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fun with rumors

2003-04-25 - 2:19 p.m.

"To ignore conspiracies is to compromise your search for the truth." -- Jackson Thoreau, co-author of We Will Not Get Over It: Restoring a Legitimate White House.

I have wondered at times why people can believe that thousands of people can work together for some great enterprise of a positive nature, such as sending a man to the moon, yet they cannot believe that even a handful of men can work together for their own personal profit at the expense of others. The anti-conspiracy nuts have, at best, an excessively naive view of human nature. That said, there are rumors and conspiracy theories that make the rounds without much, if any, seeming merit except that they're just plain evil fun.

Some current rumors drifting about...

  • Remember the big explosions and earth-moving sounds coming from under Dick Cheney's house last autumn? Remember how the Cheneys refused to explain any of this noise or activity to the neighborhood association, much less the press? Whisper has it that some of the billions of dollars worth of antiquities looted from Baghdad -- a job now proven to have been committed by professionals who had keys to the vaults -- have appeared in the Cheneys' underground blast-proof art gallery. And I thought all he cared about was duck hunting.

  • Now that it has become embarrassing that Saddam didn't have any weapons of mass destruction that anyone can find, then people have begun to ask: Just what the heck was this war all about? After all, if it was just to steal the oil, we should have gone after Saudi Arabia, an extremist fundamentalist regime which denies freedom to all and makes a point of oppressing women, has documented ties to funding the 9-11 attacks -- and, most importantly, has even more oil than Iraq.

    The Russian and South Asia press have their own theory about this matter. It is not a war for oil, but a war to force nations to continue to prefer the dollar to the euro. Naughty Iraq apparently switched to accepting the euro in 1999. Venezuela, the victim of a recent U.S. backed coup that failed in a few days, hasn't gone that far, but is bartering oil instead of always demanding the almighty dollar in payment, which is almost as outrageous. In that case, the war is not over yet, as rumor has it that Indonesia is threatening to switch to the euro unless the U.S. stops the crusade against Islam. If the Muslim nations do switch to the euro, and foreign "safe haven" investment largely moves from the U.S. markets to the European markets, then the U.S. could sink into a depression from which it would not recover in my lifetime. Or so say the rumors.

  • When it comes to wild speculation, the American media doesn't want to be left out of the fun. ABCNews has its own idea of why we fought this war, the old Twilight's Last Gleaming theory. Spoiler alert for those who haven't seen this Burt Lancaster/ Richard Widmark flick...

    R which we learn that the war in Vietnam was fought, not because we seriously believed all that domino nonsense, but to convince the Soviet Union that our leaders were so fucking crazy that they were capable of anything and should be humored and kowtowed to rather than confronted and challenged.

    Reporter John Cochran phrases it a little more diplomatically:

    "W A S H I N G T O N, April 25: To build its case for war with Iraq, the Bush administration argued that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but some officials now privately acknowledge the White House had another reason for war -- a global show of American power... the Bush administration decided it must flex muscle to show it would fight terrorism, not just here at home and not just in Afghanistan against the Taliban, but in the Middle East, where it was thriving."
    In other words, we couldn't get the real bad guys, but we had to get somebody to prove that we would fight back, so we just decided to attack another group of guys who happened to be Arabs (albeit secular rather than extremist fundy Arabs) and this is somehow going to encourage Arabs to stop being terrorists because now they know the U.S. leaders are so fucking crazy they'll do anything.

    The sad thing is, as silly as this particular conspiracy theory sounds, it has a fairly decent chance of being if not the whole story, then certainly part of the story.

  • But I, personally, would never discount the simple financial motive. Former Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney receives $1 million a year from Halliburton and in return they have received the lucrative contract to clean up the mess we've made in Iraq. Cheney is probably worth that pricey paycheck, considering that he seems to have single-handedly kept Halliburton out of bankruptcy court, thus preserving everyone's stock options. And if he picked up a few gold-crusted art works along the way, well, let's throw one artwork stealing Fox engineer to the dogs and pretend we've done something about the looting, shall we?

"Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king." -- Bob Dylan

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