Sunday 4 August 2013

False Flag History - The Gulf of Tonkin Incident

Today is the 49th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, where then US President Lyndon Johnson completely lied to the American people about a US Navy ship being attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin, to justify initiating a genocide in Vietnam.   Here's Alex Jones to explain:1

The following is a section from John Pilger's book 'Heroes' and describes the Gulf of Tonkin incident as well as other distortions the CIA and wider Military Industrial Complex used to goad the American people into consenting to this slaughter.   

"During the spring and summer of 1964 the United States organised commando raids from the South against the North, using South Vietnamese and landing them from the sea. Hence, Washington was already engaged in unprovoked hostilities against Vietnam.  An American spy ship, the USS Maddox, took part in this action.  On August 2 the Maddox fired on two torpedo boats off the coast of North Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin.  The boats had neither attacked the Maddox nor returned its fire.  Two days later Captain John J. Herrick, on the bridge of the Maddox, noticed two 'mysterious dots' on his radar screen and concluded they were torpedo boats. It was a blustering, stormy night and visibility was nil. Again, no attack materialised. However, Herrick had sent an emergency call to his headquarters in Honolulu and this was passed quickly to President Johnson, who was 'furious' and wanted to order the bombing of North Vietnam immediately.  A few hours later a cable arrived from Captain Herrick. It read:

Freak weather effects on radar and over eager sonar men . . . No actual visual sightings by Maddox. Suggest complete evaluation before any further action taken.

President Johnson asked his Defence Secretary, Robert McNamara, for urgent 'clarification' while he prepared to address the nation.  Captain Herrick cabled back that there was 'a confusing picture', although he was now certain that the report of an attack was 'bona fide'.  What he did not say, until 1985, was that this confirmation of a 'bona fide' attack was based on 'intercepted North Vietnamese communications' which he had not seen.  Johnson's television speech was now written; America was going to war.  But a third cable now arrived from the Maddox in which Captain Herrick reverted to his original doubts. Half an hour after this was received, and ignored, the President was on networked television telling his fellow Americans, 'Renewed hostile actions against United States ships on the high seas have today required me to order the military forces of the United States to take action in reply.'

This became known as the 'Gulf of Tonkin Incident' and as a direct result, a resolution was sent by the White House to Congress seeking authority for the United States to invade Vietnam.  Seven years were to pass before the Pentagon Papers, the official 'secret history' of the war, would reveal that administration officials had drafted the 'Gulf of Tonkin Resolution' two months before the alleged attack on the Maddox.  On August 7,1964 Congress authorised President Johnson to take 'all measures' to protect US forces from 'any armed attack'.  American-planned sabotage attacks increased against the North. Six months later the State Department published a White Paper whose centrepiece was the 'provocation' of the 'Gulf of Tonkin Incident', together with seven pages of 'conclusive proof' of Hanoi's preparations to invade the South.  This 'proof' stemmed from the discovery of a cache of weapons found floating in a junk off the coast of central Vietnam.  The White Paper, which would provide the legal justification for the American invasion, was, in the words of Ralph McGehee, a 'master illusion'.  McGehee told me:

Black propaganda was when the US Government spoke in the voice of the enemy, and there is a very famous example.  In 1965 the CIA loaded up a junk, a North Vietnamese junk, with communist weapons ... the Agency maintains communist arsenals in the United States and around the world. They floated this junk off the coast of Central Vietnam.  Then they shot it up and made it look like a fire fight had taken place. Then they brought in the American press and the international press and said, 'Here's evidence that the North Vietnamese are invading South Vietnam. 'Based on this evidence two Marine battalion landing teams went into Danang and a week after that the American air force began regular bombing of North Vietnam.

The bombing was code-named 'Operation Rolling Thunder' and was the longest campaign in the history of aerial bombardment.  Few outsiders saw its effects on the civilian population of the North. I was one who did.  Against straw and flesh was sent an entirely new range of bombs, from white phosphorus (1966) to 'anti-personnel' devices which discharged thousands of small needles (1971).  North Vietnam then had no air force with which to defend itself.  The scale of the American bombing in the mid-1960s, both in the North and South, together with the American-directed terror of the South, eventually persuaded Ho Chi Minh to send regular army units south in support of those South Vietnamese opposing the American invasion.

This was not how propaganda in the United States explained the origins of the war. Neither is it how many people remember the war today. In the opinion poll quoted at the beginning of this chapter, in which more than a third of those questioned expressed confusion as to who were 'our allies', almost two-thirds said they were aware that the United States had 'sided with South Vietnam'. As Noam Chomsky has pointed out, this is the equivalent of being aware that Nazi Germany sided with France in 1940 and the Soviet Union now sides with Afghanistan.

The accredited version of events has not changed.  It is that noncommunist South Vietnam was invaded by communist North Vietnam and that the United States came to the aid of the 'democratic' regime in the South.  This of course is untrue, as documentation I have touched upon makes clear.  That Ho Chi Minh waited so long before sending a regular force to resist the American attacks seems, in retrospect, extraordinary; or perhaps it was a testament to the strength and morale of those South Vietnamese who had taken up arms in defence of their villages and their homeland.  In 1965 the American counter-insurgency adviser, John Paul Vann, wrote in a memorandum addressed to his superiors in Washington that 'a popular political base for Government of South Vietnam does not now exist' and the majority of the people in South Vietnam 'primarily identified' with the National Liberation Front.

When the US marines finally 'stormed ashore' at Danang in central Vietnam on March 6, 1965 they were bemused to find that there were no 'Vietcong' defending the beaches, dug in like the Japanese in all those Second World War movies. Instead, there were incredulous fishermen and curious children and beautiful girls with flowing black hair, wearing silk dresses, split at the waist, and offering posies of flowers.  Men in white shirts had supplied the flowers and they watched from a distance as the press photographers and the film crews recorded this moving illusion of welcome, while the jungles and highlands beyond cast a blood-red shadow no one saw. Ten years, one month and eighteen days were to pass before the last marine left, pursued by an embittered mob up the stairwell in his country's fortress embassy.

During those years the United States dispatched its greatest ever land army to Vietnam, and dropped the greatest tonnage of bombs in the history of warfare, and pursued a military strategy deliberately designed to force millions of people to abandon their homes, and used chemicals in a manner which profoundly changed the environmental and genetic order, leaving a once bountiful land petrified.  At least 1,300,000 people were killed and many more were maimed and otherwise ruined; 58,022 of these were Americans and the rest were Vietnamese.  President Reagan has called this a 'noble cause'."2

1.  The above clip is taken from Alex Jones' excellent documentary 'Terrorstorm - A History of Governmnet Sponsered Terror'.  The full film can be watched at this link:

2.  John Pilger covered the Vietnam Genocide from inside the country and made several documentaries of its horrors, which can be found here:

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