45% of British Muslims believe 9/11 was US/Israel conspiracy…

…according to this link.

We battled a few days back about the root causes of British (i.e. your standard pub-crawling, footie-loving, Fawlty Towers-watching British) anti-Americanism. I argued that the most basic causes are deeply irrational and built around distorted views of America and American foreign policy fostered and perpetuated by clowns like Noam Chomsky who is viewed in Britain (indeed in all of Europe) as a respectable voice on such issues.

So what to do with this 45% problem? I’d argue that it’s connected to the first problem. These 45% live in a world where the primary outlets for news, information and current events analysis make next to no effort to fairly represent America and American motivations. The vaguest shadows of Halliburton merit a lengthy BBC news piece (which will carefully avoid mentioning that Halliburton’s current government “super contract” was signed by the Clinton administration in 1999, thus making it possible to quietly conclude that Dick “Sinister” Cheney’s ties to the company are somehow driving American foreign policy in order to benefit his good ole boys ). The BBC paints every American event, crisis or otherwise, in the least charitable view possible. The BBC and other British and European news outlets thus enable hatred of the West and with it (rather ironically) themselves by creating a news environment where it requires very little effort to believe the very worst that can believed about America, Israel and Tony Blair.




  1. Stuart, you might be interested in a current discussion happening elsewhere about the growing popularity in America of such conspiracy notions of U.S. government complicity or even outright perpetration of 9/11. BYU’s own Steve Jones is driving some of this fervor with his papers about the collapse of the three World Trade Center buildings and his participation in Scholars for 9/11 Truth.

    As for your observations about the BBC’s role in perpetuating anti-Americanism, I agree but only to a certain extent. My view of the BBC is that they make perhaps more of an effort to provide balanced coverage than you are giving them credit for. British newspaper media, however, is a different matter entirely, and fosters reactionary, uninformed anti-Americanism in precisely the way you describe.


  2. Yeah, Steve Jones findings have been quite emphatically disavowed by his colleagues at BYU and his article was not published in a peer-reviewed (i.e. reviewed by the relevant peers, like structural engineers) journal. Total crackpot. Looks bad for for BYU.


  3. I’ll second this. Watch the BBC and you will want to learn voodoo so you can torture Bush and Olmert. I’m currently giving Sky News a go. Then I’ll try ITV and Channel 4. I feel a post coming on…


  4. Upon further reflection, I tentatively second this. I mean, there’s a huge leap from liberal snootiness towards America and crazy Muslim conspiracy theories. Isn’t there?

    And John, I think the Guardian and Independent may be guilty of this at times, but you’ll find the Times and the Telegraph much more friendly.


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