Saturday, October 27, 2007

9/11 "Truthers" told to "Get a Life"

Most people with lives don't realise that there is a strand of opinion that thinks the terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001 were actually organised by the US government. These people have built up an entire theology around the government conspiracy proposition, complete with factions and schisms. Some believe that aeroplanes didn't actually hit the towers, they were holograms apparently; some believe that the World Trade Centre was hit by rays from space, and there are those who merely believe that the entire complex was wired for demolition. Of course they have no evidence that stands up to a moment's scrutiny and the entire movement is a monument to logical fallacies, and failures in basic science education. In fact, the only reason this is at all important is that these people act as apologists and deniers to the very real threat of Islamic terrorism, preferring the comfort zone of believing in the supposed evils of the governments of the West instead of recognising that there are actually enemies from elsewhere who would kill them in an eyeblink if it served their purposes.

Having failed to make any impression on public opinion, the latest 'truther' tactic is to ambush live television programmes and public figures with moronic shouted slogans or crackpot questions, usually filming the results for YouTube. This has moved some commentator opinion from amused tolerance to irritation, as can be seen from this article in the Telegraph. It is also a worrying development. Having seen some of the other things these people also tend to believe, Jews Control the media, worldwide conspiracies etc., then the more active they get the more likely it is that their activism will not end well. There is a rich history of lunatic fringes escalating to violence from the Unabomber to Timothy McVeigh to more 'organised' groups such as the Weather Underground or the Baader Meinhof group in Germany. So, not only are they abetting the enemies of democracy through their propaganda, but they are on a dangerous and slippery slope to becoming agents of terror themselves. Let's hope that 'truth' movement gets off that train before it arrives at its ghastly destination.

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