Jonathan Kay of the Canadian National Post libeled me outrageously in his book Among the Truthers.
Now Joshua Blakeney informs me that Kay mentioned me in a recent speech to the Hannah Arendt Center.
The good news is that this time he doesn’t libel me. The bad news is that his speech continues the assault on reason, disguised as a defense of reason, that he began in his book.
Below is my letter briefly responding to the Arendt Center speech.
In your speech to the Arendt Center (I’m a fan of Hannah Arendt by the way) in which you kindly quote me, you write:
“You can’t have a discussion about anti-terrorist policy or foreign affairs or security with someone who thinks that 9/11 was an inside job. It is just impossible. They live in different realities. You can’t span those realities with rationalism.”
Let’s try, very briefly.
Consider two facts:
1) The average North American’s chances of being killed in a terrorist attack are essentially zero. Lightning, tornadoes, and bathtub drownings are bigger threats. Cigarettes kill a 9/11’s worth of Americans every two days. (See my book for details.)
2) According to the FBI, Muslim extremists have committed 6% of the terrorist attacks in the US since 1980 – fewer than Jewish extremists, and vastly fewer than Hispanics. http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/05/rand-report-threat-of-jihadist-terrorism-exaggerated/
Therefore, whether 9/11 was a freak occurrence (your position) or an Islamophobic hate crime like the anthrax mailings (my position), we should be able to agree that the “war on terror” is a hoax, that there is no discernible statistically significant terrorist threat from anyone, and that the “Islam – terrorism” meme that dominates the mainstream media has about the same basis in reality as the “Jews – blood-drinking” meme of the extreme anti-Semites.
Jon, if you live in a “reality” where Islamic terrorism is a major threat to North Americans, and where this “fact” should affect US/Canadian foreign or domestic policy, you and I do live in different worlds. We can easily figure out whose reality is real, and whose isn’t, by looking at statistics and doing some elementary calculations. If I have gotten my facts wrong, please correct me.
By the way, I do agree with you that some of the “conspiracy theorists” you discuss are irrational, paranoid, and prone to scapegoating this or that group. But few are as paranoid as you, and the rest of the mainstream media, in your manufacturing the phantasmagoric “Islamic terrorist threat.”