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Denying the Obvious: Leftists and Crimestop

by Edward Curtin

And thus the U.S. left leadership sits in the left chamber of the hall of mirrors, complaining about conspiracy theories while closing its eyes to actual conspiracies crucial to contemporary imperialism.” Graeme MacQueen, Beyond Their Wildest Dreams: September 11, 2001 and the American Left

It is well known that effective propaganda works through slow, imperceptible repetition. “The slow building up of reflexes and myths” is the way Jacques Ellul put it in his classic, Propaganda. This works through commission and omission.

I was reminded of this recently after I published a newspaper editorial on Martin Luther King Day stating the fact that the United States’ government assassinated Dr. King. To the best of my knowledge, this was the only newspaper op-ed to say that. I discovered that many newspapers and other publications (with very rare exceptions), despite a plethora of articles and editorials praising King, ignored this “little” fact as if it were inconsequential. No doubt they wish it were, or that it were not true, just as many hoped that repeating the bromide that James Earl Ray killed Dr. King would reinforce the myth they’ve been selling for fifty years, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary that is available to anyone wishing to investigate the truth.

The general attitude seemed to be: Let’s just appreciate MLK on his birthday and get on with it. Don’t be a spoil-sport.

That this is the approach of the mainstream corporate media (MSM) should not be surprising, for they are mouthpieces for official government lies. But when the same position is taken by so many liberal and progressive intellectuals and publications who are otherwise severely critical of the MSM for their propaganda in the service of empire, it gives pause. Like their counterparts in the MSM, these liberals shower King with praise, even adding that he was more than a civil rights leader, that he opposed war and economic exploitation as well, but as to who killed him, and why, and why it matters today, that is elided.

Amy Goodman at Democracy Now in a recent piece about an upcoming documentary about King is a case in point. Not once in this long conversation about a film about the last few years of King’s life and his commitment to oppose the Vietnam War and launch the Poor People’s Campaign is the subject of who killed him and why broached. It is a perfect example of the denial of the truth through omission.

Propaganda, of course comes in many forms: big lies and small; half-truths, whispers, and rumors; slow-drip and headlong; misinformation and disinformation; through commission and omission; intentional and unintentional; cultural and political, etc. Although it is omnipresent today – 24/7 surround sound – when it comes from the mouths of government spokespeople or corporate media the average person, grown somewhat suspicious of official lies, has a slight chance of detecting it. This is far more difficult, however, when it takes the form of a left-wing critique of U.S. government policies that subtly supports official explanations through sly innuendos and references, or through omission.

Reading an encomium to Dr. King that attacks government positions on race, war, and economics from the left will often get people nodding their heads in agreement while they fail to notice a fatal flaw at the heart of the critique. The Democracy Now piece is a perfect example of this legerdemain.

I do not know the motivations or intentions of many prominent leftist intellectuals and publications, but I do know that many choose to avoid placing certain key historical events at the center of their analyses. In fact, they either avoid them like the plague, dismiss them as inconsequential, or use the CIA’s term of choice and call them “conspiracy theories” and their proponents “conspiracy nuts.” The result is a powerful propaganda victory for the power elites they say they oppose.

Orwell called it “Crimestop: [it] means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short means protective stupidity.”

There are many fine writers and activists who are very frustrated by their inability, despite a vast and continuous outpouring of excellent critiques of the machinations of the oligarchical rulers of the U.S., to convince people of the ways they have been brainwashed by government/media propaganda. Most of their anger is directed toward the most obvious sources of this intricate psychological warfare directed at the American people. They often fail to realize, however – or fail to say – that there are leftists in their ranks who, whether intentionally or not, are far more effective than the recognized enemies in government intelligence agencies and their corporate accomplices in the media in convincing people that the system works and that it is not run by killers who will go to any lengths to achieve their goals.

These leftist critics, while often right on specific issues that one can agree with, couch their critiques within a framework that omits or disparages certain truths without which nothing makes sense. By truths I do not mean debatable matters, but key historical events that have been studied and researched extensively by reputable scholars and have been shown to be factual, except to those who fail to fairly do their homework, purposely or through laziness.

There is no way to understand today’s world without confronting four key historical events out of which spring today’s conditions of oligarchic rule, constant war, and the growth of an intelligence apparatus that makes Orwell’s 1984 look so anachronistic.

They are: the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK by elements within the U.S. intelligence services, and the insider attacks of September 11, 2001. These are anathema to a group of very prominent left-wing intellectuals and liberal publications. It is okay for them to attack Bush, Obama, Clinton, Trump, the Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders, liberals in general, creeping fascism, capitalism, the growth of the intelligence state, etc.; but to accept, or even to explore fairly in writing, what I assert as factual above, is verboten. Why?

When President Kennedy was murdered by the CIA, the United States suffered a coup d’état that resulted in years of savage war waged against Vietnam, resulting in millions of Vietnamese deaths and tens of thousands of American soldiers. The murder of JFK in plain sight sent a message in clear and unambiguous terms to every President that followed that you toe the line or else. They have toed the line. The message from the coup planners and executioners was clear: we run the show. They have been running it ever since.

When Martin Luther King declared his opposition to the Vietnam War and joined it to his espousal of a civil rights and an anti-capitalist program, he had to go. So they killed him.

Then, when the last man standing who had a chance to change the direction of the coup – Robert Kennedy – seemed destined to win the presidency, he had to go. So they killed him.

To ignore these foundational state crimes for which the evidence is so overwhelming and their consequences over the decades so obvious – well, what explanation can leftist critics offer for doing so?

And then there are the attacks of September 11, 2001, the fourth foundational event that has brought us to our present abominable condition. One has to be very ignorant to not see that the official explanation is a fiction conjured up to justify an endless “war on terror” planned as perhaps the prelude to the use of nuclear weapons, those weapons that JFK in the last year of his life worked so hard to eliminate after the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

In refusing to connect the dots from November 22, 1963 through April 4 and June 5 1968 and September 11, 2001 until today, prominent leftists continue to do the work of Crimestop. For the moment I will leave it to readers to identify who they are, and the numerous leftist publications that support their positions. There are two famous left-wing American intellectuals, one dead and one living, who are often intoned to support this work of propaganda by omission: Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, both of whom dismissed the killing of JFK and the attacks of September 11 as inconsequential and not worthy of their attention. They have quite a few protégés whose work you probably read and agree with, despite the void at the heart of their critiques. Why they avoid accepting the truth and significance of the four events I have mentioned, only they can say. That they do is easy to show, as are the dire consequences for a united front against the deep-state forces intent on reducing this society and the world to rubble because of their refusal to confront the systemic evil that they render unspeakable by their acquiescence to government propaganda.

In his groundbreaking book on the assassination of John Kennedy, JFK And The Unspeakable: Why He Died & Why It Matters, James Douglass quotes his guide into the dark underworld of radical evil and our tendency to turn away from its awful truths, the Trappist Monk Thomas Merton, who said of the Unspeakable:

“It is the void that contradicts everything that is spoken even before the words are said; the void that gets into the language of public and official declarations at the very moment when they are pronounced and makes them ring dead with the hollowness of the abyss.”

Can you hear it on your left?


  1. These leftist critics, while often right on specific issues that one can agree with, couch their critiques within a framework that omits or disparages certain truths without which nothing makes sense.

    To me, this sentence is so very, very key. These truths are essential, easily recognisable but ignored and without them, it’s a bit of a “tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing” exercise.


  2. Excellent post by Curtin. I would also add the name of Malcolm-X to his list of important assassinations carried out either by the government itself, or in Malcolm’s case, most likely “facilitated” by the FBI “through” the Nation of Islam, in typical COINTELPRO fashion. This is how the FBI set up the Black Panthers and United Slaves in a shooting war, and sewed dissension within the American Indian Movement. “No drugs,” “Any means necessary” increasingly internationalist Malcolm was no doubt seen as a clear and present danger to the U.S. establishment.


  3. My view is the exact opposite. We saw how the anti-imperialist Left promoted conspiracy theories in tandem with the alt-Right, like the Seth Rich hoax, PizzaGate, etc. And the alt-left fell hard for the Russian state media’s anti-Ukrainian propaganda, suddenly becoming experts on the country’s socio-political history overnight. Not to mention the 9/11 and the “Zionists did it!” conspiracy theories.

    But two examples stand out to me above all:

    The first is the promotion of Russian imperialism by self-proclaimed “anti-imperialists”. Several alt-left websites, which mainly rely on Russian nationalist media, have written articles and posted memes about how Ukraine “isn’t even a real country”. They posted maps showing historical parts of Ukraine which used to belong to other countries. IIRC, even off-G posted this. In other words, in a cruel twist of fate, anti-imperialists defended and promoted Russian imperialist without even knowing! Not to mention the fact that most European countries contain the historical lands of others. You people promoted irredentism, the very definition of imperialism.

    The second example involves the alternative media’s gullibility for anti-American conspiracy theories originating from Russia. And there is no better example of this than MH17. Around a dozen or so contradictory conspiracy theories were pumped out by Russia shortly after MH17 came down. Alt-media websites, including off-G, promoted several of them. This disinformation campaign was obvious to many, but not to the alt-media, who fell hook, line, and sinker for even some of the more hilarious claims i.e. “THEY WERE AIMING FOR PUTIN’S PLANE!”. Remember that?


    • Nancy Grayson says

      Anyone can use loaded language in place of facts and argument. Just calling something a “conspiracy theory” doesn’t mean anything and no one falls for that sort of propaganda, especially not a sophisticated audience of the sort you’ll find here, so if that’s a rhetorical device I would let it go in favor of something less in your face. If it’s not a rhetorical device you should be asking yourself why you are thinking in memes, and why you need to bolster your sense of certitude with these redundancies.

      FYI Ukraine really isn’t a “real” country, in the sense it has zero ethnic or cultural unity. Yes that argument has been used a lot, but in this case it is actually a fact. Abandon your memes and do some research, you don’t need to fear facts without spin, they won’t bite.

      Until very very recently Ukraine (name means “borderland) was variously bits of Poland, Hungary and Russia. They are still divided along those lines. The east of Ukraine is Russian and Orthodox. The west of Ukraine is Polish/Hungarian even German and Catholic. They were forced into a political unity after the fall of the SU, but another arrangement would probably have been better for everyone, even without the neo-nazis in western Ukraine demanding ethnic cleansing of the hated “beetles” (their name for Slavs and Russians).

      And for mercy’s sake give up on the Russian imperialism meme most of all. Think about it. The last thing Russia needs is land. It has ONE military base outside its borders and willingly let go a bunch of territory at the end of the SU that it never tried and won’t y to get back. Imperialism is a western disease right now. Pretending it cuts both ways is a waste of time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Too right, Nancy. Matt, to my mind your post indicates cliched thinking. PizzaGate is no conspiracy theory. The elephant-in-the-room question is, “Why has no one asked John Podesta what the code in the emails means? – no one can deny there is some sort of code here.

        And one has to ask the question: Why on earth were TWO e-fits of allegedly ONE suspect released 5 years after Madeleine McCann’s “disappearance” each of which resembled one of the Podesta brothers, John and Tony, with no action taken on these e-fits? Scroll to bottom – It really puzzled me and then Bingo! I worked it out the other day. I happened to watch a video of Jane Tennant speaking and noticed a commenter had pointed out (shamefully, I didn’t notice it myself even though it’s so obvious) that she contradicts herself in speaking about heavy clothing – she makes a point about the oddness of a person wearing heavy clothing but then says that she herself was wearing a jumper.

        Most of the commenters talk about seeming Freudian slips in her testimony and various other issues. Because I recently learnt from staged-event analyst, Ole Dammegard, that the power elite justify their hoaxing of us by TELLING us through contradictions, ridiculousness, impossibilities, sloppiness of execution and other things I realised that Jane Tennant is not making Freudian slips or contradicting herself because she’s unsuccessful in her lies or whatever – it’s all deliberate and scripted or semi-scripted.

        Disclaimer: what follows is very much in the realm of theory
        Madeleine McCann has (I very strongly suspect she’s alive) a coloboma of the iris and, apparently, the power elite are right into this sort of phenomenon. Madeleine was, apparently, an IVF baby ( and some people theorise her biological father is not Gerry McCann but someone from the power elite among which, apparently, coloboma of the iris is more frequent than normal.

        As I think it is very obvious there are way too many problems with the MM story and that many aspects have the power elite’s obvious fakery fingerprints on them, she has been taken somewhere for some kind of MK Ultra program or something of that nature.


        • And just to add that not questioning Podesta about the seeming code is EXACTLY the phenomenon in the title of this article: Crimestop. Even if Podesta were to come back with some plausible explanation for why there is, in fact, no code, THE QUESTION ABOUT IT IS RIGHT THERE and it hasn’t been asked.

          Also, in her article (first link in comment above), Kim talks about Podesta’s kind of Freudian slip in using the word “subterranean” when describing Pizzagate as fake news. However, according to the phenomenon that the power elite are always giving us clues, this could easily be deliberate.


      • “Anyone can use loaded language in place of facts and argument. Just calling something a “conspiracy theory” doesn’t mean anything.”

        When a country makes multiple, contradictory claims, based off of zero evidence, then yes, it is perfectly right to call them “conspiracy theories”. You mostly rely on RT and maybe some other pro-Kremlin blogs for your Russian news. You have no clue what the Russian media tells its citizens, nor are you aware of the contradictions by Russia. Remember the SU-25 theory? What happened to that? Because the Russian government tried implying that was what shot down MH17. Then they switched to the BUK theory once it became obvious. There are others claims. This contradictory behaviour was also shown by its TV channels. Read this article by Bellingcat, which has been causing the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs plenty of sleepless nights:

        European and US radicals, both left- and right-wing, do not trust the media. Leftists mistrust mainstream outlets because the latter, according to their worldview, are controlled by oligarchs or their puppets. Far-rightists do so because, in their version of reality, the media are controlled by Zionist, cultural-Marxist, and homosexual lobbies. In general, a critical approach to any kind of information is advisable, but the conspiratorial and critical approaches allow for easy seeding of disinformation.

        “FYI Ukraine really isn’t a “real” country, in the sense it has zero ethnic or cultural unity…. Until very very recently Ukraine (name means “borderland) was variously bits of Poland, Hungary and Russia. They are still divided along those lines. The east of Ukraine is Russian and Orthodox. The west of Ukraine is Polish/Hungarian even German and Catholic. They were forced into a political unity after the fall of the SU…”

        A perfect example of the kind of Western self-proclaimed “anti-imperialist” who advocates for imperialism.

        So what that Ukraine means “borderlands”? There are many, many countries that have no distinct cultural unity. The many, many small European countries like Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Belgium, etc. are all really smaller parts of neighbouring countries, and all are similar to Ukraine. Does this make it OK to claim that they aren’t even “real countries”? Does this make it OK for the Netherlands and France to split up Belgium? I repeat: this is the very definition of irredentism. In other words, classic imperialism.

        A section of the left champions as progressive a war to restore “Novorossiya”, a state within the Russian Empire established in areas of Southern Ukraine conquered by the Russian Tsar. Ukraine was reduced to a colony, subject to national and economic oppression, a system of slavery know as serfdom was imposed, the Ukrainian language banned. How is it possible that since the time of Marx and Engels socialists have been sworn enemies of Russian Imperialism, yet in the 21st Century Tsarist Russian chauvinism is being championed by people on the left?

        Until 2014, most Western leftists supporting Novorossiya did not have the slightest idea of the political situation in Ukraine, let alone its history, ethnic and cultural groups populating its territory, and the history of Ukraine-Russia relations. In 2014, they quickly acquired that “knowledge,” thoughtfully offered to them by Russian propaganda. The language barrier allowed for all types of suggestions.

        “Think about it. The last thing Russia needs is land. It has ONE military base outside its borders…. Imperialism is a western disease right now. Pretending it cuts both ways is a waste of time.”

        Don’t make up a strawman. Why are you dishonestly claiming imperialism can only be about territory? Imperialism comes in many forms and involves the subjugation of nations. You even prove yourself wrong by way of counter-argument: the U.S. also has enough territory, being the world’s 3rd largest country by land mass. Yet, they engage in imperialism. And imperialism does cut both ways. Note that I am not equating Western and Eastern imperialism, but to claim that there is only a such thing as Western imperialism is pure dishonesty and reeks of naivety,

        Russia is easily pardoned for the actions which, if conducted by the West, are harshly criticized.

        For some Spanish Stalinists who have a vague idea of Ukraine’s geographical location, the words “Ukrainian” and “fascist” have become synonymous. Last fall, a telling episode took place: a 56-year-old Ukrainian was attacked by a group of Catalan nationalists and slipped into a coma.

        The ideology of the “anti-imps,” as they are called in Germany, can be briefly summarized as follows: radical anti-Americanism, a partiality to conspiracy theories, covert (and sometimes overt) anti-semitism, and thoroughly uncritical support for all regimes opposed to the United States and Israel.

        Everything that is opposed to the West with all its corporations and capitalist expansion is perceived as an absolute good, “anti-imperialist” regimes are easily forgiven what is considered a taboo in leftist circles: from racism to homophobia.

        “Whenever you throw a stone at a Stalinist, you will almost definitely hit a supporter of Novorossiya; before throwing one at a Trotskyist, it is worthwhile asking him a few leading questions.”

        *I quoted Alexander Volodarsky several times here.


        • Hannah Edmonds says

          Imperialism comes in many forms and involves the subjugation of nations

          Sure thing, but what nations does Russia currently subjugate? It only has two military bases outside its own territory, both in former Soviet republics. Its own different cultures and ethnic groups are treated with total tolerance under the current government. I am just at a loss at where you see subjugation.

          When a country makes multiple, contradictory claims, based off of zero evidence, then yes, it is perfectly right to call them “conspiracy theories”

          “Conspiracy theory” doesn’t = “contradictory claim”. A conspiracy theory is a theory involving conspiracy. The Russian BUK theory is just as much a conspiracy theory as the SU-25 theory.

          The Russian government never made a single claim about how MH17 was shot down. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the Kremlin’s own website. You have to look at sources from both sides t get balance.

          The SU-25 “claim” was made by the Russian military and the claim wasn’t that an SU-25 shot down MH17. That is just the interpretation put on it by dishonest reporting. All the Russian report said was that an SU-25 had been seen in the area, which was noteworthy because the Ukie govt said they had no military aircraft in the vicinity.

          Check it out. This is the real story.

          The point is – why did the Ukies lie? Why was an SU-25 apparently tailing the passenger jet?

          See an SU-25 could be used as a spotter by a BUK system on the ground. That was the point.

          Though yeah, it could theoretically also have attacked the plane. It can’t be ruled out.

          Point is – there were no contradictory claims made by the Rus government and if you looked at sources from both sides. You are getting propagandized without knowing it. Go read some Russian sources especially the Rus report on MH17. You will get a more rounded view.

          The rest of your stuff is just the Marxist “neither one or the other” argument. But I’m not interested in theorising or getting into battles of ideas. In real world terms currently Russia is doing less harm in the world than the western powers. That is a simple fact. No morals entering into it.

          I have lived in Russia. It’s at the moment a better place than the USA. There is a higher rate of debate, a higher respect for the arts. There is more genuine diversity of opinions allowed on TV and radio.

          Trust me if the pro-Russia views were allowed as much airtime in the US as anti-Russia views are allowed in Russia things would be very different. The Russians are totally aware of how we see them. They get our news beamed at them, they hear western opinion makers and pro-western opinion makers on their TVs every day.The know about us , but we don’t know about them, because we are way more censored than they are.

          My knowledge of Ukraine comes from having lived in Kiev and Kharkov for six years. Believe me the “pro-Maidan” story of Ukraine is the biggest of lies. Ukraine was never one country. Never. West and east have nothing in common. They were always suspicious of each other and now they hate each other. The east wanted some autonomy and began by asking for it peacefully. Only when the Kiev government refused to evne see their petitioners did they start occupying buildings, and only when the Kiev government started the ATO did it get violent.

          I ws in Kiev until January 2014. Saw the Maidan protest go from peaceful genuine grass roots pro-EU movement to violent coup, taken over by a few men of violence working for Nuland and Praviy Sektor.

          I was in Kharkov until early 2015. If you saw what the ATO really did to real people, you wouldn’t hesitate to know where the evil in this episode.

          Novorossiya isn’t a political ideal. It’s an archaic term for that part of the land which is western Russia and eastern Ukraine. The eastern Ukies are Russian, ethnically & and historically. They want to return to Russia , but Russia doesn’t want them because it would be costly and dangerous.

          Don’t take offense, but you are just so obviously a western-centric guy who reads western news and only western news and thinks this gives him the whole picture, because the slavs don’t have anything valuable to say and always lie.

          Now that’s imperialism.

          Go read some Russian points of view, yeah including RT and Sputnik, Eko of Moscow and the Kremlin news feed. You’ll get a rounded picture.

          But you won’t. I know.


          • Big B says

            Excellent comment Hannah, I couldn’t endorse it more – “In real world terms currently Russia is doing less harm in the world than the western powers.” Exactly: in its various neocon, Russophobe, and Sinophobe military policy and posture reviews (NSS{Draft}; NDS; and NPR) …the US imperium has shown its hand in a militaristic proliferation, conventional and nuclear, and the ease with which the neocons contemplate a containable and winnable nuclear war. There is no subtext: this is spelled out, for the hard of thinking, in black and white. The corresponding Russian ‘posture’ review makes abundantly clear that they would not use nuclear weapons as a first resort. This might be a sign of weakness to the neocon mindset: but it is a humanist, deflationary and de-escalatory response. It is abundantly clear who the imperial aggressor is. THE RUSSIANS DO NOT WANT WAR. I repeat (not for you, for Matt): THE RUSSIANS DO NOT WANT WAR. Anyone who propagandises (wittingly or unwittingly) for the Pentagon is on the wrong side of history. And is representative of a dangerously unstable minority mindset. Mind you, anyone who can rail about imperial anti-imperialists, irredentists, and conspiracy theorists – whilst quoting Bellingcat is not without redeeming qualities? Self-parody would be one?


    • Thomas Peterson says

      “Around a dozen or so contradictory conspiracy theories were pumped out by Russia shortly after MH17 came down.”

      By the Russian government? No they werent.


      • Hannah Edmonds says

        That’s right, the Rus government never offered any theory. But the western media has persuaded many many decent people this is what happened. It’s just a lie, but people believe it.


  4. Mikalina says

    Ray McGovern contacted Amy Goodman of Democracy Now about the reporting of Ahed Tamimi slapping an Israeli soldier; He pointed out that she omitted to mention that the girl’s cousin had just been shot by soldiers intruding into her home and village. Apparently, she ignored him and reported the same information the next day.

    I was loathed to post this as I feel slightly that we are doing the establishment’s work when we attack journalists known for their excellent work but if this is crimestop then it needs to be highlighted.

    On a totally facetious (playful with an edge) note, do you think someone has kidnapped her cat?


    • milosevic says

      we are doing the establishment’s work when we attack journalists known for their excellent work

      Here’s some more excellent work from Ford-Foundation-funded Amy Goodman. Watch as she investigates what’s really going on in Syria by interviewing a New York Times reporter who admittedly hasn’t been in the country for over a year, while a White Helmets propaganda video loops continuously in the background.

      These, of course, are the kind of reliable sources that serious leftists should get their information and opinions from. Or at least, that’s what excellent journalists like Amy Goodman would like us to believe.


  5. I have been struggling with this issue in my mind again recently. As we seem to be at a point where many so-called Left progressives are actively promoting imperialist propaganda and pushing us toward global war, all the while denouncing critics as ‘conspiracy theorists-Russian trolls-Trump supporters’ – we are at a point where ‘Crimestop’ seems to be threatening humanity.
    I read a few pieces by Richard Seymour recently, trying to get a flavour for how a well read intellectual of the Marxist Left approaches an interpretation of ‘deep events’.
    He certainly has studied the context of parapolitical history, and has a lot of conceptual angles to bring to the table, but ultimately if one wants to profess an opinion about, say, what actually happened on 9/11 then there is no alternative to the citing of key evidence.
    At the beginning and end it boils down to evidence, and the absence (as far as I can see) of any evidential rebuttal to those who critique the official story, is as glaring on the Left as it is elsewhere.
    In his writing on 9/11, Seymour challenges just one single evidential point, one that is moot anyway, then returns to arguments based upon the assumption that all factual challenges can thereby be disregarded. This is fraudulent argumentation.
    The evidential pile stacks up to a daunting height, yet we are faced with this encouragement to ignore it – to be ignorant.
    An all encompassing kind of intellectual dismemberment has resulted from this inability to start with a rigourous demand for empirical facts, all the while continuing to build political histories founded purely on the assumption that official narratives are true.
    Liberal scoundrels like Monbiot still hold up Oswald as a lone assassin ! He tweets the very same projections and conflations that we have seen for fifty years. By means of example, on 9/11 we have to ask ‘Just what exactly what is Monbiot’s position?’. Some years back he linked to a New Yorker article about the Saudi-9/11 links, which clearly show that there are many questions and obvious leads back to the US establishment. Yet he still sees fit to bash anyone who he disagrees with on Syria with the 9/11 stick, as if the whole official 9/11 narrative still stands.
    What was 9/11 George ? a terrorist attack or an act of war ? He cannot even answer that.

    We are encouraged by these people to NOT ask questions. This is no way to form any sort of critique of power. It is no start to understanding their beloved STRUCURES, let alone anything else. It is no way of building a movement for change- the likes of which they insist is disrupted by ‘the displacement activity of conspiracism’.
    If you ain’t about truth and the accountability of power then what are you about?

    Liked by 2 people

    • typo : ‘STRUCTURES’


      I note that Novaramedia as a prime example of new Left online journalism is continuing the tradition of promoting the same intellectually bankrupt tropes :
      Bastani as well :

      Articles and tweets from Novara promote the notion that 9/11 Truth is principally a phenomenon of the alt Right. Like Monbiot’s conflation of 911 inquiries with climate change denial, this is- before anything else- counterfactual.
      Look at the researchers who actually tried to draw our attention to critiques of the 9/11 Commission, they were pretty far from the Trumpery brigade.
      Griffin, for example has written a book dedicated to addressing anthropogenic climate change. People like Monbiot should know this.

      No matter, they just spin shit like the corporate hacks that they claim to be an alternative to.


    • It’s absurd. A priori, an uncontrolled building collapse by fire is easily distinguishable from a collapse by controlled demolition. WTC-7’s “collapse-by-fire” is the greatest case of the Emperor’s New Clothes the world has ever known. The gatekeepers simply do not want to know the truth just as the majority of the rest of the population doesn’t. The truth is too inconvenient, way more inconvenient than the truth of man-made climate change. Until 2014, when I happened to watch JFK to 9/11 Everything is a Rich Man’s Trick I didn’t believe 9/11 was an inside job, however, it only took a few months, at most, of switching between truther and debunker sites to work out the truth. It is not rocket science in the least, especially when you have an organisation such as Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth – although I probably had all the information necessary before I even got to them – it was just that they make it so easy to comprehend and convey. I really do find the way people manage to avoid knowing the truth truly astounding. How naive I was to think of the Emperor’s New Clothes as a fairy tale.


    • milosevic says

      In his writing on 9/11, Seymour challenges just one single evidential point, one that is moot anyway, then returns to arguments based upon the assumption that all factual challenges can thereby be disregarded. This is fraudulent argumentation.

      He must be following Noam Chomsky’s excellent example.

      What would happen to Richard Seymour’s (or Monbiot’s) comfortable job writing for the Guardian, if he were to seriously address the 9/11 evidence?

      How many fraudulent arguments must someone present, before it would be reasonable to conclude that they are themselves a fraud?

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” — Upton Sinclair


  6. Harry Stotle says

    1984 was both antifascist and anticommunist although it’s pretty obvious the world realised in Orwell’s masterpiece was inspired primarily by Stalin’s Soviet Union, yet it is elements on the right who have been responsible for taking us to the brink of another trans-global catastrophe, and who have manufactured the sort of media landscape that is absolutely nailed in Curtin’s astute analysis.

    So from this point of view one might have thought left-wing intellectuals would be like yapping dogs after each act of right-wing infamy, not least because the deep state in the USA has progressed from taking out prominent political and cultural leaders to wasting entire regions and murdering thousands of its own citizens with barely a murmer from those who should know better.

    There has been almost no attemp by the left (outside of the alternative media) to illuminate, or elucidate the way thought has been controlled through selective blindness, or a lexicon of approved phrases to tarnish those who point out the obvious lies surrounding the offical narrative – which does rather beg the obvious question, why has the left been staring at its own navel, or scratching its arse rather than mobilising public opinion against an ongoing program of state sanctioned crimes.

    My guess, and its only a guess, is that if Orwell was still with us he might be surprised that the propaganda methods envisioned in 1984 are much more closely aligned with the so-called free west rather than some of the communist regimes on the left.


    • Mikalina says

      I’ve taught Orwell’s 1984 many times. I think the establishment viewpoint mostly taught within our indoctrination system, sorry, education system, that it refers to the USSR is a propaganda falsehood. Many, many people haven’t read the book and many, many, people accept the establishment view of communism – so it is easy to push them into accepting this trope.

      Orwell was a left wing intellectual and I think he saw exactly how 1984 would come about and how his ‘class’ would slowly morph into the controlling system – I don’t think he would be surprised.


      • Harry Stotle says

        Orwell’s views about the communists, and in particular Stalin changed irrevocably after his experiences in Spain.

        Don’t forget when Orwell went to fight in the civil war he joined a Marxist group (POUM) rather than the International Brigade – by the end of the conflict communists were hunting down POUM members and killing or imprisoning them.

        “As time went on, the Communists and the POUM wrote more bitterly about one another than about the Fascists.”
        ― George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia


        • With Orwell it’s hard to forget his list of 87 subversives he gave to the spooks. Many had their lives ruined by intelligence services interfering in their lives and careers, especially the Communist academics with whom Orwell buddied. He reverted to his old occupation as a Colonial police officer. No wonder he became a Hero of the liberals.


          • Harry Stotle says

            Surely we need a bit of context before depicting Orwells motives in such crass terms (a man with an inner copper wanting to appease the establishment according to your take). Don’t forget he was a man who fought and nearly died for his beliefs.

            Timothy Ash Garton presents an alternative as to why he might have did what he did? “George Orwell was lying in a sanatorium in the Cotswolds, very ill with the TB that would kill him within a year. That winter, he had worn himself out in a last effort to retype the whole manuscript of 1984, his bleak warning of what might happen if Britain succumbed to totalitarianism. He was lonely, despairing of his own wasted health, at the age of just forty-five, and deeply pessimistic about the advance of Russian communism, whose cruelty and treacherousness he had personally experienced, nearly at the cost of his own life in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War. The communists had just taken over Czechoslovakia, in the Prague coup of February 1948, and they were now blockading West Berlin, trying to strangle the city into submission. He thought there was a war on, a “cold war,” and he feared that the Western nations were losing it. One reason we were losing, he thought, was that public opinion had been blinded to the true nature of Soviet communism.”


            • Orwell’s victims and their families, subject to surveillance and all the rest of it, should have seen their sacrifice as part of the war against Russia? They saw it as snitching on ex-comrades in a way that became familiar in East Germany with the Stasi.


        • Seamus Padraig says

          The POUM were anarcho-syndicalists, not communists. That’s why the communists hated them so much.


          • Wrong: the POUM was an anti-Stalinist communist party.

            You are probably thinking of the CNT union and the associated FAI, which were anarcho-syndicalist.


          • Harry Stotle says

            We are straying deep into anorak territory now, but I said POUM were Marxists (not communists).
            In Spanish POUM stands for ‘Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista’, or in English, the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification.

            I suppose the substantive point is that factionalism on the left led to a clash with pro-Stalin, communist forces.


  7. rtj1211 says

    The motivation of prominent Leftists was summarised superbly by the appalling Emily Thornberry QC on BBC’s Question Time this week: ‘All I am interested in is Power’. A female QC MP representing the poor, dispossessed and marginalised? Get real…..she plays the game like the rest of them.

    The theory goes that without power you can achieve nothing.

    The reality in a world where power is misused is that by obsessing about gaining power, your actions betray your ideals and gradually, long before you acquire power, you accept the Rules of the Game.

    Once you do that, any chance your original ideals will return are zero.

    So Prominent Leftists are the latest incarnation of Idealists who Sold Out.

    Perhaps if you redfined Prominent Leftists as ‘those whose actions remain consistent with their philosophy’ you would identify those still capable of real change?

    Both socialists and responsible capitalists alike…..


  8. Brutally Remastered says

    The author fails in his one theme. There is a link to at least two of his examples; JFK and the Twin Towers and also extends to Syria. The current crisis in DC and the stupifying negligence of the MSM regarding same are in this chain.
    Look at the names, the names. What links them?


  9. The US is a grossly dysfunctional nation with a dystopian future ahead of it. This din’t have to be the case but, but Americans as a whole are amazingly insouciant. They just can’t drum up the interest to correct the direction their nation is heading. Unfortunate but true.


  10. Big B says

    “It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

    MLK was murdered because he stood against – and was actively participating in the organisation of the dismantling of – the two central columns of American culture: war and capitalism. But beside the anti-war; anti-capitalist; anti-racist tenets to his practical philosophy: there was a another central pillar, the unifying principle of his deep seated religious conviction that remains under-reported to this day …his ecological thinking.

    The ultimate remedy to crimestop: the saving of the left: and the environment …is to reclaim MLK’s legacy from death and refocus his vision into the root cause analysis of the degeneration – of not just American capitalism, but all capitalism – into the alienation of humanity and nature. There are many aspects, but a singular root cause to the Triple Evils that persist to alienate us – the DNA of compounding exponential growth in the pursuit of short term profit; with no gain whatsoever for the soul of society. If the left, and humanity in toto have any future at all: it is in envisioning an ecological post-capitalist society: the “promised land” in which MLK’s dreams are still alive. Waiting.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Also under-reported and under-estimated was the influence of another peace activist and Nobel Laureate – the Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. It was he who persuaded MLK to broaden his focus to encompass the anti-war movement (against the advice of many of the the Civil Rights leaders.) His teaching encompasses “interbeing”, the inter-relatedness of humanity and nature. IMHO, between them, writing before the ecology movement of the 70s …they tapped into the fundamental force for peace: our shared commonality and humanity. That is what made their actions and words plenipotential: they were backed by the full force of nature. You can’t really argue with that!


        • That Thich Nhat Hanh collaborated with MLK was entirely new to me.

          But from an encounter with him I knew that he was far more than another Oriental guru for Westerners looking for exotic teachings.


          • Thai wrote to MLK in 1965 to tell him about the immeasurable human suffering caused by the Vietnam War. He wrote “You are fighting for human rights. We are struggling for peace. We are in the same front. We should join together.” They only met twice, it was two days after there final meeting that MLK gave his first searing condemnation of the war in his revolutionary anti-war speech at the Riverside Church. Collaboration might be a strong word, but they certainly deeply influenced each other. Thai called MLK a “Bodhisattva” – which is good enough for me!


            • Erratum: the speech at Riverside was not his “first” anti-war speech: but it was his “most” searing condemnation. Also, above: MLK nominated Thai for the Nobel Peace Price in 1967; but it was not awarded that year. So, in my dotage, I appear to have awarded Thai the Nobel Prize he undoubtedly deserved …but never actually won.


          • Seamus Padraig says

            Thic Nhat Hanh was actually once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by MLK:

            Later that year, Dr. King nominated Nhất Hạnh for the 1967 Nobel Peace Prize. In his nomination Dr. King said, “I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of [this prize] than this gentle monk from Vietnam. His ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity”.


  11. labrebisgalloise says

    I don’t doubt that all these claims may well be true but it is very likely that no one will ever be able to prove it. A similar campaign is almost certainly underway today; the very same “dark forces” (for want of a better expression) you allude to are attempting to overturn the democratic will of the British people as expressed when they voted to leave the European Union. They will probably attempt to assassinate Jeremy Corbyn should he ever come near the levers of power. It is entirely possible that they killed Hugo Chavez and many others whose deaths looked “natural.” I can’t prove it, I probably never will be able to, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. The point, I suggest, is to be aware that these things may well be happening and to react as if they are happening because either a.n.other serendipitously did these things and was thus objectively, either consciously or unconsciously, acting on behalf of the dark forces – or the dark forces directly commissioned or carried them out; it matters not which. Trying to prove anything is pretty futile, serves no particular useful end and is best left to conspiracy theorists whilst the rest of us get on with banishing the dark forces from the face of the earth.


    • What do you mean can’t prove it? Easiest thing in the world to prove that 9/11 was an inside job with the collapse of WTC-7 by controlled demolition. And JFK also very easy to prove – for goodness sake – the Mafiosi involved in the conspiracy have come out and admitted it. I know shamefully nothing about the other two events but certainly those two are easily proved … and have been proven, in fact. If you watch JFK to 9/11 Everything is a Rich Man’s Trick and you don’t think the assassination of JFK by a conspiracy involving government is proven in that 3.5 hour film then I don’t know what you need for proof.


  12. There is a Left of sorts in the US as we saw with support for Sanders. The real culprits are the Democrats who are more Right Wing than the British Tories. They have no real opposition to the policies of Trump because they are very much what they would do. In desperation they chose to attack him on the basis he was some sort of secret Russian agent, an absurdity. When Trump sent 57 Tomahawk missiles to a Syrian air base last year Mrs Clinton immediately complained he was being “soft” and she would have bombed ALL Syrian air bases and enforced a US safe zone and see what Russia did. Her support for the Ukrainian coup and the destruction of Libya proves her aggressive stance.


  13. What would the author have Ms Goodman or Mr Chomsky say and for what purpose? Their not proclaiming a very risky message doesn’t undermine their overall work, it just means they aren’t saying what we would like to hear.


    • Brutally Remastered says

      Er, it is pretty difficult to trust them if they avoid, by omission, some rather basic questions. Try talking to someone who practices this regularly: it will drive you mad.


    • And just to add … if other intellectuals such as Graeme MacQueen and David Ray Griffin can come out why can’t Noam Chomsky and Amy Goodman?


    • Alan – there is a very real difference in “not saying” anything about 9/11 say, or not talking about the theatre of the absurd – “magic bullet” Warren Commission – and instead making very disparaging remarks about any who question the official story of these events. I have watched video of Chomsky literally morph into a spot-on Glenn Beck impersonation (irrational, evidence-free, ranting) when simply asked about the possibility that 9/11was carried out with government complicity. I’ve also read comments by several Counterpunch editors, made as asides in articles about unrelated topics, that simply take clear shots at and dismiss all “conspiracy theories” as invalid. Counterpunch becomes more milk-toast and mainstream by the week these days it seems. I have also watched Amy Goodman literally turn in fear and walk briskly away from an activist asking her a question about 9/11 as she was there and watched building 7 come down. When do you hear any discussion of 9/11 or false flags on DN? Instead we get totally fictional war propaganda (“Gaddafi’s viagra fueled rape camps”) come to mind. No, remaining silent is one thing. Actively critiquing “policy” as Chomsky, DN and Counterpunch typically do, while totally refraining from calling out the total deep state subversion of democracy that facilitates “such policy” is quite another.


      • Seamus Padraig says

        Sadly, CounterPunch was once a worthwhile publication. But it’s now rapidly moving in the direction of HuffPo.


  14. It’s far worse than even Ed Curtin reasons in this article. If the Left continue to pour out articles the Pentagon would be proud of in writing the case for US foreign interventionism, more people will be walking away from Socialism as a lost cause or as false socialism.



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