Today is the 7th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack, and it's irritating to see that apparently significant portions of many countries still favor conspiracy theory version of events.
36% of respondents in Turkey, and 30% in Mexico believe that the U.S. government staged the attacks. Yeah, apparently some folks at the Pentagon thought it would be fun to blow up the Pentagon. Makes perfect sense.
Meanwhile, 43% of respondents in Egypt, 31% in Jordan and 19% in Palestine think it was Israel. Let's think about this: jews decided to blow up a financial building in New York City, the city with the largest jewish population in the entire United States. Uggh.
I remember when 9/11 happened. I actually had read a lot about Al Qaeda beforehand because of the devastating embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and then-President Clinton's retaliatory airstrike on a suspected terrorist camp in Afghanistan, so after the second plane hit, I had a pretty good guess of who would pull something like that. And since they had already attempted to bomb the WTC in 1993, it wasn't too hard to put two and two together.
Sadly though, much of the world still clings to denialist fantasies about these events, including some American citizens. And that's sad, because easily mislead citizens can be easily lured to support bad policies. The Bush administration and Republican legislators capitalized on the confusion by suggesting that Saddam Hussein and 9/11 were somehow related, and succeed in deceiving a surprisingly large percentage of voters.
And now that we're poised for another election, with its own share of sabre-ratting, another outbreak of misinformation and denialism could usher in another disaster.