Thursday, November 15, 2012

Republicans Conspiracy Theories: Historical Perspective

Republicans have settled on the meme that the riotous attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya was the greatest act of treason since Benedict Arnold tried to surrender West Point to the British. I'm wondering how modern Republicans would have reacted to other events in American history.

Aug. 24, 1814 - British Burn Down the White House
President James Madison, who may secretly have been an Anglican, helped British soldiers set fire to his home and then burned the rest of DC to cover up his looting of the capital.

Aug 21, 1863 - Lawrence Massacre
President Lincoln knew in advance that Quantrill's Raiders were going to attack the pro-Northern Kansas town. He didn't warn the people or take any action to help them during the attack because Lincoln secretly favored slavery.

June 27, 1876 - Custer's Last Stand
The American economy was in shambles and President Grant deliberately ignored warnings from the Pinkerton Detective Agency that Sitting Bull was planning a major terrorist attack. When news of the attack on the Seventh Calvary reached Washington, Grant failed to authorize a military response in time to save Custer.

Mar. 9, 1916 - Pancho Villa Raid
President Woodrow Wilson should have anticipated Pancho Villa's cross border raid timed symbolically for two days after the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo. Wilson refused to send the military after Villa until after it was too late to save the town of Columbus, New Mexico.

Dec. 7, 1941 - Pearl Harbor
President Franklin Roosevelt personally order the US Pacific fleet to anchorage in Hawaii because he knew in advance that Japan was planning a sneak attack on the base. The Japanese naval codes had been broken and the attack plan was well know in advance but the scores of people in the chain of command between the code breakers and the President kept absolutely quiet both before and after the attack. Roosevelt had his Pacific fleet sunk as an excuse to enter the war against Germany. (Note: This silly conspiracy theory actually exists and ignores the simple fact that there were a lot of line officers and enlisted men in the Navy who would have had to be involved in the conspiracy.)

Oct. 23, 1983 - Beirut Barracks Bombing
St. Ronald Reagan, according to Republicans, was the most brilliant man to ever hold the presidency. He certainly knew that Lebanon was a dangerous place. He certainly knew that Islamic Jihad was funded by Iranian mullahs and armed by the Syrian dictator. It didn't take a military genius, and St. Ronald was a military genius, to realize that clustering over 300 marines in a single building would make an irresistible target. That Reagan wanted the attack to happen is proven by the fact that there was no retaliatory response. The motive is clouded by the complex intelligence of St. Ronald. One theory is that St. Ronald wanted a public enraged by 300 dead marines seeking vengeance so it would accept his planned invasion of Grenada on Oct. 25.

June 25, 1996 - Khobar Towers Bombing
Saudi Arabia is a hotbed of Islamic radicalism and the birthplace of al-Qaeda. Also Iran and Hezbollah were seeking vengeance against the United States because of Israel. President Clinton knew all of this and allowed the bombing to occur because it was an election year and some of the victims might have voted for Bob Dole.

Sept. 11, 2001 - Twin Towers
(No picture, we still remember the images)
President Bush knew all about the planned attacks and allowed them to happen to give him the excuse he needed to invade and occupy Iraq. VP Cheney okayed Israeli Mossad agents setting bombs in the Twin Towers and the planes had nothing to do with their collapse. (Note: Some people actually believe this.)

Each and every one of these theories is more believable than the contention that President Obama knew about the Benghazi attack through his Kenyan communist connections. That the Fog of War does not exist and anyone can tell the difference between a murderous mob of rioters and a murderous mob of terrorists. That Obama wanted it to happen because he wanted the ambassador to Libya killed. That he prevented a military defense that would have taken hours to move up the chain of command and had nothing to do with the fact there were no armed warplanes within range and even if there were it would have been impossible to tell friend from foe in the chaos. Then Obama blackmailed CIA Director Petraeus into lying about what happened.

Or, as Freud once put it, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Sometimes shit happens that cannot be properly anticipated because perfect precognition is impossible and humans are fallible.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is sad that 4 people died, but it is the product of deciding that we want to put Americans in dangerous places. I consider it odd that this is considered by some such a significant event while thousands of Americans have died in Afghanistan and Iraq accomplishing absolutely nothing, yet no one in either party seems to be the least bit put out by that.