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Though they have been with us for millennia, Conspiracy theories are today enjoying their first golden age. The internet, social networking and the technology of instant global communication have made starting a rumour or advancing a minority viewpoint as easy as sending an email.
You’ll undoubtedly know the more popular theories… al-Qaeda didn’t knock the Twin Towers down for Islamic reasons. They did it for the military-industrial complex and their employer, the CIA. The Pentagon wasn’t hit by al-Qaeda at all and the evidence that it had been was achieved by a cruise missile, fired on government orders. JFK was taken out for taking on the federal reserve. Princess Diana was guided into a concrete pillar by an Israeli hit squad. etc.. etc..
Most ordinary, well-adjusted people take these claims with a pinch of salt. Looked at closely, none of them bear relation to historical reality, and the people that formulate them usually have a few skeletons in their own closet.
Nevertheless, we must never rule out conspiracy in general. Conspiracies do happen, and some of them have changed the World we live in.
The 6 million Jews destroyed like unwanted livestock by the Nazi State were the victims of a conspiracy. A conspiracy so bizarre in fact that it makes 9/11 Truth claims seem almost feasible. How much stranger is a false-flag attack than the secretly planned project to wipe out a people?
There is always an element of truth in a conspiracy idea, even if that truth has been doctored along the way in order to conform to a wrong-headed thesis. And sometimes, even if rarely, a theory that seems crazy turns out to be entirely correct.
Among those circulating on the internet today, I only want to look at one. Namely, the theory that Islamist movements are being directed, armed and sponsored by the United States of America in order to topple regimes it doesn’t like.
Proponents of this argument include Alex Jones; the excitable Texan radio host who sees everything from the warped angle of a comic book detective. The followers of Ron Paul and Glenn Beck have also voiced the same suspicion, and the theory has millions of adherents across the political spectrum.
On the face of it, this isn’t necessarily ridiculous. There has been a strange tendency of late for Islamists to wage war on anti-American regimes, and the American response to these cases compared to its view of Islamist struggles against pro-American regimes is (shall we say) messy.
When Islamists (of the most orthodox and brutal kind) toppled Muammar Gadhafi in Libya, America fully supported the project. Then, when Islamists (including ISIS) began a brutal war on the Assad regime in Syria, America was only narrowly persuaded out of intervening on their behalf.
Now compare these cases to those of Algeria and Egypt (both friends of the EU/United States). In these nations, Islamist revolutions have been brutally put down by the state at a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. And on these occasions, the state forces were described by Washington to be the ‘lesser evil’ and the rebels were abandoned to their own destruction.
Is this just hypocrisy or something more?
Did the Syrian insurgency which later metastasised into ISIS arise organically, or was it with the co-ordination of American and British intelligence? Why is some violent Islamism acceptable to our elites and other variants not?
Regardless of the kind of people who raise them, these are valid and important questions and we have no right to ignore them. If the answers are not as we would expect, the implications for our democratic integrity are extreme.
Personally, I don’t believe America would be as morally corrupt as to unleash the forces of hell on innocent people. It’s more likely to me that Obama is a hypocrite and a liar, that he lied on Benghazi and on Libya more broadly, that he lied and blundered on Syria too, and that he’s not to be trusted and that his Presidency has been a disaster for the world.