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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Monday, May 8, 2006

Those crazies with their conspiracy theories.

And no, not those left-wing conspiracy-mongers. Instead, Paul Krugman is talking about the conspiracy-mongers in Dubya's administration and among his supporters — the ones who claim that global warming is a fraud perpetrated by politically motivated scientists, and that the sittuation in Iraq only looks so bad because the US press refuses to report the good news. As Krugman points out, these beliefs definitely fit the definition of a conspiracy theory, which 'attempts to explain the cause of an event as a secret, and often deceptive, plot by a covert alliance.'

For the last few years, the term "conspiracy theory" has been used primarily to belittle critics of the Bush administration — in particular, anyone suggesting that the Bush administration used 9/11 as an excuse to fight an unrelated war in Iraq....

But the administration officials who told us that Saddam had an active nuclear program and insinuated that he was responsible for 9/11 weren't part of a covert alliance; they all worked for President Bush. The claim that these officials hyped the case for war isn't a conspiracy theory; it's simply an assertion that people in a position of power abused that position. And that assertion only seems wildly implausible if you take it as axiomatic that Mr. Bush and those around him wouldn't do such a thing....

It's little surprise that Dubya and his supporters continue charging the prez's critics with conspiracy-mongering. After all, there'd be a political price to pay if they admitted to their own mistakes and misdeeds.

[It] it turns out that many of the administration supporters can't handle the truth. They won't admit that they built a personality cult around a man who has proved almost pathetically unequal to the job. Nor will they admit that opponents of the Iraq war, whom they called traitors for warning that invading Iraq was a mistake, have been proved right. So they have taken refuge in the belief that a vast conspiracy of America-haters in the media is hiding the good news from the public.

Unlike the crazy conspiracy theories of the left — which do exist, but are supported only by a tiny fringe — the crazy conspiracy theories of the right are supported by important people: powerful politicians, television personalities with large audiences. And we can safely predict that these people will never concede that they were wrong. When the Iraq venture comes to a bad end, they won't blame those who led us into the quagmire; they'll claim that it was all the fault of the liberal media, which stabbed our troops in the back.

If you're a NY Times subscriber, you can read the rest of the column here. If not, you might find this link worth checking out.

| | Posted by Magpie at 11:35 AM | Get permalink




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