Noam Chomsky and the 9/11 nutbars: Why they suck and he doesn't.
Chomsky on the moonbats: "The evidence that's been produced [in favor of 9/11 conspiracy theories], in my opinion, is essentially worthless."
Back to David Ray Griffin soon, but I wanted to make some points about so-called left gatekeepers, Noam Chomsky and whether or not the 9/11 "truth" movement is left-wing, right-wing or just plain crackpot. I personally tend to think the movement skews left and eventually explodes in a great big supernova of woo. Most of troofers I've encountered in person tend to be libs -- moon-howling, Bush-hating loony libs. They want Bush impeached and the troops home from Iraq yesterday. They think Cindy Sheehan walks on H2O, and are convinced that Bill O'Reilly's a giant turd who sits at the right hand of Satan. Well, they may be right about O'Reilly. I'll give 'em that one.
However, there are libertarian-rightists who swallow some of the troofer swill, like Ron Paul, for instance, who continues his dalliance with the movement, despite claiming that he doesn't believe 9/11 was an inside job. Alex Jones is more a black helicopter/survivalist/New World Order kind of guy. Certainly no liberal. And then there are anti-Semites like Eric Hufschmid, journo-on-the-lam Christopher Bollyn, and the idiots who bought the line about the 4,000 Jews staying home on 9/11. Some might argue that anti-Semites are by default, wing-nuts. But anti-Semitism is the oldest hatred and crosses all sorts of political lines. Liberals are not immune to it.
The conservative response to the 9/11 conspirazoids tends to be knee-jerk and angry. I don't blame them. I'm all for not suffering idiots gladly. David Ray Griffin whines like a little bitch about the media's a priori rejection of whack-job theories, whether it's 9/11 kookiness or reincarnation. Sorry, Dave, but I turn my bullshit detector off for no man. So if you were to come at me with serious talk about how Sasquatch just stepped out of a UFO and took a crap on your front lawn, you'd get the raspberries from moi, buddy. That and a one-way ticket to Charenton.
However, as both Pat Curley and James Bennett of Screw Loose Change have pointed out, some of the best critiques of the 9/11 movement have been written by the likes of lefties like Alexander Cockburn, David Corn, and others. Lefty reporter Greg Palast, in an indie program I first saw via Screw Loose Change, categorically rules out the possibility of a controlled demolition of the Twin Towers, and calls retired physicist Steven Jones, "a complete fruitcake and a fraud."
Mark Roberts, one of the best debunkers out there and author of the Viewer's Guide to Loose Change, is an admitted lefty, and an ally of Curley and Bennett, though Curley and Bennett are conservatives.
"Of the regular NYC protesters, nearly all have accused me – and many still do – of being a Bush-loving paid government agent, although I'm a Bush-hating left-leaning Democrat tour guide," Roberts wrote to me recently."They can't wrap their minds around the fact that someone who is opposed to most of the Bush administration's policies and actions doesn't buy their conspiracy nonsense."
Continued Roberts: "There's no doubt in my mind that the majority of truthers are left-wing, although there's also a good percentage of anti-government libertarians and far right-wingers involved. I can say this with conviction based on my interactions in person with them."
I agree, and I think that's why the troofers hate libs like Palast, Corn, Cockburn, et al., so much. For troofers, they're traitors to the cause. They're the evil "left gatekeepers," a term which refers to lefties who're trying to keep troofers marginalized. Thing is, I'd argue the troofers do a fine job of marginalizing themselves.
That brings us the Greatest of All Left Gatekeepers, a brainiac revered by liberals, one the troofies hoped to have in their camp until his public comments dismissed 9/11 conspiracy theories as bilge. I refer to that old Wobbly and anarcho-syndicalist Noam Chomsky, who's sort of a saint of the academic left. Chomsky's repudiation of the tinfoil hatters was a bitter disappointment for them. That's why they refer to him as the Chief Gatekeeper, senile, and/or a shill for the government. Far from it actually. He's just not a shill for the moonbats. And it drives them fucking ape.
YouTube has some footage of Chomsky during a visit he made to Hungary in which he's asked about how the Bush administration benefited from 9/11 and wasn't that proof of its complicity somehow. Chomsky vigorously attacked the assumptions underlying the questions.
"Did the Bush administration gain from September 11?" asked Chomsky rhetorically. "The answer: yes. Does that tell you anything? No. Every authoritarian system gained from September 11, and it was immediately predictable."
Chomsky continues, stating that the Bushies would have to be "insane" to attempt 9/11, because something would have inevitably leaked out, "they'd all have been before firing squads," and that'd be the end of the Republican Party. Chomsky also correctly speaks of a large "industry" on the left producing books and videos feeding this growing tapeworm in the tummy of the liberal body politic.
"If you look at the evidence, anybody who knows anything about the sciences would instantly discount that evidence," said Chomsky of so-called troofer proof. "There's plenty of coincidences and unexplained phenomena. Why didn't this happen and why didn't that happen and so on. But if you look at a controlled scientific experiment, the same thing is true. When someone carries out a controlled scientific experiment at the best laboratories, at the end, there are a lot of things that are unexplained."
Chomsky relates that he's "pretty isolated" on the left when it comes to this conspiracy tripe. Still, he rejects it and calls it a waste of time, a dangerous diversion from real issues, and he compares it to the JFK conspiracy industry. This video of Chomsky I'm referring to has been out there for at least a year, and the troofers continue to berate and attempt to bait Chomsky in its aftermath. Once again, their unbalanced anger at Chomsky unmasks the fact that most troofies are lefties. They never get this mad at Fox News analysts, say.
Chomsky's one of those rare intellectuals who's not going to be bowed by what the mob thinks. I wish one could say the same of less rigorous left-leaning intellects such as Lewis Lapham, Howard Zinn and Gore Vidal, all of whom have puckered up in one way or another to the troofers.
Not that I concur with everything Chomsky has to say on this subject or any other, but it's fun watching the troofers drive themselves apoplectic over the Chomster. I think, somewhere deep down in their psyches, they know the Professor's right. They so desperately want to believe this conspiracy crap because they loathe Bush. But hatred of Bush is not enough of a reason to latch on to this insanity. There are loads of legitimate reasons for hating Bush & Co. No need to make shit up.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.