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They did it to us: Middle Easterners are conspiracy minded

By Hooman Moradmand

The Middle East was put on the spotlight in the media around the world after September 11th more than ever. One raised issue, in the American media, struck a cord with me: Middle Easterners are conspiracy minded.

Well, I know it applies to a significant number of Iranians at least. We all know Iranians who would love to tell stories on how "big powers", including Britain in particular, plotted to do such and such. Britain always plays a crucial role in those stories. Only more recent generations have given up on Britain as a major player, but the same old pattern of some big guys sitting somewhere and conspiring against other guys is in their opinion too.

It is a human nature to resort to conspiracy theory where we fail to see contexts and explanations. There is a big conspiracy theory that implies the US government faked landing man on the Moon, or the US government is covering up capturing of a few aliens along with their spaceships at some undisclosed military bases. These instances are countless, and basically you can find them in every imaginable field from politics to your workplace. The common aspect among these theories is that they simply add up. Human brain works in an amazing fashion to infer links between separate incidents. In another words human brain falls for an imaginary single explanation to a series of events as opposed to more complicated possibilities. In doing so, it erects a wall around that rejects any other explanations.

Moreover, if you even tried to be an adamant denier of conspiracy theories on the Middle East's politics, you would have to back down after a while. Every so often the big guys' intelligence agencies open their books and simply admit the covert operations they ran. In other words, you would be more likely proven wrong. Conspiracy theories do not stop here. It goes even further to imply these intelligence agencies exaggerate, and even make up achievements in order to look more powerful than they actually are. Big powers' conspiracies overrated or not, fact or fiction, finding someone from outside of events' context to blame, as if we don't have any responsibility in our destiny, has become our way of life in the course of time. This mindset, part of a collective victim culture, is also found wherever there is a historical underdog, patronized by a bigger power. Conspiracy theories then fit this psyche very well and serve as painkiller, whether among the blacks in America or ethnic minority groups in the Middle East, bullied by Middle Eastern governments. As the debate over egg and chicken is endless and inconclusive, nobody can be sure if victim culture has made victim the victim, or being victim has developed victim culture, or a bit of the both.

It is not a question of big guys' involvement in some secret operations. They certainly have, and their operations may have potentially changed nations' destiny, but growing into the habit of blaming solely others can change destinies too. So keep in mind that next time you share a political opinion with friends and families, the way you put it could make a difference.

About the author:
Hooman Moradmand lives in Ottawa, Canada. He is a 34 year old telecom engineer whose hobbies are reading, discussing, and writing about what ticks different cultures and societies.

... Payvand News - 1/3/03 ... --

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