Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Convenient Conspiracies

Now, I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but recent events are enough to make a man think. This business about the alleged explosive devices on cargo planes - was that convenient, or what? I mean, only the week before we'd had various major players in the airline industry complaining about the overly restrictive security measures passengers flying to the US were having to endure, and demanding they be relaxed, along comes this new airport-related terror scare. What chance now of those security restrictions on passenger flights being relaxed now, eh? Not that I'm saying that the authorities colluded in allowing these devices to fly, initially undetected, on international cargo flights, then release details at the most opportune moment. Obviously. Mind you, it's not the first time this sort of thing has happened, is it? What about the London suicide bombers? There was the government, facing increasing pressure over its anti-terror legislation, with critics claiming it was an overreaction, and completely unnecessary, when, right on cue, a bunch of Islamic fundamentalists blow themselves and half the tube system up.

Let's not forget 9/11 while we're on the subject. Those attacks were a Godsend for the Bush administration, which had been looking for an excuse to move against Iraq since it was elected. Once again, right on cue, the terrorists struck, ensuring a boost in popularity for a reactionary government which enabled them to implement their highly dangerous foreign policy. Then again, of course, it could all be coincidence, in every one of those cases. Which is what the conspiracy theorists can never seem to accept - that sometimes things just happen in isolation and that events which seem to be related in hindsight, are actually quite separate. It's easy to see 'patterns' and make spurious connections between unrelated events when you view them from a distance. The reality is that coincidence plays a bigger part in life than most of us are prepared to admit. The truth is that there is no great plan - things just happen without any particular purpose. But, like all good obsessives, the conspiracy theorists need to be able to make everything fit neatly into a plan. Personally, I've never really liked plans. I prefer to play it by ear. Like the universe.

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