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Al Qaeda works for the CIA..why shouldn't I believe this?
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Time_Meddler
PostPosted: 17-01-2004 09:52    Post subject: Al Qaeda works for the CIA..why shouldn't I believe this? Reply with quote

The following is from The Spectator.co.uk. I'd love to read what some of you out there in Fortland think of it:

"I believe in conspiracies

"John Laughland says the real nutters are those who believe in al-Qa’eda and weapons of mass destruction

"Believing in conspiracy theories is rather like having been to a grammar school: both are rather socially awkward to admit. Although I once sat next to a sister-in-law of the Duke of Norfolk who agreed that you can’t believe everything you read in the newspapers, conspiracy theories are generally considered a rather repellent form of intellectual low-life, and their theorists rightfully the object of scorn and snobbery. Writing in the Daily Mail last week, the columnist Melanie Phillips even attacked conspiracy theories as the consequence of a special pathology, of the collapse in religious belief, and of a ‘descent into the irrational’. The implication is that those who oppose ‘the West’, or who think that governments are secretive and dishonest, might need psychiatric treatment.

"In fact, it is the other way round. British and American foreign policy is itself based on a series of highly improbable conspiracy theories, the biggest of which is that an evil Saudi millionaire genius in a cave in the Hindu Kush controls a secret worldwide network of ‘tens of thousands of terrorists’ ‘in more than 60 countries’ (George Bush). News reports frequently tell us that terrorist organisations, such as those which have attacked Bali or Istanbul, have ‘links’ to al-Qa’eda, but we never learn quite what those ‘links’ are. According to two terrorism experts in California, Adam Dolnik and Kimberly McCloud, this is because they do not exist. ‘In the quest to define the enemy, the US and its allies have helped to blow al-Qa’eda out of proportion,’ they write. They argue that the name ‘al-Qa’eda’ was invented in the West to designate what is, in reality, a highly disparate collection of otherwise independent groups with no central command structure and not even a logo. They claim that some terrorist organisations say they are affiliated to bin Laden simply to gain kudos and name-recognition for their entirely local grievances.

"By the same token, the US-led invasion of Iraq was based on a fantasy that Saddam Hussein was in, or might one day enter into, a conspiracy with Osama bin Laden. This is as verifiable as the claim that MI6 used mind control to make Henri Paul crash Princess Diana’s car into the 13th pillar of the tunnel under the Place de l’Alma. With similar mystic gnosis, Donald Rumsfeld has alleged that the failure to find ‘weapons of mass distraction’, as Tony Blair likes to call them, shows that they once existed but were destroyed. Indeed, London and Washington have shamelessly exploited people’s fear of the unknown to get public opinion to believe their claim that Iraq had masses of anthrax and botulism. This played on a deep and ancient seam of fear about poison conspiracies which, in the Middle Ages, led to pogroms against Jews. And yet it is the anti-war people who continue to be branded paranoid, even though the British Prime Minister himself, his eyes staring wildly, said in September 2002, ‘Saddam has got all these weapons ...and they’re pointing at us!’

"In contrast to such imaginings, it is perfectly reasonable to raise questions about the power of the secret services and armed forces of the world’s most powerful states, especially those of the USA. These are not ‘theories’ at all; they are based on fact. The Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Office of Naval Intelligence, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Defense Intelligence Agency and other US secret services spend more than $30,000,000,000 a year on espionage and covert operations. Do opponents of conspiracy theories think that this money is given to the Langley, Virginia Cats’ Home? It would also be churlish to deny that the American military industry plays a very major role in the economics and politics of the US. Every day at 5 p.m., the Pentagon announces hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to arms manufacturers all over America — click on the Department of Defense’s website for details — who in turn peddle influence through donations to politicians and opinion-formers.

"It is also odd that opponents of conspiracy theories often allow that conspiracies have occurred in the past, but refuse to contemplate their existence in the present. For some reason, you are bordering on the bonkers if you wonder about the truth behind events like 9/11, when it is established as fact that in 1962 the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lyman L. Lemnitzer, tried to convince President Kennedy to authorise an attack on John Glenn’s rocket, or on a US navy vessel, to provide a pretext for invading Cuba. Two years later, a similar strategy was deployed in the faked Gulf of Tonkin incident, when US engagement in Vietnam was justified in the light of the false allegation that the North Vietnamese had launched an unprovoked attack on a US destroyer. Are such tactics confined to history? Paul O’Neill, George Bush’s former Treasury Secretary, has just revealed that the White House decided to get rid of Saddam eight months before 9/11.

"Indeed, one ought to speak of a ‘conspir- acy of silence’ about the role of secret services in politics. This is especially true of the events in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. It is the height of irresponsibility to discuss the post-communist transition without extensive reference to the role of the spooks, yet our media stick doggedly to the myth that their role is irrelevant. During the overthrow of the Georgian president, Eduard Shevardnadze, on 22 November 2003, the world’s news outlets peddled a wonderful fairy-tale about a spontaneous uprising — ‘the revolution of roses’, CNN shlockily dubbed it — even though all the key actors have subsequently bragged that they were covertly funded and organised by the US.

"Similarly, it is a matter of public record that the Americans pumped at least $100 million into Serbia in order to get rid of Slobodan Milosevic in 2000, and huge sums in the years before. (An election in Britain, whose population is eight times bigger than Yugoslavia’s, costs about two thirds of this.) This money was used to fund and equip the Kosovo Liberation Army; to stuff international observer missions in Kosovo with hundreds of military intelligence officers; to pay off the opposition and the so-called ‘independent’ media; and to buy heavily-armed Mafia gangsters to come and smash up central Belgrade, so that the world’s cameras could show a ‘people’s revolution’.

"At every stage, the covert aid and organisation provided by the US and British intelligence agencies were decisive, as they had been on many occasions before and since, all over the world. Yet 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 be sure, some conspiracy theories may be outlandish or wrong. But it seems to me that anyone who refuses to make simple empirical deductions ought to have his head examined."
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Guest
PostPosted: 17-01-2004 09:57    Post subject: Re: Conspiracies are real, "al-Qaeda" is fiction Reply with quote

sjpalmer wrote:

"Believing in conspiracy theories is rather like having been to a grammar school: both are rather socially awkward to admit.
Must be rather curious to live in such a class bound layer of society.

Interesting article though.

Must be something to do with the writer's grammar school background. Wink
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 17-01-2004 10:07    Post subject: grammar school Reply with quote

Androman said:

"Must be rather curious to live in such a class bound layer of society.

"Interesting article though.

"Must be something to do with the writer's grammar school background."


I'm American. I don't get it. Please explain.
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Jerry_BOffline
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PostPosted: 17-01-2004 10:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always found it how Al Q is presented or described as somewhat odd. It ends up making Al Q look like some sort of criminal super-organisation from a James Bond movie. It seems to me that this perhaps, in the so-called 'War Against Terror', is because some find it necessary to form all of the disperate groups into one umbrella organisation - almost as if it's filled the vacuum once occupied by the dreaded 'Red Menace' of international Communism.

However, to me, evidence for this is completely lacking. Al Q has simply become the world's new bugbear because it's been associated with the people who carried out 9/11. The main problem is the way that the whole subject has been treated by various camps and has thus become bogged down in the odd idea/assumption that Al Q and OBL are pulling the strings behind all terrorist events across the world. I guess to some people it makes more sense to believe in a nefarious super-organisation bent on destruction of the West than to have to consider alot of disperate groups carrying out various acts for their own particular reasons. Strange as that may sound. People would perhaps like to lump Al Q in with groups like Hamas, but obviously such people know very little about how much such groups differ.
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Guest
PostPosted: 17-01-2004 11:14    Post subject: Re: grammar school Reply with quote

sjpalmer wrote:

Androman said:

"Must be rather curious to live in such a class bound layer of society.

"Interesting article though.

"Must be something to do with the writer's grammar school background."


I'm American. I don't get it. Please explain.
Grammar' school is where the bright children of upwardly mobile poor people are sent because there's no money to send them into the private 'public school' system.

But, there still a cut above those proles who are sent into the maw of the state 'comprehensive' system.

At least, that's how the world of socially stratified educational backgrounds might look to a 'Spectator' reader.

The writer's clumsy apology for his social background is there in the opening paragraph.

Wink
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 17-01-2004 11:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
News reports frequently tell us that terrorist organisations, such as those which have attacked Bali or Istanbul, have ‘links’ to al-Qa’eda, but we never learn quite what those ‘links’ are.



Would that be links less close than a certain .gov organisation, that's based in Maryland used to have?


Last edited by Guest on 17-01-2004 13:26; edited 1 time in total
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 17-01-2004 13:19    Post subject: Re: Conspiracies are real, "al-Qaeda" is fiction Reply with quote

sjpalmer wrote:

"...They argue that the name ‘al-Qa’eda’ was invented in the West to designate what is, in reality, a highly disparate collection of otherwise independent groups with no central command structure and not even a logo." (My emphasis.)

rofl

Whaddafug does he want: OBL pictured in front of a banner with a picture of a little bird on it??? Terrorists picked up sneaking into airports while wearing fatigues and berets and carrying rifles with outsized infra-red telescopic sights on them??? roll eyes (sarcastic)
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 17-01-2004 13:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

and it must be murder keeping the white cat clean in a cave...


Having said that, who in the West had heard of Al Qaida prior to it springing, fully formed, in to our collective cosciousnesses? OBL was known, sinceI could put a face to the name... but AQ? no.

From various sources, however, it seems the AQ doesn't exist as a single unified group, more as a disparate cell structure that 'suggestions' waft between. So, in the sense of T.H.R.U.S.H., no, it doesn't exist. In many ways its overall structure is somewhere between that of the French Resistance (WW2) and Asimov's Foundation...
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 17-01-2004 13:35    Post subject: Addendum Reply with quote

AQ is unusual in the fact that, as the article states, there is no unifying symbol betwen the 'members'. There is usually a flag or something associated with a terrorist organisation...
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Jerry_BOffline
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PostPosted: 17-01-2004 13:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's no doubt because it doesn't exist in any organised way as is assumed by various media sources. The name 'Al Qaida' is now just a blanket reference term, intimating some sort of organisation. But there's still no evidence for a worldwide group plotting against the West. Al Q is probably just one group out of many - it's only come to the fore because of 9/11 and the way the 'leader' of Al Q, OBL, has been linked to that attack. To make it seem like the controlling power is to give OBL free publicity and to make him seem to be more than he actually is. Which is probably why he make videos of himself - these have always come across to me as rather vain diatribes more than anything else. To pin anything more sinister onto OBL (as far as world Islamic fundamentalist domination is concerned) is to play him up for being something more than he actually is.
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KondoruOffline
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PostPosted: 18-01-2004 20:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a friend who spent many years in the Middle East. He says that these groups are guys who hang around the coffee shop thinking up a fancy new name. Also ways to get attention without exerting themselves overtly.

(Middle Eastern people are great gossipers, but he noted that they would always tell him who to really beware of.)

(Sorry, Ive lost the site with a list of these groups and their quite unexciting names....all you need to know that there are LOTS, they all have silly names and are of not political interest whatsoever...)

It sounds amusing in a pathetic sort of way...perhaps we should set up a group of our own (or three hundred)??
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Guest
PostPosted: 18-01-2004 21:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Homo Aves wrote:

It sounds amusing in a pathetic sort of way...perhaps we should set up a group of our own (or three hundred)??
We're probably in quite enough trouble as it is...
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intaglioreallyOffline
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PostPosted: 18-01-2004 21:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting article. I'll have to think about this
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Jerry_BOffline
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PostPosted: 18-01-2004 23:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are alot of groups out there, with various names and various outlooks. After a while it becomes very much like how the various little factions were portrayed in 'The Life of Brian'.
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littleblackduckOffline
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PostPosted: 19-01-2004 21:07    Post subject: Conspiracy Theorist flourish in times of shady business Reply with quote

sjpalmer wrote:


Writing in the Daily Mail last week, the columnist Melanie Phillips even attacked conspiracy theories as the consequence of a special pathology, of the collapse in religious belief, and of a ‘descent into the irrational’. The implication is that those who oppose ‘the West’, or who think that governments are secretive and dishonest, might need psychiatric treatment.


Executive Summary: Ha! That old chestnut again!

"Conspiracy Theorist" is the new "In" tag to throw at any critic of the Bush Junta. Not only are the Republicans (and their flunkies abroad) putting it about that anybody, particularly Democrat Candidates, who criticizes the Lord and Master, is a nutty, funny old conspiracy theorist who may safely be ignored (Ignore the man behind the curtain), but the Democrats have been tossing it at each other.

As for the ripe old chestnut that this burst of conspiracy theories is due to the collapse in religious belief, where is the evidence for this collapse? when did it happen? where?

The United States is more religious today than it was at the time of the Revolution or in the Nineteenth Century. (I am reading Michael Sherrers' HOW WE BELIEVE, which cites studies which showed that only 17% of Revolutionary Epoque Americans were affiliated with, or attended a church regularly--it has been rising ever since, and is now around 60%--this is attributed by sociologists to the Free Market Forces--American churches are, and have always been, very competitive and run very much like businesses. In fact, many of the Whang Doodles run them entirely as businesses--they no more believe their crap than Jerry Springer believes that transvestite Nazi prostitutes are sleeping with their grandfathers.

And where is the religious collapse in the U.K.? In the eighteenth century about 65% of the urban poor in London went unmarried, unbaptized, unshriven, and evangelized. Heathens, then, Heathens, now, thanks to a Monopoly Church which ministers primarily to the rich and the middle classes--can't pay the Vicar, then God help you. Try the little chapel around the corner.

If this religious falling off theory were true, then there would have been fewer, or no, conspiracy theories prior to the Great Falling Off (if it had ever really happened) but look:

The United States of America's present system of Party Conventions was created by the Anti-Masonic Party in the early to mid-nineteenth century. The Anti-Masonic Conspiracy Party would have been a better name. The American Founding Fathers were rolling in conspiracy theories before they raised their first militia, heck, the Pilgrims and Puritans brought them in by the dozen when they emigrated from the Mother Country. Thomas Payne was a rich load of conspriacy theories: No Kings, No Priests, No kidding?

Some religious conspiracy theories of note which are hoary with age: Catholic Conspiracy, Jewish Conspiracy, Protestant Conspiracy, Devil Worshipper Conspiracy, Atheist Conspriacy, Evolutionist Conspiracy, Masonic (Freemason) Conspiracy--do I have to mention the Damned Illuminati, the Knights Templar and the fricking Pope?

Religionists have been reliable producers of massive conspiracy theories for thousands of years. Do I have to bring up the Devil and All His Works? What is that but a conspiracy theory on a supra-human scale?

The religious mind is prone to seeing the world AS a conspiracy when for some inexplicable reason, things do not go the way that God tells the Believer that things should go, for example when Jews refuse to see the inevitability of Jesus Christ being the Messiah they have been awaiting, or when the World refuses to vanish away and reveal Paradise on schedule.

As for the recent anti-conspiracy theory propaganda, do the Republicans forget the twaddle that they so gleefully peddled during the Clinton Administration? How many people did the Clintons supposedly murder in toto? 95 or so, I think.

I have checked out the "bien fondé", or "bona fides", if you prefer latin, of some of these anti-Bush "conspiracy theories" and yes, there is some partisan chicanery going on, but even a jack-a-ninny ten days dead would have to admit that business as usual is little better than conspiracy, and that the subjects of many of these recriminations do business in a way which calls to mind the Tammany Hall distinction between "good honest graft" and "bad graft".

Adam Smith (the real one, the Prophet of Laissez-Faire Capitalism, not the contemporary business theologian) writes: "Men of a trade or profession, seldom gather together, even for the ostensible purpose of amusement, without a conspiracy against the public good". Adam Smith, conspiracy theorist. Since nobody has ever seen a free market this side of Heaven, perhaps his whole theory could be considered the ravings of a demented conspiracy theorist.

Show me a market where an infinite number of completely rational buyers and sellers conduct an honest trade in completely fungible goods, whilst in possession of perfect information on said goods and trade. Ha! Not in this world. The Devil intervenes to make fools and dupes of them all.

Conspiracy theorists: sure, there are nutters. There are religious nutters as well. They are often the same people. Doesn't mean the Devil isn't firmly in charge of all the real conspiracies: business, government, organized religion, the media, and, of course, the Little Neck Lake Ladies Knitting Society.
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