by Omar Ali
This is not a post about the great tragedy of 9-11 or the great tragedies that followed 9-11. These are just some random thoughts about some arguments that show up around this topic and that I, as a regular blogger and commentator on the intertubes, have taken part in over the years. Since most of my friends and interlocutors are westernized liberals or leftists, this is necessarily focused on arguments common in the westernized liberal world. By saying this, I hope to deflect the inevitable argument that I am “missing” or ignoring the awful, bone-chilling, sickening racism and islamophobia that is rampant on the Western right wing; or that I am ignoring the awful, bone-chilling, sickening anti-semitism and islamofascism that is rampant in the Islamist world or, for that matter, the awful, scary, racist nationalism that bubbles through sections of the Chinese intertubes. I am going to give those a miss, even though I am vaguely aware of their existence. This post is not going to be fair and balanced; It is about our pathologies (or my pathologies, as the case may be). And many of the sentences in this article are copied from previous comments and past posts.
Truthers: In some ways, the existence of the 9-11 truth movement should be completely unsurprising. Every world historical event generates conspiracy theories (and some of them are even true) and it is no surprise that the largest terrorist atrocity in US history, followed by two wars (at least one on completely false pretenses) and massive domestic spying and other illegalities, would generate many conspiracy theories. But the way otherwise intelligent and sensible people argue in support of outlandish and completely irrational theories about controlled demolitions and remote-controlled aircraft has still been a surprise and a learning experience. This is not about the claims themselves (which have been debunked in great detail on hundreds of occasions) but rather about what I have learned from arguing about them.