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Archive for May, 2011

Conspiracy Theories

May 6th, 2011

I’m a skeptic. I also love a good conspiracy theory. As a professional storyteller, I really appreciate the intrigue and drama that a good conspiracy theory entails. I respect the battle of “good” and “evil” and the mystery of which is which in these stories.

But most of the time, conspiracy theories tend to overlook the obvious: reality is usually much simpler than the involved conspiracies would dictate.

It’s been less than a week since President Obama announced the death of Osama Bin Laden and already there are so many accusations being made on all sides. From questioning whether or not OBL was actually killed, questioning whether he was killed recently or several years ago, and even whether or not the Pakistani government knew where OBL was living (since he was reportedly staying in a mansion just a few miles from the capital of Pakistan).

Even the most level headed politicians are getting in on this last one.

“How could they NOT have KNOWN Bin Laden was living there? It’s a huge mansion with no telephone service, and high walls topped with barbed wire! It’s just miles from the capital! The government HAD to have known!”

Really?

There was a story last week about a family that kept their daughter in a cage and fed her two pop-tarts a day. They lived in a mobile home in a mobile home park. They kept the kid this way for months or years and no one noticed until someone came knocking about an unrelated case and just happened to see the kid in the cage.

I know who lives in every house on our block. But there is no way that I can tell you if there are OTHER people also in there hiding in a spare bedroom or the attic. I see people come and go, but I can’t see the people who DON’T come and go. Unless I go through every room in every house, Osama Bin Laden could have been living next door to me…or you. Unless you’ve systematically checked every room in all of your neighbors houses. It’s not likely.

As for Bin Laden’s death, there have been suggestions that the timing was conveniently close to the release of Obama’s birth certificate. But c’mon! When, in ANY presidency has there ever been a time that WASN’T involved in some sort of controversy?

Political leaders that get things done face opposition. Always. And political leaders that don’t get things done face controversy for not doing anything. No matter when OBL’s death was announced people would have noticed that there was some controversy going on at the time.

Why didn’t we capture him? We could have gotten good information from him.

Look, we’ve been hunting this guy for ten years. He’s slipped through our fingers by just hours on many occasions. Clinton missed his chance and caught hell for it. OBL got away a few times during the Bush administration and Bush never lived it down. Now Obama finally has the change to finish the job. Can you imagine what would have happened if, while trying to capture or transport OBL the guy managed to escape? Everyone would have been screaming “Why didn’t you just KILL him?!”

The job of a president is never easy. You are always having your decisions scrutinized. And no matter what you do, there will be people from the other political party who will work to undermine your efforts and minimize the importance of your successes. This is true for Democrats and Republicans.

So good leaders make decisions and move forward and start getting more things done.

And then conspiracy theorists invent interesting alternative motivations and stories that I love to hear, but just can’t really sink my teeth into.

Getting Things Done, Just Personal, Success