New York City activist

December 25, 2007

More about Francesco Cossiga, plus more about Alex Jones, Ron Paul, paleoconservativism, and Jew-haters

One of my most popular posts, here on this blog, is Former Italian president Francesco Cossiga thinks 9/11 was an inside job?. Lots of people have found that post via search engines. So, in response to the apparent popular demand, I’ll blog a little more about Cossiga.

Here on WordPress, on the tag page for Francesco Cossiga, I found only two other recent English-language posts on Cossiga’s statement about 9/11.

Mesikammen’s translation

One post, Cossiga on 9/11 on an untitled blog belonging to one Mesikammen, contains yet another translation of the original Italian news story. This translation is closer to the Media With Conscience (MWC) translation than to the Prison Planet translation. Like the MWC translation, Mesikammen’s translation speaks of the opinion/knowledge of “democratic elements” and the “center-left,” rather than the opinion/knowledge of “intelligence services.” But also, like both the MWC translation and the Prison Planet translation, Mesikammen’s translation comes across as indicating that Cossiga is sincerely endorsing the idea that “the disastrous attack was planned and executed by the American CIA and the Mossad with help from organized Zionists,” in contrast to the view of various JREFers that Cossiga was being sarcastic.

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet resolved the issue of which translation is correct. Sunday night at New York 9/11 Truth, I made an announcement that I’m looking for people who know Italian very well and who are also familiar with Italian politics, to help clear up the mystery of what Francesco Cossiga actually meant by his statements. No one there qualified, but two people told me they personally knew some native Italian speakers who might be willing to help. We’ll see if I hear from either of them.

Mesikammen, if you’re reading this: Where did you get your translation, or how did you get it done? Are you a native speaker of Italian? Do you know any native speakers of Italian?

“Waste of My Oxygen” on Francesco Cossiga and Alex Jones

Anyhow, another post I found here on WordPress was 9/11 An inside Job, Run By Alex Jones, on a blog called “Waste of My Oxygen,” which seems to be run by a fairly typical American conservative Republican. By “typical,” I mean one who agrees with the neocons on war, while agreeing with the paleocons on immigration.

“wasteofmyoxygen” begins with a link to the Prison Planet translation. “wasteofmyoxygen” doesn’t question the accuracy of the translation, but does make other complaints, starting with:

Another Alex Jones hack job where the basis of his claims starts with a lie…

Actually, the Prison Planet article is by Paul Joseph Watson, not by Alex Jones himself.

The basis of this premise is that Cossiga is an honest politician who exposed Operation Gladio. Well folks, if memory serves be correct, Cossiga revealled his involvement in the establisment of Operation Gladio after a rival, Andreotti, exposed him as being involved in it. In order to avoid an impeachment, Cossiga came out and told everyone what Operation Gladio was and that he helped establish it. This was not an act of exposure on his part, but rather a confession. Shortly after he confessed, he resigned his Presidency…

I don’t yet know enough about the history of Gladio to comment on that particular issue. Anyhow, “wasteofmyoxygen” goes on to say:

The second problem with Jones’ conspiracy theory is that the actual actions of Gladio during the cold war are still unknown. There is much speculation as to their false flag work, but I do not recall seeing and definitive proof of such actions taking place…

Even if there isn’t 100% “definitive proof,” it seems to me that there is plenty of credible evidence. See, for example, the following:

See also the widely-circulated BBC documentary about Operation Gladio.

“wasteofmyoxygen,” have you seen any good counterevidence?

“wasteofmyoxygen” then says:

It would seem to me that Jones’ and Cossiga are doing nothing but putting forth speculation as fact, which is typical of Jones and his moonbat theories…

Yep, Alex Jones does have a tendency to do that.

What Cossiga may be doing, or not doing, remains to be seen.

Ironically, it looks like I’m even more skeptical toward Prison Planet than “wasteofmyoxygen” is. I immediately questioned the accuracy of the Cossiga translation and looked around on the web for other translations. “wasteofmyoxygen” didn’t, apparently.

The problem is the liberal and uneducated fall for this crap every time.

“Liberal”? There are plenty of liberals and leftists who are not at all fond of Alex Jones, whose views, on many issues, are very right wing. (For example, Prison Planet endorses pretty much the entire agenda of the Christian religious right wing, minus support for the more hawkish factions in Israel. Prison Planet also denies global warming and other environmentalist concerns. And it supports Ron Paul, whose top priority is to get rid of income tax.)

Anyhow, the post by “wasteofmyoxygen” was followed by a debate, in the comment thread, between “wasteofmyoxygen” and someone with the name “flowerpower12,” who started off by saying, “We don’t need Cossiga to confirm what overwhelming evidence tells us anyway.” This was followed by a bunch of links, mostly to whatreallyhappened.com, a site which focusses on the possibility of Israeli/Mossad involvement in the 9/11 attacks (whereas most other 9/11 Truth sites focus more on the possibility of U.S. government involvement).

“wasteofmyoxygen” replied:

Flowerpower, this has nothing to do with Cossiga, it has to do with Alex Jones’ typical use of false information and trying to pass it off as fact…
As for you links, great, none of them are actual evidence, they are speculation as is most of the Conspiracy Theories. They, just like Jones’ article, try to pass off an opinion as fact. Additional most of these, especially the ones surrounding Jews are nothing but anti-semitism, masked behind the story of the World Trade Centers.
Not a single theory you posted, has any credible evidence and most have been thoroughly disproven, it is just some Liberal nuts cannot believe reality…
Time to buy some more tinfoil…

I’ll reorganize the rest of the debate by topic:

“Tinfoil”

“flowerpower12” wrote a cute, clever rejoinder to the “tinfoil” remark:

Time to buy more tinfoil? I’m ok thanks, I’m already wearing two pounds of tinfoil to protect myself from the islamofascist satellite network beaming anti-semitic rays into my mind on behalf of the vast worldwide nazi conspiracy. If I add any more weight I’ll topple over 😉

No response to that from “wasteofmyoxygen.”

My own response to “flowerpower12”: Thanks for the chuckle.

Seriously, though, there isn’t one single “vast worldwide nazi conspiracy,” as far as I am aware, but there is, alas, a resurgence of Nazi-like ideology. Please see the following posts of mine, in which I try to counter some aspects of that resurgence:

“flowerpower12” vs. “wasteofmyoxygen” on Jew-hating

“flowerpower12” made the mistake of saying:

Michael Rivero (of whatreallyhappened.com) is of spanish sephardic ancestry, i.e. Jewish. So no, you can’t use the antisemitism-i-win-the-debate button.

To which “wasteofmyoxygen” replied:

Just because he is of Sephardic ancestry means nothing… I highly doubt he is a practicing jew, based on many of the pieces I have read from him. Have you ever heard of self hating Jews… There are many, born Jewish, but hate their own. That is Rivero… Being Jewish and being anti-semetic are not mutually exclusive…

I would say it’s debatable whether so-called “self hating Jews” really are, necessarily, “self hating.” But I agree that merely pointing out that someone is Jewish is not a good way to reassure someone about an absence of Jew-hating. The only way to reassure people is to show empathy for their fears and to show that you care.

Bush’s under-reaction on 9/11:

“flowerpower12” wrote:

Anyway, to my knowledge, nobody has ever debunked any of the above. Lets take one at a time. Care to explain why the secret service sat on their butts during the attacks?

Please don’t say incompetence – even an amateur bodyguard would know that the job consist of whisking the VIP to safety in case of an emergency. I’d say multiple planes crashing into buildings and Bush’s location being public knowledge qualifies as an emergency. Yet these guys aren’t amateurs, they’re the best of the best… and they did nothing.

Why not?

To which “wasteofmyoxygen” replied:

As for the secret service actions, it is not a really difficult thing. They have protocols and followed them. They don’t just run in an grab the president. They secure the area, a route to their destination. Then when all is in place, they move the president. Their first job is to protect him and the first level of protection is not panicing.
Communications from other agencies had to be monitored, the plane had to be readied, the airport had to be cleared, all transportation methods and decoys had to be initiated…
It really is not like in the movies… Reality dictates a much different response.

“wasteofmyoxygen,” please see my post on Bush at Booker School on the morning of 9/11.

“Conspiracy theorists”

“wasteofmyoxygen” also makes the following general accusation:

I have no need to debate yet again the falicies of the conspiracy theorists… I have debated over and over and as I said before you people never listen, your mind is set and you have accepted speculation as fact.

Take a look around my blog. Hopefully you’ll see that, although I do see a lot of reasons to be suspicious about the official 9/11 story (see, for example, my post My main reasons for being suspicious about 9/11), I don’t “accept speculation as fact.” At the very least, I try not to.

Anyhow, I don’t like the term “conspiracy theorist,” for the following reasons:

1) Every version of what happened on 9/11, including the official story, involves a conspiracy.

2) The term “conspiracy theory” is commonly used, in a propagandistic way, to lump together two very different things: (a) suspicion about possible instances of government wrongdoing and (b) a more general and usually wacky conspiratorial view of history. e.g. Henry Ford’s The International Jew or David Icke’s claim that the Queen of England is an alien lizard. For more on this distinction, please see my post about Chip Berlet and “conspiracism – October 14, 2007.

“Liberal nuts”

flowerpower12 wrote:

One more thing, about the “liberal nuts” jibe: neither I nor any of my progressive friends has any intention whatsoever of voting for ANY democrat candidate from Hillary on down. We’re for Ron Paul – a real antiwar candidate. This means we’re technically Republicans!

Down with Hillary! Go GOP!

😉

Other “real anti-war candidates” are Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel, both of whom are far more “progressive” on other issues than Ron Paul. Is the war the only reason you’re voting for Ron Paul?

Anyhow, “wasteofmyoxygen” replied:

Rob Paul is far from Republican. He is a Liberal Libertarian who associates himself to the Republican party… The only thing that really links him to the conservative side is his idealogy of being a constitutionalist… Other than that he is no more that the democrat who ran as a republican for mayor of NYC…

Ron Paul is, in fact, a classic paleoconservative. (Please see the Wikipedia article on paleoconservativism. See also my post Are you a paleoconservative? Find out!.) Ron Paul’s views are, on many issues, at opposite poles from those of either of the two people (I’m not sure whether you’re referring to Giuliani or Bloomberg) who might conceivably be described as “the democrat who ran as a republican for mayor of NYC…” Ron Paul certainly isn’t “liberal,” and Giuliani and Bloomberg certainly aren’t “libertarians.”

What is your litmus test of someone being “Republican”?

I don’t support Ron Paul, by the way.

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9 Comments »

  1. Diane wrote: “Mesikammen, if you’re reading this: Where did you get your translation, or how did you get it done? Are you a native speaker of Italian? Do you know any native speakers of Italian?”

    I don’t think Mesikammen is a native speaker of Italian. He seems to be Finnish, as I am too, btw.

    Mesikammen is a synonym for bear in Finnish. Tha’t why you see a bear on his page.

    Comment by ref1 — December 25, 2007 @ 7:08 pm | Reply

  2. Who knows, he might be the child of a Finnish family that moved to Italy. I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask.

    Comment by Diane — December 25, 2007 @ 7:13 pm | Reply

  3. It never hurts to ask, that’s for sure.

    Comment by ref1 — December 25, 2007 @ 7:22 pm | Reply

  4. Dear NYC activist,

    thank you for your note.

    As someone rightly guessed already, I am a Finn. The translation in my blog is not mine. I found it from an Italian newspaper’s _Corriera Della Sire_’s website (where I believe the original Italian text appeared) soon after the news on the subject appeared.

    If the translation appears not to be correct, please let me know of that too. I would certainly be interested. Thank you and have a good new year!

    Greetings from Finland,

    M.

    Comment by mesikammen — December 26, 2007 @ 10:53 pm | Reply

  5. You provided a link only to the original Italian. If you have it handy, could you please provide the URL of the English translation?

    Speaking of links, I see now that I screwed up a few of the links in the above post. I just now fixed a few of them, so they now go to the indicated pages.

    Comment by Diane — December 27, 2007 @ 12:56 am | Reply

  6. Hi Diane,

    I checked my links and did also some research, but I was not able to find the page where I initially got the translation (the original page just gives me the article without translation now).

    M.

    Comment by mesikammen — December 27, 2007 @ 1:28 am | Reply

  7. Here is a copy of what is supposed to be a translation of the full original article:

    Former Italian President: “9-11 Carried Out By Mossad And CIA”

    I’m not a professional translator and probably that translation was just done by machine translation, but the article may imply something else than what Alex Jones suggests it does. A full translation of the entire piece by someone with real competence at translating could make this clearer. Sometimes words carry inflections which are easily lost in an amateur tranlation. But it is necessary to have the entire article.

    Notice how it starts off with the comment that:

    “According to what I was told, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow the most powerful daily newspaper chain of our country will deliver an exceptional scoop, saying that the video (actually an audio file), in which Osama Bin Laden…”

    He’s describing what a newspaper is about to publish. Cossiga himself is not really confirming or refuting the claims of this newspaper. Then he tells us that:

    “The ‘trap’ was mounted, according to the above newspaper chain, to provoke a wave of solidarity with Berlusconi…”

    The quotes around that word ‘trap’ suggest that he isn’t taking the story seriously. Later he tells us that:

    “all democratic elements of America and Europe, with those of the Italian center-left party at the forefront, now well know that the disastrous attack was planned and carried out by the American CIA and the Mossad…”

    Cossiga himself is usually regarded as conservative in most of the descriptions I’ve run across thus far. If that’s so, then he really isn’t describing his own view here. He’s describing what he attributes to the “center-left” and it most likely is intended with a mocking tone. This is why it would be good to have a professional translation (say by a graduate student in the Italian Studies Department over at UCal, Berkeley) which is careful to capture the full sense of the meaning. Some meanings can be lost in a bad translation, but my sense thus far is that Cossiga means this in a mocking tone. Maybe I’m wrong.

    Just imagine if David Icke wrote a series of articles charging that Bush is a green lizard from outer space; that 911 was done to cover up for the UFOs which have deposited alien lizards on our planet; and the lizards have taken over the whole world. Now suppose Rush Limbaugh interviews Paul Wolfowitz and Wolfowitz comments that:

    “The newspapers have produced an exceptional scoop that Bush is an alien lizard. On 911 the ‘trap’ was mounted according to the newspapers to keep people from learning about the UFOs. The intelligence services know that alien lizards have taken over the government. All democratic elements of America and Europe know that the White House is run by green lizards.”

    Read in context, this statement is clearly mocking the story of lizards. But now suppose that Alex Jones or Jeff Rense publish a piece which quotes Wolfowitz as saying “The intelligence services know that alien lizards have taken over the government.” If taken out of context, that could be very misleading. This is why I hope that someone will eventually get a full professional translation of the original article from the Italian. Maybe then the proper translation will show that Cossiga was just making fun of the “center-left” with his remarks, or maybe not. But I’m not satisfied with the Prison Planet version of this story.

    [Commen edited by blog author Diane to HTML-ize link.]

    Comment by patricksmcnally — December 27, 2007 @ 1:49 pm | Reply

  8. Thanks for the link.

    Do you personally happen to know any graduate students in Italian studies? Or any native speakers of Italian who are also familiar with Italian politics? (People in the latter category too could probably provide an accurate translation.)

    Comment by Diane — December 27, 2007 @ 2:46 pm | Reply

  9. No, I can’t say that I know any graduate students in Italian studies. A search for “italian studies department” turns up a list of departments in universities though:

    http://aolsearcht4.search.aol.com/aol/search?invocationType=wbmailcayman_centered&query=italian%20studies%20department

    At least one of these schools, probably several, most likely has some form of 911-activist group. What would be good is if someone from such a group made an effort to seek a professional translation from someone in the relevant department without trying to push 911 over on them. This might require paying a bill the same way that tutors are paid.

    Here is a copy of the original Italian article:

    http://www.corriere.it/politica/07_novembre_30/osama_berlusconi_cossiga_27f4ccee-9f55-11dc-8807-0003ba99c53b.shtml

    On a word-for-word basis it seems to compare OK with the SOTT translation, but issues of inflection are what a specialized graduate student would be better able to judge. A statement such as “Oh, right, he knows everything” can have different meanings in English depending on the context, and the translation must be carefully done to reflect that. Whether quotes around ‘trap’ deserve significance or not is better judged by someone from any of the above departments.

    Comment by patricksmcnally — December 27, 2007 @ 3:32 pm | Reply


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