Ignoring 9/11 and blaming George Bush

September 14, 2006


1. Guardian front page ignores 9/11
2. On 9/11 anniversary Independent attacks “Nazi” Israel
3. New film assassinates President George W. Bush
4. Mainstream media attack Bush, not Bin Laden
5. Al-Qaeda American charged
6. Al-Qaeda threatens to “liberate” land “from Spain to Iraq”
7. “I did the unspeakable on 9/11: nothing”
8. “One Arab’s apology” (New York Post, Sept. 12, 2006)
9. “A new low in Bush-hatred” (Boston Globe, Sept. 10, 2006)

This dispatch mainly concerns press coverage on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

[Note by Tom Gross]


On the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the editors at The Guardian newspaper chose to report on their front page about Nicole Kidman, racing car drivers, and insects, and carried a Ratcatcher book advertisement.

Unlike on the front page of virtually every other newspaper in the western world, there was no mention of the commemorations surrounding the fifth anniversary of 9/11.

The Guardian joins papers in Iran, Syria, Waziristan and Saudi Arabia in ignoring the attack.

The front cover of Monday’s Guardian can be seen here: disturbinglyyellow.org/2006/09/11/911-5-years-guardian/


The Independent newspaper, another British paper which though it has a relatively low circulation is a favorite read of university lecturers, high school teachers and BBC types, chose September 11 to run five prominent “letters to the editor” blood libeling Israel. In those letters, which dominated the letters page, Israel is variously compared to the Nazis and said to be engaged in genocide, and a comparison is made to the Warsaw Ghetto.

As I have pointed out before on this list/website, The Independent is the only one of Britain's 19 major newspapers to be edited by a Jew Simon Kelner. Following a whole series of virtually anti-Semitic articles and cartoons in The Independent, some may wonder whether Kelner is in the slightest bit concerned about the rise in anti-Semitism in the UK, or whether instead he wishes to encourage it.

One Member of the European Parliament said to me yesterday: “Does The Independent aim to be a liberal British newspaper, or does it prefer to be a Jihadist website and neo-Fascist publication?”

Another commentator, Tony Somers, says: “Is rational debate really assisted by such emotionally charged false parallels? For the information of Independent letter writers Israel does not have death camps; there are no gas chambers; no Dr Mengele medical experiments; no mountains of bodies and no mass graves. Nor does Israel preach a doctrine of extermination of so called sub-humans; unlike Hamas, Hizbullah and the president of Iran. In the rhetoric to their own people they have all called for the extermination of the Jews and Israel.”

On September 12, Independent readers were again told (wrongly of course) that “thousands of Lebanese have died as a result of [Tony] Blair’s policies.” On the comment pages, they were told there was “starvation in Gaza” and the organizers of suicide bombs convicted in Israeli jails were “political prisoners”.

The Independent’s chief Middle East correspondent, Robert Fisk, has just been given a special honor by London’s prestigious National Portrait Gallery: he is the only news journalist to have his portrait commissioned by the gallery this year.


A new film, titled “Death of a President,” premiered in Toronto on Sunday night. This “retrospective documentary” covers the after effects of the fictional assassination of President George W. Bush on October 19, 2007.

The film begins on the day Bush is assassinated and then follows the investigation into the crime and the discovery of the assassin: an African-American veteran of the first Gulf War who is distraught when his son is killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq.

The graphic image released to promote the film, a photo doctored to look like the scene of Bush’s death, has stirred up worldwide controversy.

Driving home the film’s connection to Sept. 11 are its opening words, spoken in Arabic by a woman who turns out to be the wife of the Syrian man who is wrongly convicted for Bush’s murder: “When I saw what the terrorists did on 9/11, I cried.” She later explains that she feared the repercussions for Muslims living in the U.S.

The pre-screening hype about the film in the international media meant it has been the hottest ticket ever at the Toronto International Film Festival. Filmgoers waited in line over seven hours to get in.


On this week’s fifth anniversary of 9/11 much of the mainstream media have attacked not Osama Bin Laden, but George W. Bush.

The New York Times main editorial on September 11, 2006 commented that: “When we measure the possibilities created by 9/11 against what we have actually accomplished, it is clear that we have found one way after another to compound the tragedy. Homeland security is half-finished, the development at ground zero barely begun. The war against terror we meant to fight in Afghanistan is at best stuck in neutral, with the Taliban resurgent and the best economic news involving a bumper crop of opium. Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11 when it was invaded, is now a breeding ground for a new generation of terrorists. Listing the sins of the Bush administration may help to clarify how we got here.”


Adam Gadahn, the American of Jewish origin who converted to Islam and recently starred in a video with al-Qaeda’s No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri, has been charged in a sealed indictment in the U.S. with providing material support to terrorism. A formal announcement is expected this week. Officials have also considered charging Gadahn, who is believed to be in Pakistan, with treason.

For more on Gadahn, please see Al-Qaeda call on Seymour Hersh, George Galloway & Robert Fisk to “join Islam” (Sept. 8, 2006).


An al-Qaeda video released on the fifth anniversary of 9/11 urged Muslims “to strike the interests of Jews and Crusaders and those who cooperate with them.”

In the video, which was posted on a web site used by Islamic militants, al-Zawahri said: “I call on every sincere Muslim... to set up a jihad base on the borders of Palestine.” Zawahri called for Muslims to fight United Nations forces in Lebanon, condemning them as “enemies of Islam.”

He went on to say that the goal of al-Qaeda was to “liberate all of Palestine and land... from Spain to Iraq.”

In the video, Zawahri, a Sunni Muslim from a school that sees Shi’ite Muslims as heretics, said bin Laden had authorized attacks in Iraq against Americans and Shi’ites.


Attached below are two articles. The first is by Emilio Karim Dabul, a freelance writer and PR consultant living in New Jersey. He says it is “an apology from an Arab-American for 9/11.” He writes: “No, I didn’t help organize the killers or contribute in any way to their terrible cause. However, I was one of millions of Arab-Americans who did the unspeakable on 9/11: nothing.”

In conclusion Dabul calls upon “all Arab-Americans, and Arabs around the world, to protest against Islamic fascism, to raise our voices and, where necessary, our arms against these tyrants until their plague of terror has been driven from the face of the earth forever.”

The second article, by Jeff Jacoby, looks at the “new low in Bush-hatred.” Writing about the new film “Death of a President,” Jacoby (who is a subscriber to this email list) comments that “such a movie could not only be made but lionized at an international film festival is a mark not of sophistication, but of a sickness in modern life that should alarm conservatives and liberals alike.”

I urge you to read both articles in full if you have time.

-- Tom Gross



One Arab’s apology
By Emilio Karim Dabul
The New York Post
September 12, 2006


Well, here it is, five years late, but here just the same: an apology from an Arab-American for 9/11. No, I didn’t help organize the killers or contribute in any way to their terrible cause. However, I was one of millions of Arab-Americans who did the unspeakable on 9/11: nothing.

The only time I raised my voice in protest against these men who killed thousands of innocents in the name of Allah was behind closed doors, among the safety of friends and family. I did at one point write a very vitriolic essay condemning their actions, but fear of becoming another Salman Rushdie kept me from ever trying to publish it.

Well, I’m sick of saying the truth only in private that Arabs around the world, including Arab-Americans like myself, need to start holding our own culture accountable for the insane, violent actions that our extremists have perpetrated on the world at large.

Yes, our extremists and our culture.

Every single 9/11 hijacker was Arab and a Muslim. The apologists (including President Bush) tried to reassure us that 9/11 had nothing to do with Islam, but was a twisting of a great and noble religion. With all due respect, read the Koran, Mr. President. There’s enough there for someone of extreme tendencies to find their way to a global jihad.

There’s also enough there for someone of a different mindset to find a path to enlightenment and peace. Still, Rushdie had it right back in 2001: This does have to do with Islam. A Christian who bombs an abortion clinic in the name of God is still a Christian, at least in his interpretation, and saying otherwise doesn’t negate the fact that he has spent a goodly amount of time figuring out his version of the one true and right thing to do.

The men who killed 3,000 of our citizens on 9/11 in all likelihood died saying prayers to Allah, and that by itself is one of the most horrific things to me about that day.

And, while my grandparents never waged a jihad, their attitudes toward Jews weren’t that much different than Mohammed Atta’s. No, they didn’t support the Holocaust, but they did believe that Jews were trouble in many different ways, and those sorts of beliefs were passed on to me before I’d ever actually met a Jew.

I’m sorry for that, for ever believing that anything that my grandparents or other relatives had to say about Jews or Israel, for that matter, had any real resemblance to truth. It took me years to realize that I’d been conned into believing the generalizations and stereotypes that millions around the Arab world buy into: that Jews, America and Israel are our main problem.

One look at the average Arab regime should alert us to the fact that the problem, dear Achmed, lies not overseas or next door in Tel Aviv, but in the brutal, corrupt despots that we have bred from country to country in the Mideast, across the span of history. That history and its corresponding economic devastation is the main reason I reside on New York City’s West Bank New Jersey not the one near Jerusalem. On my worst day, I’m happy about that fact. I’d rather be here than there, and experience the freedom and boundless opportunities that were mostly unknown to so many generations of my family in the Mideast.

For as long as I live, the image of those towers falling, as I watched in horror and disbelief from the corner of 40th and Fifth, will be for me my Pearl Harbor, for in that instant I recognized that not only was our city under attack so was our freedom.

It still is. And will continue to be for years to come. And the threat is not from within, but from Islamic fascists who desperately want to destroy the freedom and opportunities that millions the world over still seek.

Five years after that awful day, it’s time for all Arab-Americans, and Arabs around the world, to protest against Islamic fascism, to raise our voices and, where necessary, our arms against these tyrants until their plague of terror has been driven from the face of the earth forever.



A new low in Bush-hatred
By Jeff Jacoby
Boston Globe
September 10, 2006


Six years into the Bush administration, are there any new lows to which the Bush-haters can sink?

George W. Bush has been smeared by the left with every insult imaginable. He has been called a segregationist who yearns to revive Jim Crow and compared ad nauseam to Adolf Hitler. His detractors have accused him of being financially entwined with Osama bin Laden. Of presiding over an American gulag. Of being a latter-day Mussolini. Howard Dean has proffered the “interesting theory” that the Saudis tipped off Bush in advance about 9/11. One US senator (Ted Kennedy) has called the war in Iraq a “fraud” that Bush “cooked up in Texas” for political gain; another (Vermont independent James Jeffords) has charged him with planning a war in Iran as a strategy to put his brother in the White House. Cindy Sheehan has called him a “lying bastard,” a “filth spewer,” an “evil maniac,” a “fuehrer,” and a “terrorist” guilty of “blatant genocide” and been rewarded for her invective with oceans of media attention.

What else can they say about Bush? That they want him killed?

They already say it.

On Air America, talk show host Randi Rhodes recommended doing to Bush what Michael Corleone, in “The Godfather, Part II,” does to his brother. “Like Fredo,” she said, “somebody ought to take him out fishing and phuw!” then imitated the sound of a gunshot. In the Guardian, a leading British daily, columnist Charlie Brooker issued a plea: “John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. where are you now that we need you?”

For the more literary Bush-hater, there is “Checkpoint,” a novel by Nicholson Baker in which two characters discuss the wisdom of shooting the president. “I’m going to kill that bastard,” one character fumes. Some Bush-hatred masquerades as art: At Chicago’s Columbia College, a curated exhibit included a sheet of mock postage stamps bearing the words “Patriot Act” and depicting President Bush with a gun to his head. There are even Bush-assassination fashion statements, such as the “KILL BUSH” T-shirts that were on offer last year at CafePress, an online retailer.

Lurid political libels have a long history in American life. The lies told about John Adams in the campaign of 1800 were vile enough, his wife Abigail lamented, “to ruin and corrupt the minds and morals of the best people in the world.” But has there ever been a president so hated by his enemies that they lusted openly for his death? Or tried to gratify that lust with such political pornography?

As with other kinds of porn, even the most graphic expressions of Bush-hatred tend to jade those who gorge on it, so that they crave ever more explicit material to achieve the same effect.

Which brings us to “Death of a President,” a new movie about the assassination of George W. Bush.

Written and directed by British filmmaker Gabriel Range, the movie premieres today at the Toronto Film Festival and will air next month on Britain’s Channel 4. Shot in the style of a documentary, the movie opens with what looks like actual footage of Bush being gunned down by a sniper as he leaves a Chicago hotel in October 2007. Through the use of digital special effects, the film superimposes the president’s face onto the body of the actor playing him, so that the mortally wounded man collapsing on the screen will seem, all too vividly, to be Bush himself.

This is Bush-hatred as a snuff film. The fantasies it feeds are grotesque and obscene; to pander to such fantasies is to rip at boundary-markers that are indispensable to civilized society. That such a movie could not only be made but lionized at an international film festival is a mark not of sophistication, but of a sickness in modern life that should alarm conservatives and liberals alike.

Naturally that’s not how the film’s promoters see it. Noah Cowan, one of the Toronto festival’s codirectors, high-mindedly describes “Death of a President” as “a classic cautionary tale.” Well, yes, Bush’s assassination is “harrowing,” he says, but what the film is really about is “how the Patriot Act, especially, and how Bush’s divisive partisanship and race-baiting has forever altered America.”

I can’t help wondering, though, whether some of those who see this film will take away rather a different message. John Hinckley, in his derangement, had the idea that shooting the president was the way to impress a movie star. After seeing “Death of a President,” the next Hinckley may get a more grandiose idea: Shooting the president is the way to become a movie star.

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.