9/11 again, responding to readers?
By rahnuma ahmed
My two-part series on 9/11 and the blowback paradigm has elicited considerable response from readers, not, I must add, in the pages of New Age but through e-mails, addressed to me personally (Part I, Does the `blowback? paradigm explain 9/11? Truth-ers disagree, September 19, 2011; Concluding Part, September 20, 2011, New Age).
I think you need to write another piece, to wrap up the whole thing. Digesting all the stuff, even if it was in two-parts was quite difficult. I?d like to chew on what you?ve written, and to know more. Is that possible?
I found two things very important and interesting, wrote another reader, a PhD student at an American campus. The American left?s phobia of conspiracy which leads to a psychology of denial, precluding the possibility that the American state is far more vicious than imagined by leading Left writers. And the other thing is what Parenti says of conspiracies, that they are `a component of the national security political system in the US, not deviations from it.? It just opened my eyes.
Another doctoral student, she too, a Bangladeshi, wrote from a university campus in England. It clarifies the Leftists stand for me. I?d come across many scholars and students who are equally critical of American foreign policy but disagree with Chomsky?s analysis. I?d never understood why, it?s clear now. Congrats for clarifying how leading Left thinkers too, are wedded to a state-driven paradigm.
Chomsky?s acceptance of the official version and his gross generalisations about so-called conspiracy theorists, wrote another reader, makes me wonder how far left, dissident intellectuals are capable of raising questions about the nature of the state within which they lead their lives. It makes me wonder about the boundaries of Chomsky?s critical inquiries, about the social nature of his relationship to the American elite, which is part of the global elite. What I found most appealing in what you wrote is not so much the 9/11 Truth movement per se as how iconic left intellectuals resist paths seeking to discover the truth.
`There?s by now a small industry on the thesis that the administration had something to do with 9-11,? says Chomsky.
To speak of the 9/11 Truth movement thus, says Barrie Zwicker, is a familiar put-down. `Small industry? often implies a `cottage industry,? it conjures images of a `tiny minority of energetically mistaken individuals? some of whom may be making money off it, thereby portraying their motive as `disreputable.? Continue reading “9/11 again, responding to readers?”
Does the `blowback? paradigm explain 9/11?
By rahnuma ahmed
Before launching into my discussion of the `blowback? paradigm, let?s take a quick look at the findings from a new poll of New Yorkers: ?36% want a new investigation of the collapse of Building 7.
Apparently, 1 in 3 New Yorkers are unaware of Building 7?s collapse; ?but, of those who are, ?24% believe it was a `controlled demolition.?
Not `fire?, as the National Institute of Science and Technology?s 2008 report claims: ?[Building 7 is] The first known instance of fire [in history] causing the total collapse of a tall building.? NIST termed it `a new phenomenon.?
Conducted by the independent Siena Research Institute, the poll was commissioned by Remember Building 7, an advocacy campaign calling for a new investigation of the 47-storey skyscraper, which collapsed on 9/11.
36 percent of all respondents are inclined to believe critics — among them are Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth), which has gathered over 1,500 signatures from architects and engineers — who say the government?s account of Building 7?s collapse is `physically impossible.?? Its fall, maintain these architects and engineers who have professional experience in designing and building skyscrapers, was caused by `controlled demolition.?
36 percent of those polled say, we are `not satisfied that we know the whole truth about that day, and it is time to get to the bottom of what happened.?
The `whole truth? and `getting to the bottom of what happened? is inextricably linked to paradigms. What was it that Thomas Kuhn had said of paradigms?.? it constitutes the underlying assumptions and intellectual structure upon which research and development in a field of inquiry is based (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962). Others have spoken of it being an interpretative framework, one which is guided by a set of beliefs and feelings about the world and how it should be understood and studied (Egon G. Guba ed, The Paradigm Dialog, 1990).
`Blowback? — explains professor Chalmers Johnson, author of the trilogy Blowback (volume 1 published in 2001), an academic for 30 years who also worked as a consultant for the CIA (1967-1973) but later became best known for his powerful critique of American imperialism — is a CIA term. It means retaliation or payback. `By blowback we do not mean just the unintended consequences of events. We mean unintended consequences of events that were kept secret from the American public, so that when the retaliation comes, they have no way to put it into context. Just as after 9/11, you have the president saying, “Why do they hate us?” The people on the receiving end know full well that they hate us because of what was done to them. It’s the American public that are in the dark on that subject? (interviewed by Harry Kreisler, January 29, 2004). Continue reading “CONCLUDING PART: Does the `blowback? paradigm explain 9/11?”