The Bizarro Effect

Something quite sinister is happening. But you knew that. As we know all too well, since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, everything changed: the earth somersaulted on its axis, and reality became …inverted. I first broached, somewhat tentatively, the idea that 9/11 ripped a hole in the space-time continuum and delivered us into a nightmare universe – a Bizarro World where up is down, right is wrong, and conservatives have morphed into Jacobins – in a column written last year. I see that Maureen Dowd has picked up on this, recently, and the meme is spreading, as evidence for my thesis picks up steadily, in small ways and large:

But it’s the little things, too, that tend to support the Bizarro World thesis. Like this blog entry, taken from an Iraqi blog entitled “Healing Iraq”:

“Unless there are some extreme measures and punishments against those responsible it is going to get any better. I’m going to repeat it again and everyday:
public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public trials, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions, public executions,

“Those militants don’t understand any language except the language of force. Fuck human rights. Those aren’t humans anyway. We desperately NEED to see some heads rolling. Believe it or not. Theres [sic] going to have to be some bloodshed for this to work. Bomb the hell out of Tikrit and Al-Awja. Massacre every last person of Saddam’s tribe. Rape his women. Yeah.”

That’s how they “heal” in Iraq.

What got blogger “Zeyad,” who claims to be a 24-year-old dentist residing in Baghdad, in such a murderous mood? A suicide bombing? An attack on Iraqi police by the insurgents? Another ambush of American troops? None of the above: it seems the lights went out in Baghdad, again – but, as it turns out, it probably wasn’t due to sabotage.

Zeyad is living proof that Western style liberal democracy will never take root in Iraq, not in 10,000 years.

The inversion of everything has, for the most part, aided the War Party: evil became good, after all. Lately, however, the Bizarro World effect shows some signs of backfiring on them. Because it also means that America’s allies are going to act like … enemies. This explains why the Queen is adamantly refusing to take elementary measures to protect the President during his stay at Buckingham Palace. The Age quotes an anonymous courtier:

“They wanted blast and bullet-proofed windows and curtains and some strengthening to the walls of the President’s suite and other rooms at the Palace where he would be spending time. The President’s security men seem obsessed with the idea of an airborne attack on the Palace.”

Change the curtains? Heaven forfend!

On the other hand, this may not be an example of the Bizarro effect at work: it’s about what you might expect from the Brits, come to think of it. Yet the effect, in this case, could be more subtle. Why is this courtier surprised that the President’s security is “obsessed” with the possibility of an airborne attack? Isn’t that what got the Pentagon and 3,000 people in and around the World Trade Center? My thesis stands.

The Bizarro Effect took hold instantly, in the moments after the first plane hit the World Trade Center, and has been intensifying ever since. As time goes on, things will only get worse – or better, if you’re Richard Perle.

The horror unleashed by 9/11 has yet to fully play itself out. But what we don’t know about that day could fill volumes. The 9/11 Commission that was constituted only at the insistence of the families of the victims is still being stonewalled by the White House: the Commission had to threaten to subpoena key documents to get even a modicum of cooperation. More such threats will certainly be in order.

Penetrating the mysteries of 9/11 will require more than subpoena power, however, and before we get to the heart of it no doubt many volumes of research and analysis will be written and published. My own modest addition to the genre has just been published. The Terror Enigma: 9/11 and the Israeli Connection is now available from iUniverse.

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

I had originally contracted with Verso Books to write The Terror Enigma: the manuscript went through a long editing process and the cover was being designed when book production was abruptly halted. My editor, who shall remain nameless, had no explanation, and was clearly mortified.

One reason, I was informed much later, was that I had no “primary sources” for my contention that Israel was tracking the 9/11 hijackers and had some inkling of their intentions. As to what such a source would consist of, in this context, was not clear. Why doesn’t the DEA report on those suspicious Israeli “art students” qualify as a primary source, one wonders, especially since it contains some damning admissions by apprehended Israeli agents in the U.S.?

At any rate, this derailed plans to release the book on the second anniversary of 9/11, as originally projected by Verso’s publicity department. But I was undeterred. Clearly, the reasons given by Verso for scotching publication were completely bogus: Tariq Ali, a member of Verso’s editorial board, who wrote to me, sneered that it might make “a good magazine article.” But that hardly seems like a rational argument given the nature of the story. Given that the The Terror Enigma opens up the possibility that America’s closest ally had foreknowledge of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and somehow neglected to tell us all they knew, Mr. Ali’s critique is utterly facile. And disingenuous, in view of Verso’s previous decision not to include the appendices I had submitted, including the lengthy DEA report, which would have more than doubled the number of pages.

I have stuck with Verso’s decision not to append the DEA report, since it is readily available online – and also searchable. Anyone who wants to verify my citations, and the conclusions I draw from them, can easily do so.

I am very pleased with iUniverse, a firm that represents the future of book publishing. The way they do things, there are no books to stock, no warehousing and no huge upfront printing costs: the reader orders a copy and thereby wills the book into existence. An elegant demonstration of consumer supremacy in the cyber-economy and the relation of markets to natural law. If the consumers don’t want it, it won’t even get printed: if they do, then the world will be awash in copies. It’s a giant step forward in the evolution of book publishing.

Another great aspect of this publishing innovation is that the story, as it develops further, can be updated with far less trouble. Revising a book when new information comes in has always been a major headache for publishers: the costs, given the constraints of traditional publishing technology, have always been largely prohibitive, except in the case of runaway best-sellers. With the new technology, however, revising and updating a book is no longer such a major problem. Much remains to be discovered about the Israeli connection to the events that surrounded 9/11, and as more of the truth is uncovered the old edition can be added to with relatively little trouble.

In the meantime, practically everything we know about this recurring story – which the authorities dismiss as an “urban myth” – is contained in The Terror Enigma. The evidence for Israeli foreknowledge of 9/11, all of it gleaned from “mainstream” sources, is extensive and fully documented. Where there’s this much smoke, there’s bound to be at least some fire – and, on those general principles alone, the book, I think, deserves to become a best-seller.

Gee, I sure hope the Bizarro Effect hasn’t yet taken hold in the world of book publishing. I was counting on those royalties to take my first vacation since my aborted September 10, 2001 trip to the former Yugoslavia.

Author: Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo is editor-at-large at Antiwar.com, and a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. He is a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and writes a monthly column for Chronicles. He is the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000].