Monday, September 12, 2005

The Guardian or The Times

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The Guardian print version deserves to have a higher circulation than it does.

This is because it has articles like the following:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1566916,00.html
London bombs: former UK cabinet minister Meacher says MI6 is trying to cover its tracks.

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/attacks/comment/0,1320,1036772,00.html

There are always interesting letters in the Guardian. This for example:

September 10 2005

Timothy Garton Ash (It always lies below, September 8) rightly notes that natural disasters can expose the vulnerability of civilisation. But he is wrong to argue that Katrina's lesson is that beneath a thin crust of civilisation lies "the seething magma of nature, including human nature" which produces what Thomas Hobbes described as a war of all against all...

Human nature is best revealed in the fact that the vast majority of people for the vast majority of time live perfectly decent, peaceful lives in productive cooperation.

If Hobbes was correct in his characterisations of selfish human nature, then it would not have been possible, as he argued, for individuals to create the edifice of politics by means of a social contract.

As a later philosopher, David Hume, noted, this would have been "an idea far beyond the comprehension of savages". We are not by nature savages. We are by nature social animals, capable of working together to overcome even the most appalling disasters, although our efforts in this are enhanced if we are governed by those who see it as their duty to provide prompt and efficient help.
Dr David Morrice Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute

Timothy Garten Ash? He is one of the Guardian columnists and is one reason for considering switching to The Times.

The Guardian has a number of dud columnists: Timothy Garten Ash, Martin Kettle, Polly Toynbee, Jonathan Freedland and Max Hastings all seem to be defenders of the 'bad guys' and opponents of perfectly sensible conspiracy theories.

What about The Times and Sunday Times?

Read the following:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2102-1757744,00.html

The Sunday Times - Books

September 04, 2005

'Terrorism: 9/11 Revealed: Challenging the Facts behind the War on Terror' by Ian Henshall and Rowland Morgan

Review by NICK FIELDING

Scarcely a day had passed before the first conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks began to emerge. The “miraculous” recovery of lead hijacker Mohammed Atta’s passport from the ruins of the World Trade Center, the spotting of a team of Israelis who cheered as they filmed the incident in New York, the odd behaviour of George W Bush, who continued to read a story about goats to children for an hour after he had been informed about the attacks — all of these events were grist to the conspiracy theorists’ mill.

One of the strongest (and unsubstantiated) theories to emerge suggested that millions of dollars had been made by speculators on the New York stock exchange who had advance knowledge of the campaign. The passing of four years has diminished neither the breadth and intricacy of 9/11 conspiracy theories nor, it would appear, the public appetite for them. Like JFK and Martin Luther King’s assassinations, it is an event destined to be the subject of intense speculation for generations to come.

Dozens of sceptical accounts have emerged including theories that the attacks were a coup d’etat carried out from within the American administration itself. There are, say supporters of this line of argument, parallels with the continuing debate over whether or not America knew in advance of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

By allowing the attacks to happen — or in the case of the most extreme theories, by organising them under a “false flag” — the military-industrial complex in America, headed by Dick Cheney and his neocon supporters in the Project for a New American Century, guaranteed that America would stay at war and that profits would stay high. Supporters of this and similar theories point to previous occasions where America has invented incidents to justify continuing hostilities, such as during the Spanish-American conflict or the Gulf of Tonkin incident in the Vietnam war.

A recent DVD from the Blackpool 9/11 Truth Group, for example, states the following: “The two planes which flew into the towers are American KC737 in-flight refuel tankers fitted with missile pods and not passenger airliners.” Similar speculation surrounds the attack on the Pentagon, where the mystery of how a jetliner with a 124-ft wingspan could leave a hole only 14ft wide in the outer wall continues to baffle all who examine the incident.

The behaviour of the Bush administration has not helped those who wish to see a full explanation of 9/11. At first, Bush was determined there should be no inquiry into the biggest attack ever launched on American soil. Then he tried to appoint Henry Kissinger to head a limited inquiry. Following a storm of protest, Kissinger was forced to withdraw when he refused to reveal his sensitive client list.

The authors of Revealed, both radical journalists, have subjected the official version of what happened to intense scrutiny and found huge gaps. Recalling that most of what we know about what happened on the planes comes from alleged calls made by passengers on mobile phones, they point out that most experts say that, for technical reasons, this contact would have been impossible to make. No billing advice has ever been made public to show the calls were made. They highlight the absence of Mayday distress signals, the failure to find the black-box flight recorders for the WTC aircraft, the apparent disappearance of the wreckage, the failure to carry out a full engineering investigation into why the towers collapsed so fast and the failure to scramble military aircraft to intercept the hijacked aircraft.

Even more intriguing is the role of Hani Hanjour, the pilot of Flight 77 that hit the Pentagon. Anyone who examines the route taken by Hanjour will see that it required a complex manoeuvre by an experienced pilot. Yet in 2001, when Hanjour tried to fly down the Hudson air corridor in a light aircraft, his trainer was so unnerved that he denied him a second run.

You don’t have to be a conspiracy nut to see that the official account published by the 9/11 Commission is full of gaps. The interesting question is whether or not all such incidents are, ultimately, unknowable or whether the public has been misled. Take your pick.

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Rowland Morgan and Ian Henshall are both one time Guardian writers.

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