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Thursday, February 09, 2017

False Flags

by George Takei

George Takei
These days, I'm a bit preoccupied with the possibility of false flags. The term comes from naval warfare, and refers to when a vessel flies something other than its true battle flag in order to mask the true nature of the attack.

We have seen false flags throughout history. Germany infamously deployed one to justify invading Poland based on a trumped-up attack on a German radio station. They dressed Polish prisoners up in military uniforms, shot and left them at the station, then broadcast an anti-German message as if it had come from a Polish military unit. Presenting the dead bodies as evidence, Hitler used the incident to justify his invasion of Poland, and World War II had begun.

Putin has had his own terrifying false flag. In September of 1999, a series of bombings rocked Russia across three separate cities including Moscow, with hundreds dead. These incidents spread fear and galvanized public support behind Putin, who then launched the Second Chechen War. A fourth set of similar explosive devices, however, were discovered beneath an apartment complex undetonated. Russian security agents were later arrested for having planted them. The implications are simply mind-boggling to consider.

I raise these examples not to sound like an alarmist or a conspiracy theorist, though I’m sure many will accuse me of this. Rather, I wish all of us to remain vigilant, and even skeptical, rather than reactive and emotional, should a horrific event occur and be used to justify certain actions. Those actions could be in the form of new military campaigns abroad, or suppression of our liberties at home. It would be hubris of a high degree to assume that we in America are somehow immune from how history has played out for centuries.

I might add that even if our enemies do attack us here at home, as sadly looks more, not less, probable of late, we must resist attempts to channel our national grief, fear and anger into other agendas. Following 9/11, we were faced with our set of “alternative facts” comprising “weapons of mass destruction” that, it’s now clear, never existed. Yet our national urge to respond somehow to the attacks, combined with these false claims, were enough to lead us into a catastrophic, costly war in Iraq, the consequence of which millions still endure daily.

History teaches that leaders who sense their own position weakening are often tempted to leverage or even invent tragedies to shore up support among the people. When faced with our next horror, we must question, investigate, doubt and confront at every step, even if it is politically unpopular to do so. And if a false flag should be raised, we must identify and debunk it. There is simply far too much at stake.

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