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Conspiracy

by on June 4, 2022

Conspiracy

by Marco M. Pardi

Just Because You’re Paranoid, Doesn’t Mean They’re Not Out to Get You –“ Clare Birchall.

He suffers more than is necessary, who suffers before it is necessary.” Seneca the Younger.

All comments are welcome and will receive a reply. All previous posts are open for comment.

When, as a child, I first learned the word conspiracy I was thrilled. I wanted one. Of course, the prefix con (here meaning With) would mean having to confide in others, which I did not want to do. So that meant keeping silent. But what better way to have a conspiracy?

As I’ve grown older I’ve learned that many people believe conspiracies are all around them. My reaction has typically been, These people should get out more. See the world instead of just believing things about the world. I’ve even considered writing a parody: Gullible’s Travels.

In recent years the term Conspiracy Theory has taken hold like a canker sore on the lip. Bothersome, and just won’t go away. Seems to announce your inner state before you begin to speak yet saves you from phony displays of kissy-face. Readers know I bridle at the pedestrian use of the term theory. The scientificprogression is: Association; Hypothesis; Theory; Law. I see none of that in current “conspiracy theories”. Madison Avenue’s “50,000 people can’t be wrong” does not make a belief a theory. And, 50,000 people can be wrong, and along with many more can suffer from a form of intellectual pareidolia, seeing patterns in amorphous images or social events, seeing dots before the eyes……and connecting them.

But then, there are some patterns that insist on appearing, some patterns that can neither be proven nor denied . For example, woven through the historical tapestry of the formation of Israel, hidden to the casual eye, is a line of thought tying together precedent, high minded rhetoric, festering problems, promising discoveries, and hidden motives. The rhetoric emanated from a letter written by then British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild, an influential leader in the Anglo-Jewish Community, in 1917. Secretary Balfour expressed support for the establishment of a “Jewish Homeland” for the Jews spread throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. The letter was made public and became known as the Balfour Declaration. Several countries, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, and Germany, each with enclaves sometimes known as Jewish “ghettos”, ratified the sentiment therein. However, the conspiracy thread suggests hidden motives on the part of those hoping to increase their gains from promising discoveries.

But first, was there precedent for such a transfer of people? Indeed. As early as 1815 a wealthy bi-racial Quaker named Paul Cuffe began bringing African-American Bostonians to a colony in Sierra Leone. In time, especially after the Emancipation Proclamation, the “Back to Africa” movement, founded by Marcus Garvey, and the American Colonization Society spurred thousands of African-Americans to move to Sierra Leone and to Liberia, where they established Freetown. A central theme was the idea that African-Americans could never have true civil rights and equality in the United States and therefore needed to move to Africa. Seemed reasonable. Of course, by the latter half of the 19th century another theme lurked in the background: The belief that Lincoln did not free the slaves out of the goodness of his heart but rather because a group of his advisers convinced him that doing so would achieve at least a couple of purposes: Crippling the growing strength of the South which had developed strong trade with Britain and Europe; and forcing the movement of a low cost labor force to the North to bolster the North’s strength in the developing Industrial Revolution. Southern plantation owners would be unable to retain the labor force once it transitioned from slave to wage earner. The former slaves would have to move North to accept jobs little better and often more dangerous than what they had before.

So yes, looking at the Back to Africa movement there was precedent for encouraging the widespread Jewish peoples back to a homeland, even if most of them had never been out of the countries in which they were currently residing and had little understanding of the Hebrew language. Speaking of language, the high minded rhetoric was certainly there as well. After all, such an uprooting and move to an unknown required the very best a motivational speaker could offer. Of course, the long standing problems of anti-Semitism were mentioned, but only as problems which then had a solution.

And what about those promising new discoveries? In 1859 Edwin L. Drake struck oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania leading to a rapidly growing industry well under way by the 1870’s. The numerous wells provided oil for the United States with plenty to sell abroad, especially in Europe. But companies in Great Britain wanted to be free of such dependence.

In March of 1908, after years of difficult conditions and failure, geologist George Bernard Reynolds discovered oil in Persia (modern-day Iran). A year later, an oil company in the UK, Burmah Oil, created a subsidiary company to develop oil production in Persia, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC), which started volume production of oil by 1913. Britain’s Royal Navy was under the leadership of Winston Churchill, who wanted to shift its fuel source from coal to oil. The Navy thus became the company’s major customer and a de facto hidden power behind its success. And, the conclusion of WWI brought with it the end of the Ottoman Empire throughout what is now a conglomeration of artificially created States known as the Middle East.

Enter the conspiracy theory. The theme, which is still current, was that the major oil companies, which were quickly becoming transnationals, conspired together to insert a dependable irritant, the Jewish State of Israel, into a predominantly Muslim oil rich region. Conflict was bound to occur, giving plausible cause for raising oil prices. And, if it did not occur often enough to satisfy greed for profit, it could be easily sparked.

Israel is usually depicted as the victim of terrorism and that is certainly accurate. But the narrative in the West just as often omits the history of Israeli terrorism. Among the most notorious acts of Jewish terrorism in pre-state Israel was the bombing in 1946 of the King David Hotelin Jerusalem, where British authorities then ruling the area had their headquarters. Dozens were killed and over 100 injured in the attack, which was carried out by the Irgun, a paramilitary group that split from the larger Haganah. In 1948, in the weeks leading up to Israel’s establishment and the outbreak of the War of Independence, the Irgun participated in the infamous Deir Yassin massacre, in which over 100 Palestinians were killed in an Arab village near Jerusalem. The Lehi (sometimes known as the Stern Gang), which also participated in the Deir Yassin killings, was responsible for a number of attacks in the 1940s that killed civilians as well as British soldiers.

In the interim between the wars and major conflicts of the past few decades we repeatedly see Israel violating Cease Fire terms by evicting Palestinian families from homes they have owned for centuries, burning their olive groves, bulldozing homes to make new Jewish armed settler enclaves, and imposing blockades against humanitarian aid. The most recent expulsion is being directed against the villagers of Masafer Yatta. Oil profits reach record highs; American politicians deflect attention elsewhere.

While gathering my thoughts on these and related issues I was, as usual, in contact with a former very highly placed adviser to senior officials in the U.S. government. I received permission to include a couple of snippets from those email exchanges so long as I concealed his identity and current location. His comments are in italics, mine in block print.

From my time on Capitol Hill I learned something about Democrats that shocked me more than anything. Republicans never shocked me but the democrats tormented my moral compass. They can be just as ratty—if not rattier— because it’s sneaky. And that’s what makes a rat, a rat. At least, giving credit where it’s due, the republicans feel so strongly in their ridiculous convictions that they are pompous enough to say it, giving us, the masses, the chance to fight it. The Democrats do not. They preach of human rights, but Obama was personally giving the IDF* (one time on his own birthday, August 4th, I think a sum of 8 million if I’m not mistaken) American civilian tax dollars for their “protection” against Palestinians.

All this to say, in politics, it’s never as it seems. And I think our number one issue as a society is that we have allowed our government to pull the wool over our eyes with a false sense of us versus them. It’s not. It’s us versus us. We lose sight of what matters, to jab each other for being republican or democrat, while they are both taking this ship down. And fast. To add insult to injury, a lot of them are actually good friends behind the scenes and they play us for fools in front of the camera.

Warm regards,

I’m so very glad you wrote that. I have suspected it for a long time. I’ve never been a member of any political party; I consider that like fraternities and sororities-childish. Marco 

And you hit the nail on the head with the childishness of it equating with sororities and fraternities. I always say that Capitol Hill around lunchtime is like walking into a university cafeteria. You should have seen the day Netanyahu came to town. AIPAC members had brought their entire families from all over the US. I was genuinely afraid to say I was (national origin redacted), because the conversations around me were so uncivil. And these were Americans! 

As Americans, I felt they were far too privileged to be that angry. It was appalling, the level of violence they did not know, but very vocally thirsted after. Terrifying. Warm regards,

* IDF is Israeli Defense Forces.

It seems the bottom line here is that, as the adviser says, nothing is as it seems. And that goes for official pronouncements as well as for lunatic conspiracy theories like the QAnon craziness such as Democrats are pedophiles. But are all conspiracy theories lunacy? The presidential election of 2016 has clearly been shown to have been strongly influenced by Russian disinformation on a massive scale. Whether members of one particular American political Party took part, and the extent to which they may have taken part is an open question. But the activities subsequent to that Party’s loss in 2020, including the attempted overthrow of the United States government are textbook examples of a well orchestrated, though fortunately unsuccessful conspiracy.

In the coming days we will see the massive and comprehensive evidence gathered by the January 6th Committee, including the transcripts of texts and emails exchanged by officials at the very highest levels of the then presidential administration. And they did not act alone. While the efforts of these officials may be judged as the actions of lunatics, the consequences for the people of the United States could not have been more serious. Having failed at their initial attempt to overthrow the federal government, the conspirators are busy at the State level to assemble a consortium empowered to repeal the Constitution of the United States.

As the trite saying goes, “If it walks like a duck……..”

No non-humans were harmed in the making of this post.

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8 Comments
  1. mkdohle permalink

    I believe that no one is innocent, at least on the level of those in power. I do not think we are really getting better, we just have high ideals that are widespread. Yet, power does corrupt, as well as the desire for power.

    There is always room for hope. It would seem that collectively things will have to become so bad that we are forced to seek other avenues to deal with power, control, and how we treat others. Hitting bottom can be to our advantage if we survive it.

    Thanks for the post my friend.

    peace
    Mark

    Like

    • Thank you, Mark. Of course, the lurking danger here is that many (more) people will become so disillusioned and disgusted they throw up their hands and do nothing. That truly would be handing the country over to the conspirators. And, if these conspirators are enabled to regain power your suggestion of seeking other avenues will be viewed as treason and punished severely.

      During the Nixon administration a close friend (an Air Force Intelligence Officer) took me for a ride deep into a forest in a Southern State. Suddenly we came upon a huge new enclosure surrounded by a high chain link fence topped by concertina wire and announced by federal signs denying entry. He explained this was a facility for holding “dissenters”. It can happen again.

      Like

  2. Dana permalink

    “In the coming days we will see the massive and comprehensive evidence gathered by the January 6th Committee, including the transcripts of texts and emails exchanged by officials at the very highest levels of the then presidential administration. And they did not act alone. While the efforts of these officials may be judged as the actions of lunatics……”

    This is the portion that most stands out, significantly the idea of “lunatics.”  This sometimes almost feels like a conspiracy theory itself.  It might seem easier or simpler to dismiss crimes against humanity as “lunacy” or the work of “madmen” or “insane” people.  This can be anyone from Stalin to Donald Trump to mass killers who enter our schools and other public places with firearms.  The reality of well-planned and executed horrors by sane people can be difficult to comprehend and process.  Of course I don’t dismiss the catastrophic results of nature/nurture, and there may also be personality and mental disorders involved.  But the idea that these people suddenly “snap” diminishes what goals they have deliberately worked toward, and sadly achieved.  

    In the 1990s as a young at-home mother for several years I met regularly with two distinct social parenting groups.  One group consisted of mainly “crunchy granola” types, a few college-educated, but at the time most were autodidacts like I was.  The other group’s mothers were mostly well-educated, upper-middle class, many working outside the home and some nearly twice my age.  Conspiracy “theories” had their grip in both groups, including whether to vaccinate infants and children.  Those years as a young parent living in a rural area were challenging enough, and today I’m grateful for the points of view I observed and from which I learned. It was certainly never boring.

    As in all areas, it is essential to exercise critical thinking skills. This is especially germane considering the level and speed of information we know today.

    Like

    • Thank you, Dana, for the remarkably insightful analysis. Of course, my reference to lunatics should not imply that I see every one of these participants as such, but the conclusion is easy for most to draw. Your account of your meetings with a variety of functional people definitely serves as a caution that seemingly “normal” people can harbor some extreme ideas. And that’s the beauty of well constructed misinformation, from whatever source. Of interest to me, and I’m sure to you, is the question of how that misinformation found fertile ground in which to grow. We have learned much lately about Confirmation Bias, but the readiness to accept an idea is still largely an unknown.

      Like

  3. Julie permalink

    I’ll admit it, I’ve always loved a conspiracy ” theory” I feel it’s because like you say, everything is not what it seems and I always aim to keep an open mind. However, these days with the prolific media content consuming people’s brains, I feel wrong information can easily take a life of it’s own and one can have difficulty decifering fact from fiction. Throw in the political agenda which I believe to be more often than not, far from the real truth eg the smoke and mirror scenario and people have lost trust and don’t know what to believe. Maybe I’m speaking from my own perspective, I tend to go to the grass roots approach to clarify my mind and sort out the “truth”.
    Thanks for writing another thoughtful piece which again aligned with my thoughts. I had the thought previously to draw up a “basic” type of flow chart with history events in time frames as I struggle understanding these events in a time setting. It made me think of it again with the events and years listed in this blog.
    I hope you are well Marco, keep up the good work that you generously give that we all truly appreciate ❤

    Like

    • Thank you, Julie. You are referring to a process many find too tedious to pursue. And that’s what we find in even casual conversations; people too often launch off on a topic having presumed you are aware of and agree to the unspoken predicates. Yet when you press them to validate their statements they act like you are interrogating them. On the other hand, I get accused of being “professorial” when I engage in a conversation for which I clearly lay out the basis. Oh, well.

      Thank you for the encouragement. I will keep at it.

      Like

  4. I get that even paranoid people have real enemies, and there are real plots and conspiracies out there, but for the most part I think it is just nonsense. My husband has been known to believe in a few; not the big lie, but pretty much anything which finds fault in the current administration.

    I tend to think the Jan. 6 insurrection was the result of some form of conspiracy, but I am far more worried about what it was hiding than the horror that happened on that day. What was the other hand doing while the “right” hand kept us glued to what they wanted us to see and believe. Surely none of them thought they would really get away with their stated purpose (except perhaps for Drumpf); Jan 6 read like a false flag, and how long will it be until we see the prime agenda.

    Now, that’s a conspiracy.

    Like

    • Thank you, Rose. There is abundant evidence that a complete cancellation and rewrite of the Constitution is in development. The Republican party is expending millions on State election races for 2022 that will enable States to pass and enact voter restriction laws which, when taken together, will enable the States so affected to act as a common body to declare the Constitution null and void and to rewrite it according to their White Christian Nationalist agenda. This is all well documented and discussed in the unbiased news media – that which remains to us – and the beauty of it is that Americans are less interested in the news than in their gas prices and other expenses. I would give America as we know it five more years at most.

      Like

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