Why I’m Not a “9/11 Truther”
I have many friends who believe the attacks were an “inside job”, but I don’t. Do I think those attacks are something that the Bush and Cheney Administration would never have committed? No, I think they very well could and would have. Do I think they didn’t have the motive or incentive to do it? No, they obviously did have more than enough motive to do it. But, here is the thing: so did Al Qaeda terrorists. I think they too had both the motive and organizational and financial wherewithal, as well as the knowledge and technical capability to do it, unless one goes so far as to suggest that there were no such terrorists to begin with, which some surprisingly do, in which case, one would also have to say there was no Al Qaeda and Bin Laden, who were mostly the same people as the Mujaheddin of the 1980’s, who were funded and armed by the CIA to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. And, if that’s how far you want to take it, then why not also claim there was never a Soviet Union or a CIA? The fact is: there was (and still is) a terrorist organization at the time the attacks occurred, which did have both the financial and organizational capability, as well as the motive to commit it.
There are those who say those planes couldn’t have brought down the buildings and there are those – including scientists and engineers – who say they could. In the absence of an admission by the government, such as in the case of things they did and many years later admitted to, at the very best, the issue remains unproven and unresolved and the “inside job” claim not beyond reasonable doubt. So, to claim definitively that it was an inside job carries the same risk as any unproven and unresolved claim. It’s the same reason why we don’t just take any claim made by some individual on the Internet and claim it to be true, without being reasonably sure that it is. It’s because we care about our credibility.
Now, if the majority of the engineers, scientists, reporters and others who weren’t working for the government at the time and who examined the physical evidence of the attacks agreed that it was done by the government, then I’d have to go by their conclusions. But, that’s not the case. Or, if it were something that would defy logic and common sense, in which case we would never need to ask the opinion of any experts and we’d know right away that the government is lying. For example, if the government claimed that it was Al Qaeda which caused all the devastation in Louisiana in 2005, instead of Hurricane Katrina or that the melting of the ice caps in the Arctic or the degradation of the ozone layer is the work of the terrorists, but bringing down couple of buildings?
But, none of this is my main argument and reason why I don’t subscribe to the conspiracy theory. First of all, to say definitively that it had to be the work of the government is to deny that U.S. policies, specifically, its wars, bombings, interventions and support of despotic kings and dictators for the benefit of the empire has any blowback. Blowback is a natural consequence of such policies. To expect otherwise is to be unrealistic. Secondly, to make that claim as definitively as the adherents of the theory make is to claim that no organization has either the motive or the ability to conduct such or similar terrorist attacks, which again is not true. The U.S. government is neither the only evil entity in the world, nor the only one capable of causing destruction. Timothy McVeigh did it, too. So, here is what we have: as far as the motive and the capability, both the government and the terrorists had them. So, we’re left with the evidence, for which we have to (we may not want to, but have to) rely on the experts. And as far as that goes, the best the conspiracy theorists can say is that it’s not conclusive or demonstrated or proven, one way or another.
And, finally and most importantly – and this is my main point – we on the left don’t need to make such unproven and unresolved claims. There are already more than enough – far more than enough – atrocities that this government of, by and for corporations, which represents a tiny minority and imposes the dictatorship of that minority over people, has committed and has admitted to have committed to hold it responsible for. We don’t need to make a claim that, if not we, at least the vast majority of people aren’t convinced of and who could therefore be alienated and turned off by such a claim, which could damage our credibility and make them ignore everything else we say. What is clear and obvious, without any room for doubt and which everyone can understand and relate to, is that the Bush and Cheney Administration and even the Obama Administration after them did make the most of those attacks to justify their endless wars abroad and clamp down on civil liberties and privacy rights at home and punish whistle blowers and increase aid to Israel, all in the name of and with the pretext of “war on terror”. Not only Bush and Obama, but, in fact, even future presidents will continue to use that pretext to commit war crimes and violate the Bill of Rights. This is a bigger and more worthy conclusion and is readily obvious and indisputable compared to the conspiracy theory.
Being stuck on the 9/11 and continuing to say it was an inside job, I believe, does nothing to help raise the level of consciousness among the masses and on the contrary has the opposite effect and serves to distract them from all the crimes that have been and are being committed in the name of “war on terror”. The “inside job” claim unnecessarily takes our time and energy and gives us nothing in return, nothing that we can credibly use to educate people, without alienating and/or distracting them from real and easy to explain crimes and wrongs. We have no shortage of such crimes and atrocities and don’t need to add those we think they committed, but can’t be sure, or that they haven’t admitted to. There are better ways to spend our time and energy to educate the masses.