Manufactured stunts to create pretext for war one of the oldest tricks in the book
Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Syria’s downing of a Turkish F-4 Phantom jet last week, an event that has threatened to escalate the threat of NATO military action against President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime, mirrors previous instances where false flag provocations have been used or considered as a tool with which to create a justification for war.
Despite initially playing down the incident, Turkey today deployed anti-aircraft guns at the border with Syria in response to the shoot down and has promised to talk with NATO about potential repercussions.
Although Turkey claimed the jet was in international airspace, footage and eyewitness testimony clearly suggests that the Phantom was inside Syrian airspace and therefore a legitimate target.
Manipulating the narrative behind naval or airborne incidents in order to manufacture a pretext for conflict is one of the oldest tricks in the book.
The Bush administration once debated staging a false flag wherein fake Iranian patrol boats would be used to attack a US ship as a means of creating a pretext for war.
In January 2008, the US government announced that it had been “moments” away from opening fire on a group of Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz after the boats allegedly broadcast a warning that they were about to attack a US vessel.
The US claimed the Iranian boats had broadcast the message, “I am coming at you. You will explode in a couple of minutes,” and that the order to fire was aborted only at the last minute as the patrol boats pulled back.
Iran later produced a video proving that the patrol boats never displayed any kind of threatening behavior. The New York Times subsequently reported that the alleged tape containing the attack threat had no background ambient noise and did not come from an Iranian ship, but from another unnamed ship in the region.
According to Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh, the incident led to a discussion in Vice-President Dick Cheney’s office about how to start a war with Iran by launching a false flag attack at sea.
The January Strait of Hormuz incident taught Cheney and other administration insiders that, “If you get the right incident, the American public will support it”. Hersh said: “There were a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build, we in ‘our shipyard’, – build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up. Might cost some lives”.
Cheney’s idea was rejected, but it was eerily reminiscent of the so-called Gulf of Tonkin incident that never occurred but resulted in the Vietnam War that ultimately claimed the lives of more than 58,000 Americans and around three million Southeast Asians.
The Gulf of Tonkin pretext established a pattern of “continuous government lies passed on by pliant mass media,”write Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon.
In addition to Cheney’s idea of luring Iran into a conflict, the Bush administration devised a plan to trick Saddam Hussein into attacking a U.S. spy plane disguised as a United Nations aircraft.
“The US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colors. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach,” Bush wrote in a memorandum to then British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Given the innumerable examples of where provocations have been staged in other to lure the other side into war or to portray them as the villains, we should remain wary of the fact that NATO powers are determined to attack Syria under any pretext possible and will not hesitate to stage incidents in order to grease the skids for the next chapter of “humanitarian” bloodshed.