Conspiracy Theory Industries Un-Ltd

Conspiracy theories give free rein to one’s imagination, indeed they allow the imagination to run wild.  They weave a web of mysteries where none exists, suspect conspirators in high places when there are only bumbling politicians, incompetent generals and idiotic officials within government, and lunatics, assassins and fanatics outside.

Conspiracy Theory Industries Un-Ltd 

Conspiracy theories are remarkable for their popularity.  A google search on the Internet with the words “assassination of John Kennedy” throws up 181,000 entries. The Kennedy Assassination Home Page says: “If you are like most Americans, you believe that a conspiracy killed Kennedy. And if you are like most Americans, you have heard a vast number of bogus factoids about the case. This web site is dedicated to debunking the mass of misinformation and disinformation surrounding the murder of JFK.”  They range from the bizarre to the plausible. The only claim that remains to be made about JFK’s death is that he shot himself.

Conspiracy theories give free rein to one’s imagination, indeed they allow the imagination to run wild.  They weave a web of mysteries where none exists, suspect conspirators in high places when there are only bumbling politicians, incompetent generals and idiotic officials within government, and lunatics, assassins and fanatics outside.

Above all, when things go wrong, conspiracy theories allow one to deflect blame from one’s own tribe, sect, ethnic or religious group, nation or country, and shift it to one’s real or perceived enemies.  It neatly divides mankind into good guys and bad guys. Thereafter, having attained the twin objectives of exonerating oneself and accusing one’s enemy, the mind can rest in peace.  Ignorance is bliss and the feeling of injured innocence is ecstatic.

Conspiracy theories are easy to conceive, for they rely on imagination, and they are easy to disseminate, because by their very nature they fall on receptive ears.  Clever writers jump into the fray for money and fame, lending credence to the conspiratorial tales, raising doubts where there should be none.

One cornerstone of conspiracy theories is the implicit faith in the knowledge, power and infallibility of the state and of state institutions, and of statesmen, generals, spies and diplomats.  Any failure on their part is conveniently attributed to conspiracies and dark hands.  How could the CIA/FBI not know about 9/11?  Or why could they not prevent it, or shoot the planes in the air before they hit their targets?  Curiously, conspiracy theories provide simple answers to complex issues as well as complicated explanations to simple events.

As an example of a conspiracy theory that provides a simple answer to a complex issue, one may cite both wars against Iraq (1991, 2003). That answer is Iraq’s oil, for whose sake Washington, according to the conspiracists, engaged in a long tale of deception, lies and treachery culminating in two wars.  The truth, however, is a lot more convoluted and complicated, most of it to do with Saddam Hussain’s persona and his external and internal policies.

Conspiracy theories regarding 9/11 are an example of the opposite tendency, namely, providing a complex explanation for a relatively straightforward event. They would have us believe that 9/11 was the result of a deep conspiracy involving a number of nebulous actors, American and/or Israeli, ranging from Mossad to CIA and FBI, perhaps even the White House. Its ultimate goal was to provide Washington with a pretext to launch a full-scale assault on Islam and Muslims, starting with a war on Afghanistan, gradually devouring Iraq, Iran and Syria, and gobbling up Palestine as a side-dish. In fact, though, 9/11 was merely the “heroic” achievement of a self-confessed band of Muslim fanatics determined to teach America a lesson.

One could write a complete history of the modern world based on conspiracy theories, but we will confine ourselves to a few recent events nearer home.

Partition of 1947: For Pakistanis, Kashmir, Hyderabad and Junagarh are proofs of an Anglo-US conspiracy to favour India, but many Indians believe that partition was the result of a British conspiracy to permanently weaken India.

Indo-Pak War of 1971: The humiliating defeat of Pakistan in 1971 is attributed to a conspiracy involving some or all of the following: Mujibur Rahman, Indira Gandhi, CIA, Moscow, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Yahya Khan.  The incompetence of the Pakistani armed forces, the imbalance of power and the role of the Bangladeshi freedom fighters are totally overlooked.

Collapse of the Soviet Union: Definitely the result of an American conspiracy to destroy the world’s only other superpower, using the Afghan Mujahideen as a proxy.  According to the extreme version of this theory, Mikhail Gorbachev was an American agent.  The real cause, however, was the economic collapse that was long coming and the unreconciled and conflicting national aspirations of the USSR’s 15 constituent republics.

Afghanistan:  According to the conspiracists, the US created the Mujahideen to fight the Soviet Union, then caused divisions to weaken them. It subsequently created the Taliban to gain access to Central Asia’s gas and oil, then shifted support to the Northern Alliance to crush the Taliban for their Islamic fervour.  However, anti-Taliban Afghans view them as nothing but a Pakistani outfit to colonise Afghanistan.

Iraq: According to an extreme version of the conspiracy theory, Saddam Hussain must have been an American agent.  How else would he go to war against the US when defeat was a certainty?  The plain truth is that Saddam engaged in brinkmanship without knowing where the brink is, thought the Americans were bluffing and, finally, that if it came to war, his army would give the yankees a bloody nose, and buy him enough time to bring about international intervention.

Iran-Iraq war: This was the result of an American plan to make two rich Muslim countries bleed each other.  It does not explain why all the Arab countries supported Iraq and why Iran would be anti-American and an American stooge at the same time and sacrifice hundreds of thousands of its youth in a war that served US interests.

Ethnic strife in Pakistan: Shia-Sunni strife is instigated by US, for only Washington benefits from it.  After all, Muslims can never kill Muslims.  If some misguided Muslims do indeed kill fellow Muslims, they must be doing America’s bidding.

Finally, the piece de resistance from Conspiracy Theory Industries Un-Ltd claims that the US has already captured Osama bin Laden, but is waiting to announce it in time to influence the outcome of the November elections.  But if it hasn’t, then it goes to show that Washington is not interested in his capture, for an elusive Osama provides the pretext for continued war against Islam.  How could the US not capture him if it really wanted?

For conspiracy theorists, it’s okay to go in circles if it suits them.  And the sky is the limit, which is why some conspiracists believe that Americans never landed on the moon.  What the world saw on TV in 1969 was faked for the cameras!

Conspiracists are not bothered by evidence to the contrary, by logic, reason and common sense, or by big holes in their arguments, for they do not need to prove anything.  So long as others are unable to convince them to the contrary, they feel free to peddle their pseudo-theories. 

(Published in Daily Times, 29 July 2004)

Conspiracy theories strike again 

Nothing is eternal or immortal, not even the universe.  Everything can be destroyed, including the famed Twin Towers.  Anyone can be tracked and killed, even Osama bin Laden.  Theories come and go, with the exception of conspiracy theories.  The latter have a life of their own, defying the normal rules and laws of survival and longevity.

One thought that the killing of Osama will also kill a few conspiracy theories.  But it seems new conspiracy theories are being churned up while the old ones linger. 

Not surprisingly, an editorial in The Nation (Lahore) declares that Osama’s hideout in Abbottabad did “not suit a person with a head money as high as $50 million”. Other details provided by the Americans “would set tongues wagging, confirm the suspicion of mystery around the place and prompt serious investigation. Then the released picture of dead Osama does not show the age he must be in at this time!”  By the way, the so-called “released picture of the dead Obama” is a fake. 

Robert Fisk writes in The Independent (UK):  “By midday yesterday, I had three phone calls from Arabs, all certain that it was Bin Laden’s double who was killed by the Americans – just as I know many Iraqis who still believe that Saddam’s sons were not killed in 2003, nor Saddam really hanged.”

A substantial number of people will, however, believe the American account of Osama’s demise, and also begin to question the many extant conspiracy theories regarding 9/11, Al Qaeda and Osama.

As memory fades, it is apt to recapitulate some of those theories.  The most radical of them questioned whether Osama bin Laden even existed, suggesting that he was a bogyman invented by the US to serve its goal of destroying Muslim countries.  Another supposed that he has long been in American custody, but has now been killed to help Obama win his re-election.  Yet another wondered, in somewhat subdued tones, whether Osama was not actually an American agent who was providing them with the excuse to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.

A peculiarly Pakistani version of the conspiracy theory believes that the whole thing about Osama and Al Qaeda is an American charade designed to incapacitate, seize or destroy Pakistan’s nuclear assets.

Not a few believed that 9/11 had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden or Al Qaeda.  Arguing on the basis that since 9/11 benefited America and Israel while hurting Arabs and Muslims, many nurtured the belief that either America or Israel or some unknown “dark hands” had planned the whole thing.  Some even doubted that the 19 Arab Muslim hijackers named by the US were actually involved in the hijacking.

A Frenchman sold thousands of copies of his book claiming that the wreckage at the Pentagon pointed to a missile attack, not a plane hitting the building.  Others produced “evidence” showing that the twin towers were brought down through controlled demolition! 

In fairness to Muslims, it has to be said that many non-Muslims, including a substantial number of Christian Americans, subscribe to some of the above conspiracy theories. 

In circumstances such as those surrounding the military operation to eliminate Osama, facts emerge in bits and pieces and tend to get bloated and distorted with a mixture of exaggeration, bluster and bravado.  Too many officials try to grab the limelight by talking too much with too little information, while those most directly involved are bound by professional secrecy to say nothing.

Let us look at some of the anomalies that resulted from the media circus.  To begin with, Abbottabad has been variously reported to be anywhere from 30 kilometres to a whopping 100 kilometres from Islamabad. The house in which Osama was living was situated 200 metres or 800 metres from the Pakistan Military Academy.

How many people lived in the house, how many were killed and how many captured is a mystery.  And what was their relationship to Osama?  The “million-dollar house” he was found in wasn’t that expensive after all, perhaps worth no more than a quarter of that amount.

There were two, three or four US helicopters in the raid, with two dozen or 69 commandoes.  Did the helicopters fly from Bagram or Jalalabad in Afghanistan or from Tarbela Ghazi in Pakistan?

The attack was launched with Pakistani cooperation, but then it was launched in complete secrecy from the Pakistanis.  But, wait a minute, Pakistani forces began to scramble their planes before the operation was over!

The inmates of the house kept to themselves and were rarely seen.  But one neighbour claimed visiting the house many times and talking to two “very nice and normal people”.  Another female neighbour who made a courtesy call on the house met an Arab woman who spoke only Arabic.  They moved around in armoured cars!  No, they travelled in a Suzuki and a red jeep.

The house had no internet or phone connection, but the raiding party seized many computers and hard discs.  If Osama was unarmed, how did he resist arrest?  The “coward” used a woman as a shield!  No, sorry folks, he didn’t.

Obama and his team were watching the unfolding raid in “real time” and visually on screens.  No, I take that back, it was a somewhat delayed transmission, not in real time, after all, and not visual either – but rather like updates from the CIA director sitting in the command centre!

Sceptics (not to mention conspiracy theorists) wonder why the US has not produced pictures of the dead Osama, as if a photo or two would convince them.  While many people believe that Osama bin Laden was killed long ago by the Americans, his hard core admirers are convinced that their hero continues to elude American attempts to capture and kill him.

Some conspiracy theories owe their origin to human naiveté and refusal to accept an unpalatable truth, others are the product of clever minds who wish to confuse and obfuscate with ulterior motives. 

American credibility is so low after the Iraq “weapons of mass destruction” fiasco that people tend to disbelieve everything that emanates from Washington.  Truth is that the freest country in the world can’t keep secrets and it can’t efficiently handle information either.  Lie it does, but Washington is not a compulsive lier like many other capitals, which is why it does not have and does not need a ministry of information.

(Published in Daily Times, 5 May 2011) 

Guess who’s to blame 

Hitherto, every nation was blaming some other country for its own troubles.  Whenever things went wrong, Afghans, for example, blamed Pakistanis, who in turn accused the Indians.  Indians saw a Pakistani hand in their troubles.  So it went in circles. 

We were all getting it wrong, except the Mexicans, who alone have consistently laid the blame on the right door.  But now, thanks to some Pakistani TV anchors, columnists and lawyers, we too have successfully identified the source of all the world’s woes. 

No matter where you live, if things aren’t going well for your country, blame the father of all troubles for all your troubles.  Make no mistake: the United States of America is the source of all your nation’s woes.   Or, if it isn’t, it soon will be. 

Arab spring?  What spring?  It’s a terrible typhoon for the Muslim world instigated by, yes, you guessed it, the United States.  First, they elected a president with a Muslim name, but who really hates Islam and Muslims.  Then, they made him give nice speeches in Cairo, Istanbul and Jakarta to confuse Muslims and stir them against their own governments.  Now we are seeing their action plan in motion. 

They are killing not two, but three birds with one stone.  Firstly, they kill Gaddafi for being anti-American and anti-Israel, secondly, they grab Libya’s oil wealth and, thirdly, they create the impression that they are friends of the Libyan and Arab people.  Having sucked Iraq’s vast oil fields dry, now they are going after Libya’s oil. 

Assad too has to be removed for being the staunchest anti-Israel Muslim leader.  Syria not only upholds Arab pride, but is the only Arab country friendly to Iran, which, Insha’Allah, is close to becoming the second Islamic country with nuclear weapons after Pakistan. 

Moammar Gaddafi and Bashar Assad are really being punished for standing up to America and Israel, not for being dictators or denying their own people their rights.  Now, you will say, the pro-American Hosni Mubarak and Ben Ali were also overthrown. 

It would not look good if America only went after Gaddafi and Assad.  The whole world would see the plot.  Therefore, to confuse the Muslims of the world, they first organised protests against the pro-American dictators, like in Tunisia and Egypt.  I also think that under Mubarak Egypt was becoming very strong economically.  America and Israel cannot tolerate this. 

And have you noticed the contrast in the way Gaddafi has been treated compared with both Mubarak and Ben Ali?  Gaddafi was first chased in his own country like a mad dog, then his convoy was attacked by NATO planes and American missiles, followed by his capture, humiliation and brutal murder.  Even his dead body was desecrated.  On the other hand, Ben Ali is living a luxurious life in Saudi Arabia while Hosni Mubarak is also relaxing in a military hospital in Cairo surrounded by good doctors and beautiful nurses.   

Why?  Because Mubarak and Ben Ali were serving American and Israeli interests, but Gaddafi was trying to rouse the Arabs and Muslims and denouncing imperialism and Zionism.  Shaheed Gaddafi has paid a high price for being a friend of the Ummah and an enemy of the infidels.  They made a “horrible example” of him, just as Henry Kissinger had warned many years ago. 

Remember the recent incident where Egyptian protesters occupied the Israeli embassy in Cairo?  If you ask me, I think this incident was engineered by Israeli Mossad to put pressure on the Egyptian authorities.  America and Jews also encouraged their agents in Egypt, the Coptic Christians, to create problems for the Egyptian government through street demonstrations.  

The confused Egyptian government was then forced to put pressure on Hamas in Gaza to release the captured Israeli soldier Ghilad Shalit in exchange for one thousand Palestinians.  Only one thousand! 

Brother, please look at the map to see what’s going on.  America is aiming to capture all the holy places of Islam.  Al Quds is already under Israeli occupation.  Now, Mecca and Medina are being encircled from all directions – west (Libya, Egypt), north (Israel, Syria), south (Yemen) and east (Iraq, Kuwait). 

Mission accomplished in Iraq, where they hanged a nice Muslim leader, who was shaping up into a new Salahuddin Ayubi, they are moving their troops from there to Afghanistan to use them to occupy Pakistan.  North Waziristan and Haqqani are only the excuse.  Actually, they are after Kahuta and Dr A Q Khan. 

America always hated this Khan because he gave Pakistan the bum, but now it hates him even more because he writes such fine articles in newspapers telling young Pakistanis about the glorious history of Muslims.  What A Q Khan is doing with his bum and his pen, another great Khan, Imran Khan, is doing with his angry face and sharp tongue. 

The blame game – blaming someone else for your troubles – is perhaps as old as trouble itself.  It is certainly older than the games of hockey, football, rugby and cricket. 

Transposed on the international scene, the blame game takes the form of the Foreign Conspiracy Theory.  It is a recent innovation, for international relations itself is a comparatively new discipline. 

And perhaps because of its superficial association with conspiracy theories, international relations is a very popular subject in Pakistani colleges and universities, attracting more students than history, political science or sociology. 

One more thing:  some idiotic Americans have asked me who they should blame for America’s troubles, now that they too are having a hard time.  These godless Americans are too dumb to know that they are facing the wrath of God.  They will be taught a good lesson, Insha’Allah, by the Chinese, who may not believe in God, but God is pleased with them because they are such good friends of Pakistanis and Muslims.

(Published in the Tribune Express, 17 November 2011)

This entry was posted in Current Affairs. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Conspiracy Theory Industries Un-Ltd

  1. Prof Dr Ashraf says:

    Glad someone has exposed the folly of the Islamists… but as we laugh we may also keep in mind the solemn aspect… that it is precisely this narrative that is used by them to recruit suicide bombers… (sigh)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *