Yes, that’s right, the Holocaust denier who brought us the international meeting of Holocaust deniers has slipped naturally into trooferism.

Earlier Wednesday, Ahmadinejad called the 9/11 attacks a “suspect event” in a speech at a public rally in the holy city of Qom.

“Four or five years ago a suspect event took place in New York,” Ahmadinejad said, in an address carried live on state television.

“A building collapsed and they said that 3,000 people had been killed, whose names were never published.”

“Under this pretext they (the United States) attacked Afghanistan and Iraq and since then a million people have been killed,” said the Iranian president.

This was the third time in just over a week that Ahmadinejad has publicly raised doubts about the September 11 airborne attacks on New York and Washington carried out by Al-Qaeda militants which killed nearly 3,000 people.

In this you see the natural thought process of the denialist. Ahmadinejad ideologically opposes the state of Israel. He believes the state came to exist and has its allies because of sympathy generated by the Holocaust. Therefore, he must deny the Holocaust, or at least create enough doubt to help rile the people up against the Jews.

Now Ahmadinejad ideologically opposes the United States and its invasion of Iraq (as do many of us). He believes 9/11 was used as an excuse to invade these countries (it was a poor excuse for Iraq, certainly). Therefore he must create a conspiracy to deny the reality of the terrorist attack (now he’s lost me).

This is the mindset of the denialist. Reality is secondary to ideology. 9/11 created the political impetus for our invasions of other countries, and rather than just attacking these acts for obvious and legitimate reasons instead he must attack reality itself. Why am I not surprised? A Holocaust denier will believe any nonsense.

Comments

  1. #1 Christophe Thill
    April 18, 2008

    For me, the question is : why does Ahmadinejad use this denialist rhetoric in a public speech ? Of course, we could say : because he’s a crazy guy who really believes in this stuff. Crazy he is, but I think he’s not stupid (and I’m absolutely not sure he believes in all this). The real reason is rather something like : because his economic policy is bad, people are unsatisfied, their life is difficult, and he must talk about things that may improve his popularity.

    But why would 9/11 denialism be a crowd pleaser among ordinary Iranian people ? Of course, we know that some would answer : because they’re evil. And we know thsings aren’t that simplistic.

  2. #2 Jnovitz
    April 18, 2008

    Ahmadinejad may have a point.

    Last I checked only around 1500 people had been identified from WTC and plane sites of which 850 were on DNA alone.

    I would be surprised if 1200 people were so utterly vaporised to not even leave a trace of DNA.

  3. #3 Andrew
    April 18, 2008

    I’m not sure it’s actually that surprising really.

    Think of it this way: the current US administration like painting Iran as some sort of Skeletor-like evil empire, presumably becuase it benefits their own policies. Likewise the Iranian government seem to do the exact same thing back and have done for decades. You are the Great Satan after all and nothing is to low for the root of all evil.

    Besides, having a Great Hated Enemy outside your group is a time honoured way of deflecting attention away from your own incompetance.

  4. #4 Vagueofgodalming
    April 18, 2008

    A building collapsed

    That’s truly heroic denialism: I don’t think I’ve come across a truther who claimed that only one twin tower ever existed in the first place.

    I suppose the logical endpoint is that the events didn’t happen at all, and the whole thing (including the existence of the towers) was put together by the NASA team that brought us the moon hoax.

    Personally, I live and work in four-sided buildings, so, while I’m prepared to accept that people who believe in the existence of the ‘Pentagon’ may be sane, it’s pretty clear where the burden of proof lies.

  5. #5 Baratos
    April 18, 2008

    Well, at least he got the “since then a million people have been killed” part right.

    Also, why has every Iranian leader after Mossadegh was kicked out turned out be a total idiot?

  6. #6 Bronze Dog
    April 18, 2008

    I would be surprised if 1200 people were so utterly vaporised to not even leave a trace of DNA.

    I so want to read this as parody, but I’ve learned never to underestimate twoofer stupidity. Ever consider the possibility that looking for DNA takes some effort? This isn’t Star Trek. You can’t just wave around a tricorder and conveniently pick up every piece of DNA in a location.

  7. #7 Nomen Nescio
    April 18, 2008

    Ahmadinejad ideologically opposes the state of Israel. He believes the state came to exist and has its allies because of sympathy generated by the Holocaust.

    well… actually, i rather believe that the modern-day state of israel came to exist largely that way, too. that doesn’t necessarily make me opposed to israel’s very existence (which is one way i’m unlike ahmadinejad, even though i have some pointed disagreements with the policies and actions of the israeli government), or a denialist of any particular stripe. so mentioning that point seems a bit incongruous on your behalf, IMO.

    Jnovitz: i suspect the problem isn’t that the victims were that utterly vaporized, so much as that their remains were too splattered over too much debris to be identifiable as “something we need to analyze for DNA”. quite a few, of course, would have been incinerated rather effectively, but i suspect the majority of the problem was people getting smeared too thin over too much buckled steel and broken concrete. plus, DNA sequencing is expensive; there’s only so many samples you can justify running.

  8. #8 Comstock
    April 18, 2008

    Isn’t 9/11 denialism pretty firmly established in much of the middle east? Seems to me that, like many politicians, Ahmadinejad is just telling (his) people what they want to hear, which is what they think they already know. It certainly helps matters that his rhetoric will lead to more negative comments from people in the west; part of his appeal to his people must come from the fact that he is demonized by their “enemies.” Nothing crazy about his comments, politically speaking.

  9. #9 angrynight
    April 18, 2008

    Well, Israel was partially formed over the inability/unwillingness of Jews to return to the European neighborhoods where they were willingly turned over to the various fascist extermination arms of government.

    I don’t know if Ahmedinejad believes the nonsense he spouts. He might, even intelligent people believe the darndest things, but in the end it boosts his status with not just his fellow Iranians, but with the discontented the world over. Despite a certain level of Arab antipathy towards Iran, many young Arabs I know have started putting pictures of him on their cellphones. They seem to think he speaks truth to power.

    Still, holocaust denial doesn’t bother me as much as holocaust advocacy, which I see as the next step in the evolution of the mindset.

  10. #10 jnovitz
    April 18, 2008

    “Jnovitz: i suspect the problem isn’t that the victims were that utterly vaporized, so much as that their remains were too splattered over too much debris to be identifiable as “something we need to analyze for DNA”. quite a few, of course, would have been incinerated rather effectively, but i suspect the majority of the problem was people getting smeared too thin over too much buckled steel and broken concrete.”

    bones don’t splatter and they don’t smear and they are relatively easy to extract dna from.

    They do of course burn, but 1200 people completely burning away? No wonder Ahmadinejad is suspicious.

    First the holocaust and now this. Do you think information is being leaked to Iran from rogue elements in MI6 or the CIA? Remember how tenacious the Cambridge spies were once they got their tendrils into the system.

  11. #11 Dianne
    April 18, 2008

    I initially thought that the “9/11 was an inside job” paranoia wasn’t entirely crazy. The reason for this is simply the old “the person who benefits most from a crime is automatically a suspect” axiom that I got from, well, mostly from reading mystery fiction. But I think it’s probably a correct assumption, despite my dubious source. And George Bush clearly benefited more than any other person from the 9/11 attacks. He got carte blanche to invade two countries, restrict civil rights, and increase his power. And, for reasons never clear to me, his popularity went way up. Clearly, he was the big winner from this crime.

    However, the evidence that has come out since then makes it clear that Bush wasn’t involved. If he’d been involved he would have had a better initial response to the attacks than to sit listening to “The Pet Goat” for 10 minutes. If someone else in the administration had organized the attacks, they surely would have primed Bush to have a better response, even if they didn’t tell him outright what was going to happen. Besides, he didn’t take the opportunity to become the complete evil dictator while he could. So, all in all, it seems that Bush just lucked out. He never would have been re-elected if he hadn’t failed to prevent a terrorist attack on American soil. But he wasn’t responsible for the attacks, except insofar as errors like firing a bunch of Arabic translators because of their sexual orientation prevented the plot from being uncovered in time.

  12. #12 MarkH
    April 18, 2008

    It’s not the initial statements that are the problem necessarily, it’s the denial of reality.

    as far as forensic evidence what we’re hearing is the usual nitpicking over minor details that defines the mindset. The technical limitations of forensic identification and ID of thosaunds of people crushed under 100s of storeys of buildings are liekly to be quite involved, and it’s typical they would make it sound as if it could be done with a wave of the hand. There is no mystery here, no missing victims, just the natural uncertainty and complexity of a massive disaster that CT types always try to weave into something it’s not.

  13. #13 Bronze Dog
    April 18, 2008

    Oh my dear Okami. He IS that stupid.

    They do of course burn, but 1200 people completely burning away? No wonder Ahmadinejad is suspicious.

    No one’s claiming that they burned completely away, you idiot. We’re pointing out the impracticality of collecting that much DNA. Why should they waste so much manpower making sure they got DNA from everyone?

    It’s the CSI effect taken to the absurd extremes. These people seem to think that investigations only take an hour, or that there’s ALWAYS some conspiracy that’s untangled by one piece of evidence.

  14. #14 Dianne
    April 18, 2008

    The technical limitations of forensic identification and ID of thosaunds of people crushed under 100s of storeys of buildings are liekly to be quite involved,

    Crushed under hundreds of stories of building and burned in a fire hot enough to melt that building: remember, both towers stood for a time after the initial attacks and only fell after the jet fuel fueled fire got bad enough to damage the structure of the buildings to the breaking point. DNA is tough stuff, but everything organic turns into carbon dioxide, water, and trace elements if exposed to enough heat.

    And if the true number of casualties is closer to 1500 than 3000, so what? Millions of eyewitnesses–including myself–can attest that there used to be two buildings on a site downtown that now contains only a hole and a subway station, that the air was filled for months with the smell of burning plastic, and that the collapse occurred after planes hit the buildings. If there were really only 1500 people trapped on the top floors and 1200 people took the opportunity to disappear…good! That would mean that it wasn’t quite as bad in terms of loss of life as we thought. But the intent was still to destroy the buildings and kill, presumably, as many people as possible. That doesn’t change. So I’m not sure what it would mean, how it would make the act any less evil, if 1200 more people managed to get out–or were never there–than previously thought.

  15. #15 Nomen Nescio
    April 18, 2008

    bone doesn’t burn very well, but it does shatter.

    look, let’s picture the rough outlines here. at the end of the day, NYC was left with a pile of broken debris several stories high and deep that had to be cleared away somehow. even taking as long as they did, bulldozers and backhoes had to get involved. mixed in with that junk were some unknown number of bones and bone fragments. separate individuals were mingled together, pieces of the same corpse were split apart — and that just got worse as the clearing efforts went on, because there wasn’t time to run the site like an archaeological dig. mix three thousand or so corpses with a thousand times their weight in construction junk in god’s own cuisinart, then try to put it all back together again, in a hurry, on a budget.

    most likely the majority of the fragments were never found, because going over all the junk with that fine-toothed a comb would have taken more time and more people than was available. so, a lot of people now lie buried wherever that debris got dumped and we never even found the bits to test ‘em.

    of the bits that got found, bone and flesh and blood and brains, there was probably most of the time no way to know for certain which pieces went to which cadavers. just looking at the remains, you likely couldn’t have determined even how many corpses you had there. so which bits do you test? if DNA testing finds you two pieces of the same corpse, then one of the tests was wasted effort and money. even figuring out which assemblage of pieces makes the most sense to send for testing is spending time and effort that might be spent some other way, and arguably spent better.

    overlook the wrong one fragment of a rib, say, and you may have missed the one chance you had of identifying that particular individual, all of the rest of whose remains got scraped up by a backhoe and carted off unnoticed. except there’s likely dozens of other rib fragments around that look basically all the same, and certainly no time to try and puzzle them together.

    frankly, it’s a bit surprising they ID’d as many as they did, considering the circumstances. me, i’d likely have argued that any effort to identify remains at all was wasted considering what could have been done with the money and resources instead.

  16. #16 Ktesibios
    April 18, 2008

    If ol’ Ambrose Bierce were still around, I’d propose a new entry for the Devil’s Dictionary:

    Ideology: a type of vaccination that confers complete immunity against empirical evidence.

  17. #17 Skwee
    April 21, 2008

    We know King Chimpy McBush wasn’t involved in 9/11. How? It worked!