Yesterday the New York Times ran a story entitled “The Persistence of Conspiracy Theories,” the essence of which was that “those who doubt Mr. Obama’s citizenship fit the mold of other conspiracy theorists: they don’t loose their grip on their beliefs easily, if at all.”
Kate Zernike, the author of the story, quotes Kenneth D. Kitts, a professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, who says “It almost becomes an article of faith, and as with any theological belief, you can’t confront it with facts.”
Later the same day came the news that American “Special Forces” had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. It comes as little surprise, given the skepticism at large in the U.S. today, that obvious candidates such as Texas radio host Alex Jones called it a staged, faked event, immediately publishing a story on his InfoWars site entitled Red Alert: Government Had Osama bin Laden Frozen for Years.
And to be fair, the U.S. Goverment isn’t exactly helping matters by quickly dumping Bin Laden’s body into deep seas and failing to provide any compelling proof of his recent death.
Other instant critics of U.S. policy also quickly chimed in. This from Russia Today, suggesting it signals the endgame in Afghanistan:
Conspiracy theories aside, to no one’s surprise the U.S. State Department is warning of likely terrorist attacks in the wake of the alleged assassination of Bin Laden. Lots of supposed experts on terrorism are rushing to state the obvious (from Reuters):
“Whilst we in the West might have the satisfaction of justice having been dealt to a terrorist, many will still see Osama bin Laden as a martyr. Make no mistake: violent jihadists will react to this,” Julian Lindley-French of London’s Chatham House think-tank told Reuters Insider television.
Roland Jacquard, head of the International Terrorism Observatory in Paris, said the United States would be targeted.
“The way in which he was killed, by a military commando, shows this will have important consequences for the future. It will be a call for Jihad, he will remain a very real-life martyr for the rest of the organization,” Jacquard told RTL radio.
Already Monday, Islamic militants hinted at revenge.
“Oh God, please make this news not true… God curse you Obama,” said one message on an Arabic language forum. “Oh Americans… it is still legal for us to cut your necks.”
“Osama may be killed but his message of Jihad will never die. Brothers and sisters, wait and see, his death will be a blessing in disguise,” said a poster on another Islamist forum…
Stay tuned — one thing we can be fairly sure of is that global terror is going to remain at the forefront of the news cycle.