Thursday, August 17, 2006

9/11: Turns Out It Wasn't The Freemasons After All

Barry Zwicker is a media critic long beloved by certain sections of the Canadian left. He's routinely billed as Canada's answer to Michael Moore. If you want the whole story about what really happened on September 11, 2001, Zwicker can follow the thread for you all the way back to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. The upshot: Guy Fawkes was a patsy.

It wasn’t a surprise attack by Islamist fanatics at all. It was really a cunning fabrication, a deception, a fiction, and a plot, all orchestrated by the White House.

The same White House plot, says Zwicker, was involved in the March 11, 2004 bomb blasts on commuter trains in Madrid that resulted in the murder of 192 people. The murder of 52 people in the July 7, 2005, suicide-bomb attacks in London was part of the same conspiracy. This month’s British foiling of a terror plot to blow up several passenger airliners on 10 transatlantic flights out of London is part of it, too.

It’s all “a gigantic terror fraud,” Zwicker told me during a long conversation the other day. It’s all about establishing a climate of fear to justify the curtailment of civil liberties and the expenditure of billions of dollars on weapons and on war.

And to what end?

“It is a war against Islam,” Zwicker told me. “It is a war against millions of people who happen to share the same faith.”

That's from my column today, which was cut a bit. The column I filed was exactly 911 words. A mere coincidence, you think?

In the same edition of the same newspaper you can read a tortured apologia for Hezbollah, amply illustrating the squalor of certain left-wing neighbourhoods that I described here and elaborated upon here and here. For my sins, my editors give Rafeh Hulays even more space than my offending column occupied, in order to respond to what I wrote.

As it turns out, the fact that Hassan Nasrallah is a foul antisemite has escaped Hulays' notice all this time. The evidence is "not characteristic of the man, and I am in the process of determining its veracity," Hulays pledges. Good for you, Rafeh. Get right on it. You can start here, or here or here.

Mainly, Hulays uses the opportunity to vent yet more bile upon Israel. Big surprise.

Also, in the same edition, the Muslim Canadian Congress, no longer burdened by the intellectual weight and moral clarity of Tarek Fatah, is afforded space to demand an apology from Michael Ignatieff for a statement that everybody knew was taken out of context pretty well the minute it first appeared. I would have thought the Congress might actually have thanked Ignatieff for having been first out of the block in articulating what ended up being the basis of the deal that ended Israel's bombing of Lebanon. But no.

In letters today, Michel Facon instructs me in my errors, explaining that to be a "fascist" you have to be a Christian "family values" type. Gordon Murray and Les Priest drop their quarters in the Outraged-By-Zionism letter generator and get what you would expect (Murray doesn't mention it but he's with the ISM, "the peace group that embraces violence"). And Robin Matthews suggests the punishment for my doctrinal errors should be exile to the Middle East.

Okay, Robin. I pick Jaffa.

Louise Zizka thinks I'm a mensch anyway. Thanks, Louise. And Howard M. Karby properly observes that we don’t have to and should not view the political left as having become a single monolithic group of people who hate Israel no matter what she does, and was pleased that my column served as a reminder that one can be progressive without joining the camp of the Israel haters. That's for noticing, Howie.

Simon, a comrade, weighs in. He gets it, perfectly:

I won’t claim to be surprised by the stubborn persistence with which StopWar’s leadership insist on referring to themselves as “peace activists” and “the antiwar movement” in response to Terry Glavin’s timely and much-appreciated piece on their organization [Letters, August 10-17].

Apparently guided by a perverse misreading of anti-imperialist ideals, these cynical leaders of a bankrupt pseudo-left have functionally allied themselves with some of the most noxious and regressive ultraconservative, fascist, and theocratic elements to be found anywhere. This is their right as citizens of an open democracy.

What is not acceptable, however, is their continued abuse of the peace movement’s good name to mask a completely partisan, anti-Israel, Hezbollah-sympathizing agenda that condemns the violence of one party while remaining overwhelmingly silent (at best) on the Islamic terrorism, save the most impotent of bland, pro forma small print.

Good on ye, Simon.

Long live Israel. Long live Palestine.


Blogger Simon said...

Thanks, Terry. I rather wish I hadn't written that in quite the hurry I had-- and that the Straight's understandably extensive editing had removed that awkward and redundant "the" before "Islamic terrorism", but I suppose it's better to have appeared than not. Keep on keeping on, etc.

3:08 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

And yet Terry, rightly or wrongly, support for Hezbollah has skyrocketed in the Arab world since the conflict started. That could have been predicted before Israel began their attack.

It's all well and good to criticise Hizbollah -- and there is tons of room for criticism -- but I would suggest that you have to go beyond that if you want to see peace in the middle East. You have to ask why support for them has increased so much. Terrorism does not operate in a vacuum.

6:29 PM  
Blogger tglavin said...

Not sure of your point, Stephen.

If your point is that Israel's conduct in its defence has helped rally support within and without Lebanon for Hezbollah, then you're right, I expect. That in itself wouldn't sufficiently condemn Israel's recent actions in Lebanon, but set that aside.

I just don't think we on the left should make common cause with fascists, and when I see that happening, I don't intend to be quiet about it.

You saay terrorism doesn't arise in a vacuum. It's not terrorism that I'm worried about so much, but in fact terrorism actually does arise from a kind of vacuum. A moral vacuum, which the anti-war left's open alliance with radical Islamists isn't filling with anything discernably progressive.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

My point is that Israeli aggression is having precisely the opposite from its "intended" effect. It has increased support for Hezbollah. Far from destroying the organization, it has virutally ensured not only it's survival but it's thriving for years to come.

And no, that in itself does not condemn Israel's offensive actions in Lebanon, but it does put rank and file Israeli civilians in a far more precarious position. It shows that the government of Israel has just as little regard for its civilians as Hezbollah has for Lebanese civilians.

Like it or not, the reality if we are going to see peace in the middle east, I think, is that Israel and Hezbollah are going to have to talk. Regardless what they do, they are a party that has to be dealt with diplomatically.

I'm sorry, I have to say that there was nothing defensive about Israeli's actions. The kidnapping could have been solved with an exchange of prisoners as has been done before. According to the BBC, Hezbollah missiles were not fired until after the first Israeli air strikes. That is not to excuse either action, but to debunk the notion that the incursion was defensive.

12:09 AM  
Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

Terry you have written quit abit on the ME these past few weeks.
You have made your case concerning Arabs orgs and individuals very clear.
So I feel its fair for me to ask how you view the role and actions of Israel.
Specifically inregards to Palestine.Do they deserve criticism and in some cases condemention for actions against Palestinean's,in the occupied territories?
Take the settlements,the kidnappings for instance,or anything you might care to bring up.In short do they share any blame for the tragedy and suffering of millions of Palestinean's.
It would be helpful,and would give a much better picture of your stand concerning the ME,a topic you clearly have an interest in.

2:09 AM  
Blogger beluga2 said...

Stephen's right. And the continuing obsession with the indisputable deformitites of the Hezbollah leader seems oddly misplaced. This was not a war against Nasrallah the Impaler or any other designated demonic bugaboo. Nor a spontaneous and righteous reaction to the latest routine provocation in a half-decade-old low-level tit-for-tat border war. Rather, it was the pre-planned destruction of an entire nation for political purposes.

Had Nasrallah entirely revoked his past anti-Semitism and cultivated a habit of kissing Jewish babies, this war would still have happened.

I trust by now you've seen the latest Seymour Hersh article in the NYorker, which goes a long way towards confirming what was obvious right from the git-go: that Olmert's Folly was in the works and ready to go long before July 12, awaiting only an inevitable outburst of Hezbollah stupidity to trigger it. Care to comment on that?

2:19 AM  
Blogger tglavin said...

Where I stand etc.:

First, I don't consider myself entitled to a very elaborate opinion on events in the Middle East, such as the appropriateness of Israel's response to Hezbollah / Hamas provocations, for instance. I haven't offered much in the way of opinion on any of these subjects, actually - and I haven't been writing about these subjects much at all. But when I do turn my attention to the intellectual slovenliness of the left, these subjects do come up, true enough. And I have responded, as best I can, when good and decent people in the left and the labour movement in this country have asked me to turn my attention to certain horrible trends in the so-called peace movement.

I've been impudent enough to express dissenting views about this and that, but mainly I'm just trying to sort through all this like everybody else is. I think Stephen here is tring to do that as well; he reaches different conclusions than I do, but at least he's trying to be even-handed and open-minded about things.

A while back, I set out my own views on these things, and pointed to analyses that I believe are the most sound and principled, here:

Nothing that has happened in recent weeks has caused me to change my mind. At least not on the basic stuff.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

Crap'I lost ten bucks.My buddy bet me you would not say anything "critical" of Israel(insert smile),unlike your many critical remarks in regards to the "other side".
And I would have to disagree,your writings are quit diffirent from those of Stephen.Stephen stated quit clearly theres is more to the war than just Hezbolla,Stephen clearly implies there is another side to the story(also he stated the war was not defensive,as Israel claims and as you stated)..A story we have to deal with and understand if there is ever to be peace in the Middle East.
But in the end it's your blog,it would be pretty presumptive of me to insist you respond to this or that or have an opinion on this or that.
But I have to say there is much room for your views to be misinterpeted.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I understand what your saying about being concerned about people on the left supporting Hezbollah.

I would also say however, that that is very few people proportionally speaking, and in terms of importance, I think I've got much, much bigger fish to fry, so to speak.

But I would also say that we all have to do what we feel called to.

3:58 PM  

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