False flags

As Vladimir Putin’s intentions towards Ukraine become ever clearer Russia has   been accused of false flag attacks. These are when an aggressor stages an attack on its own soil which it then blames on its enemy as a pretext for launching a full-scale invasion. The method is tried and tested and was notably used by the Nazi’s the night before they invaded Poland in 1939.

The term itself drives from the 16th century when pirates would fly the flag of a friendly nation and lure unsuspecting merchant ships. Once drawn in the pirates would reveal their true colours and launch an attack.

But while the technique may seem modern a similar strategy was used to provoke the execution of Jesus. At his trial his enemies falsely accused him of subverting the nation and claiming to be a king. They knew the effect such accusations would have on their paranoid political leaders and hoped it would provoke them to issue the death penalty. It didn’t quite work as they had hoped but they got the result they wanted in the end.

The problem with false flag attacks is that they come with no guarantee of success. History reveals that Jesus’s enemies’ short-term gain was quickly lost, and it may well reveal the same to Vladimir Putin.

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