Sep 13, 2006

Just because you're paranoid ...

Jonah Goldberg looks at "the seditious dementia of conspiracy theories," including the "Loose Change" theory and the notion that Bush & Co. blew up the levees in New Orleans.
The metaphysical, ontological stupidity of all this defies rational rebuttal. It would be like proving I didn’t have unicorn for dinner in late December of 1987.

Here’s a question: How is a president willing — and able! — to bring down the World Trade Center, murdering nearly 3,000 Americans without inspiring a single whistle-blower or attracting a solitary eyewitness, somehow morally or logistically incapable of planting some exculpatory WMDs in Iraq?

As for Spike & Co., what took Bush so long? Why wait for a hurricane? Oh, how he must have yearned, his men and equipment long in place, to cleanse America of the Big Easy. Oh joyous St. Katrina’s Day! And yet, Bush failed to plan for the aftermath in a way that wouldn’t defenestrate his poll numbers.

Stupidity isn’t the right word for these dark imaginings, because some of these conspiracy theorists are very smart people. Nor is it fair to say they are all left-wingers. Indeed, two prominent 9/11 conspiracy theorists — Morgan Reynolds and Paul Craig Roberts — worked in Republican administrations and have strong conservative credentials. And let us not forget that in the 1990s, sweaty fingers pointed right-to-left. Under Clinton, it was the United Nations — with its satellite office at the Rose Law Firm — that imposed order with its fleet of black helicopters.
It's my belief that anyone who's ever tried to throw a surprise party should understand how impossible it is to keep a secret. But people go in for them because they want to believe. And, really, there's no point in arguing with them as these clips showing the Loose Changers arguing their case with editors of Popular Mechanics. They expect that every question about a huge calamity such as the collapse of the twin towers have an answer; there can be no gaps in our understanding and everything must be tied up in a neat little bow. If you present contradictory evidence you're lying. If your eyewitness disputes their eyewitness then yours is a government plant. You just can't win.

Having said all that, I've decided to start my own conspiracy theory: I believe the Syrians were behind the attack on the US Embassy in Syria. I've got no proof, just a huge mistrust of the Syrians and a feeling that something's not right. Readers can take it from here.

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