Monday, March 27, 2006

Eyes on the Prize

There are different "camps" in the 9/11 truth and justice movement, such as the "let it happen on purpose" (LIHOP) versus "the made it happen on purpose" (MIHOP) camps.

There are also many different personality types involved in this movement, and we often get on each others' nerves.

As someone who has participated in and observed this movement for a while, I estimate that we waste one-third of our time and energy unnecessarily fighting with each other rather than fighting to get the truth out there and working to impeach and jail those who carried out 9/11.

Its time to "grow up" as a movement, and -- in Webster Tarpley's words -- focus our energy "outward".

Hop To!

The LIHOP believers (I'll call them Ls for short) believe that Bush, Cheney and others intentionally "stood down" our air defenses on September 11, allowing the hijackers to slam into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Ls point to facts including: that the government had numerous warnings of imminent attacks; that fighter jets could easily have intercepted the planes under normal circumstances; and that there were numerous war games occurring on the exact morning of 9-11, all apparently under the control of Dick Cheney. The Ls believe that there is sufficient evidence that the government intentionally let the 9-11 attacks happen, that it would be careless and counter-productive to push any more controversial theories, especially when no structural engineers or airplane crash reconstruction experts have agreed with MIHOP...

The MIHOP faithful (let's call them Ms) believe that covert operatives brought down the World Trade Center Buildings and a portion of the Pentagon using one or more of the following: (1) explosives; (2) missiles; or (3) military aircraft. They point to facts including: no large commercial buildings had ever before collapsed due to fire; the firefighters' tapes show that the fires in and around the towers were not out of control prior to the collapse; many commentators initially stated that the collapse of the Twin Towers and WTC 7 looked just like controlled demolitions, with many reports of explosives by eye-witnesses; there is unusual seismic data associated with the collapse of the Twin Towers; the owner of the trade center admitted that he had WTC 7 "pulled", i.e. demolished with explosives; and the hole in and debris around the Pentagon does not appear in available photographs to be the wreckage from a large commercial plane.

The Ms believe that the physical and video evidence is a "smoking gun" which the government cannot refute with claims of innocent mistakes, and that it would be crazy not to publicize such evidence, since the video and physical evidence could be a "slam dunk" of success for the movement. Specifically, Ms argue that evidence of controlled demolition of the world trade center and other "physical evidence" can't be refuted, whereas LIHOP is a tough argument to make in court, because you need to show that the folks who carried out 9/11 INTENDED to let it happen, as opposed to just accidentally let it happen. This is tough to prove, say the Ms, since it requires proof of someone else's STATE OF MIND.

Some Ms also believe in more exotic theories, such as nuclear weapons in the Twin Towers, or the use of fake video images (I personally believe both theories are wholly incorrect).

The Ls accuse the Ms of being unscientific or flaky. And the Ms accuse the Ls of being part of a whitewash or a "limited hang out", an old CIA term for a fake but acceptable "fallback story". In other words, the Ms argue that if the LIHOP theory prevails, then the government will just continue to defend by saying – as the 9-11 Commission basically stated – that "mistakes were made, but no one is to blame."

Each side accuses the other of being part of a disinformation campaign and psychological operation by government covert agents. Specifically, Ls think that Ms are government plants spreading easily-disputable lies and faked evidence, so that – when they are eventually disproven - the whole movement will be discredited. They point to the historical record to show that the government planted a witness in the JFK assassination investigation, and when he was publicly shown to be lying - the whole investigation lost steam.

The Ms think that the Ls are government employeesand "gatekeepers", giving a back-up story in case the official story fails, so that they can then say it was merely an "accident" due to confusion and lack of foresight, so that the government can end the whole debate by saying "oops... we'll do better next time."

As someone who has friends of good faith in both camps, I think this is a fruitless dynamic which is preventing the movement from gathering momentum.

If you really think about it, MIHOP and LIHOP are two sides of the same coin:

Without a stand down, without the creation of false identities of patsies, without funding from bizarre sources, 9/11 couldn't have happened (LIHOP!)

Without the demolition of world trade center buildings 1, 2, and 7, Americans wouldn't have been traumatized to the point where they would give up their liberty, their freedom, and their brains and blindly follow a "strong leader" into Iraq, the Patriot Act, and policies of torture and illegal spying (MIHOP!)

What Leaders of the Movement Say

Here are the comments of 6 prominent 9-11 truth activists, some mainly in the MIHOP camp and some mainly in the LIHOP camp, on this dynamic:

- "It is clear to me that both sides are infiltrated by insiders who want to promote this split."

- "I don't understand why we have to choose sides. In my opinion we are all on the same side. We may have differences of opinion regarding certain facets of 9-11 but that's no reason why we have to attack others and impugn their integrity. I always thought we were on the same team."

- This is the old "divide and conquer" strategy which those in power have used for hundreds of years to squash truth and positive changes. If we don't focus on who the real enemy is and just bicker among ourselves, then we will all lose!

- Smearing the credibility of witnesses, instead of the facts which the witnesses point to, is a hallmark of government disinformation.

- In many movements that are attacking mainstream thinking, the different "camps" will tend to turn on each other instead of "keeping the eyes on the prize".

- "4 out of 5 dictators agree: divide and conquer works!"

We all agree that the stakes couldn't be higher. Certain extreme elements in our government created a second "pearl harbor" in order to promote their military, imperial, anti-democratic, oil-centered agenda. They killed 3,000 innocent people, and have declared war on freedom in America and abroad. If we don't mature as a movement so that we can succeed as a team, the future may spell additional false flag attacks and misery for many.

But the opportunities are also enormous. Remember the Chinese character for crisis means both "danger" AND "opportunity". If we are successful in spreading the truth that the government was actually responsible for 9-11, then democracy, justice, freedom and truth will have a chance to prevail. Remember, the struggle between repression and truth has been ongoing for some time. If we succeed we will be making history, because – unlike the Reichstag fire set by the Nazis to justify the crackdown by Hitler, or numerous other "unsolved crimes" and murders by the forces of repression - we have the chance to solve and prove the crime in real-time right now. This would be one of the most significant events in history, and WE have the chance to do it and to become heroes instead of victims.

One commentator has stated that 9-11 is the "Achilles heel" of the forces of repression, and that is why the covert operatives are working so hard to create a split where none need exist. To become a powerful movement, we need to keep our eyes on the goal and work together as a winning team.

This is not to say that righteous anger or the sword of discrimination are not required. Sloppy thinking is certainly a danger to the movement. But we need to distinguish between debunking a sloppy argument and dividing and conquering as a way to break apart the movement. Let's follow Professor Jones' approach: test any theory with scientific rigor, and drop those theories that don't hold up under scrutiny.

Big Tent or Lone Wolf?

Another debate centers around whether the 9/11 movement should take a "big tent" or a "lone wolf" approach. Groups like Scholars for 9/11 Truth have taken a big tent approach, where many different backgrounds and beliefs are represented.

On the other hand, on-the-ground activists like Jolly Roger have long argued that big groups can easily be infiltrated and neutralized. JR argues that activists should do there own thing individually, so that they won't be slowed down or stopped by the disinfo boys.

Why not do both? Support groups like Scholars for 9/11 Truth and also do your own thing on the side?

Eyes on the Prize

People bring different skills and styles to the table. Some have academic credentials. Some have impressive resumes or hands-on experience. Others have a talent for web research or great organizing skills, or the energy and passion to shake things up and make things happen.

Some are veterans of other peace or social justice movements, with wisdom to share which is worth listening to. Others are young, smart, and without baggage, and have an amazing ability to get things done.

There are a lot of different kinds of people involved in 9-11 activism, and learning to tolerate each others' styles -- even when totally repugnant and opposite from our own -- is vital if we're going to succeed as a movement. There are religious folks, spiritual folks and atheists. There are in-your-face New Yorkers and laid-back Californians. There are shoot-from-the-hip types and write-about-it-for-a-month types. There are the emotional and passionate and the coldly analytical. There are conservatives and liberals, republicans and democrats, libertarians and greens. We've got to learn from each other and learn to tolerate each other. And each of these types are needed and contribute in their own way.

There are also power struggles within the movement. In addition to the power struggles initiated by government operatives trying to disrupt the movement, there are also plain old turf wars, where people are competing for funding, fame and glory. This is true for all movements, as people who have been involved in the civil rights, environmental or women's rights movements
can attest.

Some people known as Ls are really secretly M, but they think L has the best chance to get the public's attention INITIALLY, and that -- after we get their attention -- then we can bring up the M facts. So people may not be as one-dimensional as we assume.

I think we should back the efforts which currently appear to have the best chance of success. If a person or group is being successful in organizing and getting the public or media's interest, we should at least give some support. Even if we think that the person/group's strategy or vision is not ideal, as long as it is not disseminating lies, we should applaud any success to get the issue out there. The mainstream news media has been so terrible on 9-11 and the public kept so far in the dark and intimidated by alerts regarding Al Qaeda, that any success helps educate the public and boost the morale of the movement.

With that said, in internal discussions between 9-11 activists, debate and constructive criticism is necessary, and sloppy or incomplete thinking should rightly be pointed out.

Diversity in the movement is healthy. Several people wrote to stress that fact. I learned in my college ecology class that diverse crops survive crises better than monoculture crops. In the same way, diversity in the movement will help insure that we survive infiltration and attempts to break up the movement.

At the same time, we should stress alliances whenever possible. Alliances can be straightforward. For example, a L group can state of a M group's work: "If the facts are as [insert name of M group] says, then we would agree with their conclusion. Further investigation should be conducted to see if [M group's] facts check out." This does not undermine the L group's credibility, and at the same time, encourages further research into the M group's claims.

Similarly, M groups could say "we agree with [insert name of L group] that certain elements of the government intentionally let 9-11 occur. In fact, we go further, because we have evidence that proves that government personnel were actually co-conspirators in the attacks. Our evidence includes ...."

If we're smart about it, alliances will promote, and not detract from, our individual efforts.

And last, but not least, we have to face the paradox about timing. Many L groups point out that the movement has to go slow, to gather credibility, a popular following and strength. Many M groups point out that the U.S. is in for further false flag attacks, drifting towards overt fascism, and further imperial warmongering, and that it is now or never to get out the full truth and stop the juggernaut. I personally believe that BOTH perspectives are accurate. I think we need short- and long-term strategies simultaneously.

So the question becomes: How do we act with urgency to get something done now, before the next terrorist or false flag attack occurs (at which point many of our remaining liberties may be taken away), and yet act with the kind of careful, thoughtful deliberateness which can help to build a strong movement? This is a tension which -- with some creative dialogue -- may create an approach which addresses both concerns, so that the movement has a chance NOW of stopping and imprisoning the criminals who committed or facilitated 9-11 while building a strong, popular and credible movement.

Is that a paradox? Yup – deal with it! Life is full of paradoxes. Indeed, the ability to tolerate paradoxes is a hallmark of maturity. More importantly, it is usually a necessary ingredient for success.

Keep your eyes on the prize . . . and we will restore sanity to our country and our world, and usher in a new era of truth and true representational government such as has never been seen before.

This essay was co-written with a friend, who wishes to remain anonymous


Blogger Arabesque said...

Disinformation and the Misleading and False LIHOP/MIHOP Dichotomy

By Arabesque

While there are many theories about what happened on 9/11, the attack was far more complex than can be understood with the misleading and false LIHOP/MIHOP dichotomy. These terms are even less useful when they are predictably distorted to create straw-man arguments, unnecessary fighting, and to divisively label individuals as suggested above by George Washington.  Could divide and conquer be a deliberate intent with the use of these terms?  Mark Robinowitz writes: “Binary thinking is a tool of control… Within the 9/11 truth movement, there is a false dichotomy between whether 9/11 was LIHOP… or MIHOP… This divisiveness keeps government critics from uniting.” A COINTELPRO letter by FBI director Edgar Hoover revealed that the “instigating of or the taking advantage of personal conflicts or animosities existing between New Left leaders” was a deliberate strategy to divide activist groups. Effectively, the LIHOP/MIHOP dichotomy is used to accomplish exactly this on the internet and discussion forums whether by design or accident. This is the difference between disinformation and misinformation; just as one can promote bad information with or without knowing it is bad information, misleading and inaccurate terms can be utilized without comprehending or correcting their inaccuracy.

4:54 PM  

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