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On September 18, 1931, the Japanese detonated some dynamite near their railway in Mukden, Manchuria. They blamed the sabotage on the Chinese, using the pretent attack as a pretext to occupy the entire province. The staged event became known as the Mukden Incident. It’s a good example of a false flag attack. Reduced to its simplest terms, the phrase means: blow something up and blame it on your enemy. You plant your opponent’s flag on your own crime.

Interestingly, the people who perpetrate false flag attacks generally care little whether their criminal demonstrations convince others or not.  The Japanese didn’t care that other countries in the region and overseas immediately suspected them of a malign, self-serving swindle. Briskly, the Japanese marched out of the League of Nations and into Manchuria. Actually, it was the reverse: they erected their puppet state, named Manchukuo, in 1932, then left the League in 1933. When you aim 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?

A false flag attack does build momentum domestically. The planners needed backing in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, not sympathy from the international community. If you can make your own families and your own soldiers feel they are under attack, that’s what counts. For momentum, Mukden succeeded. Six and half years after the fireworks in Mukden, the Japanese marched into Nanjing and raped it. Two and a half years after that, Japanese torpedo bombers attacked Pearl Harbor.

Perpetrators used more than a few sticks of explosives to destroy the Twin Towers and World Trade Center 7. Beyond the difference in scale, we see a couple of key similarities in the attacks. First, other countries soon came to see each attack for what it was. The so-called victim was complicit. Second, leaders used the attacks to build support for war, against China in 1932, and against Iraq in 2003. The so-called victim quickly became an aggressor.

Astonishingly, in the United States, the perpetrators truly did not care what others overseas thought. Unlike Japan, which strove to build an empire in its part of the world, the United States had a leading, dominant position all over the globe. No nation had ever exercised so much influence and power for so long a period. No great power had ever equaled its reach. Yet the United States threw its empire and leadership away so it could go to war against a couple of poor, weak states in the Middle East and south Asia. It created the conditions for aggressive military action, and did not care what anyone thought about either the conquest or the pretext for it.

We can see how much the people who blew up those buildings care what other people think when we consider their response to questions about the attacks:

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.

Other questions come to mind, of course, as well as other unhelpful or impolite responses. Yet we cannot overlook the depressing but true point: someone blew up those buildings, and did not care  that much how it came across. When you succeed with such an attack, you put your energy into the subsequent conquest, not the pretext. That’s what George Bush meant when he said we should not investigate the 9/11 attacks, as that would distract us from the war on terror. The pretext resides in the history books only as the starting gun. It lets us begin wth a brisk but guilt-laden wind at our backs.

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