Thursday, July 29, 2004


Conspiracy theory-gate

The phrase "conspiracy theory" is such a tired, worn out, lazy cliche that anyone committed to honest discourse should really be very wary of using it. Nothing easier than avoiding thinking about something by dimissing it as a far out "conspiracy theory".

This, if it really is true is pretty extraordinary, all things considered.

On the other hand, are people generally aware that it is pretty well established that the Nixon campaign sabotaged the 1968 Paris peace talks initiated by Lyndon Johnson, seemingly because they feared a prospective end to the Vietnam war would boost Hubert Humphrey at the polls?

(I'm basing this on Anthony Summer's Nixon biography and a BBC-produced Kissinger docu-trial; if anyone knows of facts to the contrary, don't be shy).

Quite the conspiracy theory, eh?

Really, Nixon get's off lightly in general. I mean: Watergate, please. How about 'Namgate, Cambodiagate etc. etc.. (Actually, scratch that since the practice of affixing "-gate" to every scandal should have been outlawed long ago).

Something like three million Vietnamese dead over more than a decade, and Waterate is the scandal? And today, the best thing about the Democratic nominee for President is that he took part in that assault? In a healthier political culture Kerry would be covering up his "service" and putting his anti-war activities up front and centre. Instead we have Bush covering up his no-show for his no-show and Kerry boasting of his willingness "[t]o go and kill the yellow man" as The Boss once put it.

* * * * * * * *

'Piping the former Navy lieutenant ashore when he finally arrived was a rousing version of Bruce Springsteen's "No Surrender."
Grabbing the microphone, Kerry declared, "Bruce Springsteen has it right. No retreat. No surrender. We are taking this fight to the country, and we are going to win back our democracy and our future." '

This sort of thing has happened before of course.

Hitchens does a good job of covering the stuff around the 1968 Paris peace talks in his book on Kissinger.

But you probably know that already.

Still. Just thought I'd mention it.
me again. I keep popping up here like a bad case of herpes. Anyway MR Conspiracy* have a look at this.

The idea that particular groups of people meet together secretly or in private to plan various courses of action, and that some of these plans actually exert a significant influence on particular historical developments, is typically rejected out of hand and assumed to be the figment of a paranoid imagination...

...A number of complex cultural and historical factors contribute to this reflexive and unwarranted reaction, but it is perhaps most often the direct result of a simple failure to distinguish between 'conspiracy theories' in the strict sense of the term, which are essentially elaborate fables even though they may well be based upon a kernel of truth, and the activities of actual clandestine and covert political groups, which are a common feature of modern politics.

Of course this is the typical Chomskyite view of the world. Ideas/ideology floating above everthing, unencumbered by real actual life. The complete opposite of materialism.
I knew there was some metaphor I was searching for to describe you, Will - "a bad case of herpes" it is, then.

[Digression: Police Squad scene comes to mind: Drebin being assaulted from all quarters. Helpless dame screams warnings: "Watch out Frank, he's got a gun!" (Guy with gun knocked out). "Watch out Frank, he's got a knife!" (Ditto for guy with knife). "Watch out Frank, he's got herpes!" (Ditto again for guy stumbling towards Drebin with foaming mouth).]

[Further digression: has it ever occurred to anyone that Herpes and Hemroids sound like they should be the names for the Greek gods of embarrassing diseases?]

I haven't read Hitchens' "Trial" but he featured in that documentary. Actually I was surprised to see no mention of any Kissenger role in Summers' book.
cheeky bugger.

funny tho' but
I have a herpes zoster site/blog. It pretty much covers herpes zoster related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)
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