Does Kevin Barrett Seek to “Absolve Islam of a Terrible Crime”?
The Kevin Barrett-Chomsky Dispute in Historical Perspective – Last part of the series titled “9/11 and the Zionist Question” – Read the twelfth part here
Amidst his litany of condemnations, Jonathan Kay reserves some of his most vicious and vitriolic attacks for Kevin Barrett. For instance Kay harshly criticizes Dr. Barrett’s published E-Mail exchange in 2008 with Prof. Chomsky. In that exchange Barrett castigates Chomsky for not going to the roots of the event that “doubled the military budget overnight, stripped Americans of their liberties and destroyed their Constitution.” The original misrepresentations of 9/11, argues Barrett, led to further “false flag attacks to trigger wars, authoritarianism and genocide.”
In Among The Truthers Kay tries to defend Chomsky against Barrett’s alleged “personal obsession” with “vilifying” the MIT academic. Kay objects particularly to Barrett’s “final salvo” in the published exchange where the Wisconsin public intellectual accuses Prof. Chomsky of having “done more to keep the 9/11 blood libel alive, and cause the murder of more than a million Muslims than any other single person.” (p. 315)
In a chapter subtitled The New Face of Anti-Semitic Conspiracism, Kay refers to Barrett as nebbish, as a “say-anything bad boy.” (p. 287) In Kay’s opinion Barrett’s adherence to the Muslim religion has helped transform him into a “militant, left-wing anti-Israeli obsessive” who has made “common cause” with his fellow “hatemongers in the Muslim Middle East.” (p. 292) As Kay sees it, Barrett’s record of research, publication and popular punditry directed at exposing the true nature of the 9/11 crimes is reprehensible because “It absolves Islam of a terrible crime.” (p. 167)
Kay should be held to account for this stunning characterization of 9/11 as a crime committed not by specific human beings but rather by a religion. The clear implication of Kay’s profanity is that 2,000,000,000 Muslims are collectively responsible for the 9/11 debacle. Me thinks Kay doth protest too much.
Putting aside for a moment, the significance of this statement as a part of the 9/11 cover up, such generalizing rhetoric is emblematic of the hate speech used to inflame the violent assaults of race wars. Kay’s blood libel comment is representative of the kind of language used to drive on genocide in, for instance, the US Indian wars or the Maori wars in New Zealand.
The Pied Piper
In the You Tube video entitled “Noam Chomsky discusses 9/11 Conspiracy Theories,” the famous professor argues that all the effort that has gone into exposing the lies and crimes of 9/11 “diverted a lot of energy from trying to stop the War on Iraq.” This single statement points to the irony of his tenure as the peace movement’s darling. Throughout the twenty-first century Chomsky retained his position at the center stage of the anti-war movement during a period of rampant and unbridled militarism.
Chomsky’s power-serving position on 9/11 discouraged progressive resistance to the ascendance of the neoconservative Right with all its covert operations, militaristic ambitions and neoliberal corporatist obsessions. During the period when he was treated like the Pope of the Left, Chomsky was instrumental in blocking the 9/11 Truth Movement from embracing its natural role near the animating heart of the anti-war movement.
Chomsky established the pattern adopted by many of his followers that the necessary critiques of war and repressions arising after 9/11 should not extend into any serious focus on the 9/11 event itself. This prohibition on drawing essential links between cause and effect has been instrumental in rendering the anti-war movement lame and bereft of significant political influence. There are obvious problems at the base of anti-war protests not rooted in sound analysis of the underlying dynamics of the conflicts at issue. Who did what to whom and why?
By keeping the window open to the possibility that the 9/11 debacle resulted from the independent actions of genuine Islamic jihadists acting alone, strategic high ground was sacrificed to the engineers of the most ambitious Black Op of all time. The harsh realities yet to be faced in our core institutions are that those who were supposed to protect us in fact facilitated many-faceted attacks against us that have dramatically undermined the quality of life for most human beings.
As long as officialdom can escape any reckoning with the pattern of violation that has rendered most of our core institutions of governance, communications, education and law enforcement as complicit partners in the 9/11 crimes, the same patterns of violation will continue. There is no decent future without assertive action by the citizenry, to hold accountable for their crimes the real culprits of 9/11 with all its related violations. This kind of understanding points to the aptness of the slogan that 9/11 Truth Ends 9/11 Wars.
Because of the aggressive interventions of Chomsky many peace activists were left ill-equipped, lacking the necessary orientation to counter effectively the neocons’ expert incitement and exploitation of public fears of radical jihadists. In the light of this experience, how are we to view the Left’s # 1 public intellectual during a period of heightened warfare and unprecedented loss of ground for the rights of workers and average citizens, but especially Muslim workers and citizens?
Drawing the Obvious Conclusions
At the Left Forum Kevin Barrett attempted to hold the Pope of the Left accountable for helping give cover to the perpetrators of the global coup d’etat that radically transformed geopolitics on September 11, 2001. As Barrett wrote on departing his family home in Lone Rock Wisconsin, “To criticize Chomsky at the Left Forum in New York is sort of like going to the Vatican to criticize the Pope. But the doctrine of Papal Infallibility does not apply to Chomsky, despite what some of his admirers seem to think. So I do not expect to be met by the left-wing version of the Spanish Inquisition.”
There was a kind of sadness that swept over Kevin Barrett near the end of his commentary on “Why Chomsky is Wrong on 9/11” at the left Forum in New York. Barrett has observed that so much of the dominant psychological operation since 9/11 has been engineered to influence people below the level of consciousness. This being the case, the impact of this contamination of the mental environment with the plague of Islamophobia cannot be addressed through rational argument alone.
Said Barrett, “No amount of conscious deliberation and argumentation is ever going to change the overall body of consciousness of the people. There’s a kind of momentum that’s been built up by inculcating people with this official picture of 9/11. It is like a boulder rolling down the mountain that crushes rational arguments as it goes.” Barrett then backtracked to reconsider in a slightly more optimistic vein. He reflected, “If the psychologically shocking truth of these events does emerge, that could actually change things….. the whole country rising up, which is what we need. That’s precisely what would have happened if, instead of giving us this line of bullshit in November of 2001, Chomsky had pushed the whole Left towards just looking at Building 7 and drawing the obvious conclusions.”
Dr. Hall is editor in chief of American Herald Tribune. He is currently Professor of Globalization Studies at University of Lethbridge in Alberta Canada. He has been a teacher in the Canadian university system since 1982. Dr. Hall, has recently finished a big two-volume publishing project at McGill-Queen’s University Press entitled “The Bowl with One Spoon”.