Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Syria: Conspiracy Theories Begin

Repeat: this web site has no foreign policy. We do, however, have a policy on conspiracy theories. Our policy is, unless we have inside information that supports a conspiracy theory, we don't take it seriously. Theories often deserve investigation, and sometimes turn out to be true; theories are not facts.

However, because congressional staff do read blogs for indications of what "We The People" want our Congress to do, and because it is our Congress's job to investigate conspiracy theories of this magnitude, we'll share a few conspiracy theory links. These came from Patricia Evans:

There are masses of material opposing U.S. intervention in Syria in today's e-mail. Many of them came from well-known Republican sources; since Morgan Griffith is a Republican I'm guessing his staff saw them before I did. How much need we labor the point? Nobody likes a war.

I'll say this to other private citizens. I am not in a position to do the first reports on this story, and I would have to be very well paid to research the reports after they're all in. If you're not prepared to investigate all the facts, if you're an ordinary private citizen whose beliefs about war are really based on your preference that your country not be involved in one--if, in short, you're like me--I recommend not getting heavily involved in this kind of issue.

I, personally, can visualize how the conspiracy theory could have worked. And why. And who stands to gain. And so on, and so forth. And so very likely can you, U.S. readers. And, based on my own previous experience with stories like this one, I advise: Brakes. Don't attach yourself to any theory of how things might have happened. Wait for the facts about how they did happen.

If you really want to know all the facts, then get the appropriate clearances, make the appropriate connections, get a few backup sets of bulletproof gear, hire a few more guards than you think you'll need, and go out and dig up the facts. Otherwise, don't confuse knowing all the facts about a conspiracy that could precipitate a war with reading an intriguingly plausible spy story on the Internet. And, if prone to confuse those two different things, try to avoid reading anything about Syria on the Internet.