Wednesday, September 24, 2008
If you dig into modern terrorism for a while, you will eventually begin to notice two different trends that are almost always happening simultaneously.
Often they are happening so subtly that if you keep digging for a while longer you can almost stop noticing them, as they become part of the background noise.
But you never quite get used to that noise, and sometimes it makes itself evident in jarring ways, as it has done recently for me.
Double False Flag TerrorOne of these two subtle trends might be called "double false flagging". In a "single" false flag attack, the real perpetrators are disguised as somebody else. The object is to frame an enemy. This trick is as old as the hills.
The modern twist on the old trick calls for disguising both the perpetrators and victims. And we've seen quite a bit of it in our lifetimes -- almost enough to take it for granted.
The attacks of September 11, 2001, involved very specific and heavily symbolic targets: the World Trade Center and the Pentagon stood for American economic and military dominance over the world, and many Americans were proud to say so.
When they were attacked, it would have been easy to conclude that the attacks had targeted American global dominance and two very visible symbols thereof. But instead we were told incessantly that it was the civilized world itself that had been attacked. Did you believe that?
Whoever "gets to be the victim" of a terrorist attack can use the emotional power of the event for good (theoretically) or ill (as it always seems to happen). I've used quotes around the phrase "gets to be the victim" because, as we all know (or would know if we were thinking), the actual victims of actual terrorist attacks are already dead.
9/11 is a classic case of a double-lie about victims and perpetrators, as people who falsely call themselves the victims wage a seemingly endless war against other people whom they falsely call the perpetrators. How can this happen? When the "news" media are onside with the double-lie, the truth barely has a chance.
Last October 18th, a bomb blast (or two) ripped through a political procession in Karachi, Pakistan, killing more than 130 people. The leader of the procession, Benazir Bhutto, was not injured in the attack -- due to either a remarkable string of coincidences or (dare we say it?) foreknowledge.
I blogged extensively about this attack, and noted many very strange details. But one of the things that struck me most powerfully was the fact that within days, the uninjured Bhutto was referring to herself as the victim of the attack.
In fact, most of the victims had been members of her human shield, and they'd been paid (four pounds a day) to be there.
We saw another example of this cynical ploy last weekend after the Marriott Hotel bombing in Islamabad.
Barack Obama showed unsurpassed skill at "getting to be the victim" when he said:
"Today’s attack demonstrates the grave and urgent threat that al Qaeda and its affiliates pose to the United States, to Pakistan, and to the security of all nations."A bomb goes off in front of a hotel and that demonstrates "a grave and urgent threat" to "the security of all nations"?
He's good, isn't he? Scary good.
In the "good old days" of 9/11, only the civilized world was under attack. Now it's all nations, civilized or not. In Obama's world, we all get to be the victims. He's a uniter, not a divider. Barack Obama wants to embroil everyone in the morass...
Well, it turned out that al Qaeda didn't claim responsibility for the Marriott bombing, and another -- totally unknown -- group did. That group didn't have any terrorist history or any obvious affiliation with al Qaeda, but Obama's statement still stands, doesn't it? We're all under grave and imminent threat from ... whoever did it ... aren't we?
The Shifting Sands Of TimeThe other parallel and complementary trend, which I call "the shifting sands of time", concerns the way that changes are made to the official stories of major terror attacks. The original story is almost always found wanting and replaced with another one, which turns out to be ludicrous and is replaced, and so on ... but nobody ever seems to draw the logical conclusion from all these changes.
That's not quite true, of course, because some people do notice the shifting stories. But the people who notice the shifts and talk about them are all but barred from public discourse. I've been watching this trend all my life.
In 1963, when JFK was assassinated, we were told the assassin was behind the president and that Kennedy has been shot in the front of the neck. But then people started asking the logical question: How could the president have been shot in the front, from behind?
The New York Times came along with a ready-made explanation: He was turning to wave to someone behind him when he was shot. Fair enough -- or not really?
Not really. JFK had been injured in World War II and he wore a heavy back brace. He could never have turned around and waved to the rear while sitting in a car seat. Or could he?
No, he couldn't! And the Zapruder film showed him being shot while facing forward. Oops! Now the sands had to shift again. The entrance wound in the President's neck became an exit wound, and the NYT's explanation was revealed as a flat-out lie. So that lie was buried under the shifting sands, and the nation moved on... Or did it?
Most did, but not all. One of the people who didn't was a New York attorney named Mark Lane. He made a collection of news clippings, such as the NYT piece I've mentioned, which showed just how much the sands in this case had been shifting ever since the President was shot. And Lane started doing public presentations based on his research.
Eventually he published a book, "Rush To Judgment", which devastated the official story. And for his efforts, his research, his presentations, and his book, Mark Lane was called a kook, a crank, an egomaniac, and a madman. The national "news" media poured scorn on him for years, and even many so-called "JFK researchers" joined in the character abuse -- none of which changed the fact that Mark Lane was right. JFK wasn't shot in the front from behind. He was shot in the front from the front.
The case of Rashid Rauf, the alleged ringleader of the so-called Liquid Bombers, provides another fine example of shifting sands. In August of 2006, when the Liquid Bombers were arrested, we were told that Rauf's arrest in Pakistan had triggered all the arrests in England which followed. But we didn't know much about Rashid Rauf himself.
At the time, furious Googling turned up his home page, and not much else about him. I can recall being frustrated about the scarcity of information, and I started paying close attention, watching for his name to appear on the net. In the past two years I have mirrored more than 300 newspaper articles about Rashid Rauf at my "other" blog, Winter Parking, and I've read more blog posts mentioning his name than I can count.
I've also written more than 30 extensively detailed articles about the plot and the aftermath of the arrests.
"So what?" you may say. And maybe it doesn't matter. But I'm very rarely surprised by anything I read about this man, or about this case -- unless it's false.
And one day I found a post at Long War Journal which called Rashid Rauf an "al Qaeda commander". I had never seen him described as such, so I did some more Googling and found two articles in which it was hinted that perhaps Rashid Rauf had met an al Qaeda commander. But nothing more substantial -- and it's a far cry from allegedly perhaps meeting an al Qaeda commander to becoming one yourself, so I revisited that post and left a comment.
My comment said: "How do you know that Rashid Rauf is an al Qaeda commander?" And I was pleasantly surprised that it was published without any delay for moderation. I was even hoping to learn something from the response. So I stopped by again the next day, and found that my comment had been deleted.
In my opinion, this is how we know whether or not Rashid Rauf is really an al Qaeda commander. It's also a reminder: inquiring minds are very dangerous to the shifters of sand, especially if they're connected to functional memory banks.
All Together, NowWhen you see the shifting sands and the double false flags together, you know something special's going on. And that brings us back to Islamabad, where one of the questions that's been in the air lately runs: "Why was the Marriott Hotel attacked?"
Immediately after the attack, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik produced a fine combination of being the victim and shifting the sands, when he told the media the reason the terrorists had chosen the Marriott was because they were trying to kill the leaders of the government, who had planned to eat together at the hotel that evening.
But instead they'd decided to dine at the Prime Minister's residence, said Malik, in a manner which one scribe reported as sounding "as if they'd saved the entire country".
Given this background, it might have been embarrassing for Rehman Malik when the owner of the Marriott Hotel told the press he knew of no plans for the government leaders to visit his hotel on the fatal evening.
Can you imagine hundreds of the country's most important politicians planning to arrive together at a hotel for dinner, without giving the management advance notice? How could that happen? It wouldn't.
Instead, the sands needed to be shifted again. And on Wednesday the International Human Rights Commission nominated Rehman Malik for an International Peace Award for his role in the "War against Terrorism".
Rehman Malik is now in a magical realm, where he gets to be both "the victim" and "the hero".
According to Dawn,
The award is recognition of the services rendered by Rehman Malik in the area of fighting war against terrorism and extremism and for achieving the lasting peace in the country, strengthening the democratic institution after the establishment of newly elected government under the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari.Lasting peace? That's a bad joke. The war against militants in the mountains has already produced scores of thousands of refugees, and now "analysts" are saying they "fear" Pakistan may descend into civil war.
We shall soon see how much lasting peace Rehman Malik and his colleagues have brought to Pakistan. I will be surprised if there is any.
But what else can we expect, when warriors are getting nominated for peace prizes?