Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vanity Pieces

I hadn't realized that Dr Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed had a letter printed in Vanity Fair taking issue with the way he was characterized by Christopher Hitchens when the latter had also put the boot into Gore Vidal for being a conspiracy theorist.

I'll quote the whole of his letter and Hitchens' reply here:

Dear Sir—

I was bemused to note major inaccuracies about myself in “Vidal Loco,” by Christopher Hitchens (February 2010).

Hitchens’s reduction of me to “conspiracy-mongering” and as having a “one-room sideshow” institute is contrasted by the fact that I’m an academic at the University of Sussex; my book, The War on Freedom, was used by the 9/11 commission; I’ve testified before the U.S. Congress; I’ve given evidence to a U.K. parliamentary inquiry; and my institute is advised by a board of 20 leading scholars. Hitchens also bizarrely targets my first publisher, which is not “deceased” but is in fact a flourishing alternative news source.

This hit piece is merely an example of Hitchens’s projecting his increasing distance from reality onto those who object to his war-mongering.

Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, M.A., D.Phil (Sussex)

Hitchens Responds

I congratulate Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, M.A., D.Phil (Sussex) on “growing” his résumé in the past few years. But the facts remain what they are. When he brought out The War on Freedom, its place of publication was given as a distinctly unassuming street address in Brighton. I did not say that his publisher was deceased but that its then Web site was no more. Any bloody fool can testify anywhere, but nobody has yet been fool enough to accept his argument that the attacks on New York and Washington were part of a pre-arrangement involving the United States government. (His pathetically conspiratorial rambling about the behavior of the military and Federal Aviation Administration that day has since been utterly refuted by a long and exhaustive article, “9/11 Live: The norad Tapes,” by Michael Bronner, in Vanity Fair (September 2006). Finally, I think the expression “war-mongering” is better applied to somebody who makes excuses and offers smarmy justifications for the original aggressor, Osama bin Laden.

On reflection and on a rereading of his “book,” I would change my original article and remove the word “risible.” A more apposite term for both the author and his illiterate pages would be “contemptible.”

Christopher Hitchens, B.A. (Oxford)
Roger S. Mertz Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University
Adjunct Professor in Liberal Studies at the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research
Andrew Mellon Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh
Koret Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley
I. F. Stone Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley
(See how boring this can get?)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Explosion Sinking South Korean Warship May Have Killed Many: Cause Unknown

One Free Korea has a post up about the mysterious explosion aboard a South Korean vessel around the disputed "maritime border" of North and South Korea.

The writer of the piece believes that an external explosion cannot be ruled out and yet it sounds quite a lot like the USS Maine incident, which I've written a few blogposts on before, and which was more likely an accident.

According to the BBC, South Korean divers have made it to the wreckage of the Cheonan but haven't heard any signs of life coming from within where over 40 crewmembers may have perished.

The speculation seems to be that it was either an accident or possibly a drifting mine - possibly laid by North Korea and never retrieved. But there aren't any "Remember the Cheonan, To Hell with Pyongyang!" headlines yet.

No word on that apparently from North Korea's KCNA who instead have a stirring story about new propaganda posters that have just been produced:

Pyongyang, March 28 (KCNA) -- New posters were produced to encourage all the servicepersons and people in their great drive to build a great prosperous and powerful nation in hearty response to the joint editorial this year and the joint calls of the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea.

The poster "Every effort for the construction of the Huichon Power Station!" created by the Workers' Party of Korea Publishing House depicted with simple and distinct stroke the heroic spirit of the builders of the power station, their hearts burning with the fixed faith that when the Party is determined, we can do anything.

The poster ardently calls on the whole party and army and all people to come out as one and dash ahead at "the Huichon speed," a new Chollima speed to contribute to hastening the construction of the power station and solving the shortage of electricity.

Among the new posters are the posters "We farmers are responsible for agriculture!", "Let's carry out rice-transplantation effectively in the right season!" and "Let the whole party and state and all people give strong help to the countryside!"

These posters show agricultural workers working hard in a vast cooperative field, keenly aware of their mission to make a main contribution to improving the people's standard of living, tractors carrying manure to fields, trucks transporting farm materials and helpers of farms. They vigorously arouse all the working people to the drive for implementing the Party's policy of agricultural revolution.

Also, B.R Myers has an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that while it might not be the end of the world in 2012, it could be the end of the Kim regime.

Thanks to Greywolf for the heads-up on the article.

Some useless idiots give their support to the DPRK by picketing the US and "running-dog south Korean" embassies in London!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jigsaw Vs. House of Cards

The Economist has an interesting article about climate change. I'm still agnostic on whether human activity is forcing an imminent environmental catastrophe and I'm not fond of the term "climate change" which sounds almost meaningless to me. But what I did think was interesting in the article was the way in which the author thinks the two sides perceive the argument:

In any complex scientific picture of the world there will be gaps, misperceptions and mistakes. Whether your impression is dominated by the whole or the holes will depend on your attitude to the project at hand. You might say that some see a jigsaw where others see a house of cards. Jigsaw types have in mind an overall picture and are open to bits being taken out, moved around or abandoned should they not fit. Those who see houses of cards think that if any piece is removed, the whole lot falls down. When it comes to climate, academic scientists are jigsaw types, dissenters from their view house-of-cards-ists.

I'm sure there will be some climate change dissenters who will also dissent from this characterization of themselves but I have noticed that those who think "climate change" is a myth have a tendency to declare victory very hastily. Some of them certainly did after those e-mails from the University of East Angular were leaked and they did so again when the IPCC got their predictions wrong on the melting of glaciers.

The Economist takes the view that it is best to err on the side of caution with this one and assume that it is happening, partly on the basis that no one can possibly have the expertise to say one way or the other but because there are agreed upon changes that are anthropogenic the effects need to be studied.

I think I can agree with that.

Update: Greywolf, in characteristically temperate manner, enquires:

If climate change sounds almost meaningless to you, why are you ready to agree that it is best to err on the side of caution?

Well, this is a reasonable question, and I'd sooner ditch the term and replace it with what some others have called Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. This is far more explanatory. I agree with the Climate Resistance article that says the debate shouldn't be framed in terms of "climate change is happening" and "climate change isn't happening", because the proposition "climate change is happening" can easily be true in a trivial sense.

Daniel Dennett came up with a word for statements like this. He called them "deepities" which sound like profundities but are only true in a trivial sense.

I made a post on that.

Dennett uses the example of "Love is just a word" and says, sure that's true in a completely trivial sense. In the sense that "Dog is just a word" or "House is just a word" but it isn't true in any earth-shattering way (in this case he points to something called a use-meaning error).

So, I can agree that "climate change is happening" is true in a trivial sense but what's important is whether or not it is true in a profound sense. In that case I would agree with those who prefer to frame the debate as "Is catastrophic anthropogenic global warming happening?"

But I think the conclusion is the same. That it is better to err on the side of catastrophic anthrological global warming happening. In fact, the debate about whether or not it is happening seems to be a minor one compared to the one about the correct response to it in terms of hot air produced so it isn't really a mainstream argument.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Amy Goodman Harassed by WACjobs

We Are Cranks Change have a video up celebrating their successful harassment of left-wing journalist Amy Goodman. Goodman was actually at the scene of the collapse of WTC7 and because of her reputation for investigative journalism and questioning of government abuses of power she has unfortunately become a target for 9/11 conspiracy theorists.

In the video she does agree with some of the conspiracy theorists that further investigation of 9/11 is necessary and she has specified before that such things as the toxicity of the air over Ground Zero should be looked into (something that plenty of non-conspiracy theorists can agree with). But her apparent indulgence of them JAQing off to her has led to her being pursued everywhere she speaks with them demanding that she does some investigation herself (rather than them do it themselves perhaps?) This is typified by the guy with the megaphone yelling at one of her talks captured, apparently approvingly, in this video.

Well, no doubt they do consider themselves to be radical kids fighting the power but it tends to be the kind of thing that irritates the radical left as explained here by one of the editors of Counterpunch.

Maybe they see one of the "elder statesmen" of 9/11 Truth, nutjob Kevin Barrett, as their example. Here he is in action at one of Goodman's talks asking her when she's going to investigate the "controlled demolitions". Well, nothing wrong with waiting his turn to ask a question even if it is nuttier than the nuttiest nut in Nutland on National Nutday. But her answer that she thinks 9/11 should be further investigated has led her to be focus of other Truthers.

The video continues with Kevin Barrett speaking to Goodman after the show asking her to sign a book which she politely declines to do, probably because it is written by the Holocaust-denying weirdo Eric Hufshmid.

If anything this harassment by WAC only goes to further demonstrate that indulgence of 9/11 conspiracy theorists with an "open mind" is far more dangerous than simply calling them loons and telling them to shut up and go away. But don't take my word for it. Kevin Barrett has said the same on his own website:

"Amy, you will one day find yourself on the scaffold, condemned to hang alongside the other Goebbels-style traitors and mass-murder-coverup-conspirators from the corporate media you pretend to criticize.

They, at least, make no pretense of being anything but shills for the powers that be--which makes your crime infinitely worse than theirs."

Oh well, good thing I am an NWO shill and foot-soldier for the 9/11 Lies Movement.

Thanks to Parky at JREF for the heads-up.

ETA: In Dog-Bites-Man news it turns out that one of AE9/11Truth's engineers is a nutter.

St. Patrick's Day

Dislaimer: Yes, there is a bit of Yank-bashing in the song but given that the British are usually the target I don't care.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dylan's High-Water Mark in Osaka

I finally made it to my first Bob Dylan concert last night (March 15th) at Zepp Osaka. My excitement was tinged with trepidation as reports from friends of mine of attending Dylan concerts suggest he is wildly inconsistent either putting on the best or worst performance they have ever seen and I feared the grey drizzly sky of Osaka was a dark omen.

That nagging worry lasted a few seconds into the concert after he strode on to stage in his cowboy hat and began playing at the keyboard. I wondered, “What on Earth is he playing?” Well, it was unfamiliar to me but it didn’t matter, the song rocked and I knew then it was going to be a good night. Later that night I Googled some lines from the song and it seems to be Watching the River Flow – a 1971 single that never appeared on any regular album.

The next song was far more familiar - if unexpected – territory, Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power), in which Bob took centre-stage on harp.

Señor, señor, do you know where we’re headin’?

Lincoln County Road or Armageddon?

Now, his voice has always been the subject of much debate and he has many detractors because of it. Over the years some heretics have even suggested he cannot sing at all, while those who once thought he could have committed a kind of apostasy by declaring he no longer can. Well, while his voice has changed over the years almost as much as his musical style it was and remains one of the most compelling aspects of his music. As he croaked out, “sen-yor! sen-yor!” I wondered how to describe his voice. I could only think of a Japanese word which seems to capture the right nuance and that is shibui. Shibui has a number of meanings, sometimes referring to wine which has an abrasive or rough character, but paradoxically it can also mean refined or - more colloquially – it can simply mean “cool”. Well, tonight his voice was strongly shibui.

The next song was I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight and it was a rare performance with the guitar (he seems not to use the guitar live so much these days).

Well, that mockingbird’s gonna sail away,

We’re gonna forget it.

That big, fat moon is gonna shine like a spoon,

But we’re gonna let it,

You won’t regret it.

I can’t tell you the names of any of Bob’s backing band, but the most prominent of the five was the energetic lead guitarist and a versatile banjo/lap steel/keyboard player. The bassist alternated between acoustic, electric and double bass and they came to the fore particularly in one segment which consisted of songs from his most recent era. I date this era from Love and Theft in which Bob’s music has tended to be some kind of mixture of blues and Cajun (?) music. The highpoint of this was High Water which has some amusing lines:

I got a cravin’ love for blazing speed

Got a hopped-up Mustang Ford

Jump into the wagon, love, throw your panties on the board

I can write you poems, make a strong man lose his mind

I’m no pig without a wig

I hope you treat me kind

Things are breakin’ up out there

High water everywhere

The best section of the show was one in which Bob hopped from keyboard, to harp to guitar on, respectively, Desolation Row, Stuck Inside of Mobile (With the Memphis Blues Again) and the brooding, Man In the Long Black Coat. On Stuck Inside of Mobile, Bob proved (as if proof were needed) what a great harmonica player he is with a mesmerizing solo. The final lines were interspersed with toots on the harp:

Now the bricks lay on Grand Street

Where the neon madmen climb

They all fall there so perfectly

It all seems so well timed

An’ here I sit so patiently

Waiting to find out what price

You have to pay to get out of

Going through all these things twice

Oh, Mama, can this really be the end

To be stuck inside of Mobile

With the Memphis blues again

The album, Highway 61 Revisited, was well represented with four songs being played from it: Desolation Row, Ballad Of A Thin Man, Highway 61 Revisited and the first song of the encore, Like a Rolling Stone. Next was Jolene, one of the best songs on the new album, Together Through Life, and one of the most popular songs of the night judging by the audience reaction.

Finally, Bob addressed the crowd to introduce the band but as he did so a guitar was passed up on to the stage with a letter attached to it. I know very little about guitars but to my untrained eye it appeared to be a Fender Stratocaster. Bob looked momentarily bewildered and said his lead guitarist will love it. Then he told the audience member who had given him the present he was just kidding and said that he liked it a lot before the band roared into a blistering Hendrix-esque All Along the Watchtower to round off a fantastic set.

Any fears that he wouldn’t be at the top of his game tonight had been completely banished and as I stepped back outside into Osaka’s wet weather I pledged to be there the next time Bob Dylan comes to these shores.

Best Song of the Night: Stuck Inside of Mobile (With The Memphis Blues Again)

Overall Rating: 8/10

Update 1: Bill Pagel has put up the set-list on his "Boblinks" website.

1. Watching The River Flow
2. Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power)
3. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight (guitar)
4. High Water (For Charley Patton)
5. The Levee's Gonna Break
6. Tryin' To Get To Heaven
7. Cold Irons Bound
8. Desolation Row
9. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
10. Man In The Long Black Coat (Bob on guitar)
11. Highway 61 Revisited
12. Spirit On The Water
13. Thunder On The Mountain
14. Ballad Of A Thin Man

15. Like A Rolling Stone
16. Jolene
17. All Along The Watchtower

Altogether there are five songs from the albums Time Out Of Mind and Modern Times, neither of which I own, sadly. That explains why there were a few sections of the concert where I didn't know what Bob was playing.

There are two more reviews up on the same site from people who were also there. They seem to agree with my take on the night and have some extra details about the Great Guitar Incident!

Hopefully, some pictures and maybe recordings will also surface. If they do I'll try and update this post again. If anyone already knows of any, please feel free to tell me in the comment box.

Update 2: Super-uploader, Hide, has made this whole show available to download at (Free registration required).

Update 3: "decastro3" has made Señor available individually. More songs from the tour have been collected here. These have all been originally uploaded by Hide. So, many thanks to him!

Update 4: Blogger, Shiffi Le Soy, has a couple of great photographs from the night which seem to really capture the mood. Please also read Shiffi's excellent review here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

9/11 Truth on I'mgonnakickyoassBabble

Just as CNN had Crossfire and the BBC have HardTalk, Russia Today have...CrossTalk!

But whereas Crossfire and HardTalk set up heated adversarial contests between those of opposing views this edition of CrossTalk features three 9/11 Truthers, ex-MI5 agent Annie Machon, the head of a UK organization Re-investigate 9/11 - Ian Henshall, and this blog's favourite Truther AE9/11Troot's Richard Gage!

Richard Gage says you don't have to be a scientist to agree with his "pure science, pure fizzikz" and that nobody can argue with it. That wraps that one up then.

Then some conspiracy theorist called Ian Henshall comes on to protest about being smeared and having strawman arguments made against him and guilt-by-association accusations. Then almost immediately after he characterises the "official story" as some guy in a cave directing 17 [sic] hijackers to fly into buildings and that anyone who believes it is a conspiracy theorist.

They also complain that no one will ever debate them but hang on a minute is that Richard Gage nodding along there at the back?

People debate Richard Gage all the time. For example, here is debating Mark Roberts on the TV show with the very original name, erm...HardFire!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Am Not, Nor Have I Ever Been, a Member of the Truth Movement!

Japanese Diet lawmaker, Yukihisa Fujita of the Democratic Party Japan, was a bit annoyed to have had a Washington Post editorial ridiculing him for being a standard-bearer for 9/11 Truth. So he decided to opt for a standard tactic of the Truth Movement which is to disavow any conspiracy theorizing and instead claim to be just asking questions.

He's hit back with a blogpost, translated here, in which he claims:

At no point did I draw the conclusion that 9/11 was a conspiracy, and I clearly stated that the collapse of the Twin Towers could not be judged to be a result of a controlled demolition. Rather, I stated I had made my speech in the Diet from the stance that it was necessary to investigate the origins of the “War on Terror” from the perspective of assisting the relatives of the victims of 9/11, and in relation to the war in Afghanistan and the provision of humanitarian assistance.

Is this true? (Spoiler warning: NO!)

Fujita's performance in the Diet can be assessed from the following videos. It looks like he's employing the same tedious pedantic questions and supposed concern for the Japanese victims of 9/11 when Fujita himself shows no apparent evidence of speaking on behalf of the victims' families. He merely asks why the Japanese government didn't conduct their own investigation.

Part 2 is here. He first starts out with questions about why the Pentagon didn't have a plane-shaped hole in its side about the width of a 757 and shows a photograph in which a massive gaping hole to the left is clearly visible. He continues to recycle old Truther myths about no wreckage on the lawn and the hole caused by the landing gear couldn't possibly have been made by a plane, Hani Hanjour who piloted the 757 obviously couldn't have hit the Pentagon etc...etc... all the time, no doubt, just asking questions which he would be more than happy to get the answers to. Of course, all of this has been answered, much of his questions are based on wrong premises and he may look back and be profoundly embarrassed one day. Then again, maybe everyone had an entertaining time at the Diet that day.

Part 3 blows Fujita's claim that he didn't believe in or consider a controlled demolition of the Twin Towers as he produces yet more stock material from the Truther's vault such as photographs of the firefighters talking about explosions and how it looked like there was a plan to bring down the buildings. He later gives a Richard Gage-like demonstration of free-fall to explain how WTC7 fell by dropping the 9/11 Commission Report. :-D LOL!

Thanks, I suppose, to "AfterTruth" for putting these videos up (and others about chemtrails - groovy!) even though the same person added a sneaky clip of Larry Silverstein saying "pull it" at the end and implied it was a reference to controlled demolition by referencing Implosion World's use of the term "pull". In good time-honoured lying-Truther fashion the rest of the article around the term pull is blurred but it is just possible to make out the fact that "pulling" a building in controlled demolition parlance is to literally pull a building down with cables. As with many other pieces of Truther "evidence" it has been so blatantly manipulated that it can't have been an honest mistake.

Update:Yukihisa Fujita has written a letter to the Washington Post to complain about the way that the interview was conducted, to point out that his views are not those of his party or government and that, anyway, there is nothing wrong with his views which aren't at all those of a conspiracy theorist...

I believe I am owed an apology for this attempt to damage my credibility by painting me with "poisonous thinking," "conspiratorial views," "intellectually bogus," "lunatic fringe" and "reckless and fact-averse," despite the fact that I had never stated "conspiracy" as such.

Here he is sat next to David Ray Griffin on a panel which also includes Benjamin Fulford and Yumi Kikuchi at a 9/11 Truther convention held in Tokyo in 2008.

And again.

Thanks to NagP for the finding the pictures and the letter to the Washington Post editor.

Update 2: Fujita has now been given a slap on the wrists by DPJ bigwig Tenzo Okumura.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Lordy, Lordy...!

Russia Today continue to bolster their reputable news credentials by talking to none other than one of them kids wot made Loose Change, Jason Bermas. He's made a new film seeking to expose the New World Order. Rather brave of him, I think. Imagine the power the New World Order must weild and here he is blurting it out on Kremlin propaganda station, Russia Today. I would think that would upset them.

Anyway, I haven't watched it yet so if there are any interesting or unintentionally comic moments please summarize in the comments box.

I think I'll try not to watch any more Russia Today, it's making my brain bleed.

Update: While Jason Bermas was talking to Russia Today, his collaborators on Loose Change, Dylan Avery and Korey Rowe were being interviewed for ABC's Nightline. As Avery shrewdly surmises ABC had turned up at the "Treason in America" conference thanks to the news that Pentagon "rage-shooter", John Patrick Bedell was a 9/11 Truther. But instead of answering any questions for fear of providing the Mainstream Media with easy-to-mock soundbites he ends up providing easy-to-mock angry histrionics. I hope, for his sake, he doesn't behave like this at job interviews... or go there with that haircut!

The Nightline segment finally came out looking like this:

Hat tip: Screw Loose Change

Monday, March 08, 2010

Orly Taitz; The Prezdent's an Alien!!!!1!

Russia Today is Crackpot TV.

Orly Taitz has done lots of research and is really bothered by something that no one really cares about. (Bit like me!)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

9/11 Never Happened...

...neither did the Holocaust, there are no gays in Iran, there is no nuclear weapons programme...etc...

Ahmadinejad shows off his comedy schtick!

Update 1: Actually, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency:

The September 11 attack on the US and collapse of twin towers were parts of complicated intelligence move to give enough excuses for them to prepare the ground for invasion of Afghanistan under pretext of fighting terrorism, he said.

The article is mostly about the arrest of Abdulmalek Rigi of Jundallah.

Thanks to Anonymous!

Update 2:Press TV also has the story:

The president described the September 11, 2001 destruction of the twin World Trade Center buildings in New York as a preconceived "scenario and a sophisticated intelligence measure" and emphasized that the 9/11 incident was a "big lie intended to serve as a pretext for fighting terrorism and setting the grounds for sending troops to Afghanistan."

"Depredation, bullying and killing the reality of humanity are the outcomes of the capitalist way of thinking," Ahmadinejad said on Saturday.

Update 3: As Marylander reminds us in the comments, Ahmadinejad's loony remarks are a far cry from the far more poignant reactions by many in Iran to the 9/11 attacks:


A new book is being published this month on the subject of the dust from the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11th 2001.

The author, Paul Lioy, is Professor of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at Rutgers University, and an expert on air pollution and toxicity.

I expect him to confirm Steven Jones' discovery of top secret military grade magic explosives in his book.

Thanks to Big Al at JREF for pointing it out.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Girl From the North Country

As it's 10 days until BD-Day, I thought I'd put up this video of Bob Dylan singing "Girl From the North Country" with the late Johnny Cash.

Thanks to mexicathug for putting up the video.

Although I'm already quite familiar with the song I didn't own a copy of it until I went to Osaka's Tower Records today where lots of Bob's CDs were being sold at very cheap prices in anticipation of Bob's forthcoming tour of Japan this month.

I bought Nashville Skyline, Bringing It All Back Home and John Wesley Harding today.

I'm sorry if this is not interesting for anyone. Have a listen to this:

Thanks to betazos for putting this version up.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Conspiracy Generator

Wired magazine has a Conspiracy Generator to make any conspiracy theory you like.

For example:

Are you kidding me? The establishment of the Human Rights Industry was a total sham! Think about it! Everyone knows that it was only a Western tool to crush the Soviets. And have you noticed that the lamestream media has started to act very strangely? They obviously don’t want this story getting out. I mean, what would happen if people began asking does MI* conduct Stasi-like zerzetsen black-ops?? Well, they may be able to fool the sheeple, but the members of Still-running posse aren't swallowing their story. Look, don’t take it from me; Pierre Sane of Amnesty International is convinced as well. But we have to act fast, because there's been a lot of street theatre about. I just wanted you to be aware of this, in case I disappear.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Paul Craig Roberts' Paranoid Style

Crypto-Truther, Paul Craig Roberts is JAQing off about the events of 9/11.

He wants to know:

How did three World Trade Center skyscrapers suddenly disintegrate into fine dust?


How did massive steel beams in three skyscrapers suddenly fail as a result of short-lived, isolated, and low temperature fires?

Well, as a partial answer to the first, two passenger planes loaded with fuel crashed into the Twin Towers. which led to their collapses. One of those collapsed into the third skyscraper and set that on fire.

Of course, that makes the second slightly easier to answer too. The question is wrong. In fact none of the skyscrapers fell down as a result of "short-lived, isolated, and low temperature fires". As a former assistant secretary of Ronald Reagan I would have thought he'd be a bit more informed than that. WTC7 fell down after burning for seven hours and according to many reports the fires were not small or isolated.

Paul Craig Roberts is writing in response to a Washington Times article about AE9/11 Truth's recent "press conference". Of course, it would be cheeky to point out that none of the press turned up to it and that the Washington Times is not a real newspaper anyway, so I won't do that. Instead, I'll focus on the merits of his "argument" which is essentially to say that his compatriates are a bunch of complete idiots who'll believe anything.

There will always be Americans who will believe whatever the government tells them no matter how many times they know the government has lied to them.

Isn't there a logical contradiction somewhere in that statement? Americans believe their government even when they know their government is lying? It's a tricky feat to pull off.

...more than half of the U.S. population still believes the fantastic story that the Government has told them about 9/11, a Muslim conspiracy that outwitted the entire Western world.

What's so fantastic about it? A group of guys hijacked planes. It's been done before, many times. They hijacked them almost simultaneously. That too is not unheard of. Then they flew them into buildings. That bit was all but unprecedented but we certainly know people have attempted similar things.

What is it about what Roberts calls the Government story that he finds so incredible? Is it the Muslim thing? Surely he's not one of those people who think that Muslims can't fly planes or outsmart a "Westerner" yet I can't see what else he is alluding to that makes it so "fantastic".

Americans first heard of Osama bin Laden because the Bush regime pinned the 9/11 attacks on him.

What is this? Is he really saying here, that he first heard of Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks? Again, for someone who once had a high position in government one would expect him to have been better informed than that. Or maybe not.

Then suddenly last year a new 9/11 "mastermind" emerged to take bin Laden's place, the captive Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the detainee who was waterboarded 183 times until he confessed to masterminding the 9/11 attack.

What is he talking about? Khalid Sheikh Mohammed did not "suddenly emerge" last year!

This goes on and on for the rest of the article. With Roberts excoriating the "naifs" in his supercilious manner, ridiculing everyone for their stupidity while unself-consciously exposing his own ignorance throughout building up to an eschatological crescendo:

The morons in Washington are pushing the envelope of nuclear war.

The insane drive for American hegemony threatens life on earth. The American people, by accepting the lies and deceptions of "their" government, are facilitating this outcome.

Paul Craig Roberts has noticably been becoming ever more alarmist about the near future which reminds me of one of Richard Hofstadter's characteristics of the "paranoid style" in American politics:

The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms—he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization. He constantly lives at a turning point. Like religious millenialists he expresses the anxiety of those who are living through the last days and he is sometimes disposed to set a date for the apocalypse.

And yes, I hope to get round to finishing off my post on Hofstadter before the apocalypse.