That Kind Of Talk Can Get You In Trouble. Part 6
The Propagandist presents its final part in this series, commenting on issues of freedom of expression, human rights and democracy. It was sparked by a forum that occurred in Vancouver this week, where "Antisemitism. Real and Imagined" co-author Michael Keefer spoke on the potential for chilling freedom of speech as regards Israell. This final part in the series asks "Who is Michael Keefer?"
Michael Keefer is a tenured English professor at the University of Guelph who may become best known in coming months for his contribution to a book called "Antisemitism. Real and Imagined". The book warns against a nebulous conspiracy of Zionists and co-opted far right conservatives attempting to undermine free speech.This is a common theme for the Canadian Charger, a publication for which Keefer sits on the editorial board. Typical headlines you might read in the Canadian Charger would include "Zionist Israel Built On Ethnic Cleansing", "Harpervision for Canada" and "The Sacred Mysteries of 9/11", just to give you a flavor for the rag.
Keefer is no stranger to conspiracy theories. Indeed, his worldview seems to be utterly dominated by them. He has come to prominence as a 9/11 truther of the boldest variety. He doesn't just reject the "official" story propagated by the "corrupt" media. He stated unequivocally in February 2010 that "senior people in the United States government had systematically disabled their air defenses to make these (9/11) attacks succeed."
The purpose of the conspiracy? "The effect (of the 9/11 attacks) was a double-effect. It legitimized a program of aggressive geopolitics, including war on Afghanistan, war against Iraq and the planners of the event no doubt hoped that they would also in the future be able to follow up with wars on other countries including Iran."
Well, of course. High level officials (Bush? Cheney? The undead Richard Nixon they keep in the basement?) collaborated with a sordid assortment of Islamist nutcases from Saudi Arabia and Egypt who would as soon behead an Infidel as spend thirty seconds in a room with them. In this case, the terrorists were not the aggressors but the dupes - even, one might argue, the first victims of the plot. And the wars that followed are not so much strategically required as pathologically necessary for this wicked cabal bent on killing Muslims around the world.
That's how Keefer's mind seems to work. Nice.
It doesn't stop there. Not just the US government, but other Western nations, the Canadian government, and of course, the cops, are all in on the plot (or blind stooges for the shadowy masterminds - again, Zionists and neo-cons). Any high-profile terror attack in the West is automatically suspect, most likely perpetrated by the conspiracy and blamed on innocent Muslims who were probably tortured into confessing. He makes these sorts of statements in an article published at the "Global Research" site called "The Harper Government and Canada's 'War-on-Terror' Immigration Policy":
On the 7/7 attacks by Islamist terrorists in London:
"The London bombings of July 7, 2005, for example, are said to have been carried out by suicide bombers-a story that is contradicted by the testimony of survivors that the explosions blew the floors of the underground carriages upward from below. If the bombs were not carried onto the carriages, but detonated from beneath, then the purported Islamist fanatics said to have been responsible for these appalling crimes cannot have been the actual mass murderers."
On the arrest of the "Toronto 18" terror cell in Canada:
"Did Canadian intelligence agencies really anticipate that squads of heavily armed terrorists might descend on the Brampton courthouse in a desperate Robin-Hood style attempt to free their captured comrades? Or would it be cynical to think that the state was trying to panic the Canadian media and the public at large with this graphic demonstration of how terrified we should all be-if not of the handcuffed prisoners, then certainly of their shadowy accomplices. The logic is clear: if the brave and clever men who dress like ninjas, carry big automatic weapons and work in intelligence are worried, then the rest of us ought to be gob-smacked with fear."
Why does it really matter if a Shakespeare expert most people have never heard about goes on a speaking tour perpetuating these bizarre fairy tales about brutal cabals corrupting democratic governments that are leading us into an unending, unthinking war on innocents here and abroad? Why does Michael Keefer matter?
In a sense, he doesn't. If Keefer dropped off the face of the Earth today, he could be replaced in a moment. There are literally thousands of "experts" around who would love to take his place on the speaking circuit, whose main goal in life seems to be to evangelize these twisted unicorn myths. And they would continue to deliver their message to packed theatres and conferences.
The relentless propaganda has already had its effect. Over a third of Americans believe 9/11 was an inside job. Numbers are similar in other Western countries. And of course, in the countries that most need to switch over to a more reality-based approach to managing their own affairs and dealing with the world, these conspiracy theories are not minority views; they are accepted broadly as facts.
When citizens of a democracy no longer feel represented; when they feel that the government is controlled by, if not run by, mass murdering scum; if they believe that urgent threats, like a relentless global attack by modern fascists and totalitarians is bogus and not worth defending against; if they believe that every institution from the government to the justice system and virtually all media is irredeemably corrupt and wicked; then they will cease to take part in that democracy. In fact, they will work against it, probably in the most extreme sorts of ways.
We're talking about societal breakdown, brought on by nothing more than fear-mongering and indoctrination. That's why people like Keefer matter. And it's why their crackpot theories must be exposed and condemned by all those who truly care about freedom.
Jonathon Narvey is the Editor of The Propagandist. This is the final part of a 6-part series.