Thursday, August 24, 2006

Conspiracy Theories

Well, I'm glad that's all cleared up.

As I mentioned on Monday, this attempted bombing of two German trains has been preoccupying me (and many, many Germans, of course) recently, though it still seems to be something that the rest of the world is not all that interested in.

(This brings up an interesting question. Which is more serious and newsworthy: a terrorist attack which would have been very large and catastrophic but was still in fairly early planning stages when it was disrupted, or a smaller one that actually got to the point of being carried out and was only hindered by technical failure?)

In any case, it seems that we know who did it and why, as reported by Der Spiegel:

This just in: The Lebanese men suspected of having deposited bombs on German trains last month were hired hands -- in the employ of the German government itself.

That, at least, is what one 27-year-old from Saudi Arabia believes. "It's all a Protestant crusade," the man explains. "All of northern Germany is Protestant, isn't it? And so is President Bush." Then the man launches into a melange of confusing arguments and historical facts. The bubonic plague, Martin Luther and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl all make a cameo. It's all connected somehow, the man is sure of it.

Somehow, yes. Through those famous, er, Protestant conspiracies. I think there is material here for Dan Brown's next book: it would certainly be a way for him to mend fences with the Vatican.

Seriously, though - and I think this is very serious and disturbing - it is apparent that this guy is not alone: as the Spiegel piece points out, conspiracy theories are a euro cent a dozen in Germany's muslim communities.

And there I was thinking that this kind of thing was more an American specialty.

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