Monday, February 02, 2004

Of conspiracies and fascism

Also: CJR Campaign Desk on Those Loopy Conspiracy Theories

history tells us that there is nothing outlandish or kooky about suspecting the government of making things up to take us into war
via same source, "John Laughland says the real nutters are those who believe in al-Qa'eda and weapons of mass destruction" [connection to Iraq, presumably; can't check, link is now bad] :
...for some reason, it is acceptable to say, 'The CIA organised the overthrow of Prime Minister Mossadeq in Iran in 1953', but not that it did it again in Belgrade in 2000 or Tbilisi in 2003. And in spite of the well-known subterfuge and deception practised, for instance, in the Iran-Contra scandal in the mid-1980s, people experience an enormous psychological reluctance to accept that the British and American governments knowingly lied us into war in 2002 and 2003.
- to say nothing of how public support for Gulf War I was mobilized:
[Nayirah] told how, as a volunteer at the Al-Addam hospital in Kuait, she had seen Iraqi soldiers taking babies from incubators and leaving them to die on the floor.
Only much later...did it emerge that Nayirah was in fact the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the USA, that she had been coached in giving the testimony by Lauri Fitz-Pegado, H&K’s vice-president, and that the story was entirely untrue.
Then you read about the North Korean gas chambers (via) and wonder, how can you judge what's real and what's just another deception to manipulate public opinion into supporting another war? Deceiving the populace is not a victimless crime.

Orcinus on Conspiracies and conspiracy theories:
what is really remarkable about this is the way the same people who accuse [X] of conspiracism have themselves trafficked in outrageous conspiracy theories over the years, particularly those aimed at liberals and Bill Clinton in particular. But then, Hofstadter also rather keenly observed that projection is a common trait...
From TPM interview with George Soros ;
This administration has no compunction in misleading the people. It has no respect for the truth. This, I think, is a real danger. It is the danger of an Orwellian world. It's not new, because obviously, Orwell wrote about this fifty years ago. But what he wrote in 1984, you know, the Ministry of Truth being the Propaganda Ministry, the use of words meaning the opposite of what they are meant to mean. The Fox News, "Fair and Balanced," the "Clear Skies" Act for permitting pollution, the "Leave No Child Behind" [that] provides no money for the legislation. All these things I think pose a real danger to our democracy if they succeed in misleading the electorate. And there is only one remedy: an intelligent and enlightened electorate that sees through it.
There is a cultural phenomenon --- an unscrupulous pursuit of your cause with disregard to truth...
CalPundit on the fascism analogy:
No analogy is perfect, but this one is close in that it describes how reasonable people stood by while nut cases took control and led the world to ruin...

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