Monday, September 11, 2006

Debunking 9/11 Myths: Moonday's Rant

Myths of 911
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Fast becoming a best-seller in the US: Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts .

I’m not sure whether I’m glad it’s out or gloomy that a book with that title even needed to be written.

I feel it should be required reading for ALP and fairfax journalists.


Weasel said...

The always sane Pamela Bone, a refugee from The Age, writes another fine piece asking a question I’ve so-far failed to answer:

How do you argue with those who see no moral distinction between bin Laden and Bush?

Anonymous said...

John Howard’s startling advice to state Liberal leaders: Get policies.

"I do think one of the problems with state oppositions is that they don’t invest enough time and energy into working out an alternative policy blueprint over a longer period of time,” he said.
I agree. But it’s a bad sign that something s fundamental needs to be said. In the state Liberals’ defence, though, I should point out that it’s hard to develop policies over a longer period of time when you know neither what you stand for or who should lead you.

Anonymous said...

From The American Thinker:

Document ISGQ-2005-00026108.pdf (link) dated July 25 2000 is a report from an Iraqi Intelligence officer to different Iraqi Intelligence Directorates talking about information provided to them from a trusted source that works in the Associated Press (AP).

Add that to recent concerns about Reuters and old ones about CNN, to name but a few.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, even if you really did believe the planet will warm by another 3 degrees this century solely because of gasses created by humans, would you really be saying this:

In Sydney for the Australian premiere of An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary on the threat of global warming, Mr Gore said the phenomenon “threatens the future of human civilisation, and Australia, in many ways, is more at risk than any other nation”.
Might be time for me to review Gore’s film to reassure the apocalypse-nowers.

Weasel said...

Five years ago tomorrow, two numbers—9/11—were seared into global consciousness as synonyms for blind hatred and horror when al-Qaeda launched its attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.

A year later, 88 Australians were murdered by Jemaah Islamiyah, al-Qaeda’s south-east Asian franchise. Two days ago, Aljazeera television, the terrorists’ network of choice, broadcast a video showing some of the aircraft hijackers in training in the presence of their leader, Osama bin Laden.
This will not surprise most Australians because they have long accepted bin Laden’s claim that his group was responsible for the treacherous attack on innocent civilians.
But there are a number of self-proclaimed ``leaders’’ of Australia’s Muslim community and the international Islamic populace who have persisted in adamantly denying that bin Laden or al-Qaeda was involved in either attack and have made the nonsensical counter-claim that both assaults were the work of the CIA and Mossad and part of a fantastic international
Jewish conspiracy.
In all probability, the new video will not dispel such revolting propaganda because the bizarre alliance of fanatical Islamists, lunar leftists and right-wing extremists who have expounded this conspiracy theory are not only truly off the planet but they are largely motivated by a desire to foster unconscionable
anti-Semitism. What should be surprising, however, is that this lunatic theory has been given such a wide airing on university campuses around Australia and internationally, signifying the reality that the intellectual degradation of the arts and humanities faculties of our academic institutions is all butcomplete.
Obviously fallacious propositions are routinely given a platform on the grounds that their presentation represents a victory for free speech.
It is clear that there is an active fifth column operating across the Western world, using the philosophies of democracy to further the goals of those who are fighting to establish a global Islamist theocracy.
They may claim they are fighting for liberty, civil rights, anti-discrimination and myriad other causes, but though they dress their arguments with such sentiments the end result is they are playing to bin Laden’s hand.
Successive US administrations failed to grasp the full measure of the threat militant Islam posed, but the US, UK and Australia have been fortunate that their leaders, George W. Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard, have no illusions about this evil.
Howard was in Washington on 9/11 and there is no doubt that witnessing the attack on the US capital sharply focused his attention, just as it did all those who were in Manhattan when the twin towers crashed.
When we spoke about this last week, he said he found it most extraordinary that the critics of the new laws were attacking the Government for limiting civil liberties when civil liberties were being limited by the terrorists.
``Ours is a logical response to
a changed set of circumstances—the most important civil liberty is the right to live,’’ he said.
``Civil liberties mean nothing if you don’t have a life.’’
There has been criticism of some measures the US has taken, notably the imprisonment of those captured during the war on terror in Guantanamo Bay but most of it has been ill-founded or plain ignorant. Appeals have been heard, the US court system has worked and there is absolutely
no relativity between the transparent system of justice that exists in the West and the outrages perpetrated by al-Qaeda and its followers. Many in the Western media are still slaves to bin Laden, however—dupes for the propaganda strategy he outlined in a letter to the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, that coalition forces uncovered in Afghanistan in 2002.
In it, the terrorist chief said
al-Qaeda intended to launch, ``a media campaign ... to create a wedge between the American people and their government’’.
This campaign, he said, would send the American people a number of messages, including ``that their government (will) bring them more losses, in finances and casualties’’, and he went on to say the campaign would include the message that lives were ``being sacrificed ... to serve ... the big investors, especially the Jews’’.
Listening to numerous commentators, it is obvious that bin Laden’s propaganda campaign has been successful beyond his wildest dreams.
Islamists are outraged by the Western ideals of liberty that the civil liberties crowd claims to protect and they regard our culture as an evil that must be destroyed. Yet five years on, the West is fighting this scourge with both hands tied behind its back.
Instead of conducting a wholesale discussion on the Koranic sura quoted by the terrorists, the West has politely accepted that to do so would
be insensitive.
Why, when these tenets are being scrawled on the banners used to rally the jihadists? Don’t we have the right to examine the terrorists’ very war cries? The civil-rights lobby has shown itself to be morally corrupt in this war by trashing the rights of the dead.

I was born in NYC, and brought up in nearby Princeton NJ. I was up watching the infuriating liberal left apology called West Wing when the reports first flashed across the screens of the plane strikes.

A video tribute by me is here

My mother is a liberal lefty. She took pride from the crushing of South Vietnam and the purging that followed unification, claiming that bad things happen to people who restrict rights. What is not remembered today is the evilness of the propaganda that supported Communist Vietnam. The failure of the West has seen a refugee crisis and 10 million diaspora that the world has yet to absorb after 31 years.

The liberal left are playing checkers with cheats. They will protest an Australian nuclear power station, but be silent over an Iranian nuclear bomb.

The left have in their number religious leaders, but generally hold to no religion.

The left will defend to their own deaths terrorist activity against those living near Israel.

I heard lefty apologist David Marr on ABC insiders heckle Bolt. He made repeated lies about WMD not being found in Iraq and made nasty accusations, imputing greed and hatred to President Bush over the Iraqi action.

If the world keeps it's nerve. One day, Iraq will be a functioning modern state whose arts and culture will vie with the best. 9/11 is a reminder to us of what we may win, and what we may lose.

Weasel said...

Three Victoria Police detectives are due in court next week to face dishonesty related charges following an eight-month investigation by the state’s anti-corruption watchdog and the force’s internal affairs department. The court case is a further embarrassment to Victoria Police, which disbanded its elite Armed Offenders Squad on Friday amid allegations that some of its members assaulted suspects. Office of Police Integrity hearings into those allegations, which will see a number of squad members publicly quizzed, will begin on September 18, the day before the three detectives are scheduled to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court for what is listed as a mention. The sudden public focus on alleged misconduct within the ranks of Victoria Police will not be welcomed by the Bracks Government, coming just two months out from a state election where policing will be one of the key issues.

The Melbourne Magistrates Court’s website shows Detective Senior Constable Mark Herbert Ziemann, Detective Senior Constable Kenneth Ian Taylor and Detective Senior Constable Ross Andrew Colley listed to appear at 10am on September 19 for a mention.

The three were arrested in November last year following a swoop on Springvale Police Station and the detectives’ homes by investigators from the OPI and Ethical Standards Department. The three were the first police to be charged following an investigation by the OPI, which was set up in 2004.

The court listing does not give details of the charges laid against the three detectives. But Gotcha believes that Senior Constable Taylor is facing two counts of theft, Senior Constable Ziemann is facing two counts of theft and one count of unlawful possession and Senior Constable Colley is facing five counts of theft, six counts of handling stolen goods, one count of possessing a controlled weapon, one count of possessing a prohibited weapon and one count of possessing dangeous goods.

Meanwhile the powerful Victorian Police Association, which reacted angrily on Friday to the disbanding of the Armed Offenders Squad and led a protest walkout of Crime Department detectives, is gearing up for a media campaign against the Bracks Government.

The association will launch a television, radio and newspaper advertising campaign in the lead-up to the state election accusing the state government of jeopardising community safety by cutting 655 police from operational duties. The association has been getting advice on its campaign from the Queensland Police Union, which threw its weight behind opposition promises of an extra 1100 police during that state’s recent election campaign.

That kind of honesty (supporting conservatives) would not happen in NSW, where the higher ranks are highly politicised. Mr Carr used to tell the voters what he wouldn’t do using the medium of election promises.

I take it that this is not the beginning or the end of investigations into ‘the brotherhood?’

Weasel said...

Details of a dramatic spike in opium production in war-torn Afghanistan are due to be released by the United Nations tomorrow in a report that shows the war on terror has undermined the fight against the global heroin trade. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Afghanistan will produce 30 per cent more opium than is consumed by the illegal international heroin trade, raising the prospect of a global glut and a drop in street prices.
“This year’s harvest will be around 6,100 tons of opium - a staggering 92 percent of total world supply. It exceeds global consumption by 30 percent,” says UNODC executive director Antonio Maria Costa, who will release details of the organisation’s annual Afghanistan opium survey at a media conference on September 12.

There was a record 165,000 hectares under opium cultivation in 2006, compared with 104,000 in 2005 - a jump of 59 per cent. In the southern province of Helmand, where Taliban insurgents have scaled up their attacks on Afghan government and international forces, cultivation soared 162 percent to 69,324 hectares.

The UNODC chief said the southern part of Afghanistan was displaying the ominous hallmarks of incipient collapse, with large-scale drug cultivation and trafficking, insurgency and terrorism, crime and corruption. In other provinces, especially Badakhshan in the north-east, opium crop increases were the result of weak governance, poverty and the influence of powerful warlords.

“Public opinion is increasingly frustrated by the fact that opium cultivation in Afghanistan is out of control. The political, military and economic investments by coalition countries are not having much visible impact on drug cultivation. As a result, Afghan opium is fuelling insurgency in western Asia, feeding international mafias and causing a hundred thousand deaths from overdoses every year,” the UNODC Executive Director said.

Mr Costa called on the Afghan government to take much tougher action to root out corruption and arrest major drug traffickers and wealthy opium-farming landlords, seizing their assets.

“We trained police and prosecutors, we constructed court houses and detention centres. Now the government has the responsibility to use the judicial system to impose the rule of law and re-establish confidence in Kabul. Significant arrests and convictions will set an example and serve as a deterrent.”

I don't think Afghan farmers are masters of their own destiny. They don't just try to make a profit, they want to live. Taliban must think themselves clever that they can hurt others in this way. The Afghan people do not profit from this, nor does the government. The world needs a strong Afghan government to fairly enforce the law. That would never have happened under the Taliban, or with the Taliban.

It is the war on terror that has sparked this resurgence, at the behest of the terrorists themselves. Does Europe have the will to prevent another failed state?

Anonymous said...

Micahel Gawenda, now the Age’s US correspondent, writes on the anniversary of September 11:

But five years after 9/11, it seems incontrovertible to me that in a number of different ways, liberal democracies are locked in a struggle against the adherents of an ideology whose theorists, leaders and supporters are prepared to do anything - including using any type of weapon - to weaken and if possible, destroy liberal secularism and its despised manifestations - feminism, homosexuality, godlessness, materialism to name just a few.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the war in Iraq, Iraq is now a battleground in that struggle. It always was, but not for the reasons that Bush - and John Howard - gave for going to war to remove Saddam. I would have thought that in Iraq and in Iran and throughout the Middle East, despite the disdain for Bush and all his works, that social democrats and feminists, indeed the broad left, owe their brothers and sisters - and comrades - in the region more than just silence and Bush hatred.

Actually, I thought Bush, Howard and Blair also gave that same reason in making the case for war, but I understand the rhetorical need to insist they were wrong (but right). That aside, Gawenda is on the money.

Weasel said...

When Michael Moore shot a lying documentary claiming Republican president George Bush was the true terrorist - a corrupt pawn of Saudi oil who probably helped to cause September 11 - the president just took it. The Left hailed the movie as a masterpiece, and gave it the Palm d’Or at Cannes - and still Bush didn’t complain. Maybe he just believes in free speech, even of the kind that helps the cause of terrorists.

But when a new docu-drama shows the administration of Democrat president Bill Clinton asleep at the wheel in dealing with the growing threat of Osama bin Laden - even tipping off Pakistan about an imminent attack on a bin Laden camp and so allowing the terrorist leader to escape - all legal hell breaks loose. Threats and letters of demand from Clinton’s lawyers may explain why the drama has since been modified to placate the Left’s hurt feelings.

I guess it won’t win any movie prizes, then.

I have to be careful of what I write as my public service employer is censoring my work, threatening my employment.

I once spoke to someone much younger than I of this film I liked as a kid, "Billy Jack." Thing about "Billy Jack" is it makes allegations about war crimes that never happened, and I'd not realised that as a kid. The youngster asked about the film .. and then pointed out the issue. I checked it out at IMDB. The youngster was right. No apology exists for "Billy Jack."

This is not a new issue. Hollywood, by and large, supports leftwing ideology. It must be very upsetting to some Hollywood insiders that such a movie, critical of Clinton, almost made publication.

Weasel said...

A hip artist has another civilisation-enhancing idea: I know, why don’t I just make children cry?

So Jill Greenberg steals their lollies and you can buy the pictures she then snaps for $1000 a pop. Ain’t art elevating?

Only one question: Do we hang this over our bed or in the lounge?

I don't like it but it is artistic and certainly makes a statement.

This kind of art has a legitimate role to play in expression. Depending on how it is captioned, it might illustrate the communal concerns of the recent ALP win in Queensland. It might illustrate community feeling over 9/11 or Bali bombing. It might form part of an essay on loss. I don't like it.

Weasel said...

An Australian officer in Iraq writes on his excellent blog (please visit) about his mission:

It is fine to disagree with the motives for going to war in Iraq. It is not fine to let that become an anti-American bias that demands a cessation to Operations within Iraq not for the benefit of Iraq, but to prove that Bush has failed. Support your Australian soldiers and their deployment to Iraq - don’t buy the populist crap Beazley spews into the media. We are doing an honourable thing here, and the job is not yet complete.

Sometimes war is inevitable in this imperfect world - peace bought by tolerance of gross injustice and tyranny is something we as a nation should never tolerate.

Drop in on Ben for a soldier’s pictures, gossip and reflections on Iraq. And wish him and his fellow soldiers well.

Thank you Ben. I understand some of the difficulties you face, and wish you well in facing them.

Weasel said...

A great patriot killed in the service of democracy:

A refugee who left his wife and family in Australia to become governor of a province in his native Afghanistan was planning to return to Melbourne when he was cut down by a suicide bomber, his grieving son said today.

Father of nine Hakim Taniwal, 61, the governor of Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan, his nephew and chief bodyguard were killed yesterday in a suicide attack for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility…

(His son) Zmarak said ... his father, a former university lecturer in sociology, was unemployed in Australia…

“That’s why he went back to Afghanistan. He said he could do something over there to help build up the country because he couldn’t do anything in Melbourne and he thought he was wasting away in Melbourne,” he said.

Even the Left should see that the murder of such a man makes the battle lines clear - between liberalism and democracy on one side, and a freedom-murdering totalitarianism on the other. In such a battle no one of humanity can be neutral, or mistaken as to where their allegiances should lie.

Please, please read this marvellous tribute to this man and the phenomenally brave work he did. It was written last year, and starts:

The last time I saw Hakim Taniwal, I thought he was a dead man walking.
Those who refuse to honor the ideals and the work of such a man are dead to reason and humanity.

Hakim Taniwal is dead and that saddens me. I'm glad he has offspring, as I think his contribution to be soon forgotten by those who have an agenda at odds with a thriving Afghanistan.

As for liv, the "What shall we do with this meddlesome .." never finishes well. It is true that Liv is offensive and dismissive, offering little to actual debate, I think the meanest thing you might do, Andrew, is to publish Liv's thoughts. Alternatively, you can do what the ALP threatend Irwin with, and take her children away from her.

Anonymous said...

Michael Gawenda, now The Age‘s US correspondent, writes on the anniversary of September 11:

But five years after 9/11, it seems incontrovertible to me that in a number of different ways, liberal democracies are locked in a struggle against the adherents of an ideology whose theorists, leaders and supporters are prepared to do anything - including using any type of weapon - to weaken and if possible, destroy liberal secularism and its despised manifestations - feminism, homosexuality, godlessness, materialism to name just a few.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the war in Iraq, Iraq is now a battleground in that struggle. It always was, but not for the reasons that Bush - and John Howard - gave for going to war to remove Saddam. I would have thought that in Iraq and in Iran and throughout the Middle East, despite the disdain for Bush and all his works, that social democrats and feminists, indeed the broad left, owe their brothers and sisters - and comrades - in the region more than just silence and Bush hatred.

Actually, I thought Bush, Howard and Blair also gave that same reason in making the case for war, but I understand the rhetorical need to insist they were wrong (but right). That aside, Gawenda is on the money.

UPDATE: Indeed, Gawenda did ignore the fact that Howard made exactly this case in justifying his decision to join the liberation of Iraq. Check this extract from his National Press Club address just days before the war started:

We’re talking about a regime that will gouge out the eyes of a child to force a confession from the child’s parents. This is a regime that will burn a person’s limbs in order to force a confession or compliance. This is a regime that in 2000 decreed the crime of criticising it would be punished by the amputation of tongues. Since Saddam Hussein’s regime came to power in 1979 he has attacked his neighbours and he’s ruthlessly oppressed ethnic and religious groups in Iraq - more than one million people have died in internal conflicts and wars. Some four million Iraqis have chosen exile. Two hundred thousand have disappeared from his jails never to be seen again. He has cruelly and cynically manipulated the United Nations oil-for-food programme. He’s rorted it to buy weapons to support his designs at the expense of the wellbeing of his people. Since the Gulf War the people of Iraq have not only endured a cruel and despotic regime but they’ve had to suffer economic deprivation, hunger and sickness.

And we should never forget that economic sanctions imposed have had a humanitarian cost. That cost has been made worse by Saddam Hussein’s rorting of the sanctions regime. Those sanctions could have been lifted years ago if Iraq had complied with the requirements of Security Council resolutions about disarmament.

It is too easy to limit, it’s too easy for some people to limit the humanitarian considerations to the consequences of military conflict. In truth there’s nothing easy or reassuring or comfortable about the problem of Iraq. Surely it is undeniable that if all the humanitarian considerations are put into the balance there is a very powerful case to the effect that the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime would produce a better life and less suffering for the people of Iraq than its continuation.

It is a pity that Gawenda felt obliged to flay Howard on this issue even as he defended him. Are his readers really so merciless as to insist on being told Howard was wrong even when he was right?