COMMENTARY | No atrocity is too horrible not to attract the attention of conspiracy theorists. Press TV, an English-language broadcast originating from Iran, provided a platform for Michael Harris, a failed candidate for governor of Arizona.
Harris, who writes for a periodical called Veterans Today, participated in a panel discussion that featured a condemnation of America’s “gun culture” as well as its history of “genocide” and “slavery.” Harris provided his own unique interpretation of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre of the innocents. He suggested that the mass killing was conducted by an Israeli “death squad” in revenge for Obama Middle Eastern policies,according to the Times of Israel, which carried a YouTube video of the broadcast.
Harris also blames the “Zionist-controlled news media” for creating a culture of violence and linked other mass murders to his conspiracy theory, including the one on Norway, the Aurora movie theater murder, and the Tucson, Ariz., slaughter that maimed Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Harris also suggested that Jews in Congress are plotting to use these outrages to take guns away from law-abiding citizens. He also mentioned the drone war and his desire to wipe Israel off the map.
Other panelists politely disagreed that Israel was responsible for the recent massacres, blaming instead America. Mention was made of the weapons manufacturing industry, the “prison industrial complex,” and the history of gun violence in America.
In the modern media culture, nothing is too outrageous that it won’t somehow find itself expressed somewhere in some venue. Harris’ ravings about Zionist conspiracies at least found an appropriate venue of Iranian television. His conspiracy theory, like most, falls apart after just a few seconds of rational thought. But like Kennedy assassination theories, Harris’ rant will no doubt find a ready audience. Nothing is too crazy that at least a few people are not willing to believe it, both in Iran and in the United States.
Harris and the other panelists on the Iranian show were all Americans, which should be disturbing, since it lends a smidgen of credence to the ravings that were both anti-Semitic and anti-American. Iran is an avowed enemy of the United States and Western civilization and would see both brought down. Harris and the other two members of the panel should grow a sense of shame that might have prevented them from being used by Iran in a propaganda campaign.