Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Iranian conspiracies.

• The second gunman on the grassy knoll
• The Apollo moon landings in a television studio
• Diana's car crash
• The planes and the twin towers
• Alien autopsies at Roswell
• The Illumentanti / Freemasons / Opus Dei
etc etc etc

The internet abounds with plots concocted by paranoid geeks who haven't seen natural daylight for years, but I' m not a fan of conspiracy theories.

I'm pretty sure that the powers-that-be often do sinister things that they would rather keep quiet. Our so called leaders and representatives are often corrupt. They also fuck up and do very stupid things that they then want to cover up. But I don't think that behind every news story there is a Dr Evil stroking a cat on a swivel chair chuckling at his devilish cunning.

The trouble with all this is that conspiracy theories actually make governments and rulers appear more powerful than they really are, and the rest of us mere pawns left to marvel at their abilities of deception. In fact the truth is at the same time both more simple and more complex.

Governments blunder around from incompetence to incompetence and then lie or 're-spin' the truth to make it look like it was planned all along. Of course they are capable of well thought out and sinister agendas, but they are usually able to carry these out quite openly by cleverly manipulating consensus.

Look at the road to the Gulf War. Through some deft sleight of hand we were 'persuaded' in increments that there was a link and logical causality between the 9/11 attacks, the Taliban, Sadam's regime and now Iran. And so some sort of consensus, certainly in the USA, was created that gave political legitimacy to what any sober analyst could see was a war for western control of the world's oil producing zone. No ninjas were required to assassinate anyone and no evidence was planted to 'prove' that Sadam had weapons of mass destruction. In fact when Hans Blix's UN inspection showed that he didn't, the concenus for war still survived.

I don't believe that the Royal Navy deliberately trespassed into Iranian territorial waters as part of a conspiracy to provoke war. Almost as strongly as I believe that the US and UK have no business being in the Middle East in the first place. In fact I believe that Blair (and Bush if he cares) probably don't have a clue what to do about the 15 hapless sailors and marines that have the misfortune to be caught up in this. The allies have created a political momentum that makes it difficult for them to back track on the road to war with Iran. But the fact remains that they have so underestimated the problems of occupying Iraq that militarily another war is now a venture too far.

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