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Why I Trust Michael Moore Part 2

This is a follow up to Why I Trust Michael Moore Part 1

So apparently Michael Moore is engaging in conspiracy theory. It must be so, as all his critics agree; the politicians, the pundits, even writers of letters to the editor. Surely they can't all be wrong, though I wish they had done the courteous thing and said just which parts of Fahrenheit 911 were conspiracy theory, because I'm not seeing it, though I am trying to think it through. Perhaps a process of elimination will tell me which parts were twisted.

It can't be the story of Bush sitting in front of an elementary class for seven minutes after getting the news of a second plane hitting the World Trade Center. The way it destroys Bush's claim of strong leadership would make it a prime candidate to be fake, but there's the video as proof. Common sense would seem to indicate that when the country is currently under attack, a president would want to find out some details, make himself available for making decisions, all that good stuff. Especially when he was the one that received the briefing a month earlier warning that this attack was about to happen, his presence might be useful when the people who work for him are trying to figure out what happened and what to do next. Good thing the terrorists didn't know he stayed another 20 minutes even after leaving the classroom. So nope, that's not the conspiracy theory.

Could it be the parts about war profiteering? The film does make it look like the war was a drastic example of crony capitalism. It can't be as bad as portrayed, can it? Of course, Dick Cheney still draws deferred compensation from the biggest contractor, but he would be sensitive to the conflict of interest, wouldn't he? After all, if there really were anything to the notion that he's doing favors to his old company, weird things would be happening, like Halliburton (the name of his old company) would be getting big contracts and not even having to bid on them, or they would overcharge the government and no one would do anything about it unless enough ruckus got raised in public, and, oh wait, those things did happen. Halliburton must surely be the exception, because other contractors don't do that, except maybe those who showed up at the conference for wannabe contractors and were told there is a bunch of money to be made in Iraq. Apparently that's not the conspiracy either.

Maybe the part about the election in Florida is the conspiracy theory. Trying to draw uneasy conclusions from common events is the act of a conspiracy theorist, acting like it's unusual to have a funny things happen in a state where one candidate's brother just happens to be the governor. That happens all the time, right? Okay, bad example. But the state secretary of state not only running the election, but running one campaign, that's common, isn't it? Actually, it might be best if that weren't a common occurrence. Moreover, unfortunate as it was that the purging of felons from the voter registration list just happened to target Blacks, and removed many who weren't felons, that couldn't have been on purpose. If that were the case, it would probably happen again, which seems impossible. Surely Florida's Republicans couldn't be that sleazy. Oh wait, they did try it again just this Spring. Blacks were removed again while Republican leaning groups weren't, and the state wouldn't show anyone the list except after Freedom of Information Act requests, and then they dropped the whole list. Okay, bad example. A better example is that the Florida Republicans took the problems with electronic voting machines seriously enough to tell their members to ask for absentee ballots. Oops, Jeb Bush is telling everyone else that the machines have no problems. His older brother is calling Florida a model for running elections. Never mind.

Oh of course, it must be the stuff about the connections between the Bush family and the Saudis. Certainly being in business with the Bin Ladens looks bad, but that's not enough. Being friends with the Saudi royal family looks unusually close for one powerful family and another, but they have that power and oil money thing in common. Of course, all the money the Bush's get from the Saudis looks awkward when Senior and Junior are on the government payroll, but still doesn't suggest much unless something big happens that involves the Saudis. Let's see, did anything big happen? Well, there was that 911 thing, where 15 of the highjackers were Saudis, and the mastermind was the Bin Ladens' black sheep. Perhaps they were encouraged by the virulent form of Islamic fundamentalism the Saudis allow to dominate the country they run. Maybe a lifetime of hearing hatred preached about Jews, Christians, the West in general, and America of course, might have had something to do with it.

None of that means anything though except there's grounds for suspicion, reason to ask some questions. It's not like the Bush administration did anything like gather up a bunch of Saudis and all the Bin Ladens they could find and spirit them out of the country. Oh wait, they did do that. But come on, surely they would have done that no matter what country the highjackers came from. Wouldn't they? If 911 had been carried out by a bunch of Mongolians, Bush would have gotten them out of the country too, right? Or if Pres. Clinton had gotten the Saudis out of the country when the investigation was just getting started, conservatives would have been just a quiet as they were when Bush did. After all, they never engaged in conspiracy theory attacks on Clinton…never mind. Bad example.

All right Moore bashers, help me out here. Which part of Fahrenheit 911 was conspiracy theory again?

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