Sunday, 5 August 2012
Sunday, 5 August 2012
I've just watched a video on youtube about conspiracies surrounding the 7th of July 2005 suicide bomb attacks on the London transport system. Apparently, a guy calling himself Muab Dib (who turns out to be an Englishman from Sheffield called John Hill) came up with an intriguing and compelling conspiracy theory, which he explains in a specially produced DVD that was sent by him to many people in the UK. The DVD is titled Ripple Effect. The video I watched is an episode of a BBC programme called Conspiracy Files. I had never heard about Ripple Effect and I must confess that I can't be bothered to watch it. The Conspiracy Files programme demolishes Muab Dib's theory very convincingly. That didn't surprise me: I'm very sceptical about such conspiracy theories, especially the one about the 9/11 terrorist atrocity in New York. I think people who insist on peddling these conspiracy theories miss a point which I find very important.
Some people seem to harbour a vague and general suspicion that the world is ruled by some sort of secret society, which will stop at nothing to achieve its goals. That is why they reckon that an ex-President of the USA and an ex-British Prime Minister are behind 9/11 and 7/7. They think (rightly, in my view) that those atrocities helped George W Bush and Tony Blair make their case for keeping up their fight against 'terror'. Which in turn furthered their world domination designs. Without 9/11 it would have been harder to convince Americans and Brits of the need to invade Iraq, to mention one example. The British were actually overwhelmingly against the invasion of Iraq, up to the point when it was carried out, and even more so afterwards. But there is no doubt that 9/11 changed most people's perception of reality. Saddam Hussein would have been far less demonizable without 9/11. Donald Rumsfeld, Bush's Secretary of Defence at the time of the invasion, made this clear when he said that the invasion of Iraq was directly connected to 9/11. I remember clearly him saying something about things being seen through a new prism after the Twin Towers attacks. And so conspiracy theorists simply go one step further. If the above-mentioned terrorist atrocities were in some ways useful to Blair and Bush, wouldn't it make sense for them to hope for them? And to go on to plan and carry them out?
Even though this isn't particularly relevant here, I think one needs to look at the people who entertain these conspiracy theories. Just in case. What other beliefs do they hold? Well, Muab Dib thinks that he's Jesus Christ. Literally. And then there is the large number of Mosque-going Muslims who find the theories quite cogent. But to dwell on these facts is just a diversion, as far as I'm concerned.
I think Muab Dib is a nutcase, but I also think that Muslim people are unfairly discriminated against by a lot of people in the UK. You can't blame a Muslim person for wanting to prove everybody wrong regarding the religious background of the perpetrators of the 9/11 and the 7/7 terrorist attacks. If they turned out to be Christian, the phrase Islamic terrorism would have to be replaced by Christian terrorism. However, the fact that someone might have a reasonably legitimate reason for wanting to believe that this or that reality is true has no bearing on whether it is or isn't true.
The main point in my opinion is that indulging in conspiracy theorising is to overshoot the mark. Of course the powerful nations of this world don't base their actions on moral considerations. Of course they mess up with other people's countries. But to see this as a deliberately elaborated foreign policy is, I believe, a mistake. The great Noam Chomsky said something once which I think is the key to how powerful nations go about their ruthless and remorseless domination business. It's not as if governments, corporations and the media collaborated in a conscious effort to wreak havoc around the world for their own benefit. They certainly do collaborate with each other to wreak havoc around the world (and to create misery to many people at home), but they do that thinking they are doing something else. This world elite is pretty much naturally selected to be exactly where they are. When they use words like freedom, stability, prosperity, democracy and the like, they take them do mean what good dictionaries say they mean, without for a moment doubting that what they are doing is the right thing to do.
Now, that doesn't always seem to be the case. Sometimes it does look as if people are just being deliberately ruthless full stop. But to believe that is to misread the motivations of today's powerful interests.
The very rich and the very powerful see their wealth and their power as a right they are entitled to. They see themselves as the exemplification of the soundness of the system they champion. To turn the very powerful into comic-strip villains is to play the fool in a different way from those who worship their political leaders. They may avoid being deceived by state propaganda, but they turn themselves into laughing stocks.
Anyway, I needed to say this to myself. Conspiracy theorists are a blessing in disguise for power-mad governments everywhere.