A Menagerie of Outspoken Opinions on Science, World Politics, and Geek Culture

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Samfoolish

Australian leftists are just coming out of the woodwork this week. I had to dismiss the one I conjured forth a couple days ago due to the fact that he proved unstable; when an adversary starts talking about "psycho-energetic forcefields" it’s best to banish him back into the internet ether from whence he came. Toying with crazy people is just wrong, and no one should it. Ever.

This morning Joshua of Hello Infidels! happened across The Samwise Polemic. In two recent posts (here and here) the inaptly named Samwise links and lends credence to the latest conspiracy theory making the rounds on the far left: Terrorists and Islamic Radicals aren’t killing hostages in Iraq, the US Military is killing hostages in Iraq. Such stories are coming from the exact same people who say the CIA (or Mosaad, take your pick) was responsible for September 11th: Al Jazeera and way-out left Islamist sympathizers like Nick Possum and Alex Jones. The only halfway credible source Samwise lists is a CNN article about Nick Berg’s murder, but when you read it it turns out to have nothing at all to do with the theory being discussed; a sub-heading entitled “Family accuses U.S. government” is about Berg’s father blaming the government for not getting his son out of Iraq sooner. At no point does anyone in the CNN piece claim Berg was beheaded by US forces.

Okay, now everyone calm down. Stop punching your monitors, and someone shoot Metallica Rat with a tranquilizer dart before he tries to board a plane for Australia with his guns.

This kind of tinfoil-hat, conspiracy theory vileness pisses me off too. But you have to realize that that’s one of their goals; with few, if any, more reasonable arguments capable of attacking our resolve, the Islamists and their leftist allies-of-convenience must increasingly resort to imaginary US evils as ammunition for their propaganda war. It’s hateful and foolish, but even hateful fools have a right to speak. No, my main problem with this kind of ignorant filth isn’t what they say, it’s the unbelievable credulity of those who accept it as true. Remember that Samwise’s wacky links don’t lead to the only moronic conspiracy theory on the internet: There are people who believe the moon landings were fake, people who think NASA is trying to kill us with nuclear-powered spacecraft, and even a few desperate fools who still believe The Blair Witch Project was a documentary. On the web you can find someone who will say whatever you want to hear – especially if that something takes a cruel poke at the United States and her people.

I would ask Samwise and others who lend credence this sort of crap to carefully consider their position. Why has not one major western news source picked up this story if there is even a grain of truth to it? The French would jump all over something as damning to the US as this, to say nothing of the Chinese. And why has not a single peer-reviewed journal presented a paper by a world leader or a scientist supporting the theory we’re killing hostages and then blaming it on terrorists? Even more importantly, why would we fake something so uplifting to the people we’re fighting and so demoralizing to our own supporters? If we wanted to win over Americans and Iraqis to “our side” with fake video, wouldn’t we make videos of Americans taking care of Iraqis in hospitals, helping them build schools, and teaching them to play baseball? It doesn't take a mental giant to realize that any boost these videotaped beheadings might give us from the “Now I’m Angry!” crowd would be more than counterbalanced by the reaction of the “Jeeze, freeing Iraq isn't worth this!” faction. When you ignore the most reasonable explanation of events in favor of poorly-reasoned conspiracy theories with little or no evidence to support them, it’s definitely wise to examine your own motivations for doing so. If you’re intellectually honest, you’ll almost always find that you’re reaching for the way-out nonsense over the reasonable answers because the way-out nonsense is saying something you want to hear.

Samwise presents us with these theories because they tell him what he desires to believe: The US is evil, the US is an empire, and the US is filled with murdering thugs and liars. Evidence and reason be damned; give me more o’ that America-bashing Mr. Islamist. The truth that these leftists are unwilling to accept is that if it were not for the moderate and conservative administrations currently waging a war on terrorism, Samwise and his liberal pals would be the first ones with their heads on the chopping block when Radical Islam finally got around to invading their country (you can ask the black Africans of the Sudan about that one if you like). The very people who are risking all to protect the ideals of liberal democracy - ideals like individual freedom, pluralism, and equality – are the people that Samwise dislikes and distrusts, the people he is ready to believe almost any nasty rumor about. Meanwhile, the Islamists – who truly detest everything he purports to believe in – are given the benefit of the doubt. Sounds almost as insane as psycho-energetic forcefields, doesn’t it?

Ultimately, there is little to be done about something like this. There will never be a shortage of short-sighted liberal fools ready to believe the next conspiracy theory about evil, evil America. All we can do is try to keep them from preventing the other 2/3 of us from doing what needs to be done before it’s too late. For their sake, ironically enough, as well as for our own.


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