Conspiracy theories

by Henry Farrell on March 11, 2006

As Jim Henley has noted, there’s a lot of ressentiment on the right these days. And “not only”: in the US.

bq. Two years after the Madrid train bombings, Spain’s main political parties cannot agree on who was responsible for the nation’s deadliest terrorist attack. … The Popular party, which lost power in a general election three days after the train bombings, accuses the Socialist government, the police and the judiciary of taking part in a massive conspiracy to cover up alleged links between Islamic radicals and Eta, the violent Basque separatist group. … The Popular party’s conspiracy theory has been taken up by rightwing talk- show hosts, some of whom have even accused unamed Socialists of financing the terrorist attacks to oust the Popular party from power. …

bq. After a two-year investigation spanning nine countries, Juan del Olmo, an investigating magistrate, says he will lay formal charges against dozens of suspects within the next three weeks. … The Popular party refuses to endorse Mr del Olmo’s conclusions, perhaps because José María Aznar, the former prime minister, retains a powerful influence over his party. Mr Aznar blamed Eta for the Madrid train bombings and continued to insist on a Basque connection long after evidence began to point to Islamist extremists.

Reading this, and drawing the obvious comparison with Cheney’s “bogus claims”: about the Saddam-Al Qaeda connection, and Wolfowitz’s “fantasies”:, about who ordered the original World Trade Center bombing makes it seem pretty strange to me that the meme of lefties as conspiracy theorists has stuck. Not that there aren’t some strange conspiracy theories out there on the left – but they’re weak beer in comparison to some of the deeply weird shit that our Right Wing Overlords in the US administration, and our former and would-be future Overlords in Madrid, take as gospel truth.