On a bitterly cold evening, in a damp and draughty building, about forty people braved the conditions and the conditioning to view a film about something one man said would “…set the course for this new century and determine the destiny of millions across the world.” That heroic figure was George W Bush, on September 11th 2001.
Since then of course, wars have been launched on Afghanistan and Iraq, and threatened against other countries that happen to be important for American and British oil companies. Military budgets have been increased and social programmes slashed. At the same time, draconian new laws have been brought in across the western world, which potentially threaten anyone who dares to speak up against the rule of the rich. So what are we going to do about it?
Well, Liverpool-born Tim Bleasdale (son of dramatist Alan) has made a 78 minute film, which provoked applause, cheers and tears at its Roscoe Street screening. Combining footage taken from other 9/11 videos, news reports and speeches from experts, Bleasdale plants the seed of doubt in the viewer’s mind, then nurtures it with a sprinkling of darkly paranoid music and the obligatory Hitler references. The effect would be unsettling even for the most devout of Bush’s bible belt believers, and many in the audience were visibly shaken.
So is Bleasdale right? Was the whole thing an American set-up? Quite possibly. Of course, the nature of these things is that very few people actually know for sure, otherwise much more would have come out by now. Certainly, key people within the Bush government went on record in hoping for a ‘new Pearl Harbor’, which would allow them to do everything they have done since. Certainly, it has become clear that intelligence agencies knew about plans to crash planes into buildings, and even identified the eventual hijackers, when they were still taking flying lessons in the US. After watching Bleasdale’s film, it seems there are serious differences between the official explanations and the way in which the three towers collapsed. Yes, I did say three. You didn’t hear about the ‘pulling’ of the seventh tower? Oh yeah, the World Trade Center’s new owner made a lot of money on that one.
But the crucial point is this, every minute we spend looking at grainy images of explosions and bits of concrete is another minute we have spent not stopping any wars. Even if it was possible to make a film which 100% convinced every single viewer that the Bush administration organised a massive act of violence against Americans, very few people would ever get to see it, due to the fact that it would get zero corporate media coverage. But hundreds of millions of people on both sides of the Atlantic want an end to the violence abroad and the repression at home. Surely it makes sense to focus on that.
The truth will out eventually, but in the meantime we have a world to save.
If you’ve got an hour or so before you organise in your workplace or neighbourhood to stop this madness, it won’t do you any harm to watch the film.