If you disagree, you are EVIL!

It's getting tougher and tougher to "agree to disagree."

There's a growing movement in this country which I have ignored for too long, and I don't know how to address it except in this blog.

Basically, a meme which sounded kooky a year or two ago has now evolved into an ever-larger, constantly growing movement -- at the core of which is the almost religious belief that 9-11 was a Great Deception, a CIA false flag operation, which Bush knew all about. An initial conference, the International Inquiry into 9-11 Phase One, was held in San Francisco in March. Phase Two will be held in Toronto next week. (Ed Asner is one of the more prominent supporters. You may think he's nuts, but I am here to tell you that a lot of gullible Americans trust the guy.)

Among the theories which are presented as gospel truth:

  • WTC was exploded by demolition charges, not planes.
  • The Pentagon was not hit by a plane.
  • The CIA was behind the flight schools and the attackers.
  • All "pilots" were Al Qaeda/CIA Operatives under the direction of the FBI.
  • American interceptor planes were deliberately not allowed to fly.
  • Neocons in the Bush administration -- "Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Luti, Shulsky, and so forth" -- are "heirs to the pro-Nazi philosophy of Leo Strauss."
  • It goes on and on. The number of web sites devoted to these issues is truly mind-boggling. Here are just a few samples:

    http://www.oilempire.us/bushbinladen.html

    http://www.septembereleventh.org/

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/features/?s=UnansweredQuestions

    http://physics911.org/net/modules/news/article.php?storyid=19

    http://www.planetfriendly.net/calendar/item.php?id=2452

    What bothers me is that I try to be as easy going as humans will allow me to be, but things are approaching a point where it's no longer a question of Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, or even libertarians (like me) who try to squeak by with lame lines like "I really don't fit in with either party."

    No. People who attend these conferences think Bush is an evil Nazi, a guy who really wants to destroy the world. Really and truly. Try for a moment to put yourself in their position, and imagine believing what they believe. If you can do that, you might sympathize with what I'm going through right now.

    It's no fun being considered evil.

    UPDATE: Somehow I got through today without until now seeing these comforting words from Rudolph Giuliani:

    Our enemy is not each other, but the terrorists who attacked us.... The blame should be put on one source alone, the terrorists who killed our loved ones.
    The problem is that such thoughts are not helpful in dealing with people who believe that the "terrorists" who attacked us were sponsored by George W. Bush. In their minds, Bush and his supporters are the real terrorists.

    It's been a real eye opener for me. A reminder that life's lessons are not always pleasant.

    posted by Eric on 05.19.04 at 01:44 AM







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    Comments

    I've long thought that the US is balkanizing in an unprecedented manner. The breakup, if it happens, will be along ideological lines, rather than regional or ethnic ones.

    Sadly, I see no way of averting it.

    Ian Hamet   ·  May 19, 2004 9:25 AM

    It's really sad, because I always prided myself on being able to get along with people.... But with people who "think" this way, I don't think it's possible.

    Eric Scheie   ·  May 19, 2004 9:43 AM

    This is the same, in many ways, as the denial of the Holocaust. I oppose it.

    This Leo Strauss seems interesting. Nazi? I think he's Jewish. He seems to have had a lot of influence among certain conservatives. As far as I can tell, his philosophy is elitist, quasi-Nietzschean, and he was a strong admirer of Classical Values. The _style_ of it all is most interesting.

    Thanks Steven,

    You are right. Not only was Strauss (a University of Chicago professor) Jewish, he was a Holocaust survivor, and this shaped his deep distrust of liberalism's quest for "social justice" -- which he saw as leading towards fascism.

    The Economist (not a Nazi publication the last time I read it) offers a glimpse at Strauss and neoconservatism here.

    I am not a Straussian, but to call him a Nazi is a perfect example of the nonsensical prattling that so often passes for political analysis.

    Eric Scheie   ·  May 21, 2004 2:43 PM

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