Saturday, September 02, 2006

Martin Amis on 'the real 9/11 conspiracy'

2 posts today that will probably attract the conspiracy theorists, but I still think the subject matter interesting. Comment moderator stays on. (Yeah, yeah, free speech. Look. There's plenty of other places on the wild west of the internet to discuss conspiracy theories and I have made it clear why I have a almost-zero-tolerance policy to publicising them: many of them are simply racist, anti-Semitic, utterly lacking in common sense, and in my opinion, help to provide the sea of paranoid disenfranchised aggrieved victimhood in which extremism can swim. And as quite a few of the people who espouse them have been bizarrely personally abusive ( I am not a team of disinfo M15 agents, ok?) I'm not having the debate all over again here. Debate here will be heavily moderated, I've heard most of it before, I do find it upsetting to be told mass-murdering suicide bombers were innocent, and like I said, this is NOT a conspiracy theory blog. Ta. )

Anyway: Martin Amis has written a fictionalised account of the last days of Mohammed Atta, ( extract here, more in tomorrow's Observer) and today he writes about September 11th in the Saturday Times reviewing The Looming Tower, by Lawrence Wright.

''Psychiatrists call it fabulation. The rest of us call it conspiracy theory — or the masochistic lust for chicanery and compound deceit. Fabulation may more simply be the failure to assimilate; and we concede that September 11 will perhaps never be wholly assimilable. The first question to be asked of the fabulist is cui bono? And the answer would be, “Well, the Administration, which could then accrue the power . . . to march on Baghdad”. We are arriving at an axiom in long-term thinking about international terrorism: the real danger lies not in what it inflicts but in what it provokes. Thus by far the gravest consequence of September 11 to date is Iraq.

The American death toll in the war will soon exceed the death toll in the original attack; and for the Iraqi people that figure is exceeded every three weeks.

Nor are the losses merely actuarial: they are also to be seen in our weakened hold on the high ground of morality and reason. It is as if September 11 entrained a net increase in suggestibility, and at every level. At the top, a President guided a) by blithe adventurists and b) by intimations from the Almighty. At the bottom, a citizenry haunted by rudderless suspicions. The fact is that America didn’t wound itself in September 2001, as the fabulists claim. It did that in March 2003 and thereafter.''



Blogger Leighton Cooke said...

Fair point, Rachel. I agree that much conspiracy theory is total nonsense. Maybe it also has to do with people's feelings of alienation in a complex world over which they have very little control?

September 02, 2006 10:49 pm  
Blogger Numeral said...

I have never managed to read any of Martin Amis' books but I struggled through his review of Wright. I would comment on it but I lost interest. As to his theory that Atta was driven to suicide by chronic constipation ...

September 03, 2006 12:41 am  

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