Most of us have been the victim of false flag operations as kids. Our sibling or the class jerk did something rotten and blamed us for it.
As it turns out, kids become adults and some become leaders and try the same stunt. In fact, whole groups of adults sit around and plan the rotten thing in advance while laying the evidence trail to lead back to the designated perpetrator. This is often used as a justification for war when there is no justification. Since normal people dislike war, a rotten thing done by the enemy can convince them that justice must be done and evil-doers must be punished.
It has worked very well in the past and as long as it works, it will be continued. The conspiracy-minded may see false flags in every single incident that happens. While this is improbable, false flags have been employed for a long time by many leaders.
In 1788, in the now-tranquil nation of Sweden, king Gustav III wanted war with Russia and needed to convince the Rikstag of the Estates to declare a defensive war. The Rikstag had indicated that they would do no such thing. The head tailor of the Royal Swedish opera was asked to sew Russian military uniforms which were apparently used in an attack on Swedes, causing outrage among the populace against Russia.
False flags are not always entirely the result of preliminary scheming. Sometimes they are opportunistic; that is, an incident of some sort occurred, but it is blown out of proportion or taken over as a propaganda device to achieve some political end. America felt the stirrings of imperial ambition while Spain was repressing an insurrection in Cuba. Newsman William Randolph Hearst wrote florid stories of Spanish atrocities and even sent the painter Fredrick Remington to paint Spanish misdeeds. Americans were outraged.
The sinking of the USS Maine on 15 February 1898 in Havana harbor was reported as having been the result of a mine exploded under the ship. “Remember the Maine!” was the battle cry that inspired anti-Spanish loathing in the U.S. and set off the Spanish-American Warlater that year. In 1976 a team of naval explosive experts concluded that the ship had not been attacked. Whether it was deliberately sunk as a war pretext or an accident was used as an opportunity we will probably never know.
In 1931 Japan wanted to annex Manchuria and blew up a section of railroad at Mukden, blaming it on Chinese nationalists. They repeated the false flag tactic in 1937 in the Marco Polo Bridge Incident when they claimed one of their soldiers was kidnapped and used this as a pretext to invade China.
False flags, whether pre-planned or opportunistic, have at times profoundly changed the course of history. Hitler had only been chancellor for a few weeks when the Reichstag was burned down in 1933. A young Dutch council communist was found nearby and this gave Hitler the opportunity he was looking for. He persuaded President Hindenburg to declare a national emergency and with civil liberties suspended, proceeded to arrest his communist rivals and consolidate his power.
The Gulf of Tonkin Incident refers to two separate confrontations involving North Vietnam and the US in the waters off Vietnam. President Lyndon Johnson claimed a naval clash occurred between Vietnamese torpedo boats and the USS Maddox. As a result of U.S. outrage at a second clash, congress passed the Gulf Of Tonkin Resolution, giving the president power to assist any southeastern Asian country against “communist aggression.” This was the beginning of open warfare against Vietnam. Declassified documents show that the first clash was the result of covert U.S. military activity and the second clash never happened.
One of the most chilling false flag operations now declassified was never implemented. Operation Northwoods was authored by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962 but rejected by President Kennedy. Seeking a pretext to start a war with Cuba, Operation Northwoods involved several possible scenarios, including hijacking or shooting down U.S. passenger or military planes, sinking a U.S. ship near Cuba, or sinking a boatload of Cuban refuges. These incidents would be blamed on Cuba.
That the U.S. government would ever consider killing Americans to start a war with Cuba is sickening and has fueled 9/11-as-a-false-flag theories. How many false flag operations have been successful and successfully covered up we will never know. Operation Northwoods only came to light while making comprehensive searches through documents related to the Kennedy assassination.