By Vic Rosenthal
Recently, the incredibly irritating Michael Lerner announced that he
would not be surprised to learn that some branch of our government conspired either actively to promote or passively to allow the attack on 9/11 (JTA)
My first impulse was “Lerner’s even more insane than I thought”.
But then I wondered. As I write, there have been about 4,500,000 viewings of a video called Loose Change, which argues that the 9/11 attacks were at least in part carried out by elements in the US government, for money and to serve as a ‘new Pearl Harbor’. I watched the film to see for myself.
A great deal of it is obviously complete rubbish. But there are some parts that seemed persuasive. For example, the film argues that the Pentagon damage could not have been caused by a Boeing 757. On the other hand, there is even more persuasive evidence elsewhere that it could have, and was (and there are also refutations of the refutations, ad inf). The fog of media war is rapidly obscuring reality.
Since I have a day job and a life, I’m not in a position to evaluate in detail even the most significant of the claims made in the film. But while I am prepared to believe almost any story of government incompetence, I think it’s highly unlikely that the attacks were actually perpetrated by the Bush administration. Yes, there are many things that don’t add up in official accounts, and I would especially like to know who shorted airline stocks shortly before the attacks. Nevertheless, I don’t see a smoking gun.
Unfortunately, there’s a whole subculture building around the 9/11 conspiracy theories that believes that (who else?) Jewish or Israeli interests were responsible. No matter how many Jewish names are found among those who died in the WTC, for example, the myth that “Jews were warned to stay home” persists (although this isn’t found in “Loose Change”).
There’s a large group of real old fashioned kill-the-yids people out there today, and they’ve gleefully picked up the 9/11 conspiracy, along with “we’re in Iraq because of neo-con Jews and Israel”, etc.
Although under the surface in most venues, there’s no doubt in my mind that antisemitic ideas are spreading rapidly and growing more powerful in the US along with the frustrations associated with the war in Iraq and growing. The real danger to American Jews and Israel will surface when a serious economic crisis, such as severe inflation or devaluation, brings many to the point of desperation, ready to accept demagogic politicians who will be prepared to use antisemitism to advance themselves.