Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

"Challenging the 911 orthodoxy: a review of 'Zeitgeist,'" November 6, 2007.

Zeitgeist is a movie that challenges what it calls the 911 Myth.

The 911 Myth: 19 Hijackers, directed by Osama B. Laden, took over 4 Commercial Jets with box cutters and, while evading the Air Defense System (NORAD), hit 75% of their targets. In turn, W. Trade towers 1, 2, & 7 collapsed due to structural failure through fire in a “pancake” fashion, while the plane that hit the Pentagon vaporised upon impact, as did the plane that crashed in Shanksville. The 911 Commission found that there were no warnings for this act of Terrorism, while multiple government failures prevented adequate defense.

The film proceeds to dismantle this myth piece by piece.

[clip Zeitgeist - no warning signs]

But these familiar voices are members of the Bush Administration, not the Keen-Hamilton commission. Actually, the Executive Summary of the 911 commission says that quote “Islamist extremists had given plenty of warning that they meant to kill Americans indiscriminately and in large numbers.”

The Zeitgeist version of the so-called 911 myth clearly mis-represents this finding of the Keen-Hamilton commission.

Strangely, Parts I and III of the film are not about the events of 911 at all, even though the film's website does say that "he most important issue is exposing 9/11 and thus exposing government sponsored Terrorism."

Part I is a religious discussion that concludes after about 40 minutes that Jesus Christ didn't exist. Anyone familiar with James Frazer's Golden Bough will recognize an argument that is similar except that it lacks the complexity and subtlety of the original. The Zeitgeist narrative consistently modifies and distorts the multi-faceted history of numerous mythologies to favour its own predetermined conclusion.

A local correspondent sent me an Australian blog article on Zeitgeist with 300 comments:

One of these comments finds the religious part of Zeitgeist "particularly misleading" Using the example of the Egyptian god Horus, this writer points out that the story is complex. Horus was an Egyptian god from the earliest times of Egyptian civilization. "There is no single story of Horus." Horus "took on many different forms and characteristics." There is no reason to believe that Horus was born to a virgin, that there was a star in the east at his birth, that he was adorned by kings, that he was a teacher at the age of 12, that he was baptized and began a ministry at 30, that he had 12 disciples and travelled about performing miracles such as walking on water.

The writer concludes by asking, "Why is it that the left is just as bad as the right at churning out pure propaganda?"

However, the 911 truth research too is more complex than this. Zeitgeist cannot be easily dismissed as either Democratic or left wing. Some of its analysis is decidedly right-wing, such as the link to Ron Paul's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Opposition to the North American Union, which is a left-of-centre issue in Canada is a far-right issue in the US.

The discrepancies I have called attention to are not terminal failures in the argument as it might be presented by others. But they do cast serious doubt on the ability of the Zeitgeist narrator to understand the facts and present them fairly. The version of events presented, not as an alternate hypothesis, but as 911 truth goes like this.

Criminal Elements within the US Government staged a “False Flag” Terror Attack on its own citizens, in order to manipulate public perception into supporting its agenda.

They have been doing these for years.

911 was an inside job.

What does it mean to say that 911 was an inside job? Who are the suspects? Who are the witnesses?

Unfortunately, the suggestion that it was Bush and the Washington neoconservatives has yet to take itself seriously. Imagine Paul Wolfowitz or Richard Perle putting on coveralls to spend their weekends cutting through the innermost beams of the World Trade Center and planting explosives. That version of the inside job has a lot of heavy lifting, yet no heavy lifters have been named, no blue collars. For that matter, the naming of names does not even include someone with skills as practical as a courtroom lawyer or frontline negotiator.

In an era when an unprecedented number of generals and intelligence analysts have stepped forward to denounce the War in Iraq, why is there not a single patriotic technician stepping forward to blow the whistle on another phony story by the Bush Administration? The absence of a whistleblower suggests uncommon loyalty for a project whose victims are not in any sense enemies of the US. That doesn't mean that it wasn't "an inside job." But there are some significant gaps in the data.

The neocons are bureaucrats and academics who normally work with squads of middle managers between them and the operational level. Not impossible, but not likely either. Let's just make a note that our suspects might be a large, highly disciplined group with a big budget and an uncertain, but absolutely committed, moral profile. Does that describe Blackwater or DynCorp or one of the other privatized military corporations? I don't know.

A second "inside job" scenario is that 911 was a media fabrication anchored by a bare bones operation in the real world. This might account for a different set of discrepancies such as the two airliners which Zeitgeist alleges did not fly into the WTC. Maybe they were airbrushed in. This implies a different line of inquiry and raises, at the least, a question about why those planes were necessary to the operation at all.

A third version of "inside job" would be a mole or even a leak. That would account for the parallel simulations in both the US and UK (somewhere else?) In fact, war games are not such well guarded secrets as you might think.

[clips: Zeitgeist - orchestrated by the state (complete with the melodramatic sound effects)]

As the first speaker says, a similar parallel simulation occurred on 911. Loose Change, an earlier movie on the same theme as Part II of Zeitgeist, lays out a chronology and gives detail that is less manipulated to fit the desired conclusion. In Loose Change, the simulation is not "exactly the same." The plane is a "small corporate jet." [Loose change - o god i don't know ]

In war, as in other games, there is a finite number of plays. Is it possible that someone planning a set of simultaneous attacks could wait to establish the timing and specific targets of those attacks until a publication like Army Times or a journal of the War College announced a certain type of war game simulation for a particular period?

The question that this raises is one that psychologists call locus of control and it forces us to recognize that all three scenarios challenge more than just Zeitgeist's "911 myth". They challenges the vision that we ordinarily have of the role of government, and that leads directly to the critique of globalization. But where do Zeitgeist and the 911 truth movement belong? The peace movement? anti-globalization? democratic reform?

Viewed as a discovery process or an exploratory attempt to establish the truth, the so-called 911 truth movement has been partly successful. It has challenged the orthodox view of the events of 911 01. It exposed discrepancies in the official version and raised an urgent question about what really happened.

However, it has not established a clear and plausible answer to that question.

Viewed as a discovery process, the 911 truth movement has a lot of clues and not much evidence. There is still a lot of homework to be done, one hopes with more attention to details like who said what.

However, considered as an exercise in political mythology, the 911 truth movement may be the only option on the current scene capable of mobilizing that 30-35% of registered voters who stay at home on election day, not out of apathy as the establishment would like to think, but as the only means available to give a corrupt and dysfunctional political system the bird. But that is a possibility for another day.

The search terms for the blog's Hot Topics have been changed to “US India nuclear” and “123 agreement” which is the name the deal goes by in India and “Hyde Act” which a US law requiring an annual certification by the US President, which, the Left in India says, is not superceded by the 123 deal and 123 agreement Canada. Unlike previous topics, this one is being widely followed in media outside the US, especially in India and among those who follow the nuclear issue. The Times of India, the Economic Times, Mumbai's Daily News and Analysis, The Hindu, the Chandigarh Tribune all had articles last week. A new American news aggregator called New America Media (aka New California Media) had a story as did the World Nuclear News. Nothing else here.

This article is published by James Terral under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. Commercial media must contact me for permission and fees. Some postings on this site are published under different terms.

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