"I've hired you to help me start a war! It's an prestigious line of work, with a long and glorious tradition." Vizzini, in The Princess Bride.
Indeed. There is the famous story that artist Frederic Remington, on assignment for the Hearst Newspapers in Cuba in 1897, sent a telegram to his boss, publisher William Randolph Hearst, reading "Everything is quiet. There is no trouble here. There will be no war. I wish to return." The popular account says that Hearst responded, "Please remain. You furnish the pictures, and I'll furnish the war." Scholars now question whether Hearst ever wrote his most famous "quote," but there is no question that the Hearst Newspapers deliberately fanned the flames of American public opinion into a frenzy of support for war against Spain.
Then we have the German-staged "Polish attack" on Germany, on August 31, 1939, which provided the pretext for Germany's invasion of Poland the following day.
To that list of achievements, we may now add the Russian invasion of Georgia this month. Originally portrayed by the "useful idiots" of the Western press as a response by Russia to a foolish provocation by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who had sent troops into the breakaway district of South Ossetia, almost no one believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had not pre-planned the invasion, just waiting for the inevitable excuse to launch his forces into Georgia. After all, the logistics for an invasion of the size and scope of the Russian attacks on Georgia, from the land, air and sea, require months of planning and staging of forces. However, Michael J. Totten reports
Georgia didn't start it on August 7, nor on any other date. The South Ossetian militia started it on August 6 when its fighters fired on Georgian peacekeepers and Georgian villages with weapons banned by the agreement hammered out between the two sides in 1994. At the same time, the Russian military sent its invasion force bearing down on Georgia from the north side of the Caucasus Mountains on the Russian side of the border through the Roki tunnel and into Georgia. This happened before Saakashvili sent additional troops to South Ossetia and allegedly started the war.
Thank you, Michael, and a hat tip to Little Green Footballs
for calling the story to our attention.