I watched the film Official Secrets the other day, which I highly recommend doing if you want to rekindle your rage about the unforgivable evil that was the Iraq invasion.

Which is a good thing to do, in my opinion. Absolutely nothing was ever done to address the fact that a million people were murdered with the assistance of government lies just a few short years ago; no new laws were passed mandating more government transparency or accountability with its military operations, no war crimes tribunals took place, no new policies were put into place. No one even got fired. In fact we’ve seen the exact opposite: the people responsible for unleashing that horror upon our species have been given prestigious jobs in government and media and the US government is currently collaborating with the UK to set the legal precedent for charging under the Espionage Act any journalist in the world who exposes US war crimes.

The corrupt mechanisms which gave rise to the Iraq invasion still exist currently, stronger than ever, and its consequences continue to ravage the region to this very day. The Iraq war isn’t some event that happened in the past; everything about it is still here with us, right now. So we should still be enraged. You don’t forgive and forget something that hasn’t even stopped, let alone been rectified.

Apart from the howling rage surging through my veins during the film, the other thing I experienced was the recurring thought, “This was a conspiracy. This is the thing that a conspiracy is.”

And, I mean, of course it is. How weird is it that we don’t use that word to describe what the architects of that war did? Conspiracy is defined as “a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.” From the secret plan between the NSA and GCHQ to spy on and blackmail UN members into supporting the illegal invasion which is the subject of Official Secrets, to the mountain of other schemes and manipulations used by other government bodies to deceive the world about Iraq, it’s absolutely insane that that word is never used to describe the conspiracy within the Bush and Blair governments to manufacture the case for war.

The engineering of the Iraq war was a conspiracy, per any conceivable definition. So why isn’t that word reflexively used by everyone who talks about it?

Easy. Because we haven’t been trained to.

The use of the word “conspiracy” is studiously avoided by the narrative managers of the political/media class who are tasked with the assignment of teaching us how to think about our world, except when it is to be employed for its intended and authorised use: smearing skeptics of establishment narratives. The pejorative “conspiracy theory” has been such a useful weapon in inoculating the herd from dissident wrongthink that the propagandists do everything they can to avoid tainting their brand, even if it means refraining from using words for the things that they refer to.

This is why the word “collusion” was continuously and uniformly used throughout the entire Russiagate saga, for example. It was a narrative about a secret conspiracy between the highest levels of the US government and the Russian government to subvert the interests of the American people, yet the word “conspiracy” was meticulously replaced with “collusion” by everyone peddling that story.

Syria narrative managers on Twitter have been in meltdown for a week ever since the Rolling Stone podcast Useful Idiots featured oppositional journalist Max Blumenthal talking about the US-centralized empire’s involvement in the Syrian war and its pervasive propaganda campaign against that nation. The entire site has been swarming with high-visibility blue-checkmarked thought police demanding the heads of the show’s hosts Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper for giving this evil “conspiracy theorist” a platform to say we’re being deceived about yet another US-led regime change intervention in yet another Middle Eastern nation.

Narrative managers use the “conspiracy theorist” pejorative to shove skepticism of establishment narratives into the margins of political discourse, far away where it can’t contaminate the mainstream herd. Whenever you see a dissenting interpretation of events getting too close to mainstream circles, as with Blumenthal appearing on a Rolling Stone podcast, Tulsi Gabbard saying on national television that the US government has armed terrorists, or Tucker Carlson interviewing Jonathan Steele about the OPCW leaks, you see an intense campaign of shrieking outrage and public shaming geared at shoving those dissident narratives as far into the fringe as possible by branding them “conspiracy theories”.

My suggestion then is this: whenever you see the label “conspiracy theorist” being applied to anyone who questions an establishment narrative about Syria, Russia, Iran or wherever, just mentally swap it out for the term “Iraq rememberer”. When you see anyone shouting about “conspiracy theories”, mentally replace it with “Iraq remembering”. It makes it much easier to see what’s really going on: “Oh those damn Iraq rememberers! Why can’t they just trust their media and government about what’s happening in Syria instead of indulging in Iraq remembering?”

Powerful people and institutions secretly coordinating with each other to do evil things is the absolute worst-case scenario for the rest of the population; it is precisely the thing we fear when we allow people and institutions to have power over us. We need to be able to talk about that worst-case scenario occurring, especially since we know for a fact that it does indeed happen. Powerful people do conspire to inflict evil things upon the rest of us, and we do need to use thoughts and ideas to discuss how that might be happening. We are not meant to think about this, which is why we’re meant to forget about Iraq.

The Iraq invasion was like if a family were sitting around the dinner table one night, then the father stood up, decapitated his daughter with a steak knife, then sat back down and continued eating and everyone just went back to their meals and never talked about what happened. That’s how absolutely creepy and weird it is that the news churn just moved on after a conspiracy within the most powerful government in the world led to the murder of a million human beings, and now we’re all somehow only supposed to care about Trump’s rude tweets.

Never forget the Iraq war conspiracy, no matter how hard they try to make you. They did it before, they’ve done it again in Libya and Syria, and they’ll continue to attempt it in the future. When you sound the alarm about this they will call you a conspiracy theorist. All they’re really saying is that you’re one of those annoying pests who just won’t shut up and forget about Iraq.


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36 responses to “Pro Tip: Mentally Replace All Uses Of “Conspiracy Theorist” With “Iraq Rememberer””

  1. This Holy Season, let us “Consumers” Stop Consuming…..All that shopping for worthless, unneeded, dump destined crap, only makes the Rich, ever Richer! Years past, I quit buying “Stuff”, I would put a nice check in the card so the children could buy something they really wanted, vs what I thought they might want, this worked well for me. Then I discovered “Sharing”, I found that if I shared my good fortune with those less fortunate, I got great satisfaction, so I just made donations in my children’s & grandchildren’s Names…..What I discovered here, was that the more I donated, the more I had to donate, it works, because that is how Real Magic Works! A lot less wrapping paper found it’s way to the local Dump! ~~~~~I also found that by treating ALL People as EQUALS, we had PEACE! ~~~~~This in not an abstract thought; This is Reality! When we provide “Service” VS “Slavery”, everything starts to run Smoothly…..The “Endless Wars” come to an END! ~~~~~I repair your Car, You supply me with a Winter’s worth of Fire wood….. ~~~~~Here is how it Really Works, for me, at least; I needed some metal parts welded up so I could repair my 50 year old Rite-Way Stove; I got a Father/Son welding team to take on the job. “I want two of everything” I said, OK, when I arrived to pick up those parts, and went to pay the bill, they said; “NO CHARGE BROTHER” “Just Pass it On”…..This was on an easily $600. bill. So I took their advice, passed it on, two good charities are $10,000. dollars richer, because I had it to give, and now I am passing on all the good that came to me from doing that, it just multiplies……One would be wise to try this method of making our world, a little more equal, thus we learn how to treat all men, women, children; as Equals

  2. The “Infinite Plan” How are The Military/Industrial factories going to keep all of those workers employed, if we wind up-stockpiling the bombs, the guns, the missiles, the aircraft carriers, those 350 million each fighter planes, those stealth Bombers?, We must have war, Infinite War, other-wise those stock-piles of weapons, deteriorate, and go to waste, or have to be remade….Like now, the Infinite Plan is to spend 1 trillion bucks on up-dating our world destroying Nuclear Weapons stock-pile, instead of the promised 1 trillion to be spent on infrastructure repair, to bad, folks, the bridges & roads collapse, but we have all of these beautiful Bombs!……When are we, the people, going to get sick of this s–t?

  3. Thank you Ms. Johnstone for your journalism. Promotion of “Official Secrets” begs mention of a) the earlier film “Shock and Awe” which damns major U.S. media companies for driving publicity for WMD once it arose, and especially b) the record of statements available on the Internet from Pentagon whistle blower Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski which name the U.S. government individuals who drove creation of the false information. Elliot Abrams, Doug Feith, Abe Shulsky, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz.

  4. I had to endure a lot of grief because Mr. Barack Obama never fooled me. The more truth that comes out about his terrible 8 years in office the better. He was the perfect ” hood ornament ” for the U.S. Empire.
    Barack Obama-He had a nice smile, and a good turn of phrase.
    He was witty, and cool, and looked good in a suit..but that does not mean he was not just more of the same. He could say the right things, and sound like he meant them, but he was still a monster. Peruse the entire article here:

    1. I’m with you on that. I read your link, and it sounds about right. I’m glad I was cured of voting for Democrats before Obama’s time.

      I started following Black Agenda Report in 2012, when I heard Glen Ford speak about Obama as, not the “lesser evil”, but the “more effective evil.” His lies were smoother and harder to detect than Trump’s. He put the anti-war left to sleep by making them think they’d won, and their interests were being represented. He put the African American activists to sleep by making them think they’d won, and their interests were being represented.

      I told someone I think the difference between Obama and Trump is more style than substance, and now they think I’m insane.

      I find Black Agenda Report among the smartest independent analysis anywhere and I recommend them highly. (For those not familiar, founding members Glen Ford and the late Bruce Dixon were former Black Panthers.)

      Here is the piece from 2012:

  5. Don’t just think “Iraq rememberer”, replace their stated “conspiracy theorist” with it, and then challenge them for facts to support their erroneous lie. We’ve got to shove it in their faces, make them get mad, because then they make mistakes, and trip themselves up.
    Semper Fidelis,
    John McClain
    Vanceboro, NC, USA

  6. A now declassified 1967 secret CIA document launched the use of the terms “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracy theorist”. The document mentions CIA’s concern about the growing suspicions that the agency had something to do with the assassination of President Kennedy. It details instructions to be delivered to CIA-connected politicians and editors to counter this.
    From the report “‘Conspiracy Theory’: Foundations of a Weaponized Term”:
    > Yet it was the Central Intelligence Agency that likely played the greatest role in effectively “weaponizing” the term. In the groundswell of public skepticism toward the Warren Commission’s findings on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the CIA sent a detailed directive to all of its bureaus. Titled “Countering Criticism of the Warren Commission Report,” the dispatch played a definitive role in making the “conspiracy theory” term a weapon to be wielded against almost any individual or group calling the government’s increasingly clandestine programs and activities into question.
    “Conspiracy Theory”: Foundations of a Weaponized Term — Global Research — Centre for Research on Globalization

  7. I have been studing hard since 9/11 and these ‘wars’ have roots deeper than the MIC NeoCons . A cabal of evil that has an agenda launched by the Jesuit King Ferdinand in 1493 to ‘destroy Christianity, Islam and take back Jerusalem’ ( happened just last year). The agenda to set Christianity against Islam is a simple one, and it works.It works because you have demented Christian Zionists and their American NATO armies replacing the old Crusades, but as Bush labeled them ‘Crusades’ after the false flag 9/11 it fits. Israel is to be the ruler of the region, backed by the invisible Jesuit Order inside the Vatican.Crazy right? No, it is real.

  8. I love Matt Taibbi and he was a great replacement for Hunter S. Thompson. I just hope Matt doesn’t end up going out like HST, I understand before Hunter committed suicide his last words were, “Who the fuck are you?”

  9. George Bellarious Avatar
    George Bellarious

    Correct anybody who uses the term pejoratively and say it’s “conspiracy reporting”.

    1. The last time that happened, I said, ‘Well, you know, there _are_ conspiracies.’ The other party foolishly fell into my trap by challenging me, giving me the opportunity to name and describe some at length, such as the aforesaid invasion of Iraq. And others which turned out to actually exist. Conspiracy denial often offers great opportunities.

      1. I had a friend that use to say that I always subscribe to Conspiracy theory when he would troll me into political talk. I didn’t have good answers to his clever use of words. He was a master of MSM propaganda that he watched day and night. He would love to cut me down when I questioned the MSM balderdash that even a child could see through. I can’t believe how stupid some people are and why they choose to believe the propaganda that our government puts out.

  10. Here is a speech by Michael Parenti (one of my favourite people), “Conspiracy and Class Power.” Well worth the 59-plus minutes it will take of your time.

  11. I’ve been getting a 503 error trying to load https://caitlinjohnstone.com. It took me several hours to get on yesterday, and it did it again just now for like half an hour. I hope it means the site is super popular.

    1. From 11:30AM until 2:45PM Ms Johnstone’s website is not available in Staten Island New York on weekdays.

  12. I don’t remember being called a conspiracy theorist in 2003. That might be a more recent development. In 2003, my skepticism was met with responses like “why do you hate America?” or “why do you love Sadaam?” Then after bombs were dropped, it changed to “how dare you criticize our president in a time of war.” Now, I can’t point out that Trump is not as bad as Bush (yet), because Bush is cavorting with Ellen on TV and not in prison. So by the logic of the deeply propagandized, how could Bush have been so bad? He’d have been impeached if he really did anything wrong. I weep.

  13. Yes, good idea. It might work better if we could make it rhyme though, like:
    “Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot…”

  14. POTUS George W. Bush said, after declaring the Iraq mission “accomplished,” that you’re either for “us” or against “us.” The aginners were, by implication, the dissenters, and his statement was a declaration of war against dissenters such as Caitlin and myself. I’m with Caitlin in the position that if it’s only a choice of killing dissenters or being killed as a dissenter, better to be killed. “Let the more loving one be me.”

  15. The deep state conspiracy is deeper than the deep state. It is better characterized as conspiracy reality. Most can agree that the oil and financial cartels are connected. They are the same families. Royalty of England , Holland, Norway, Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Morgans, Stanleys et al are an intimitely connected and more powerful than any single nation. At the highest levels the US and British governments and their military and intelligence agencies have been the mercenaries and minions of the oiligarchies for over a century. Ellen Brown and John Perkins explain it well in their finely written books.
    The latest balatant example is Julian Assange. Most of Amazon’s profits come from govt. contracts including providing server services to the CIA and others. Amazon chose to kick WikiLeaks from its service on Dec. 1, 2010 a full 6 months after the war logs were released and Assange and WikiLeaks were vilified but only 2 days after an interview with Forbes was published in which Assange revealed WikiLeaks had vast info that would likely take down one or two big banks. Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Western Union followed by Dec. 3.
    Oil and Islam are not the only things that connect the actions of the military and deep state. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Cuba also have or had independent central banks that could create its own interest free money as did the colonies before The Currency Act of 1760.
    That Iceland had just prosecuted and jailed banksters for crimes revealed through WikiLeaks in August 2010 tightened the scrotums on Wall Street so they lashed out at WikiLeaks and Assange. We will probably never know the collusion that secretly happened but the circumstantial evidence is strong.

  16. The Vietnam and Iraq wars were some of the finest achievements of America in our effort to keep the world safe from communism and terrorism. Terrorists are everywhere and we are so lucky our government formed Homeland Security to keep us safe and free. Militarizing our police force so they can break into peoples homes and shoot their dogs makes me feel so much safer. I cannot wait until they confiscate all our weapons and issue every citizen a stab wound kit to help us fight terrorism. May America long keep up the aggression against our enemies so i can sleep safely at night. If America must kill many many people to ensure our safety, so be it. I am so looking forward to our next war against the evil people in Iran, Russia, China or whoever.

    1. You’re channeling CJ Hopkins, Khatika? The world has become a very surreal, Orwellian place since 2003.
      You’re either with us, or against us….

  17. The evil done to the Iraqis extends back further than the Iraq war, Caitlin. It goes all the way back to the Gulf War and its aftermath – does anyone still recollect that evil witch Madeleine Albright and her response to the television interviewer, “Yes, it was worth it”, when asked if the death of 500,000 infants due to the impact of US sanctions on Iraq was worth it?

    1. I remember. So disgusting. Funny you should mention it just now, since I just watched a Jamarl Thomas commentary on Ana Kasparian interviewing this psychopath the other day. (By the way, I really like Jamarl, and I rarely hear him mentioned by the other anti-establishment media I follow.)

  18. Since it matters not what form of government you start with, government, being the ideal environment for sociopaths, will eventually be saturated by them. A threshold we have long passed in F UK US. Given these governments are literally and totally insane, imagine the most vile, evil act you can, and it’s either being done, or is on the drawing board. It’s a race between total tyranny and the collapse of the economic system that supports it. Weeeeeee!

  19. Thanks Caitlin. These phony leftist regime-changers are nauseating, and there are scores of them. Thank god for people like you, Aaron Mate, Jimmy Dore, Max Blumenthal and all the rest for speaking the truth. It is astounding, but not surprising, that a self-proclaimed “fact checker” would say something as stupid as “I spoke with an actual Syrian…” I can’t help but wonder if people like her actually buy into their own BS, or are they just sociopathic shills for empire cashing in?

    Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett are two serious journalists when it comes to covering the Syrian “Regime Change” mission. They don’t just talk to “an” actual Syrian, they go there for months at a time, talk to hundreds of “actual Syrians”, and risk their lives to report the truth.

  20. Klaus von Berlin Avatar
    Klaus von Berlin

    One should also remember how the British empire engineered famine in India which killed millions around 1857. And another so called famous{infamous}Winston Churchill spoke of Indians as beastly people with a beastly religion , their famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits.

  21. If you honestly look at ” the United States Government ” throughout its entire existence it has been nothing but lies and hypocrisy. It is surely not a government ” of good guys in white hats” doing anything moral or humane.

  22. Hitler didn’t gas 6 million Jews, and he didn’t burn down the Reichstag building. This is just more controlled narrative or fake news that was used to brainwash us for the past 75 years, just like the story of Muslims with box-cutters who allegedly hijacked planes and flew them into the WTC towers. Both are in the history books and taught in school, and both are fabrications. The Matrix is that deep and pervasive. We need to remember Iraq, remember 9/11, remember Hitler, and remember that they have lied to us about almost everything for who knows how long. We are totally immersed in deception. I am pleased to read that Paul Craig Roberts is finally realizing how badly he was fooled about WW2. We all were fooled, and it’s way past time we wake up to reality.

    1. thank you Chico for providing a big picture. WWII is a real hornet’s nest of lies that influences wars of today with the myth that there are “Good Wars.” 911 was concocted to create the phony “good” War on Terror and the Surveillance State. The Iraq war, drone wars, deep surveillance and more are branches of a tree. Is it not more efficient to attack the roots of the tree? 911 is a far bigger and more productive conspiracy than the Iraq war which spawned it.

  23. i was just thinking we have passed Hitler’s mass murdering…a few decades ago. wasn’t 6 million the record?
    we killed 4 million in Vietnam for nothin’. one million in Iraq. Some want to include North Korea where the top general in Japan asked why the bombers were returning with undropped bombs. when the pilots said there was nothing left but rice paddies, the general said then bomb the rice paddies.
    that is war crime.
    what john mccain was doing was a war crime also. Agent Orange was a war crime. each time they do it the excuses get easier and more like reminders…of previous lies. when they say “Support our troops!” we have to snort in irony, since “our” troops could be better supported with free education and health care here at home the whole time they were fightin’ to escape their American angst or poverty…that got them to there.
    Our tropes are really their tropes, a product nowadays not of draft but of war on the poor. bad jobs with no health care and no education and no chance of gaining equity, ownership or shares, whatever you wanna call it. left out to go die is what i see. or come back useless. and most brain dead. dead zones is the elite’s of capital’s most big deal.
    and so both sides are really their soldiers. we never bomb Assad directly. like he’s King Rat or something. and we never ever bomb the madrasahs who produce those brainwashed fanatic jihadis either.
    It’s almost as if we were paying Saudi Arabia to attack us so we could make more money via the military industrial complex and kill off the poor as we go just to make a nicer Garden fo the Upper 10,000 to partay in.
    though their immortality on this charred ol’ Earth.

    1. I thought the record was 10 million Native Americans, but I’m not an expert.

  24. Hitler burned down the German parliament building to con his country and be the dictator. The ” twin towers ” (and a third building 7″) were brought down in New York City by Israeli and Saudi intelligence agencies and the ” deep state ” apparatus within the United States threw away the United States Constitution to wage war on the entire world and nobody dares to do anything about it. False Flags are the way to go to mesmerize the sheeple public anywhere!

  25. I say the Iraq war still hasn’t ended. America still has troops within it’s borders and the UN, who helped ruin the country, is still telling their government what to do. The story of the invasion of Iraq just sort of fell out of the news cycle without it having ended. Maybe we should start calling the mainstream media “Iraq war deniers”.

  26. No, I don’t forget.
    And I don’t forget Vietnam – false flag again. Millions of Vietnamese died, so many young men killed, maimed and driven mad.
    And I don’t forget the war crimes committed against North Korea – the millions slaughtered, the country raised to the ground. Keep your nukes Kim. Don’t trust these criminals.
    Nor do I forget about the Balkans. Stirring and meddling, a war was inflicted upon these folk to take the heat of Clinton’s messing with an intern.
    Nor do I forget about Afghanistan, the people still being slaughtered 17 years later, to keep the poppy crop growing for the CIA.
    Nor do I forget about Libya, once the most prosperous country in the Middle East with the highest standard of living iwth stunning infrastructure and GDP; now a bombed out failed state, with factions vying for power, its amazing leader murdered in the most heinous fashion.
    Nor do I forget about Syria, another “regime change” project, interrupted by their ally, the Russian Federation. Thank God for the Russians. Of course it has drawn the heat of the country that has perpetrated all of these monstrous crimes onto itself, all we hear now is “Russia Russia Russia”, so transparent are the criminals who control the self-styled “exceptional” and “indispensible” nation.

    I started with Korea and Vietnam, however I could have gone back a lot further.
    It’s clear that the disruption to the peace of the world for well over a century, and more, has been caused by one nation. It has to end.

  27. That funny little bit about the dad getting up and decapitating his daughter’s head? And, life goes on? Exactly what it’s like living near Chicago, and the decapitations are real, and well attended.

  28. “Breathtaking: Solving Nuclear 9/11” and “Exposing NIST Jenga Game” > both at > VeteransToday(.)com
    Finally, WTC vaporized declassified, greatest crime of the 21st century, predicate for perpetual war

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