Tuesday, June 10, 2008

'911 Was an Inside Job! Our Boys Need to Know!'

Freedom on speech is a great thing. As well as enlivening public debate and helping to hold our leaders accountable, it occasionally provides entertainment for civilians stateside, and target practice for our troops.

The Real Truth About Iraq: Inquiring Minds Want to Know?

"U.S. troops serving in Iraq may be getting more letters during mail call, but they won't be care packages — one group is sending them letters and DVDs claiming 9/11 was an 'inside job' and that they should rethink why they're fighting...."

" 'People want the facts. The Marines are hungry for the truth — what got them there [in Iraq], why are they risking their lives — and we're going to help them understand that,' "
(Mark Dice, founder of The Resistance, presenting his concerns to Fox News"Group Plans to Send Letters to Troops in Iraq on How U.S. Government Planned 9/11," FoxNews.com (June 10, 2008))
The Resistance says it's a media watchdog, which might explain why "Dice plans to send letters and declassified government documents that he says can prove the government’s responsibility for the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people...."

America is a free country, and Mr. Dice has a right to send mail. Although I've got to think that he wishes he'd done this before the postal rates went up. Say, maybe that's part of the government conspiracy to silence the truth!

To his credit, Mr. Dice has altruistic motives:
"Dice told FOX News that he's trying to help troops by giving a voice to people 'afraid to speak up out of fear of punishment' from their superiors.

" 'We're trying to create a climate that's safe for these people to ask real questions . . . so we can get our boys back as soon as possible, safe and sound,' he said." 1

Meanwhile, Back in Our World

" 'These letters will end up in the toilet or on the firing range,' said Capt. Pete Hegseth, executive director of Vets for Freedom and a veteran of the Iraq War. 'They just laugh off this kind of stuff.'

"Hegseth told FOX News that American troops don’t need help from Dice to figure out why they’re in Iraq.

" 'The fact of the matter is most soldiers and Marines understand why they’re fighting,' Hegseth said. 'These are volunteers who believe in their service - they believe in the mission they’ve been sent to do.' "
(Mark Dice, founder of The Resistance, presenting his concerns to Fox News"Group Plans to Send Letters to Troops in Iraq on How U.S. Government Planned 9/11," FoxNews.com (June 10, 2008))
Volunteers, yes, but doesn't 'everybody know' that the American armed forces are made up of ignorant, poor, minorities who have been duped and abused by an oppressive system?

I'll get back to that later.

What America Needs are Better Conspiracy Theories

One thing that troubles me about conspiracy theories in general, and those involving 9/11 in particular, is a sort of failure of vision.

Starting with an attack of epic proportions - thousands of people dying as a pair of great skyscrapers fall; heroic passengers and crew of an airliner dying as they stop terrorists from wreaking havoc at some still-unknown target; and yet another airliner plowing into the Pentagon - conspiracy theorists seem content to trot out those old standbys, the CIA and the FBI, or some shadowy generic 'government conspiracy.'

Where's the excitement in that?

Let's see some imagination: take the events of 9/11, mix in the Illuminati, space aliens, and Elvis. Yes, Elvis. Why not say that he's one of Them? (And not as old by now as you'd think - he's been in cryogenic stasis, and has been for several years before his supposed death. What everyone was seeing was a double, hired for the part. The double finally gained so much weight that he had to be killed.)

To give Mark Dice his due, he does seem to be one of the more gifted conspiracy theorists. He "believes that Freemasons worship Satan and that 'the United States military has built enormous underground cities for the political elite.' " 2

Now, something a bit more serious.

Everybody Knows that America's Poor and Minorities are Fighting America's Wars, Right?

"Everybody knowing" that something's so doesn't make it true.

If anything, the military is victimizing moderately well-educated middle class people from rural areas: particularly the south (remember, not everybody in the south is a 'minority').

I did a little digging around, and came up with some interesting facts, like
  • "the Department of Defense reported that the mean reading level of 2004 recruits is a full grade level higher than that of the comparable youth population"
  • A study found more high school grads in the military than on the street, noting "the significant differ­ence between the national recruit high school grad­uation rate of 98 percent and the national youth graduation rate of 75 percent"
  • I'm surprised we haven't heard about this: one racial group is very over-represented in America's military, although "minority representation varies between being moderately proportional to extremely disproportional. The most overrepresented group is Native Hawaiian/ Other Pacific Islander, with a ratio of 7.49 in 2005, or an overrepresentation of 649 percent. The Asian category is the most underrepresented group, with a ratio of 0.69 in 2005."
  • But, the military-industrial complex is victimizing the poor, who have nowhere else to turn, right? Not really: "The estimate for mean household income of recruits increased every year from 2003 through 2005. The poorest areas continue to be underrep­resented, while middle-class areas are overrepre­sented. Although the richest income brackets are underrepresented, the difference between the recruit and population proportions for these brack­ets is less than 0.25 percent. Overall, the distribu­tion for recruit household incomes is very similar to that of the youth population."
("Who Are the Recruits? The Demographic Characteristics of U.S. Military Enlistment, 2003–2005" (The Heritage Foundation (October 27, 2006)) And yes, I know: that's a conservative group, "committed to building an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society flourish." (Talk about radicals!) That was the most recent, readable, and well-documented discussion of the topic I could find.
1 "Our boys?" Mr. Dice may not be aware of the Women's Armed Services Integration Act of 1948, the fighter squadrons in the U.S. Air Force and Navy whose commanders are women, or soldiers like Sergeant Hester, who led her team out of an ambush in Iraq, killing three insurgents in the process.
2 UPDATE (June 11, 2008)

As with many conspiracy theories, there's an element of truth to the "enormous underground cities for the political elite" belief. The Greenbrier Bunker, built under a luxury resort in the West Virginia mountains, was built during the cold war. The idea was that, if a nuclear attack was imminent the House of Representatives and the Senate could be evacuated there, and keep the American government running.

I suppose you could call it "enormous," if your standards are low enough. The facility has two floors and dozens of rooms.

PBS has a pretty good overview of The Greenbrier Bunker, "Tour The Greenbrier Bunker." The Greenbrier bunker is no secret now. "Compromised by an investigative reporter in 1993, the bunker is now open to the public." PBS tells a little about "...thirty-five years of deception and intrigue deep in the mountains of West Virginia...", and gives some familiar information about what would happen if a fission or fusion bomb went off in your general area.

Obviously, though, if you're into conspiracy theories, you'll believe that The Greenbrier bunker is just a ploy to dupe the gullible: and that the real underground city is somewhere else.

No comments:

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store


Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.