Vietnam: An Unwinnable War from the Outset

The River Styx Episode 3

The Vietnam War

Directed by Ken Burn and Lyn Novick

Film Review

Last night Maori TV showed Part 3 of the Vietnam War series. The title refers to the river dead people cross in Roman mythology to reach the Underworld.

The third episode covers the period 1964-1965 under President Lyndon Johnson. The latter reversed Kennedy’s initiative to withdraw US military “advisors” from Vietnam. Within days of the assassination, the new president increased the number of forces “advising” the South Vietnamese Army to 16,000. He also began secretly bombing and shelling North Vietnam (which was supplying arms to the South Vietnamese Army of Liberation). He concealed the bombing from the US public because 1964 was an election year.

By January 1965, the South Vietnamese Army of Liberation had nearly wiped out the South Vietnamese Army, and Johnson was forced to introduce “conventional” troops. In August 1964, Congress had passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted Johnson the authority to militarily “assist any Southeast Asian country which was being threatened by Communist aggression.” The Resolution was passed in response to an alleged unprovoked North Vietnamese attack on a US spy ship that, according to declassified documents, never happened.

The introduction of US ground forces would draw the North Vietnamese Army into the war, in support of the South Vietnamese Liberation Army. It would also lead France, Vietnam’s former colonial oppressor, to call for an end to all foreign intervention in Vietnam.

By May, Johnson had sent 50,000 GIs to Vietnam and pledged another 50,00 by the end of 1965. From the outset US troops deliberately waged a “counterinsurgency” war, ie one that clearly targeted civilians. The anger this provoked among the South Vietnamese population greatly enhanced recruitment efforts by the South Vietnamese Liberation Army.

On the domestic front, the introduction of ground troops (via a compulsory draft) would fuel a growing anti-Vietnam War protest movement by mid-1965.

At the end of 1965, General Westmoreland, who commanded US forces during the Vietnam War, requested an additional 200,000 troops. Johnson would comply, even though by that point, he and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara realized the Vietnam War was unwinnable.

 

 

 

The History and Purpose of False Flag Operations

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Part 3 of Counter-Intelligence: Shining a Light on Black Operations

“The Strategy of Tension” is Part 3 of a five part documentary by Scott Noble called Counter-intelligence: Shining a Light on Black Operations. In it, filmmaker Scott Noble offers a textbook examination of the use of “false flag operations” to manipulate public opinion and our elected representatives.

While “white” propaganda is openly acknowledged by the country that disseminates it (e.g. Voice of America), with “black” propaganda the state sponsor is hidden. A false flag operation is an extreme form of black propaganda (usually involving murder) which is falsely blamed on an enemy.

The CIA has a long history of planting bombs and creating mayhem to achieve specific political objectives. In 1953, CIA operatives posed as communists to plant bombs and threaten Iranians opposed to democratically elected people who didn’t support Mohammad Mossadegh. The instability this created laid the groundwork for a military coup that removed Mossadegh from power and replaced him with the fascist US-friendly despot Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

In a 2002 false flag operation, members of the opposition shot and killed their own protestors and blamed it on the Venezuelan military. They then used this atrocity to justify the CIA-sponsored coup against Chavez. This false flag was exposed when it came out that a video condemning the event was filmed before it actually occurred.

Operation Gladio

Most of Part 3 concerns Operation Gladio, an extensive network coordinated by the CIA, MI6 (British intelligence) and NATO, which orchestrated numerous false flag bombings, kidnappings and mass shootings throughout Europe between 1945 and the early nineties. By blaming the bombings and other terrorist acts on leftists and communists, the mission of Gladio was to discredit left leaning parties and to install repressive governments that were more friendly to US interests.

In Italy, Gladio was linked to the Masonic P2 (Propaganda Duo) Lodge, the mafia and Italian bankers, industrialists and fascists. In 1978, Gladio operatives kidnapped Italian prime minister Aldo Moro and murdered him. This was just after he went against Henry Kissinger’s warning not to incorporate the Italian communist party into his coalition government.

In Belgium, Gladio operatives pursued a strategy of storming supermarkets and mowing down shoppers with machine guns. By posing as leftists, they hoped to generate support for a right wing government that would agree to house American nuclear missiles on Belgian soil.

A Common Pretext for War

False flag events are also a common strategy for instigating war. In 1931, the Japanese blew up their own railroad and blamed it on Manchurian dissidents to justify the invasion of Manchuria. Eight years later, Hitler staged a false flag attack on a Polish radio station to justify the invasion of Poland.

Some false flag events are totally fictitious – the enemy is merely accused of an atrocity which hasn’t actually occurred. The best example is the so-called Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964, in which the Johnson administration accused the North Vietnamese of torpedoing the USS Maddox. Johnson used this non-event to justify a full scale land invasion of Vietnam.

That’s Just a Conspiracy Theory

Whistleblowers, researchers, historians and journalists who expose false flag events are commonly accused of indulging in conspiracy theories. The implication is that only people who are mentally unbalanced or grossly misinformed have any interest in exposing historical events that have been purged from the public record. According to Noble, this is a remarkably effective tactic for suppressing public discussion of government misconduct.

Counter-intelligence: Shining a Light on Black Operations
Scott Noble
Metanoia Films (2013)

photo credit: ¡Que comunismo! via photopin cc

Also posted at Veterans Today