Smoke Screen?

It is interesting to see how the media has turned its attention to the mother of the young man accused in the Boston bombing and who is now recovering from wounds in a prison hospital. As a recent story in Yahoo News tells us, the mother’s appearance has altered recently — from an ” 80’s rock star” to a middle-eastern Muslim.

But in recent years, people noticed a change. She began wearing a hijab and cited conspiracy theories about 9/11 being a plot against Muslims.

Now known as the angry and grieving mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Tsarnaeva is drawing increased attention after federal officials say Russian authorities intercepted her phone calls, including one in which she vaguely discussed jihad with her elder son. In another, she was recorded talking to someone in southern Russia who is under FBI investigation in an unrelated case, U.S. officials said.

Tsarnaeva insists there is no mystery. She’s no terrorist, just someone who found a deeper spirituality. She insists her sons — Tamerlan, who was killed in a gunfight with police, and Dzhokhar, who was wounded and captured — are innocent.

There are a couple of interesting points here. Ms Tsarnaeva claims there was a conspiracy surrounding the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers. She may be right, of course, even though conspiracy theorists are dismissed as devil-worshippers. There always is a slice of the truth behind conspiracy theories — which is why they are believed. This is not to say that we should embrace them as the whole truth — but we should not simply turn a blind eye toward them and dismiss them as the rantings of fools. Remember: even though you are not paranoid, they may be out to get you!

But in any event, the interesting thing here is the attempt by the media to turn our attention to this woman and keep us enthralled in the drama surrounding the Boston bombings. It is guaranteed to sell papers and keep the bombings alive in the minds of folks who tend to have short attention spans. But I ask in all candor, is it not possible that those in power would just as soon keep us aware of that tragedy so we will not turn our attention to the terrorist activities that we in this country are responsible for?  I’m just saying. This may sound like another conspiracy theory, but again there may be an element of truth in there somewhere. It is certainly the case that this administration does not want American citizens taking too close a look at what is going on “over there” where the deaths of innocent people make Boston look like a Sunday school picnic.   And when the subject does come up calling it “counter-terrorism” and blaming “them” for starting it hardly avoids the moral stigma attached to our activities. But from the point of view of those who like to mold opinion, it is better to keep people in the dark and their attention focused elsewhere. Continued reminders of the Boston bombings engender patriotism, whereas the truth about what is going on in the Middle East would almost assuredly engender humiliation and embarrassment, possibly outrage. Where better to keep our attention focused than the ongoing drama of two young men who not only planted bombs in Boston but were planning to move on the Times Square in New York and whose mother now wears a hijab and is an avowed Muslim. It does give one pause….

3 thoughts on “Smoke Screen?

  1. The Middle East may be the penultimate Catch 22. We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. One of the keys, as we witness in Eqypt, is if we truly support democracy, then we better be prepared to accept a voting outcome which is antagonistic to what we may also believe. In Syria, if we support the rebels and make way for their victory, we must face the dilemma we will end up with an antagonistic government. This is what part of that calculus that Obama is referencing on the “red-line” issue. With that said, as you have noted in earlier posts on drones, we have to endeavor to protect human rights. We have to represent who we say we are. We have to be better than we have been with Gitmo and the drones. If we do the right thing, then we can hold our head higher. Good post, BTG

  2. Conspiracy? How about the practices that seldom are scrutinized?

    “The CIA in combination with the White House, the State Department, the Pentagon, and other intelligence agencies compose what is known as the national security state. […] The CIA runs the biggest news service in the world with a budget larger than those of all the major wire services put together. […] The Pentagon sends out hundreds of stories and canned editorials that are picked up by newspapers and broadcast stations across the county and are presented to the public as trustworthy products of independent journalism. According to officials at the United States Information Service (USIS), the government has teams of propagandists who crank out stories that are wired daily to USIS’s 206 offices in 127 countries. Many of these news plants appear in the foreign press and then return as ‘blowback,’ that is, they are picked up by US correspondents abroad and transmitted to an unsuspecting American public.”

    See Michael Parenti, Inventing Reality (NY: St. Martin’s, 1993), 67ff.

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