Thursday, March 02, 2006

Chomsky, tin foil hats and the Pope

This is interesting:

Soviets 'ordered Pope shooting'

An Italian parliamentary commission has concluded that the former Soviet Union was behind the 1981 assassination attempt on the late Pope John Paul II.

. . .

Turkish national Mehmet Ali Agca, now 48, shot the Pope in St Peter's Square on 13 May 1981, hitting him four times.

Agca never gave a motive, and mystery has continued to surround the shooting.

Ok let me be tinfoil hattish for a second. I'm not the sort to think there is a C.I.A. conspiracy behind every terrorist attack, but something about the London bus bombings really bothered me. I'm not saying it was a CIA, MI6 or Mossad plot, just that certain things just bugged me as too convenient given the timing of the incident during the G8 summit (the one where we were not too happy about talking about the environment instead of terrorism).

The bombers also didn't make sense - a newlywed Jamaican and Pakistani drug dealers don't sound like AQ fundamentalists to me, but they do make good patsies. This rundown of the events pretty much sums up my concerns and raises some interesting questions.

So I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this - over 20 yrs later we learn that the assasination attempt on the Pope which caused shockwaves around the world is now quietly reported as being an actual, real-life conspiracy orchestrated by a powerful government.

So why is it easy for us to accept this conspiracy but the thought of a western government spoofing an act of terrorism so hard to believe? That's where Chomsky comes in.

Chomsky would say that we, and our press, are more than willing to believe the most fantastic explanations and the most sordid stories about "the other," but never about ourlselves. Our media will happily castigate the Russian invasion of Afghanistan as barbaric, while downplaying, or ignoring, our own war crimes in the region, and the people will acquiescently buy into it - never questioning it for a second.

So were the London bombings a conspiracy? There was certainly a lot of heat coming from the administration over the emphasis on global warming and African aid at the G8. We know that elements of this government aren't above murder or using tragedy to suit a political end and we know Mossad has tried to create fake terror cells so while many will scream Occam's Razor, the simplest explanation is never satisfactory when discussing political hardliners and black operations.

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