I’m starting to realize that Zerohedge is low-hanging fruit. Nonetheless, I couldn’t resist when I saw this article by…get ready for it…George Washington. Yes, first Tyler Durden and now George Washington. I’m sure that given enough time, Zerohedge will one day have people with pen names like Captain America and Freedom Man writing for them. Never mind that, let’s get through this.
The problems begin with the article’s title, which is obviously a reference to last week’s attack on the editors of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. The title reads: “The First Question to Ask After Any Terror Attack: Was It a False Flag?”
No, George, that is the first question Alex Jones asks after any terrorist attack. The rest of us use something called Occam’s Razor in this case. If enough terrorist attacks in history were actually false flags, then terrorism is essentially not real and the evil conspirators would have to question why they’re trying to create this false threat of terrorism in the first place. I mean with all the money and resources you’d have to be spending on creating non-existent enemies and then killing some of them, you’d think some guy in the secret meeting room would suddenly come to an epiphany- “I’ve got it! What if we took all this money we’re spending on fake terrorism, and instead we just spend it on social programs and other perks like free water parks and go-cart tracks? Then people would love us and they’d be too busy enjoying all that free crap to threaten our power, assuming they’d even want to!” But no, in conspiracy land, that naive individual would be immediately beaten to death by the other sinister characters in the room, and then it would be blamed on Al Qaeda.
In order to support his hypothesis, the first president of the United States amasses a staggering quantity of about 36 different alleged “false flag attacks.” As you might imagine, many of these alleged attacks have nothing to do with terrorism, while several of the claims are highly dubious. The author loves claiming that this or that government has “admitted” to this or that, but experience shows how conspiracy theorists will often hear what they want and turn that into an admission. The reader is free to browse his laundry list of “false flags” and decide which ones have any historical merit(yes, some actually do). I’m more interested in making a big picture point here.
Ex-president Washington is using these examples as a reason why we should always ask whether a new terrorist attack is a false flag. As I said before, several of the items are not terrorist attacks at all. Even if we ignore that, we must ask a far more important question- How many real attacks have their been throughout history, including state-on-state violence and terrorism? In other words, even if we were to assume every item on his list is true, there is still no reason to question whether a new terrorist attack is a “false flag.” That is not unless he’s seriously going to claim that hundreds, if not thousands of terrorist attacks in the 20th century alone are also false flags. Naturally this conspiracy would begin to get a bit unwieldy.
Also I realize this is a bit of a digression, but have you ever noticed that these folks almost never bring up the topic of the IRA during the troubles? I’ve never seen anyone claim that IRA-linked terrorism was a false flag. Interesting that people aren’t willing to label the whole Irish struggle against the British as a royal false flag campaign.
Getting back on track, another funny moment arises when he uses Wikipedia’s definition of a false flag attack:
The term comes from the old days of wooden ships, when one ship would hang the flag of its enemy before attacking another ship in its own navy. Because the enemy’s flag, instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, was hung, it was called a “false flag” attack.
The real purpose of such tactics(also used by pirates) was to approach a ship unawares, not to shift blame to another country for the attack. Flying the same flag as your quarry gave you a chance to close with them. It was also useful for avoiding authorities. In any case, the fact that there is a definition for “false flag attack” does not give us any reason to ask if any terrorist attack was a false flag.
Moving on, he says that “leaders throughout history have acknowledged false flags.” The first person he quotes?
“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
Not a leader. You had one job. One…job. Also do I need to point out this has nothing to do with false flag attacks? Populations faced far more external threats in antiquity than we do in the industrialized world today. For much of human history, in fact, you wouldn’t need false flag attacks to appear as a protector, because there was always a rival tribe, city-state, or nomad horde about to come in and totally wreck your shit. Also most of these societies were not democratic by any stretch of the imagination, therefore there was no need to whip up public opinion against an invader, assuming something as “public opinion” existed in the particular society we’re considering. Some of the other quotes are either highly dubious, or have nothing to do with terrorism.
There are literally dozens, if not hundreds of problems with the terrorism-as-false-flag conspiracy theories, some of which I have hinted at before. One problem when it comes to activism is that it presents the system as being in the hands of omnipotent elites. Someone like me would see the contradiction between the West supporting ISIL indirectly in Syria and fighting them in Iraq or the streets of Paris as evidence of the system’s incompetence and inability of reconciling its short and long-term goals and interests. All things are rife with contradictions, especially politics. Three of the empires involved in the First World War had every reason in the world not to go to war at all. And yet two of those, the Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires, enthusiastically rushed headlong into the war that would destroy both of them. If people learn to see the contradictions in human society, they can take advantage of them so as to change society or even overthrow the status quo.
Of course your average Guy Fawkes mask wearing “truth” enthusiast has a different view. Of course ISIL is just controlled by the US and NATO! They train them, set them loose, and even bomb them. Everything is always going right according to plan. The conspiracy enthusiast always knows what the elites are up to, but when it comes to solutions they always come up short. Another interesting aspect of this latest terrorist attack is that in spite of the fact that the Russian media started disseminating conspiracy theories even before the culprits were neutralized, Russia would stand to benefit the most from these attacks. Of course this can’t be, because naturally Russia is part of the anti-NWO coalition!
Probably one of the biggest flaws in this false flag terrorism theory is that even though almost every attack is labeled a false flag, they simply are not frequent enough in the Western world. As plenty of rational people have pointed out numerous times, your chances of getting struck by lightning are almost infinitely higher than dying in a terrorist attack in the US. Even in spite of this latest attack in Paris, the odds would be pretty much the same there. In fact they’re even the same in Russia assuming you don’t spend too much time in rural Chechnya or Dagestan, and if you did get killed there that’s more likely to be an ordinary criminal act as opposed to terrorism. All of this is counterproductive if you’re a shadowy group of plotters trying to use fear of terrorism to bend the public to your will.
Alex Jones and his multitude of clones and followers would have us believe that these false flag terrorist attacks are designed to get us to ascent to foreign wars and restrictions on civil rights, up to and including martial law and even detention in FEMA camps. There’s no debate that fear of terrorism certainly caused many Americans to engage in ridiculously irrational behavior after 9-11, and it’s certainly the reason why most Americans did support the war against Iraq in 2002-2003. However, few ordinary people staunchly defended measures such as the Patriot Act, and opposition to this assault on civil liberties cropped up almost immediately. As the terrorism hangover subsided, many people who had either mildly supported or at least accepted the Iraq War changed their minds. Public opinion officially turned against the war in 2005 and continued to decline to the point where nowadays even confirmed Republicans will try to downplay Bush and his war.
So my question then, is the following. Why is it that the same men who could supposedly orchestrate all manner of false flag terrorist attacks so as to manipulate public opinion, couldn’t come up with more terrorist attacks to overcome opposition to the war and the Patriot Act? Sure, some will say they did, citing such attacks as the London bombings of 7 July 2005. The problem is that this apparently didn’t work. With so many terrorist attacks being labeled false flags, why can’t they pull off devastating or at least outrageous attacks on a far more frequent basis? Let’s be honest, if terrorist attacks occurred in the US with even a fraction of the frequency with which they occur in Iraq, you probably would have many people calling for soldiers on the streets, or at least being willing to tolerate such measures. Remember that common response Republicans used when people pointed out what a quagmire Iraq managed to become within a few months? “Would you prefer to fight them in Baghdad or Boston?” Right. So what political positions would you be willing to change, what sacrifice would you be willing to make, if “they” actually were in Boston?
Yet for some strange reason, the conspirators never brought the Islamic insurgency home. Sure, there was a string of foiled terror plots, but most people can’t remember the names of those hapless, sometimes comical individuals. In some of these cases it’s clear that the would-be terrorist never would have managed to actually carry out a terrorist attack were it not for some undercover agent feeding him the idea and setting him up with another undercover to sell him fake explosives. Okay, perhaps they can’t pull off a 9-11 every month, but why couldn’t there by a Paris-style shooting or at least a car bomb every few weeks or so? If the Boston marathon bombings were a false flag attack, what exactly were they supposed to make us do? Was there some massive military campaign the president wanted us to get behind that particular year? Do you remember them trying to push through some Draconian gun control legislation after that? You know, it’s almost as if the reason these terrorist attacks are so infrequent and random is because they aren’t being carried out by some shadowy state agency, but rather small cells and individuals with loose ideological links. Nah, it couldn’t be that.
I’m starting to think that this false flag business is just a little too convenient. What if ISIL is a false false flag? In other words, terrorists carry out a “fishy” attack so as to embarrass the US government, thus distracting us from their real plan. Perhaps they actually work for another government. Or what if they are indeed working for the US government, but they are deliberately pulling off obvious false flag attacks because they realize that some false flag attacks need to look more real than others? A false false false flag, if you will. Hey I’m just asking questions here! What’s wrong with asking questions?