Anti-Semitism History Holocaust denial Skepticism/critical thinking

Holocaust denial and 9/11 “Truth”: Two crappy tastes that taste crappy together

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am somewhat. As loony as the President of Iran Ahmoud Ahmadinejad is, as much of an Energizer Bunny of Holocaust denial and host of a conference for Holocaust denial as he is, even I didn’t think he would go this far. But, thanks to Mark Hoofnagle and Screw Loose Change, I learn that he has. I should have seen it coming:

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States said Wednesday it was “speechless” after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad voiced doubts about the accepted version of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

“I am not sure what you say about a statement like that. It leaves one speechless,” said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

“It is just misguided, misinformed rhetoric,” McCormack said.

“I cannot tell whether or not it is something that he truly believes or if this is just an attempt to try to shake up public opinion in Iran or elsewhere,” McCormack said.

Earlier Wednesday, Ahmadinejad called the 9/11 attacks a “suspect event” in a speech at a public rally in the holy city of Qom.

“Four or five years ago a suspect event took place in New York,” Ahmadinejad said, in an address carried live on state television.

“A building collapsed and they said that 3,000 people had been killed, whose names were never published.”

“Under this pretext they (the United States) attacked Afghanistan and Iraq and since then a million people have been killed,” said the Iranian president.

This was the third time in just over a week that Ahmadinejad has publicly raised doubts about the September 11 airborne attacks on New York and Washington carried out by Al-Qaeda militants which killed nearly 3,000 people.

Yes, as Mark pointed out, it’s definitely crank magnetism at work, but it’s more than that.

Sadly, Holocaust denial fits into the 9/11 “Truth” movement hand-in-glove. Think about it. Whenever you see claims by 9/11 Truthers that there was some sort of “conspiracy” to bring down the World Trade Center towers, who is inevitably part of the conspiracy in the paranoid vision of the “Truth” movement? Well, there’s usually the U.S. government, but almost invariably the Mossad is said to be involved.

Yep, the Jews.

Then let’s not forget the malignant myth about the 4,000 Jews who were supposedly told to stay home that morning and thus did not show up for work. Moreover, this is not the first time Holocaust deniers have been associated with the 9/11 Truth movement. Screw Loose Change, for instance, documents many instances. Indeed, Steve Campbell, founder of Citizens for 9/11 Truth, has even asked a local station to air a blatantly anti-Semitic film featuring Holocaust denier Fred Toben.

The bottom line is that Holocaust denial fits perfectly into the very same sort of paranoid, conspiratorial world view necessary to believe in something as utterly ridiculous as 9/11 Truth. The same sort of person who can think that there was a massive conspiracy orchestrated by the Jews to falsify evidence for the Holocaust (and, yes, that is what some of them say) is the very same sort of person who can believe that our own government would kill 3,000 of its own people in order to–what? Provide a pretext to invade Iraq? Consolidate its own power? Let’s put it this way: No matter how incompetent or even downright malignant I think the Bush Administration may be, it defies belief that it would be competent enough and evil enough to pull off such a plan.

Of course, the thing that links the two is ideology. In the case of Holocaust denial, it’s Jew-hatred and (often) an admiration of Hitler that drives deniers to such ridiculous contortions and abuse of logic and evidence. In the case of 9/11 Truthers, it appears to be an intense hatred and/or distrust of the government, but, given its alliance with Irael, it’s very easy to slip in some hardcore anti-Semitism as well. Indeed, anti-Semitism is a thread that binds Truthers and Holocaust deniers together in all too many cases.

Crank magnetism remains a powerful thing.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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