Psychology of Holocaust deniers & 9/11 deniers

I was thinking all morning about posting on this subject, then a pen pal in Israel, Howard, a marksmanship instructor for the IDF, sent me an e-mail along the same lines.  I therefore can simply post the exchange I had with him:

From: Howard in Israel
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006 9:46 AM
To: GPOSUMMARY
Subject: Fw: Headlines and Editorials

Friends:

The other night Israeli TV news reported that a recent survey in the USA determined that a third of all Americans believe that there was US government complicity in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  I find it hard to believe.  I also find it hard to believe that a group of 75 (?) university professors say the evidence of such complicity is undeniable.

If the TV report is correct, all I can do is shake my head in disbelief.

Howard
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To which I replied:

Funny you should mention that.  I was just commenting to my wife this morning that I believed I had identified a parallel between Holocaust deniers and 9/11 deniers.  Yes, it is true that there are a number of Americans, many of them college professors and administrators, who are touting the notion that the twin towers were brought down in a “controlled demolition” and the Pentagon was hit with an American cruise missile.

My hypothesis is that, just as Holocaust deniers are the very ones who agree with the Nazi’s “Final Solution”, so too are the 9/11 deniers the very same people who hate capitalism and especially international free trade.  To put it another way, they agree with the premises of the terrorists, though their rationalizations may be slightly different.

I’m no psychologist, and I cannot begin to explain why those who most agree with the anti-Semitic premises for the Holocaust would be the ones most likely to deny that it happened, or that those who most agree that Western capitalism is the root of all evil in the world would deny that the attack on the World Trade Center was perpetrated by anti-Western, anti-capitalists, but I find this fascinating.

Lyle

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Update, 9/12/:

Lyle:
“Fascinating” is the politest term used so far.
Howard

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They just lost another soldier this morning in Gaza.  He isn’t joking at all about any of this.