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Touchstone: a journal of mere Christianity: mere comments
The Secularist Critique: Deconstructing secularism
Ex-atheist.com: I Wasn't Born Again Yesterday
imago veritatis by Alan Myatt
Solid Rock Ministries
The Internet Monk: a webjournal by Michael Spencer
The Sydney Line: the website of Keith Windschuttle
Miranda Devine's writings in the Sydney Morning Herald
David Horowitz frontpage magazine
Thoughts of a 21st century Christian Philosopher
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Steven Lovell's philosophical themes from C.S.Lewis
Peter S. Williams Christian philosophy and apologetics
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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton


"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton


"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

"I blog, therefore I am." Anon


Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 9/11

 
Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 911
by David Kopel

If all you know is what the mainstream media tell you, then you
are living in a world of illusions. But you can’t free your mind if
you merely replace one set of manipulative illusions with another
set of manipulative illusions. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a twisted,
dishonest, paranoid, and hateful fantasy. Learn the facts, and
make up your own mind.

The list below is a summary of a much longer report, which is
available for free at www.davekopel.org. The report also discusses many other issues about the movie.

There are lots of good reasons why people have chosen to vote
against (or for) the re-election of George Bush. And there are
lots of good reasons why patriotic Americans have decided to
oppose (or support) the war in Iraq. One thing that all the good
reasons have in common is that they are based on facts. In a
democracy, we should try to convince our fellow citizens with
facts and logical reasoning. To manipulate people with frauds
and propaganda is to attack democracy itself.

1. The Gore "victory" rally isn’t celebrating a Florida win. It
was held before the polls had even opened.

2. Like all the other networks, Fox mistakenly said that Gore
had won in Florida. The first network to retract the Florida
mistake was CBS, not Fox.

3. A 6-month study by a consortium of major newspapers
shows that Bush would have won the Florida recount under
any of the terms which Gore sought in his lawsuits.

4. Investigation by the Palm Beach Post and others shows
that race was not a reason why election officials mistakenly
disqualified some voters because they were incorrectly
thought to have felony convictions.

5. Bush’s Presidency before 9/11 was not in serious trouble.
No commentator said that he looked like a lame-duck president.
Congress had passed his #1 bill (the tax cut) and was
on the way to passing his #2 bill (the education bill). The
scene at the end of the movie in which Bush tells a rich audience
"I call you my base," was from an October 2000 charity
fund-raiser. Both Gore and Bush spoke at the fund-raiser
and, as is the custom at the fund-raiser, made fun of themselves.

6. "In his first eight months in office before September
11th, George W. Bush was on vacation, according to the
Washington Post, forty-two percent of the time." As the
Washington Post reported, the figure includes weekends, and
includes time in "vacation locations" such as Camp David,
where Bush was working—as when he met with Tony Blair.

7. In the golf course scene (about the middle of the movie),
Bush had just heard about a terrorist attack on Israel. He
called the press together to make a quick statement condemning
the terrorism against Israel. He was not speaking
about attacks on the United States.

8. There is no evidence that Bush did not read the Aug. 6,
2001 Presidential Daily Briefing about al Qaeda.

9. He never claimed that the title’s "vagueness" was an
excuse for not reading it.

10. The Briefing did not say "said that Osama bin Laden was
planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes." It said
that the FBI has "not been able to corroborate" such a threat.

11. The Saudis left the U.S. only after air travel was opened
for the general public.

12. According to Richard Clarke and the September 11
Commission, Clarke personally approved the Saudi departures,
and the decision went no higher in the chain of command.

13. Moore lied to a TV reporter in claiming that Fahrenheit
discloses Clarke’s decision to the audience. Clarke called the
Saudi exit material in Fahrenheit a "mistake" by Moore.

14. Contrary to what Fahrenheit claims, the September 11
Commission found that many Saudis were asked "detailed
questions" before being allowed to leave.

15. James Bath did not invest bin Laden family money
in Bush’s energy company Arbusto. He invested his own
money.

16. Bath’s name was blacked-out from an Alabama National
Guard record released by the White House—as required by
federal law, which prohibits the disclosure of health-related
personal information.

17. Prince Bandar has way too much influence on the U.S.
government, as Fahrenheit shows, but American coddling of
the Saudi tyranny is a long-standing bi-partisan tradition, not
a Bush invention.

18. Harken Energy: Bush only sold the stock after company
lawyers told him it was OK.

19. The reason that Bush "beat the rap" was because there
was no evidence he had engaged in insider trading.

20. The Carlyle Group is not a Bush playground. Many Bush
opponents are investors, including George Soros.

21. The Bush administration dealt Carlyle a huge financial
blow by canceling the Crusader missile, one of the few weapons
cancellations in the Bush administration.

22. The bin Ladens dropped out of Carlyle before the stock
sale. Of the 1.4 billion that the Saudis invested in companies
with Bush connections, the vast majority of the money was
invested in Carlyle before George H.W. Bush joined the firm.

23. Craig Unger claims that the Saudis have $860 billion
invested in the U.S. The figure appears in his book House of
Bush, House of Saud, but neither of Unger’s cited sources
support such a large figure.

24. Moore claims that the Saudis "own 7% of America."
But even if you believe Unger’s fictitious $860 billion figure,
the Saudis own only about 7% of total foreign investment
in America, which is over 10 trillion dollars. Only if all of
America were owned by foreigners could Moore’s claim be
correct.

25. The Saudi embassy does not receive special protection.
It is not the only foreign embassy which is guarded by the
U.S. Secret Service. An international treaty signed by the
U.S. requires the U.S. to protect any embassy which asks for
protection.

26. Moore’s insinuation that Bush runs U.S. foreign policy
according to Saudi instructions is contradicted by the
Afghanistan invasion (which toppled the Taliban regime
which the Saudis strongly supported), and by the Iraq War
(which the Saudis opposed, in part because Iraqi oil will
compete with Saudi oil).

27. As Governor of Texas, Bush never met with Taliban representatives.

28. The proposed Unocal pipeline was supported by the
Clinton administration, but Unocal abandoned the pipeline
idea in 1998.

29. The new Afghani government has signed a protocol to
build a pipeline, but it is an entirely different pipeline, in a
location hundreds of miles distant from the Unocal proposal.

30. Construction has not begun on the new pipeline.

31. The Bush administration did not "welcome" Taliban diplomats
in March 2001, but instead condemned them for failing
to hand over Osama bin Laden.

32. Despite Moore’s pose in the movie, he opposed the
Afghanistan War, and—in December 2002—claimed that
Osama bin Laden might be innocent.

33. In claiming that the Afghanistan invasion was a mere
ruse to protect the Saudis, Moore omits the results of liberation
in Afghanistan: destruction of al Qaeda training camps,
the creation of free elections, more freedom for women, and
the homecoming of 1.5 million refugees from the Taliban.

34. The various quotes about Bush administration cooperation
with the September 11 Commission have been resequenced
to create a false impression.

In July 2003, Chairman Kean complained about lack of
cooperation. In February 2004, Bush said that the White
House had given extraordinary cooperation. Kean agreed,
and praised the White House for providing "unprecedented"
access.

35. John Ashcroft didn’t really lose a Senate election to a
"dead guy." Mel Carnahan died in a plane crash a few weeks
before the election, and the Missouri Governor had promised
to appoint Carnahan’s widow Jean Carnahan if voters
pulled the lever for Mel Carnahan.

36. The FBI did not "know" about al Qaeda suspects who
were attending flight training schools. The information was
never passed above the level of one field office.

37. Ashcroft did not cut overall counter-terrorism funding.
He only proposed a one-year cut in a particular program that
already had two years of unspent money.

38. Rep. Porter Goss says he has an "800 number," and the
Fahrenheit caption says "He’s lying." Goss does have a toll-
free number, although the prefix is 877.

39. Moore say Saddam’s Iraq "had never murdered a single
American citizen." In fact, Saddam paid for terrorist bombers
in Israel who murdered Americans, along with people of
other nationalities. Saddam also sheltered the American-killing
terrorist Abu Nidal, and the bomb-maker for the 1993
World Trade Center bombings.

40. In addition, Saddam ordered assassination attempts
against former President Bush and against U.S. diplomats in
the Philippines.

41. Moore claims that the Saddam regime "never threatened
to attack the United States." In fact, in 1997 the regime
publicly ordered: "American and British interests, embassies,
and naval ships in the Arab region should be the targets of
military operations and commando attacks by Arab political
forces." On the first anniversary of September 11, Saddam's
regime called for suicide attacks on Americans.

42. Moore claims that there was no connection between
Iraq and al Qaeda. In fact, there is an extensive record of
collaboration although—as the September 11 Commission
announced—there is no proof that Saddam participated
beforehand in al Qaeda attacks on America.

43. Fahrenheit shows Condoleezza Rice saying, "Oh, indeed
there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11." The
audience laughs derisively. Here is what Rice really said on
Nov. 28, 2003:

"Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened
on 9/11. It’s not that Saddam Hussein was somehow himself
and his regime involved in 9/11, but, if you think about
what caused 9/11, it is the rise of ideologies of hatred that
lead people to drive airplanes into buildings in New York.
This is a great terrorist, international terrorist network that
is determined to defeat freedom. It has perverted Islam
from a peaceful religion into one in which they call on it
for violence. And they’re all linked. And Iraq is a central
front because, if and when, and we will, we change the
nature of Iraq to a place that is peaceful and democratic
and prosperous in the heart of the Middle East, you will
begin to change the Middle East...."


44. Moore portrays pre-liberation Iraq as a happy nation
of kite-flying and weddings. In fact, a sixth of the population
had fled Saddam’s tyranny. The United Nations and
Amnesty International condemned "the systematic, widespread
and extremely grave violations of human rights and
of international humanitarian law by the Government of
Iraq, resulting in an all-pervasive repression and oppression
sustained by broad-based discrimination and widespread terror."

45. The only Iraqi casualties which Moore shows are civilians,
although military casualties far outnumbered civilian.

46. When showing pictures of buildings being blown up,
Moore does not reveal that many of them were military
buildings, and civilians were never allowed anywhere near
them.

47. A humorous sequence making fun of tiny countries in the
Iraq liberation Coalition does not even mention the major
countries in the Coalition, such as the U.K., Australia, Italy,
and Japan.

Not a deceit, but mean-spirited and exploitive: The footage
of the funeral of U.S. Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone at
Arlington National Cemetery appears without his familys’
permission, and over their vehement objection. Major Stone
strongly believed in the Iraq mission, as does his family.
The footage of Massachusetts National Guardsman Peter
Damon, who is undergoing therapy at Walter Reed Army
Medical Center is also used without his permission.

48. Despite Moore’s claims, American media have not been
mindlessly supportive of the Iraq war. For example, Peter
Jennings has been extremely critical. The evidence that
Moore offers to portray Jennings as a war supporter is a clip
of Jennings reporting in April 2003 that Saddam’s army had
collapsed—which was true.

49. The scene of American soldiers making fun of a man
underneath a sheet is not torture of a prisoner of war. They
are making fun of a drunk who passed out in the street.

50. Moore reports that Bush proposed closing some
Veteran’s hospitals. But he also proposed opening other
veteran’s hospitals.

51. Bush once opposed renewing a special bonus of $75/
month for soldiers in "imminent danger zones." Moore
claims that Bush proposed cutting combat soldiers’ pay by
1/3; but a soldier's pay and benefits is over $27,000 per year,
even at low enlisted grades.

52. While making false claims about a Bush pay cut, Moore
omits the fact that Bush sought and won a 3.7% military pay
raise in 2003.

53. Moore claims that only one Congressman has a child in
Iraq. Actually, two do. (Democratic Senator Tim Johnson of
S.D., and Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California.)
Also, John Ashcroft has a son on a naval ship in the Persian
Gulf.

54. Fahrenheit deceptively cut the footage of Rep. Mark
Kennedy to make it look like Kennedy rebuffed Moore’s
request to help enlist Congressional children. In fact,
Kennedy said it was a good idea, and offered to help.

55. Fahrenheit shows Rep. Michael Castle walking past
Moore. But Rep. Castle is childless.

56. Based on Census Bureau data, Congressional families are
more likely than other families to have children serving in
Iraq.

57. Moore calls Flint, Michigan, "my hometown." In fact,
he grew up in Davison, a much wealthier and much whiter
suburb.

58. In Fahrenheit, Moore pretends to support our troops.
But in fact, he supports the enemy in Iraq-the coalition of
Saddam loyalists, al Qaeda operatives, and terrorists controlled
by Iran or Syria-who are united in their desire to
murder Iraqis, and to destroy any possibility of democracy in
Iraq. Here is what Moore said on April 14, 2004, about the
forces who are killing Americans and trying to impose totalitarian
rule on Iraq: "The Iraqis who have risen up against
the occupation are not ‘insurgents’ or ‘terrorists’ or ‘The
Enemy.’ They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and
their numbers will grow—and they will win." Do you really
think that someone who wants Iraq to be ruled by Islamist or
Ba’athist tyranny, and who deliberately kills innocent civilians
with car bombs, is like the American Minutemen?

59. As reported in the trade journal Screen Daily, affiliates
of the Iranian and Syrian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah
are promoting Fahrenheit 9/11, and Moore’s Middle East
distributor, Front Row, is accepting the terrorist assistance:
"In terms of marketing the film, Front Row is getting a boost
from organizations related to Hezbollah which have rung up
from Lebanon to ask if there is anything they can do to support
the film. And although [Front Row’s Managing Director
Giancarlo] Chacra says he and his company feel strongly that
Fahrenheit is not anti-American, but anti-Bush, ‘we can’t go
against these organizations as they could strongly boycott the
film in Lebanon and Syria.’" (Nancy Tartaglione, "Fahrenheit
to be first doc released theatrically in Middle East," Screen
Daily.com, June 9, 2004. The story is discussed in Samantha
Ellis, "Fahrenheit 9/11 gets help offer from Hezbollah," The
Guardian (London), June 17, 2004.)

Slate.com (6/24/04) followed up on the story, and reported:
"Gianluca Chacra, the managing director of Front Row
Entertainment, the movie’s distributor in the United Arab
Emirates, confirms that Lebanese student members of
Hezbollah ‘have asked us if there’s any way they could support
the film.’ Chacra was unfazed, even excited, about their
offer. ‘Having the support of such an entity in Lebanon is
quite significant for that market and not at all controversial.
I think it’s quite natural.’"

Do you think it’s patriotic to accept help from a terrorist
organization which has killed and kidnapped hundreds of
Americans, which works with al Qaeda and other terrorists,
and which is currently aiding the killing of American soldiers
and Iraqi civilians? American patriotism can include presenting
honest arguments against a particular American military
policy. Hateriotism is the spreading of vicious lies against
American soldiers and in favor of tyrants.

It’s not unpatriotic to criticize a war or particular wartime
policies. But how many patriots do you know who take aid
from terrorists who kill Americans?


This essay comes from the Independence Institute, a thinktank
in Colorado which is founded on the principles of the
Declaration of Independence (www.independenceinstitute.
org
). The author, Dave Kopel, is a life-long Democrat who
endorsed and voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. He supports
some but not all aspects of the current war on terror.
Permission is granted to reproduce and distribute this flyer.


10:09:00 pm