Editor’s note: This commentary is by Mark Heinrichs, of Barton. He is pastor of Sutton Freewill Baptist Church in Sutton.
For the average Vermont voter politics is confusing. How is one to see through the fog and come to some sense of reality and truth? Accusations and counter-claims are flung back and forth. An informed sense of history is helpful.
The recent riot at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., was a disturbing sight as protesters with Trump banners and hats broke windows and breached security. Major media outlets claimed that Trump deliberately sent protesters up to the Capitol to riot and cause insurrection. Trump supporters said that the rioters that caused the damage were antifa thugs sent in to cause trouble — “false flag event” they said. Major media fact checking groups (like Newsweek, Jan 7, 2021) went into overdrive, proclaiming a day later that such “false flag” claims were thoroughly debunked — no evidence they were anything but dangerous, unhinged Trump supporters. After all, they were wearing Trump red MAGA hats, weren’t they?
Not to put too fine a point on it, the major media fact checkers were themselves debunked after the FBI began arresting known thugs from Oregon and other places for their involvement in the Capitol Hill riot. In one case a non-antifa BLM thug, John Sullivan, had video shot of him working with a CNN reporter. That is highly disturbing. So, what is a false flag event? Why do they call it that?
History has plenty of examples so I will focus on two: the British Navy Commander Thomas Cochrane and Adolph Hitler. The whole idea of a false flag event is to deceive your opponent into thinking something other than what is really happening.
Lord Thomas Cochrane was a British naval commander who was the real person that Jack Aubrey of the movie “Master and Commander” was based on. Cochrane was a very bold and cunning young commander. In 1801, in the Mediterranean Sea, upon seeing French or Spanish ships, he removed his ship’s (The Speedy) British flag and flew other nations’ flags so they could creep up on an enemy, coming so close, then let loose with a volley of cannon fire, debilitating the opposing ship so it could be captured. The enemy would delay defensive preparations and cannon fire because they thought they were being approached by an allied or neutral ship, thereby giving Cochrane a huge advantage.
Cochrane had so much success with this that he was promoted to the rank of Post Captain of some of the British Navy’s finest ships. However, to some British naval admirals this was dirty pool on Cochrane’s part — unfair to use the false flag method, not quite “the thing to be done.” There was supposed to be honor in war, and using a false flag dishonored the British flag, and by extension, the nation. None of this deterred Cochrane.
The next example comes from late August 1939 on the German/Polish border. Under Hitler, Germany had been building its military for years in violation of the Versailles treaty from World War I. Hitler was spoiling for trouble, ready to flex his military muscle but keen to do it in a way that cost him the least. All he needed was “plausible deniability” to fend off or delay Allied military reaction and counter-moves.
At Hitler’s orders, the German Secret Police kidnapped a Polish Farmer named Franz Honiok, as well as perhaps several others, and on Aug. 31, 1939 staged a raid on their own radio station in Germany (Gleiwitz) near the Polish border. Personnel and several German soldiers at the broadcast center were killed by troops wearing Polish army uniforms using Polish weapons and ammunition, though they were actually German Secret Police. The German Secret Police dressed up their captive Honiok in a Polish army uniform, killed him and left him at the broadcast center as “proof” of the aggression by the unsuspecting Polish government. The Polish Army uniform the hapless Honiok was dressed in was the “false flag” used to deceive the world as to who attacked whom. The German Army invaded Poland within hours of this event, waiting only long enough to let the “false flag” event sink in.
The use of deception in war is not new, but the means and goals of achieving the false flag deception are growing increasingly dark. I think it is fair to assume the CIA has been involved in numerous “false flag events” world wide to overturn foreign governments. The use of thugs wearing Trump banners and hats while breaking windows and pillaging offices in the Capitol building makes for great evening news reports, and it attempts to deceive the nation as to who is at the core of the insurrection. With the FBI arrests of left-wing activists recently, we are beginning to get a clearer picture.