Monday, July 21, 2014

Fact-Free Zone

The fog of war that has been hovering over eastern Ukraine has now spread to the shores of the Potomac, and from there has inundated every pore of western body politic. The party line is that pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine have shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17, using a surface-to-air missile provided by Russia, with Russia's support and complicity. The response is to push for tougher sanctions against Russian companies and Mr. Putin's entourage. None of this is based on fact. To start with, it isn't known that MH-17 was brought down by a surface-to-air missile; it could have been an air-to-air missile, a bomb on board, a mechanical failure, or the same (or different) mysterious force that brought down MH-370 earlier this year. Mysteries abound, and yet western media knows it's Mr. Putin's fault.


Step through the looking glass over to Russia, and you hear a completely different story: the plane was shot down by the Ukrainians in order to frame the rebels and Russia in an attempt to pull NATO into the conflict. Here, we have numerous supporting “facts,” at varying levels of truthiness. But I have no way to independently verify any of them, and so instead I will organize what has been known into a pattern, and let you decide for yourself which story (if any) you should believe.

When trying to catch a criminal, a standard method is to look at means, motive and opportunity. Was the criminal physically capable of committing the act? Did the criminal have a good reason for committing it? Did the criminal get a chance to do it? One more criterion is often quite helpful: does the crime fit the perpetrator's known modus operandi? Let's give this method a try.

Means

Did the rebels have the means to shoot down the plane? They have no military aviation and no functioning airport (the one near Donetsk is out of commission and occupied by Ukrainian troops). They have shoulder-fired missiles, which can take out helicopters and planes flying at low altitude, but are useless against airliners flying at cruising altitude. They also have a “Buk” air defense unit (one truck's worth of it) which they took from the Ukrainians as a trophy, but it's said to be non-operational. A rocket from this unit could have shot down MH-17, but only if it were integrated with a radar system, which the rebels did not have.

Did the Ukrainians have the means? They had five “Buk” units active in the area on that day, integrated with a radar system which was also active that day. (Deploying an air defense system against an enemy that does not have any aviation seems a bit strange.) According to a report from a Spanish air traffic controller who was working in Kiev (and has since been dismissed, along with other foreign ATCs) MH-17 was followed by two SU-25 jet fighters. According to a Russian expert on “Buk” systems, the damage to the fuselage visible on photographs of the crash site could not have been from a “Buk” surface-to-air missile, but could have been caused by an air-to-air missile fired by a SU-25.

Did the Russians have the means? Of course they did. Never underestimate the Russians.

Motive

The rebels had absolutely no reason to want to shoot down that plane. This leaves open the possibility that they shot it down by mistake, but that's not a motive, and if that is what happened, then this is not a crime but an accident, because a crime is an intentional act.

On the other hand, the Ukrainians had a really good motive for shooting it down. This part takes a little more explaining.

You see, the Ukrainians have been doing everything they can to pull Russia into the conflict, in order to then pull NATO into it as well, because their chance of victory while acting alone is nil. To this end, they have been shelling civilian targets relentlessly, causing many dead and wounded, in the hopes that Russian troops would pour across the border to defend them. This failed to happen; instead, the Ukrainians have succeeded in precipitating a refugee crisis that has produced something like half a million refugees seeking asylum in Russia. This has had an effect opposite of the intended. Whereas previously the rebels' recruitment activities were somewhat hampered by a wait-and-see attitude on the part of the population, now they have seen all they need to see and are ready to fight. Also, the Russian population inside Russia itself has found the stories of the refugees sufficiently compelling to open their wallets, so that now the rebels are drawing healthy salaries and have good kit and a steady stream of supplies. They are highly motivated to fight and to win, with a steady rah-rah of support coming from across the border in Russia, while the Ukrainian forces they face consist of underfed, untrained, badly armed recruits being goaded into battle by Right Sector thugs. Their recent battle plan was to directly attack the population centers in Donetsk and Lugansk while cutting the rebels off from the Russian border. One column managed to break through to the defunct Donetsk airport, where it has been kettled ever since (it is currently trying to break out in the direction of Donetsk). The troops massed along the Russian border got kettled there and decimated, with quite a few Ukrainian soldiers walking across the border sans weapons seeking food, shelter and medical treatment.

So much for Ukrainian military strategy. But the other thing to note is that time is not on the Ukrainians' side. First, a bit of background. Ukraine has always been a rather lopsided country. There are the Russian provinces in the east, which had coal, industry, good farmland, and lots of trade with Russia proper. They used to be Russia proper until Lenin lumped them into Ukraine, in an effort to improve it. And then there is western Ukraine, which, with the possible exception of Kiev, could never earn its keep. In terms of economic and social development, it resembles an African nation. Since its independence, Ukraine had subsisted through trade with Russia and through transfer payments from (Russian-speaking) Ukrainian citizens working in Russia. Because of fighting in the east, trade with Russia has been disrupted. Ukraine has been cut off from Russian natural gas supplies due to nonpayment; as a result, more and more Ukrainian cities no longer supply hot water, and come winter, there will be no heat. The economy is in freefall. The Ukrainian government received some funds from the IMF, but these are being squandered on the failing military campaign. The association agreement which Ukraine signed with the EU remains a dead letter because Ukraine does not make anything that the EU wants, and Ukraine has no money with which to buy anything the EU makes. So much for Ukrainian economic strategy.

And so, from the Ukrainian government's perspective, shooting down an airliner and blaming it on Putin (which is something that western governments and media are only too happy to do) probably seemed like a good ploy.

What about Russia? Well, the Russian government's chief concern is with avoiding becoming drawn into the conflict. The basic Russian strategy is, as I put it a couple of months ago, to let Ukraine stew in its own juices until the meat falls off the bone, and this strategy is working just fine.

It is important to draw a difference between the Russian state (Putin, the Kremlin, etc.) and the Russian people. According to Russian law, any Russian-speaking person born on the territory of the USSR has an automatic right to a Russian citizenship, so the people of eastern Ukraine are by default Russian citizens. It is a fine line between providing support to your fellow-Russians across the border as a people and being drawn into an international conflict as a nation, and the Russian government has been rather careful to preserve this distinction. Thus, the Russian government was very highly motivated to prevent this incident.

Opportunity

For the rebels, the opportunity amounted to looking up and seeing a plane. If, at that moment, they made the split-second decision to shoot it down using one of the “Buk” rockets (provided they had one ready to go) without radar support they could have only fired that rocket in “pursuit mode,” where the rocket flies to where the plane is, not to where the plane will be, and it is rather uncertain whether the rocket would have caught up with the jet before running out of fuel.

On the other hand, the Ukrainians gave themselves the opportunity by having Dnepropetrovsk ATC redirect the flight over the conflict zone, where they deployed their “Buk” systems.

I have trouble imagining a scenario in which Russian air defense forces would have been presented with an opportunity to shoot down MH-17.

MO

Although some criminals commit just one crime (and sometimes even get away with it), typically a life of crime follows a pattern. What is the pattern behind shooting down MH-17? It is to kill civilians for political gain. What has the Ukrainian government been doing, for quite some time now, in shelling apartment buildings, schools and hospitals in the east of the country? Killing civilians, of course. And why have they been doing it? For a political reason: to attempt to draw the Russian military into the conflict, in order to then appeal to NATO for help. This is part of a larger plan on the part of the US to use Ukraine as a wedge between Russia and the EU, to deprive the EU of Russian natural gas supplies and make it even more dependent on the US.

Conclusions

My effort here is to present you with a better framework for analyzing these events than you might find elsewhere, but I hope that you uncover your own “facts” (to the extent that facts can be said to exist on the internet) and draw your own conclusions.

But I would like to point out a few things.

First, I often encounter a certain attitude among Americans. They may absolutely hate the evil clowns in Washington who are ruining their lives, but when looking at the world, they suddenly decide that every other government is equally bad, that theirs is not so bad after all, and since the Ukrainians are suddenly our friends (or so says John Kerry) then they are not so bad either. Don't make such assumptions. Look for evidence. To me it indicates that your government is run by evil clowns; other governments—not so much.

Second, citizens of the European Union shouldn't think that it is only the dark-skinned people in faraway places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and so on that get killed in the various wars instigated by the US. Continue outsourcing your foreign policy to the evil clowns of Washington (and the spineless jellies in Brussels) and you too will get killed.

Lastly, we already know who the criminals are in this case: they are the western politicians and journalists. Airliners fall out of the sky with some regularity. This is tragic, but not unexpected, and is not necessarily the result of a crime. The real crime is in exploiting this tragedy in order to smear and insult an entire people. Don't worry, the people in question are too wise to respond to such ridiculous provocations. But the reputations of western journalists who have been covering this tragic event have already gone up in smoke. All of western media is now about as good as Pravda was back in the Soviet days—good for wiping your ass with, that is. It's a sad day for anyone who cares about the truth but can only understand English.

[Update: I spoke too soon. Robert Parry has come out with an excellent write-up on the situation.]

44 comments:

James Newlin said...

> The real crime is in exploiting this tragedy in order to smear and insult an entire people. Don't worry, the people in question are too wise to respond to such ridiculous provocations.

Great post. Where do you get your information? I can't find anything except stories about how this is all Putin. From The Guardian:

> The Obama administration has said all the evidence surrounding the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 points towards pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine having shot down the civilian aircraft on Thursday.

It's hard to believe news organizations when they have top headlines like this: "Hall & Oates: 'I hated being a Daryl doll'"

You had it right: they exist to sell advertising & to support the government.

galacticsurfer said...

See rossiya24 videos for press conference for smoking gun on my tab ihavetrouble giving
a link but thr russian military have very good points showing radarr from events

Rhisiart Gwilym said...

Dmitry, I think you have a typo in the passage discussing the differences between the two parts of Ukraine: after sketching the Donbas region's economy, you then speak of the very different 'eastern region' when I take it you mean the western part.

Anothe excellent post, btw, which makes persuasive sense to me. But then, I've been studying sources quite outwith the USuk lamestream media presstitutes' hysteria-fest. That strikes me, actually, as having a faint but pervasive flavour about it of knowing that there's nothing that they can do against Russia, beyond slagging; and that that isn't going to achieve anything much of substance. The decline of the US and its empire, together with the growing emergencies of the Synergising Global Crises, are all beginning to become apparent even to the the US's most abject groupies, I think. And - beyond slagging perceived external 'enemies' - they have no idea what to do about any of these existential challenges. Simply not mentally and spiritually equipped to confront them.

sergio said...

"And then there is eastern Ukraine, which, with the possible exception of Kiev, could never earn its keep." -- you mean western Ukraine, right?

Roille Figners said...

The first time I heard about the crash on TV, my bullshit shields went up as soon as I heard the word "Ukraine."

I was kind of thinking the CIA shot the plane down, for the same (Ukrainian) political motives postulated here. It does make a handy "insta-atrocity" to blame on either "pro-Russian separatists" or Russia itself.

Seconds later they went out of their way to emphasize the number of children aboard the plane, and I knew I was right. I don't know whether to feel pride or shame at my being able to think like these sociopaths. And I'm not sure it's an overall win for me as a person when my immunity to manipulation demands blocking out sympathy for children.

Paul said...

Lynch mob hysteria is extremely ugly virtually by definition, but when it is so transparently factitious, as is currently that of our western news-media, it must plumb the very depths of the degeneracy of even that of its journalistic trail-blazers.

Jonathon Freedman is apparently the executive editor of the Guardian, and no mean journalist, judging from some of his coverage of past, US federal elections, but his offering on a recent Comment page in the Guardian raised my spirits no end when I saw with growing incredulity the shallowness of the transparent waffle and bullshit he was purveying. Maybe his career promotion has made him a tad more cynical.

Just two paragraphs will give you the flavour:

'As I write, 18 of the 20 most-read articles on the Guardian website are about MH17. The entry into Gaza by Israeli forces stands at number 21. It’s not hard to fathom why the Malaysian jet strikes the louder chord. As the preacher might put it, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Stated baldly, most of us will never live in Gaza, but we know it could have been us boarding that plane in Amsterdam.'

.......

'Looking away is certainly comfortable. The trouble is, that option is not always available, as MH17 has proved. We might have wanted to avert our gaze from the civil war in Ukraine. But now we can’t. As one analyst so rightly says: “The war has come to us.”'

That last line reminds me of the warning given to Americans; that they'd have to fight Charlie Cong in Viet Nam, or he'd go come over ta git US! Where? Why, right hire in Murica!

Peter Attwood said...

Given the evidence at hand, apart from your post, I think the way tyo bet is that it was an accident or done deliberately by the Ukrainians under the direction of the Interior Ministry, headed by a neo-Nazi, and not the Defense ministry, which is not.

But all of that being the case, I don't think the Ukrainian Buks are so strange. They would serve against Russian air force incursions, although not a real invasion.

James said...

On Fox News they showed bodies on the ground. I've never seen this before in similar situations. Seems that someone wanted to magnify the propaganda effect.

Dredd said...

Russia / Putin just pulled off what no other nation has done so inexpensively.

They won the most recent oil war and won it cheaper than all the oil wars for the past 100 years.

And they did it while the NATO powers were trying to do it (The Peak Of The Oil Wars - 10).

Like all the other oil wars, however, it is not worth fighting for.

Mark Ferrara said...

Excellent, I've been waiting for your post on this. I wonder if the tactic will work. Is the "smearing" from the media merely sensationalism, or to gain popular approval to get (further) involved? If NATO doesn't get dragged in and Ukraine falls, then what happens? Anyway, thanks for the post as always.
Mark

Judy said...

Thank you Dmitry. I have been looking forward to your perspective on this.

To me, it seemed like an impossible probability that 2 planes could be lost to the same airline in so short a time period. If you can accept that this is not a coincidence, then you realise that the second plane crash is no accident. It is very clear that MH370 didn't just take a wrong turn and get lost. The communications were disabled and the plane altered course a couple of times. This was not an accident but a deliberate act and the perpetrators are still out there with their unknown 'weapon'/method of attack. For me the logical answer is that they have caused the crash of MH17 too.

Looking at this from an engineers perspective, I would say that there is a security breach at Malaysia Airlines, which is why they are being targeted. This is pure speculation, but if someone had infiltrated the engineering team, they would have an opportunity to implant a remote device or bomb on board. It wouldn't surprise me if planes can be hijacked by technology, rather than people these days.

So they have been clever enough to hide their tracks. The first plane may take years to find if it is at the bottom of the ocean, leaving no evidence to find the perpetrators. A second plane crash should raise suspicions, but they have been very clever to deflect all focus onto the events in Ukraine. And it appears that anyone could have had access to the debris to tamper with evidence.

I just feel that this is bigger than Ukraine. The Current Ukrainian government doesn't strike me as clever enough to come up with a plan to bomb an airliner. It would be very risky for them. Someone who can make planes disappear and stoke wars can hold the world to ransom.

I don't understand why? And who? And why did the US issue a warning about electronic devices on aeroplanes days before MH17 crashed? Did they know of plans for a bomb on a plane? Why hasn't anyone commented on it since?There are so many unanswered questions. But whatever the truth is, I am fairly sure, like you are, that MH17 wasn't shot down by a band of miners turned activists.

Michael Dawson said...

Don't worry, Dmitry. The "journalists" you mention are quite safe in their career paths. Fox has Judith Miller, and Lara Logan only gets promoted. There's only danger when (hard to imagine, it's so rare) a reporter insists on actually reporting.

Andreas Walsh said...

The U.S. and the Anglosphere are going to use their puppets in Ukraine to stick a new knife in Russia's eyes every week. I don't think Russia can wait for Ukraine to collapse. They should go in and break it up into four or five countries, each toothless. Otherwise the mad dogs in the West so desperate for war are sure to get one on their terms sooner or later.

Mister Roboto said...

Something definitely doesn't smell right about the whole thing, I agree. But I would sincerely like somebody to explain why the Russian separatist militia is blocking access to the crash-site and is holding onto the bodies of the passengers? A lot of people are interpreting these things as the actions of a guilty party.

Alfredo said...

One of the best analysis out there. Logical, reasonable and to the point. Occam's Razor par excellence.

Max said...

Excellent and original analysis as usual, Dmitry. Thank you again and keep it up!

Terry T said...

I've considered the irony of American people's consumption of propaganda vis a vis the Russian citizen's take on Pravda during the Soviet era. It seems to me that the Russian people were never a very gullible bunch as a whole, and therefore could read Pravda for insights gleaned by reading between the lines of official narratives. That the average reader probably viewed Pravda with the full knowledge of its editors' active distortion, the distortion methodology could actively be reversed by a fairly savvy reader, to reveal much of the truth therein. Kinda like decoding a message once knowing how it was encoded to begin with.

In sharp contrast, the fiercely independent, exceptional and free thinking American (rolls eyes) appears to have no such decoder, and it truly mystifies me.

Perhaps the explanation lies in other contrasts; Russian people know world war on their own land and Americans do not; Russians know brutal totalitarianism (and heed its signs of return) and Americans do not; Post Soviet Russians know what it is to be preyed upon by predatory gangsters of every stripe (organized crime, international bankers, resource corporations with the backing of foreign governments, etc.) and Americans do not.

To further the irony, all available evidence suggests that the American life is flying in the direction the kind of control from which Russians escaped. And by willingly staying distracted and chasing delusions of exceptionalism, few Americans seem to care.

Russia has nothing to gain from inciting violence in their back yard and therefore are unlikely culpable in the Malaysian air crash. American neoconservative neo-feudal/neo-fascists seek to gain control of every last corner of the Earth through destabilization, scapegoating, divisiveness. surveillance and militarism. This level of greedy lust for power and control is so beyond the rational that one wonders what end could possibly satisfy such pathology.

Thank you for your eminently sane insights.

k-dog said...

73918This is the most clear headed analysis of the situation I have seen. It is certainly too soon to know what happened for sure but the western press waits not for real facts as it presses forward to advance Washington’s agenda. It will take time for real facts to emerge but that's not stopping any rush to judgement.

Here is a link to a German article that supports a Ukrainian air to air shoot-down scenario. I present it to be considered. It's presence and approach shows that this crime can and should be solved with forensics.

I hope the situation does not become a modern day Lusitania but sadly one never knows what horror the US foreign policy leviathan is going to spring on us next.

The link should open in Google Translate so it is readable in English. It worked no problem in my Chrome browser but Firefox was incompatible. This is the raw link which is in German.

beetleswamp said...

Meanwhile Obama has banned the import of Russian-made Kalashnikovs, putting armchair right wingers in a moral bind. Hate Obama for trying to sneak through an executive order assault weapons ban (but not really), or hate him for not being a strong leader and letting Putin walk all over him? It doesn't seem like the mutual exclusivity of multiple conflicting truths has ever been an problem before. In the meantime I feel like I have to treat my Saiga 7.62x39 with kid gloves now that the value just doubled, and it will be tricky figuring out gauge the peak panic price for selling the 12. Such problems are nice to have, all things considered. Kudos to the gun salesman of the year.

Unknown said...

Another great post, TEZKA!

"According to Russian law, any Russian-speaking person born on the territory of the USSR has an automatic right to a Russian citizenship, so the people of eastern Ukraine are by default Russian citizens. "

This is the only inaccuracy that I found, which (to me at least) proves that everything else must be correct. I am an ethnic Russian living in Kazakhstan. The Russian law that Dmitriy referred to doesn't make people like me Russian citizens automatically. It did back in 1990-s. Now I have an automatic right for residency (anywhere but in Moscow), if I move to Russia and maintain physical presence there. Only after 3 years the citizenship will be granted.

donalfagan said...

Commenters were overwhelmingly ready to accept the MSM version of events, so I posted the following comment on one of the many NY Times articles:

Donal Baltimore MD 2 days ago
"Who profits from destroying a commercial airliner? No one, unless they can shift the blame elsewhere with a false flag operation. Currently Ukraine's enemies are under suspicion, which is good for Ukraine. I have read reports that the Buk is not all that accurate over the distances involved, that its SAM would disable a jetliner, but would not reduce it to fragments in the air, and that witnesses report a fighter jet escorting MH-17 and leaving the crash scene. Other reports indicate that MH-17 was directed to follow a more Northerly course. Yet others indicate that the Air Traffic Control tower was overrun by foreigners after the accident. There are still too many questions to just assign blame to the actor(s) we don't like."

And got the following responses:

AD Lisbon 2 days ago
You,sir, make far too much sense, in a world where "outrage" is highly selective and some victims are regarded as more victims than Others.

David in Toledo Toledo 2 days ago
"Ah, unsourced reports, unnamed witnesses, other reports, and yet others. Nothing specific from any credible source. Nothing to rebut the fact that the separatist clowns in the "Donetsk Peoples Republic" have been shooting at planes, and shooting some of them down, for weeks, each time shooting higher. And bragging about it.

We have all seen and heard evidence of the Russian Foreign Legion's bringing the BUKs from Russia into Donetsk, boasting on the web and over the air about shooting down a plane, and then -- oops! -- a few curse words about their mistake and down comes the braggadocio post."

cyrano nyc nc 2 days ago
"And why, in your fantasy, are the Russian-backed "rebels" keeping people out of the crash site?"

AD Lisbon 2 days ago
"Because it would also give the Ukrainian "government" access to their strategic locations?!"

William Knight said...

Dmitry:

This is a personal message, not a comment. Your book "The Five Stages of Collapse" provided me with a lot of valuable insights. Thanks for sharing them.

keep abiding,
William

Paul said...

I was half expecting as a follow-up to Jonathan Freedman's 'gem' in the UK Guardian last week, the headline: 'We are all Ukrainians now!'

And a little further down the page, perhaps - at least in any German version, if the Guardian publishes one - 'Ich bin ein Ukrainer!'.. which I hope is not the German for a Jumbo Burger or Cheese Burger...

Paul said...

'A lot of people are interpreting these things as the actions of a guilty party.'

Difficult to understand that, Mr Roboto. On the contrary, to me it sounds like Putin, as a former high-ranking intelligence office and all-round 'sharpie', would be the last person to allow free access to the habitually intrusive 'busybodies' of the US and EU, to any evidence which might indicate responsibility for the outrage.

Moreover, the quasi hysteria of our media harlots (no offence intended to 'painted ladies') is easily understandable when one considers the US and UK have, hitherto, at least, always been the ones to have total control over the evidence of their 'false flag' ops; and, moreover, have repeatedly got away with the most extraordinary derelictions and acts of malfeasance, particularly with regard to the preservation of inculpatory evidence.

Publius said...

I wonder what the "end game" is here, Dmitri?
They (Washington D.C. & NATO), is clearly getting desperate. This was the act of desperate criminals. What will they do when Russia does not run away with her tail between her legs, when the "separatists" do not roll over and die, etc.?
I fear they will do something even more brutal and criminal, but what?
And what is Putin's plan to contain these foul criminals? His patience has been quite wise. But at some point, he may have to act.
BTW, thanks for the signed copy of Communities that Abide... wonderful read so far.

Andreas Walsh said...

As for Russia doing what it can to avoid war - I hope that's possible. But two quotes:
«Мы не ищем войны, война ищет нас».
"We don't seek war. War seeks us" - Trotsky.
«Войны нельзя избежать, ее можно лишь отсрочить - к выгоде вашего противника».
"War can not be avoided, it can only delay - to the benefit of your opponent." - Machiavelli.

kate59 said...

Thank goodness for Dmitri. It is incredibly difficult to find any sort of balance in the coverage of this downed civilian plane. It's so refreshing to get a different perspective. I await real evidence before deciding what happened.
A friend of mine told me this morning, that Russia wants the Ukraine! Hah! As far as I've heard from Russian friends, the Ukraine is a poverty dump that no one would want. If it does join the EU, all the Ukrainians will immediately leave for other European countries.

donalfagan said...

Just ran across an article claiming that the SU-25s have a low service ceiling, and are more suited for ground support than air-to-air combat. Etc:

http://gawker.com/did-russian-officials-edit-wikipedia-to-back-up-a-bogus-1609071757

Paul said...

Presumably, the Russians would have made copies of the contents of the 'black box/boxes'; assuming it was possible, and given the level of duplicity in geopolitics and diplomacy, it would surely have been an elementary precaution.

It would also explain the hysteria of the media concerning their removal by the Russians in the first place.

Incidentally, I believe Putin was a middle-ranking, not senior-ranking, KGB officer - though, by the grace of God, he sure is a high-ranking political officer now.

As regards our propaganda, the dailies here in the UK still speak of Putin's former employment in the KGB, as if it were a kind of a very down-market, comic-book repository of former inmates of high-security prisons and insane asylums.

When it gets right down to it, all national-espionage services are, of course, far worse than any comic would wish to portray to its young, innocent readership. Probably, The James Bond yarns and and similar pot-boilers, too.

What is interesting, however, is that, in their higher reaches, far from being as down-market as they are louche, they are an extremely prestigious field of employment in most countries, their top officers being, for the most part,'toffs'.

Remember the Naval (and torture) Academy in Chile? Or was it Argentina? It seems that in countries colonized in the middle-ages by the Vikings, the Navy is likely to be the senior (and most prestigious) service, as it is in the UK. Even though of course, the army would, in reality, be the older one. But the Vikings had an extraordinarily brilliant tradition of seafaring, without which they would surely have been just 'also-rans', and I think their scions have been understandably proud of it.

Paul said...

I see David Cameron has taken over from David Milliband as the UK's very own Scourge of the Russian Hordes'.

I bet Putin scarcely sleeps at night worrying about Cameron's most minatory attitude towards Russia.

Paul said...

I love the consilience of the School of the Americas and the Argentinian Naval Academy, with their evocation of a wonderfully- elevated pedagogy: teaching people a lesson, so to speak....

What a dark and brutal sense of humour the people who came up with those titles must have had. Worse than mine, notwithstanding my late wife's opinion, since she would doubtless have refuted that.

ANNA TULCHINSKY said...

I am curious about the "directing of the flight" sentence. In my view, the Ukrainian authorities should have informed all airlines about potential risks of flying over the conflict zone. Many airlines chose not to do that on their own.

Then - what about the satellite data? The Russian government offered to make it available to investigators. Why is the Ukrainian government not taking any responsibility for anything? The plane was shot over the territory of Ukraine, so they should take initiative and form an international investigation committee and analyze satellite data from various geo sources.

Today, when a few of us went for lunch at work, one normally intelligent person, American born and raised, lost his temper when I suggested the satellite data course of actions. He began to blurt out all the propaganda slogans he had heard on CNN about Putin being evil etc.. He is a normal middle-class person, smart, educated - I told him he was not addressing my point, but this did not help. I find this experience to be of significance, especially because this is a leftist New Yorker, who normally would have not jumped on the CNN side without considering other sides of the argument. I believe that his reaction signifies the prevalent mood in the States: to blame Russia for everything without looking at all facts. Are they secretly glad that this incidence gives them an opportunity to curse another "evil" empire - other than their own?

And what's also strange - no one is talking about those 100 AIDS scientists that were on board that plane.

Salford Lad said...

Kuala Lumpur, the capital of the Muslim dominant country ,Malaysia, is home to the War Crimes tribunal. The Tribunal has recently found Israel guilty of Genocide and crimes against humanity against the Palestinians.
The security at Amsterdam Airport ,Schiphol is run by an Israeli company.
The chances of a particular airline being targeted twice in the spaceof 4 months are more than a coincidence.
False flags as a precursor to war are a United States speciality. The usual mode of operations is to have the US plan, Saudis finance and the Israelis execute. There is a trail here to be sniffed out.

Shane Mulligan said...

Add one to "Motive": Russia shut off Ukraine's gas supply on account of a $4.5 BILLION outstanding bill.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/16/russia-cuts-off-gas-supply-ukraine

While I appreciate the clear-headedness of this post, I'm hesitant to take in any of the "facts" as presented (i.e. did the rebels *really* have a BUK but no radar?). Because as your cartoon indicates, the facts don't matter. I expect the repercussions (pardon the pun, but...) will be heard loud and clear long before the evidence is examined (if it ever is).

It does not bode well for truth and peace, IMO, that the rebels gave the black boxes to Malaysia, who gave them to the Dutch, who gave them to the British to "analyze". Who among these is best placed to doctor the data, and has motive to boot?

Publius said...

I had lunch with my brother yesterday. He brought up the fact that "we are close to war with Russia."
When I explained my position, that it was not proven that Russia or the separatists did it, or that it is odd that the plane was redirected, he became dismissive and angry.
When I responded with vigor, bringing up inconvenient facts, such as: who has the most to gain by this? Who really had the means and opportunity? What about the Spanish air-traffic controller who was told to shut up, etc., he accused me of being unreasonable. My "rage" made him uncomfortable, etc.
He further attacked me in an email this morning, accusing me of being cynical, anti-government, etc. Good lord. He also stated that for him, the "case is closed. Russia did it."
He had no source of info other than the MSM.
I did not back down, and stated that cui bono, means, motive, and opportunity are primary to me. And being open minded, using multiple sources of info. I haven't heard back.
This is the kind of thing that can endanger or end friendships, family relationships, etc.
But all I am doing is trying to be objective, open-minded, etc. Wow.
The MSM really is successful in brainwashing the masses.

Louis Nardozi said...

CIA did this to force the EU to cut their own throat and approve sanctions against Russia. It's punishment for the new BRICS bank. My 5 year old could devise a less transparent strategy.

Bye bye, petrodollar!

Seamus Padraig said...

Man oh man, Dmitry. If Uncle Scam is caught trying to pull another false flag over there in Ukraine, his credibility in Europe will be completely shot. He got away with the Maidan snipers, but now he's really rolling the dice with this one. He must be desperate. I guess that new BRICS bank got him really rattled.

Paul said...

Anna, perhaps an intense fear of the dire repercussions in the pipeline, ensuing from the sidelining of the petrodollar might have induced those irrational outbursts from a normally reasonable person.

Maybe together with the hankering for an alternative 'evil empire', you suggested, as well.

michigan native said...

Like one gentlemen stated above, my bullshit detectors went off the second I saw Kerry yap about "irrefutable proof" of the "insurgents" and "rebels" in the east. You always know when the SOB is lying. His lips move. Any of the media pressitutes who don't tow the line are censored and or likely to lose their careers http://en.ria.ru/authors/20140725/191283385/Moral-Terror-How-Critics-of-Western-MH17-Coverage-Are-Bullied.html

Without offering any evidence, Kerry was once again running at the mouth about this "being a turning point for Russia", and although I didn't see that cheerleader Hitlery Clinton on the sidelines, I had quite a nauseating taste of that bitch talking about Kaddafy "we came, we saw, he died" and then cackles like a witch on mescaline. If there is an election in 2016, and if you waste your time voting, meet your new boss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ5Iuo82DzQ

The whole thing seemed premeditated to me. I saw and published a link about the victims at Lugansk on youtube, because people should see how their tax dollars are being spent.

These poor souls, some dead, others dying, this woman in red, her lower legs blown off... I am told says to the man who arrives on the scene "Find my cell phone. Please help. Call 050", and then appears to have died before help arrives. I see a lot of suffering and death, but I still have trouble watching that.

I was thinking if I were Putin, I would vaporize these bastards, but then that seems to be the whole motive, to demonize Russia while trying to draw them into a war.

If the "separatists" in the east had some token of an advanced or long range AA system, scenes like this would not be happening. I was thinking give them a few hundred SA-400 AA systems, a few thousand tank busting missiles, and a few hundred Brahmos cruise missiles to give them a taste of their own medicine, but that is just what they wanted.

To me, this is a sign that the US is on the brink, their desperation is bordering on insanity. How dare those BRICS nations start their own central bank, nullify the effect of US sanctions, stop the US in Syria and Iran, and dump the US petrodollar out of their bilateral trade.

michigan native said...

Just when I spoke too soon. One of the 3 wicked witches at it again https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E1aZlADRQU

And now, thishttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/25/hillary-clinton-putin-plane-crash_n_5621782.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk1%26pLid%3D507293

exiledbear said...

Strictly speaking, it's an issue between Ukraine and Malaysia to work out. Perhaps Malaysia should demand reparations for the attack on their plane? Maybe Ukraine and Malaysia should go to war with each other?

Which is why I find it bizarre that right afterwards, the Feds start bleating about how it's Putin's fault and that Something Should Be Done. Although, they don't seem to be quite sure on What Should Be Done, other than some more useless Sanctions.

In any case, it almost makes me think the Feds had a hand in this somehow.

I'm sure the Russians can figure this out too, they're no slouches when it comes to thinking. And more empty and toothless threats will only make them despise the Feds even more.

I'm not exactly sure what the Feds want out of this, but I am certain that when they finally get what they've been asking for, they may not exactly be the happiest people on earth.

shiningZ said...

ANNA TULCHINSKY makes good points and I also question the ATC decision to direct the passenger airliner over hotly contested territory. We should also not discount the possibility that this aircraft was being used for military surveillance. That would complicate the assignment of blame of course, but we know that in disasters of this scale, blame is never a simple process.

Lance M. Foster said...

"...the American empire more closely resembles the Roman one for two pertinent reasons. Firstly, it’s an empire of military bases which are used to control local politics rather than a full-on colonial expansion. Secondly, it keeps playing from the same playbook even as everyone has learnt its moves, even as those moves get more expensive and less effective, and shows no intention of deviating from it.

Engineer the collapse of parts of the world that have resources you want so you can force them to exchange those resources for pieces of paper that you print and entirely control.

That’s it. You can write it on a napkin. The rest is commentary. ‘Preventing the rise of blah blah blah’ means ‘preventing an alternative economy to the one you control from appearing’. We have known this for almost a century thanks to American hero Smedley Butler’s book, ‘War is a Racket’. And he was one to know. There are four moves in this play.

-Arm and fund a resistance
-Fake an event or stage an assassination
-Intervene
-Tell a completely different story through your propaganda mechanism "

From http://runesoup.com/2014/07/fate-of-empires-archonology-part-8/

michigan native said...

This guy provides some comic relief yet unique perspective on much of this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OF2SGlkYyYY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNWz7JLGWus