This week’s guest on Real Politik is Islamic Studies scholar, journalist, and pioneer 9/11 Truth activist Kevin Barrett. Dr. Barrett discusses his most recent book, We Are Not Charlie Hebdo: Free Thinkers Question the French 9/11, an exciting new volume featuring contributions from Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Dr. Webster Tarpley, Barbara Honegger, Alain Soral, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, and many more.
Barrett holds a doctorate in Arabic Studies from The University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is a regular columnist at Iran’s PressTV, an editor at Veterans Today, and the host of his long-running interview program Truth Jihad Radio. Barrett is also the author of Truth Jihad: My Epic Struggle Against the 9/11 Big Lie (Progressive 2006) and Questioning the War on Terror: A Primer for Obama Voters (Khadir, 2009).
Dr. Barrett was driven out of the US academy close to 10 years ago following a relentless campaign by Wisconsin state GOP leaders. Since then he has taken up education through the alternative media. “I think it’s very beneficial on a personal level,” he notes.
I think that if you get too comfortable in the academy you lose your edge, to say the least. The whole academy is built on a lot of petty territorial bickering and everybody is producing stuff that very few people are going to want to read.
I was able to coexist OK with most of the people in the various places I worked, including San Francisco State University, Contra Costa College, out in the Bay Area, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, but I noticed there were swirling around me these unfortunate aspects of what people do in the academy.
I’d always thought that we were supposed to be the conscience of the nation, you know? The public intellectual had a role to play as the watchdog–sort of like the media was supposed to be. I grew up when Watergate was in the news. So I majored in journalism as an undergraduate. I was then disillusioned with mainstream journalism and realized that literature was better writing. In fact, that’s the definition of literature, really, what everyone agrees is the most important and best writing that’s ever been written.
So I studied that, and I noticed that Noam Chomsky was telling hard truths about the horrible oppression of American imperialists all over the world. I thought, “This looks like a nice gig. You get paid and you can serve as the conscience of your community and do hard intellectual work.” But once I was involved I saw all the petty territorial issues and noticed that the courage to really question things is not always there.
Around this time the events of September 11, 2001 changed Kevin’s orientation toward university life completely.
I was already half-dissilussioned with the academy when 9/11 came along. It took me two years to figure out that 9/11 was not just a false flag operation, but an obvious one. They left so much evidence. Apparently a lot of people screwed up that day. I picked that one up and ran with it. I did teach ins, did research, published, and then got railroaded by politicians–Republicans in the Wisconsin state legislature, under the direction of Karl Rove and Lynne Cheney presumably. They [wanted] to make an example of me to scare away professors [from examining 9/11]. So ever since then I’ve been in this kind of netherworld. They call me a “noted scholar” at Press TV, which is not exactly right. But what I’m doing now is seeking the truth, and trying to publicize the truth and educate the larger community. And I think that’s what really the academy should be doing. Here at the University of Wisconsin the “Wisconsin idea” is to be educating the entire community–the entire state–and not just the folks in the university. I think I’m doing it better than they are right now.
We Are NOT Charlie Hebdo is a provocative and far-ranging examination of how public emotions can be manipulated in the wake of a mediated event–what Bakunin termed “the propaganda of the act.” Deemed “France’s 9/11,” the Charlie Hebdo event is especially noteworthy because it embodies all of the elements that have propped up the “war on terror” for close to 15 years. With the suggestion of Islam as the principal source of religious fanaticism, powerful forces have once again employed mass media and public relations to fan public prejudice, thereby paving the way for a murderous foreign policy abroad and further intensification of the police state at home.
“There’s really a kind of a war going on between what I would call post-Judaism, or “Holocaustianity,” Barrett argues.
It’s not really Judaism anymore. It’s a new secular ideology that worships the Holocaust that has founded the state of Israel, and I believe that ideology is really just a tool of the international banksters. So these people are dupes, really They’re not the ultimate bad guys. But those people are at war with Islam. They’re stealing Islamic holy land. They’re basically at war with more than 1.5 billion Muslims. In order to keep that project going and succeed at it, the only way they can do it is to hijack the West and send the West to war against their enemies–that is, against the religion and people of Islam. That’s really the bottom line of what’s going on. The blasphemy against Christianity, a lot of it is coming from the same people–these sort of post-Jewish Holocaustians and extreme secularists who really hate Christianity even more than they hate Islam.