This is too funny. Followers of this blog will be aware that we recently had to call out “World’s Greatest Intellectual” Noam Chomsky for loaning legitimacy to vile historical revisionism on the Bosnia war. The problem with having to diss The Chom is that we thereby risk implicitly loaning legitimacy to other of his critics, who include some extremely unsavory types. Ironically, topping the list are both ultra-Zionists and conspiranoid anti-Zionists. So now we once again have the opportunity to diss a Chomsky detractor.
In his perennially overheated style, ultra-conspiranoid blogger Kurt Nimmo bashes The Chom for raining on his Internet conspiranoia parade. When your whole raison d’etre is to spew arcane, self-righteous vitriol into cyberspace, I guess you can feel the very foundations of your being quavering when the World’s Greatest Intellectual says things like this:
[The Internet is] a hideous time-waster. One of the good things about the internet is you can put up anything you like, but that also means you can put up any kind of nonsense. If the intelligence agencies knew what they were doing, they would stimulate conspiracy theories just to drive people out of political life, to keep them from asking more serious questions … There’s a kind of an assumption that if somebody wrote it on the internet, it’s true.
You can feel Nimmo’s blood boiling as he reads these words. Every syllable he writes is highly speculative yet also highly dogmatic, and dripping with hateful condescension towards all dissenters as dupes of The Conspiracy—yet he is blissfully unaware of this very contradiction. And now The Chom implies that he could be a part of the very Conspiracy he is obsessed with exposing! He is in danger of being trapped in his own house of mirrors! But there’s more. Here is another Chom quote he presents (followed by his own standard barrage of venomous verbiage, of course):
There’s by now a small industry on the thesis that the administration had something to do with 9-11. I’ve looked at some of it, and have often been asked. There’s a weak thesis that is possible though extremely unlikely in my opinion, and a strong thesis that is close to inconceivable. The weak thesis is that they knew about it and didn’t try to stop it. The strong thesis is that they were actually involved. The evidence for either thesis is, in my opinion, based on a failure to understand properly what evidence is. Even in controlled scientific experiments one finds all sorts of unexplained phenomena, strange coincidences, loose ends, apparent contradictions, etc. Read the letters in technical science journals and you’ll find plenty of samples. In real world situations, chaos is overwhelming, and these will mount to the sky.
What? A world in which chaos plays a role in the unfolding of events? Anathema to the Conspiracy Industry, in which every effect must have a single, discrete cause—and immediately, with no room for nuance or ambiguity. To even consider such factors is heresy.
But it gets worse, much worse. More offending words from The Chom:
If the left spends its time on this, that’s the end of the left, in my opinion: the mainstream would be utterly delighted. It is highly likely that nothing significant will be found. And if—which I very greatly doubt—something is found that would quickly send everyone in Washington to the death chamber, the left is unlikely to emerge triumphant.
This one is worst of all, because it cuts to the real political issue that underlies the endlessly tiresome pseudo-forensic and connect-the-dots games. Chomsky is absolutely correct that if the neocons are overthrown they could be followed by something much worse—nativist right-wing populism of the Pat Buchanan variety. But that is evidently OK with Nimmo. He really shows his hand here, blatantly dismissing any real critique of the system in favor of it’s-all-a-conspiracy yahooism. Nimmo:
Chomsky insists on a Marxist interpretation—which is of course, for the corporate ruling elite, harmless enough and directs attention away from the fact they are propagandizing in favor of world domination into abstract nonsense. Telling bald-faced lies about Iraq and allowing shills like Judith Miller to foment war hysteria is of course “structural,” although this may not be apparent to namby-pamby Marxists laboring away in the comfort of the ivy tower.
No, Nimmo, that is not structural. The underlying political economy of oil dependence and extreme wealth centralization is the structure. The endless deceits and artifices used to mask this reality (the WMD lies, etc.) are mere fine-tuning of a massive machine. The machine itself remains invisible to Nimmo—which means, ironically, that he falls for the propaganda trick just as thoroughly as the gullible folks he sneers at. Confusing the means with the ends, he “sees through” everything so completely that he ultimately sees nothing at all. More from Kurt:
Obviously, even though he is “the world’s top public intellectual,” Chomsky is unable or unwilling to comprehend the fact false flag operations are structured in such a way the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing—especially if both hands are outside the purview of government. As a Marxist with a rather antiquated and conventional view of the state…Chomsky finds it inconceivable that nine-eleven would occur without somebody on the inside leaking information to the corporate media.
Note the neat propaganda trick of referring to his conjectural theory of a “false-flag” operation as a “fact.” More importantly, while Chomsky is not exactly a Marxist (he’s an anarcho-syndicalist, or so he says), his view of the state is far more sophisticated than Nimmo’s, which is informed by not even a glimmer of understanding of political economy. Instead, he seems to believe that an essentially just system has been corrupted by a cabal of sinister conspirators—a classically fascist doctrine.
What is really alarming is the degree of currency afforded Nimmo and his simplistic, objectively right-wing views on what passes for the “left” these days. (Just as alarming as the undiminished Cult of Chomsky in spite of his evident support of genocide revisionism—which is also, in its own way, a flirtation with the fascist right.) It all makes us wonder—is there any real left left?
Having said all this, we are also obliged to state that we do not endorse Chomsky’s blanket dismissal of a conspiracy around 9-11 or especially the JKF assassination. We don’t know who killed JFK, but we think the notion of Oswald as a lone nut (dogmatically defended by Chomsky in Rethinking Camelot) is the least likely hypothesis. And we acknowledge that there are gobs of unanswered questions about 9-11. But kneejerk dogmatism—of either the Consensus Reality or Conspiracy Theory variety—does not help untangle the web of deceit and contradiction. It only adds to it.