Is this The Golden Age of Conspiracy? Here’s some of the most common conspiracy theories:
* That Nato governments and their tame journalists invented the “atrocities” committed by Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbia and her allies in order to justify a war to expand the empire of neo-liberalism into the southern Balkans;
* That Prince Philip, along with the British and French intelligence services, arranged the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, because she was about to marry a Muslim;
* That the 9/11 atrocities in New York and Washington were an “inside job” organised by a rogue faction within the US intelligence agencies or maybe the Bush administration itself to justify war in the Muslim world;
* That Israel warned Jews to stay away from the World Trade Centre on 9/11 but allowed the slaughter of gentiles to stoke up hatred of Muslims;
* That the Jews, once again, formed a “lobby” in the US that pushed America into a needless war against Saddam Hussein;
* And that the Bush and Blair administrations knew in advance that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction worthy of the name but lied and went to war under a false prospectus.
In the past 15 years, vast numbers of people have believed one or more of the above. For a decade after Diana’s death, polls reported that between one-fifth and one-third of the British public thought she had been murdered — even though to sustain that conviction they had to accept that the conspirators must have known in advance that she would decide not to stay in Mohamed Fayed’s Paris Ritz, what car she and Dodi Fayed would leave in once they had resolved to move on, who would be driving the car, where and by which route it would travel and — finally and bafflingly — that the poor woman would forget to put on her seatbelt.
A 2006 poll by the Pew Research Centre asked Muslims in Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan and Pakistan whether Arab terrorists carried out the September 11 attacks. A majority in all countries — and a huge majority in Pakistan — replied that they did not. More than half of British Muslims (56 per cent) agreed that the hijackers were innocent stooges of a devilish plot, and one-quarter went on to say that “the British government was involved in some way” with the 7/7 atrocities on the London Transport system. More than 100 million people have watched Loose Change, a slick and mendacious documentary which opines that a missile, not an airliner, hit the Pentagon, and that a secret government agency faked the recordings of panicked calls from the doomed passengers.
Meanwhile, around the Middle East, and increasingly among western intellectuals, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that ascribe supernatural power to Jewish influence are so prevalent no one has found a way to measure them.
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