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On this day eighty-one years ago – September 18, 1931 – the Japanese detonated some dynamite near their railway in Mukden, Manchuria. They blamed the sabotage on the Chinese, and used it as a pretext to take over the entire province. The staged event became known as the Mukden Incident. It’s a good example of a false flag attack, which reduced to its simplest terms means: blow something up and blame it on your enemy.

The interesting thing about false flag attacks historically is how little the perpetrators care whether their staged event is revealed for what it really is. The Japanese didn’t care that other countries immediately suspected them of a malign hoax. They just marched out of the League of Nations and into Manchuria. Actually, it was the other way around: they set up their puppet state named Manchukuo in 1932, and left the League in 1933. When you’re out to build an empire, you don’t actually need to bother with the international community. You could even ask, if you don’t care about perceptions, why bother with the false flag attack to begin with?

The attack does build momentum that’s hard to stop. Six and half years after the fireworks in Mukden, the Japanese marched into Nanjing and raped it. They needed backing back home, not sympathy from the international community. If you can make your own people or your own soldiers feel they are under attack, that’s what counts.

Perpetrators had to use more than a little dynamite to bring down the Twin Towers and WTC 7. Beyond the difference in scale, both attacks display two key similarities. In both cases, other countries soon came to see the attack for what it was. The so-called victim was complicit. More astonishingly, in the case of the United States, is that the perpetrators did not seem to care what anyone thought. Unlike Japan, which strove to build an empire in its part of the world, the United States had a leading position over the entire globe. No nation had ever exercised that much influence and power for so long. No great power had ever equaled its reach. Yet the United States threw its empire and leadership away so it could go to war in south Asia. Moreover, it didn’t care what anyone thought about either the conquest or the pretext for it.

How do we know the people who blew up those buildings didn’t care what other people thought, any more than the Japanese cared about reactions to their little explosion? Consider our government’s response to well-reasoned questions that perceptive, patriotic citizens have asked about the day’s events:

You don’t see evidence that a large airliner crashed into the side of the Pentagon? Ignore the reports about what you can see and what you can’t see. Believe us, it happened. An airliner flew into the Pentagon.

You want to know more about the nineteen hijackers? We put out a list of all the hijackers right away. Why did some of the people on the list turn up alive and well in the Middle East? We don’t know about that, but as soon as we found out, we put out a new list.

You saw the Twin Towers blow up right in front of you? How can we say those steel-framed skyscrapers pancaked down, one floor at a time, in a chain reaction? You say you heard explosions in those buildings? You wonder why so much of the steel in that building melted to liquid? Stop asking questions like that – our experts have already dealt with them. We don’t want to hear them.

You don’t see evidence that an airliner crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania? It looks like the plane was shot down, because the debris is scattered over miles? Why would you detract from the heroism of the patriots who took control of that plane and sacrificed their lives for you and all of us?

You ask why the president sat reading to those school children for so long when everyone knew the country was under attack? Why would he act as if nothing unusual had happened, with his Secret Service detail standing by instead of protecting him? We’re not sure about that one.

You want to know know how World Trade Center 7 came down in free fall when nothing hit it? You keep asking us how we can claim this was anything but a controlled demolition. We’ll tell you something, you nosey bastards: we don’t want to talk about it.

There are other questions, of course, and other stonewalling responses. For now, let’s return to the depressing but true point: the government undertook a false flag attack and didn’t care that much how it came across. When you succeed with such an attack, you have to put your energy into the conquest, not the pretext. The pretext isn’t for the history books at all. It just gets us started with a fair wind at our backs.

What people in the rest of the world think matters. What citizens here in the United States think matters. If the government’s story about why the Twin Towers fell is false, and it suppresses the truth, it won’t survive. If the government’s story is false and it acts to discover or uncover the truth, it can still save itself. I don’t see any evidence, past or present, that it is interested in the truth.

Read Steven Greffenius’s recent book, Revolution on the Ground, second in a pair that began with Revolution in the Air. Download to your Kindle or Kindle app at Amazon.com.