When learning about Islamic history, it’s hard to not be amazed at the scientific and intellectual accomplishments of Muslims in the past. From medicine to mathematics to philosophy to art to physics, during their golden age, Muslims were at the forefront of almost all sciences, making new discoveries and building on earlier ones. Names like Ibn Sina, Ibn al-Haytham, Ibn Khaldun, and al-Farabi come to mind when people think of the giants of Islamic science.
One man who is in this elite group of the greatest scholars of all time is the Muslim Persian polymath, Abu Rayhan al-Biruni. He lived from 973 to 1048 and spent most of his life in Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. During his illustrious career, al-Biruni became an expert in numerous subjects, including history, physics, mathematics, astronomy, linguistics, comparative religion, and earth sciences. Despite the unsettling political problems the Muslim world was dealing with during his life, he managed to rise above the instability and become one of the greatest scholars of history.
Al-Biruni was born in the province of Khorasan, in Northeastern Persia in 973. Like many other children in his time, he was educated at a young age, learning the Arabic and Persian languages, as well as basic Islamic studies, and natural sciences. Early on, he took an interest in mathematics and astronomy, which he specialized in under the eminent astronomers of the day.
In his 20s, he moved away from home in his pursuit of knowledge. For 3 years he traveled throughout Persia, learning from scholars about numerous subjects. When he finally settled in Jurjan (modern Gorgan) in 998, he worked for the local ruler, Shams al-Ma’ali Qabus. For the next 10 years, he lived in this small northern Irani city, doing research, writing books, and learning more.
During this time, he wrote a monumental work that analyzed historical chronologies of ancient civilizations, along with the rise and fall of empires. The book foreshadowed his future as a scholar of numerous subjects. It is more than just a history book, as it brings history, science, astronomy, and cultural studies together to explain events of the past. Al-Biruni clearly became one of the foremost minds of his day through his work in Jurjan.
Al-Biruni would not accomplish some of his greatest works until he moved to Ghazni, and was under the patronage of Sultan Mahmud. Ghazni was a major city at the time, located in what is now Afghanistan. Mahmud’s empire stretched far beyond the borders of modern Afghanistan, however, into present-day Iran, Pakistan, and India. In this powerful empire, al-Biruni had the resources and ability to show what he was capable of doing.
Of particular benefit to al-Biruni was the fact that Sultan Mahmud regularly embarked on military expeditions into India to protect his domain there. Mahmud had a habit of taking al-Biruni along on all his military campaigns, so al-Biruni was exposed regularly to language, culture, and religion in India.
Blessed with a mind that was capable of picking up new ideas easily, al-Biruni quickly managed to learn Sanskrit, the language of Hindu liturgy. This opened up an entire realm of Indian books that he could learn from and compare with books from other parts of the world. He translated books from Sanskrit into Arabic and Persian, and also translated from Arabic to Sanskrit. He was a firm believer in the idea that civilizations should aim to learn from each other instead of destroy each other.
Because of his ability to read ancient Hindu texts, al-Biruni was able to compile an encyclopedia of ancient Indian history, known as Kitab Tarikh al-Hind – The Book of Indian History. In fact, much of what is known today about ancient India comes directly from al-Biruni’s book. Tarikh al-Hind does more than tell the reader about ancient India, however. It is also a testament to the fact that al-Biruni was able to put together so many different sciences to fully understand the background of historical events. The book is a window into Indian philosophy, geography, and culture, which al-Biruni immersed himself in to give himself a better understanding of Indian history. As such, Tarikh al-Hind can truly be considered one of the world’s first books on anthropology – the study of human societies and their development.
Besides being an expert in Indian history and culture, al-Biruni managed to find time to make scientific advances as well. Because of his travels, he was able to see different geographic features first-hand, and come up with theories as to how they are connected. By analyzing the different types of soil particles in the Ganges River from its source to the Bay of Bengal, al-Biruni formulated theories about erosion and how land forms are shaped, particularly noting the role of water in this process.
In a related study, he discovers fossils of ancient sea animals in the mountains that cut India off from the rest of the world – the Himalayas. It seems unlikely that lowly sea snails and other shellfish would travel thousands of miles inland and up the side of a mountain, so al-Biruni came to the conclusion that the Himalayan Mountains must have been under the ocean at one point, and moved to their present location over millions of years. This directly led to the modern understanding of plate tectonics – how continents move and shift over time.
Al-Biruni also pioneered the field of geology, as he collected, analyzed, and compiled hundreds of metals and gems. He described their properties, how they are made, and where they can be found. His books on gemstones served as a standard for understanding precious stones for hundreds of years.
Al-Biruni continued a remarkable career in the early 1000s, doing research into fields such as:
How the earth spins on its axis
How wells and springs transport water to the surface
Combining statics and dynamics into the study of mechanics
Recording the latitude and longitude of thousands of cities, which allowed him to determine the direction towards Makkah for each city
The optical nature of shadows, particularly their use for the calculation of prayer times
Separating scientific astronomy from superstitious astrology
During his 75 years, al-Biruni managed to revolutionize the way numerous subjects were understood. By the time he died in 1048, he had authored well over 100 books, of which many have not survived till today. His intellect and mastery of various subjects, and his ability to relate them together to gain a better understanding of each puts him among the greatest Muslim scholars of all time. His life serves as proof of the ability of Muslim scholars of the past to push the limits of knowledge and establish new frontiers in the sciences. It also serves to show the ability of the best scholars to rise above political problems, wars, and and general instability to still do world-changing research and make remarkable discoveries.
Clint Eastwood returned to one of his most enduring roles in 1983’s Sudden Impact, the fourth of five times he played “Dirty” Harry Callahan, and the only entry in the series he directed. The deliberate pacing of most of Eastwood’s directorial outings is gone, in its place a succession of violent actions scenes which make for great entertainment. The third film in the series, The Enforcer, had been scored by Jerry Fielding, but Lalo Schifrin returned this time and delivered a typically stark, modern effort.
“Modern” this time doesn’t just refer to the fierce orchestral music (though there is plenty of that), but Schifrin also incorporated the sounds of the day (including, unexpectedly, scratching records and early 80s pop in the main title) – these sections are little more than a curio today, a relic of another age which is thankfully behind us. The real meat of the score is in those orchestral passages, which finds Schifrin offering a bleak, uncompromising soundscape – often dominated by harsh, genuine dissonance.
It is not difficult to admire Schifrin for putting music like this into an early 80s action thriller – and nobody would dare offer anything like it today, such challenging music having long since disappeared from films – but many will find it difficult to actually enjoy when separated from the film. Schifrin rarely, if ever, gets mentioned with people like Fielding and Alex North as someone who really pushed the boundaries of avant garde orchestral music in films, but if anything he pushed them even further than those two composers, less concerned with using melody as his base and instead concentrating on texture. He is especially adept at an orchestral jazz fusion sound, and sections of this score simply ooze class.
“Eclectic” is certainly a word to use, though – for every piece of harsh orchestral modernism is a piece accompanied by a drum kit and electric guitars, and while these (in particular “Ginley’s Bar”) work well, the contrast with the rest of the score is perhaps a little too far. Most eclectic of all is the seven-minute “Remembering Terror”, which goes from carnival source music to avant garde orchestral experimentation to 80s pop, and back again. It’s masterful in its own way, but I’m forced to return to my observation that it’s not actually very easy to enjoy. The rapturous, gorgeous love theme that finally reveals itself during the end title is a rare exception.
Despite that – this is impressive music, and by and large follows the established Dirty Harry sound impressively while updating it to the then-current time. The album features great sound quality and informative notes from Nick Redman. Sudden Impact may not be a score for everyone, but for those who enjoy more challenging music it’s a sure-fire winner. It is available on Schifrin’s own label Aleph Records, who have also previously released the music from the first three films in the series.
Despite being the most obvious answer to the question “name a film that’s better than the book”, Peter Benchley’s debut novel ‘Jaws’ is an entertaining read. Published way back in 1974, it has stood the test of time pretty well and still grips today, with some themes that haven’t dated too badly.
Sian reviewed it here 2 years ago, but she wasn’t much of a fan, so I thought I’d write a review to balance things out.
Amazingly (or perhaps not, given how fickle publishers can be), it’s the only one of Benchley’s 8 novels that is still in print, in the UK at least. It was, of course, a huge success on its original release, the hardcover staying on the bestseller lists for almost a year. It’s not hard to see why. The concept both grabs the attention and makes it a great beach read. The classic cover can’t have hurt either. The first edition hardback has a more stylistic version of the shark’s head and swimmer design that became so famous. It was the Bantam paperback that carried the lower brow but more effective picture that went on to be the movie poster. And that title! Benchley claims it was arrived at out of desperation as the date of publication approached. He reminisces that he told his editor “it’s short; it fits on a jacket, and it may work”.
The setup and characters will be familiar to anyone who has seen the film. Giant shark preys on swimmers off the beaches of Amity Island, local police chief Brody tries to protect his citizens, eventually teaming up with Hooper, a young marine scientist, and Quint, a grizzled boat captain.
The plot is slightly different from the movie’s, with a much slower second act that focuses on Chief Brody’s marriage. It’s less effective than the pacier and more eventful approach the film took, but it does do a good job of building the relationship between Brody and Hooper. The final act is more similar to the film, although it lack the brilliant drunken scar comparing competition and the classic ‘sinking of the Indianapolis’ speech. What it does have in spades is the musing on modern masculinity, with Brody as the Everyman, Hooper as the trendy intellectual and Quint as the embodiment of macho charisma. The three metaphorically compare dick size whilst hunting the fish, making it feel at time a bit like low rent Hemingway.
Unfortunately, this being a popular novel from the 1970s, it’s not without its representation issues. It’s deeply racist at times, and the biggest female character, Brody’s wife, is really only there to give Brody and Hooper a trophy to fight over.
But for all that it’s great fun. The shark is a suitably menacing enemy, and Benchley manages to keep things tense despite that fact that all anyone has to do to keep out of trouble is stay on dry land. It has everything a holiday read should have and is worth a picking up even though you’ve seen the movie.
I love Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. I love playing the game, hanging out with other people while they’re playing the game, reading about the game, and watching videos of the game; you name it, I love it. It would have been really hard for Konami to make it so I don’t enjoy playing one of my favorite games ever on my current favorite videogame console (the 3DS), but heavens to Murgatroyd, they came pretty close.
Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D does not come off like the paragon of technical excellence that the original title did when it was first released on the PS2 in 2004. Part of that is because the 3DS is not a PS2. Nintendo’s latest portable is capable of much more than that now-“retro” home console, as proven by titles like Resident Evil: Revelations. The other part is that Snake Eater 3D feels unfinished. There are a few cool new features here, but Snake Eater 3D is also a downgrade from the original in a lot of ways — not something you’d expect on newer hardware.
It’ll be up to the individual consumer to determine if Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater‘s technical failings are damaging enough to cancel out the worth of the port’s newly implemented features, and the original title’s impeccable writing, scenario design, and gameplay design. Maybe you’ll have a better time of reasoning that out for yourself after I break down some details for you.
Snake Eater is Kojima’s best work, combining Hollywood action-movie tropes, pure videogame logic, densely packed Japanese pseudo-science fantasy, a period-piece war story, absurdist comedy, and heart-wrenching drama into a seamless whole. As far as Metal Gear games go, this one bursts with the most personality and creativity. That goes for both the game’s scripted events and its allowance for the player to guide the story in a direction that reflects who they are.
On the surface, Snake Eater‘s central theme is survival. That’s a pretty common theme in games today, whether it’s Call of Duty or Resident Evil. Part of what makes Snake Eater special is the lengths to which it goes to first limit the player in their capacity to survive, then allow them to overcome those limits in the most incredible, imaginative methods possible. There are so many ways to deal with the problems presented to you in Snake Eater, with so many bonuses, Easter eggs, diversions, and surprises to be found by those who are creative and lucky enough to discover them.
The result of this dedication to variables is a game that truly makes you feel like a co-developer. The player is just as responsible for generating the particulars of their Snake Eater experience as Kojima and company. It’s up to you to decide if you want to kill a guard, choke him out, sneak past him, or throw a snake to at him to scare him off. That’s just entry-level stuff. The amount of choices the game gives you from there, and the truly bizarre events that you can bring about, is nothing short of astounding.
Also worth noting is how much the game focuses on minutiae. More so than any other Metal Gear title, Snake Eater is about juxtaposing quiet moments with load, boisterous action scenes. How much action you play, versus how much time you spend in nature, is largely up to you. Personally, I love the hunting and gathering aspects of the title, so I tend to approach Snake Eater as an opportunity to commune with an artificial environment in as thorough (and hopefully conflict-free) a way as possible. I can spend inordinate amounts of time just in hunting different kinds of animals, sneaking around and listening to the sounds of the jungle, and goofing off, without getting bored.
Others will focus on speed and lethality, working to move forward and take out enemies as efficiently as possible. Still others will focus on exploration and completionism, working to see every event, listen to every line of dialog, finish every task, and so on. Snake Eater is a true sandbox game. It may have a linear story, but there are many, many deviations you can take from that path to make the story your own.
I could go on and on about all the things that make Snake Eater an amazing game. Let’s get on to the specifics regarding this particular version. I’ve never liked the way Metal Gear Solid 3 controls, or the way most Metal Gear Solid games control. It’s not that they’re too limiting; it’s that they’re overly complicated and cluttered.
Snake Eater 3D fixes a few of those issues, but creates new problems. The controls are definitely less cluttered, and the touchscreen menu makes operating your sub-screen a breeze. That said, the new controls will definitely throw off veterans who like the way Metal Gear Solid games traditionally play. The use of the face buttons to aim will be especially off-putting to longtime fans. It may not bother those who are new to the series, as the controls are serviceable. That’s one of the many reasons why this port is best suited to those who’ve never played Metal Gear Solid before.
The camera, however, is sure to annoy everyone. The depth of field is very hard to get just right, which is crucial in a game that’s all about being aware of everything around you. There is also no simple way to quickly reset the camera back into position behind the player. The best way to do that is to quickly hit the “aim” button, which is pretty disorienting (especially if you prefer first-person aiming). The Circle Pad Pro definitely helps in making the camera, and all of the game’s controls, easier to manage, but it shouldn’t have been necessary. Konami could have enabled touchscreen aiming, or at the very least allowed us to customize the controls.
With or without the Circle Pad Pro, there is never a way to auto-reset the camera. What’s really weird is that with the Circle Pad Pro, there is a button for auto-resetting the character — it makes Snake automatically face north. So Konami knew that we’d want to auto-reset something. They just didn’t realize that it’s the camera, not the character, that we need more control over. It may sound like a small gripe, but it’s a huge oversight that makes playing through Snake Eater 3D a lot more confusing and convoluted than it needs to be.
Speaking of playing through the game, I may be doing it wrong, but there seems to be a lot of stuff missing from this version. The secret dream sequence mini-game is missing, as is the monkey-catching mini-game, along with a few other little touches. If anything, Konami should have been adding content to a game that most interested parties likely already own.
Snake Eater 3D is also lacking technical polish. The frame rate is low throughout, and some cut-scenes are even more choppy. This didn’t bother me too much, but if you feel uneasy spending time with videogames that struggle to stay smooth, prepare to feel awkward.
Instead of a smooth frame rate, 3DS players are presented with (what else) stereoscopic 3D effects, which look pretty nice, particularly in first-person mode. It’s never quite as enveloping as the 3D in Ocarina of Time or RE: Revelations, but it still does a good job of making an unnatural polygon-based world feel more real. The game also appears to have slightly improved character models and animations. Snake’s smirking and scowling seems just a touch more expressive, and the many colors of the jungle seem slightly more vibrant. It’s strange that Konami went the extra mile with these visual flourishes, while permitting the frame rate to suffer so badly. It really does feel like there was a time that Snake Eater 3D was intended to be a visual powerhouse, but was instead rushed out before it could be fully optimized.
Other 3DS-specific features include some occasional gyroscope controls that are difficult to acclimate to, and the ability to make your own camouflage by taking photographs of real objects with the 3DS camera. Neither feature stuck out as worthwhile to me, especially the camouflage thing, which, if abused, could completely void the value of collecting in-game camo. Probably the least flashy but most worthwhile addition to the game is the crouch walk from Metal Gear Solid 4. It really helps to keep the game flowing toward the player at a brisk pace. CQC has also been streamlined, making hand-to-hand combat much more breezy. That’s what people like about stabbing guys in the neck, right? The “breezy factor”?
There are a few other little nods to Nintendo in the game, like Yoshi dolls that are hidden in nearly every stage, and the occasional issue of Nintendo Power lying around in Snake Eater 3D‘s more upscale locations. These touches are cute, but they don’t quite offset the amount of content that didn’t make the jump from the PS2 original to this handheld port.
It all results in a game with 9.5/10 ideas delivered in a 6/10 package. If you already own the original, or if you aren’t keen on playing Snake Eater on a portable, then there is no reason to pick it up again. If you do want the game on the go, you may be better off waiting for the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection on the PS Vita. If you’re never going to buy a Vita and you have no other way to get your hands on Metal Gear Solid 3, you should definitely grab Snake Eater 3D. Those who were hoping for a new or improved version of the game will be disappointed.
Snake Eater 3D‘s sometimes-slapdash presentation weighs the title down. It’s a far cry from the majesty we saw from Metal Gear Solid: The Naked Sample back at E3 2010. Still, some camera failings and an unreliable frame rate are not enough to completely crush one of the finest games ever made.
Anyone who has spent considerable time participating in political discussions is bound to run across the term “Cultural Marxism” at one time or another. It is a term typically used by the most extreme elements on the right, such as neo-Nazis and their fellow travelers, but in recent years it has become more prominent within mainstream conservative circles. Up to recently, the term has been little more than an ill-defined right-wing buzzwordin the same league as “feminazi,” “gay agenda,” “politically correct” or “community organizer.”
That all changed on 22 July, 2011. On that tragic date in Norway, a neo-fascist terrorist, Anders Breivik, launched a killing spree that took the lives of over 70 people. Breivik has a well-established history in Europe’s far right-wing, and the term “cultural Marxism” was featured prominently in his political writings.
Now more than ever, it is essential that people understand the term “cultural Marxism,” and the way in which it is used by the right as a way to both scare and rally its base into action. In short, understanding the term cultural Marxism is a key to understanding how the right thinks, communicates, and works.
First, to understand cultural Marxism as a phrase is nearly impossible. The phrase itself is meaningless. Next time you find yourself in a discussion where your partner invokes cultural Marxism, ask them to define exactly what that means. Most people don’t even attempt to answer. Those that do give a definition that has nothing to do with Marxism. They may be totally convinced that cultural Marxism is destroying their society, to the point of obsession, yet they stammer and hesitate when asked for a coherent definition.
How can one be so obsessed with something they can’t readily explain? Why does the right even bother using this term if it is nearly impossible to define? The answer to the question lies in the Cold War. Here let us examine the use of cultural Marxism, rather than its intended meaning.
History of Right-Wing Smears
During the Cold War, opponents were smeared with terms like “commie” and “red.” Liberals were often labeled “pinkos,” pink being a lighter shade of red, the implication being that liberals were just peddling sugar-coated communist ideas. Another term, which is still often used today, is “useful idiots,” primarily in reference to liberals or radical leftists who don’t identify themselves as Marxists. The term supposedly came from Vladimir Lenin, who used it in reference to liberals and leftists in other countries who unwittingly did the work of the Bolsheviks.
Not surprisingly, the quote is in fact fake; Lenin never used the term. In any case, one thing was clear in the Cold War, which is that if you wanted to smear political opponents, you insinuated that they were communists. This wasn’t necessarily limited to left-wing targets. The John Birch Society developed a reputation for accusing Republicans and Democrats alike of being active agents of international communism, insinuating that they deliberately delivered China into the hands of Mao and Cuba to Castro, in addition to deliberately losing the wars in Korea and Vietnam. Though the term was often used to describe some rather conservative figures, it was used almost exclusively by conservatives. Communism meant bad, evil, and other.
The use of communist as a pejorative would continue well into the 1990’s, and indeed it has enjoyed a resurgence amid the ramblings of the Tea Party movement and pundits such as Glenn Beck, but more astute conservative ideologues recognized that words such as “commie” and “red” had lost a lot of potency due to the collapse of the USSR and the eastern bloc. Perhaps more problematic was the task of reconciling America’s full-scale embrace of neo-liberal economics and privatization with an allegation that the same country was teetering on the edge of Marxist socialism. How could America be charging full speed toward socialist revolution at the same time it was promoting policies such as NAFTA and GATT, deregulation, and the slashing of welfare programs? Marxist still carried a negative connotation in that era, especially due to the triumphalism expressed by liberals and conservatives alike. Yet it was clear that once idealistic liberals had fully abandoned the left, class politics, and the working class itself in favor of embracing neo-liberal capitalism, accusing them of being communists might cost one’s credibility. Enter “cultural Marxism.”
“Theoretical” Basis of the Term
Cultural Marxism, as best as can be determined, originates in the early 1990’s, which also coincides with the beginning of the so-called “Culture Wars.” The term factors heavily in the writings of the original Culture-Warrior, Pat Buchanan, but also those of William S. Lind. In fact it was Lind, one of the lesser-known culture warriors, who defined the term “cultural Marxism” and attempted to write its history. Lind provides a primer on his dreaded cultural Marxism in an article aptly named “What is Cultural Marxism?” Here is his definition:
Cultural Marxism is a branch of western Marxism, different from the Marxism-Leninism of the old Soviet Union. It is commonly known as “multiculturalism” or, less formally, Political Correctness. From its beginning, the promoters of cultural Marxism have known they could be more effective if they concealed the Marxist nature of their work, hence the use of terms such as “multiculturalism.
The first problem with this definition is that if these cultural Marxists understood that they needed to conceal their Marxist nature, why would they use the term Marxism at all? Later on we will deal with those Lind was accusing, and we will see that they either identified themselves as more or less traditional Marxists, refuting the idea that they were concealing anything, or they at least openly claimed Marxist influence on their work, again discrediting the idea that they were attempting to hide something. There is no evidence to suggest that anyone sought to cover up Marxist ideas under the guise of multiculturalism.
It is also noteworthy that people like Lind and Buchanan, champions of “Western culture,” are in fact “multiculturalists.” They clearly believe that there is some kind of monolithic entity known as “Western culture” or “Western civilization.” While much of European culture draws from the same sources, typically classical Greece and Rome, it also draws influence from non-European sources. The nations of East Asia were heavily influenced by Chinese culture and philosophy, but only an ignorant fool would suggest that “Eastern culture” is monolithic. Then again, pointing out that “Western civilization” is actually multicultural would open one up to accusations of “cultural Marxism,” which shows how useful this term has been in the hands of right-wing culture warriors. However problematic this definition may be, it is incredible practical in that it allows one to use the negative connotations associated with Marxists, “reds,” and “commies,” without having to account for the fact that the target in question may be a proven advocate of liberal capitalism. His economics might be free market neo-liberalism, but he’s a cultural Marxist!
Let us continue with Lind’s error-ridden, and soon to become anti-Semitic, explanation of cultural Marxism.
Cultural Marxism began not in the 1960s but in 1919, immediately after World War I. Marxist theory had predicted that in the event of a big European war, the working class all over Europe would rise up to overthrow capitalism and create communism. But when war came in 1914, that did not happen. When it finally did happen in Russia in 1917, workers in other European countries did not support it. What had gone wrong?
Note that Lind does not give a reference to explain where Marxist theory made the prediction alluded to above. What did happen just prior to the war was a major split within what was at the time known as the social-democratic movement at the end of the Second International. Some social-democrats had taken a pro-war stance, whereas others, most notably Vladimir Lenin, took a principled stand against war. This had a detrimental effect on the movement in this crucial time. The second assertion is only true to a degree. The Bolshevik revolution in 1917 was followed by revolutions in Hungary and Germany, both of which had to be crushed by military force. In the case of the former, Romanian troops invaded and put down the revolution. While revolution did not break out in many countries, the activities of communists in Europe played a role in the failure of the intervention campaign of the Russian Civil War. In the United States, unions went on strike and refused to load ships with arms bound for the White Guards in Russia. Communist revolutions could be crushed in Western Europe via force of arms, but even the victorious Entente powers were unable to strangle the Bolshevik baby in its cradle.
Lind’s conspiracy theory continues:
Independently, two Marxist theorists, Antonio Gramsci in Italy and Georg Lukacs in Hungary, came to the same answer: Western culture and the Christian religion had so blinded the working class to its true, Marxist class interest that Communism was impossible in the West until both could be destroyed. In 1919, Lukacs asked, ‘Who will save us from Western civilization?’
Here Lind actually names names. It is worth noting that neither Gramsci nor Lukacs made an attempt to conceal the Marxist basis of their theory and works, and they identified themselves as Marxists. If they were trying to conceal the Marxist nature of their works, as Lind alleges in regards to his hated “cultural Marxists,” they had an odd way of going about it. There is also nothing to suggest that they intended to conceal their ideology under the cover of something called “multiculturalism.” Feel free to search Lukacs works for the term “multiculturalism” or “multicultural”; this author was unable to find either. Having dealt with this, we see that Lind makes a claim about Gramsci and Lukacs’ answer to the question of why Europeans outside of Russia didn’t successfully overthrow their capitalist governments. The assertion begs the question, if the Christian religion so blinded the Western European proletariat to their class consciousness, why was it that class conscious workers’ movements were more active in Western Europe prior to the end of the 19th century? After all, the first worker’s revolution was the Paris Commune, not the October Revolution. Did Lind simply forget that Christianity was far more entrenched in the Russian Empire, which was not a secular state and where the Tsar was seen as a representative of God on Earth?
The quote from Lukacs is also presented in a deceptive manner. It appears as though Lukacs is lamenting the fact that those ever-pious Christians and their “Western culture” seemed impervious to Marxist class consciousness. Here is the actual quote, in context:
When I tried at this time to put my emotional attitude into conscious terms, I arrived at more or less the following formulation: the Central Powers would probably defeat Russia; this might lead to the downfall of Tsarism; I had no objection to that. There was also some probability that the West would defeat Germany; if this led to the downfall of the Hohenzollerns and the Hapsburgs, I was once again in favour. But then the question arose: who was to save us from Western civilisation? (The prospect of final victory by the Germany of that time was to me nightmarish.) – Preface to The Theory of the Novel, 1962
Several facts become immediately obvious once we see the quote in context. First, it clearly has nothing to do with class consciousness in Western Europe or the failure of other revolutions after 1917. Also Lukacs clearly makes a distinction between the very Christian Russian Empire, the German and Austro-Hungarian empires, and “the West,” which must refer to the entente powers. As a side note, some other culture warriors from the interwar period would also accuse that “West,” consisting of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, of being multicultural degenerate societies. Lastly, and more importantly on this note, the quote, if Lukacs ever actually said it out loud, was from 1914, not 1919 when the failure of other European revolutions would have been on his mind.
The next bit in Lind’s accusation against Lukacs is a bit revealing:
That same year [1919, which in fact would have been five years after the quote referenced above], when he became Deputy Commissar for Culture in the short-lived Bolshevik Bela Kun government in Hungary, one of Lukacs’s first acts was to introduce sex education into Hungary’s public schools. He knew that if he could destroy the West’s traditional sexual morals, he would have taken a giant step toward destroying Western culture itself.
This was quite an impressive feat, given that the Hungarian Soviet Republic under Bela Kun lasted from March 23rd to August 6th, 1919. Does that still seem like enough time to destroy sexual morality in the historical heart of European culture that is Hungary? Well Lukacs was also a commissar serving in the 5th division of the Hungarian Red Army. Do the math.
As for these alleged traditional sexual morals of “the West,” here are a few facts. A sort of mini-sexual revolution occurred in the 1920s, something which culture warriors would likely be quick to condemn. What they don’t realize is that prior to that revolution, prostitution was far more widespread, and young men were far more likely to have their first sexual experience with a prostitute. So while they may have been proper gentlemen to the virginal girls they were courting, they were preparing for their wedding night with the help of working girls. Given that William S. Lind is a military expert (despite having never served in the military), one would expect him to know about the prevalence of prostitution and how it goes hand in hand with the military.
The Spanish conquistadors often used young native girls as sex slaves in Colombus’ time, and the prospect of owning a prepubescent sex slave was a major factor in motivating some Spaniards to cross the Atlantic. Rape of slaves was common practice in the antebellum South. Even the crusading knights which so inspire the likes of right-wingers like Breivik were known to travel with a large company of prostitutes. These are all well documented facts, but people like Lind aren’t fazed by such trivial matters. Afterall, they can just accuse those who gathered them of being “cultural Marxists.” Damn that’s a useful term!
Before we continue with Lind’s idiotic screed, be warned. We’re about to enter anti-Semite territory.
In 1923, inspired in part by Lukacs, a group of German Marxists established a think tank at Frankfurt University in Germany called the Institute for Social Research. This institute, soon known simply as the Frankfurt School, would become the creator of cultural Marxism.
Note that the founders of the Frankfurt schools never called their theories “cultural Marxism.”
To translate Marxism from economic into cultural terms, the members of the Frankfurt School – – Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Wilhelm Reich, Eric Fromm and Herbert Marcuse, to name the most important – – had to contradict Marx on several points. They argued that culture was not just part of what Marx had called society’s “superstructure,” but an independent and very important variable. They also said that the working class would not lead a Marxist revolution, because it was becoming part of the middle class, the hated bourgeoisie.
Yes, all the names mentioned there were of Jewish descent, some assimilated, some not so much. Was the reader not warned? Anyway, let us make a very important observation about the Frankfurt school. They didn’t just contradict Marx on a few trivial points regarding culture and the superstructure (the body of laws and ideas which arises from a particular mode of production, e.g. capitalism). Claiming that the working class would not lead a socialist revolution is a pretty serious rejection of Marxism. Of course, proponents of the “cultural Marxist” idea aren’t really concerned with what Marxism has to say. It should be noted here that Marx himself acknowledged that under capitalism there can be a rise in real wages which can deaden the class consciousness of the proletariat. This is why he wrote that the minimum wages necessary to “reproduce the worker,” in short to get him or her to come into work the next day, vary depending on the standards of living in a particular country. It is also important to note that by the time capitalism had become dominant in the 19th century, the bourgeois were no longer the “middle class.”
Who would (lead a Marxist revolution)? In the 1950s, Marcuse answered the question: a coalition of blacks, students, feminist women and homosexuals.
Be honest, it’s nice that Lind was so willing to provide us a list of people he hates. What he doesn’t provide is a source to this assertion. Marx’s theory that the working class would lead the revolution was to hold true for any capitalist country; is Lind alleging that Marcuse was speaking only of America? Marcuse was clearly a follower of Marx’s ideas, but his own ideas differed from traditional Marxism so much as to be something other than Marxism. There comes a point when one must ask, “If cultural Marxism contains so much that is contradictory to Marxism, can it still contain the word Marxism at all?” Of course the answer is an emphatic yes, if only because some other name wouldn’t carry the stigma that Marxism has amongst conservatives.
Fatefully for America, when Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, the Frankfurt School fled – – and reestablished itself in New York City. There, it shifted its focus from destroying traditional Western culture in Germany to destroying it in the United States.
Read those sentences very carefully. Hitler’s coming to power drove out his country’s evil Jewish professors, causing them to emigrate to America. Perhaps Lind, like many of his ideological fellow travelers, would prefer that they had stayed in Germany. In any case he alleges that they are actively seeking to destroy Germany, as Hitler would have agreed, and that they set about trying to destroy Western culture in the United States. Apparently Lind believes that both Germany and the United States share one common Western culture; see, he is a multiculturalist!
To do so, it invented “Critical Theory.” What is the theory? To criticize every traditional institution, starting with the family, brutally and unremittingly, in order to bring them down. It wrote a series of “studies in prejudice,” which said that anyone who believes in traditional Western culture is prejudiced, a “racist” or “sexist” of “fascist” – – and is also mentally ill.
The most important response to this passage is that no example is given to substantiate any of these claims. It is true that critical theory criticized institutions such as the family, but then again so did Marx and Engels. Why doesn’t Lind attack Engels’ Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State? Perhaps because he never read it, or possibly never even heard of it? Lind also once again refers to “traditional Western culture,” yet the nature of families throughout European society and history varied greatly. As Stephanie Coontz points out in her book The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap, most Americans’ understanding of the traditional family is not traditional at all, rather it tends to borrow bits and pieces from different historical eras. Then again, she’s probably a cultural Marxist.
Most importantly, the Frankfurt School crossed Marx with Freud, taking from psychology the technique of psychological conditioning. Today, when the cultural Marxists want to do something like “normalize” homosexuality, they do not argue the point philosophically. They just beam television show after television show into every American home where the only normal-seeming white male is a homosexual (the Frankfurt School’s key people spent the war years in Hollywood).
That the Frankfurt school attempted to meld the ideas of Marx to those of Freud is a fact, and the results of this combination are among the reasons why many Marxists reject the Frankfurt school. The second part of this passage is simply bizarre. First of all, the “normality” of homosexuality has been argued not philosophically, but scientifically, by trained medical professionals. Next, Lind here alleges a direct connection between the cultural Marxist intellectuals and the entertainment industry, as though the two work in concert. Of course the thing about the last sentence which is no doubt literally screaming at the reader is the assertion that numerous television shows portray the “only normal-seeming white male” as a homosexual. Please, count up the number of television shows and films which do this. One would think that if this practice were as widespread as Lind alleges, films like Brokeback Mountain wouldn’t have drawn so much attention. Let’s move on to Lind’s final paragraph.
The next conservatism should unmask multiculturalism and Political Correctness and tell the American people what they really are: cultural Marxism. Its goal remains what Lukacs and Gramsci set in 1919: destroying Western culture and the Christian religion. It has already made vast strides toward that goal. But if the average American found out that Political Correctness is a form of Marxism, different from the Marxism of the Soviet Union but Marxism nonetheless, it would be in trouble. The next conservatism needs to reveal the man behind the curtain – – old Karl Marx himself.
Here Lind has yet to provide clear definitions for multiculturalism and political correctness, despite using the latter as proper noun as though it were an actual ideology. In reality, the ideology of the Frankfurt school actually diverges so far from Marxism that it becomes something almost anti-Marxist. One could make the argument that the influence of the Frankfurt school ideas on the so-called New Left actually did far more harm to Marxism and class consciousness than good, and the ultimate result of this influence was to sever the left from class based consciousness and materialism, rendering it fractured and ineffective. In that sense, Lind should be praising the Frankfurt school, not condemning it. That, however, is a matter for another article.
In his conclusion, Lind confirms what the author has asserted previously, to wit, that conservatives use the term cultural Marxism because they wish to preserve the pejorative value of “Marxist,” and in particular this term helps them avoid difficult questions as to how leaders and individuals who clearly embrace capitalism or neo-liberal economics could possibly be Marxist. Lind’s article is instructive as it is one of the few times we see an honest attempt by a conservative intellectual to actually define and explain cultural Marxism. Yet in his attempt to “unmask” it, he only unmasks himself as an ignorant, a bigot, a liar and a hack.
More often than not, the label “cultural Marxism” will be thrown around by conservative rank in file, as well as their more extreme neo-fascist associates. Most of the time, it is a source of amusement when they are asked to explain what the phrase actually means. But as Lind’s article proves, this word has a history, and it originated not within the halls of the Frankfurt school but in the minds of extreme right-wing ideologues who wish to provoke an automatic negative response toward concepts like equality, justice and accountability. They do this through the use of meaningless words and phrases such as multiculturalism, political correctness, and cultural Marxism. Next time you encounter someone spouting off about “cultural Marxism,” unless you want to amuse yourself by asking them for a definition and watching them squirm, simply refer to the following definition.
Cultural Marxism n. 1. A meaningless phrase used to signal that the writer or speaker has no idea what he or she is talking about.
Take yourself back to that day when you watched or listened to the attack on America; the day that everything changed. Remember where you were, who you were with, and most importantly, how you felt.
Think about the last few events of that day; how the news of the Pentagon being hit by something was followed almost immediately by the unexpected complete collapse of the South Tower (WTC 2). Remember how we had barely recovered from that shock, one that we were forced to watch in horror over and over again, when the unspeakable happened; the North Tower (WTC 1) fell in exactly the same way; at an eerie and almost supernatural speed as plumes of smoke and steel columns flung across city blocks.
Now I want you to put yourself in that very moment, once again, and prepare yourself for the missing final act that never took place and yet may be one of the most telling and condemning pieces of evidence in the ongoing unofficial investigation of 9/11.
The 9/11 Shock Opera
Flight 93 and Building 7 – The Grand Finale … that wasn’t.
The North Tower has fallen and people are in absolute disbelief. The grey faces staring back at us through the live news reports tell the story; they are blank with shock like infants in a war zone.
In New York, the yelling and the screams have faded into history as the dust settles… a deafening silence fills the air in your office or your home… no one speaks save the babbling talking heads on the news, all vying for their Peabody Award and their personal place in history…
When over the shoulder of a reporter we see, way off in the distance… rising from the horizon, coming in from the south, low and just over the murky blue of the Hudson Bay… Flight 93 on its final approach.
At first the reporter doesn’t notice, but you do; everyone in your office, everyone in your home, watches in silence. There is just no way possible…it must be something else, a military plane scouring the skies, protecting us, protecting America, protecting what’s left of New York…and we all watch as it grows ever larger, just over the reporters shoulder, while a sickening despair builds in each of us silent TV witnesses till our fears become the unavoidable realization.
It’s not over.
A scream somewhere off camera seems to snap the camera-man out of his trance and he shifts ever-so-slightly his focus, your focus, to the play’s approaching last act.
The talking head finally shuts up and turns just in time to see Flight 93 diving from the tip of Lower Manhattan. There is no question, there is nothing to say; Flight 93, in front of hundreds of cameras and thousands of witnesses, and the millions watching live on TV., roars past the remains of the lower New York City skyline, darts through the remaining smoke and dust of the towers, and plows into Building 7 of the World Trade Center somewhere around the 7th floor at over 600 mph. This is the area where the diesel fuel storage tanks are kept in the building, and the resulting explosion is something to behold. Orange-red flames reach all the way up the north face of the building as someone in your office lets out a little raspy scream. Whispered prayers float up from the crowd for those lost souls onboard.
But that is just the beginning.
Rumbles immediately are heard and felt underfoot by the dust covered survivors and first responders at Ground Zero a second after Flight 93’s tail disappears in the south face of Building 7.
The rumbles continue and before the reporter can utter a word, as the smoke cloud mushrooms past the top floor grey and red with menace, more explosions and more flashes, more grey-faced people running, their faces contorted masks of shear terror, and that terrible white noise of panicked people yelling warnings incoherently to one another, then the horrible reality sets in and we allow ourselves to acknowledge that building 7 …is moving.
In 7 seconds flat, building 7 collapses right before our eyes just at that moment when we thought there was no more; we thought we were safe and the worst of the suffering was behind us. The Towers were hit, they fell. The horror should have been over… but it wasn’t.
This was the final act, the Grand Finale, as scripted for the street theater opera known as 9/11.
But a funny thing happened on the way to Ground Zero, something that changed everything in the plan to change everything; a fighter pilot met Flight 93 route to New York and he may still yet be the conspirators’ ultimate demise and our last best hope.
It is my intention to show that Flight 93 was not targeting Washington, D.C. as Philip Zelikow (transition team member of the Bush White House and key contributor to the creation of the policy of the “Global War on Terror”) would have you believe, but rather, it was headed for Building 7 of the World Trade Center complex as the final act in the Shock Opera of the Neocon Vulcan’s “New Pearl Harbor” event.
This is an important aspect of the case of 9/11, for I and many others do call it a case now; a criminal investigation, if you will, which has been ongoing for years… unofficially.
For a long time, Building 7 has been considered the weakest link in the official story of what happened that day and with good reason.
Without explanation, for the first time in the history of steel framed buildings, Building 7, a steel framed 47 story tall sky-scrapper collapsed due to office fires and what NIST calls “thermal expansion”. No “jet fuel” no plane impact, no ruptured diesel fuel storage tanks, just a nearly symmetrical instantaneous failure of the entire core column structure allowing for a near-fall speed collapse of Building 7, neatly into it’s own foot-print… just like a controlled demolition. All because of sporadic office fires burning on a few “key” floors. At least, that is what NIST says.
Sometimes more can be ascertained from the mistakes of a plan, than can be from its successes. Flight 93 was not meant to be shot down, but it was. And what ensued in the aftermath of that action, quite literally, exposes the criminals of 9/11 more so than does any other single aspect of the case, simply because of what the conspirators had to do to cover it up.
Imagine for a moment that the “conspiracy theorists” are correct. Or should I say the “alternative narrative” theorists are correct. All of a sudden, the criminals of 9/11 are staring at radar screens showing their final act in their carefully planned production, lying in ruin in Shanksville Pa. and they still have a 47 story tall building, barely even on fire, completely wired with RDX, TNT, and PETN… ready for demo.
All dressed up and nowhere to go.
If you are a follower of the alternative narrative movement, you have to take a bit of enjoyment out of that. There they stood, the real conspirators of 9/11, looking at each other with the obvious proof of their corruption and murder staring right back at them; Building 7 still stands and it’s carefully scripted reason for collapse was knocked clean out of the skies. The gallows surely flashed before the conspirators eyes in that moment before they scrambled to fix their story.
This is the story of Flight 93 and Building 7; the Grand Finale of their 9/11 Shock Opera that never took the stage. This was their biggest mistake and therefore our best chance at exposing the authors for the criminals and terrorists that they are.
To start off with, we are going to put aside all the other volumes of research done by well meaning, dedicated researchers on the subject of proving the feasibility of an alternative narrative of the events of 9/11. An alternative narrative, that is, to the “official story” of 19 (or is it 16 now?) angry Muslims with “box-cutters”. For the most part, there is some really good information out there compiled by skilled researchers, engineers, chemists, architects, intelligence agents, politicians, fire-fighters, pilots, and even simply concerned citizens trying to help make a difference. Not all of the theories out there are valid, not all follow the standardized scientific method of research, but there are enough honest efforts (albeit they are often clouded by the obvious “disinformation” efforts) to prove beyond the point of “reasonable doubt” that the official story is not only not plausible, it is simply not possible.
Part 1: Facts on the Ground
In order to accept that Building 7 was indeed “targeted”, you need to understand, at least in a cursory way, why someone would want to; motive, if you will. Aside from the obvious theatrical impact of the last act of their “Shock Opera” inspiring “terrorist attack”, the conspirators had very good reasons to want that building reduced to rubble; vast amounts of money and their own freedom.
There are scores of papers done on the subject of the contents of Building 7 and there is no time here and now to readdress all the solid work previously logged by many researchers. Let us just say that, like in the Pentagon (the Office of Navel Intelligence) that were struck that day, what was inside the building is the best clue. In the case of Building 7, it was the New York offices of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the various investigations that were ongoing at that time.
Enron, WorldCom, Global Crossing… all of these investigations, and many others, came to a sudden end as crucial records were lost when Building 7 fell at 5:20pm, Sept. 11th 2001. Politicians and Wall Street tycoons alike must have been quietly celebrating that one. In short, the collapse of Building 7 saved careers, kept many “insiders” out of jail, saved billions in fines and restitution, and ultimately paid millions in insurance claims to the same guy whose insurance payday for the Twin Towers turned his $15 million dollar investment into a $7 billion dollar windfall. That’s what you might call a “win win win win” situation for some of the most well placed moguls of the financial and political world. I would call that serious motive.
So, motive aside, let’s look at the physical layout of the World Trade Center complex in order that we may obtain a better understanding of just what would have had to have happened and in what sequence they would need to take place, in order to take this one specific building down in true Shock Opera style.
The World Trade Center complex was located on the southern tip of lower Manhattan. Basically what you had was a main, 4 city block sized complex housing Towers 1 and 2 and Buildings 3-6 all located snuggly together and then you also had a 47 story tall building just north of the complex across the street called Building 7.
Building 7, a trapezoidal shaped structure, was tucked neatly in between two other buildings on that block which suffered almost no damage in the 9/11 attacks comparative to Building 7 that is. You will notice the proximity of Building 7 to Tower 1 or the North Tower; a bit over 300 feet (just about the length of a football field).
From the photographs you can see that Building 7 could not have been accessed by a plane strike from the south side as that the North and South towers completely shielded it from approach from that direction.
You should also notice the north side of Building 7 was also partially shielded by 3 buildings in close proximity. These buildings to the north of Building 7 didn’t completely obscure its north face from a potential air strike, but they did protect over half of its overall target area, making approach from that direction more difficult and therefore, more risky.
In a crime of this magnitude, with so much on the line, not just lives and careers and vast sums of wealth, but this was their one shot – the conspirators one chance to justify multiple illegal wars, a new doctrine of “pre-emptive aggression”, the establishment of the “unitary executive” model, the passing of the Patriot Act, the creation of the Trans Afghan Pipeline, wholesale privatization of public assets and wealth, military contracts, and just basically complete and total world domination based really on the successful completion of one act of treasonous terrorism that would galvanize the American people long enough that they would allow all of these things to take place in their name without so much as a whimper – with all that one the line, risk management became of the highest priority.
It would not do to have Flight 93 skip off the top of Building 7 and crash into some other building in lower Manhattan. Though that could still be used to tacitly explain why Building 7 came crashing down, it wouldn’t do to have investigators looking too closely at the instrumentation panels in Flight 93, nor would they want to try explaining what happened to the bodies of the passengers on that flight.
As you can see from the illustrations, once the towers “fell” out of the way, due to the layout of lower Manhattan and the Trade Center, all of a sudden, you have a clear shot right at the heart of Building 7.
As it just so happens, Mayor Giuliani cleared the building earlier, and with the exception of one key witness, who has since died under very suspicious circumstances, Building 7 was completely vacant. It’s rather odd that the mayor of New York would leave his multi-million dollar emergency command post bunker long before the first tower “collapsed”. After all, even if he says that he feared a plane attack on Building 7, as we can see, as long as the towers stood, there was little chance of that.
Part 2: Facts in the Air
(H/T – to “Dick Cheney” – Brisbane Times online quotes a prosecutor, Timothy Stone, in the trial of Osama’s driver, Salim Hamdan: “If they hadn’t shot down the fourth plane it would’ve hit the dome,” Stone, a Navy officer, said in his opening remarks.“ Brisbane Times
Though he is still advancing the “headed to Washington” story-line from Zelikow’s 9/11 Commission Report, he is one of a number of official sources from which we can tell in fact Flight 93 was indeed shot down.)
There is little to no dispute that Flight 93 turned and headed directly toward the southern tip of lower Manhattan in its last few minutes in the air. According to the “official story” this change of heading took place somewhere around 9:58 am.
One thing you should notice when you start doing your own research into this, is that most of the MSM outlets and newspapers, when they report on the flight path of Flight 93 will show you this heading change, but almost every single one of them will NOT show New York City in relation to that change. Almost every map I ran across ends the New Jersey. They all include D.C. but almost none of them show New York in relation to that change in heading, probably because someone doesn’t want the average reader looking at the map and making this connection.
The Official Story of Flight 93
The official story that Flight 93 was heading toward D.C. comes from the work of the 9/11 Commission and from “intel” passed out on the day of the attacks to the news media by various “experts”.
As we have already slightly touched on, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission had a great deal invested in making sure the “angry Muslims” story held up. He himself had just completed a re-write of the national security directive for his friend Condi Rice (who just happened to be the leader of the “Vulcans”, a group of neocons who put together Bush’s “foreign policy objectives” in 1998 and 1999 and who also just happened to be in “the bunker” with Cheney on Sept. 11th 2001 with several other “Vulcans”) which called for a global jihad, if you will, against “the terrorists” where-ever they may be. His name was Philip Zelikow, and he is responsible for the story that Flight 93 was headed toward D.C. rather than New York.
Another rather telling aspect of the flight path of Flight 93 is how long it was in the air. Why did the hijackers wait so long to take over the plane? Logically that makes no sense.
(note: much of the timeline information comes from 911 Timeline. )
8:42 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 93 a Boeing 757-222 with a maximum capacity of 200 passengers and 11,489 gallons of fuel, lifts off from Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey bound for San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California. Take-off was scheduled for 8:01. There are supposed to be 44 victims on board, yet when you add up the official death manifest list that was published on CNN.com, there are only 33 victims.
NORAD used to pride itself on it proven track record of intercept speed. Up until that day it was something close to 7 minutes, I believe, from the time a “problem” occurs on a flight. Many flights are routinely intercepted all year long and 2001 was no exception to that rule. The only day that didn’t occur was Sept. 11th 2001. But the “hijackers” wouldn’t have known this (unless of course…) and they would have had to anticipate that after two planes had struck the towers after being hijacked, they would have armed company up there tailing them in a matter of minutes.
So why did they wait so long to take over the flight?
In fact, why did they wait at all? They near D.C. when they took off and the departure time was already delayed to start with. All they would have to have done was take over the plane once they got to cruising altitude, turn the plane south to D.C. and they would have struck there target just minutes after the towers were hit. But for some reason, the “hijackers” waited over 35 minutes before they took over the plane.
9:28 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 93, “there are the first audible signs of problems, in background cockpit noise.” Air traffic controllers hear the sound of screaming and scuffling over an open mike. They then hear hijackers speaking in Arabic to each other. Yet this is at least 8 minutes and probably at least 12 minutes after the hijackers had taken over the cockpit and done something to cause the FAA to notify NORAD of United Airlines Flight 93’s hijacking.
Why would they risk all that time in the air, coming back from Ohio? They must have known they would be shot down… if they were terrorists with box cutters that is.
However, if “the terrorists” knew that multiple national security drills would be taking place that day and that NORAD rules had been changed in June of 2001 that kept NORAD commanders from giving the “intercept and engage” order, perhaps they would have known they had more time.
Perhaps, in that case, they would have known they had just enough time to circle around on a long exposed “hijacked” flight just long enough for both towers to “collapse” just as they made it back to downtown Manhattan.
And that is exactly why they waited so long. They were waiting for a clear path to Building 7.
There are many discrepancies in the story of Flight 93 and to be honest, for a long time I too thought that no 757 could have crashed in Shanksville that day. The photos of the scene don’t look like what a crash site should look like, I will admit that. The coroner said on the scene that he saw no bodies; none. There’s no tail section, no wing sections, and from what I can see, just like at the Pentagon, no luggage or seats to speak of.
But ultimately you have to remember that whatever it was, it was headed to a place (New York or even, if you believe the “official story”, D.C.) that had already been attacked and thousands of news crews were already in place. Whatever crashed in Shanksville was about to be the most thoroughly documented crash ever; and that includes even Flight 175 that hit the south tower.
How could that been anything other than either Flight 93 itself, or a retrofitted imposter painted to look like Flight 93? No one in the planning stage would have missed that little caveat.
Whatever was headed to New York and Building 7 had to at least look like Flight 93 because, quite simply, al Qaeda doesn’t have cruise missiles and you have to frame a patsy with the tools they would have possessed.
Part 3: The Unexpected
Flight 93 was shot down. Period. The debris field 6 miles from the crash site proves it beyond any reasonable doubt. Also there were several eye witnesses at the scene who testified to hearing loud “booms” and THEN looking up to see Flight 93 still in the air and struggling to stay in the air.
Ernie Stuhl, the mayor of Shanksville: “I know of two people — I will not mention names — that heard a missile. They both live very close, within a couple of hundred yards… This one fellow’s served in Vietnam and he says he’s heard them, and he heard one that day.” He adds that based on what he has learned; F-16’s were “very, very close.”
Laura Temyer of Hooversville: “I didn’t see the plane but I heard the plane’s engine. Then I heard a loud thump that echoed off the hills and then I heard the plane’s engine. I heard two more loud thumps and didn’t hear the plane’s engine anymore after that” (she insists that people she knows in state law enforcement have privately told her the plane was shot down, and that decompression sucked objects from the aircraft, explaining why there was a wide debris field).
Though several of the eyewitness reports conflict on certain aspects of the crash, one thing they seem to agree on is that the plane was shot down, or that it was behaving in such a way as to indicate it had been shot. Even Cheney and Rumsfeld have inadvertently admitted several times over the past 7 years that Flight 93 was shot down.
Shortly after 911, a flight controller in New Hampshire ignores a ban on controllers speaking to the media, and it is reported he claims “that an F-16 fighter closely pursued Flight 93… the F-16 made 360-degree turns to remain close to the commercial jet, the employee said. ‘He must’ve seen the whole thing,’ the employee said of the F-16 pilot’s view of Flight 93’s crash.”
I remember there was also a service member stationed somewhere nearby who admitted that he himself fitted an air-to-air missile on a fighter that had gone up that day after it retuned to the base.
One key piece of evidence that the flight was shot down unexpectedly was the phone calls supposedly placed that day that created the story that the flight had been taken over by the passengers. The whole “Let’s roll!” story was fabricated after the fact to explain the unexpected crash of Flight 93.
You see, as several other investigators have pointed out, with voice morphing technology already proven to have been available at the time, the real perpetrators of the attacks of 9/11 were able to fake phone calls to various family members of passengers in order to support the “hijacking” story-line in real time… as the events of the day were unfolding.
That is a key element in the believability factor for the “official story” of 9/11; the fact that these calls took place to “witnesses” on the ground who could end up verifying who called and at what time. These calls were planned and scripted before hand as part of an elaborate cover story.
However, all of the calls that support the “taking over the plane” story never got through to family members or even to specific people on the ground that day. Ever single one of the 3 calls that support this story were between a member of the hijacked passengers and either an operator or a 9/11 operator. This is a very important fact in that these calls could easily have been recorded and inserted into “the records after the fact. There is no real tangible witness to testify as to the time of the call.
9:45 a.m. to 9:58 a.m.: United Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer tries to call his family but gets patched through to a Verizon supervisor. He said that the pilot and copilot were apparently dead, 2 hijackers were in the cockpit, one was guarding first class and another was guarding 27 passengers at the rear of the plane. He said that they have voted to storm the hijackers and the supervisor hears before he hangs up “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.”
9:58 a.m.: Confrontation with the hijackers and the passengers begins aboard United Airlines Flight 93. Emergency dispatcher in Pennsylvania receives a call from a passenger on Flight 93. The passenger says: “We are being hijacked!”
The time of these phone calls is also very important; 9:58 am… the same time Flight 93 made a course correction directly toward New York City. The “official story” uses the manufactured heroics to explain this all important heading change as well as the crash of Flight 93. Apparently during the struggle, whom ever was piloting the plane inadvertently changed course and then for some reason maintained that same heading, straight towards New York for the next 5-6 minutes until the plane finally veered off course and crashed in Shanksville.
That’s not very likely. More believable is the idea that after waiting just long enough for the buildings to have been hit and partially evacuated, Flight 93 was turned and header straight back to it’s real target, while still far enough away to give enough time for the buildings to “collapse” out of the way.
Just one minute after Flight 93 made its turn toward New York at 9:58am, the South Tower collapsed.
9:59:04 a.m.: The south tower of the World Trade Center suddenly collapses, plummeting into the streets below. A massive cloud of dust and debris quickly fills lower Manhattan.
10:06:05 a.m.: According to seismic data, United Airlines Flight 93 crashes near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in Somerset county, about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
Thirty minutes after the south tower fell, Tower 1, the North Tower, met the same fate. Interestingly, it is reported in several places that someone from the police helicopter gave a warning before it fell stating it looked like the tower was “leaning” and was about to collapse. That warning gave the people 10 minutes to clear out and the North Tower fell almost exactly 10 minutes later.
10:28:31 a.m.: The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
If you plot out the position, heading, and the airspeed of Flight 93 you will see that it, had it continued on its adjusted path after 9:58, it would arrive in the air space of lower Manhattan just about the same time the North Tower collapsed or just thereafter. Of course arrival time could be manipulated by varying air speed.
So who was flying Flight 93?
Flight Termination System/Remote Piloting
One of the members of the Vulcans (Condi Rice’s “foreign policy advisers” on Bush’s transition team from 1998 to 2000) was a man by the name of Dov Zakheim. He is a neocon member of the Project for the New American Century and at the time that he was a member of the Vulcans, he also ran a company called SPS International, which makes among other things, remote control flight systems for jumbo jets.
That is, in 2001 Dov was CEO of SPS International, part of System Planning Corporation, a defense contractor majoring in electronic warfare technologies, including remote-controlled aircraft systems, and the notorious Flight Termination System (FTS) technology that could hijack even a hijacked plane and land or crash it wherever.
Six witnesses in Shanksville reported seeing a small white business type jet with no markings flying low and following Flight 93. They all report it having been there seconds or a minute after Flight 93 crashed. The fact that it was there is interesting but the fact that it was reported as having no markings is even stranger.
10:06 a.m.: and after “Lee Purbaugh is one of at least half a dozen named individuals who have reported seeing a second plane flying low and in erratic patterns, not much above treetop level, over the crash site within minutes of United Airlines Flight 93 crashing. They describe the plane as a small, white jet with rear engines and no discernible markings.”
Lee Purbaugh, Susan Mcelwain, Dennis Decker, Rick Chaney, Jim Brandt and Tom Spinello all report seeing a small plane with no markings stay about one or two minutes over the crash site before leaving. The FBI later says this was a Fairchild Falcon 20 business jet, directed after the crash to fly from 37,000 feet to 5,000 feet and obtain the coordinates for the crash site to help rescuers.
The story that emerged later from the FBI is that this plane was directed to the site by an air traffic controller who asked it to “check out” the area of the crash. This is odd because the secretary of transportation had already given the order for all planes to be grounded with no exception. The notion that an air traffic controller would counteract that command does not make sense. Also, as has been reported, there was an F-16 in the area already, so there would be no reason for this unmarked plane to have to “check it out”.
This plane would appear to have been tailing Flight 93 and probably flying it by remote.
The inescapable conclusion drawn from this is that a lot of very odd things had to happen to put Flight 93 on a direct collision course with Building 7 at just the right time after the two towers were cleared out of the way. Odd that is, if one believes they all happened by chance.
But, if you take a look at these events in the context of a deliberate schedule then you see that these “odd occurrences” took place in exactly the right sequence to put that plane in the north face of Building 7 at just the precise moment to not only justify the complete collapse of the building (and destruction of volumes of evidence) but also to serve as the final terrifying act of the “New Pearl Harbor” event the neocon Vulcans sitting in the command bunker had written about just 1 year earlier.