Watergate was a viable accusation because it could be proved with recordings of the entire affair. Clinton's sexgate could be proved because there were people, individuals, who could vouch for what had happened. However, in this case, there is no actual proof, only mere assertions.
One of the things that is entirely bothersome in this book, tied to what was mentioned previously, is the fact that Michael Moore seems to find an incredible talent of blaming any insignificant dysfunctional issue in the American society on the White House and the Administration in general. In my opinion, one of the very strong examples in this sense is revealed in the very first chapter of the book, entitled "The Sad and Sordid Whereabouts of bin Cheney and bin Bush."
Already, the title itself expresses the very aggressive, subjective stance that Michael Moore is choosing to use in this book. You can actually criticize in a decent, polite fashion, but he chooses an aggressive language, not necessarily satirical or as a caricature, but impolite and unworthy for a critical opinion. However, this is not the point here.
The topic of this chapter is things you can no longer take on the plane (yes, very interesting...) and, distinctly, the problem that butane lighters were still allowed on the plane, despite the fact that passengers were not allowed with other objects just as dangerous. He is then proceeding to suggest that this is because of the fact that cigarette producers have lobbied with the White House to pass on an act that allows lighters on airplanes. We have a total of 1429 words trying to convince us, with the usual Michael Moore rhetoric, that the cigarette producers are the source of all evils, because they are the cause due to which lighters are on planes
This is just a pretext, as we read on, we find out that "unless there was no real threat at all. The hard and difficult questions must be asked: Is the "War on Terrorism" a ruse, a concoction to divert the citizens' attention." Obviously, Michael Moore is developing his theory of conspiracy from the very first pages of his book...and he keeps committing to this aim throughout the book. The ties he makes are truly amazing: remember, we had started with the materials that were banned on planes, reached lighters (that were not banned), went through to not prove that the cigarette producers had obviously lobbied this at the highest levels of decision, only to pinpoint the obvious: war on terrorism is a diversion.
He goes on about this: "what if Bush and Co. need, desperately need, that "terrorist threat" more than anything in order to conduct the systematic destruction they have launched against the U.S. constitution and the good people of this country who believe in the freedoms and liberties it guarantees?"
As all theories of conspiracy, this one is just as impossible to prove. The people who might be talking are not really in a position from which to have/know revelatory details of putting the plan into action. As always with a theory of conspiracy, you are basing your discussion on circumstantial evidence, which might make you look like a fool in the eyes of the reader and certainly not like a serious researcher and analyst.
Probably the main issue of discussion throughout Michael Moore's book is that his assumptions are never sustained by arguable facts. We are in no position to jump to conclusions when all his arguments and reasoning are purely circumstantial. In general, circumstantial evidence is not accepted in a court of law and this should also be the case here. We cannot convict an entire administration with a butane lighter.
1. Moore, Michael. Stupid White Men...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation! Regan Books; 1 edition (February 19, 2002
Stupid White Men: Online Chapters "The Sad and Sordid Whereabouts of bin Cheney and bin Bush" a Free Online Chapter addition to "Stupid White Men" Part One: "What Does a 99-cent Bic Lighter Tell Us About the Bush War on Terrorism?." On the Internet at http://www.michaelmoore.com/books-films/stupidwhitemen/onlinechapters/part01.php.Last retrieved on June 8, 2007