I’ll now reply to the latest comment from Tom, a.k.a. “Representative Press.” First, I’ll reply to various blog posts linked within his comment. Then I’ll reply to the comment itself.
- Steven Jones’s research
- WTC 7, Jones, and Griffin
- Al Qaeda’s stated goals and the motives of Al Qaeda members
- Tom’s spat with Justin Martell
- Reply to Tom’s latest post
Regarding Steven Jones, I’ve posted the following comment here on Tom’s blog:
Jones has certainly made mistakes.
But I’m convinced that he’s onto something regarding the temperature discrepancies he has noted. (See his latest paper, Extremely high temperatures during the World Trade Center destruction (PDF), especially section 4, “Discussion of relevant previously published data.”)
The problem is that Jones has ventured outside his field of expertise (he’s a nuclear physicist, not a chemist, not a metallurgist, not a structural engineer, and not a forensic scientist), so he probably doesn’t fully know what he;s doing.
He therefore should be doing his research as part of a team of relevant experts. I’m now trying to find relevant experts who would be willing and able to help him or at least advise him, or perhaps do similar research in parallel if they have the means and inclination to do so.
I’ve posted the following comment here on Tom’s blog:
Regarding WTC 7, I am already well aware of the all issues you’ve discussed here. Please See my blog posts about WTC 7, especially the following posts: Richard Gage’s avowed enemy, part 2 – and my thoughts about WTC 7 and Richard Gage’s avowed enemy, Part 3 – and more about WTC 7. See also my post Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please.
If indeed thermite or a similar incendiary was used, I don’t think it would have to bave been used on every floor. If it had been used on, say, just the core columns and transfer trusses on Floor 5, that probably would have been sufficient to bring the building down.
I agree that Griffin made a lot of errors in describing the WTC collapses, and that too many people have copied his errors.
You wrote: “Gee whiz, if it was our government that did 9/11 then we don’t have to think about the policies of supporting Israel and other oppressive regimes in the Middle East. Is that your freakin’ game?”
Wrong. Most people in the 9/11 Truth movement believe that the point of U.S. government complicity in the 9/11 attacks was to provide an excuse for those very policies. So, the 9/11 Truth movement does encourage people to question those policies, just not in the exact same way that you do.
In reply to Tom’s very enlightening post SCANDAL: 9/11 Commissioners Bowed to Pressure to Suppress Main Motive for the 9/11 Attacks, I posted the following comment here on Tom’s blog:
Very interesting post. I agree that it’s important to understand the real motives of Al Qaeda members and to know what the stated goals of Al Qaeda itself are.
I also agree with you that there has been a lot of pressure to downplay the role of U.S. support for Israel in official U.S. government statements about the goals of Al Qaeda and its members.
Nevertheless, whereas U.S. goverment officials have downplayed the role of U.S. support for Israel, it seems that you, on the other hand, may be over-emphasizing it, relative to other U.S. imperialist policies in the Muslim world, all of which are opposed by Al Qaeda.
As you yourself quoted Osama bin Laden as saying: “… the Mujahideen saw the black gang of thugs in the White House hiding the Truth, and their stupid and foolish leader, who is elected and supported by his people, denying reality and proclaiming that we (the Mujahideen) were striking them because we were jealous of them (the Americans), whereas the reality is that we are striking them because of their evil and injustice in the whole of the Islamic World, especially in Iraq and Palestine and their occupation of the Land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries.” – Osama Bin Laden, February 14, 2003.
Note that “Palestine” is sandwiched in between “Iraq” and “the Land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries” (Saudi Arabia). Thus, “Palestine” is indeed important to Al Qaeda, but not singled out as the one most important issue.
Individual Al Qaeda members would likely vary in their motives. Some of them might well be motivated primarily by opposition to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Others might have other primary motives. But the official goals of Al Qaeda itself revolve around opposition to U.S. imperialism in the Muslim world in general, without singling out “Palestine” as top priority.
Anyhow, while I agree with you that it’s important to understand both the official goals of Al Qaeda and the actual motives of its members, I think you should also be open to the possibility that high officials within the U.S. government may have had a role in at least allowing the attacks to happen. See my blog post titled My main reasons for being suspicious about 9/11, especially the section on The war in Afghanistan.
1) Justin may well have misread what you wrote. Misunderstandings happen all the time, everywhere, not just in the 9/11 Truth movement.
2) It’s unreasonable to expect political activists to be interested in debates via private email in the first place. (See my blog post Email debates, and more about Mark Roberts, including the P.S.’s.)
3) It really is rude to make someone’s private email public without permission.
4) For both of reasons #2 and #3 above, I would suggest making all debate public from the beginning. Use your own blog as a place to critique other people’s public writings, then notify the author via email, or via a blog comment, about your blog post. I would suggest that you also post comments on other people’s blogs (while respecting their comment policies, if any, of course).
I’ll now reply to Tom’s comment here, which is a copy of a post titled 9/11 discussion of basic facts, the “9/11 Truth Movement” is a cruel joke on Tom’s own blog.
A quick point, I do think my gripe was justified, if you look at how the discussion of basic facts is handled, the unwillingness to discuss and the exclusion of the evidence which debunks their claims, this unreasonableness dominates their forums. I think you are trying too hard to find an excuse for the unreasonableness I have encountered several times.
I agree that there are quite a few unreasonably dogmatic people in the 9/11 Truth movement. However, there is also quite a bit of internal debate within the 9/11 Truth movement about the evidence for and against various claims.
You should also bear in mind that disagreement from an insider or an ally will be received differently from disagreement from an outsider or an enemy. That’s human nature, and it is something you will likely find in every political movement.
You wrote, “We all can agree that the “they hate our freedoms” excuse was ridiculous.” I agree. And when I say I agree, I mean that the “they hate our freedoms” excuse was ridiculous. And I assume you know that “we all”does not include all people and that not all people want this truth to be stated.
Agreed. By “we all,” I meant you plus nearly everyone in the 9/11 Truth movement.
And it should be pointed out that mainstream media caters to those who don’t want to think the excuse is ridiculous or don’t want others to think it is.
That’s true to an extent. Depends which columnists you read, etc. But it is certainly true that there’s a lot of mainstream resistance to acknowledging that Al Qaeda could possibly have any legitimate gripes, as distinct from being motivated by pure religious fanaticism, envy, etc.
And I should point out that the “they hate our freedoms” excuse is an excuse used to protect specific foreign policies from scrutiny, the excuse is not being used for no reason, the reason is to hide the real motives. Do you agree?
Yes, of course. A basic rule of war propaganda is to paint the enemy as all-evil and one’s own side as all-good, which means one must refuse to acknowledge that the enemy could possibly have any legitimate gripes. Furthermore, it is deemed “unpatriotic” to pay any attention to the enemy’s actual gripes, rather than just painting the enemy as a monster. Also, there’s the attitude that the media shouldn’t be giving the terrorists what they want, which is to have their actual stated goals publicized.
Look at how pundits omit the specific foreign policies which terrorist themselves list as the reasons why they attack.
Many pundits do this, but not quite all. Sorry I can’t give you specific counterexamples, because I have not been paying any attention at all to any mainstream media pundits lately, but I do recall that, when I was paying attention to various mainstream media pundits a few years ago, not all of them ignored Al Qaeda’s actual political goals. But you are certainly correct that many do.
I would like to point out how sad it is that while “we all can agree that the “they hate our freedoms” excuse was ridiculous,” we all can’t get behind that as a point of discussion to demand that it be addressed in the public forum.
I think you would have better luck with this if you changed your approach to dealing with people in the 9/11 Truth movement. More about this below.
If the “9/11 Truth Movement” is indeed a demand for truth, why isn’t the very first rallying cry a demand that Bush stop lying about the motive for the attack?
Two problems with the above sentence:
1) You would probably get more agreement with the above “rallying cry,” from people in the 9/11 Truth movement, if you were to replace “motive for the attack” with “motive of Al Qaeda members.” People in the 9/11 Truth movement hold a variety of opinions as to the role of Al Qaeda in the attack, vs. the role of high officials in the U.S. government and/or the role of high officials in various foreign governments such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. (See What is your HOP level? by Nicholas Levis. Personally, I do believe that there were live human hijackers on 9/11. The pure-MIHOP scenario does not seem at all likely to me.) Anyhow, regardless of what one believes to have been the role of Al Qaeda in the attack, the vast majority of people in the 9/11 Truth movement would agree with you that (a) Al Qaeda’s primary motive wasn’t “because they hate our freedoms,” and (b) the relevant U.S. foreign policies (or, at least, most of them) are a bad thing.
2) The word “first.” It is unreasonable to expect everyone to share your political priorities. I gather that you’re not a very experienced political activist. If you would like to build an alliance of various political movements against current U.S. foreign policy, it is reasonable to ask various political movements to show support for your goal, but it’s not reasonable for you to demand that they put your goal at the top of their own priority list. Each political movement has its own priorities. The top priority of the 9/11 Truth movement is to demand a new and independent investigation of 9/11. Foreign policy is a concern too, though not the movement’s top priority. If you were to ask nicely, I think many 9/11 Truth groups would be happy to add “Lies about the stated goals of Al Qaeda” to their lists of things that the U.S. government has lied about regarding 9/11. You could probably also, without too much difficulty, convince many 9/11 Truth website owners to carry links to antiwar sites. But you should not expect them, or any other political movement, to take kindly to being asked to drop their own goals and priorities in favor of yours.
This is why it is so frustrating to see the “Truth Movement” doing what it is doing. I think you are ignoring my point about the damage this “Truth Movement” has done. You see their websites, they’re not confronting Bush on his lying about the motive, they totally misdirect people away from the reality of what the attack was about!
Also, I think you may need to reassess your own overall strategy here. What, really, is your number one goal, and why? Is it (1) to rally opposition to current U.S. imperialistic foreign policy? Or is your goal, more specifically, (2) to convince people to oppose U.S. imperialism solely out of fear of Al Qaeda and not for any other reason? If you can rally opposition to U.Sl imperialism, are people’s reasons for opposing it all that terribly important in and of themselves? Is it somehow nobler to oppose U.S. imperialism out of fear of Al Qaeda than to oppose U.S. imperialism for other reasons?
Anti-imperialists and antiwar activists will inevitably vary in their reasons for opposing U.S. imperialism. I think you need to face the reality that you’re never going to get everyone to agree on absolutely everything. Perhaps you need to choose your battles more carefully.
The constant refrain about an “official story,” as if all politicians and people in government agree on what happened, totally ignores the fact that what Bush says and what the CIA, FBI and others say are not the same thing.
I agree that it’s important to recognize differences between what Bush says and what the CIA, FBI and others say.
The movement’s constant refrain of “official story” is like a propaganda technique which suppresses the fact that Bush and the intelligence agencies are saying different things.
I do not agree with you that the above is the purpose of the term “official story,” but you may be correct that many people in the 9/11 Truth movement have lulled themselves into failing to make some important distinctions.
The “9/11 Truth Movement” is a cruel joke.
No, it’s a bunch of (mostly) sincere but fallible human beings.
And I want to point out that I didn’t say that the “truth movement” was a conspiracy. I think most are independent people who mistakenly believe in a convoluted conspiracy theory and in doing so they unintentionally end up doing what the manipulative commissioners of the 9/111 commission did, cover-up the motives for the attacks.
Saying they “unintentionally end up doing what the manipulative commissioners of the 9/111 commission did” is very different from the following statement of yours, which does indeed imply a “conspiracy” behind the 9/11 Truth movement itself:
These “9/11 was an inside job” websites look like they are well financed and they are duping many people into not questioning policies like U.S. support of Israel. Some people may indeed be deliberately misleading Americans so we won’t look at the real motives for the 9/11 attacks.
Perhaps you might want to change the wording of the above?
Back to your current post:
I appreciate that you are trying to take a serious approach to this so we can end the corrupt political policies and that you’re at least starting to take a critical look at the convoluted “controlled demolition” theory.
I have never been a demolition dogmatist. It has always seemed to me that at least some of the popular arguments for CD of the WTC buildings were unsound. But I strongly suspect that we’ll still find a core of truth on that matter, at least regarding WTC 7, once we strip away all the fallacious arguments.
In any case, the 9/11 Truth movement isn’t just about demolitions. Have you looked at Paul Thompson’s Complete 9/11 Timeline? Have you seen the video 9/11: Press for Truth? Also, what do you think of the testimony of national security whistleblowers such as Sibel Edmonds?