Friday, March 09, 2007

Morons and Magic: A Reply to George Monbiot

Here is David Ray Griffin's reply to George Monbiot's rejection of the 9/11 truth movement.

In Bayoneting a Scarecrow The 9/11 conspiracy theories are a coward’s cult.” (Guardian, February 20), George Monbiot accuses members of the 9/11 truth movement of being “morons” and “idiots” who believe in “magic.” Having in his previous attack---“A 9/11 conspiracy virus is sweeping the world,” Guardian, February 6---called me this movement’s “high priest,” he now describes my 9/11 writing as a “concatenation of ill-attested nonsense.”

If my books are moronic nonsense, then people who have endorsed them must be morons. Would Monbiot really wish to apply this label to Michel Chossudovsky, Richard Falk, Ray McGovern, Michael Meacher, John McMurtry, Marcus Raskin, Rosemary Ruether, Howard Zinn, and the late Rev. William Sloane Coffin, who, after a stint in the CIA, became one of America’s leading civil rights, anti-war, and anti-nuclear activists?

If anyone who believes that 9/11 was an inside job is by definition an idiot, then Moncbiot would have to sling that label at Colonel Robert Bowman, former head of the U.S. “Star Wars” program; Andreas von B├╝low, former State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Defense; former CIA analysts Bill Christison and Robert David Steele; former Scientific American columnist A. K. Dewdney; General Leonid Ivashov, former chief of staff of the Russian armed forces; Colonel Ronald D. Ray, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense; all the members of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice, Veterans for 9/11 Truth, and Pilots for 9/11 Truth; and most of the individuals listed under “Professors Question 9/11” on the “Patriots Question 9/11” website.

One of the reasons these people reject the government’s conspiracy theory is that, if they were to accept the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Centre, they would need to affirm magical beliefs. A few examples:

The Twin Towers came straight down, which means that each building’s 287 steel columns all had to fail simultaneously; to believe this could happen without explosives is to believe in magic.

At the onset of each tower’s collapse, steel beams were ejected out as far as 600 feet; to believe that these horizontal ejections could be explained by gravitational energy, which is vertical, is to believe in magic.

Virtually all of the concrete in the towers was pulverized into extremely fine dust particles; to believe that fire plus gravity could have done this is to believe in magic.

WTC 7 and the towers came down at virtually free-fall speed, meaning that the lower floors, with all their steel and concrete, provided no resistance to the upper floors; to believe this could happen without explosives is to believe in magic.

Pools of molten metal were found under each building. Because steel does not begin to melt until it reaches about 1,540°C and yet the fires could not have gotten over 1000°C, to accept the fire theory is to believe in magic.

Monbiot, regarding the 9/11 truth movement’s conspiracy theory as a wrong-headed distraction, fails to see that the obviously false and truly distracting conspiracy theory is the official 9/11 myth, which has been used to justify imperial wars and increased militarism, thereby distracting attention from global apartheid and the ecological crisis. We focus on the 9/11 myth because, until it is exposed, getting our governments to focus wholeheartedly on the truly urgent issues of our time will be impossible.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Ann "Cuckoo" Coulter


Ann Coulter called Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards a "faggot," the other day before the American Conservative Union. Dick Cheney and Mitt Romney were present. Can we now call Dick Cheney's daughter a "dyke?" Does that mean we can now call Ann Coulter a "deranged fascist bulemic bitch?" Oh, we did already? Do you think she and Rush share their recreational drugs?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Do we need 9/11 conspiracies to condemn the Bushite regime?

I think George Monbiot may have gotten the last word in on the 9/11 truth split within the progressive community: "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 Qaeda, 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 long-standing 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..."


From
"Bayoneting The Scarecrow, " published in the February 20, 2007 Guardian.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

A sad day for botany

Whoaaa! I always figured Michael Savage (nee Michael Weiner*) for a A+++ certified whack-job, but I didn't know quite how much until I read this revealing piece on him by Ron Russell at the East Bay Express. But the most depressing bit of news was to learn that this far right wing sociopath has a M.S. degree in botany from the University of Hawaii and a Ph.D in ethnobotany from UC Berkeley. And of course he once-upon-a-time was a bonafide celebrant of the counter-culture, much like another landsman turned rightie, David Horowitz. Not too many botanists of my acquaintance become super-fascistic hate mongers. How did a guy who once wanted to explore Allen Ginsberg's rectum become a veritable caricature of over-the-top vitriol?

*It's ok, Mike, we're all self-hating Jews here.

















I would love to know what turns certain lefties into over-the-top right-wingers as they age. It is brain-shrinkage? Or is there some more fundamental heart of darkness that was always there to begin with, like a nascent bud, and suddenly comes to flower?

One more reason to hate Karl Rove (as if we need any more)

According to a former aide to disgraced former Ohio Congressman Bob Ney, Karl Rove was the recipient 4 years ago of the secret offer to "deal" from Iran that I first noted some months ago. Here is an interview between Amy Goodman of Democracy Now and Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), the largest Iranian-American organization in the US. He is author of the forthcoming book "Treacherous Triangle - The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States." Yes, this is the same report that our book-smart but competence-challenged Secretary of State Rice claims to have known nothing about.

At the time Iran said it would consider far-reaching compromises on its nuclear program, relations with Hezbollah and Hamas and support for a Palestinian peace agreement with Israel. Now, how many lives might have been saved if the USA and Iran had achieved some sort of rapprochement? Your guess is as good as mine, but may our least favorite fat man's sleep be forever visited by the ghosts of maimed and dead Iraqi children and American GIs.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The right wing attention to detail

The latest wingnut website to appear on the scene is OurCountry.com. This media-rich site purposts to be the Internet's version of the Comedy Channel's "Daily Show," albeit with a lurch to the right. The home page consist of about a dozen video streams, at least half of which make fun of Hillary Clinton. At least one features the slim, trim blonde spokeswoman for "MoveAmerica Forward" another right wing organization heavy into cheerleading the Bush/Cheney agenda under the guise of "supporting the troops." Others feature an African-American MC, in order to scream "we're not racist, see?" at the target audience whom I figure are a panoply of Rush and Howard listeners and Maxim readers.

Here's a description from UPI:

A Burbank, Calif.-based, self-described
"politically incorrect comedy network" launched Tuesday with comedy, games, networking and user-generated video.

Now in a beta test, the nine-channel Ourcountry.com is a media company funded by private equity, founder Lex Troxler said in a news release.

Troxler developed and launched Ourcountry.com after he said he noticed other sites censoring posters they didn't care for politically.

"There ought to be a place for people who make no apologies politically, and enjoy comedy that pulls no punches," he said.

Some of the video shorts included "Border Bloopers" and "Feed the Supermodels."

Ourcountry.com's development team includes Troxler, a high tech entrepreneur and producer of "FahrenHYPE 9/11"; Gabe Abelson, a one-time comedy writer for late-night hosts Jay Leno and David Letterman, and Floyd Brown, former executive director of Young America's Foundation.


Anyway, back to the right wing attention detail. On a previous post of mine, I have received two comments from (I presume) employees of OurCountry.com, probably because they are big sponsors of the gatheringofeagles.org pro-war demonstration in DC on March 17, whose website I referenced. The first said:

"It’s time to move america forward, good luck to all the pro-troop caravans, check out what OURcountry is doing to help support our troops!"

To which I replied with a long, healthy blast of anti-Bush fervor. Lo and behold, I get ANOTHER comment from OurCountry:

"Would you like to run a link exchange? we can link you from both our main site (www.OURcountry.com) as well as our blog (www.OURcountryblog.com). We can give you a custom banner, or just a regular text link. If you'd like to discuss please feel free to email me.
Bo - bo@ourcountry.com"

I guess they didn't bother to read my blog.

As far as the whole concept of conservative humor goes, Jay Derveth on the Hindsight Factor said it best:

"Decades ago, a conservative believed in small government and fiscal responsibility, eschewed social engineering and interventionist nation building, and while their methods may have differed, in most ways they shared the same long-term goals as the rest of us. Today, a conservative is a bitter, overweight drug addict who publicly ridicules the sick and disabled. A conservative is a woman bloated with ambition who lies to congress in order to drag our country deeper into conflict. A conservative is a dangerous fascist seeking to create a list of women who have had abortions. A conservative is an armed xenophobic vigilante who has taken it upon himself to guard against illegal immigrants. And a conservative is a dark, soulless coward who publicly condones waterboarding from the most respected office in the country.

"Is it fair that these people now define conservativism? Not by a long shot. Is it a double-standard? Maybe. But it’s true. Conservatives sold out their ideals to the most sensationalist elements and these new conservatives (and so-called neoconservatives) have ushered us into an uglier world. No matter how much they try, how badly they may want it, these things will never be funny. They aren’t even in the same ballpark as funny. In fact, they are so far outside that they are starting to wonder if the ballpark ever really existed."

A Gathering of Kool Aid Drinkers, part 2

Maybe I'm a masochist, but I've been monitoring this web site (www.gatherofeagles.org - no, I refuse to dignify it with a hyper-link; you can find it if you want), which is one of the organizations behind the counter demonstration (they call themselves "pro troops" but I call them "pro war") planned for March 17 in DC. The level of invective in some of the comments left on this site is incredible and somewhat alarming. Dissenters are routinely called the most scurrilous names, and their webmaster even deleted a recent comment that actually had some facts in it about just how well the Bush administration "supports the troops" (we don't want the facts to get in the way of blind allegiance to a right wing agenda, do we?). I was so impressed by that comment that I copied it, before the wingnut commandos eliminated it from their web site. I reprint it here in its entirety:

"The right-wing spin machine is in full force, trying to convince America that a Democratic plan to prevent deployment of troops into the middle of a civil war without sufficient equipment and training is equivalent to 'not supporting the troops.' This is absolute nonsense. It is, in fact, the Republican Bush administration and their former lapdog Congress who have repeatedly sent our armed forces into conflict inadequately equipped and under-prepared. Our military has been broken by Bush's military adventure in Iraq, and the right wing propaganda machine refuses to face the facts: 1) Service members in Iraq and Afghanistan have experienced shortages of force-protection equipment, including up-armored vehicles, electronic countermeasure devices, crew-served weapons and communications equipment (American Forces Press Service, February 15, 2007), 2) the military has been borrowing gear from units stationed in the United States, reducing their ability to respond in case of other military threats around the world (San Francisco Chronicle, February 4, 2007), 3) two army brigades heading to Iraq due to the escalation are skipping their counterinsurgency training session at the Army's premier training range (San Francisco Chronicle, February 4, 2007), and 4) the Arkansas National Guard's 39th Brigade Combat Team, scheduled to return to Iraq next year, is 600 rifles short for its 3,500 soldiers (NY Times, February 22, 2007). Meanwhile, we at home have to read about how GIs recovering from injuries suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan at the Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, a mere five miles from the White House, were found living in rooms infested with mold, soiled carpet and cockroaches (Washington Post, February 18, 2007). Who indeed 'supports the troops?' It is clear that the Bush administration only supports our brave men and women as cannon fodder for their failed policies, and little else."