Some questions and comments for Doug Henwood and others
By Joseph Diaferia -- May 4, 2010, 00:25
In the days that followed the 9/11 attacks, information regarding mysterious .put-options. on American and United Airlines, in the week or so prior to the attacks, began to reach the alternative media.
Already doubtful of the veracity of the Bush administration.s official narrative, I decided to email economist and Left Business Observer publisher Doug Henwood and ask if he had any knowledge of the 9/11 related insider trading that journalists, such as Mike Ruppert, were starting to bring to light. Having received a prompt reply to a previous email I had sent Mr. Henwood regarding one of his speaking engagements, I believed it reasonably likely that a question relating directly to the economics of 9/11 would elicit some kind of response from him. No response was forthcoming, and on Thursday, April 29, 2010 almost a decade later, the reason became clear.
During some introductory comments on his radio program Behind the News, which airs on Thursday afternoons between 5:00 and 6:00 on WBAI in New York, Mr. Henwood unleashed a caustic assault on the 9/11 Truth Movement in which he attributed, paranoia, psychoses, and other pathologies to its members. He continued by characterizing the movement itself as toxic waste and a distraction to other .legitimate. progressive movements and causes. He then referred to the damage to the Pentagon and the melting point of steel as having taken on .lives of their own..
Initially angered by the dismissive tone taken by such an educated man as Henwood, I then considered the troubling number of political progressives who, like Henwood, accept the U.S. government.s account of the attacks, and who eventually embrace progressive analyses of the attacks only for the purpose of trying to explain the motives of the so-called terrorists. It is this radicalized version of George W. Bush.s analysis -- to wit, .they hate our freedoms. -- that have given progressive academics such as Paul Zarembka and John McMurtry to charge many members of the political left -- including some of their own colleagues in academia -- with being asleep at the switch.
To be sure, it may be easy for even the most educated and informed observers of political and public affairs to want to avoid life.s more recondite areas of curiosity. However, when evidence of 9/11 being a false-flag attack is now at a level of proof, it is fair to ask why so many progressive academics and journalists still retreat from this reality. Why do Henwood and other political and social critics such as Noam Chomsky still resort to the mother of all dismissive appellations -- .conspiracy theory. -- when presented with irrefutable evidence of 9/11 being an inside job? (To my knowledge, Chomsky still believes that Oswald shot JFK.) One clue was offered by Henwood himself during his militant invective against the Truth Movement. Henwood spoke of the .credibility issues. faced by WBAI among members of the public and that any serious consideration of a 9/11 counter-narrative might compound WBAI.s marginalization. However, I would remind Mr. Henwood that as long as WBAI is a dissident island in an information universe controlled by the likes of Fox, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal, WBAI will always be engaged in a struggle for its credibility, as is true of any alternative news source.
Therefore, my questions to Mr. Henwood and to all other like-minded progressive critics of U.S. foreign policy: Have you read the research of those whom you snidely refer to as .9/11 truthers.? If you have not, why do you heap such public opprobrium upon a political movement that you have not taken the time to understand? If you have read the research, why or how are you still satisfied with the U.S. government.s implausible rationales?
Regarding the issue of distraction, what could be more energizing to a peace movement than to know that the War on Terror.s catalyzing event was a contrived fiction? Finally, are you hesitant to make common cause with paleo-conservatives and right-libertarians who have also conducted extensive and damning research into the events of 9/11?
Let us not overlook the respected progressive academics and journalists who do not accept the U.S. government.s claim that the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by suicidal maniacs whose actions were coordinated from a cave in Afghanistan via cell phone. They include (and this is hardly a comprehensive listing) Peter Dale Scott, Michel Chossudovsky, Michael Parenti, Steven Jones, James Fetzer, Wayne Madsen, David Ray Griffin, Webster G. Tarpley, Barrie Zwicker, Michael Ruppert, Bev Conover and as already noted Paul Zarembka and John McMurtry.
Still given the amount of evidence adduced against the official version of the events of 9/11, too few in the fields of education and journalism appear ready to overcome psychological barriers to accepting information other than that which they consider safe or most comforting. To this latter group, in addition to the questions I have already posed, I might wonder as to their agendas and for whom they truly speak. Are some insidious political forces making it worth their while to toe a specious political line?
Joseph Diaferia is a community college professor and a member of the 9/11 Truth Movement. He holds an M.S. in International Affairs and Diplomacy, and an M.P.A. He is a doctoral student in the field of Public Policy