pretexts for war

My email to Noam Chomsky

Dear professor Chomsky,

you recently said in an interview that "the concept of 'false flag operation' is not a very serious one".

Apparently, then, you don't consider it "serious" that the Soviet artillery in 1939 fired the famous Mainila shots into their own territory, blamed them on the Finns and used them as a pretext to start the Winter War against Finland. Historians have for long known that this was a false-flag operation. But you don't regard it as "serious". Why not? Don't you think its consequences -- 23,000 dead Finns and 127,000 dead Russians -- were indeed serious?

Recently declassified documents show that the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which provided the legitimation for the Vietnam War, was fictional. Don't you think that 50,000 dead Americans and millions of dead Vietnamese is "serious"?

What about the fact that Italian terrorism trials revealed operation Gladio, a Cold War project based on a "strategy of tension" in which NATO's stay-behind armies and Western intelligence agencies promoted and assisted right-wing terrorist groups, whose attacks, killing hundreds of people in several countries, were blamed on the political left? Should you not know about this, read, e.g., historian Daniele Ganser's book "NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe" (2005) or watch the following BBC documents: