HOST: Hi, this is Dr. Kevin Barrett of Truth Jihad.Com. You may know me as the host of a certain controversial radio show, namely “The Kevin Barrett Show,” heard every Tuesday right here on No Lies Radio. No Lies Radio offers fearless and honest coverage of the 9/11 truth movement, and is a rapidly growing source of alternative news and information. Please help us continue to grow. You can support No Lies Radio, and my show, both by ordering either or both of my books as a thank-you gift with your donation, to No Lies Radio. These books, “Questioning the War on Terror,” and “Truth Jihad,” are collector’s editions that are personally autographed by yours truly. I urge you to go to the donate page at No Lies Radio.org, and make this happen. [musical interlude]
Welcome, this is the Kevin Barrett Show; I’m your host, Kevin Barrett. My website is Truth Jihad.com. Every week here, I try to bring you the most important voices that aren’t being heard as widely as they should. And that certainly applies to today’s guest. One of the most illustrious people I’ve ever had as a repeat radio guest on this show, Richard Falk.
Richard Falk is a Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University. He is currently the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights for the Palestinian Territories, and he just submitted a report on that, which we’ll be talking about. He is the author, editor, or co-author, co-editor of more than 40 books, which are required reading for anybody interested in peace and justice, and how international law can affect those.
He wrote a book called The Great Terror War, published by Interlink in 2002, and it was shortly after that in 2003 that David Ray Griffin was working on his first book, “The New Pearl Harbor.” David started out by writing a magazine article that grew into a book, and most of the major publishers didn’t want to touch it with a proverbial ten-foot pole.
Richard apparently helped David get hooked up with Interlink, which has been the publisher of David Ray Griffin’s magnificent 9/11 truth books ever since. Richard introduced that with a wonderful introduction in “The New Pearl Harbor,” and he wrote a great blurb for David’s latest book, “Cognitive Infiltration,” and Obama appointees’ plan to, now I’m forgetting the subtitle, the plan to, against the 9/11 conspiracy theory. Oh boy, my memory is already starting to fail.
Anyway, Richard is doing fantastic work for human rights, and Palestine has seen in particular over the past several years with the United Nations. It’s always an honor to have him on the show. So without further ado, welcome Richard Falk, how are you Richard?
FALK: Well thank you very much Kevin, that was a very glorious introduction that I hope I can live up to in the next hour.
HOST: Well I’m sure you will. We’ve done this before, and you are a very articulate person who has thought through these matters of truth, justice and international law so carefully. Unlike so many you have the courage to say things forcefully and clearly. Your work on Palestine is very important. You have an article titled “Slouching Toward Palestinian Holocaust” that seems to convey the sense of urgency you feel about deteriorating human rights situation in Palestine. Tell us a little bit about how you got involved with this issue.
FALK: Well I think it’s a long story that goes back maybe a decade or so, and arose out of a general concern with the use of force and denial of self-determination that was associated with the way in which Israel was behaving toward the Palestinian people; particularly after the 1967 war. But really, if one looked more deeply, ever since it was established in 1948, and although I have a Jewish background myself, I felt committed to these issues from the perspective of international law which is my training, and in a sense the core teaching commitment I have had over the years. My interest in these kinds of issues I guess goes back to my opposition to the American role in the Vietnam War where I was very active in invoking international law as an appropriate restraint on American foreign policy. Both for normative or ethical reasons, but also for pragmatic reasons that in this period of declining colonialism, international law is a helpful discipline for the powerful, because hard power doesn’t get you very much in the world we’re living in today, and unfortunately the United States and Israel are still addicted to hard power solutions to conflict situations…
HOST: When I contacted you to do this interview, I think it was right after Ahmadinejad had given that speech at the UN in which he, basically spoke up for 9/11 truths and basically said the same thing that I have been saying for years. Of course that was met with a U.S. walk-out. I love the Fox News article about this by the way, the headline was something like “Ahmadinejad Gets Standing Ovation for Speech at the U.N. for Saying U.S. Did 9/11” Unlike the other American news reports which tried to marginalize Ahmadinejad, the Fox report, honestly pointed out that when Ahmadinejad went before the U.N., he got a standing ovation and despite the walk-out of a handful of countries, the more than 100 countries remained, the vast majority remained in the room and gave him another standing ovation when he finished his truth speech. Does this indicate that we are living in a world in which, for instance polls show that ¾ of the world’s Muslims know that 9/11 was an inside job, whereas it’s only about 1/3 of the American people, are we seeing a real polarization of world views around this issue? Do you think Muslims could, by become more vocal and united on this issue, as I’m trying to help happen with Muslims with 9/11 truth, can we change the way that Middle East Policy is perceived by calling into question the events of 9/11?
FALK: I think it’s possible, it’s very hard to say how that would play out, but I think it’s possible. Of course the truth is a positive value of its own, and even aside from whether it has these secondary effects, it’s important to speak the truth in matters that are so vital to understanding the integrity and legality of our own governing process. I would add one word about Ahmadinejad; I had a message from a friend in Lebanon who said his recent visit to Lebanon was greeted with the greatest enthusiasm expressed toward any foreign leader in the history of the country. [This] is an indication of how far we, in this country, and our media, are disconnected with the mood and climate of opinion elsewehere. Lebanon is a country that wasn’t particularly thought of as even being in the Islamic world, it’s as a divided country. But Iran did a great deal to help the reconstruction of Lebanon after the 2007 devastating air attacks by Israel, and the people of the country recognize this, and express their thanks and gratitude toward Ahmadinejad, as well as his position on the Israel-Palestine conflict. I think it is very, somehow, important that like your own try to break through this wall of deception that the American people have been living behind for so long now that they don’t even understand that they are being manipulated in a very dangerous and self-destructive way.
HOST: Well this friendly greeting, more than friendly this overwhelming greeting that Ahamdinejad got in Lebanon is just another example that the neo-cans aphorism that it’s better to be feared than loved may have its limits. Don’t you think?
FALK: Yes. I think that that notion of better feared than loved is part of what I earlier was talking about in terms of hard power addiction. This sense that history is shaped by military superiority, I think no longer expresses historical reality, and hasn’t since the end of WWII, where almost all of the colonial were won by that was weaker militarily. Our own experience in Vietnam should have taught us, but didn’t that you can win every battle inside the territory that is experiencing the conflict, and yet lose the war. We can’t absorb that lesson until we keep repeating the failure.
HOST: Indeed, continuing the same cycle of destruction, even as our economy goes off the cliff. Well Richard, you said you saw David Ray Griffin, our very admired mutual friend, just a week ago, and that he’s feeling better. I know my listeners probably know that he suffered a very serious illness late this summer. He is feeling better, and in good spirits and committed to the causes of truth and justice?
FALK: Definitely. He’s had a difficult and painful time, it wasn’t really an illness so much as a back surgery that went wrong because he had an infection, a staph infection, that was associated with his time in a hospital, and that, in turn induced this small stroke. He was a casualty of contemporary medical practices I’m afraid.
HOST: Well, hospitals are not the best places to be if you can possibly avoid them, that’s for sure. You’ve offered words of praise for his most recent book, on Cass Sunstein the Obama advisor who wrote that outrageous article urging the government to infiltrate the 9/11 truth movement, and disable the purveyors of conspiracy theories and so on, which would seem to be wildly unconstitutional. What’s your take on David’s book and why Cass Sunstein would be so extreme in his urging the government to drop the constitution and take down the 9/11 truth movement?
FALK: Well, of course very speculative, I think that Griffin’s book is a devastating critique of the Sunstein position. The Sunstein position seems to reflect either an implicit or explicit anxiety in the power elite that is running this country that they have to do everything they can to discredit those that are questioning the official version of what took place on 9/11. That they do this in part by pretending that by calling something a conspiracy theory, you’ve eliminated the need to investigate the factual reality of what took place. The liberal press has gone along with that to a frightening degree because they seem to feel that their reputation depends on not endorsing any kind conspiracy notion or anything that is labeled a conspiracy, unless of course it comes from a progressive source, in which case they jump to establish a conspiracy theory. [The liberal press] are very ready ever since the Cold War, to call any sympathy with progressive causes as the basis for criminal accountability. You see that in the pursuit of some Muslim religious figures, not only here, but in Western Europe and elsewhere.
HOST: Do you think the liberal media will ever review on of David Ray Griffin’s books? Let’s go ahead and do full disclosure. I recently contacted the editor of a progressive magazine here in Madison, Wisconsin, Matt Rothschild who I see occasionally. We have differences of opinion about 9/11, but he did stand up for my academic freedom when I was under the gun by the State Legislature, so I appreciate that. I contacted him and asked whether he would run a review of David Ray Griffin’s book Cognitive Infiltration if it were written by such a great guy as Richard Falk, and I haven’t heard back from him yet. Would you review David’s book if a major left publication would publish it?
FALK: Yes I’d be glad to do that. We’ll see what happens. So far, the blackout has been pretty systemic and it speaks pretty badly for the quality of democracy that someone who is a scholar of David’s observer of contemporary events cannot even receive a critical hearing much less a sympathetic hearing, which I think he deserves.
HOST: Indeed, it is mind boggling that if those who disagree with a 9/11 truth case really wanted to shoot it down, and they believe it to be false, why don’t they organize a very widely viewed public forum. Why don’t they give it plenty of attention, why don’t they let David Ray Griffin make his case and let the details show why that case is wrong. Cass Sunstein and the editors of the nation won’t do that.
FALK: Yes, it’s revealing. I think about a certain self-censorship that I think is partially a legacy of the Cold War and partly a consequence of trying to stay at the table even if you’re at the very end of the table. These left-liberal organs of opinions don’t want to seem as if they’re “irresponsible,” with that word responsibility as being ideologically manipulated by the power wielders.
HOST: There seems to be a somewhat different atmosphere here in the US than in Europe, where there’s a tradition of partisan journalism, and it seems to me the European muckrakers are more likely to go after the powerful with no holds barred. Where as here, our left press seems to be pretty timid, especially with our upsetting issues like 9/11, the assassination of both the Kennedys, Martin Luther King as well, and so on.
FALK: Yes they can go after scandals or those kinds of issues, forms of domestic issues, but it’s very difficult, as soon as you touch on foreign policy or so-called national security issues
HOST: Here in the USA it’s not supposed to be this way. We’re supposed to be an anti- imperial power; we were not supposed to have a standing army. Do you think it’s the US history of the endless conquest of the frontiers, a sort of manifest destiny, that’s led us to this place where the national security rights of empire trump everything?
FALK: I think yes, I think it’s a cumulative process that is historically reinforced by the frontier violence in our early history. Since WWII, a condition of permanent war that has militarized the governmental bureaucracy to an unprecedented degree and that puts us in the situation where it’s extremely difficult for our elected leaders to think outside the military box.
HOST: Well, we better start thinking that way, because the way things are going; we’re going to be broke, maybe with civil conflict, lost colonial wars overseas. This country is not heading in the right direction. But it’s truth speakers and serious scholars with integrity like you Richard, who at least give me hope that the best of this country can salvage something from this situation. We’ve reached the end of the hour, as always it’s been a wonderful conversation, I thank you so much for coming on the show God bless you and your work, and hope to stay in touch.
FALK: As always it’s a great pleasure to be with you Kevin, keep up your great work.
HOST: Thanks Richard, appreciate it.
FALK: That’s Richard Falk the UN Special Rapporteur the Palestinian Territories, Professor Emeritus at Princeton University, and one of my personal heroes. I’m Kevin Barrett on the air for Truth Jihad.com.