By Richard Boughton
Concurrent with the worldwide outpouring of sober remembrance and renewed sympathy on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks on America came also some rather zany viewpoints from various corners of the globe.
From Malaysia, for instance, comes the notion that the collapse of the two towers of the World Trade Center could not possibly have been caused by the explosive collision of two enormous, fuel-filled jetliners. No. There must have been something else, something more reliably destructive behind the event.
Now, whether this Malaysian source has some intimate experience with the effect caused by fuel-filled jetliners colliding with tall buildings, I do not know. He did not mention any such knowledge, but I suppose this could have been a personal oversight, or perhaps a copy-reading or printing error. But the man is convinced that two enormous jetliners filled almost to the top with jet fuel could not have quite the destructive effect that we saw on 9/11.
There must have been something else.
His theory? Why, that the building had been previously set up for demolition, just as you see when old buildings are demolished to make way for new ones. Of course, for this to happen certain appropriate authorities had to have been aware beforehand so that the thing would go off well, and moreover would appear to be the result of two jetliners flying into the buildings.
Who were these authorities? Well, shadowy people for sure, dishonest, manipulative, quite necessarily evil people who wanted to manufacture a reason for the United States to attack Afghanistan, and later Iraq. Obviously this could not possibly have been accomplished without a preceding terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. And on the Pentagon. And on farmland in Pennsylvania.
Golly, even former president George W. Bush could have been involved. Very likely was. And our Malaysian friend says as much.
For my own part, I admit to being unclear on a few points of this theory. Why, for instance, was it deemed necessary (by the president and his co-conspirators) for the towers to be all the way flat? Would not the death and destruction caused by the planes have been sufficient? And what about the multiple truck-sized bundles of explosives and miles of fusing and wiring that attend demotions such as these? How were these kept from the view of janitors, engineers, electricians, policemen, firemen, and pedestrians, not to mention the thousands of employees in the World Trade Center?
Oh, and if it was really president Bush who was behind this terrorist attack, why did Osama bin Laden take credit for the thing?
I just don’t get it.
Frankly, I suspect that a more revealing investigation, and one that might arrive at more useful conclusions, would be an inquiry into the psychology of the fanciful notions we so often see applied to real life events. What is behind it? Is it misplaced guilt? Is it selective blindness? Is it an aversion, either wilful or pathologic, to the simple truth?
It has been suggested from other quarters that God Himself was behind the destruction on 9/11 and meant it as a punishment for the imperialist, morally bankrupt American nation. That’ll show ‘em. But again, I would have to wonder why God would choose those particular 3,000 for the death sentence. Was there something about that collection of 3,000 individuals that was particularly indicative of American imperialism and moral bankruptcy? The method seems kind of random and unfair – two qualities that I find hard to ascribe to God.
Let us finish then with a piece of humour from Al-Qaeda itself. In a message on September 11, Al-Qaeda’s new leader sought to claim credit for the recent events of the Arab Spring. This was accomplished by “striking the head of the world criminal,” he said, forcing America to press Arab countries to rise up against tyranny and godlessness.
This of course is so convoluted, so obtuse, and so insincere, that’s its not only meaningless; it’s laughable.
The Arab Spring has been the work of young, peaceful protestors seeking democratic freedoms. In this they have risen, and continue to rise; whereas Al-Qaeda is all but flat on the ground.
Richard can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.