A strategy of tension (Italian: strategia della tensione) is a policy wherein violent struggle is encouraged rather than suppressed. It is usually associated when governments, or security apparatuses within a government, allow or even encourage extremist groups to perform attacks, bombings, murders, and the like. In extreme circumstances, it can even involve agent provocateurs and false flag operations where a terrorist threat is outright invented or created. The goal in such strategies is that such a struggle will rally support behind the military or police forces opposing the radicals, to radicalize opposing movements so that they can be better marginalized, or to permit loosely allied extremist groups to attack enemies of the government. As few organizations would openly say that they are pursuing a strategy of tension, accusations generally come from opponents that such a strategy is being pursued.
The strategy of tension is most closely identified with the Years of Lead in Italy from 1968–1982, wherein both far-left Marxist extremists and far-right neo-fascist groups performed bombings, kidnappings, arsons, and murders. Activists have accused NATO of allowing and sanctioning such terrorism, although this conclusion is hotly disputed. Other cases where writers have alleged a strategy of tension include the Turkish military against Islamists from the 1970s–1990s (“Ergenekon“), the war veterans and ZANU–PF in Zimbabwe which coordinated the farm invasions of 2000,,the DRS security agency in Algeria from 1991-1999  and Belgium’s state security service from 1982–1986.
The strategy of tension: A tactic to divide, manipulate and control people By Jerry Mazza
Is a tactic that aims to divide, manipulate, and control public opinion using fear, propaganda, disinformation, psychological warfare, agents provocateur, and false flag terrorist actions. Sound like today’s news?
The observation of the strategy of tension began with accusations that the United States government and the Greek military junta of 1967–1974 supported far-right terrorist groups in Italy and Turkey, where communism was growing in popularity, to spread panic among the population who would, in turn, demand stronger and more dictatorial governments.
Is it not like President Obama’s (NDAA) National Defense Appropriation Act, in which he includes the right for the military to indefinitely detain people affiliated with “terrorism,” including American citizens, without proof or legal representation or a trial? It even includes the right to kill any person associated with terrorists. Yes, the strategy of tension is an old terror chestnut brought back to frighten the liberal left citizens challenging right-wing power and actions.
“The strategy of tension” grew out of the post-WW II Operation Gladio, Italy’s branch of the secret pre-positioned NATO “stay-behind” armies of Western Europe. These armies were set up to perform resistance, partisan, and guerrilla activities in the event of Soviet invasion; equivalent units were set up by other NATO members in their states. It is claimed that Gladio units were engaged in destabilization at the behest of the United States and other Western governments, intelligence agencies (e.g., the CIA), the P2 Masonic lodge, the Order of the Solar Temple, various church-related organizations, and domestic influences such as organized crime.
This is all verifiable history, like the creation today of a paramilitary controlled surveillance society, which prides itself on more and more protection, even total domination as in martiall law put into effect in Boston when bad things went bad with the Boston Marathon.
Back in post-WWII days, the claims were backed by judicial proof which established that European fascist dictatorships of the time (the Greek junta and the secret services of Francisco Franco) were heavily involved in supporting and arming Italian neo-fascist and neo-nazi groups, such as Ordine Nuovo and Avanguardia Nazionale.
Carlo Digilio, an Italian neofascist, code named “Uncle Otto,” coordinated CIA activities in the Italian regions of Veneto and Friuli from the 1960s to the 1970s, recruiting former fascists to serve the NATO and U.S. interests in Italy. He himself had been recruited in Verona by U.S. Navy Captain David Carrett.
These groups began to pursue an ostensibly extreme right-wing anti-communist agenda using violent means, including false flag bombings that were then blamed on extra-parliamentary left-wing militant organizations, to discredit the political Left, in general, at a time in Italy when the Italian Communist Party was very close to becoming the majority in the government. Today, we can substitute the word “terrorist” for Communist, yesterday’s boogeyman.
It should be noted that the actions carried out by these extreme groups were meant primarily to agitate and control public opinion, creating fears about the Communist Party. At the time, they created massive public concern and widespread paranoia. According to the “strategia della tensione” theory, this was de rigeur.
Examples of such actions include the 1972 Peteano bombing, long thought to have been carried out by the Red Brigades, but for which the neofascist terrorist Vincenzo Vinciguerra has been imprisoned, the attempted assassination of former Interior Minister Mariano Rumor on 17 May 1973 or the Bologna railway station bombing known as the Bologna massacre of 1980.
Today, we can look back to 9/11/2001 for the starting point of a more contemporary “strategy of tension” that endures until this day, and is used internationally by the US government and its allies for regime change, assassinations, hit lists, drone-bombings and the like.
Furthermore, starting with the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing and the 1972 Peteano attack, several bombings carried out by the far-right were at first blamed on anarchists (for the first one) and, for the second one, on the Red Brigades (BR)—although it was later found that neofascists, such as Vincenzo Vinciguerra, had organized them. Piazza Fontana’s bombing, in December 1969, marked the beginning of the “strategia della tensione,” which ended around the time of the Bologna railway station bombing in 1980. Post 9/11, there were train bombings in Madrid in 2004 and on July 7, 2005 in London’s subway bombing, the latter backed by MI6.
Think about the Reichstag bombing. The paradigm for that act, in which several communists were accused, included the main “suspect” who was mentally ill and was sentenced to be decapitated and his several cronies hanged. Yet, it was Goering who orchestrated the fire. Think about the Oklahoma bombings, another false-flag attack blamed on domestic terrorists.
Think of the World Trade Center bombing of Tower 1 in 1993, blamed on the blind Sheik Rahman when it was the FBI who engineered the event. Think about 9/11/2001 and the fact that NORAD, flying exercises on the Northeast seaboard was not available to get a plane in the air to defend New York City. Then NORAD blamed the tragedy on 19 Muslim terrorists. More likely it was the Israeli Mossad, who stood most to gain.
Think of the true culprits behind the 9/11 attack, NORAD and the Israeli Mossad, who have successfully laid the blame on Muslim terrorists.
Turkey has a history of involvement in similar plots. The Turkish branch of Gladio, known as Counter-Guerrilla, allegedly followed a similar strategy in order to justify the 1980 military coup. Turkish secret police are also believed to have instigated the bombing of the Turkish consulate in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1955, leading to the Istanbul Pogrom against the Greek minority of Istanbul. Today, the Turkish government has exploded in violent response to gatherings of Turkish people in an Istanbul park to protest Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s intended destruction of the park to build a shopping mall. Erdoğan has condemned the protestors as rebels wanting to destroy the country.
On and on it goes, the “strategy of tension” in the U.S. and around the world, using tactics that aim to divide, manipulate, and control public opinion using fear, propaganda, disinformation, psychological warfare, agents provocateurs, and false flag terrorist actions. It also points to a universal conspiracy of the right to run these techniques in any country in the world that has a democratic or left-leaning government. And that definitely is not just yesterday’s news? That is the future unless we change it. Source: IntrepidReport
The main target of a strategy of tension is the public opinion, to manipulate votes, generate the impression of a national threat to legitimate war, to call for a strong leader or tolerate surveillance and denounce peacemakers as ‘unpatriotic’.
Roger Stone says he commanded the infamous Brooks Brothers riot of November 22, 2000 which stopped the Florida vote recount and helped give George W. Bush victory in the Presidential election, despite a majority vote against him.
The Trump campaign can now rely on the services of a right-wing media cartel, which stretches from traditional extremists all the way to the anti-government right wing anarchist fringe. The flagship of this effort would appear to be the Matt Drudge Report, which aggregates stories appearing on the other websites involved.
A second element is represented by the Michael Savage radio program, the “Savage Nation.” Savage has one of the top 10 reactionary talk shows, and Trump regularly gives interviews on this program. Savage’s Youtube channel is also the leading aggregate of videos of Trump’s speeches.
A third component is the Breitbart news site, the role of which has been highlighted as its reporter Michelle Fields was allegedly the object of assault by Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Several other Breitbart employees then departed the scene. Andrew Breitbart is no longer with us, having succumbed to a narcotics overdose some years ago. Breitbart.com is known as the Pravda, or better yet the Völkischer Beobachter equivalent for the Trump campaign.
In the print media, there is the National Enquirer, which has published unsourced adultery charges against Cruz. This article quotes Roger Stone which suggests that he was part of getting the salacious material published.
Trump ran primarily on his status as an outsider who has not sold out to the system. This is absurd. Trump is not an outsider. It is much more likely that he is the favorite of a shadow government faction who control him. This group wants to use him for strikebreaking, for international confrontations, the enforcement of austerity, and the imposition of an expanded police state.
Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson:
“We’ve actually got a category at Homeland Security called SIAs, special interest aliens,” Johnson added. “These individuals are being picked up in Central America — from Yemen and Somalia and Syria and from Pakistan. That’s where I think our greatest danger is.”’
Then there is the question of civil disturbances fomented directly by the Trump campaign.
Stone had threatened “Days of Rage” in Cleveland if his master Trump were not to receive the nomination. This was apparently a reference to the violent riots carried out by the SDS Weatherman faction in Chicago in November 1969. Watergate figure Roger Stone was once a colleague of the notorious Donald Segretti in the service of the Nixon Committee to Reelect the President (CREEP).
Roger Stone’s political method boils down to classic Nixonian cultural populism, expressed especially as hatred of the established elites in the form of hot button social wedge issues which can be used to make duped voters act on the basis of hatred in violation of their own interests. Figures like Roger Stone do not deny the existence of the working class, but rather pretend to speak in its name. Stone is a product of the same unsavory social milieu around the 21 Club in Manhattan which was frequented by McCarthyite lawyer Roy Cohn, whose protégé Trump also was.
While President Trump’s “strategy of tension,” as described by French President Emmanuel Macron, appears to be effective with North Korea, though calling it a strategy at all, says Phil Giraldi, is questionable given the administration dysfunction. On other fronts, including Iran, Syria and Afghanistan, Trump is failing miserably on his foreign policy scorecard.
French President Emmanuel Macron, having recently completed a state visit to Washington, reportedly has described the Trump program as “a strategy of tension,” which seeks to make adversaries uncertain of what the next step by the United States will be in an effort to obtain concessions that might not otherwise be likely.
Even giving Trump credit for positive developments in Korea, however, it is far from clear that it was part of some kind of strategy, as the White House team has been largely dysfunctional while the president’s grasp of the niceties of international interrelations appears to be minimal.
Iran is another clear case where “tension” is being applied to compel the Iranians to give up their ballistic missile developments to supplement their participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to downgrade their nuclear energy program.
Syria is Trump’s reversion to the same bad policies that resulted in Iraq, leading to the creation of ISIS among other consequences, not to mention a cost estimated to be $5 trillion. Syria, like Iraq, is a neocon exercise in delusion. Israel wanted Iraq to become a weakened state divided into ethnic and religious groups, a situation that still prevails in a country that is Shi’a dominated yet contains powerful Sunni and Kurdish regions that challenge the reinstatement of a national identity. Israel also wants the same for Syria, and the United States is complying by trying to create separate security zones that will not only include a large part of the country to the east along the Euphrates River and also to the north, but will also incorporate Syria’s oil production region, sharply diminishing the central government’s income. The formula will not work even though Israel and many in Washington are pushing hard for it.
There is still time to fix what is going wrong, but it depends on an understanding of what “America first” should actually mean, which is that the demands of hegemonistic foreign clients should no longer guide U.S. policy. Israel should be told that if it wants to attack Iran it should go right ahead, but it should not expect the United States of America to be joining in the effort. Source: AmericanFreePress
Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. Other articles by Giraldi can be found on the website of the Unz Review.
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