History, Politics, Truth, War and peace

A history of conspiracies

In his address to the National Press Club yesterday (14 March), Sy Hersh shared a few important insights.

Yesterday evening, Seymour Hersh addressed the National Press Club in New York. The event was organized by the Committee for the Republic which kindly invited me to attend via Zoom. As expected, much of what Mr. Hersh covered was related to his latest story about the Nord Stream 2 attack including much minutia about the actual physical challenges in setting up the explosive charges to the pipelines. What Hersh laid out made the recent New York Times story about six pro-Ukrainian individuals with boxcutters a sailing yacht beyond ridiculous. The video, courtesy of the Committee for the Republic is below:

Hersch also spoke about an important CIA intelligence unit in Norway that works with Norwegian intelligence and “monitors everything” in the region. This unit would certainly have extensive information about the operations in the Baltic sea, whether they were conducted by state actors or pro-Ukrainians on a sailing boat. He pointed out that for people who understand how the executive branch operates, the most suspicious aspect of the Biden Administration’s conduct is that not only did they not call for any investigation of the Nord Stream attacks, they never even asked their Norwegian intelligence assets about it. At a very minimum, the administration would have been expected to request a confidential report. According to Hersh, they never even called to ask.

Truth vs. “settled science”

To my mind however, the most interesting part of Hersh’s presentation was what he said about the story he broke in 1969 about the My Lai massacre and for which he received numerous awards. He said that at the time he published his story, he knew perhaps 5% of what took place and that he is still learning new information about those events to this day. He thinks that today he now knows perhaps 50% of what he needs to know about what was happening in Vietnam and at the White House at that time.

To my mind, this is a very important insight: it underscores the fact that reconstructing history is extremely difficult and that much of what we think we know represents perhaps only the tip of the iceberg – history’s version of “settled science.”

Historian Ramsay MacMullen suggested that in order for us to interpret history correctly, we must understand the motivations of groups and individuals who shaped history. Often however, such groups and individuals go out of their way to conceal their role, particularly when it comes to wars, assassinations, dirty tricks, false flag operations or acts of sabotage like the Nord Stream attacks.

In such cases, which are often pivotal to historical developments, it is essential that we study the events, connect dots, deduce what may be hidden, and consider – gasp! – that there may have been conspiracies involved in shaping historical events. To think that we know history based on “settled science,” or in Hersh’s words, 5% of what we need to know, is to settle for oversimplified, cartoonish one-damn-thing-after-another, very low resolution versions of history. Worse, such versions probably deprive us of understanding precisely those elements that are the most relevant to attaining an accurate understanding of events.

It is not difficult to imagine that if western powers managed to vanquish Russia in the current conflict, history would probably settle on a short paragraph about the Nord Stream attacks, explaining it as the work of a handful of pro-Ukrainian radicals. Never in a million years would anybody believe, as some loopy conspiracy theorists claim, that the attacks were the work of thoroughly good and uniformly righteous state actors. More likely still, history might not even acknowledge that there was any pipeline at all.

Truth’s too important for us to be complacent or fearful

I suspect that most of the history we read today is chock full of such omissions and distortions. Unfortunately, rather than questioning accounts that patently make no sense, many cling to the off-the-shelf orthodoxies for dear life so that they might avoid being labeled a conspiracy theorist. In the end, this only handicaps our understanding and allows contentious issues to fester and cause more trouble in the future. Worse, it allows culprits behind some of the most depraved crimes in history to walk free and enjoy the fruits of their actions.

Isaac Asimov rightly observed that “What is really amazing, and frustrating, is mankind’s habit of refusing the obvious and inevitable until it is there, and then muttering about unforeseen consequences.” We should want to know the truth. If it is true that truth shall make us free, then it is also true that falsehoods could enslave us and lead us to a future where we will own nothing and be happy (or else…)

Truth is too important for us to settle for low-resolution distortions or to fear this or that derogatory label. Stopford Brooke said that “If a thousand old beliefs were ruined in our march to truth, we must still march on.” Or in Mohandas Gandhi’s words:

There is no God higher than truth.

Alex Krainer – @NakedHedgie is the creator of I-System Trend Following and publisher of daily TrendCompass reports. For US investors, we offer an inflation/recession resilient portfolio based on a basket of 30+ financial and commodities markets; in 2022, we significantly outperformed the S&P 500 as well as the 60/40 investment model. This year we launched a sector allocation model based on the 10 S&P sector indices (i.e. energy, real estate, financial, industrial, etc.) For more information, you can drop me a comment or an email to xela.reniark@gmail.com


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