If you like this blog

Don't miss Kevin Barrett's radio shows! And visit TruthJihad.com for more...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gilad Atzmon's The Wandering Who - a joyous affirmation of the end of identity politics

As a recovering angry Muslim, I cannot help loving fully-recovered ex-Zionist Jew Gilad Atzmon's The Wandering Who: A Study of Jewish Identity of Politics...and the firestorm it has sparked.

It isn't just the joy of watching Atzmon say all the things about Jewishness that need to be said, but that hardly anybody has the guts to say.

It isn't just the fun of watching Atzmon and his defenders like John Mearsheimer and Jonathan Cook rip apart Zionist thugs like Jeffrey Goldberg and clueless gatekeepers like Andy Newman.

It isn't just the irrepressible voice of Gilad Atzmon, the inspired thinker and jazz artist whose words and ideas are almost as beautiful to listen to as his music.

Most of all, I love this book for its larger message: Identity politics is a dead-end.

For Jews, the end of that dead-end road is the cul-de-sac they're stuck in over in Occupied Palestine.

For Muslims, who stand at the beginning of the dead-end road, Atzmon's book is a stark warning and a wake-up call: Do not let Islam turn into just another version of secularized Western identity politics.

Identity politics always tends toward the kind of politics espoused by zio-nazi neocon guru Leo Strauss, and his nazi mentor Carl Schmidt: The politics of loving the Self and hating the Other. Schmidt, and the even more radical Strauss, defined politics as the realm of human relations defined by enmity. All "political" activity, according to nazis and neocons, is just people banding together against an enemy.

"Jews" define themselves by despising "the goyim" - and the tables naturally turn. The same process underlies all nationalisms and tribalisms, including such subcultures as "gays" and "feminists"...perhaps even the "leftists" these subcultures lump themselves with. (The leftists I know do spend a lot of energy despising "the right"...)

What would be a more authentic way of doing politics? A way prophetic in its insistence on truth and justice...universal in its refusal to divide humanity into artificial categories...spiritual or religious in its consciousness of the weight of ethics and morality in the face of the infinite. It would be an anti-nazism, an anti-neoconservatism, a politics in line with universalist ex-Jew Leopold Bloom's attempt to explain to an anti-Semite "Love. The opposite of hatred."

If we ever transcend neocon/neonazi politics, it will be in part thanks to Gilad's book. As I have said elsewhere: Gilad Atzmon is the Moses of our time, calling all of us out of the Egypt of our boneheaded nationalisms and racialisms and exceptionalisms and chosen-people-isms toward some form of humanistic universalism. My own is Islamic: One God, one humanity.

For God is the ultimate Other, and an orientation of absolute surrender to God (the correct orientation, the prophets tell us) amounts to an attitude of complete openness to the Other. Secular identity politics offers the opposite: A badly-disguised worship of self.

Today, on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, Jews are supposed to reach out and ask for forgiveness from those they have wronged. They are supposed to reach out to the human Other, in obedience to the ultimate Other, God.

True Torah Jews like Rabbi Weiss are doing that.

Zionist secular Jews, for the most part, are not.

When will Zionist Jews ever finally reach out and beg for forgiveness from the people they have not just wronged, but are in the process of genociding?

As Alan Hart asks: Will God forgive?

Remember, Alan: God's mercy is limitless - like human stupidity.

If the stupidity that has produced Zionism and its toxic brood of identity politics ever gives way to wisdom, Gilad Atzmon will deserve much of the credit. For if Joshua at the battle of Jericho could knock down the enemy's walls with his trumpet, maybe Gilad can knock down the Wall (not just Israel's, but also Pink Floyd's) with his jazz saxophone...and his inspired writings.

Rock on, Gilad! Allah bless you, brother!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Elias Davidsson debates Joshua Blakeney: Is Veterans Today wrong about Zionism-9/11 connection?


Elias Davidsson and Joshua Blakeney  are two of my favorite 9/11 researcher-activists. They recently copied me on this email exchange, which seems timely, since I just joined the staff at Veterans Today.

Joshua and other Veterans Today writers will join me this week on Truth Jihad Radio; I have invited Elias as well, and hope to have him as a guest next week.

Dear Josh,

Is it true that you cooperate with Veterans Today?  If so, I wish to warn you that Veterans Today are most probably a covert operation aimed at destroying the 9/11 movement by peddling the "Israel did it" idea.   If I were among the real masterminds of 9/11 within the US, I would act like the German elite acted in 1933: It delegated to the Nazis the task to deceive the German working class, who was supporting a socialist revolution, and deflect its opposition against Jews.  It succeeded by this sleight-of-hand to eliminate the "socialist threat".  Today, the US elite - trying to saving its skin as the 9/11 truth movement is mounting - is preparing a similar trick: Blaming Israel, or the Jews, to have masterminded 9/11 or bamboozled Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld into ordering the crime.  The idea is as absurd as it is unproven.  But it can be promoted with lots of money, lots and lots of money. Don't lend your voice to such deception.

Israel, like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, may have been co-opted by the US to help execute 9/11.   No Israel, even the most rabid Zionist, would endanger the existence of the Jewish state by masterminding a surprise attack on the US.  It would be the most mad action any good Zionist would do. And believe me, I am as anti-Zionist as they go and know that the Zionists are capable of great crimes.  But, again, their crimes are rational.

If you, however, insist of cooperating with Veterans Today or espouse the above ideas, I will have to consider you as someone dedicated to destroy our movement and to serve US imperialism.

With hope,

Elias

Dear Elias,

Thank you for your email. You constantly refer to something called "the US" which you distinguish from Israel and/or Zionists. I prefer to recognize that within the US-based ruling class there are different factions. What Professor James Petras (also a Marxist) calls the Zionist Power Configuration represents one faction whose Middle East policies often conflict with those of the traditional US imperialist faction which serves primarily Big Oil. The US empire-building faction of the ruling class traditionally pursued a policy of co-opting Arab strongmen in the Middle East such as Israel's number one foe Saddam Hussein (who then fired scud missiles at Israel in 1991 and who supported the Palestinians). US empire builders likes Brzezinski have denounced the Zionist faction of the bourgeoisie which has promoted destabilization of the Middle East and the carving up of the Middle East into small ethno-religious statelets (the "Lebanonisation" of the Middle East) so Israel can retain regional hegemony. Brzezinski-types want to build alliances with Iran and continue empowering Saudi Arabia (ever wonder why 9/11 was blamed on Saudis which would have been irrational if 9/11 was done by those representing Big Oil?).

Destabilizing the Middle East post-9/11 has been bad for oil markets. In short, Big Oil needs stability and Israel needs instability and civil war in the Middle East (so the Arabs are fighting Arabs). Whereas in WWII the traditional Anglo-American-German (WASP) faction of the ruling class trumped the nascent Zionist faction of the bourgeoisie destroying Jewish elites and assimilationist Communist Jews alike, 9/11 ushered in the period Petras calls "the globalization of Zionist power." The global American Empire has lost control of the Middle East to local elites in Israel, and their supporters in the US elite, just as the global British Empire lost the Thirteen Colonies or South Africa to local "God's chosen people" elites who didn't like taking orders from London. Tel Aviv doesn't like taking orders from Washington and so has taken over US Middle East policy.

Cheney and Rumsfeld weren't "bamboozled". As redundant Cold Warriors they saw an opportunity to revive their careers and to make some money. The Zionists provided them with an opportunity they couldn't refuse. Cheney didn't represent Big Oil. Halliburton is not an oil company. It rebuilds oil infrastructure. The Zionists smashing up Iraq was good for Cheney and Halliburton who got contracts to rebuild its infrastructure.

I like your Marxist analysis but you're misdiagonosing the problem by blaming 9/11 and 9/11 wars on the wrong faction of the elite.

As for VT - read my columns. They are my opinions. I speak for myself. I am not responsible for what others write.

Best Wishes,

Joshua

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Joshua Blakeney critiques Toronto hearings, pushes 9/11 truth in university newspaper

Joshua Blakeney of the University of Lethbridge is well on his way to becoming the most important of the younger generation of 9/11 scholars. Joshua, who works with Professor Anthony Hall, won the Queen Elizabeth II Award for his research into 9/11 - and drew fire from the Mossad-glorifying anti-9/11-truth propagandist Jonathan Kay.

Like me, and unlike members of the 9/11 half-truth movement,* Joshua Blakeney is on a "truth jihad" - an all-out struggle or effort to get at and speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about the most important historical event of the 21st century.

Joshua just published a very stimulating critique of the Toronto 9/11 Hearings at Veterans Today, as well as a 9/11 truth broadside in the University of Lethbridge newspaper.  (Leave a comment supporting Joshua!)

He will be my guest on Truth Jihad Radio next Monday, September 26th, 1-2 pm Central.

* * *

* Half-truthers include:

- People who don't want to talk about one or another aspect of 9/11 - Zionist involvement, the non-plane-crashes at the Pentagon and Shanksville, the impossible speed and/or flight paths of the planes in New York and Washington, etc. - because it would be "bad PR for the truth movement."

- People who talk about controlled demolition of the WTC but not the obvious inside-job attack at the Pentagon.

- People who blame top US officials but not top Israeli officials and their Mossad.

- People who say they know the official story is false, but they don't know who did it.

- People who admit US and/or Israelis were involved, but neglect or conceal the evidence that there were no hijackings or hijackers, and no Muslims involved; and that Bin Laden deplored 9/11 and suggested "American Jews" might be behind the attacks.

- People who obscure the evidence that there were no hijackings or hijackers by focusing on nothing but the WTC demolitions, and neglecting to point out that the fact of controlled demolition rules out human hijackings. (Humans couldn't be trusted with 100% certainty to get control of the planes and hit the targets, providing cover for the demolitions.)

- People who admit that 9/11 was an inside job, but can't let go of the Islamophobia that 9/11 instilled in the deepest recesses of their subconscious.

I don't mean to heap vilification on these people. Half a truth is better than none! As long as these folks do what they do well, and don't destructively attack others who are presenting broader aspects of  the truth, we should offer them encouragement as well as friendly, constructive critiques.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Obama appoints 9/11 scriptwriter & master criminal Zelikow to Intelligence Advisory Board



Zelikow has admitted that the US public has been terrorized by nonexistent threats: "I'll tell you what I think the real threat [is] and actually has been since 1990 - it's the threat against Israel," Zelikow told a crowd at the University of Virginia on September 10, 2002, speaking on a panel of foreign policy experts assessing the impact of September 11 and the future of the war on al-Qaeda.  "And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don't care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn't want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell," said Zelikow.   -Asia Times


9/11 was "The New Pearl Harbor" - a made-for-television spectacular, complete with amazing pyrotechnic special effects and the on-screen murder of almost 3,000 extras.

The question is, who wrote the script?

My best guess: Philip Zelikow - the man Obama just appointed to the President's Intelligence Advisory Board.

Zelikow describes himself as an expert in the "creation and maintenance of public myths." He defines  "public myth" as a "public presumption" about history that may or may not be true, but which nevertheless exerts a powerful influence on public opinion, and through that influence affects history.

Zelikow gives the official account of Pearl Harbor - the story of the "dastardly Japanese sneak attack" - as a prime example of the kind of "public myth" he specializes in creating and maintaining.

Zelikow's close colleague and fellow neocon extremist Paul Wolfowitz has exhibited a lifelong obsession with the immense strategic value of Pearl Harbor.  Wolfowitz has repeatedly cited a remark by Albert Speer to the effect that if Germany had been blessed with a Pearl Harbor it would have won World War II. (Source: Brian Bogart, University of Oregon - Truth Jihad Radio interview, 2007)

Therefore, in the eyes of neocons such as Zelikow, FDR was wise to adopt McCollum's Eight Point Plan designed to force the Japanese to launch a sneak attack on America. (Stinnett, Day of Deceit, 6-11). Pearl Harbor was not just a godsend - it was a US-orchestrated event, and the 2,403 Americans murdered there were murdered by the US government as well as the Japanese. As Robert Stinnett has shown, the US High Command knew exactly when and where the attacks were coming, and intentionally left American sailors and Marines in harm's way so that their murder would enrage US public opinion and reverse the prevailing majority sentiment against entry into World War II. In other words, Pearl Harbor, like 9/11, was a human sacrifice used to initiate a war - a pattern that recurs throughout history.
Circumstantial evidence suggests that Philip Zelikow scripted that human sacrifice. Zelikow co-authored a 1998 article in Foreign Affairs speculating on the likely political, social, and psychological consequences of a new Pearl Harbor style terrorist event, such as the destruction of the World Trade Center. Despite this smoking-gun evidence of his foreknowledge of 9/11, Zelikow was chosen by Cheney-Bush to run the 9/11 Commission. According to Philip Shenon, Zelikow had written all of the chapter outlines of The 9/11 Commission Report before the Commission even began its investigation. Zelikow completely controlled the investigation, ordering underlings to basically just fill in the chapter outlines of his pre-scripted novel. The Report became a "surprise bestseller" because it reads like a novel - which is exactly what it is. The core story - the alleged plot by 19 alleged hijackers led by a guy on dialysis in a cave in Afghanistan - is supported by nothing remotely resembling evidence that would stand up in a court of law. If you follow the footnotes, you'll find that the whole thing is supposedly based on third-hand testimony taken under brutal torture from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who apparently had to be waterboarded 183 times in one month in order to brainwash him into remembering and parroting the details of Zelikow's novel.

The million-dollar question: WHEN did Zelikow write his novel? My guess: The novel known as the 9/11 Commission Report is adapted from a made-for-TV disaster movie script -- the script that was brought to life by covert operations professionals on September 11th, 2001. And who better to write a novel based on that script than the author of the script itself? When Cheney and his Bush puppet picked Zelikow to write the 9/11 Commission Report, it was a strong indication that they were turning to the original author of the event - the specialist in the "creation and maintenance of public myths" who had created the official myth of 9/11 by authoring the script of the event.

Today, the 9/11 "public myth" has become a legend - a story that is no longer sacred, a story that more and more people doubt. Is Obama bringing Zelikow back on board in order to try to "maintain" the "public myth" of 9/11?

Zelikow is certainly the man for the job. Alongside his expertise, he has plenty of motivation: When the 9/11 public myth finally crumbles, he will soon find himself dangling from a rope, twisting slowly in the breeze.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Safe to Breathe



I'm starting to recover from the toxic "official story fumes" emitted by the corporate media on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of 9/11. (Cough, choke, gag.)

Unfortunately, a lot of good-hearted people - those who rushed to Ground Zero to try to save lives - are never going to recover from the toxic lies they breathed, thinking it was air. They're dropping like flies, just like the Iraqis whose whole country is choking on depleted uranium - another kind of toxic dust. Maybe the first responders and the Iraqis will meet in Paradise.

And for those agnostics and atheists in my audience who really hate the whole idea of hellfire: Can you think of a better place for the bastards who did this?

And for those Christians who think all the bastards who blew up the Towers would have to do is mumble "I accept Jesus as my only Lord and Savior" before they die, and - WHAM - it's all forgiven...

...all I can say is, thank God I'm a Muslim.

Here's a song I just wrote for the first responders, who were locked out of the official Ground Zero rites this year because too many of them care about truth and justice.


Safe to Breathe

She said the air was safe to breathe
We were such fools to believe
The lies they told us on that toxic day
They took advantage of our trust
And choked us all with pixie dust
That's killing us and can't be coughed away

CH:
They blew the Towers to kingdom come
The dust has settled in my lungs
The shit's so thick you surely need a shovel to breathe

No pile of rubble, nothing there
But talcum powder in the air
Settling to the street like satan's snow
One hundred stories pulverized
Three hundred million hypnotized
By lying television's hellish glow

CH:
They blew the Towers to kingdom come
Struck us dumb and clogged our lungs
The shit's so thick you surely need a shovel to breathe

They shipped the steel to Fresh Kills
Won't help us with our doctor bills
We're choking and we're croaking, one by one
So I spit in the face of death
A curse and prayer with this last breath:
May heaven fall, or may justice be done.

CH:
They blew us all to kingdom come
The dust has settled in my lungs
The shit's so thick you surely need a shovel to breathe

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kevin Barrett (Muslim) interviews Vincent Bugliosi (agnostic): The complete transcript

Celebrated prosecutor and bestselling author Vincent Bugliosi joined me on Truth Jihad Radio on June 3rd - between my speaking tours of Turkey and Europe. So if I wax too cosmic, blame the jet lag.

Bugliosi is the author of fourteen books, several of them blockbusters, including Helter Skelter, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, and now his latest bestseller Divinity of Doubt: The God Question, which makes a strong case for agnosticism. Many listeners have told me they love this interview. Listen here, or read the transcript below. 

Interview Transcript 

I just read Vincent Bugliosi's new book cover-to-cover -- if you can say reading a PDF file is "cover-to-cover" -- starting yesterday afternoon, 350 pages worth! The book is entitled The Divinity of Doubt. It's a hardcore manifesto for -- not atheism, and not belief in God -- but agnosticism. As my listeners are probably aware, since 9/11 there has been a flurry of anti-religious books. There have been Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris and that Richard Dawkins character over in the U.K. bashing religion. Well, Vincent Bugliosi does a better job bashing religion in his book The Divinity of Doubt than any of those guys did. But he also bashes atheism, or at least their versions of atheism, and points out that their cases against God are at least as unconvincing as many of the traditional arguments for God.

In any case, Vincent Bugliosi has a very interesting mind. He's the author of several blockbuster best-sellers, starting with Helter Skelter and continuing through one of my all-time favorite books, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. And now he has turned his attention to the question of religion and belief in God. What kind of evidence is there for the existence of God? Should we believe without evidence? Is God a question or an answer? And he says God is a question. Personally, I say "all of the above." But let's bring him on to put forth his case. Welcome, Vincent Bugliosi. How are you?

Bugliosi

Okay, sir. Thank you so much for having me on your show.

Barrett

Well, it's great to have you on. I really liked your book.

Bugliosi

I appreciate that.

Barrett

You're grappling with the big questions, and doing it in an intelligible way. Not too many big words for the sake of big words. You know, the communicative approach. It's good stuff! What brought you to write this book?

Bugliosi

Well, you know my history. I like challenges, Kevin. And I don't think there's any bigger challenge than taking on the God question. And I've always been fascinated with the whole issue, as millions have. And of course I've read the Bible, and written myself many, many notes throughout the years on it.

One of the reasons, among many, is that the religious terrain is filled with light-hearted fare. The number one book in the country is Heaven Is for Real, about a three-year-old boy during an appendectomy operation. And apparently during the surgery he goes to heaven and he meets Jesus and he meets his older sister who had died earlier. He meets John the Baptist, the Biblical figure Solomon. It's the number one book in the country.

Barrett

Somehow I missed that one.

Bugliosi

There's a book out now on Noah's ark. There's a book on sex and desire in the Bible. Very light-hearted fare. And even when someone tries to get serious, like the fellow you mentioned, Richard Dawkins, the British evolutionary biologist, here's what he says in his book - I'm not making this up! He says "the central argument" of his book The God Delusion, which sold over a million-and-a-half copies - he says the universe is so extremely complex that if there were a God, he'd have to be more complex than the universe he created. (laughter)  Who is he to say that God can't be that complex? Basically he's saying "I don't believe there's a God because I don't believe anything could be that complex." Which is almost childlike!

Barrett

Right. The universe is so complex we can hardly imagine that. So why not a God that's more complex?

Bugliosi

Yeah. It's like a father telling his son, "Look up in the heavens, son. You see all the heavenly bodies up there? God created all that." And the son saying, "I don't think he could be that powerful to do that, father." It's just nonsense. 

A couple years ago...I'm sure you know about the book by Dan Brown. The Da Vinci Code? That Jesus married Mary Magdeline...

Barrett

Right. I never could figure out, who really cares about the bloodline? Is that really the issue anyway?

Bugliosi

There's no evidence to support it. It's just wild speculation.

So I think for a combination of reasons I decided to take on the God question. And I have to say I'm more excited about the book than any other book I had written in my entire career. I'm not saying that's my magnum opus, I think that's Reclaiming History on the Kennedy assassination. But I'm more excited about it, not just because there's no bigger subject than God, but that the religious terrain is very barren. It's a two-thousand-year-old conversation in which nothing significant has been brought to the table in a great number of years. And believe it or not, I  believe I do bring some new things to the table. If we have time, I'll just briefly summarize a couple of those things. Do we have some time?

Barrett

Sure, let's go ahead and do that.

Bugliosi

Okay. Well, we always hear, Kevin, that God gives all of us free will. And if you challenge someone on it, like my wife did a couple of weeks ago - a friend of hers said "It's in the Bible." And I found out that, contrary to popular belief, the Bible does not say there's free will. In fact, it says the precise opposite: That there is no free will. And I don't have to tell you the enormous ramifications of this, Kevin. How do you explain God's punishment of evil-doers if what they did was pre-ordained by God? They had no choice.

Now I want to make it very clear to your audience that I'm not saying there's no free will. I haven't the vaguest idea. If someone were to ask me, I'd say "Why are you asking me? Ask my neighbor, or ask the local grocer." But when Christianity and Judaism say that the Bible says there's free will, at that point I can weigh in and say "Wait a minute folks, that's not what the Bible says. It says there's no free will."

I'll give you two very quick citations. Isaiah 63:17 says, "Why Lord do you cause us (from free will) - why do you cause us to stray from thy ways?" Romans 11:32 goes so far as to say that God "consigns all men to disobedience."

Let me give you just one more quick one. Talmudic scholars have been wrestling for centuries - not years, for centuries - trying to get around Exodus 4:21, where God tells Moses "I'm going to harden the heart of the Pharoah, causing him to be stubborn so he will not set the people free," referring to the Israelites in Egypt at the time, supposedly justifying his imposition of the ten plagues on the poor people of Egypt.

So I found basically - and I could go into the story more, on how I reached this conclusion - but let me get on to the second point -

Barrett

Can I briefly interrupt there and say that this is one of the areas in which Islam has a claim to be correcting the misguided or mistaken errors that crept into these earlier scriptures.

Bugliosi

Right.

Barrett

Islam basically accepts these scriptures, but says there were a whole bunch of errors. And this is one of those instances where the Islamic case is, I think, very clear to somebody like you - you talk about some of those cases later - but in this one, in the Qur'an there are many passages that can be interpreted as supporting free will, and many passages that can be interpreted as denying free will, like the ones (from the Bible) you just gave us.

Bugliosi

Yeah, absolutely.

Barrett

So we (Muslims) throw up our hands and we say it's a mystery.

Bugliosi

Yeah, absolutely. In fact, in the endnotes - most people don't read endnotes, but I quote the Qur'an saying in two very clearly stated Surahs, saying that there's no free will.

I found that the immortality of the soul is a clear invention of Plato. I went way back, in the fourth century BC, that Christianity was literally forced to embrace, because without it there's no life after death, and without life after death there's no heaven and hell. And I would ask the rhetorical question, Kevin: How does Christianity survive? How does it stay alive if there's no heaven and hell? This is what it offers or threatens its followers with.

Perhaps the most startling thing in the book - and there are quite a few startling things in the book - I found evidence in the New Testament which, when read in conjunction with the Hebrew Bible - I'm specifically referring to Isaiah 7:14 - which proves, not just beyond a reasonable doubt, but beyond all doubt, that Jesus was not born of a virgin. Now I'm not saying that. I'm talking about the Bible now. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, then he was not the son of God. And if he's not the son of God, then the Christian doctrine that God had his son die on the cross for our sins goes out the window too, which in effect ravages much of Christianity. And I know it's hard for your audience to believe, Kevin, but if we're talking about the Bible, I think this happens to be the truth, and it's why many people said - in fact, a review just came in on the book - that nobody who reads The Divinity of Doubt will ever feel quite the same way about God and religion.

Barrett

Let's explain exactly how this works, because Isaiah is in the Old Testament. So how can that have anything to do with Jesus being born of a virgin?

Bugliosi

Well, okay...and I appreciate your asking that. Most people don't ask those questions, and you're getting into it, and I appreciate that. The first reference to the virgin birth is in Matthew 1:18. Matthew says that the virgin birth was a fulfillment of a prophecy by the Hebrew prophet Isaiah in 7:14. So when we go to 7:14, there's no reference to a virgin birth. We find in 7:14 that Isaiah said that a child so the boy would be born of a young woman. He doesn't say a virgin. He says a young woman. And the Hebrew word he uses is almah. But he doesn't say virgin. He says almah, which means young woman. So I called a rabbi here in town, Z. Dershowitz, who turns out to be the cousin of the Harvard law professor Allan Dershowitz. I asked him - I said, Is there a word in Hebrew that means virgin that Isaiah could have used? He said, yes. I said what is that word? He said betullah, which I'd never heard of before. And I asked him if it was in the Hebrew Bible, the word betullah, when the context is the word virgin? And he said yes, and he gave me several citations. And they all checked out. The context was virginity of a woman, and the word used was betullah. Now the question is, Kevin: Why would Isaiah, if he wanted to say virgin, use a word, almah, that did not mean virgin. Why wouldn't he have used the word that he knows means virgin?

Barrett

This whole argument would work if you assumed that both the Old and New Testaments were perfect scriptures, etcetera.

Bugliosi

Right.

Barrett

But if your assumption, rather, is saying that Jesus's virgin birth fulfilled this prophecy from Isaiah, but also Matthew is saying it was a virgin birth apart from that.

Bugiosi

Right. But Matthew says in 1:18 that it was a virgin birth, and that it was a fulfillment of a prophecy in Isaiah in 7:14. And when we go to 7:14 we don't see that.

Let me add another point here -

Barrett

So basically you could explain this by minor errors in one or both of those scriptures.

Bugliosi

Possibly. Possibly. But the word almah is used - and almah in Hebrew does not mean virgin, and Isaiah used the word almah.

But there's another point here, Kevin. Isaiah in fact does make a prophecy, in Isaiah 7:14. And what that prophecy was, was that this boy, before he was old enough to know right from wrong, the kings of Israel and Syria would be dead. These kings died somewhere around 7:30 BC which is close to 800 years before the alleged virgin birth of Jesus. I think this conclusively shows that the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 had nothing to do with the alleged virgin birth of Jesus close to 800 years later. And I think if Isaiah 7:14 falls, I think if we use logic, then Matthew 1:18 and 1:22 also fall. If Matthew had only said that Jesus was born of a virgin, and left it at that, then it would have fallen into the same category as the other alleged miracles, like the parting of the sea, the calming of the storm, walking on water, the resurrection. The naysayers would have said these miracles didn't happen, and the religious people would have said they did. But where he made his fatal mistake, at least insofar as Christianity is concerned, is when he said he was basing his conclusion of a virgin birth on Isaiah 7:14. And when Isaiah 7:14 doesn't say that, I think we've got a real problem here.

Barrett

What does Isaiah 7:14 really mean by almah, then? Just saying, prophecizing, that somebody's going to be born of a young woman is nothing. Virtually everybody's born from a young woman. So isn't it possible that the Hebrew scripture is inaccurate, that it really did mean virgin, and perhaps Matthew is right, and perhaps the mistake is in the earlier scripture. Or vice-versa - Matthew could have been wrong too.

Bugliosi

I asked the Rabbi, was it possible that a young woman at that time would have meant virgin. He said no, no - particularly back then.

Barrett

What could that mean, though, "born from a young woman?" That's like saying "this coming messiah figure will actually breathe air. And will see the sun rise and set." Who cares?

Bugliosi

But he said it was not a messiah figure. What it was, if you want to go deeper into the story: There was this Judean king at the time, his name was Ahaz, and he was fearful that the kings of Israel and Syria were going to destroy him. And he wanted a sign from God. And Isaiah gave him this sign. He said, there's going to be a child born of a young woman. And before this child's old enough to know right from wrong, your enemies are going to be dead. That's the whole story.

You could very well be right here. But what I'm saying is that I think that the Vatican would rather stare into the noonday sun than address themselves to this issue, because...

Barrett

You're probably right.

Bugliosi

Well, they're going to have to use the argument that you use, which is possibly a valid argument, that possibly the Hebrew Bible was mistaken. But that opens up a whole can of worms.

Barrett

It supports your argument that we can't have absolute faith in the literal meaning of these particular passages.

Bugliosi

Yeah, I think it's just an eternal mystery. For your audience, let me just clarify: Theists believe in God, of course; atheists do not believe in God; agnostics, which I am, say I don't know. Perhaps the more accurate definition of an agnostic is someone who feels that the existence or nonexistence of God is unknowable.

I like to tell people that I have a rather bright person on my side...

Barrett

We're heading into the first break, so we'll have to pick that up on the other side. This is Kevin Barrett. I'm talking with Vincent Bugliosi. He is the author of a great many excellent books, including The Divinity of Doubt. We'll be right back.

(Break)

Barrett

Welcome back. I'm Kevin Barrett, talking with Vincent Bugliosi, whose brand-new book The Divinity of Doubt is, in my opinion, far, far better than the attacks on religion that have come out and sold millions of copies in the post-9/11 era. I would highly recommend this one. It takes on the big questions and does so in an always-interesting, lively, and amusing fashion. It's also very well thought-out. I think, Vincent, that you've done a better job with this than these people like (Richard) Dawkins, who's supposed to be one of the great minds of our time. But I don't see it when I read his book. And yours, I think, makes a better case. I don't agree with everything in your book, but I have to admit that you're actually thinking these things through.

Bugliosi

I'm very flattered that you feel this way. You're obviously a very intelligent person. Not because you're flattering me (laughter) but because I'm listening to you talk. You're obviously very, very bright and well-read. You know, you said something I'd like to comment on. You said it (the book) is "amusing." I'm amazed at the people who are saying that! Many places in the book, they're laughing out loud! (laughing) I didn't intend the book to be a comedy. But there is some humor in it, apparently.

Barrett

The end of the book is great - the afterword, in which you ask, "Is there a God who's giving us a hard time?" Because every time you look for a paper it's in the bottom of the stack (laughter), every time you're rushing to catch a plane it's in the highest-numbered gate...I love it!

Bugliosi

(laughing) I appreciate that.

By the way, during the break, I looked up - it's on page 289 in my book, in the endnotes, which most people don't read -     anyway, in the Surah of the Quran 87:2. There's a quote: "The Lord has created and balanced all things, and has fixed their destinies and guided them." Sura 9:51 reads: "By no means can anything befall us but what God has destined for us." So like you said - and not very many people know this - the Qur'an makes a strong argument in some places that there is no free will.

Barrett

There are other passages, though, that suggest the opposite. There are all sorts of passages pointing out that our choices in life are absolutely crucial, unlike in Christianity, where as you point out, one of the problems with Christianity, according to many of these fundamentalists especially, is that you can lead a really terrible life, and then at the very end of your life you could say: "I now accept Jesus, He died for my sins" and you get a free ticket to heaven.

Bugliosi

Oh, I know.

Barrett

While in Islam, it's even further from that than Catholocism is. In Islam, your actions are a lot more important than your professions of belief.

Bugliosi

And that's obviously the way it should be. But born-again Christianity... In fact, in Billy Graham's book How to Be Born-Again, he flat-out says, no matter how well you treat your fellow man, that isn't good enough for God, that's not going to get you into heaven; if you don't accept Jesus as your savior, you're going to hell.    

Barrett

One of the reasons I came to Islam at age 35 was exactly the same stuff that you found doesn't make sense in Christianity, didn't make sense to me either.

Bugliosi

It's such a blasphemy of reason. But then again, reason only visits those who welcome it. And some of these born-again Christians are just unbelievable in having this belief.

I was pointing out, I like to point out to people, that I have someone rather bright on my side. His name is Einstein, who was an agnostic. Now many people have come back at me and said, "Well, Mr. Bugliosi, he said other things that indicated that he was not an agnostic." And they are right. Throughout his career, the great physicist did say many things that allowed agnostics, theists, or atheists to claim him as one of their own.

Barrett

He said "I cannot believe that God would play dice with the universe."

Bugliosi

Yes, yes, that's one of his most famous ones that would indicate that he was a theist, that he believed there was a God. However, the only time I was able to find where he used one of these appellations, as opposed to saying something where you could draw the inference that he was either a theist, agnostic, or atheist, was in a letter that he wrote to an M. Berkowitz, whoever that was. My impression is that he was a friend of his. I don't know if it was a male or a female. The date of the letter was October 25th, 1950, and in that letter, which is at the Princeton archives of Einstein, he said: "Concerning the question of God, I am an agnostic." He flat-out used that word. Interestingly enough, Darwin was also an agnostic. I say interestingly enough because most evolutionists - not all, but most - are atheists. And here we have the founder of evolution an agnostic.

I believe, Kevin, that on the issue of whether or not there is a God, I believe it to be an impenetrable mystery beyond human comprehension. As Einstein put it, "the problem is simply too vast for our limited minds." And that's why I feel that the most reasonable and presumptuously the most responsible position to take on the eternal question of God's existence is that of agnosticism.

I love Gertrude Stein's non-literary definition of agnosticism. She said: "There ain't no answer. There ain't gonna be any answer. There never has been an answer. That's the answer." (laughter) Which I thought was kind of cute and clever, but had some perception to it.

The great criminal defense attorney Clarence Darrow said it fairly well too. He said: "I don't purport to know what ignorant men are sure of.

So it just feels like too much of a mystery, Kevin, and I don't think people should be too dogmatic about it.

I do take on atheism too, in the book. We can talk about it now, or we can go on to another subject.

Barrett

Let me just raise the question of to what extent this kind of really excellent logical, this very careful use of reason and evidence, to try to get at the question of "Is there evidence for the existence of God..." ...whether that whole effort might be, at least in part, a kind of category mistake. Let's say you were going to write a book about whether or not love exists. And let's say you decided to be agnostic about whether love exists. That would be kind of strange. And kind of interesting too. You could do the same thing about whether...is Beethoven's music really great? And you could say there are on the one hand believers who love Beethoven and argue for it. And on the other hand there are tone-deaf people who say it's no better than Mickey Mouse jingles.

Bugliosi

Right.

Barrett

And you're gonna say "Well, I'm an agnostic." In other words, what I'm saying is that maybe the whole category of religion is more like great art and music than it is something that's susceptible to rational-empirical proof.

Bugliosi

Well, yeah. That's a very sophisticated articulation that you just came up with, literally off the top of your head. I don't think I could talk that way off the top of my head. I would have had to...

Barrett

I was actually talking off the side of my head. (laughter)

Bugliosi

No, what you said is definitely true. And there may not be any answer - we may not have an answer - but the title of my book The Divinity of Doubt addresses your question to a certain extent, in that I don't believe we're ever going to find the answer. But if we do find the answer, if there ever is gonna be an answer, doubt is divine in that doubt at least impels a search for the truth. It opens the door to knowledge, whereas faith basically puts a lock on that door. But I don't think we are ever going to have divinity of doubt, although that's the title of my book, because, just viscerally, I don't think anyone's ever going to come up with the answer. But if we do come up with the answer, aren't we going to have to start with a certain amount of doubt? Or do we just accept what we know and leave it at that?

Barrett

Right. Well, my grandmother, a real strong agnostic who said her favorite disciple was Doubting Thomas, sort of instilled this (attitude) in me. She had an experience once where she was under sedation, anesthesia, and she believed that she suddenly saw the answer to everything - life, the universe, and everything, God, whatever. It revealed itself to her while she was under anesthesia! And when she came back, she couldn't remember what that answer was. She always talked about that and pointed out that ultimately we never really know that answer, there's no way to grasp it in our ordinary minds. And that kind of attitude led me to keep questioning things, and searching and searching. And I finally found that for me, Islam gives a voice of God and an orientation towards God that makes sense to me. It's more of an orientation than a thing. God is an orientation and a relationship, or a set of relationships.

Bugliosi

Yes

Barrett

The Qur'an, for example, is the voice of God, but speaking to the Prophet Muhammad. And his reactions are partly influencing what the voice of God is going to sound like, what it's going to say. And it's also speaking to all the believers. It's speaking to each of us, speaking to me personally, like a very close-up whisper in my ear. It's got this quality of a whole symphonic set of dialogues. And the tone of it is one of sadness that we humans make so little of this glorious endowment and this glorious potential that we all have. And this is something that nobody gets when they're reading translations. You really have to hear the Arabic and be able to read the Arabic to understand that part.

I've noticed in your chapter on Islam -

Bugliosi

It was very short, four or five pages.

Barrett

Yes, very short, and I'll tell you, it really wasn't bad at all for what it was. Although you did quote Ibn Warraq. Quoting Ibn Warraq on Islam is sort of like quoting Adolf Hitler on Judaism. (laughter) But you still managed to avoid being particularly...obnoxious. Unlike 99% of what's being written about Islam.

Bugliosi

I know very little on Islam. And I make no pretensions about that. But I wanted to put a couple things in there, so if people are at a cocktail party and Islam comes up, at least they can say a couple of things that are accurate.

Barrett

It's mostly accurate.

Bugliosi

I'm happy about that. But this is not a book about the major religions of the world. I do have this little section where I get into Islam and Hinduism and Buddhism. You could write a much, much better book on Islam than I can. But I just wanted to put that in there to get some of the highlights of Islam. In fact, I was on a Jewish network, and the host said I learned - and I want to ask you if I'm correct in this - that Mohammed's wife was Jewish! Is that correct?

Barrett

I think he had one Jewish wife, yes. He had a monogamous marriage for the first - what - thirty some years of his life, a long period. And that was to an older woman (Khadija), a sensible businesswoman. But then (after Khadija's death) he had to flee, to leave town before they killed him, and he had to defend himself and defend this new perspective on God. And at that point he had several marriages, which were mostly tribal or political marriages. And I believe that yes, one of them was to a Jewish woman. And Jews and Christians are supposed to be protected as People of the Book under Islam.

Bugliosi

Yes.

Barrett

And that has been extended to other religions, which has led Islam to be seen as probably the most tolerant of the monotheisms, which some would say isn't saying very much. (laughter)

Bugliosi

Right. Well, I got that out of a biography of Muhammad, her name was Aisha, but as I say, I don't purport to be an expert on Islam.

Barrett

Well let me just point out a few things that you got slightly wrong. You wrote that there has been endless conflict and hatred between Arabs and Jews. That's actually not true. Jews have actually done very well in the whole Islamic world, including the Arab world, right up until the creation of the state of Israel, which is really the last European settler colony. And that's what has created the whole problem. Before that, Arabs and Jews, and Muslims and Jews, got along very well...better than Christians got along with either one. (laughter)

Bugliosi

Are you sure about that? That there weren't problems a long time before this?

Barrett

Well, right at the very beginning of Islam, there were problems with Jewish tribes in Medina. But beyond that, from the founding of Islam right up until the founding of the state of Israel, in general Jews did well under Islam, especially in Andalusia or Islamic Spain. But even the Ottoman Empire was full of very prosperous Jews who were given complete freedom of religion, as were Christians and most other religions under Islam....which is why there were all kinds of refugees fleeing to the Ottoman Empire during the period of wars between the Ottomans and the European states; Jews and heretical Christians were swarming to the Ottoman lands, because they offered religious freedom.

Bugliosi

Again, you're taking me on in an area where you're an authority and I'm not. But I thought that after the death of Muhammad armies of Muslims overran a great portion of that area of the world, including Palestine in 638 a.d.

Barrett

That's true.  What happened was, there was a series of tribal wars that grew out of the self-defense of the Muslims in Medina. And they kept making alliances with more and more tribes, including the tribes that were guarding the borders of these empires. And you know, you can tell the story in different ways, but most authorities...people like Karen Armstrong, for example, will tell you that when the Muslims entered the Byzantine cities and "conquered" them, they were welcomed by most of the people who were tired of the oppression of their rulers, and were happy to have the Muslims come in and lower taxes by about 90 percent, set up their guard areas in tents outside the city...live in tents. Taxation was much lower, they were offering complete religious freedom to the people there. So according to the sort of pro-Muslim spin on this, both the Byzantine empire and to a much lesser extent the Persian empire, was really...they were both falling apart from their endless wars and oppressive rulers, and they saw Islam as a sort of liberation from these rulers.

Bugliosi

Weren't most of the Crusades to recapture the Holy Land, they viewed it as the Holy Land, from the Muslims,

Barrett

That's right. And even the Western histories point out that the behavior of the Muslim defenders of the Holy Land was vastly better than the behavior of the Crusaders, who massacred huge numbers of Jews on their way to the Holy Land, and when they got there they just killed everybody. And when the Muslims took it back, Salah-ad-Din (Saladin) was very generous with these Crusaders. He let them take all their property and leave, an he let a lot of them stay. They had freedom of worship. So there is that whole history of Islam as by far the most tolerant of the monotheisms, (a history) that we don't hear much about today.

Bugliosi

I'll tone that down a little bit. If this comes out in the second edition, I will tone that down. I'm sure you probably were happy that I mentioned Ishmael, if that's the way you pronounce it.

Barrett

Yeah. And that leads to another issue...but we'll have to pick it up after the break. This is getting to be a deep conversation with Vincent Bugliosi. He's the author of The Divinity of Doubt, a truly excellent exploration of agnosticism.

(break)

Barrett

Welcome back. This is Kevin Barrett, talking to Vincent Bugliosi, author of The Divinity of Doubt, the book that makes the case that agnosticism is "the only strong position one can take on the question of God's existence." And Vincent, I think that one of the areas where you really show there is something of real potential importance in this advocacy of agnosticism, is that you point out that "if man can ever hope to reduce the level of dishonesty in his existence, there perhaps is no better place to start than in his relationship with God."

Bugliosi

Huxley said that in an essay of his: Let's be truthful. Why act like we know something when we do not. And we cannot know whether or not there is a God. So we are not being truthful with ourselves if we say that we do know. And if you deceive yourself, then all deception after that is easy.

At some point I'd like to at least briefly mention atheism here.

Barrett

We don't have a whole lot of time left. But yeah, let me just throw in the fact that I totally agree with that, and that in Islam one of the names of God is Truth or Reality, al-haqq. And for me, that's kind of the central one. (laughter) To me, God is ultimate Reality. And I'm still open to trying to find out what that Reality is.

Bugliosi

Yeah. Well, I certainly don't reject the notion of God. In fact, in some areas, I go in the direction of God. In other areas I do not. Why? Because my only master, my only mistress, is the evidence. My whole orientation, Kevin, is to search for the evidence, and when you find it, evaluate it, draw powerful inferences from it. I've become a little adept at that in my career. In fact, just a couple of months ago, at the invitation of the Pentagon, I gave a three-hour lecture to a conference of Marine prosecutors down at Camp Pendleton.

So that's my whole orientation. And I would say that at least theism has one very strong argument for God, and that is the argument of first cause. We probably don't have time to get into it. But atheism doesn't have anything except one non-sequitur after another. And I don't know whether or not there's a God, but if there isn't, I don't think atheistic dogma leads one rationally to that conclusion.

Barrett

Give us a couple examples of these bad arguments for atheism.

Bugliosi

Okay. Here are a couple of non-sequiturs. They say that if God existed, why do we have all the horrors and evil in the world? But that presuppposes that God has to be all good, which is an obvious non-sequitur. He can obviously all powerful without also being all good.

Another non-sequitur of theirs in the area of evolution, as you know, they believe that man evolved from some original life form; they do not believe that God created man. Some life forms started it all; some bacteria somehow evolved into Mozart. But that presupposes that God did not create the original life form and evolution took over from there.

Their main non-sequitur now that is embraced by Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, the big one now in the area of atheism, is that if they can slay the dragon of organized religion, which I say is not a very worthy opponent, they have therefore slain God. But this presupposes that you cannot have God without religion, which is too ridiculous a non-sequitur to even comment on. A 2010 national Pew poll confirmed something that I already knew but didn't have the numbers. The Pew poll showed that over 30% of Americans who are not affiliated with any religion at all - they don't identify themselves with any organized religion - still very firmly believe in God. So the antithesis of God is no God, not no religion. And I've yet to hear one powerful persuasive argument that the atheists have come up with other than a non-sequitur for the nonexistence of God. But theism, as I indicated, at least has first cause, which is kind of a difficult argument to get around.

Barrett

Well, there's one place where I slightly disagree with you -

Bugliosi

Okay

Barrett

- in that you compared first cause and argument from design, and you found that first cause is a stronger argument, and I'm not so sure, and I'll tell you why. The argument from design, as I understand it, with all of these amazing physical constants that make life possible...it's actually quite a bit stronger than most people realize. And you sort of made fun of Dawkins, who said "The only counter-argument to this is to say that there must be multiple universes." But in fact, if you study the implications of quantum physics, which tell us that at every microsecond, the universe is splitting into many different universes with slightly different things happening in each one, and those ones are splitting into different ones. So there's a vast number of different universes sort of exploding out of each other. This is one fairly popular interpretation of quantum mechanics. And it does solve the problem of how we happen to be in this universe where everything seems to be so perfectly fine-tuned for the possibility of life.

Bugliosi

Well, the way I address myself to intelligent design - and by the way, in quantum mechanics, the leading guru on it, his name is (Richard) Phillips Fineman, who used to be a professor at Cal Tech - quite a colorful character. And he said: "I think I can safely say that no-one understands quantum physics." (laughter)  I got into that, quantum mechancs, in a long footnote in the book. But on intelligent design, the argument is that the universe is incredibly complex, it could never have happened by chance, it had to be created by an all-powerful and all-intelligent designer, namely God. And some of the great minds of history like Aristotle and Voltaire have been impressed by this argument. But here's what I say, very very briefly, on this. If God were all-powerful, as Christians believe, why would there be over 100 so-called "fundamental constants" out there in space, such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, and water vapor levels, which must remain precisely as they are, to a millionth of a degree, to sustain life on earth? The slightest deviation from these so-called constants would end life as we know it. And my question is this: You mean an all-powerful God could not create an earth that would not need, would not be dependent, on all these things, that to do so would be beyond his power? And why would an intelligent supernatural being create hundreds of billions - actually, if you go outside of the Milky Way galaxy, trillions of stars in the universe that are prodigiously large dead bodies floating in space without any relevance to earth, their surfaces apparently being mere wastelands of rocks and dirt. If God created, Kevin, all of this dead matter in the universe, there's something wrong with him! He's certainly not an intelligent entity

Barrett

Yes. And here's where I guess we have different perspectives. I think theism is as much a perspective as it is an affirmation about reality or a thing. The perspective is that it's all good. And with that perspective, you look at these amazing gigantic things, these planets floating in space - no life, maybe - but they are just gorgeous. And you can voyage in your imagination and look at them. Maybe there are people who can leave their bodies and fly out there and take a look at them directly, who knows? But in any case, my perspective would be more the "it's all good" perspective, and the real, accurate view of existence is that if you could actually see existence as it really was, and not as your egotistic filters, Aldous Huxley's "reducing valve," have reduced it to, you would be so overwhelmed with joy and ecstasy that you would probably fall over on the floor dead. (laughter) Which you might not want to do. But you know what I'm saying, it's a perspective. And here's where your book sort of errs on the side of the perspective "it's half empty." You're constantly harping on suffering and evil and the Nazis this and Charles Manson that - actually not Charles Manson, that's your other book. But your glass is often half-empty in this book. And in fact people can have different perspectives on the same stuff, and focus on the beauty and the amazing, intricate symphonic order of things. And sure, there's some moral, apparent-to-us-evil going on there. But how in the world do we know that that moral apparent evil is really the last word?

Bugliosi

Yeah. But if God created all of this dead matter out there, unless it was for His amusement, or for Him to behold something beautiful that he had created, why would he create all this dead matter out there in the universe? And if he didn't create all this dead matter, then he's not all powerful. I just don't see what relevance to earth of all this dead matter has.

Barrett

What's wrong with dead matter? Trees are 99% dead matter.

Bugliosi

Yes, but here's something that's in the very beginning of my book that I think is absolutely critical. We, man, impute our notions of goodness, fairness, intelligence to God. We can't say we know what's on God's mind or what His plans are. If we said that publicly, we'd be laughed at. So we impute our notions of these things. And so when something happens that violates these very same notions, it's kind of hard to say, you know, we don't know the answer but God has the answers and they're all good. That door's kind of closed. Because we've imputed our notions of what is intelligent. For instance, I don't think that Christianity or Judaism or Islam would ever say that God did something that was unfair. Because if they said that, they'd be saying that he did something that was not all good. They never say he did something illogical or stupid, because that would mean he's not all-intelligent. So we impute our notions of these things to God. And then when something happens that contradicts these very same notions, it's kind of difficult to say "Well, we don't know the answer, but God has the answers and they're all good. I go into that...we don't have time to develop it further.

Barrett

I think there's a kind of consciousness that religion is aiming to bring us to. And it is a consciousness of incredible beauty and higher awareness and so on. And that's what it's really about. It's not really about making objective statements about how the physical world works. But hey, we only have a couple of minutes left. So Vincent, I apologize for bringing this up, but my listeners will kill me if I don't. You say you're a man devoted to looking at the evidence.

Bugliosi

Yes.

Barrett

Have you looked at the evidence around Building 7 and the rest of the anomalies surrounding 9/11?

Bugliosi

I've been asked to do that by a great number of people. My preliminary view - and I don't speak with any authority at all, one thing about me, I hardly ever form an opinion on things. But when I do form an opinion, I try to stuff it down everyone's throat. (laughter)

Barrett

That's what I've been doing about 9/11 for the past six years. (laughter)

Bugliosi

But I don't form an opinion unless I've done a lot of study. And I have not done any study on this. But my preliminary view is that the government would not have been involved in 9/11. This Building 7 that people told me about, that does sound very, very, very strange. Very strange. But I haven't studied it.

Barrett

Would you like to, if I sent you a DVD and a book, would you study it?

Bugliosi

I have a lot of stuff, unless you send me new stuff, people are begging me to do that. But before I formed any opinion, I'd really have to do a lot of studying before I opened my mouth.

Barrett
Well, I urge you to do that. Two years after 9/11, I heard that Dr. David Ray Griffin, a hero of mine from other areas, was writing about it. So I sat down and did two months of research, and it blew my mind. So that's why I'm on the radio now instead of teaching in a university.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Radio station WTLC: I'm the #3 9/11 truther (after Alex Jones and David Ray Griffin)

WTLC-FM: The Top 5 9/11 Truthers

My father, the late Peter J. Barrett, didn't like coming in third. Even placing second and winning a silver medal in the 1964 Olympics could not satisfy him. So he went back and won a gold medal in 1968.

Me, I'd be more than happy to take third place in the most important race of the 21st century: That grueling ten-year-long-and-still-going-strong marathon, the race for 9/11 truth.

Actually I don't care where I place. I just want to reach the finish line.

WTLC radio is too generous in rating me as #3 of The Top Five 9/11 Truthers behind only Alex Jones and David Ray Griffin. One of the great things about 9/11 truth is that there are so many talented people putting in so much effort and energy, that it would be very hard to limit it to a top five or ten or fifty or two hundred or two hundred thousand for that matter. Who knows which hardworking street activist will awaken the hundredth monkey, or should I say the hundredth sheeple, and trigger the coming paradigm shift?

And let's face it, I'm not even close to being the most eminent or qualified individual to speak out for 9/11 truth. To meet those folks, look at some of the people who signed the Open Letter to the University of Wisconsin, or go to PatriotsQuestion911.com or AE911Truth.org.

But I do sort of enjoy that #3 spot. Besides feeling insanely flattered, it gives me the Avis vs. Hertz, "we try harder" edge.

David Ray Griffin is clearly the #1 scholar-spokesman for 9/11 truth, and Alex Jones is clearly the biggest, loudest and (I hate to admit) most talented radio voice. Since these guys do what they do so perfectly, I have to "try harder" to do something else -  namely work on new communications strategies, such as:

*Breaking into big media: getting David Ray Griffin on C-Span, baiting politicians, Fox News hosts and talk radio windbags, getting 9/11 truth op-eds published in mainstream papers, running for Congress to draw media attention to 9/11, and so on.

* Employing humor and satire to make the topic less deadly, as I did in my book Truth Jihad.

 * Reaching out to the billion Muslims who know it was an inside job, and providing a forum for interfaith dialogue, through Muslims for 9/11 Truth and the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth.

* Bringing the pro-Palestine and 9/11 truth movements together.

* Using my own academic background - in Folklore and Islamic Studies - to help elucidate 9/11.

 *Bringing scholars and other experts on the radio to communicate with the general public, and letting them talk as much as they need to to get their full message out (which Alex doesn't always do).

* Breaking big news stories through folks like Alan Hart, Alan Sabrosky, and Susan Lindauer - often people whose message doesn't quite fit Alex's worldview/agenda.

* Writing a book specifically aimed at the most promising demographic group - people who voted for Obama - and focus-group testing it, rewriting it, and focus-group-testing it again until it could convince most Obama voters who read it that the "war on terror" is an Orwellian farce and 9/11 deserves a second look.

As we enter the second decade of Philip Zelikow's carefully pre-designed post-9/11 "whole new world," I intend to keep right on "trying harder" - not in any hopeless attempt to build a bigger radio show than Alex Jones, or write more or better books than David Ray Griffin, but just to accomplish the things that God has given me the ability and the predisposition to do.

I invite you to do the same.

See you at the finish line!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Paul Simon protests USA's "sound of silence" on 9/11 truth


Charles Moffat: US Censorship 2001

Paul Simon had been told to play "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" at the Ground Zero tenth anniversary event. Without telling anybody what was coming, he played a 9/11 truth protest song instead. The "people talking without listening" didn't get it. The awakened people did. This is one of the most profound moments of musical protest ever recorded.



Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools", said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Truth Rocks the State Capitol in St. Paul, MN - authorities fail to stymie event


Call me a paranoid conspiracy theorist, but...well, sometimes it seems like the powers that be are making things a little extra hard for people who organize 9/11 truth events.


Last Thursday's film and $1,000 Debate Challenge at the University of Wisconsin-Madison drew a good crowd. That was pretty amazing, since the time and date - Thursday, Sept. 8th, 7 pm - also happened to be the exact time and date chosen for:

* The second most important entity in the world (the President of the USA)'s prime-time speech to the American people;

and

* The most important entity in the world (the Green Bay Packers') first kickoff of the season, which also happened to be the nationwide NFL season opener.

So the thousands of professors who turned down our offer of $1,000 just to show up and defend the official story of 9/11 had a good excuse: They had to stay home and watch the Packers and/or the President.

We chose the date and time for our 9/11 truth event way back in April.  Did the Executive Branch and the NFL then decide to schedule their events at the exact same date and time in hopes of diverting attention from our event? It certainly seems unlikely.

And yet...

Today at the Minnesota state capitol, the powers-that-be, in the person of Gov. Mark Dayton (who knows the 9/11 Report is a pack of treasonous lies) chose to schedule their official celebration of the 9/11 Big Lie on the capitol steps...thereby blocking access to the capitol, and preventing many people from attending the 9/11 truth event in the capitol rotunda.

"They were supposed to leave an access corridor so people could walk up the capitol steps and enter the rotunda," explained Michael Andregg, a Twin Cities peace and truth leader. Andregg said he didn't know why the organizers of the Big Lie Celebration had chosen to completely block access to the rotunda and the officially-permitted 9/11 truth event inside.

In fact, I was still able to enter the rotunda, as were others, by ducking under the ropes that were intended to bar access to our event. Enough people figured out how to enter, by ducking under or going around to the back entrance, to fill the rotunda, take up all the available seating, and make it a standing-room-only success. But others did not figure out how to get into the building.

It was a rip-roaring event in any case, with a terrific introduction by emcee Bruce Stahlberg, great music by Diane Steen-Hinderlie, Rick Bernardo, and Gina Citoli, and blazing, impassioned speeches by Jim Fetzer, Farheem Hakeem, Mike Palacek, Mike Cavlan, Mark Novitsky and yours truly. I was blown away by all the talks and performances, but above all by Mike Palacek's, which summed up the state of the union on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 more perfectly than I could have imagined possible. I will try to get hold of a text or video of that talk, which deserves the widest possible audience.

Thank you, Minnesota 9/11 Truth! The powers-that-be may block our way, but we'll just keep finding a way around them.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My interviews with The Edge Television and Pentos Films

Just finished a long interview with The Edge Television. It will be looping for a week at: http://www.theedgeam.com/

Also, Pentos Films just released their interview from last year's London event:
http://vimeo.com/28857754

Hope to see you at the big 9/11/11 event at the state capitol in St. Paul, MN tomorrow!

You can't PAY people to defend the 9/11 Commission Report. Does that mean we've won?

Even though nobody showed up to claim the $1,000 honorarium - maybe even because no debate opponent showed up - the 9/11: Explosive Evidence film and debate event Thursday night was a huge success.

In the film, a long list of experts explained, clearly and in detail, why the destruction of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers can only be explained by controlled demolition.

After the film, not one of the thousands of supposed experts on engineering, physics, architecture and other relevant topics who teach at the University of Wisconsin showed up to claim $1,000 and explain why the experts in the film are wrong. Since they would have only had to debate little ol' me, and since I am an expert in humanities, not hard sciences, I wonder why some scientist or engineer from the UW system didn't show up to try to mop the floor with me. Surely there must be at least ONE scientist or engineer in the UW system who believes the government's story about what happened to those three buildings!

Of course, it would be awfully embarrassing for a science professor like Marshall Onellian, who called me a "fruitcake" in the media, to lose a debate on a science/engineering topic to a humanities scholar. And that is exactly what would have happened had Onellian or any other science-professor opponent showed up. The reason: The argument about the destruction of the three skyscrapers mostly concerns sixth-grade physics. And the government's account violates the basic laws of physics. Were a humanities scholar to demonstrate that a science or engineering scholar could not understand and apply the simple, basic laws of physics...well, I'm afraid that would signal the end of the war between the "two cultures" with a resounding victory for the humanities, and a free-fall implosion of the sciences.

That, of course, is not my objective. Some of my best friends are scientists! As much as I appreciate humanities (not to mention divinities) I think we're in a battle to preserve the scientific method, among other gains of the Enlightenment, from the psychotic/Satanic tribalism of the Straussian neoconservatives, who aim to destroy the whole notion of truth and reserve accurate knowledge and critical thinking for a tiny, mendacious, unprincipled elite of self-styled philosopher-kings...while brainwashing the masses with emotionally-charged mythologies such as the official version of 9/11. So I'm actually on a mission to save science from a tiny cabal of insane humanities people (and the folks they've managed to brainwash). For details on the Straussian project, read Shadia Drury.

What about law professors like Ann Althouse (who publicly called me "truly nutty") and political science professor Donald Downs (who suggested that I should never be re-hired by the University)? Are they not obliged to defend those views in a transparent public debate? May UW-Madison faculty members insult their colleagues' research in the media, yet refuse to back up the insults with any rational-empirical arguments?

If Onellian, Althouse and Downs get away with this, the Englightenment is officially over, and the neocons have won...at least here at the University of Wisconsin, whose motto is: "Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great State University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Free Barack Obama Bumpersticker

I recently signed up for a Free Barack Obama Sticker.


But when they sent me the sticker, I discovered a mistake.

It didn't say "Free Barack Obama!"

When I called Obama headquarters, they told me they didn't have any "Free Barack Obama!" stickers.

So I guess Obama is going to have to keep slaving on the plantation of his bankster masters.

Oh well.

I guess we'll just have to print up some "Free Everybody" bumper-stickers ourselves.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My letter to journalists covering 9/11

See the original of this amazing image full-scale - and zoom in to look at the pixels!


I have sent the letter below to many dozens of journalists who have requested interviews with 9/11 family members, and copied it to those organizing 9/11 remembrance events. I have also taken to posting a short version as a comment on offending articles (example here).

Dear (name of journalist),

One of the approximately 50% of 9/11 family members who rejects the official story of 9/11 informs me that you are a journalist who is covering the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

You and other journalists preparing stories on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 will be guilty of crimes against humanity, specifically the crime of incitement to genocide, if you do not, in your stories, prominently mention two very important facts:

(1) The vast majority of scholarly literature devoted to critically examining the question of what actually happened on 9/11 has concluded, or tentatively concluded, that the official story that al-Qaeda and 19 hijackers did it is a lie; therefore the event was probably a false-flag attack designed and executed by the enemies of Muslims, for the purpose of launching an anti-Muslim genocide (and consolidating power for the perpetrators). If you contact me, I will be happy to provide you with a bibliography of the scholarship on this question, proving that in fact there is a scholarly consensus that 9/11 was almost certainly a false-flag attack.

(2) More than three-quarters of the world's Muslims, and around two-thirds of American Muslims, agree that the official story is a lie, and that the event was probably a false-flag attack designed and executed by the enemies of Muslims, for the purpose of launching an anti-Muslim genocide or "war on Islam."  In Pakistan - the nation best-informed about "al-Qaeda" - only 3% of the population believes al-Qaeda did 9/11. Poll data:
http://m911t.blogspot.com/2009/09/only-3-of-pakistanis-say-al-qaeda-did.html .

Only about 10% of Germans believe the official story of 9/11: http://911truthnews.com/german-poll-89-question-911/

36% of all Americans  - over 100 million people - think 9/11 a likely inside job designed to launch wars of aggression. http://www.scrippsnews.com/911poll

Given the poll data, it is clear that a majority of the world's population rejects the official story of 9/11.

Please take this opportunity to educate yourself about this issue, and to avoid complicity in one of the worst crimes against humanity in history.

I am at your disposal in this matter; please feel free to call me at (phone number) between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. US Central Time.

Also, please consider interviewing 9/11's biggest first-responder hero, William Rodriguez, a Muslim convert who is fluent in Spanish, who works incessantly with family members, and who is an eyewitness to the controlled demolition of the North Tower. William may be reached at  (phone number deleted) www.william911.com .

Sincerely

Dr. Kevin Barrett


Biography:

Kevin Barrett, an American Muslim and PhD Arabist-Islamologist, is one of America's best-known critics of the War on Terror.

He is a co-editor of the book 9/11 and American Empire (Volume II) and author of the books Truth Jihad: My Epic Struggle Against the 9/11 Big Lie (2007) and Questioning the War on Terror.

Dr. Barrett has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications. Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin, where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.

He is a member of the Scientific Panel Investigating 9/11.

He is listed on the website Patriots Question 9/11  among the 400+ professors who "question 9/11" and is a co-founder of the website Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth .

He currently hosts two radio shows, one on American Freedom Radio and one on No Lies Radio.  As he writes : "...I'm the only radio host in the nation with a talk show on both a 'right' and a 'left' network."

His website is www.truthjihad.com.