Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 12 Comments
While the Jewish community continues to cope with the problem of Holocaust denial, a new form of historical revisionism is emerging that victimizes both Jews and Non-Jews. In its plainest form it might be called Terrorism Denial. It seems inconceivable that any sane person could deny the existence of the Holocaust or the reality of terrorism, yet there is a large Holocaust denial industry and now there is also a large 9/11 denial industry.
Both industries are run much the same way, amateurish documentaries, elaborate conspiracy theories, books desperately trying to poke holes in history with a sharpened pen and a malicious eye. Beyond these venomous manifestations though, the milder forms of Holocaust denial cover vast populations existing not as calculated denial but as deliberately avoidance. This form of Holocaust denial began when Jews were being massacred by the hundreds of thousands while the world steadfastly turned its eyes elsewhere and buried the reports deep down as a minor item in the New York Times. The Holocaust represented an inconvenient fact and so it was generally ignored during the war and for a while afterwards.
Contrary to Al Gore's new documentary, it is Islamic terrorism that is today's inconvenient fact. It is an inconvenient fact that earnest liberals are earnestly ignoring, as they earnestly ignored the Holocaust. The most common form of Terrorism Denial pervasive in the Democratic party and among Liberals is to ignore its existence or to argue that global warming and the extinction of the penguins are far graver threats. Beyond this calculated ignorance Terrorism Denial takes its first halting steps into the realm of conspiracy theories by claiming that the attacks of September 11th were blowback from CIA operations or payback for supporting Israel, that they were carried out possibly even with the knowledge of the CIA or the Mossad. The next step is of course to argue that the CIA and the Mossad actually did carry them out. And that is where 9/11 Denial begins.
9/11 deniers who without irony will call themselves the 9/11 Truth Movement represent the most rabid form of Terrorism Denial. Terrorism Deniers may be compared to defense lawyers pursuing a strategy to get their terrorist clients off on charges of mass murder. The more moderate liberal Terrorism Deniers will argue that their clients came from an impoverished backgrounds, were abused by the United States government and that their crimes need to be understood in that context. 9/11 Deniers though take the tack that not only didn't their clients kill anyone, but they were actually framed by the police and that it is the victims of who are the guilty ones.
Here is where Arab conspiracy theories inspired by Western conspiracy theories such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the rabid rantings of Nazi literature come full circle at last to feed into the conspiracy theories of America and Europe. For most Americans 9/11 was a national tragedy and an act of war. For the far-right and the far-left, 9/11 was a meeting point where Neo-Nazis, conspiracy theorists, Neo-Trotskyist, radical Muslims and a thousand other species of cretins that huddle in the political fringes met and shook hands.
The far-right and the far-left shook hands with each other and then shook hands with Muslim terrorists for a grand alliance that has David Duke delivering lectures in Arab countries, Noam Chomsky writing the introduction to a Holocaust denier's book and radical Muslim organizations participating in Neo-Trotskyist Anti-War rallies. Together they gave birth to a common narrative centering on the evils of America, the crimes of the Zionist Jews and the historical revisionism necessary for Terrorism Denial.
The far right and the far left both have extensive experience in historical revisionism. The far right has dedicated enormous efforts to Holocaust denial. The far left has struggled to maintain a blanket of silence over the blackest crimes of Communism, the murder of uncounted millions by Stalin and the USSR. On 9/11 they joined forces for a new project of historical revisionism that can be loosely called Terrorism Denial because its main purpose is to deny that terrorism is a threat and to argue that the real threat comes from Washington.
The one thing that unites these otherwise ideological enemies is their belief in the evil of America and that it must be overthrown so that a new society must arise in its place. A Fourth Reich for the far-right, a socialist tyranny for the far-left and a Caliphate for radical Muslims. While they do not agree on their ideal society, they all agree on what must happen to civilization as we know it for their monstrous utopias to come into being.
The American far-right and Far-left have long indulged in fantasies of leading a revolutionary campaign to overthrow the US government. The far-right has The Turner Diaries, a novel of the overthrow of America accompanied by the classical Nazi program of genocide, particularly of the Jews. The far-left has endless revolutionary texts prophesizing the fall of capitalism, the onset of a fascist tyranny followed by a bloody revolution and purges of the capitalists. Both seek to resurrect their glory days under Stalin and Hitler, yet at the same time both recognize that they are incapable of actually leading and fighting that revolution. Islam's bloody jihad represents their answer.
In their propaganda Islam is the force of the oppressed coming to bring down the American government and to do the bloody work the David Duke's and Noam Chomsky's are too cowardly to take on themselves. Islamic terrorist attacks push governments into adopt proof that we are living under a tyranny and gain new recruits for their ranks. To the far-right and the far-left, Islamic terrorists are the cannon-fodder with which to secure their revolution and their utopian society. And 9/11 was exactly what they had dreamed of for a long time, the glorious act of wholesale destruction of America's power to which the Oklahoma City bombing or the ALF's bouts of environmentalist vandalism could only aspire to.
With Bin Laden and his cohorts providing the wholesale destruction, the far-right and the far-left maintain their side of the partnership by providing the propaganda that stigmatizes every action America takes and redirects the blame for even the actions of the terrorists back onto America. 9/11 denial serves as a key tool in undermining the War on Terror by not only arguing that there is no actual terrorism but that it was carried out by the US government itself. This is a common practice by the allies of Muslim terrorism.
In Russia apologists for Muslim Chechnyan terrorists claim the KGB is actually behind many of the attacks attributed to the Chechnyans. In Israel conspiracy theorists like Barry Chamish claim that Israel is behind Arab terrorist attacks. In the US Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn McKinney inspired an outpouring of anger from the Indian-American community when she claimed that Islamic terrorist attacks in India had actually been carried out by the Indian government. Time and time again the pattern recurs across the world. When Muslim terrorists blow up a building or open fire on a crowded bus, their apologists quickly come out claiming that the government was behind it. The so-called 9/11 Truth Movement is only a piece of that larger Terrorism Denial movement which seeks to shift the blame from Muslim terrorists for their attacks to the government of that country.
In its milder forms Terrorism Denial victimizes Jews when much of the world deliberately pretends that Palestinian terrorism consists of a few rock throwing little boys. Terrorism Denial victimizes much of the world from Australia to America to Europe when Islamic attacks are ignored and Islam itself is praised as a religion of peace. The mild form of Terrorism Denial treats terrorist attacks as justifiable acts by an oppressed people that can only be resolved through appeasement and concessions.
The extreme form of Terrorism Denial insists that the enemy is the American government which must be overthrown and which is responsible for everything wrong with the world, including the terrorist attacks. In America this extreme form of Terrorism Denial is mainly limited to the fringes. In Europe, particularly in Russia, France and Germany, it has long since become mainstream.
The primary consumers of Terrorism Denial are those whose mindset cannot cope with a world in which America is the victim rather than the perpetrator, a state of affairs would logically demand that they support its national defense. Terrorism Denial is their response to this reality attempting to twist the truth, employ lies and deception in order to create a counter-reality in which America is the perpetrator and they are the true patriots.
Terrorism Denial is not about the left or the right. Like Holocaust denial, it is about a mindset. Long before David Irving, there was Harry Elmer Barnes, a noted liberal historian, who in attacking the truth of Nazi and Japanese atrocities as American propaganda, also included the Holocaust. Barnes is credited by Deborah Lipstadt with inspiring Holocaust denial and at the same time Barnes has inspired many New Left historians.
Like many liberals today Barnes' worldview was so rooted in his hatred of his own country that he could not see past it to even recognizing the evils of the Third Reich. The liberal response to Islamic terrorism is rooted in that very same inability to see past their hatred of the Bush administration to the evils of Islamic terrorists. The organizations of the far-right and the far-left thrive on such people who in the name of fighting evil, ally with evil. And this is the nature of Terrorism Denial, a toxic intellectual compound fed by those who support evil to those who refuse to see evil, until it is too late.