Saturday, May 14, 2011
Why are people scornful of rational inquiry?
By Emrah Kaynak
Much of the discussion on the announcement of the death of bin Laden is devoted to disqualifying critical thinking by assimilating it with paranoid delusions. Whoever has expressed suspicion of various official narratives has immediately been saddled with the unflattering ‘conspiracy theorist’ epithet. The corporate media uncritically sides with power and is trying hard to make coherent the incoherent.
The concept of “conspiracy theory” is used improperly and systematically to discredit any rational inquiry. The undefined contours of this framework/concept can encompass without distinction a series of reflections. The process is simple. It involves putting all of the various alternative theories on an equal footing. Weaker theories are lumped in with the legitimate, substantiated doubts of the official narrative. As a result, relevant issues are smothered under a welter of unsubstantiated hypotheses.
Distrust towards official discourse is only the logical result of various confirmed covert plots. The United States as a world power is accustomed to intoxication as demonstrated by the emblematic case of the Kennedy assassination. Despite the several aberrations, the wobbly thesis of the lone sniper is yet to be reviewed.
We still remember the crude propaganda that led to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Supposedly mindful political leaders, experts and journalists were endlessly harping on about “weapons of mass destruction” that will never be found.
We were then presented with detailed plans of hypersophisticated command and control centers of al-Qaeda in the caves of Tora Bora that were completely imaginary. We have not forgotten the fully staged ‘rescue’ of Jessica Lynch in Iraq, not to mention the case of incubators in Kuwait designed to move the American people and justify their entry into the war.
It is these same journalists and experts, willing or unwilling, who today mock observers who show suspicion towards sources that are known to manipulate and fabricate information.
Rejecting a priori the existence of clandestine and concerted actions with a geostrategic aim is to deny the very existence of secret services. An intelligence agency is not a news agency and the CIA cannot be treated as an unbiased source. Without evidence of the circumstances of the death of bin Laden, we are asked to surrender ourselves to the good faith of the CIA director or the President of the United States. Yet truth, politics and war have never been good bedfellows.
What is known about Osama bin Laden of that what the U.S. authorities tell us? It is widely known that al Qaeda is a subsidiary of Arab fighters trained by U.S, Pakistani and Saudi Arabian intelligence, to fight against Communist influence and pan-Arabism.
This occult movement has never served as much the interests of the United States than today. Who speaks endlessly of al-Qaeda? The labeling ‘al-Qaeda’ is sufficient to disqualify ipso facto any popular insurgency in occupied countries. These hammered and repeated incantations eventually gain hold in the minds of the intended audience.
Immediately after the death of bin Laden was announced, we were already warned that the fight against terrorism has not ended and that we must be wary of further Islamist retaliation. Al-Qaeda would have promised to avenge the death of its founder. This enemy is so convenient that it provides the necessary argument for maintaining foreign troops in Afghanistan.
Fear is a first-hand support for propagandists. A public that is frightened is willing to submit to authority and to exalt its national identity. All you have to do is say that Islamists hate the West and that they want to destroy it, to ensure the unconditional support of the imperialist policy of the United States.
Would conspiracy theorists not be those who support the idea of an international jihadist plot? Those who see conspirators at the slightest expression of criticism? Those who propagate a Manichean vision of the world divided between good and evil, freedom and obscurantism to justify their military interventions?