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6) Conspiracy Theories

As I write this the United States is in the process of drumming up support for a Strike on Syria.  The reasoning offered is that the strike is necessary as a result of chemical weapons having been used by the Syrian government against it’s own people.  The difference between the few thousand dying by chemical warfare and the previous 90 000 dying by conventional weaponry isn't immediately apparent; perhaps the distinction will be clarified later. Before getting into this issue specifically or making comparison in the rhetoric used by George W. Bush previously in getting the support required for the invasion of Iraq (using non-existent WMD’s as his main selling point) I would prefer to take step back and look at the bigger picture.

The truth is that almost none of us understand what goes on behind closed doors in affairs governing world politics.  The issues themselves are certainly more complex and inter-related than the reasoning provided in the casual conversations I've been privy to. One thing does strike my as very relevant to the themes being introduced by this blog, that aspect is that many people appear very certain in their world view and align their pride and ego with a particular position.  Once the line is drawn in the sand the views and strong opinions invariably need to be defended and eyes are no longer open and free to process information clearly.  We become politically or ideologically aligned and begin to confuse our issues once we commit to a “side”.

I’m incredibly disappointed by this because I feel that the issues are not dealt with in a satisfying manner and the reporting via the already heavily politically aligned news networks reflects this polarizing stance.  Western political lobbying systems and corporate/political interchangeability have inherently built this element into the system even though no particularly sinister puppet master is required to pull the strings.

On the opposite side of the spectrum we have a collection of thematically interesting maverick perspectives that are either fervently supported or vehemently written off as crack-pot conspiracy theorists.  Many of the people or groups to get it wrong in the sense that they often claim to have all the answers or draw conclusions from incompletely formed or half true essential facts.  What has sent a chill down my spine is the fact that for every idea that turns out to be false, there is one that turns out to be true.  I have been following many of these theories for some years now, and while I am not a follower or supporter of many of these perspectives in the true sense, I have been struck by how much of it is verifiable or predicted in advance.  I lost a frustrating long argument in this vein recently with a well informed friend who predicted the “US Empire builders shopping list” as Afghanistan  Iraq  Syria  Iran  (in that order) in the early 2000’s.  He even went as far to mention political destabilizing movements in Libya, Egypt and Turkey.  It’s hard to completely dismiss the fact that something that resembles an agenda is a possibility.  It’s even more difficult to accept that the news “As Reported” is unfolding for the reasons we led to believe.

I’ll be getting stuck into some of these issues in my next post, but I’ll be following public attitudes closely to see if there is any maturing of public assimilation and processing of these ideas, and whether any balance or even perspective is appreciated over the taking of contrary positions without having all the information available to us.

As far as dismissing people wholesale as “crack-pots” or “conspiracy-nuts”, I do not, because for me some of these people do not have to be 100% on the money, just a kernel of truth is worrying enough.  There are those that have elements of such truths and the evidence is overwhelming yet pitted more often against spin and propaganda that evidence to the contrary.

In the meantime here are some links; each has something to offer, even in those cases where some have been exposed to varying degrees (often by unscrupulous attempts to discredit the sources due to the inherent agendas).  Add the awareness's to your mental arsenal without committing to them.  Use them as consideration points if you must, disagree if need. I do not advocate subscribing wholesale to any of them, but believe me, there is an important message in most of them if you are free to read and process without emotional reaction.  I must confess, have included one or two more extreme perspectives, just for fun:

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