Thursday, May 05, 2011

Another "-ther" -- the "Deathers"

We have the "Truthers", who believe in the conspiracy theory that 911 was planned by some shadowy cabal of high-level American politicians (perhaps all the way up to Bush) and businessmen and/or "Jews". Truthers may differ in details and degree of complicity and collusion they impute (either the entire U.S. Federal government was involved, or only a cell within it).

Then we have the "Birthers", who conclude from Obama's baffling unwillingness to provide his birth certificate for years that Obama is hiding his disqualification (i.e., not being a U.S. citizen) from the Presidency. As with Truthers, Birthers are not a monolithic group; though unlike Truthers, there exists a faction who are rational. Birthers range all the way from those who believe in a conspiracy (but have no proof of one), to those few who simply want to see Obama's birth certificate and think his unwillingness for years to provide it needs to be adequately explained by him. As Lawrence Auster noted often on his blog, these latter few who kept their eye on the ball and did not indulge in conspiracy theories were on the right track; and it took one who was flambouyantly famous (Donald Trump) to finally force Obama to provide the birth certificate. However, new questions are raised with what he provided, as it was only a photograph of a birth certificate, and oddities about it remain. We thus still have Birthers, and now they are divided into those who think the photo was "photoshopped" and who continue to indulge in conspiracy theories, and those who simply want clear and direct answers to questions that remain about this photo -- chief among which is the question, why not provide the actual hard copy to be examined by experts and videograph the event? Such a process would certainly satisfy me, and likely those few Birthers who are rational about this. The problem of conspiracy-theorists, however, would be manifested by the fact that even such a process would be suspect to them: How do we know those are really "experts" examining the document? Perhaps Obama bribed or extorted them to lie? Perhaps the whole video of the event was fake? Etc. I.e., conspiracy-theorists are never satisfied, because any proof one can proffer becomes irrationally suspect -- because in the mind of the conspiracy-theorists, the evil cabal pulling the strings are powerful enough to be capable of manufacturing any proof one could possibly provide. I.e., to the conspiracy-theorists, proof that there is no conspiracy (whatever that conspiracy du jour happens to be) is simply impossible to ascertain, since any proof could be manufactured.

Now we see signs of another amorphous "-ther" movement: the "Deathers". These are the people who remain skeptical of the details surrounding the killing of Osama bin Laden. As with the Truthers and the Birthers, Deathers also fall into the two camps noted above, the reasonable ones and the irrational ones (some of them claiming the conspiracy reaches into the U.S. government up to the President, as well as the C.I.A., and some even going so far as to think Osama bin Laden was a C.I.A. agent himself). For the most part, as he did with the Birther process, I see that Lawrence Auster has kept a level head about this (even if, characteristically, he shows signs now and then of veering off into grandiose indictments of the "project of the left" in a rather simplistically conceived inimical dimension). So far, these veerings of his don't seem to be ballooning or morphing into anything conspiracy-theorish per se.

At any rate, a level head would simply persist in asking the questions raised by any odd behaviors, relative to the killing of Osama bin Laden, on the part of Obama and those following his orders -- among which are a) the hasty disposal and destruction of the body by sea burial; b) the process of the accurate identification of Osama (which includes the apparent claim of a DNA verification, which would seem unlikely given the short span of time); and c) the conflicting and/or inadequate reports by President Obama and his representatives about the aforementioned as well as about what happened during the operation.

As a side note, one would think, in this day and age of the portable cam -- and of nearly every Tom, Dick and Harriet filming, among hundreds of other things that occur in daily life, videos of the traffic cops who stop them or someone ahead of them, not to mention the routine video cams employed by police themselves -- that this commando unit that took out Osama bin Laden would have had multiple cams, strapped onto each member of the team, to film the incident from multiple angles (but if they had, no doubt President Obama would now be withholding the videos from the press, and having his representatives give multiple conflicting, and lame, rationales for doing so).


Nobody said...

I'm not getting one thing - are 'Deathers' people who simply question the circumstances under which the operation was carried out and the body disposed, or do they include wack jobs who think that the person dead was not actually Osama himself?

If it's the latter, one would think that the Pakis would be the first on that case, since they would end up being exculpated if the person killed @ the Abottabad mansion turned out to be someone else. In that case, the US would be the one w/ egg on its face, rather than Pakistan.

Hesperado said...


"are 'Deathers' people who simply question the circumstances under which the operation was carried out and the body disposed, or do they include wack jobs who think that the person dead was not actually Osama himself?"

The term includes both -- just as both types are included among Truthers and Birthers. The type ranges all the way from a reasonable desire to have basic questions answered (and thus remaining baffled -- but drawing no conclusions yet -- by why they aren't being answered), up to cautious skepticism about official answers, and over the edge into conspiracy theories.

The Pakistanis wouldn't really qualify as Deathers -- these "-ther" movements are strictly non-Muslim Western movements. For example, it is my firm belief that there exist no Muslims who are Truthers about 911. Many may claim to be, or use that line as a talking point, but in doing so they are just doing obfuscation and exploiting the fact that so many Westerners have doubts about Islamic complicity in 911. I.e., Muslims know that Muslims did 911 -- and if they don't openly say so, inside they are proud and pleased about it.

So, similarly, the Pakistani could certainly exploit, and benefit from, a "Deather" movement -- but if bin Laden was in fact killed (which I tend to believe, putting me in the mildest part of the Deather spectrum), the Pakistanis know it. In exploiting a "Deather" movement, they would only pretending not to know.

Nobody said...

Al Qaeda's admission that Osama is indeed dead should pretty much silence all 'Deathers' - not that I expect it to. They'll simply claim that the reason al Qaeda has released that is so that the hunt for him will end, and he can peacefully order future operations.

Dymphna said...

We got an email on this subject, but he added another term "Tenthers". Not a conspiracy per se, just someone whose major concern is the Tenth Amendment as a counterfoil to the aggressive growth of a central government...

I wondered what meme would replace "-gate" and now we seem to have one: "th" + "er"

It would be an interesting excercise to find the fault lines in our current political quakes and examine them...

Sooo, someone who is suspicious of and wants to fight Obamawan's healthcare fiasco could be a "healther"...

I wonder if someone has done a satire already?

Hesperado said...


Tenthers and Healthers. The latter could well catch on. I have been trying to come up with more "-thers" but, perhaps fortunately, that well is rather shallow.

Westward Ho said...

Actually, I have found that "IneligibilityGate" works well in conversation, as it enlarges the topic far beyond the mere certificate.