Conspiracy vs Propaganda

It’s impossible to tell who is in the right in foreign situations. There’s conspiracy theorists on one side and government propagandists on the other. People blame the government, but at the same time, they don’t have any proof. Maybe it’s true. Maybe the government is targeting them. Maybe it’s more nuanced than that. Without a massive investigation by an impartial body, it’s impossible to tell.

In Pakistan, radical Islamists like to claim the CIA orchestrated 9/11 (sound familiar?) and the CIA also orchestrated the Mumbai bombings and such. In other words, they convince people foreigners did terrible deeds, use that to radicalize other people, then convince them to do terrible deeds. There’s a certain irony to it. That is, if rank hypocrisy can really be ironic.

Back to the original point, it’s impossible to discern which side is telling the truth. Getting an independent voice on the ground is usually damn near impossible. Even if they get to the actual location, get the story, and publish it successfully, how are we to know if they’re even correct?

Without a free media, it’s all guesswork, implications, and partial truths. Even with a free media, there’s often a lot of questions with no good answers.

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