Thursday, September 15, 2016

Conspiracies and False Flags.

I have been accused of being a "conspiracy theorist" on many occasions.  Such an accusation is an easy way of shutting down an argument.  And indeed shutting down or deflecting investigation was the intention of those who coined the term "conspiracy theory".  And who might benefit from shutting down discussion of the "official" narrative of a military, criminal or terrorist incident?  Well it was the CIA who coined the term "conspiracy theory" as the following report and facsimile of a 1967 dispatch reveals:

So I am off and running with a conspiracy about using the term "conspiracy theory"!

But really if one looks at the historical record of "momentous" incidents that have led to war or to a government grabbing extraordinary powers, it appears that in many incidents they have been "false flag" operations created for the purpose of justifying a war of aggression or the seizure of extraordinary powers.  The following website gives a list of 53 such false flag operations, for which it claims "officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admits to it, either orally or in writing."  It provides links (most of which I haven't checked out) for the sources.

It seems most major powers have used this technique, often with immediate success, although the truth eventually seems to leak out, although of course there may be false flag incidents for which the official narrative has gone unrefuted.   Some example given include: 

  • the Soviet Union shelling one of its own villages, Mainila, and blaming it on Finland, thereby justifying the Soviet invasion of Finland in what became the "Winter War" of 1939 (Item 4);                                                   
  • the "Mukden Incident"  in which the Japanese military set off an explosion on a railway track in Manchuria in 1931 and blamed it on the Chinese.  Japan used the incident as a justification for the occupation of Manchuria (Item 1);                                                                                                                                
  • the "Gulf of Tonkin Incident".  It was claimed that on two occasions, two days apart, in 1964, North Vietnamese torpedo boats fired on an American destroyer the USS Maddox.  It transpires that the second attack was completely fabricated, and that in the first attack, according to the Pentagon Papers,  it was the Maddox which fired first on the N. Vietnamese ships.  This incident led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, in Congress, which President Lyndon Johnson used as a legal justification for sending troops to fight a war against N. Vietnam (Item 27)

  • In 1957 British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and US President Dwight Eisenhower approved a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion of Syria by its two pro-western neighbours, and then to topple the regime in Damascus (Regime change in Syria - we have form!) (Item 10).  

This last one was a failure it seems, as was the following fiasco in Basra, Iraq, in 2005, when British soldiers dressed as Arabs were arrested by Iraqi police and found to be carrying explosives. While the soldiers never explained what they were up to, the fact that the British Army send tanks to release them by breaking down a wall of the prison in which they were being held, seems to suggests that they were doing something nefarious and that the British authorities didn't want them admitting to anything.

In one event listed (Item 3), the Reichstag fire, the identity of the perpetrators is still being debated.  At the Nuremberg Trials, Nazi general Franz Halder testified that Herman Goering admitted that the Nazis were behind setting the fire, which destroyed the German parliament buildings.  Conveniently a young Dutch communist was found at the scene with firelighters and other suspicious material.  He was put on trial, found guilty and executed.  The morning after the fire the cabinet, which still had a non-Nazi majority, met to draw up an emergency decree that abrogated civil liberties across Germany. It abolished freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and association, and freedom of the press.  Communists and other opponents of the Nazis were quickly rounded up.  Clearly lists had been prepared in advance, just as in the recent arrests and purges which took place in Turkey following the failed coup in July.   

It was widely believed that the Reichstag fire was a false flag operation carried out by the Nazis, but in the post-war period there has been claims that the fire really was set by the Dutchman acting alone.  This has led to a lively debate among historians.  The issue is discussed in this well-written review of the book, Burning the Reichstag: An Investigation into the Third Reich’s Enduring Mystery, by the Cambridge historian Richard Evans.

The  Mainila, Mukden and Gulf of Tonkin incidents led to serious wars. Also Mussolini justified his 1940 invasion of Greece on violence carried out on the  Greek-Albanian (Italian occupied) border - a false flag operation carried out by Italians.  And we all know of the allegations made by Dick Cheney and others, that Iraq was sponsor of 9-11.  So these false-flag conspiracies have had major detrimental consequences.  

And then there was Suez Crisis of 1956, when following Israeli incursions into Egypt, the governments of Britain and France called for both Israel and Egypt to cease fighting and withdraw ten miles from the Suez Canal.   When they did not do this the two European powers sent in their own armed forces to "protect the canal".  But in fact it had all been planned in advance.  The Protocol of Sevres was a secret agreement between the governments of Britain, France and Israel, to invade Egypt, in exactly the way that it happened, with (from the British and French side) the aim of toppling the Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, and seizing control of the canal which Nasser had nationalized.

So, looking at the historical record, considering a conspiracy, especially a false flag one, as being behind some world-changing events, seems to me a very rational approach.  Of course not everything is a conspiracy - never discount the power of cock-ups!  And some conspiracy hypotheses are clearly nonsense. (Elvis was not abducted by aliens and Neil Armstrong probably did walk on the moon!) But with 9-11 for example there are so many unanswered questions and evidence inconsistent with the official narrative, that the hypothesis of a conspiracy being behind it deserves serious scrutiny.  This comment from a former Washington insider (Paul Craig Roberts) struck me as telling:

From my quarter century in Washington, it is clear to me that if such an event as 9/11 had actually happened for the reason given, the White House, Congress, and media would have been screaming for explanation of how a few Arabs outwitted the entire US National Security State—all 16 US intelligence agencies, the security agencies of Washington’s NATO allies and Israel, the National Security Council, Air Traffic Control, and airport security four times in one hour on the same day.  Instead the government refused any inquiry for one year until most of the evidence was destroyed.

Conspiracies do happen - more often than we would like to believe.  So the next time anybody accuses me of being a conspiracy theorist, I am going to point them to the historical record of conspiracies and call them a "conspiracy denier" or maybe just a patsy!  

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