Want to see a case of astonishing willful ignorance? John Lee Anderson in a blog post at the New Yorker titled “Putin and the Syria Conspiracy-Theory Problem” writes:
It’s worth recalling that, right after the attacks outside of Damascus on August 21st, Assad’s regime flatly denied that they had taken place; then, with the evidence mounting, it said that any attack had been launched by the rebels—aimed at their own families—in order to trigger U.S. military intervention. As far-fetched as such talk sounds, it meshes neatly with the world views of those inclined to believe long-standing and widespread anti-American conspiracy theories in which America’s past wars were all triggered by nefariously plotted own-goal attacks, from the sinking of the battleship Maine to the Gulf of Tonkin and on to 9/11, in order to justify Yankee military action. Osama bin Laden was a C.I.A. agent, of course, as was Saddam Hussein—and that poor fool Morsi. The point behind all of these theories is to reaffirm an essential paranoia about America’s place in the world.
So if you don’t buy that Spain sank the USS Maine on February, 1898, in Havana Harbor, Cuba, then you are just an anti-American conspiracy theorist. Never mind that the initial investigation into he sinking found no evidence to pin the blame on Spain, or that a subsequent reexamination of the incident in 1975 concluded that it was most likely due to accidental combustion in the ship’s magazine.
And if you don’t accept that U.S. ships were attacked by North Vietnamese boats in August 1964, then you are just an anti-American conspiracy theorist. Never mind that the NSA’s own historian, Robert J. Hanyok, concluded in an article for the Cryptologic Quarterly that the August 4 attack by the Vietnamese on the USS Maddox that was cited as the pretext for the Congressional resolution authorizing President Johnson to expand the war never happened.
We could go on with his other examples, by no need to belabor the point. If you don’t accept the U.S. claims that the Assad regime was responsible for using chemical weapons in Damascus last month, despite their inability to provide any proof of this, then you are just an anti-American conspiracy theorist!
If you don’t accept government claims that it uses for pretexts to wage war as a matter of faith, then you are just an anti-American conspiracy theorist!