Of course I'm talking about 9/11. There are a host of conspiracy theories out there attempting to deny the official US government story. Now I'm no expert, I haven't read the 9/11 commission report, and I'm no demolitions or engineering expert. I do have common sense though. I saw the video of those planes going through the towers, and while I can't fully explain why the hole in the pentagon was shaped the way it was shaped, I can tell you that anything that heavy going that fast, was not just going to bounce off a wall and lay strewn apart the lawn.
Popular Mechanics ran an excellent piece debunking many of the conspiracy theories. Of particular note was their explanation for why the hole in the Pentagon was shaped the way it was (“a crashing jet doesn't punch a cartoon-like outline of itself into a reinforced concrete building” “What was left of the plane flowed into the structure in a state closer to a liquid than a solid mass”) and issue of how the steel beams of the World Trade Towers Melted (“Jet fuel burns at 800° to 1500°F, not hot enough to melt steel (2750°F). However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn't need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength — and that required exposure to much less heat”).
Underneath all the hyperbolic reports about how the planes couldn't have caused the towers to collapse, all written by people who aren't engineers, is a sort of logic. There are right-wingers who believe these conspiracy theories as well as left wingers, but one of the explanations left wingers use to justify these theories, is anti-war and anti-bush.
They argue, that the only way Bush would have been able to go to war (in particular with Iraq) would be if America were attacked and the American people blinded by their bloodlust, giving Bush an opportunity to attack. They point to the burning of the Reichstag by Hitlers goons and how Hitler blamed the fire on unions and used it as an opportunity to tighten his dictatorial control.
Bullshit. First of all the Reichstag was empty when it was burned. Second of all, the people in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were the cream of the crop in terms of the ruling class. They were Stock brokers, CEO's, generals, weapons contractors. OK, sure there were some janitors, secretaries and plenty of innocent people, but if they were filled with nothing but janitors, those towers would not have been targets. That said, why would Bush kill 3,000 of the military industrial complexes best most loyal corps? “Well because he wanted to go to war,” they tell me.
But he could go to war without killing about 3,000 Americans. Take a look and the Gulf of Tonkin Bay and Vietnam. President Johnson, the liberal democrat, goes on TV, tells the American people that the US was attacked by Vietnamese forces in the Gulf of Tonkin bay, and before you know it, ground troops are landing in Vietnam. Turns out, it never happened. It was a complete lie.
Some of these 9/11 conspiracy people tell me that that was before this multi-media age we live in. It's harder to make up complete fabrications like that. Really? Any harder than covering up a conspiracy to kill 3000 people? If anything the 24 hour news world we live in makes it easier for people to be deluded. Remember how many people were convinced that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? Or that Iraqi troops were killing Kuwaiti babies in incubators? With all the computer special effects we have today, if the government really needed an excuse to go to war, couldn't they have made a video of the towers going down, broadcast it live and convinced most of America that the towers went down, even if they were still standing.
Ordinary Americans civilians have never really had a say in whether or not to go to war before. Most Americans don't know where Afghanistan and Iraq are on a map, most Americans wouldn't know if we bombed them. Matter of fact, ask the next person you see if they know the US just bombed Somalia. The people in power have their reasons to go to war- resources, money, power, just look at the Pentagon Papers or the Bush administrations National Security Statement of 2002. They lie to the American people, tell them it's not about oil, rubber, free trade, but democracy and human rights, not so much because they need them their approval, but because they want less disruptions of their plans. But to kill 3000 of their people and lie about it? It doesn't make sense. This wasn't Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers or MOVE that was killed. These weren't people challenging those in power, THESE WERE THE PEOPLE IN POWER!
These 9/11 conspiracy theories assume that US policies don't create their own resistance. When the US gives billions of dollars worth of military aid to Israel for it's occupation of Palestine and wars against Lebanon, when the US bombs Sudan, imposes genocidal sanctions against Iraq, and supports dictatorships around the world, do you seriously think that people aren't going to get angry and hit back? With US foreign policy as aggressive as it was and is, it was only a matter of time before a 9/11 like event happened. It wasn't a question of if, but only who, when, where, how and for what.
These theories take away credit from third world people. Because behind every theory that Bush did it, it the idea the Bin Laden couldn't have. That no person from the third world could ever challenge the empire in such a devastating way. That the US is invincible. Well, all empires turn to dust. The question is what will stand on the ashes of this empire- religious fundamentalists who received their training from the Empire, or a radical democracy with peace, justice and equality.