A few years ago, someone sent me a link to a 9/11 conspiracy website. I can’t
remember which one, but it concerned itself mostly with the Pentagon. In line
with most of today’s conspiracy theorists, it claimed a missile hit the
Pentagon, not a hijacked commercial jet. I dismissed it.
Now, all this time later, these theories are picking up major steam.
What concerns me though, is not the theorists themselves (they’re going to be
around forever), but the increasing belief in these theories. It is now becoming
mainstream to believe 9/11 was an "inside job" cooked up mainly as an
excuse to go to war in the Middle East.
A recent Scripps survey reveals the following:
More than a third of the
Thirty-six percent of
The enthusiasm that Americans have in embracing these theories finally struck
me when I ran into an old friend shortly after the foiled airline terror plot
this summer. She mentioned having to take a flight in the near future and though
she had some worries, she felt the plot was fiction.
Here she was, feeling quite comfortable admitting to buying into some sort of
conspiracy theory in spite of the dangers. It was then I realized conspiracy had
So I’ve been trying to figure out why. Why are people so willing to believe
these theories? And I’ve concluded it is the unwillingness to admit to an enemy
whose devotion to killing us goes far beyond what my generation has ever
known. It is a belief out of convenience.
It’s easier to believe your government did this because you can vote them out
of power, they can be held accountable, you can scream, spit venom, and call for
impeachments without fear of retribution. It is easier to sleep at night when
there really aren’t fanatics waiting to blow your morning flight out of the sky.
Fighting radical Islam is a daunting task that in even the best estimations
will take decades and cost many lives. This is hard to grasp, hard to live with;
it takes will. A will few Americans have anymore. And fortunately for
them, if it is real, they can still blame the government for not doing enough to