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osama the carrot and the mother of all conspiracies (12-31-1)
The problem with both your average conspiracy theorist and the average person who thinks conspiracies are just a bunch of horseshit is that they tend to think everyone involved in a conspiracy has to be entirely conscious of his role in said conspiracy to take any part in it.
Take for example the idea that a recent Osama bin Laden video may have been doctored or mistranslated. I don't necessarily contend that anyone purposely would have mistranslated it. But, when in doubt, it's very easy to hear what you want to hear, very easy to translate phrasing very foreign to your source to phrasing not just familiar to them but, in the specific case of this video, expected by them.
I took some Spanish in college. I must admit I do not remember much of it aside from some basics and a word here or there. But, knowing how verb conjugation works in that language, and understanding how the same works in English, barring good sound quality, I would have trouble picking out difference between verb tenses, say, mira, miras, miro, etc. Yet, we find here, translating a seemingly far more complicated language than Spanish to English, people take it as face value in the English transcript that bin Laden is talking about what "we" (himself included) "anticipated" (future tense) about the attack on September 11.
Now, compare the difference between the following phrases:
"We didn't anticipate that the whole building would collapse."
"We never would have guessed that the whole building would collapse"
"We never would've guessed that the whole building would've collapsed."
"I didn't anticipate that the whole building would collapse."
"I never would've guessed the whole building would've collapsed."
Only minor variations, and you try translating those from English to any other language, and you would be tempted, not entirely consciously, to translate them all the same. They are all very much alike, about how the subject, I, he, we, you, did not know or guess what would happen.
And, a quick aside, Osama bin Laden is an engineer. He could have as casual a thought about how a building might collapse as you might or I might think about any single aspect of whatever our occupation might be. Even, taking into account a proper translation, he could have very well seen the planes strike the towers and anticipated or not anticipated then quite easily how it might go from there.
Or, God forbid, maybe he knew about it beforehand. Knowledge of a plan before an act, however much our American legal system may try to convince us otherwise, is not guilt of participation in that plan. Osama bin Laden supposedly is a terrorist. Terrorists do not strike military targets or imperialistically commercial targets like the World Trade Center. Terrorists put bombs in mailboxes. Terrorists blow up rides at Disneyland. Terrorists attack embassies. Terrorists make it so that everyday life is full of fear. Well, any fear the average American has had in recent months about possibly being victim to new attacks comes from their own idiocy, unless they were already in the line of fire to begin with. Middle America has nothing to fear from anthrax in the mail. But, our government and our media would have us believe that we are all in danger. Nevermind that they put us in that danger in the first place, if it's even there. We are not all in danger. No nation on this planet could take over America. There are far too many people here who would never stand for that. No nation on this planet could destroy us without destroying themselves.
And, commandeering those planes back in September?that was not some desperate act by people jealous of our freedoms. That was not even a first strike against our nation as a whole. The targets were simple: the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. As I?ve called them before, the two hearts of the American empire, military might and multinational business, money and power, the bases for two prongs of our takeover of the world (the third, twisted up in those two and so broad that it would be hard to find any center to it, would fall somewhere in the entertainment field, with our movies and our television).
We have permanent military bases in countries around the world. We have the power to freeze financial assets around the globe. We compel the world constantly to bow to our every whim. The thing is, we don't do it so dramatically as to literally make anyone get down on his knees. We do it subtly, unconsciously. We believe so forthrightly that America is the pinnacle of civilization that we cannot fathom why anyone would dare or care to live any way but how we do. We believe, rather arrogantly, that they should be and will be thankful if we give them our movies, our television, our money and our way of life.
And, we let our government do whatever it wants to do around the world, for years covertly and now right under our upturned noses. We draw a distinction between one man grown rich off of oil and another man done just the same, one who would dare hate us, one who would dare lead us. We don't bat an eye at hearing that Dick Cheney and George W Bush will reap huge monetary benefits from not having the Taliban in the way of their oil pipeline wishes in Afghanistan. We look away as our soldiers and our allies torture and murder thousands of people on the other side of the world, all because we feel hurt and confused by the idea that anyone could possibly not like us.
We are the bully, people. We are no "world's policeman." We are the big kid on the playground who demands money and subservience from everybody else, and beats down anyone who will not comply.
But, it's so easy to leave things as they are, to just keep being what we are. As long as there's a demon out there for us to hate and hunt and kill. And, remodeling his particular corner of hell to suit our needs, well that's just a bonus once he's gone. It couldn't possibly be the reason behind it. But, to recognize that there might be ulterior motives, conscious or unconscious ones, to accept that someone might just be dangling a carrot in front of us to get us to keep marching would be to accept that maybe our way of life has a bigger downside than a few homeless people or unwanted pregnancies or rampant drug abuse. It only takes one person to ruin the world. How bad can we make it with millions banded together?
We need to open our eyes and see the bigger picture. We need to view all of this in a larger historical context, ongoing wars between Islam, Judaism, Christianity, commercialism, capitalism, democracy, socialism, every religion and every form of government, back and forth over time, all vying for some imaginary prize, all holding each other back from true enlightenment, if there even is such a thing. Nations have minds of their own outside of the individuals that comprise them. Social movements and ideas have lives of their own. Men and nations band together, often without even realizing it, or refusing to recognize it, to change the status quo, because the status quo does not work for everyone. There is no conspiracy, and there is the mother of all conspiracies, minds and hearts joined in purpose beyond conscious thought, or organized in official training camps and military bases, all to change the face of the world. And, lately, we are the enemy of that world, pushing harder and faster than anyone else in the direction the world needs not to go anymore. Globalization will not solve anything. People are different. People will remain different. If we were all the same, life would not be worth living.
Now, we need to all step back and see the big picture, that context that they don't want us to see. This war?and I use that term loosely?has been little but distraction after distraction from that big picture. We're given exciting images of explosions, personalities to follow, the American Taliban, the unfortunate CIA agent, the gaunt and evil bin Laden. We're offered "damning" evidence that is questionable at best, but as long as our president keeps telling us we will not stop and we will not fail, well, god damn, we're gonna believe him. Cause, if we dared to question him, our whole world could crumble around us, and change is frightening, even if for the better because, however better, it's still unfamiliar and unknown. And, what's scarier than that?
As long as we've got our carrot dangling in front of us, just out of reach, this war will go on. Unless we accept that we might not be able to reach our goal and there is plenty of food in plenty of other places than hanging before our eyes.
And, remember one thing.
Nothing of any import happened before September. That's what we're supposed to believe. We're in a brave new world, where it's all about the "war on terror." Our year now ending began on September 11. Nevermind our president recognizing the Taliban as a sovereign government in August, telling them to deal with us or be overthrown. Nevermind bush paying the Taliban back in march and complimenting them on their dealing with drug exports from Afghanistan. Nevermind a senator possibly murdering the girl with whom he was having an affair. Nevermind the births and deaths around the world of individuals all allegedly created equal and deserving of life as much as any of us. Nevermind whatever personal triumphs or tragedies we each may have faced in the first eight months of this year. It's all about good vs evil now, as if there were ever anything else going on.
One person can ruin the world. Millions banded together can destroy it. That's the easy part. It's saving the world that is hard.