policy decisions -- even in an otherwise progressive nation as Canada -- that are sucking resources away from human needs, ecological conservation, climate change prevention and adaptation, poverty alleviation and peacemaking. Until this metanarrative is dismantled and revealed for the lethal and cynical fraud it is and always has been, causes supported by progressives will never be properly addressed.

9/11 may not have changed everything, but until this controversy can be openly addressed in the media and through a more objective investigation, we may be unable to change anything."

Imagine, if you would, that you were a citizen in Germany right after the Reichstag fire had occurred. As you might know, the Reichstag fire was the burning down of the German parliament building by Hitler's men, which was then blamed on the communists in order to justify wars against neighboring countries. Do you believe you could have stopped the government from torturing communists after the Reichstag fire, by convincing people that Germans were a generous and good people who do not torture others? Do you think that you could have prevented the spread of disinformation about the hostile intentions and military capabilities of other countries by reminding Germans that war is bad and peace is good? Do you imagine you could have stopped the brownshirts and loss of domestic rights by writing about the desirability of civil liberties?

Of course not! The German people were whipped up into a state of hysteria and fear, because they thought they were under attack by communists, and Poles, and "bad guys" in general. The German's were in shock, and rallied around their "strong" leader. Without first exposing that the Reichstag fire and Operation Himmler - the two things which were the source and root cause of the German people's fears, and which allowed the German parliament and other institutions to hand Hitler total power -- the sweeping away of liberal causes by the wave of fear could not be stopped.

Similarly, Americans are crazed by the fear of Arab terrorists just like Germans were terrified of communist and Polish terrorists. Both peoples have handed over all of their power to their leaders in order to buy an imaginary security.

The Nazis might have been brought to justice well before the Nuremberg trials if the Reichstag hoax had been exposed at the time. The German people could have been spared from the horrors inflicted on their nation and the world by the Nazis. And sanity and liberal values could have been saved in 1940's-era Germany.

As stated by a well-known liberal, George Santayana, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."