Dateline  Newcastle upon Tyne - Saturday 25th May, 2024 21:28


by Tim Jones, 1st April, 2018

Maud RobinsonMaud Robinson, my grandmother, in 1951
My grandmother (1888 - 1971) was never a strident political person. I've no idea how she voted, or even if she voted, although she could show herself very knowledgeable about suffragettes and their brave struggle.

There was one event she told me about when I was seven or eight, way back in the 1950s, that had me awestruck. The story was set in the First World War, the Great War as it was then called, when things became a bit bogged down. The British and French wanted America to join in to help put an end to the German imperialism.

She said that, despite neutrality agreements, the USA was secretly sending war supplies across the Atlantic to help out, but public opinion in the States was dead set against direct involvement.

That was, until the sinking of the Lusitania.

A British ocean liner, plying the passenger trade between Liverpool and New York, the biggest such ship afloat in 1906, was sent from America, crammed with high explosives, then abandoned in submarine infested waters off the southern coast of Ireland to be sunk, with the loss of almost 1,200 souls, a lot of whom were Americans.

This was a game changer. American opinion turned on a sixpence, or should that be a dime? The politicians had their way; America joined the War.

Now, the really interesting point about this story was that granny, with no particular political, sceptical, conspiracy theorist, credentials said quite matter of factly, that the incident was manufactured by the British and Americans; it was a callous act. Those thousands died as expendable pawns in a political game.

Money Talks - Big Money Talks Big

JP MorganJohn Pierpoint Morgan (1837-1913)
One of the foremost American billionaire capitalists of the 19th and early 20th century was John Pierpoint Morgan. He was born into a banking family, spending his formative years learning the trade in London.[1]

In 1892 Morgan arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric. He also played important roles in the formation of the United States Steel Corporation, International Harvester, and AT&T. At the height of Morgan's career during the early twentieth century, he and his partners had financial investments in many large corporations and had significant influence over the nation's high finance and United States Congress members.

J.P. Morgan's death in 1913 in Rome meant that the mantle passed to his son, J.P. Morgan Jnr.

By 1914 the fledgling American Federal Reserve was selling war bonds to fund the British and French effort in Europe. This turned a tidy profit as well as storing up future profits come payback time. War created big money for the American bankers.[2]

The British had set up a sea blockade to try to reduce Germany's capabilities. the Hun retaliated with a fleet of U-Boats in the Atlantic, sinking ships bound for Britain.[3]

This threatened to disrupt the tidal wave of money flowing into the USA. It could also reduce Britain's future ability to repay the billions of dollars it had borrowed from the Federal Reserve.

It was difficult to sell US war bonds once the U-Boat blockade took effect. The widespread fear was that Germany might declare victory in months.

Morgan's mighty steel company, brokering war supplies, had become the largest purchaser on Earth. All that would come to an end if the war finished.[4]

Morgan senior had risked $1.5 billion ($37 billion in today's terms) of his own cash in setting up the Federal Reserve scheme. His son was in danger of losing it all if the war ended soon.

Morgan had already taken control of the New York Times newspaper, so trying to manipulate the population through print was not alien to him.

Morgan found the twenty-five most influential newspapers in the country then went on to install patsy editors to run pro-war stories. In the end, he had 1,000 editors on his payroll.

At the start of the campaign only around 1% of Americans favoured sending troops to Europe. Morgan and the Rockefellers, Standard Oil magnates, with their publishing interests, trumpeted non stop pro-war propaganda.

Not for the first time, the so called news media was deep in a mire of falsehood to shore up the rich at the expense of the general population. On both sides of the Atlantic, feverish stories emerged of atrocities said to have been committed by the Germans. Eating babies, pulverising poodles, tales of torture, were general fare designed to sway public opinion.

By 1915, despite the millions sunk into the effort, the polls showed only an increase to 3% in favour of war, with time running out for the bankers and industrialists. They needed a stronger strategy.

The Ship that Launched Two Thousand Faces

The 32,000 ton Lusitania was the largest sea going passenger liner when it was launched in 1906. The Cunard owned ship was in fierce competition for luxury, comfort, and speed on its north Atlantic route.

It had nine passenger decks carrying just over 2,000 people. It took 7,000 tons of coal to fire its 25 boilers powering the four Parsons steam turbines driving four 4-blade propellers. It could reach a top speed of 28 knots (52km/h).[5]

LusitaniaThe Lusitania, painting by Norman Wilkinson, 1907
It was because of the American J.P. Morgan's attempt to create a monopoly in the cross Atlantic passenger market, that Cunard obtained British government help in financing the build and operation of the Lusitania.

In return, it was built to Admiralty specifications to be a reserve military vessel.

When the Great War broke out in earnest, the ship was fitted with additional armour, swivelling gun turrets, with two of its lower passenger decks converted for cargo. In all but name it became a Battle Cruiser. Whilst many of her sister ships were tied up for the duration, Lusitania donned drab grey for camouflage and plied the trade from New York to Liverpool under destroyer escort. The passengers were a human shield for the secret compartments below decks for war munitions and supplies.

German Embassy WarningThe German Embassy warns against travel on the Lusitania
The Germans were aware of this subterfuge; its U-Boats attempted to sink as many cargo vessels as possible off the coast of Ireland. Despite the grey paint job it was difficult to disguise such a famous ship.

Naval orders were to ignore all requests by U-Boats to halt and be searched. This encouraged the Germans to sink all ships on sight that it suspected of carrying war supplies.

In April, 1915 Captain Dow resigned, refusing to run what he termed "false flag" trips, so called because the orders were to only communicate in code and not to fly any flags in the war zone. The ship sailed from Liverpool on 17th April with the new captain, William Turner, arriving in New York six days later. It was scheduled on the return trip on the 1st May.

On the 22nd April, the Imperial German Embassy issued a warning to intending passengers to avoid the ship as it would be the subject of increased vigilance and threat of attack

J.P. Morgan Jr. tried to block the insertion of the notice in the newspapers he controlled. The Washington Post only mentioned the warnings on the evening after the ship had left for Europe.

Behind the scenes, the British government and American President Woodrow Wilson, spurred on by the bankers, hatched the "false flag" plot. When the Lusitania entered the war zone, the destroyer escort would turn back. Its instructions - make best speed to Liverpool.[6]

The storage was filled with weapons and munitions in violation of every treaty of neutrality.

The bankers and the government were sending unaware citizens into a deadly trap. The so called passenger liner was carrying millions of rounds of ammunition. It was directed into an area where a U-Boat had recently engaged two other ships.

On the 7th May, 1915 U-20 shot a single torpedo into the front starboard side below the water line. Following the initial torpedo hit there was a second more terrible blast as the munitions in her hold exploded. The ship was doomed, as were almost 2,000 passengers and crew.

Only six out of the 48 lifeboats could be launched in time. Eighteen minutes after the torpedo, the bow struck the sea bed, moments later the stern followed.

The Lusitania was loaded with high explosives then led into hostile waters with the hope that it would be sunk by Germany.

Although there was an international outcry following the sinking, Woodrow Wilson put off declaring war for seven months whilst he tried to concoct cover stories for the ship, entering talks with the Germans, and protesting its non belligerent status. The news media went into overdrive calling for retribution, saying Wilson was being weak in not putting the country on a war footing immediately.

This was the time the government, industrialists, and bankers needed to turn the American population from apathy to jingoistic warmongering, thanks to the newspapers.

It is easy to forget that at the time newspapers were the primary source of information for the public. There was no radio, TV, and the Internet was as distant as flying to the Moon. It was Francis Bacon who said that the three most important human inventions are the compass, gunpowder, and the printing press.

The sinking of the Lusitania was the false flag that propelled the USA into the war. This was all so that the industrial military manufacturers and the banking class would not lose money.

It Could Never Happen Today

False Flag ExplanationWhat is a False Flag Operation?
The details of this false flag were kept from the public. As recently as 1993 it was still the official story to deny that munitions were on board. It was supposed to be coal dust in the boiler room that caused the explosion.

Divers at last discovered millions of shells in the wreckage in 2008.

Fake news and false flags are much faster today with increased speed of communication, global networks, and determined governments.

Operation Northwoods was a series of planned so called terrorist attacks in the USA in 1962 that could be blamed on the newly formed Cuban regime of Fidel Castro. Although discussed and planned at the highest level, it was vetoed by John Kennedy.[7]

America's long, bloody, unsuccessful war in Vietnam was rationalised by a false flag attack on an American ship in the Gulf of Tonkin.[8]

The USS Liberty was attacked by unmarked Israeli planes in 1967 as a pretext to blame Egypt so that America could have an excuse to wade in. 34 crew were killed with 171 injured. The plan failed because there were too many survivors to say what they saw.[9]

The anti-Muslim bombings in Paris and Nice in the 1970s and 80s were supposedly carried out by right wing Zionists, possibly arranged by Mossad, the Israeli Secret Service. It turned out that they were the work of French Neo-Nazis and The European Nationalist Party.[10]

There will be some who see false flags in more recent occurrences; many believe the New York Twin Towers attacks were a home grown false flag to propel the USA into war with Iraq. Here in the UK the Dodgy Dossier, the mythical Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Andrew Gilligan debacle at the BBC, and Tony Blair's headlong rush to war, along with the mysterious death of weapons expert, Dr. David Kelly, are all strong candidates for false flaghood.

Why would a government pussy foot around, taking three years to find out why a London block of flats caught fire, yet determine within twenty minutes that a collapsed couple in Salisbury is the work of Russian State plotting?

Apart form the whiff of Novichok, if it ever existed in this case, does anyone else smell bovine excreta?

The news media, including the state run BBC, have taken up the challenge of who can produce the most convincing riddles, Powerpoint presentations, and gloomy, doom laden, smoke filled docu-dreams on no evidence whatsoever.

Looming elections, low poll ratings, the need for tub thumping, and an excuse to undo the already disasterous Brexit debacle may well be at the heart of this latest hoodwink.

[1], J. P. Morgan last accessed 31st March, 2018.
[2] Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Making Sense of the Federal Reserve
[3] Imperial War Museum What you need to know about the British naval blockade of the First World War by Paul Cornish, January, 2018.
[4] Economic History Association US Economy in World War One
[5] Wikipedia RMS Lusitania Last accessed 31st March, 2018.
[6] Hamish Hamilton, London Room 40, British Naval Intelligence, 1914 - 1918 Patrick Beesly (1982)
[7] Wikipedia Operation Northwoods Last accessed 31st March, 2018
[8] Wikipedia Gulf of Tonkin Last accessed 31st March, 2018
[9] Wikipedia USS Liberty Incident Last accessed 31st March, 2018
[10] Wikipedia Anti-Muslim Bombings in Paris & Nice Last accessed 31st March, 2018

Timothy Pickford-Jones

Timothy is a mature northerner with a background in electronics and public transport, who lives in Newcastle upon Tyne.

As well as having a keen eye on the political scene, he is a photographer, with an interest in architecture and history. Timothy has been active on the web since the mid 1990s, having curated the Timmonet site from its inception.

Since retiring from full time work, Timothy has found time for travel, creativity, and maintaining his lifelong interest in the arts.

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