Respectful Insolence

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am somewhat. As loony as the President of Iran Ahmoud Ahmadinejad is, as much of an Energizer Bunny of Holocaust denial and host of a conference for Holocaust denial as he is, even I didn’t think he would go this far. But, thanks to Mark Hoofnagle and Screw Loose Change, I learn that he has. I should have seen it coming:

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States said Wednesday it was “speechless” after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad voiced doubts about the accepted version of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

“I am not sure what you say about a statement like that. It leaves one speechless,” said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

“It is just misguided, misinformed rhetoric,” McCormack said.

“I cannot tell whether or not it is something that he truly believes or if this is just an attempt to try to shake up public opinion in Iran or elsewhere,” McCormack said.

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.

Yes, as Mark pointed out, it’s definitely crank magnetism at work, but it’s more than that.

Sadly, Holocaust denial fits into the 9/11 “Truth” movement hand-in-glove. Think about it. Whenever you see claims by 9/11 Truthers that there was some sort of “conspiracy” to bring down the World Trade Center towers, who is inevitably part of the conspiracy in the paranoid vision of the “Truth” movement? Well, there’s usually the U.S. government, but almost invariably the Mossad is said to be involved.

Yep, the Jews.

Then let’s not forget the malignant myth about the 4,000 Jews who were supposedly told to stay home that morning and thus did not show up for work. Moreover, this is not the first time Holocaust deniers have been associated with the 9/11 Truth movement. Screw Loose Change, for instance, documents many instances. Indeed, Steve Campbell, founder of Citizens for 9/11 Truth, has even asked a local station to air a blatantly anti-Semitic film featuring Holocaust denier Fred Toben.

The bottom line is that Holocaust denial fits perfectly into the very same sort of paranoid, conspiratorial world view necessary to believe in something as utterly ridiculous as 9/11 Truth. The same sort of person who can think that there was a massive conspiracy orchestrated by the Jews to falsify evidence for the Holocaust (and, yes, that is what some of them say) is the very same sort of person who can believe that our own government would kill 3,000 of its own people in order to–what? Provide a pretext to invade Iraq? Consolidate its own power? Let’s put it this way: No matter how incompetent or even downright malignant I think the Bush Administration may be, it defies belief that it would be competent enough and evil enough to pull off such a plan.

Of course, the thing that links the two is ideology. In the case of Holocaust denial, it’s Jew-hatred and (often) an admiration of Hitler that drives deniers to such ridiculous contortions and abuse of logic and evidence. In the case of 9/11 Truthers, it appears to be an intense hatred and/or distrust of the government, but, given its alliance with Irael, it’s very easy to slip in some hardcore anti-Semitism as well. Indeed, anti-Semitism is a thread that binds Truthers and Holocaust deniers together in all too many cases.

Crank magnetism remains a powerful thing.

Comments

  1. #1 AntiquatedTory
    April 19, 2008

    Indeed, I have a friend here who insists that missiles, rather than planes, hit the WTC and the Pentagon, and that the planes hitting the WTC were added by CGI, while the airplane parts at the Pentagon were planted after the fact, which is why they were all so clean and shiny.
    He also blames most of the bad things in the world for the last 300 years on the Jewish Banking Conspiracy.
    Coincidence? I don’t think so, either.
    (It should be added that he has nothing against me, since I’m not one of those Jews, and that in general he’s a decent guy. As Sen Obama recently pointed out, it’s perfectly possible for otherwise decent people to have a strong streak of racial prejudice. In his case, it’s exacerbated (IMO) by the hit of blotter he took before breakfast every morning for 10 years. And I do apologize for having mentioned him in other threads.)

  2. #2 sophia8
    April 19, 2008

    “A building collapsed and they said that 3,000 people had been killed, whose names were never published.”
    Somebody should lead him to a computer and show him how to use this interweb thingummy.

  3. #3 Laurie Soule
    April 19, 2008

    If he can justify denial of the Holocaust and 9/11 in his little mind, then he’s not going to believe (or at least SAY he doesn’t believe) anything he sees posted on the internet.

    Unless someone says something bad about Islam, of course. Then I’m sure he would call for a jihad.

  4. #4 gerald spezio
    April 19, 2008

    Orac, you are a clearheaded and objective scientist about almost any issue.

    When there is so much vicious and false anti-Iranian propaganda bandied about lately, I am very alarmed when a scientist like yourself adds anything to advance the escalating incendiary hatred fomented by Israel to attack Iran.

    Ahmoud Amadinejad has been the fall guy for Israel’s no-expense-too-great propaganda campaign to bomb and murder innocent Iranian people.

    When you perpetuate such murderous distortions and slander, you are illustrating your poor judgment and political passion.

    The French AFP article from which you quote is about as vague and vapid as an un-authored piece can be.

    You appear to have imagined, conjured, and written-in all manner of personal opinion into your unsubstantiated and scientifically shameful attacks on Ahmadinejad – just as was done when Ahmadinejad visited and spoke at Columbia U. recently.

    At a time of unrestrained passion and expensive propaganda designed to murder innocent Iranians, all of us would be best served by more scientific objectivity not less.

  5. #5 Brett
    April 19, 2008

    *Ahem* Excuse me.

    I don’t believe that Dubya and his cronies pulled off 9/11. While I do believe they are evil enough, they are clearly not competent enough.

    However, I do agree with Ahmadinejad when he says: “Under this pretext they (the United States) attacked Afghanistan and Iraq and since then a million people have been killed,” bcause it’s true.

    Dubya et al did NOT cause the WTC collapse, but it is safe to say that they made hay while the sun was shining.

    Ahmadinejad is a bigoted nutbar, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s always wrong. If anything, he is underestimating the fatalities between the two wars and occupations.

  6. #6 Ann
    April 19, 2008

    Don’t confuse facts with anti-Semitism. If Israel can admit that the Israeli company Odigo, located at the WTC, received notice 2 hours ahead of the attacks, and do so in their newspaper Hareetz – it is online – and state they are working with the FBI on this, then where is the anti-semitism? I’d rather know what was the outcome of the investigation. That has been kept quiet.

    Blaming everything on paranoia may stop real investigations. Fox News asked that links to its story on Israeli spy ring be taken down. But it is archived. If you go to whatreallyhappened dot com/spyring.html you can read it.

    I think we need more curiosity and less paranoia and stop assuming all is anti Semitism. I’m Jewish and I want to know.

  7. #7 shortie
    April 19, 2008

    Isn’t this version alleging that nobody was killed at all? (Although some of the brain dead, Spezio, et al, have admittedly come to life.)

  8. #8 Orac
    April 19, 2008

    You appear to have imagined, conjured, and written-in all manner of personal opinion into your unsubstantiated and scientifically shameful attacks on Ahmadinejad – just as was done when Ahmadinejad visited and spoke at Columbia U. recently.

    Apparently “shameful attacks” = “quoting Ahmadinejad’s own words and taking him to task for his his conspiracy-mongering and Holocaust denial.”

  9. #9 gerald spezio
    April 19, 2008

    Orac, your heading for your attacks on Ahmadinejad lists four criteria;
    Anti-semitism, History, Holocaust denial, Skepticism/critical thinking.

    Now, that is great framing – a la Lakoff.

    I agree with your heading – Skepticism/critical thinking, and I attempting to practice such skepticism & critical thinking.

    I would also list; Anti-Iranianism, Anti-Muslimism, & History (the objective kind).

    I am very skeptical of any attacks against Iran or Ahmadinejad when there is no question that a massive propaganda campaign is being waged by Israel to destroy Iran and murder innocent Iranians.

    Iraq has been destroyed and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been murdered.

    As you know full well, not one shred of proffered evidence for the pre-emptive war on Iraq & the cold blooded murder of Iraq’s people has been uncovered or presented.

    The murdering neo-con Israel firsters told us about their designs for Iraq and the Middle East in their predictive 1996 paper, SECURING THE REALM.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1438.htm

    These same agents of Israel are laughing their arses off when they see Iraq as a cemetary, sewage pit, and rubble heap.

    The anti-Semitism/Holocaust denial framing schtick is beneath contempt.

    It’s-all-about-the-oil won’t wash either.

    NO MORE MURDER in the name of Abraham, Zionism, Jesus-the-Christ, freedom, democracy, or pitches from US State Department peeyar flunkie, Sean McCormack, who knows all about rhetoric and distortion.

  10. #10 Natalie
    April 19, 2008

    ” If Israel can admit that the Israeli company Odigo, located at the WTC, received notice 2 hours ahead of the attacks, and do so in their newspaper Hareetz – it is online – and state they are working with the FBI on this, then where is the anti-semitism?”

    Care to substantiate that with a source? Saying “it’s online” is a cop out.

  11. #11 Phil
    April 19, 2008

    To paraphrase comedian Craig Ferguson-look it’s written down it must be true!
    Look at the source of stories.

  12. #12 shortie
    April 19, 2008

    Spezio=disembodied philosophy.

  13. #13 anonimouse
    April 19, 2008

    Here’s the article in question:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=77744

    I don’t think it’s as sinister as Ann makes it sound, though – it wouldn’t be the first time that a crank IM just happened to be corret.

  14. #14 Liesl
    April 19, 2008

    “History (the objective kind).”

    What’s that? Where do you find objective history?

  15. #15 Ken Nielsen
    April 19, 2008

    I really don’t know why this gets so much attention. Many people say dopey things and many politicians say very dopey things.
    It’s not a crime to say dopey things and probably should not even evoke great outrage.
    “Gravity is just a theory”. Ho hum. Whatever makes you comfortable.

  16. #16 Ilya
    April 19, 2008

    Gerald,

    Care to add that there should be no more murders done in the name of allah either? Or should there not be any more murders that go against your personal ideology? Just wondering.

  17. #17 gerald spezio
    April 19, 2008

    Here is mad dog Israel First propagandist Norman Podheretz, in his own aging flesh and Zionist hatred, advocating the pre-emptive bombing & murder of innocent Iranians based on more flagrant and preposterous lies – just as preposterous lies are openly used to continue the daily murdering of innocent Iraqi people.

    Podhoretz naturally demands that the US military machine do the Zionist’s bidding and get on with the deed of bombing Iran; just as was done in Iraq.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bLq6pzOc5w&feature=related

  18. #18 gerald spezio
    April 19, 2008

    Here is mad dog Israel First propagandist Norman Podhoretz, in his own aging flesh and Zionist hatred, advocating the pre-emptive bombing & murder of innocent Iranians based on more flagrant and preposterous lies – just as preposterous lies are openly used to continue the daily murdering of innocent Iraqi people.

    Podhoretz naturally demands that the US military machine do the Zionist’s bidding and get on with the deed of bombing Iran; just as was done in Iraq.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bLq6pzOc5w&feature=related

  19. #19 Mithrandir
    April 19, 2008

    Gerald: Podohoretz’s slander and fearmongering does not excuse Ahmadinejad’s.

  20. #20 Troy
    April 19, 2008

    The only point I would add is that there’s no reason to believe that the Bush administration is malignant to have committed the 911 attacks. The war in Iraq is great example of that, even after more than 4000 American troops, an unknown number of private contractors (including mercenaries) and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died, Bush and his flunkies still insist that U.S. forces stay until we achieve “victory”. That doesn’t mean that they did it, or even could pull it off without being caught, just that they could justify it to themselves.

  21. #21 Mark Roberts
    April 20, 2008

    Troy, I wish I could understand what you’re talking about.

  22. #22 Troy
    April 20, 2008

    I meant: The only point I would add is that there’s no reason to believe that the Bush administration is not malignant enough to have committed the 911 attacks.

  23. #23 Athena
    April 20, 2008

    Hey Orac…….here’s an update from Kathleen Seidel’s blog….apparently she is not the only person that Clifford Shoemaker issued a third party subpoena…..in the Rev. Lisa Sykes and Seth Sykes twenty million dollar lawsuit over vaccine injury……….

    the stupid still burns very strongly…..

    here’s a link to her latest post.

    http://neurodiversity.com/weblog/article/151/

  24. #24 DLC
    April 20, 2008

    the Iranian PM is clearly suffering from a disconnect between his brain and his mouth.
    Conspiratorial thinking is one of those psychological oddities like people who think they’re napoleon or who obsess on the hidden meaning to monopoly or the new york times crossword.
    But, when they manifest themselves publicly, they should be publicly called on the carpet for their nonsense.

  25. #25 jel
    April 20, 2008

    Ahh, the “Truther”, the finest crank specimen! Don’t you just want to wipe that self-important smirk off their face with ceramic aluminum oxide sandpaper, extra gritty? Or is it time for my meds again?

  26. #26 Chris
    April 20, 2008

    the very same sort of person who can believe that our own government would kill 3,000 of its own people in order to–what? Provide a pretext to invade Iraq? Consolidate its own power?

    They did both of those things anyway and ended up killing at least 4,000 of their own people, not to mention a lot more Iraqis. They may not be competent enough, but I wouldn’t bet against them being evil enough.

    Really, what’s the difference between falsely blaming the Iraqi government for 9/11 and falsely blaming the U.S. government for 9/11? Just a matter of whose ox is being gored?

    One lie doesn’t excuse another, of course, but your outrage seems a little… selective. Ahmadinejad is either lying or delusional, but we already knew that, didn’t we? The U.S. government has been slandering Iran for years now, it’s hardly surprising that they would eventually return the favor.

  27. #27 Matt
    April 20, 2008

    I am also familiar with the Odigo story mentioned by Ann the link for which was kindly posted by anonimous. This http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G096iqoGIjY is a link to a person on Youtube who is using this story as “proof” that psychics predicted the 911 attacks. They have posted links to the story, the first one leads to a friends of David Irving website. Yes the famous holocaust denier and discredited historian.

    Its worth noting that Ann was wrong, Odigo had offices in New York but they were not in the world trade centre. No one in the New York offices recieved the warning, just a couple of people in Israel. On september 28th 2001 Alex Diamandis from Odigo clarified that the message did not mention the world trade centre or New York as a target. I’d imagine the story died because there is no evidence to say that this had anything to do with 911. On any other day this would have been dismissed as a crank winding up people in Israel but now its used as evidence for all sorts of woo. Cranks really do have a lot in common in the way they think.

  28. #28 A Lurker
    April 20, 2008

    “”A building collapsed and they said that 3,000 people had been killed, whose names were never published.”
    Somebody should lead him to a computer and show him how to use this interweb thingummy.”

    A list of those who died was published online very quickly after the attack. If memory serves correctly, it was published within a couple weeks. It was publicized by the news at the time. I am sure that I am not the only person to check it to see if I had any past acquaintances who were killed.

  29. #29 MarkH
    April 20, 2008

    You’re disemvowelling trigger finger is slower than mine, I wouldn’t have put up with that particular troll nearly so long.

    Anyway, the way I see it there is a difference between people who have an ideology they believe in (almost everybody has some ideological stance on something), and people who have an ideology they believe in in such a fixed fashion they will deny reality such as Ahmadenijad and 9/11 CTers. In the case of 9/11 the fixed belief is that Bush and Cheney are so evil they must have been responsible. I think it overlaps with a left-wing political antipathy towards Israel which leads to the Holocaust denial, and this is certainly the motivation of Ahmadenijad – or at least the one he is trying to politically exploit.

    I’ve also noticed a new terminology among some of these CTers. They refer now to the banks as a kind of illuminati. The bankers are behind everything etc. I suspect this is just a shortening of “jewish bankers” with the same implications. A powerful cabal of rich people has their fingers on all the buttons of power, blah blah blah. But when I see that I suspect anti-Antisemitism almost immediately.

  30. #30 Lucas McCarty
    April 20, 2008

    I’m very ideological but will abandon it the minute another one comes along that offers more for cat-owners.

    My own theory on 9/11 is that buildings were crashed into planes rather than the other way around. I think with some video editing software and choice cuts of juicy quotes from witnesses- real and imaginary, I could start the OTHER truth movement. The WTC was never even in New York! I have seen photos of WTCs in at least four other cities worldwide so it’s obvious they kept trying to get it into position to MAKE something like this happen.

  31. #31 Gingerbaker
    April 20, 2008

    Not all 9-11 conspiracy theories are created equal. Some are based in racism, some based on ignorance, some on mere supposition.

    But at least one is based on no small evidence. The They Let It Happen On Purpose theory has a lot of corroborative evidence and doesn’t require large numbers of people being involved or keeping quiet.

    Yet it is glibly dismissed by some, as if it was as nutty an idea as the one that a rocket not an airplane actually hit the Pentagon.

    The Bush administration is a demonstrated bunch of brazen conspirators for heavens sake.

    Ignoring evidence of their malfeasance in the interests of conspiracy slaying is smugly satisfying but, ultimately, exactly what they are counting on.

  32. #32 J. J. Ramsey
    April 20, 2008

    anonimouse: “I don’t think it’s as sinister as Ann makes it sound, though – it wouldn’t be the first time that a crank IM just happened to be corret.”

    Indeed, and as indicated by this link,

    http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/o/odigo.htm

    there is less than meets the eye. The IM was unspecific and didn’t even mention the WTC. Also, it’s a pretty weak Jewish conspiracy that IMs only two employees.

  33. #33 Abel Pharmboy
    April 20, 2008

    Can anyone hazard a guess as to where Ahmadinejad might stand on vaccination and/or autism?

  34. #34 Orac
    April 20, 2008

    Dude, I put up with the antivaccinationist John Best and the Holocaust denier “bernarda.” This twit doesn’t even ruffle a hair on my head, metaphorically speaking. In other words, he’s too inconsequential and nowhere near irritating enough to ban or disemvowel.

  35. #35 Laser Potato
    April 20, 2008

    Correction: misogynist, xenophobe, creationist, homophobe AND antivaccinationist John Best.

  36. #36 Muse142
    April 20, 2008

    Re: gerald spezio and his framing comment:

    I do not believe that Orac was trying to make any kind of anti-Iraq ‘frame’. He wasn’t using Holocaust and 9-11 denialism as a framing device. He was speaking, directly, about the kinds of thought that are common to both and reasons that they might co-occur.

    Anyway, great post Orac, as usual. :)

  37. #37 AntiquatedTory
    April 20, 2008

    MarkH: I’ve also noticed a new terminology among some of these CTers. They refer now to the banks as a kind of illuminati. The bankers are behind everything etc. I suspect this is just a shortening of “jewish bankers” with the same implications.
    As per my friend, in first comment. Except he makes no bones about it. Maybe there are some advantages in having complete nutters in my social circle.

  38. #38 DocMartyn
    April 20, 2008

    This is a statement by Iran foreign ministry, using its own Farsi/English translation. This is the official Iranian English media.

    “Iran foreign ministry backs Ahmadinejad Sept 11 doubts

    TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran’s foreign ministry on Sunday backed the doubts expressed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejed about the accepted version of the September 11, 2001 attacks, saying there were “many ambiguities.”

    …………………………………

    “Regarding 9/11, as long as all the aspects have not been clarified this remains a suspicious incident,” foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told reporters.

    “Many analysts and observers who have followed this feel that there are many suspicions and ambiguities. There are many points of ambiguity surrounding it,” he added.”

    and more at

    http://www.iranpressnews.com/english/source/039140.html

    Ahmadinejad is an equal opportunely bigot, he hates Jews, Christians and anyother infidels. He is not the creation of the US or Israeli government and is not “mis-translated”.

  39. #39 Dangerous Bacon
    April 20, 2008

    Wow, they’ve really oozed out of the woodwork on this one.

    I have to admit that a new wrinkle has been suggested to me – all the weird and loony 9/11 conspiracy theorizing may have been perpetrated by the Bush Administration, in order to distract attention from the true and verifiable conspiracy theorizing!

    I looked into this possibility, and it is sbsolutely correct! Better check it out before They force the information to be concealed yet again. You can find all of the details at http://w

  40. #40 Phoenix Woman
    April 20, 2008

    The 9/11 Truthers must Google themselves and their subject even more assiduously than the anti-vaxers do.

  41. #41 gerald spezio
    April 21, 2008

    Hundreds of thousands of completely innocent Iraqis, including bewildered & poverty stricken women & children, are still being starved & murdered under the exposed fraud & masquerade that Iraq engineered the 9-11 carnage.

    Hundreds of thousands of innocent women & children …

    Iraq is destroyed …

    The Palestinian people are being starved & murdered in the GAZA concentration camp by a sophisticated Israeli murder machine funded by four billion dollars in US foreign aid.

    The ghastly murdering of innocents continues, while Israel’s plentiful agents scream for more murder.

    I am now supposed to exert my energies and waste my brain cells doing literary criticism about the possible meaning of some reported statement by Ahmadinejad concerning “ambiguities” about 9-11?

    Keep your eye on the ball, or you will never catch it.

  42. #42 gerald spezio
    April 21, 2008

    It has been documented and overwhelmingly proven that the Bush administration and the neo-con cabal within the Bush administration conspired to destroy Iraq and murder innocent Iraqi people in the process.

    This successful conspiracy of well-educated lawyers and Ph. D’s continues its murdering as we watch.

    And Orac accuses Ahmadinejad of “conspiracy mongering?”

  43. #43 shortie
    April 21, 2008

    Keep your eye on the ball? Look back, spezio, something’s gaining on you.

  44. #44 AntiquatedTory
    April 21, 2008

    I just want to say that this comments thread has shown me the power and the glory that is greasemonkey’s killfile script.

  45. #45 Coin
    April 22, 2008

    Okay. My mind is now blown.

    Iran’s endorsement of 9/11 conspiracy theories has now drawn a sharp denouncement from… Al Qaeda. Apparently Al Qaeda demands full credit for their acts of mass murder and is upset about Iran trying to take that away.

    The reason this blows my mind?

    This was the exact subject of last week’s Onion article!!

  46. #46 Anna
    April 24, 2008

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