Not this is a real eye-opener:
BERLIN, July 23 (Reuters) – Almost one in three Germans below the age of 30 believes the U.S. government may have sponsored the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, according to a poll published on Wednesday.
And about 20 percent of Germans in all age groups hold this view, a survey of 1,000 people conducted for the weekly Die Zeit said.
Asked whether they believed that the U.S. government could have ordered the September 11 attacks itself, 31 percent of those surveyed under the age of 30 in the poll answered “yes”, while 19 percent overall gave the same answer.
Die Zeit said widespread disbelief about the reasons given by the United States for going to war in Iraq and suspicion about media coverage of the conflict had fostered a climate in which conspiracy theories flourished.
Granted, huge events like 911 are bound to generate conspiracy theories, especially if they happen this unexpectedly. The anti-globalization crowd and anti-American press (not the majority of publications, but certainly the loudest ones) around the world have done everything they can to capitalize on the situation, but there really is no excuse for this. It seems that about 20% of Germans and about 30% percent of Germans under 30 badly need a reality check. Americans who heard of the poll rightly reacted incredulously; Rachel Lucas summed up very well why:
“They obviously can’t wrap their brains around the concept of transparency – you can get away with certain things in America, but you can’t get away with much. Especially if you’re a politician – everyone watches everyone else, everyone’s out to get everyone else, and that creates an environment where it would be impossible to keep the kind of secrets that would be necessary to hide something like the federal government’s sponsorship of 9/11”.
Of course, claims (in the blogosphere and elsewhere) that France and Germany opposed the war on Iraq because they allegedly had armed Iraq with WMDs as a proxy against America were met here with similar incredulity, for the same reason. What goes for America goes for Germany and France, too. Both countries are democracies, with the same transparency that Rachel claims for America. No German or French government could have armed Iraq with a huge arsenal of nuclear, biological weapons without the opposition parties and the press getting on to them. Don’t forget, all those reports about German arms sales to Iraq were originally published by the German press, for example (something for which it got no credit from the bloggers who posted them). Europe’s economies may be more strongly regulated than the American one, but you couldn’t get away with bad craziness like this over here any more than you could in America. So, and no offense, but a reality-check in regards to this issue might also have been useful. ;)