U.S. Officials: MH17 Missile May Have Been Launched By a “Defector from The Ukrainian Military Who Was Trained To Use Similar Missile Systems”

Yves here. I wanted to add this short post as an indicator of the lack of definitive knowledge (at least among those who are being candid with the media) as to critical details as to how the MH17 was destroyed, in particular ones that would give a definitive reading as to what group pulled the trigger.

It is also noteworthy, scanning the English language press, that the bloodthirsty rhetoric has toned down a bit. For instance, at the Financial Times yesterday, not only were MH17 accusations blaming Russia the lead story, but there were follow-on stories as well as related commentary, such as, The Kremlin’s Machiavelli has led Russia to disaster, Forcing Putin to think again, and Guest post: Putin’s no-win situation in Ukraine.

To see the contrast, this was the first page of the web version of the pink paper last night:

MH17: FT front page July 22, 2014

This is how it looks today, as in much more like a normal newsday:

MH17 FT front page July 22

This image gives a clue for the pullback in vilification. The second story in the right column, EU rifts scupper new Russia sanctions, explains:

Europe’s foreign ministers failed to agree new sanctions against Russia for its alleged role in the downing of MH17 despite a push by Britain, Sweden and a group of eastern European countries for an arms embargo to be imposed on the Kremlin.

The ministers instead asked EU officials to draw up wider-ranging measures – but only if Russia fails to co-operate with the West in the future. The US and several European allies believe a Russian-supplied missile system was used by Ukrainian separatists to shoot down the Malaysia Airways airliner over eastern Ukraine last Thursday.

Recall that we pointed out yesterday that the apparent aim of the rush to pin the destruction of the plane on Russia was to get Europe to join in the tougher sanctions that the US imposed on Russia last week. It looks as if the US has lost this round.

Mind you, the depressurization may prove to be short lived. But trying to push France to the wall via trying to get it to cancel its contract to Mistral helicopter warships to Russia was more than France was prepared to tolerate, from both an economic and national sovereignity standpoint. The French also got their rhetorical licks in by pointing out British hypocrisy in the dependence of its banks and the London real estate market on cash from Russian oligarchs. And if I were Germany or Italy, I might take pause from the specter of the US resorting to bare-knuckle tactics.

That isn’t to say that the drumbeat of criticism of Russia has abated, merely lessened. Again, using the Financial Times as an indicator, today’s stories include Vladimir Putin starts to show the strain as outrage mounts over MH17, Putin ally warns on Russia’s isolationist course, and Russia tensions fail to provoke reaction (basically arguing that investors should be more concerned than they are).

My concern has been and remains that the US is intensifying conflicts (first its failed effort in Syria, now here) when our military is overextended, the US public has no enthusiasm for foreign adventures, and we don’t have a lot of good will with our allies right now, thanks to the Snowden and other spying revelations. And as we stressed, the feel of the official statements and the media posture over the MH17 tragedy is disturbingly like the propagandizing in the runup to the Iraq War. (And remember, being anti-war then did not mean you were pro-Saddam, nor does being anti-escalation now mean that one is pro-Putin).

The US seems to be playing a tactical game while Putin has been more strategic. Mind you, the US as the world’s sole superpower can inflict damage on Putin if it is determined to. But the upside looks awfully limited, and the costs and downside could be large indeed.

Cross-Posted from Washington’s Blog

Rampant Speculation … Few Facts

U.S. officials said earlier today that Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was probably shot down by mistake … and there was no proof that Russia was directly involved.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

U.S. intelligence agencies have so far been unable to determine the nationalities or identities of the crew that launched the missile. U.S. officials said it was possible the SA-11 was launched by a defector from the Ukrainian military who was trained to use similar missile systems.

In other words – despite the incessant beat of the war drums and false claims – the U.S. has little evidence that Russia is responsible.

Update: Moreover, former AP and Newsweek report Robert Parry reported last week:

I’m told that some CIA analysts cite U.S. Regarding the shoot-down of the Malaysian jetliner on Thursday, I’m told that some CIA analysts cite U.S. satellite reconnaissance photos suggesting that the anti-aircraft missile that brought down Flight 17 was fired by Ukrainian troops from a government battery, not by ethnic Russian rebels who have been resisting the regime in Kiev since elected President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown on Feb. 22.

According to a source briefed on the tentative findings, the soldiers manning the battery appeared to be wearing Ukrainian uniforms and may have been drinking, since what looked like beer bottles were scattered around the site. But the source added that the information was still incomplete and the analysts did not rule out the possibility of rebel responsibility.

If true, then the U.S. might be grasping for way to explain the Ukrainian uniforms.

As Parry writes today:

That statement about a possible “defector” might explain why some analysts thought they saw soldiers in Ukrainian army uniforms tending to the missile battery in eastern Ukraine. But there is another obvious explanation that the U.S. intelligence community seems unwilling to accept: that the missile may have been launched by someone working for the Ukrainian military.

In other words, we may be seeing another case of the U.S. government “fixing the intelligence” around a desired policy outcome, as occurred in the run-up to war with Iraq.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Politics, Russia on by .

About George Washington

George Washington is the head writer at Washington’s Blog. A busy professional and former adjunct professor, George’s insatiable curiousity causes him to write on a wide variety of topics, including economics, finance, the environment and politics. For further details, ask Keith Alexander… http://www.washingtonsblog.com


  1. YY

    The Russian military press event, as I recall, had nothing on the actual launch of any surface to air missile which is odd. The Russians, whether they supply the rebels with material (light or heavy) would most likely be giving intelligence, particularly radar based information. Also because the battle is going on the border, the Russians would have a very good view of what transpires in the region especially in the air. They appear to be holding back for some reason, possibly giving some slack (or some more rope) to the West,
    While a mistaken shoot down of a passenger jet, if not forgivable, is understandable, a deliberate shoot down is another kettle of fish. The scenario of a mistake by the Uke side is not at all convincing as the rebels have no planes. This then leads to a scenario which I’m not sure anybody is ready to entertain.

    1. Abe, NYC

      Yes. It is notable that while Russians released a lot of their data there was no hard evidence of Ukraine’s guilt. Some of their statements, especially regarding an unidentified military jet, were quite misleading – see discussion below, also for a reason Ukraine had to deploy their air defense systems.

      However, it is also notable that Americans haven’t released any data at all. They claim they have solid evidence that the missile was launched from rebel-controlled area but haven’t produced any evidence to back it up.

      Update. Now they say they detected the “specific missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17” but have still produced no evidence.

      1. Stelios Theoharidis

        I am actually quite amazed how conspiratorial NC has gotten in these circumstances. I feel like I am watching the boston bombings again and all of the crazy reddit people are trying to find the brown skinned individuals in the crowd an accuse them of committing the Boston bombings. We now have a bunch of chair jockeys speculating on a potential unconfirmed false flag incident, referring to another unconfirmed false flag incident in Syria. I have certainly participated in this ongoing dialogue, mostly because I don’t understand how everything has to be a conspiracy.

        All sides, the Russians, the Americans, the Ukrainians, and the separatists have been quick to blame the other side in the conflict and that is to be expected. So suggesting that the Americans are alone in that is a bit specious. Clearly factors that the Russians have suggested have been false. The aircraft in the vicinity of the flight did not have the capabilities to take it down, speed, weaponry, altitude, etc. While the Ukrainians certainly have other aircraft that could, its not designed or equipped for that purpose.

        The consortium news link above is purely hearsay. Its not news and it is not confirmed in any other place, by any other source. The Latimes article indicated that there could be a defector amongst the separatists that was familiar with PUK systems. It was such an incredibly minor part of that article. Seriously, talk about looking for tiny crumbs to keep a narrative alive. The whole article was about how separatists could have mistakenly shot down the aircraft. That statement could also be the Americans pulling back their rhetoric not to demonize Putin or Russia further and to get them working towards a common solution to the conflict. This would be particularly smart because the Russians apparently are mobilizing more heavy equipment along the border. But, anyway there have been plenty of desertions from Ukranian forces. Putting this hearsay together with the word defector and coming to the conclusion that it was a bunch of drunk Ukrainians who launched the missile strikes me as as both leading and irresponsible. Then all of the ‘truthers’ come out and everything is suddenly a false flag incident.

        The cast of characters who are in eastern Ukraine from Russia are a scary bunch, and this is basically admitted by them. These are FSB connected individuals that have been operating in Chechnya, Crimea, Transnistria, and other contested fronts at the highest levels of the separatist movement, commanding groups, acting as spokespeople, etc. Where is the dogged research that you guys are doing on that subject? Wait its contradictory to the narrative.

        1. OIFVet

          So, you expect that the US can stir up troubles on Russia’s border and it will idly stand by? Sure bud, whatever you say. Speaking of scary bunches, we have in the past or are currently affiliated with such scary characters as Afghan mujaheddin, radical muslim insurgents in Syria, Ukrainian neo-nazis, murderous juntas and dictators throughout Central and South Americas, Asia, Greece, and the Middle East. But sure, Russkies are just so damned scary to a good Americans such as yourself.

          And then there is the “conspiratorial” atmosphere” that you the US fabricated find so objectionable. That despite the government fabricating intelligence on Iraqi WMDs, unleashing propaganda campaign that convinced many Americans that Saddam was behind 9/11, and CONFIRMED attempt to frame Assad for use of chemical weapons in an attempt to start another war. So forgive us for recoiling when an airliner goes down and the government unleashes the same fact-free rhetoric that it has used so many times before, only to later surface that it was LYING to us. Well, that little boy cried wolf too many times to be credible, and those of us who can remember further back than last week refuse to fall for yet another lie, and endorse another conflict instgated by OUR government.

          And then there is your indignation about Parry quoting an anonimous intel official and talking about drunk Ukrainians. That despite Kerry quoting since-debunked social media “evidence.” And Bernard-Henri Levy talking about “vodka-soaked rabble of rapists, thugs, thieves, and vandals” in the NYT. So the NYT can publish what is in essence a Russophobic rant because it is a “respected” media, but Parry is so damn wrong for quoting an intelligence source? Ok then.

          Dude, you are picking on the wrong people here. If you wanna call out on disseminators of conspiratorial, fact free propaganda go complain to the NYT and WaPo. As far as I can remember Judy Miller did not publish her lies here but at the NYT.

          1. Stelios Theoharidis

            1) Your first point doesn’t have any bearing on who shot down the aircraft. I am actually not surprised about these circumstances at all as far as Russia’s response is concerned. Nor do I believe that they are doing anything that we wouldn’t do. Nor am I at all supportive of the US imperial hubris, manipulations, foreign policy etc. And I am totally sorry that you and anyone else had to go dig around in Saddam’s sand pit and stir up sectarian violence for absolutely no reason at great cost in human life on both sides. I didn’t support that either, frankly I think the responsible individuals within the Bush Administration should have been tried as war criminals.

            2) I am talking about the shooting down of the aircraft. We are talking about recent history here not the entire past of US international engagements. Both sides have some rather frightening pasts if you want to get into a dust up over it, no one will look good, I don’t want to play fruitless games of moral equivalency. And I am not American, but for the purposes of full disclosure, I am from a country which the Russians committed needless war crimes during and after WWII. Hint Katyn. So we can all get our history right, much of this situation has to do with the forced removal, internment, and deaths of huge populations of ethnic eastern european peoples to the disney land that is Siberia and the consequent Russification during the Iron Curtain. Why do you think there is such a huge divide in opinion in Ukraine, that conveniently splits the country east / west? Frankly it has as much as it has to do with current events as any recent western meddling.

            3) In recent past, the proof that we supported ISIS in Syria is really dicey, I have read the articles and they have had to make corrections. Basically from the “Americans trained ISIS” to “we sent some advisors to train hundreds in Jordan and maybe a dozen of those people who were in other groups at the time later on at some point may have joined ISIS”. The gasing event in Syria has not been confirmed to be Islamists. Hersch wrote an article about it which has been disputed. The direct, remember I am saying direct US support, to Ukrainian neo-nazis is not my expertise, you can certainly provide evidence of it, but the Russians clearly support neo-nazis in their own country, many of which are incorporated into the political system and police their sexual politics violently.

            4) Fact free? God forbid that they don’t bring all of the media to take pictures of their classified missile detection systems so they can assuage your concerns over the acts of previous administrations. And tell me, how has this social media evidence been debunked? It hasn’t.

            5) Have we openly engaged in warfare with the Russians? Did we do anything in Georgia, Chechnya, or elsewhere? Do you think anyone except chicken hawk republicans are stupid enough to do so? What do all of these potential false flag events have in common? Quick answer…Asymmetrical warfare. What would be the asymmetrical warefare that we would be getting into here? Americans aren’t going to get into a conflict with the Russians and nor do the Ukranians want to draw them into a conflict that they will so obviously lose.

            6) As I was saying, Parry took one statement regarding a potential defector in an article with an entirely different point and then it is the smoking gun for his narrative as it apparently confirms the hearsay. But, there have been tons of defections in this conflict from the Ukrainian side. That isn’t evidence, its not a smoking gun, and it doesn’t prove any narrative. Its a word in an article. The bar Parry has set up with that series of articles is much lower than anything that has been provided by the Russians, the separatists, the Americans, or the Ukrainians up until this point.

            7) I posted a couple of articles on the prior Ukraine discussion. The NPR discussion is worth listening to as it has some academics discussing the situation. They rate the chances of it being separatists as pretty high. I see nothing that has been provided here that changes that.

            1. Ross Kapernick

              I notice you list no established facts trying to defend US actions. All based on disinformation put out by US Politicians and endlessly repeated and added too by a compliant and twisted mainstream US media. At least everything Putin puts up can be verified. Take the MH17 tragedy. Russia has released a lot of information that can be verified. The black boxes were handed over by the Rebels un-tampered with. All the crap put out by Kiev about a Russian Buck system was also proved false within days. The US and EU have released nothing apart from a few computer game type images and satellite photos on Ukraine. Anybody could make them up. The Junta in Ukraine still refuses to release there Air Traffic Control data for the critical time. In other words the US and NATO have nothing that supports them. Same with the Russian troops in Ukraine. Nothing! Not one thing despite weeks/months of ranting and raving. A few reporters have said they saw? What? Not one photo. Not one photo of any captured Russian fighter or equipment except for the few they troops they captured who said they accidentally crossed the border. Probably true as the Russians have returned hundreds of soldiers from Ukraine who did the same thing. A long unmarked border not clearly marked in may places. I have no doubt Russia is not stopping those who want to return and fight of the almost 1 million refugees they have in Russia returning to East Ukraine. Why would they? It is obviously the USA as usual who has engineered this entire fiasco as usual if you look at the facts. Russia has both a right and obligation to side with East Ukraine. If the Russian Government did not try to protect there rights next election they would be finished. About 4 million from East Ukraine work in Russia. Probably about another 5/10 million are interrelated from what I read. The election of the Chocolate King was a joke. Only 55% of the people in Ukraine voted. 45% lodged there protest against the premature vote in protest. The end result is the Chocolate King was elected on only 30% of the vote of all of Ukraine and only keeps the support of hs Gov. by about 2 votes. That support includes all the NAZI in the elected Legislature. They may not call themselves that now but that has been there past stance. All fact if you take the time to go through the elected members. Since day one the Kiev Junta has refused to sit down with representatives of East Ukraine. It is the Kiev Junta who will not sit down at a table. Crimea is history. There elected State Legislature voted to hold that referendum unanimously immediately the Kiev Junta made it clear how they were going to treat the Russian speaking section of Ukraine. Russia did not do that. They just supplied a few thousand Troops from there base to keep the peace. Just over 80% voted to re-join Russia in a vote that was far better organised and fair than the Presidential Vote in Ukraine sponsord by the USA. . About 97% voted. Independent polls now put the support within Crimea at 82.5%. I thought that was what the USA stood for. Democracy! US credibility destroyed even more. People and the truth always wins in the long term. US propaganda and the distortions put out by US media only carries the day for months at most. Unless you live in the USA!!! e.g. It is only in the US anybody today still believes Russia attacked Georgia. All the rest of the World knew within weeks the US admin lie Russia attacked Georgia was false. We knew within about 3 days in Australia when our independent reporters got there that the Bush Admin and US media was pushing a lie as usual. What are they about? Do they think they can still get away with this crap or is there Foreign Policy determined only by ignorant US perceptions. Just another humiliation and loss of credibility for the USA in most of the world. Exactly what they were warned would happen in Syria is happening. Disaster now for both Iraq and Syria. As usual they try to pin the blame on others. Libya is a mess also. All of the above are facts. One thing is very obvious to most of the world now. Time the USA, Britain and France at times stays at home or takes there notice of other more balanced and moderate nations before they act. It does not take much intelligence to understand the pattern but I am not sure what is the cause of it. Others pulling the strings in the USA or is the US public so brainwashed and indoctrinated now they believe there own propaganda? Moderate propaganda is understandable but if you start to believe your ow propaganda you as a person or a nation are in real trouble. Facts are what count in the long term.

  2. Gaianne

    This walkback comes surprisingly quickly.

    It does show one thing: The original US position was bogus.

    And apparently purely political.

    What next?

    @YT The Russians used the civilian radar tracks in their briefing because it gave away nothing about their military capabilities. They are never going to share their military info, because it is military–even though it obviously has the whole story.


    1. ian

      I think one reason for the initial reaction from the administration was to deflect attention away from the border debacle,

  3. Simon

    “In other words, we may be seeing another case of the U.S. government “fixing the intelligence” around a desired policy outcome, as occurred in the run-up to war with Iraq”

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…. shame on me.

    I don’t mind admitting that I bought the WMD propaganda hook line and sinker. Looking back I see my naiveté. The arm waving spin is pretty obvious to me now. What is tragic is how poor the leadership is here in the west, how rampant the fraud and duplicity, and how ubiquitous the hypocrisy.


    1. EoinW

      Only twice? I’ve lost count. There’s the Boy Scout mission in Afghanistan. You know securing woman’s rights with NATO soldiers helping old ladies across the street. This is how the Canadian mission is framed and nearly every Canadian wants to believe it. They’re more skeptical of the US military but that double standard used against foreigners is common with everyone now.

      There was the Syrian gas attack lying last August, the economic shell game that’s been on going for years, Iranian nukes and Israel.

      Lest we forget the start of this whole process: 9/11. Accidentally caught a moment of a BBC America broadcast and the interviewer was asking if was now prepared to expect the unexpected and referred to “terrorists flying planes into buildings”. It struck me what a ridiculous notion that is. A good fisherman will tell you that if you’re going to tell a tall tale you might as well make it a good one. 9/11 was the tallest tale of them all. Having gotten away with that, they can be forgiven for believing they can get away with any lie.

      1. Banger

        Amen–it’s interesting that the subject would come up. There are now quite a few people who are people who have looked into deep politics. Mainstream ideas about 9/11, like the assassinations of the sixties (which actually personally traumatized me and many of my generation such that I was compelled, eventually, to seek the truth) are very interesting and largely fact-free. How these thin official stories go to be the orthodox line is amazing but consistent with what we know about human psychology–people hate, above all, to change their conceptual frameworks. Something as stunning as 9/11 could not possibly be either known about beforehand or had gov’t involvement–it “can’t happen here” (if you remember the Zappa song). Thus the facts are irrelevant because to really fearlessly look at the facts would make life impossible. What if people believed that 9/11 was an inside job? What then? You would be required to overthrow your government–how could you go through your daily life? The unconscious knows all this automatically–it is always looking out for our survival and encourage us to believe in sheer nonsense (like religious fundamentalism) that will ease our life–we need community, we need friends, we need to live in society and not be constantly fighting. Those of us who actually bother to look into these events are usually stunned by how obvious the facts are and how poor the cover-up actually is and how powerful the official narrative.

        One of the things that stunned me was when I was exposed to the issue of sexual abuse of children. How common it was for families to deny it no matter how obvious–even the victims are often in denial–they live as if it never happened and directly deny it when confronted with the facts. I was good friends with a woman (a Harvard grad, interestingly) who told me that she and her two sisters were all sexually abused by her father pretty regularly and none of them talked about it until the woman I knew brought it up to her sisters when she must have been around forty–one of them broke down and admitted it and the other refused to believe it though the two other sisters knew she was a victim. The mother, of course, denied everything despite the fact her husband was dead.

        To any of you reading this take the time to look deeply into these matters–they are important, they really are, in understanding the nature of our current government and the obvious strain any President or politician is under. How can Obama, or any President, possibly act in an independent manner if he knows he will be killed or his family endangered if he strays from the policies of those who control the trigger-men (or women)? If we are ruled by ruthless killers who rule by decree what then? Sure they allow us a sandbox to play in but look at the boundaries! Look at what is acceptable and unacceptable–how did the Narrative evolve–who creates that Narrative? When you get into deep politics you have to go back to the source, of course, and that lies in WWI and its aftermath. The beginnings of the drug war, the Creel Committee, the repression of the left during WWI, the “red scare” that follower, the Hoover FBI, the Wall Street intel service acting in concert with the Brits, the birth of the OSS and CIA, actions in Greece, Italy, Iran, Guatamala and on and so on–the list is long and the conclusions we can draw are obvious. These things are not isolated incidences but part of a pattern we need to recognize if we are to examine our world in the honest manner that a historian like Thucydedes did his world–few heroes and lots of realpolitik.

        American Exceptionlism blinds us–and it’s becoming a fatal disease. Remember how high the stakes are today in American politics and how tempting it is to exercise such power.

        1. Vatch

          Hi Banger. I sometimes argue with you, but I agree with just about everything in this particular message of yours. I have one small quibble: yes, American Exceptionalism blinds many U.S. citizens to the reality of crimes by our government and business leaders, but there really isn’t anything exceptional about this.

          Many countries or groups have their own exceptional doctrines. There’s Han Chinese exceptionalism; the name of China is Zhong Guo, which means Middle Nation. They see themselves as the center of the world (as do Americans). There’s the Russophile phenomenon. India has a very disturbing caste system. The members of the twice born castes certainly see themselves as exceptional. Religion provides a vast field of exceptionalist ideas. Some of the most extreme exceptionalism is exhibited by fundamentalists of the 3 Abrahamic religions.

          So yes, American exceptionalism is a big problem, but we’re not alone.

          1. Banger

            Indeed you are right. But national consciousness takes very different turns in different societies. I’ve lived in Japan and Italy, for example–and the Japanese do see themselves as very exceptional and there’s a lot of nationalistic pride there–in contrast, the Italians are pretty cynical about their own country and are always complaining that their country is impossible–maybe that’s their own sense of exceptionalism–also, they tend to be more attached to their regions than the Japanese. I’ve lived in a few other countries and found them each to be peculiar in their own way.

            American Exceptionalism is rather unique in that we see ourselves as on a mission from God (Blues Brothers reference). Americans of all sorts have had that strong belief for a long time–though I think that is changing–we’re becoming more Italian every day. I’ve never been to China so I don’t know if they believe they are still the center of the world–but from my reading they seem to have something equivalent to the U.S.

            1. nobody

              Sacvan Bercovitch in The Rites of Assent: Transformations in the Symbolic Construction of America:

              “As I followed its changing terms of identity (Puritan errand, national mission, manifest destiny, the dream), the windings of language turned out to be the matter of history. America, an act of symbolic appropriation, came alive to me as the twin dynamics of empire: on the one hand, a process of violence unparalleled (proportionately) by even the Spanish conquistadors, and sustained into the twentieth century by a rhetoric of holy war against everything un-American; on the other hand, an unleashing of creative energies—enterprise, speculation, community-building, personal initiative, industry, confidence, idealism, and hope—unsurpassed by any other modern nation.

              “It amounted to a demonstration from within of Walter Benjamin’s thesis about barbarism and civilization… My approach was geared to the dynamics of complicity, which in this case called the opposition itself into question. What I discovered in America was the simultaneity of violence and culture formation. America, as its meanings gradually unfolded to me, was interchangeably a cultural treasure of barbarism, a barbaric dream documented by a procession of ‘great minds and talents,’ and an interpretive process through which the worlds out there had been triumphantly repressed—first, by mythos of their inhabitants (‘savage,’ ‘primitive’) attended by facts of genocide; and then by symbols of the land (‘virgin,’ ‘wilderness’) attended by the creation of the United States of America.”

              [p. 8, 9]

              “I am describing a broad, deeply ingrained symbolic strategy; one need only think of the reciprocities between inclusive and exclusive representation in the concept of errand or of manifest destiny.”

              [p. 14]


              1. Fiver

                The one does not entail the other. If the project of civilization is about anything, it is the defeat of violence.

                1. nobody

                  According to Walter Benjamin: “There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism.”

        2. tim s

          All true. Some people are drawn to trying to find the truth like a moth to a flame, while others (most as far as I can tell) subconsciously scream “FIRE” and forever look away. It is most obvious when you see it in those closest to you. There seems to be little you can do in this situation. At best, all that can be done is to chip away slowly at the facade.

          I am utterly fascinated by getting into the details of events such as 911, so incredibly rich in substance, but truth be told, it does shake the foundations of your very being. The stress can break a person, although that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

          1. Vatch

            WTC building 7. What the heck happened there? Its collapse was so orderly, yet no airplane collided with it!

              1. Vatch

                Hi Martin. Thanks for the Wikipedia link. I still have doubts.

                The collapse began when a critical internal column buckled and triggered structural failure throughout, which was first visible from the exterior with the crumbling of a rooftop penthouse structure at 5:20:33 pm. The collapse made the old 7 World Trade Center the first tall building known to have collapsed primarily due to uncontrolled fires, and the first and only steel skyscraper in the world to have collapsed due to fire.

                That one critical internal column was holding up the whole building? Maybe, but it seems a bit contrived. The collapse was very fast and neat, and the need for the adjectives “first” and “only” reinforces my suspicion.

                1. gallam

                  The explanation of the collapse of WTC7 is ridiculous. Freefall acceleration was achieved during the collapse; it was as if the top portion of the building was falling through the air. Build a lego model of the structure to see what is required to achieve this. Then draw your own conclusions about what happened.

                2. Banger

                  Wikipedia, without going into it is hopelessly compromised in all areas of deep politics and vigorously patrolled by intel services and PR firms. It is great in when you are looking up non-controversial subjects.

              2. tim su


                You immediately discredit yourself with dismissive statements such as “Not another Building 7 truther”.

                Incomplete, incoherent statements like those you follow with do nothing for your case either.

                Say something of significance, and no, Wikipedia articles don’t count.

              3. Gaianne

                God! Next you’ll be quoting the Popular Mechanics article about the fire from a broken gas line.

                Physics is you friend. The official narrative is completely bogus. Their is a reason they pulled Building 7 off the media after the first showing: That clip is a smoking gun right there. But there is more. Much more.

                Those who have eyes see.


            1. Maybe

              After the unsuccessful ’98 attempt, maybe the insurance folks, knowing in the real world buildings would tend to topple like dominoes rather than pancake into their footprint, it was decided to wire the plaza, to mitigate against a domino claim for all the buildings. Maybe they screwed-up, in panic, and pulled #7 by mistake.

          2. Maybe

            It would be a very terrifying world to live in if we believed monsters existed, so we don’t.

            1. Fiver

              Monsters do exist – human husks that cannibalize their own souls to feed their sense of power, status, position. Except these human monsters, unlike the central character in the great novel “The Dwarf” run things 24/7/365.

        3. Jackrabbit

          So we should give Obama a pass because . . . Deep State!?

          I know you’re an Obama loyalist but now you are slipping into Obamabot territory. Nobody forced Obama to run for office (twice), to take office, or to remain in office. And he does his ‘job’ with gusto.

          H O P

          1. Banger

            No, I don’t like Obama–I disagree with his policies for sure. Sometimes your criticism of me is credible–but not that one–way, way off base. I just know that any POTUS has very limited powers personally–he is given a list of options and he must decide–but who decides on the options and who carries them out? History has shown that even Presidential orders are ignored or sabotaged by the bureaucracy.

            1. Jackrabbit

              I say “loyalist” because you excuse him so often and you are inclined to support his policies, even if you have some reservations.

              To me, Obama = Obama Administration because he is such a team player. In that way, the Bush and Obama Presidencies seem different than previous Presidencies. Why so? Because the monied interests that select a President increasingly want the country run by a CEO-like President who is really little more than a front-man.

              I enjoy your writing. But your complex style can be confusing at times. And, IMO too often your practicality comes at the expense of principle.

        4. Paul Niemi

          “It Can’t Happen Here” is a book by Sinclair Lewis. I’ve read it. The theme of the book, overthrow of democracy for a dictatorship in America and subsequent formation of an underground rebellion against the fascist regime, was too far out for many years but may be starting to be relevant again. There is a character in there named Doremus Jessup, in a Paul Revere-like role as a small town publisher, who reminds me of Bangor. It may be surprising to some, but concern about the hijacking of government was popular in the 1930s, and the book reflected that

          1. Ned Ludd

            According to United States Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, in the 1930’s he was approached by an official in the American Legion named Gerald MacGuire in what became known as the Business Plot.

            Gerald MacGuire, kept pestering him, flashing an impressive bank book at one meeting, offering the general 18 thousand-dollar bills at another, and arranging a visit from Singer sewing machine heir Robert Clark, who urged Butler to give the speech. Rebuffed, MacGuire went off to Europe on a fact-finding trip but approached Butler with a new scheme in 1934: He and his wealthy backers would organize an army of 500,000 veterans to make a show of force and persuade the overworked Roosevelt to accept the “assistance” of a “secretary of general affairs,” who would run the government while the president stayed on as figurehead. The proposed SecGenAff? Smedley Butler.

            1. Paul Niemi

              The business plot in 1934 included a who’s who of the wealthiest Americans at the time, names we all know. And yes, you-know-who’s grandfather and great-grandfather were included, but people can look up the names. President Roosevelt called them the “Economic Royalists.” For those who have never been exposed to Roosevelt, here he is on the stump in 1936, talking about their hatred for him:


        5. TheCatSaid

          “Coup D’Twelve” has relevant info, narrated by someone with first-hand information.
          The business plan was formed already in 1999.

          Regardless of how appalling the real work is (and it’s definitely worse than I could have imagined), what matters is where we go from here. What are the personal actions, however small, that each person can take to create something in line with our personal values and integrity?

        6. MaroonBulldog

          Banger, I thought you too generous in your assessment of Obama. He’s not intimidated by the people who dispatch the hired guns–he’s one of them and a member of the steering committee. He’s a Chicago South Side machine politician, and despite his University of Chicago connection, he’s no Paul Simon. Chicago was what Chicago is well before WWI, and Obama chose to make his political career there, when he could have gone anywhere.

          1. MaroonBulldog

            Typeo: I meant to say he’s no Paul Douglas. But then again, he’s no Paul Simon, either.

    2. Farishtah

      It’s also a replay of events in Syria barely a year ago when the President went on TV with a shameful appeal to emotions designed to build up public opinion to let us be al-Qaeda’s Navy, er, support Navy pinpoint airstrikes against those purportedly using chemical weapons. How many times will they cry “wolf!” before people catch on?

  4. YoungExPat

    So the narrative has basically gone from “Putin personally ordered a airliner full of orphans to be shot down, so that he could harvest their organs and suck their blood” to “Honest mistake. Besides, it was probably just defectors from the Ukrainian military, dressed in Ukrainian cammo, and trained by the Ukrainian military to use missiles that shoot down airplanes.”


    1. Jim Haygood

      Yes, but the Russians supplied the beer. That makes them responsible, under the U.S. ‘dram shop’ doctrine.

      1. Johnnytheterrible

        yes .they are like the drunken father who gives his drunken son the car keys and the drunken son goesout and kills someone. the drunken father awakes from his drunken stupor and says why is everybody always pickin on me?

      2. RUKidding

        LOL! But really I must protest! Roooskies providing beer?? Surly you jest. If beer was provided, it must’ve been Bud provided by USA! USA! USA! Vlad the Putin would only provide vodka. Dos Vedanya, comrade!

        1. OIFVet

          Science magazine headline: ‘Consumption of Crappified Beer Degrades SAM Operator Performance.’ From the article: “Following the results of the study, the White House urges future beer aid to puppet regimes be procured from the microbrew subsidiaries of Anheuser-Busch InBev. John McCain blasted the Administration in a separate statement: “I predicted that sequestration budget cuts to DoD will have a serious negative effect on our ability to protect ourselves and our allies from Russian aggression. Penny pinching led to us providing an inferior beer to our brave Ukrainian allies and a gave the Russians a major propaganda win.”” Its all about the beer industrial complex.

      3. EmilianoZ

        Surely the russkies purposefully drugged that poor defector and made him commit the atrocity.
        The uniforms mean nothing. That was the same country only a few months ago. Surely the russkie wannabes still have stocks of ukie uniform.

      4. hunkerdown

        I lol’d. I’d buy the next round, but that might be a criminal conspiracy, especially if one of us forgot to feed the meter!

  5. Clever Handle

    I’ve been reading the comments sections on German news articles to get a sense of what they’re talking about. It’s not good for the US government. Even Die Zeit, the latest article of which is a full throated defense of the “separatists did it” case, is flooded by skeptics. A lot of them link to a German article that sources Robert Parry.

    Die Zeit article: http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2014-07/usa-beweise-mh17-abschuss
    Article that sources Parry: http://deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten.de/2014/07/23/usa-blasen-zum-rueckzug-putin-ist-nicht-schuld-am-abschuss-von-mh17/

    They’ve been lied to too many times. So have we, but we’re slower on the uptake.

    1. Fiver

      I’m not at all sure this Admin, the US leadership elite, or big media have realized yet how poorly this is received in much of Europe, but especially Germany, which is being asked to forego an extremely lucrative, natural and growing economic partnership with Russia in the name of this reckless, destructive US policy, itself so clearly aimed at ending that relationship until such time as Russia is in the hands of US Empire loyalists.

      The US is very powerful. But it cannot afford sour relations with every important country on earth.

  6. steviefinn

    This is what happens when people have no skin in the game – They act with impunity, they can lie, can be indirectly responsible for the death of thousands, they or their children don’t have to fight, they can destroy nations, break international laws & as in the case of Cheney & Blair make a fortune out of it. Hopefully they will cry wolf once to often, overstep the mark & finally be seen by enough people for what they really are, which in turn might make a difference to this world, which at the moment is being run for the most part by a bunch of self serving bastards.

  7. fairleft

    The Gaza tragedy is overwhelming the mainstream media’s anti-Russia warmongering effort. MH17 to most people seems like a mistake, and to most people — without a very healthy dose of ‘Putin is the devil’ propaganda, which they aren’t getting enough of because the massacres in Gaza keep getting ‘too much’ attention — it will seem an absurd basis for a cold or hot war.

  8. Ned Ludd

    our military is overextended, the US public has no enthusiasm for foreign adventures, and we don’t have a lot of good will with our allies right now, thanks to the Snowden and other spying revelations.

    Also, when the U.S. government gets involved in a foreign country, a lot of people end up dead.

    1. MikeNY


      Nothing short of Mad Dog McCain playing “Stars and Stripes Forever” on the piano while Lady Senator Lindsey Graham twirls firecrackers in her Liberace July 4th outfit, is likely to move Americans to cherish another war.

      I certainly hope.

      1. DianeNC

        Just to be clear…no one in US listens to McCain. And Lady Senator Lindsey Graham is a male and no one listens to him either. Americans don’t want another war!

    2. Yves Smith

      I’m just talking about the “realpolitik” calculus, which does not care about human life but power dynamics, and even on that cold-blooded basis, this escalation does not make a ton of sense. But this is hardly the first case of this sort of thing from the US of late. For instance, drone warfare is a really bad idea, even when you put aside the moral issues. First, you kill a lot of the wrong people, and the people you are killing are in parts of the world where they take grudges a lot more seriously than Europeans and Americans do. Second, related to 1, it makes for a great recruiting tool against the US in those parts of the world. Third, drone technology is not hard to acquire, and by blowing up people in countries where we are not formally at war, we’ve set the precedent for belligerents to use drone murder on US citizens here.

      But we still keep killing people by drone anyhow.

      1. steviefinn

        Yes, I have it good authority from a few sources that the provisional IRA would have never got off the ground but for the actions of the ‘ Paras ‘ on ‘ Bloody Sunday ‘ & smaller much less lethal actions by the British army at that time. The following week led to the IRA turning away masses of young men throughout the province as they could not cope with the amount of new volunteers. Many of these were later called up as arms & supplies became more available, many of which were funded by an increase in sympathy funding. Also the majority of the Catholic community acted as the backup which no guerilla army could do without by providing safe houses, helping with small but essential tasks. It’s often forgotten that the resistance to Catholics 2nd hand status prior to this was confined to a civil rights movement based on the 1960’s African American movement.

        PS – As my words in 2002 did not mean I supported Saddam & my words of late do not mean I support Putin, these words do not mean I support or have ever supported the provisional IRA.

      2. Jim Haygood

        ‘We’ve set the precedent for belligerents to use drone murder on US citizens here.’

        You can absolutely bet on an appalling drone attack on a U.S. target, which will be ascribed to terrorists.

        Then some news laws will need to passed, to ensure that this never happens again.

        1. Jim Haygood

          ‘new laws’ … but maybe ‘news laws’ too, so the people will not be confused by enemy disinformation.

          1. Ned Ludd

            Russia Today Faces UK Investigation Over MH17 News Coverage

            Ofcom, which ensures TV channels with a UK broadcasting licence provide broadly impartial news coverage, said it was considering whether to investigate Russia Today following complaints from viewers about the tone of its coverage of the Malaysia Airlines disaster. […]

            “While we would love to provide the details of our communication with Ofcom and the facts and arguments that RT had presented to the regulator in support of our position, we cannot do so as it would violate the regulator’s rules,” said Anna Belkina, head of communications at Russia Today.

            My emphasis. Opacity seems to be a trend.

            1. OIFVet

              I suppose the BBC either has a waiver from these rules, or its coverage sets the standards for “broad impartiality”.

        2. Scylla

          Daniel Suarez wrote a novel called Kill Decision based on that exact principle. Of course he thought that it would be used as an excuse to escalate drone conflict. It made for interesting reading.

      3. Banger

        If you assume that U.S. policy actually is made to create chaos as much as possible in “troubled” areas of the world then drone strikes, funding uprisings (color revolutions, Syria, Ukraine, Libya) make a lot of sense. More likely, however, is that there is a policy that is confused by too many cooks in the kitchen as was dramatically the case in the way the Iraq War was conducted where, for awhile, different generals, different services, the CIA, the Brits, the Italians all had different strategies and tactics in the areas under their jurisdictions which, conveniently, allowed massive thefts of money, arms, and basic U.S. contractor corruption on unprecedented scale. This, of course, ended up creating extreme chaos until Patreus was tasked with creating unified policies. The end-result is chaos which the more corrupt elements within the administration, particularly the CIA and other connected intel groups, particularly like–more opportunity for crime, recruiting terrorists and so on.

        I suspect we have the same problem in Ukraine. The hard-liners want to do ethnic cleansing and push for a confrontation with Russia, the “realists” want to just nudge forward and avoid the risk of war yet pressure Russia to ease up on supporting the rebels while convincing the Ukrainians not to impose “final solutions” on the Russian population there, and then you have the political types in the WH who actually don’t want anything but symbolic action because their Wall Street chums don’t want the world economy to feel too much stress. I believe the situation is very complex and with a very weak White House anything could happen.

        1. Jackrabbit

          create chaos as much as possible in “troubled” areas of the world”
          Its not strictly ‘chaos’ if there’s a point. Neocons/neolibcons don’t attack any country willy-nilly. They have an agenda and plan and manipulate accordingly.

          massive thefts of money, arms, and basic U.S. contractor corruption
          Profiteering is a feature, not a bug. How else do you drum up war and ensure support for the NEXT war? (Even so, Iraq was a horror show. And the lies, greed, and incompetence was epic. But it had a silver lining: it made the public extremely skeptical of warmongers.)

          “hardliners” = nicety for neocons/neolibcons?
          The neocons/neolibcons appear to be firmly in control. To suggest otherwise is a disservice. Some examples:

          > The NYT article in May hinting at Obama’s policy of Russian regime change seems to be accurate as increased tensions appear to be deliberate.

          > Ethnic cleansing appears to be happening in Ukraine, Palestine, and Iraq. And the Obama Administration response is to ignore it or ‘fart in their general direction’ with words of condemnation.

          Lastly, whether the WH is ‘weak’ depends on your point of view. They have shown much strength when standing up for unpopular policies/actions that benefit powerful interests. And Obama has proven to be a master deceiver (“if you like your doctor…; “if you have nothing to hide…, etc.). His hopey changey talk makes people think he’s a progressive but he always ends up caving. A recent example is his West Point speech, where he lauds getting out of Iraq as he asks for $5 billion for more neocon meddling and trumpets the neocon self-licking ice cream cone: exceptionalism

          H O P

          1. steviefinn

            Sowing chaos is perhaps the ultimate hubris, as nemesis thrives on the illusion of control.

    3. Fiver

      My thought as well – surely the fact that US policy in this matter is morally bankrupt deserves top billing.

      1. Ned Ludd

        It is notable that these claims were made a month before Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down. From the English captions, with corrections for spelling and punctuation:

        Terrible things are happening. For example, an incident that happened recently: passenger plane was flying by, and Ukrainian attack aircraft hid behind it. Then he lowered his altitude a bit and dropped bombs on residential sector of Semenovka town. Then he regained the altitude and hid behind the passenger plane again. Then he left.

        They wanted to provoke the militia to shoot at the passenger plane. There would be a global catastrophe. Civilians would have died.

        Then they would say that terrorists here did it. There are no terrorists here. There are regular people here that came out in defence of their own city.

    1. Abe, NYC

      A few comments on the unidentified military jet:

      1. According to Russians’ own radar data it was below 5,000m at the time of the hit. It couldn’t have been shadowing the Boeing, which was above 10,000m.

      2. They suspect it was a Su-25 but can only make a guess based on its characteristics as recorded by the radar.

      3. The Boeing disintegrated in the air. This is unlikely to have been caused by an R-60 air-to-air missile mentioned by the Russians, which has a warhead of 3kg. By comparison, the warhead on a missile fired by Buk systems is 72kg.

      However, the presence of a military jet in the vicinity of the Boeing is significant because:

      1, Ukrainains claimed they had no military aircraft in the area. (But they later said there was an IL-76 in the area at the time of the incident).

      2. The insurgents may have targeted it and hit the Boeing instead.

      3. Ukrainians previously claimed that Russian military aircraft were operating in the area. The jet in question may have been Russian, which Ukrainians targeted and hit the Boeing instead.

        1. Abe, NYC

          What I heard on the press conference was that:

          1. The Boeing was hit at 17:20.

          2. Another aircraft presumed to be a military jet appeared on the radar at 17:21:35.

          3. The radar can only detect aircraft above 5,000m, therefore it had not seen the military jet before then.

          1. Working Class Nero

            A fully loaded Su-25 has a service ceiling of 5000m but it can go up to 7000m without weapons. So one explanation is that the Su-25 delivered its weapons at around the same time the MH-17 was being attacked and was then able to climb away from danger on the ground. I agree though that the air-to-air scenario is more doubtful considering the size of the plane they brought down. But who knows?

            Also the Russians need some better radar if they can’t see below 5000 meters. it also seems strange they would announce this limit to the world. Maybe they were only talking about civilian radar?

            1. OIFVet

              Yes, it was a civilian radar according to the Ministry. I am thinking military radar info might not be forthcoming unless they can be sure to minimize the reveal of its capabilities.

            2. Abe, NYC

              Yes, they were apparently showing records from civilian radar coverage which they said “in standard mode” does not see objects below 5,000m.

            3. Souvarine

              The SU-25 ceiling is 7000 m for a stabilized flight but it is capable of fliying until 10000 m for a short period of time. Some SU-25 versions have a ceiling beyond 7000 m, depending mainly of the cockpit version. I read somewhere that the record for a SU-25 is beyond 12000 m.

              1. hunkerdown

                It’s the Su-25M1 that has the pressurized cabin. I understand Ukraine retrofitted all their original Su-25s with the M1 trim package.

          2. Souvarine

            According to the Russian, a few minute before the disappearing of the 777 from the radar, a plane (possibly a SU-25 and possibly the same plane than the one detected below 5000 m after the 777 has been shot down) which was at a distance of 3 to 5 km from the 777, gained altitude until 5000 m. It was continuing to climb but the radar (i don’t really understand if they speak about a civilian or a military radar) isn’t able to detect plane beyond the altitude of 5000 m.

            1. Abe, NYC

              They make a few fuzzy, misleading, and irrelevant statements at the beginning, but in the second half of the press conference when they explain radar data the situation is fairly clear. You can watch it yourself.

  9. Skeptic

    “…satellite reconnaissance photos suggesting….”

    These photos apparently detected:
    “…the soldiers manning the battery appeared to be wearing Ukrainian uniforms and may have been drinking, since what looked like beer bottles were scattered around the site….”

    Could this not be verified by the rates of urination of the soldiers? Urinalysis analysis. (Oh, NSA already has such a department?)

    Hopefully, when Europia takes over Ukraine they will deal with this bottle littering problem in the usual fashion by instituting severe littering laws for the hoi polloi.

    1. Paul Niemi

      Could photos like that exist, and if so are they of any value? First, the U.S. has to track the missile as it is fired to triangulate on the location of the launcher. So far so good, we can do that. Then a phone call to the satellite people to ask if one of the spy satellites is available to alter its orbit directly over the launcher location. Maybe. By the time that gets done, the missile launch crew, if they had any brains at all, would be long gone, moving to a new location. Then they take pictures from space and see uniform insignia and beer bottles? Doubtful. How would we know those pictures are from the right place? Do they show a launcher with a missing missile? I think this report is baloney, but if the idea is to leak details, then go ahead and leak the actual photos to back up the story. Otherwise it’s useless.

      1. Paul Niemi

        Come to think of it, this administration is famous for being tight lipped, leak proof. Suddenly officials on condition of anonymity are leaking stuff? That should raise a warning flag.

  10. eddie torres

    Have the 110 Russian billionaire oligarchs’ collective personal family fortunes been moved out of the Western banking system yet??? Let me know when that happens. Until then, we’re talking Munich RE calculations. And a whole lot of chaff.

  11. David Lentini

    My thought on the latest shuck and jive is that the war mongers are worried the bottom is about to fall out of their propaganda campaign, which suggest there’s more evidence of Ukraine’s involvement out there. Today’s headline in the Guardian, that Russia “created the conditions” looks like more strategic retreat too. Our rogue State Department seems to be running out of BS to shovel at the public.

    1. trish

      “running out of BS to shovel at the public.”

      my guess is that the earlier PR onslaught has been effective for much of the US public- THE RUSSIANS! EVIL PUTIN! Unfortunately for the administration it wasn’t enough to push its agenda in other parts of the world.

      And In the US now, the current the toning down may go relatively unnoticed because of the public’s usual short attention span…on to other things.

      1. EoinW

        Not just the US and not just from this round. I was talking to a friend and her automatic position was that Putin is evil. This likely goes back to the Pussy Riot. Simple fact is that most people are disengaged when it comes to world affairs, therefore they can be led around by the nose. I’ve mostly ignored the Canadian media but what little I’ve caught I can safely say has been 100% anti-Putin and anti-Russian. Even the Palestinians are doing a bit better, though not much better.

          1. OIFVet

            Quite simple actually, the process is the same as in the US. The MSM has been captured and has transformed into a megaphone for the elites, blaring its propaganda at top volume. There no longer is Canadian or US or British elite and interests, the interests are now global and mutual.

              1. PWW

                I can add to this.

                When coming back from a boxing tournament in a neighbouring province, we stopped for gas. In the payment line, I overheard two old pharts discussing the private members bill that was going to repeal the long gun registry. The comment by one was striking.

                He basically said that Canadians would be getting back their constitutional right to bear arms. Canada does not have any such provision, and never has.

                So it got me thinking why he would be saying that and why the reaction in Quebec to the same bill was so different. It’s because Canadians are bombarded in English with all that Yankee crap. It starts to explain other quirks in Canada. For instance, why there is such a greater support for unionized labour in Quebec than elsewhere. Language has provided them with a fair deal of “insulation.”

                It’s because of Yankee propaganda and what do we have in Canada now? I used to joke that Global Television was the perfect American rebroadcaster.

                Just my thoughts.

                1. OIFVet

                  Also too, Tar Sands oil. It is expensive to produce, so the profits are higher when the price of oil goes up. Crises tend to raise the price of oil, particularly when the world’s third largest producer is involved, and facing all kinds of western sanctions. Could also be why the Europeans are so unenthusiastic about sanctions and about the crisis in general. They can only lose from it.

            1. Synopticist

              Yeah, something similar has happened in the UK. We’re used to having a media which is independent and somewhat sceptical towards the US, especially in the liberal media like the Guardian and the BBC.
              Most people haven’t realised that the scepticism has largely disappeared in the last half decade or so. So they have their bullsh*t detectors running at the usual, old fashioned setting, but the volume of BS is actually higher than it used to be, and more gets through.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Perhaps. The U.S. war machine is dependent on bases we don’t control and private suppliers. We don’t have the surface support fleet to maintain operations without local governments assisting and vendors to purchase from.

        Despite the classic line from The Simpsons revealing the existence of the USS Walter Mondale, there aren’t enough laundry ships to maintain operations without airports and local big box stores we can use freely.

        Losing the world matters because we can’t deploy. Despite the evils of the Russians, they let us use their country to resupply the occupation of Afghanistan.

  12. Ich liebe doch alle, alle Menschen

    the resolution is tightly drafted to cut through NATO Pact bullshit. UNSC recognition of multiple stakeholders and treaty bodies makes the investigation hard to rig. The international community has gotten a whiff of US government forensic integrity standards, so they know what to guard against. The UNSC is seized of the matter, so everything you hear is bullshit till the ref calls it.

    This is an encouraging new trend, with Syria, Boston Marathon, and now Ukraine, the Big Lie is failing the laugh test in real time. Having pissed away all credibility, this regime is where Honecker was post-Chernobyl, a joke. No amount of media oligopoly can fix that.

    1. hunkerdown

      That’s as may be, but sending the flight recorders to the Island of JTRIG for readout is just asking for spoliation of evidence.

  13. Brindle

    Putin gave these remarks a day or two ago. A fair amount is boilerplate, but the level of communication seems a bit a higher than Obama’s usual 5th to 6th grader in elementary-middle school.

    “However, ever more frequently today we hear of ultimatums and sanctions. The very notion of state sovereignty is being washed out. Undesirable regimes, countries that conduct an independent policy or that simply stand in the way of somebody’s interests get destabilized. Tools used for this purpose are the so-called color revolutions, or, in simple terms – takeovers instigated and financed from the outside.”


  14. Bill Smith

    Exactly what are “Ukrainian uniforms”? And how are the different from various other groups operating there? And I recall seeing a number of stories a few months back that some Ukrainian army units defected. Plus other stories about how the Ukrainian army was so poor most of its troops didn’t have uniforms – much less guns.

    I also always like the “some CIA analysts” which are unnamed and a secret source to the reporter so may will not exist. Plus why should we believe any CIA analysts, much less some CIA analysts versus some other CIA analysts? There are people who believe the earth is flat and the holocaust didn’t happen and the bodies on the plane had no blood.

    Planes are being shot down regularly over there. Two just today. Mostly planes flying at much lower altitudes but at least one bit ago flying at over 20,000 feet.

    The pilots should never have accepted that route and it is up to them to do that.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Although I think these organizations should be shut down, there are still reasonable people in any outfit over a certain size. Part of the U.S. reaction has been driven by a sense of entitlement and outrage over being embarrassed by Putin in Syria despite Putin giving him a graceful exit. Obama is a dangerous, petulant man who despite being President has created a myth he is persecuted constantly. Smarter people might be trying to find a way for him to bow out quietly.

      1. Brindle

        “Obama is a dangerous, petulant man who despite being President has created a myth he is persecuted constantly.”
        For a few years I’ve viewed Obama as essentially a sociopath.

      2. DJG

        Yes, shutting down “intelligence” is way overdue. CIA, FBI, NSA: who knows what their missions are anyway? Spying on Angela Merkel and monitoring use of pornography sites, I guess. Shock-doctrine capitalism, more likely. The basic question is what Putin would have to gain by allowing the Russians to be involved in shooting down a civilian aircraft. Answer: Nothing. Even the idiotic and tribal separatists have nothing to gain. But the Ukrainian government (teetering on the edge of collapse while their oligarchs loot) has something to gain. And the USA ends up with a casus belli. (The new Austro-Hungarian Empire gets its new Sarajevo.) Good points, too, about Obama’s petulance–which is part of his CEO style. When the underlings are insubordinate, he gets all peevish. Witness his rather whimsical ideas about Snowdon and Snowdon’s responsibility to return to the USA to be tried.

        1. Bill Smith

          Nobody is saying they did it on purpose. If they (the rebels) shot it down it was an accident. They have been shooting down aircraft almost every 2nd or 3rd day over there for a while.

  15. Veri

    The BUK missile system is a four part system. A launcher unit, radar unit, command unit, and reload unit. So far, the only pictures or video of BUK missile system being shown on video, in possession of the separatists, is the launcher unit. Where is the radar and command unit? A radar was active during the shoot down of MH-17, according to intelligence statements released.

    I could be mistaken about no video showing a complete BUK missile system in the hands of the separatists.

    Another curious item was that The Interior Ministry of Ukraine announced that rebels with a BUK missile launcher shot down MH-17. Twenty-six (26) minutes after it was announced to the world that MH-17 was missing. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry wrapped up everything in 26 minutes.

    Then, there is the fact that four other airliners were flying overhead. Why weren’t they targeted? Or, was MH-17 simply the most convenient target?

    1. Banger

      That is, of course, a reason to suspect, by itself the information. That is the pattern of all false-flag operations–they instantly know who did it, Lee Harvey Oswald is a classic case.

      1. Crazy Horse

        Banger, the mark of any top-notch intelligence service is the ability to know who the perpetrators of an atrocity are before they actually commit the act. By that standard the US spy services are exemplary.
        It was this ability that allowed them to rapidly identify ex-CIA asset Osama bin Laden as the mastermind who directed the 911 attack from his cell phone in a cave in Afghanistan. What really broke the 911 case wide open was finding the identity papers of one of the cremated attackers lying nearby totally intact and un-burned only hours after the first plane hit.

        If there seems to be a pattern here, perhaps the 5 billion dollars the US invested in de-stabilizing Ukraine included training the Ukrainian intelligence services, and has paid off because they too can pinpoint the actions of their enemy even before they act and have the necessary media productions ready for use in winning the battle for the American attention span.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          Even better, they have the pre-recorded (pre-cog) evidence on Youtube. They’re that good.

    2. Bill Smith

      An SA-11 TELAR can still track and engage an airborne target without the other parts. It has it’s own (limited) radar in front of the unit, a 9S35 Fire Dome or some variant of that.

      “The 9S35 Fire Dome provides a limited search and acquisition capability, a tracking capability and CW illumination for terminal guidance of the semi-active homing SAM seekers.”

      It gets a much better picture of the battle space with all the parts up and running.

      1. hunkerdown

        CW illumination… I have trouble believing that such a thing would be a part of the design, but I’m not exactly a military avionics guy. I wonder if the separatists might have launched at something else, say, the escort jets, and the Ukies with their full systems kept a brighter signal focused on MH17.

    3. Benny

      As far as I know, the BUK launcher unit has a radar of its own and can be operated standalone. This way, target identification is harder, though, but that would just make the separatist accident scenario more plausible.

      1. hunkerdown

        But it makes a hit much less likely, due to the shorter range, thus shorter time window to fire, thus the missile needing to pursue instead of lead the target, and without a loader truck, that seems like too desperate of a move considering the separatists’ situation? If there were two Ukie jets on MH17’s wings, well, which US military advisors taught the Ukies three-card Monty?

  16. Dino Reno

    So now it looks like the adorable Nazis we loved turned out to be drunken, trigger happy little Nazis who like to make things happen. Would have loved to have seen the look on the State Department faces when the CIA showed them satellite photos of the missile battery with the soldier/operators dressed in government issued fatigues. The genius who came up the idea of “defectors” deserves the President’s Medal of Freedom. Got to hand it to Robert Parry at ConsortiumNews who nailed this two days ago.
    Second place award for AWKWARD goes to Kerry for touting the video released by our Nazis friends showing a missile launcher crossing the Russian border that turned out to be cruising around a town a hundred miles away.
    No wonder our European allies are walking this back in a hurry. Our mission to make Putin a Pariah will require further study it seems.
    All this shameful behavior as the backdrop to the shoot down is pretty disgusting. Marks a new low at least for now.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      ” The genius who came up [with] the idea of “defectors”……”


      Wouldn’t you like to know what other “explanations” were considered before they settled on this one? Can’t you just picture the “brainstorming” session? “OK, folks, let’s go. There are no “stupid” ideas.”

      Sheesh, even our propaganda suffers from crapification.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The MIC is an unregulated bureaucracy which dwells in secrecy. There really is no surprise they can’t do a good job.

      2. Ulysses

        “even our propaganda suffers from crapification.” I do think TPTB are caring less and less about making sense and providing even a logically consistent (albeit false) narrative for the brainwashed to follow.
        This is potentially a very bad sign, as it may mean they’re not committed to even pretending to respect any of the constitutional niceties anymore, for anyone. Being fed poor propaganda may well seem like the good old days to us when our only menu option has become Soylent Green!!

        1. James Levy

          Ulysses, you are terrifyingly correct. The media here in the US seems prepared to buy any assertion that conforms to their prejudices. Give them a Black Hat, a White Hat, and keep it to the usual suspects and they’ll buy anything and repeat it ad nauseam. Critical thought is like a vestigial organ that has lost its function. All they want is “product” that a gulled and bigoted audience can lap up and feel outraged over.

          In Alan Bullock’s book Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives he makes the point that doctrine under Stalin existed for one overwhelming reason: to identify those who were not completely with the program. Spouting the Party Line as it twisted and turned, acting as if every change of course never happened and every hero who became an enemy was never a hero, was essential for getting along and surviving. This may more and more be the test of media “savvy” and the only means of moving up the greasy corporate pole.

      3. EmilianoZ

        even our propaganda suffers from crapification

        LOL! Actually I think it’s our only hope: that they’ll collapse from their own incompetence.

      4. hunkerdown

        If they’re not spending their growing hoards on propaganda, they must be spending it elsewhere, or pocketing the difference. It’s that first option that gives me more pause.

    2. DJG

      Think of Ukraine (shifting borders, ethnic tensions, historic animosities, massacres, torture) as the Iraq of Europe. Naturally, the USA wants to be involved. Look how well Afghanistan and Iraq turned out.

      1. Ned Ludd

        Think of the U.S. (shifting borders, ethnic tensions, historic animosities, massacres, torture) …

  17. patt

    Poor Malaysians. US is really screwing them twice in 4 months. Hope they can keep afloat after this.

  18. Fíréan

    Ground to air missles leave a trail of exhaust, exploding airplanes (and the exploding ground to air missile) with forty two thousand gallons of air fuel create a ball of flame in the sky and a descending burning plane would leave a smoke trail in it’s down ward path. There is planty of footage of similar events available These smoke trails do not quickly disappear and if commencing from a height of 30,000 foot or more give ample opportunity for public video recording from a wide surveillance area . Yet so far, in this recent incident, we have been presented, from various media, with a video evidence of a only ground explosion and a rising plume of smoke, and much acceptance of and discussion as to who fired the ‘ground to air missile’.

    That i do not know how this incident played out is a certainty, and i have no doubts that geographical land and aerial activity is well covered in real time, and recorded, by the satelite surveillance which is present. That certain parties make public statements attributing guilt , and make political expediency of the event, before any inquiry or gathering of ALL the evidence says much in itself.

    1. YY

      If it happened in middle of Kansas there would be at least 200 eyewitnesses from miles around. If it happened across the border in Russia we would have a dozen drive cam footage all over Youtube by now.

  19. TarheelDem

    IMO, the rush to pin the shooting down of a civilian airliner on Russia had everything to do with the BRICS Summit and only secondarily with the actual shooting down of an airplane. It was a cynical propaganda move.

    What always was the most likely explanation is that the equipment was or had been Ukraine’s. The training of the operator, even if the operator was not affiliated with the pro-Russia federalist militias was as a member of Ukraine’s armed forces, and the operator did not or could not identify the aircraft as a civilian airliner or was trigger-happy. That does not discount a unknowing or false flag attack from the neo-Nazi wings of the Ukraine coup militias who are in the field supporting the Ukraine military’s suppression of the separatist movement.

    As usual, the US media coverage has been driven by deep state propaganda in support of Nuland’s War.

    1. PWW

      There is another option.

      Mechanical or systems failure. I’m not talking about the plane, but the launcher itself.

      Now, throw in the fact that NATO was running massive operational drills in the Black Sea and a good portion of the surrounding area, you cannot tell me that the American and NATO forces have nothing. I suppose they could have nothing, which immediately means the money people are paying to develop and operate these systems is a colossal failure of accountability.

  20. timbers

    CIA thinks “Flight 17 was fired by Ukrainian troops from a government battery, not by ethnic Russian rebels…..”


  21. Jim Haygood

    From ‘svayambhu 108’ on another forum, in response to news that two Ukrainian planes were brought down today:

    ‘The two SU-25s that downed MH-17? Instant karma’

    1. Working Class Nero

      It’s actually a little more than karma. Post-MH17, there should be absolutely no civilian air traffic in the skies over the battlefield so it makes the rebel’s anti-aircraft defenses that much more effective since they don’t have to worry about the Ukrainian air force using civilian flights as human shields any more.

  22. Ned Ludd

    What SA-11?

    Most damning for the case may be this: “The senior intelligence officials said spy agencies were not aware that an SA-11 system was in eastern Ukraine until the attack had happened.”

    So the alleged transfer of such a big weapon system from Russia was either not observable for the multi-billion dollar, all seeing, all hearing U.S. intelligence or it never happened.

    SA-11 is another name for the Buk surface-to-air missile (SAM) system.

    1. Bill Smith

      Funny, I guess they don’t read the newspapers prior to the event which claimed there was one.

      1. Yves Smith

        A WSJ News Alert (meaning this summary was e-mailed to subscribers, with links to the full story at the WSJ site) on July 19:


        The issue, as I’ve said in comments before, that all the material in Ukraine, both the government and the rebel side, is of Russian origin, save what little the US has provided the government recently. So a lot of the messaging has focused on confounding the the fact that a BUK had to come from Russia meant the Russians were the immediate suppliers, as opposed to the rebels could have captured them from the government when they took over parts of the east.

        1. Lexington

          So a lot of the messaging has focused on confounding the the fact that a BUK had to come from Russia meant the Russians were the immediate suppliers, as opposed to the rebels could have captured them from the government when they took over parts of the east.

          Even if the rebels had captured them from the Ukrainian government it’s extremely unlikely they could have operated such a sophisticated weapons system without training, which presumably could only have come from Russia. The idea that it could have been successfully operated by a drunk crew – as opposed to one that was just enjoying a social tipple – also seems very unlikely.

          This is a photo from Wikipedia of PART of a BUK (SA-11) launch console. Does this look like something untrained irregulars are going to figure out by randomly pushing buttons?

  23. Barmitt O'Bamney

    Given the extreme suppleness of meaning with which our government endows its words, the phrase “May have been a defector from the Ukrainian military…” could well mean something like a Ukrainian military unit quietly dispatched into a disputed area to make it appear as though the other side deliberately shot down a civilian aircraft. Yeah, they were in Ukrainian Army uniforms, but just before shooting down the plane, they defected. We have a timestamped defection announcement on Facebook to prove it.

    Whenever I hear our wise leaders speaking authoritatively about the evil actions of the villain du jour, Colin Powell rises up in my mind’s eye, shaking his thimbleful of baby powder in front of the UN and warning everyone that Iraq had baby powder too, and just this much of it released in the atmosphere would wipe out civilization as we knew it, etc, etc… The airliner could become a mushroom cloud in just 15 minutes, so we must strike without delay.

    1. PWW

      Saddam didn’t have baby powder. It was restricted to the virtual point of being banned by the US/UN.

  24. Dino Reno

    Recent events will probably change Putin’s calculus on the civil war. Instead of letting this play out, he will ratchet up support for the rebels to end this sooner than later. What looked like a win/win for Kiev and the U.S. will turn out to just the opposite. They really woke up the bear with this latest mischief forgetting it’s his neck of the woods.

  25. Banger

    You know, at the end of the day, the frantic headlines and accusations against Putin (Hitler) imprinted it in people’s minds that Putin and Russia = bad. As the story winds down it doesn’t matter who, in the end, is responsible. You have just seen propaganda at work. The same thing happened with Assad’s alleged gas attack on a neighborhood–big headlines talk all around the mass-media propaganda organs (including the Comedy Central propaganda programs) that Assad, obviously did it because he was angry at himself for the success of reversing the course of the civil war and assured his survival in a rump Syria despite all the confident predictions of the USG and propaganda organs when the civil war was instigated by U.S. intel assets. To this day I would guess that most people assume Assad was responsible–he clearly wasn’t and there have been no follow-up stories, interestingly. Sy Hersh had the last word–and Lavrov defused the whole thing.

    This story, in Ukraine, (not just the airline disaster) has an interesting trajectory. It seems to illustrate the back-and-forth between the hardliners (neocons) and realists within the FP community–maybe it’s just a good cop/bad cop routine and they are really acting in concert–I don’t know–but I do know that the people who are in those opposing camps do genuinely disagree on policy–I’ve been around in those neighborhoods.

    1. OIFVet

      Plus so many people still believe that Saddam planned and carried out 9/11. I am not so sure about the back and forth though, perhaps they realized Russkie intelligence has the goods and don’t want to walk out on the ledge.

      1. Banger

        As in any large and powerful Imperial court there is a lot of jostling for power particularly when we have a relatively weak POTUS (Obama is not weak as a person he just doesn’t have a personal power base like Bush had). I lived inside the Beltway for most of my life (sadly) and can assure you that there is a lot of House of Cards jockeying for power among factions–struggles between the RP and DP have relatively little to do with the National Security State. Both political parties agree, more or less, on FP and both contain factions that reach across the aisle–at any rate party politics really don’t matter at the level of issues of war and peace at this time at any rate.

        1. Jackrabbit

          I wonder if your time in Washington was at a point when there WAS a real debate.

          Over the years, that debate seems to have died down considerably. Today, I see little evidence of any such debate. Sure there are ‘realists’ who provide ‘input’ but the decision makers are mostly all necons. Just consider the leadership: Obama, Biden, Kerry, Powers, Rice, etc. They have all said/done things that support the neocon agenda. Biden, for example, voted for the Iraq War and just mouthed off about Putin having “no soul”!

          By all accounts, the “jockeying for power” today is little more than greedy neolibcon careerists trying to out maneuver other greedy neolibcon careerists so as to ‘cash in’ on their connections.

          H O P

        2. Crazy Horse

          Come again? House of Cards was fiction? And all this time I thought I was watching a historical documentary!

    2. EoinW

      Are they falling in love with their own thinking? Most westerners considered Assad a bad guy long before last summer. Likewise Putin has been the enemy in the eyes of most people for quite some time now. Why all this piling on when the initial lies have worked and no more are needed? Are they pushing bigger lies because they’re out of control and like the habitual liar can no longer stop? Or are they so out of control they are desperate for a conflict, anywhere? Some suggest it’s economic war and all about isolating Russia, even to the point of regime change and replacing Putin with a puppet. I find it a hard sell to believe they could be thinking so rationally. The US government solves problems only one way: with its military. Been that was since Kosovo.

  26. peteybee

    yep. One telling thing is how the US state dept. embraced the media circus, repeating the Ukranian claims no matter how illogical:

    * Russian “bullying” … even though ukranian forces outnumber russians 4:1 in the conflict zone and they have air force and a huge tank army, and ukranian heavy artillery attacking cities?.
    * claiming Russians using Soviet weapons is proof, when the Ukranians are stocked with the EXACT SAME GEAR, and some of their trained specialists, who happen to be Ukranian and Russian at the same time, have defected

    And after MH17 the whole thing reached a new high, almost like the OJ trial. Actually it reminded me a lot of the OJ trial for a few days there. Maybe the US intelligence community didnt want to put their stamp of approval on this nonsense. Maybe someone in the US state dept decided to save their last tattered thread of dignity for a rainy day. Maybe they realize that this conflict is of little strategic significance, but the US may need some sympathy from Russia in salvaging the widespread chaos in the middle east. (and Afghanistan hasn’t even joined the fun yet). Maybe Putin made a deal with them. Maybe the real truth is far uglier for Ukraine, and claiming the rebels did it by accident without Russian help is a “compromise”.

    Anyway there’s still a significant war there (thousands of soldiers, armor, artillery, planes). Something the MSM fails to mention for more than half a sentence.

    1. Abe, NYC

      even though ukranian forces outnumber russians 4:1 in the conflict zone and they have air force and a huge tank army, and ukranian heavy artillery attacking cities?

      Ukraine cannot afford to raze Donetsk to the ground and kill tens of thousands of people, like Russia did in Grozny. And in urban warfare numerical advantage doesn’t mean much, just look at any conflict zone, and the insurgents have used tactics like human shields very efficiently (don’t know if there are enough civilians left at the moment). As for heavy weapons, they keep receiving them from Russia; the burning question of the moment is whether those weapons have included anti-aircraft systems.

  27. timbers

    So if CIA is telling Obama that Ukraine forces – not the Russian backed federalists – shot down the plane, shouldn’t Obama impose sanctions on himself, his friends, USA and Ukraine instead of Russia?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The French like their arms industry, but buyers may not want to deal with France if they bow to the whims of Obama. It’s not just the Russian contract at risk.

    2. Crazy Horse

      The business of America is business. And the arms business is even more profitable than the drug business.

      When bush II left office the US share of the world’s arms sales languished in the 48% range. Under Obama we have captured an astounding 78% of the trade in instruments of death. Now that is what I call a successful CEO!

      Our closest competitors, France and Russia only manage to achieve 14% of our sales.

  28. john


    So the Russians, and others, say that Kiev has military planes were ‘escorting’ the downed commecial plane. Kiev denies this.

    I wonder if these downed jets are the planes that didn’t exist, now downed in the same area.

    Also, notice how often CNN uses the words conspiracy theory in their coverage of things these days.

    Bad times ahead.

    1. Abe, NYC

      Russian have misleading statements on this subject but their own evidence appears to show that the Boeing was not “escorted” by a Ukrainian military jet, see above.

  29. OIFVet

    Seems fitting for the overall subject. Green Day’s American Idiot:

    Don’t wanna be an American idiot.
    Don’t want a nation under the new mania
    And can you hear the sound of hysteria?
    The subliminal mind fuck America.

    Welcome to a new kind of tension.
    All across the alienation.
    Where everything isn’t meant to be okay.
    Television dreams of tomorrow.
    We’re not the ones who’re meant to follow.
    For that’s enough to argue.

    Well maybe I’m the faggot America.
    I’m not a part of a redneck agenda.
    Now everybody do the propaganda.
    And sing along to the age of paranoia.

    Welcome to a new kind of tension.
    All across the alienation.
    Where everything isn’t meant to be okay.
    Television dreams of tomorrow.
    We’re not the ones who’re meant to follow.
    For that’s enough to argue.

    Don’t want to be an American idiot.
    One nation controlled by the media.
    Information age of hysteria.
    It’s calling out to idiot America.

    Welcome to a new kind of tension.
    All across the alienation.
    Where everything isn’t meant to be okay.
    Television dreams of tomorrow.
    We’re not the ones who’re meant to follow.
    For that’s enough to argue.

    1. Abe, NYC

      I was wondering when someone would finally quote that :) But you can just as easily replace America(n) with Russia(n).

      1. OIFVet

        It’s pretty much gone global Abe, its just that America is committed to maintain overwhelming superiority in this area too. Full spectrum dominance and all.

      1. Crazy Horse

        On the other hand Putin’s internal approval rating is well above 80% and Obomber’s is under 40%. But never mind, The America people are the most skilled in the world in the art of firmly believing two logically contradictory things at the same time.

      2. Abe, NYC

        Putin’s approval ratings are in the region of 85%, and I expect a similar or higher number of Russians are convinced Ukraine downed the Boeing despite having being fed multiple inconsistent but supposedly irrefutable theories which have all gone poof.

        Putin’s propaganda machine is a wonder of social engineering. In a country where people are still free to travel domestically and internationally, and free to access the internet – he managed to achieve a level of control over the minds of the populace which rivals Kim Jong Un’s (in a country where you cannot visit your family in a neighboring town without asking permission) and leaves Suslov in the dust. This was not supposed to happen in the age of internet and social media, but happen it did.

        You’ll say it’s the same here in the US but it isn’t, at least not yet. Yes, a significant number of Americans believe Saddam did 9/11, but it’s those who actively want to believe it and refuse to admit any other information. That happens everywhere, in Russia for example probably an even greater proportion of the people believe that Stalin was a great statesman who saved the world, liberated Europe and that the scale of the purges was greatly exaggerated – this in a country where probably almost all extended families had someone killed, jailed, or exiled during 1930s. In the US, you still cannot fool all of the people all of the time, just think of Katrina response or W’s image circa 2008.

        But the Ukrainian story is incredible because these are not some mountain tribes or Central Asians – Ukrainians are people whom Russians have for centuries considered their kith and kin. In Soviet times Russians may have been amused or annoyed by Ukrainians’ insistence on speaking their own language, and after the collapse of the USSR often made fun of them along the lines of glorious republic of Ukraine, but still considered them their own kind and the country, a land of brothers. And now, all of a sudden, the closest if wayward cousin has become a mortal enemy, and they have always been at war with Eastasia. That’s what makes Putin’s propaganda campaign different from runup to the Iraqi invasion. Try predicting a war with Texas a year from now, and the reaction you’ll get will be similar to what you would have got in Russia a year ago if you predicted a war with Ukraine.

        1. OIFVet

          “Putin’s approval ratings are in the region of 85%” That’s because Russians remember the privations and humiliations of the 1990’s, courtesy of a triumphalist United States and its puppet Yeltsin’s band of thiefs. Putin, whatever else can be said about him, raised the living standards of ALL Russians and set out its own independent course. “Liberal” Russian elites don’t like that as he has imposed limits on how much they can loot; former Soviet republics subjects such as yourself and imperialist US don’t like an emergent Russia and see it as a threat. Russians see it as restoration of a great nation’s dignity. But Ultimately Putin represents yet another blowback of US imperial policies. The US had a great chance in the 1990’s to engage Russia fairly, it instead saw a chance to expand its empire and to destroy Russia per Brzezinski’s lunatic ideas. It came mighty close too. As far as I am concerned the US only has itself to blame, as do former Soviet republics and Soviet Block nations. They thought they too could kick a wounded bear along with the big boys. Well, the bear has healed and is beginning to roar, and the little Eastern European punks are finding out that the US is not a very good friend after all, but rather a bully that only really dominates and exploits the weaklings, be they friend or foe. That’s about the gist of the matter.

          As for your Russia/US comparison, the simple act of you feeling compelled to make it reveals just how far the US has fallen, and the fact is that this fall is accelerating. Public education has been crapified on purpose in order to produce a compliant and gullible class of infinitely exploitable consumers. Consumers, not citizens. You speak about Russians’ views of Stalin. Well, I raise you the Americans’ belief in American Exceptionalism. Russians harbor no such illusions about their country. The fact is that Stalin and the Soviets did carry the lion’s share of the burden of defeating the Nazis, and paid an incredibly heavy price. They did as a matter of fact save Europe’s hide, and the Russians have every reason to both feel pride and to remember just what the nazis are capable of. Seeing US-backed Ukie nazis killing Russians in Ukraine is bound to trigger the historical memories of the Great Patriotic War. Propaganda has fuck all to do with it, unlike the situation with our own sheeple here in the US. The American sheeple may well recognize the domestic BS, but when it comes to international affairs they are as malleable as putty in the hands of the master propagandists.

          As to Ukraine, the Russians know damn well the difference between Banderites and regular Ukrainians. Do not even try to sell the line of some broad Russian loathing toward ALL Ukrainians; the loathing is reserved for the junta in Kiev. You are trying to sell an utter BS about the Russians turning against their little brothers. We all know who was the street muscle behind the “revolution” and the ministerial payoff it received for their services. They are the real power in Ukraine now by virtue of their control of these key security ministries, and again, this triggers bad flashback to the 1940’s. This is really the genius of the US, identifying and recruiting extremist to carry out its dirty work.

          And I can relate to the Russians frustrations with Ukraine. They have Ukraine, Bulgaria has Macedonia. It is the little brother from hell at times, but it is not because the Macedonians are terrible people. Its because of the morons in charge in Skopje who, not having any history as a nation, desperately tried to invent one. It’s Academy of Sciences 2009 encyclopedia raised such a row in Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, and Kosovo, as well as with the US and the EU, that they had to withdraw it. http://www.euractiv.com/enlargement/macedonia-embroiled-encyclopaedi-news-222918. It continues to repress ethnic Bulgarians in its east, and its creation of history has reached comic heights, to the point of tracking down some indian villager and proclaiming him to be the descendant of Alexander of Macedon, claiming not to be slavs in order to claim the name Macedonia (thus pissing off Greece), and otherwise being utter buffoons in their quest to break any historical connection to Bulgaria. http://www.historyofmacedonia.org/ConciseMacedonia/donski.html. And yes, Bulgarians make fun of them. Anyone with any sense of history does. W

        2. Abe, NYC

          Most of your response is exactly what Putin would like his people to believe, it just doesn’t tally well with reality.There is no wholesale hatred of ethnic Ukrainians in Russia, but it’s a mistake to think the hatred is directed at the “junta” in Kiev. Isn’t it remarkable that just recently having shed so much blood trying to keep their own country intact, Russians have now been happily trying to rip Ukraine apart?

          And you are deluded to think there is no such thing as Russian Exceptionalism. Their own version is much older and runs deeper than American Exceptionalism. Remarkably, Russian chauvinism has survived the numerous regime changes and pushing the country towards self-destruction once again.

          1. OIFVet

            Please, for centuries Russia and Ukraine were one and the same. The interconnections run far too deep for your simplistic “Russia hates Ukraine and wants to rip it apart” narrative. The fact is that the west of Ukraine, the former Austro-Hungarian and Polish parts, are the parts that have little to no cultural affinity with the rest of Ukraine and with Russia, and as a made-up, culturally and ethnically mixed entity, Ukraine didn’t need much to be plunged into a civil war. Just some western neo-nazis, corrupt oligarchy, and some foreign cash to grease the skids. The junta’s short lived repeal of the languages law was not drafted in Russia you know. Throw in the “Ukraine for Ukrainians” statements from the neo-nazis and you have created the conditions for strife. Ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking Ukrainians didn’t need Moscow to interpret the intentions behind these actions and words for them.

            And American Exceptionalism and Russia as the Third Rome are completely different things. The conceit of American Exceptionalism is that America does things with the purest of intentions, selflessly giving the savages freedom and democracy. Russians do not assign any such purity of intent to their country, there is no belief in a messianic mission, nor is the notion of the Third Rome so widely spread among the populace. Third Rome is seen as defender of Orthodox Christendom, not some crusading army to impose its ideology on others the way American Exceptionalism does. It’s a rather big difference.

            1. Abe, NYC

              Ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking Ukrainians didn’t need Moscow to interpret the intentions behind these actions and words for them.

              I’ll address your other points later, but for now could you explain why in Kharkov Russian speakers seem to have interpreted these actions and words rather differently than in Donetsk?

  30. TedWa

    RTTV news has been showing for a week satellite images of a Ukraine Buk missile launcher being moved right before the shootdown and then showing it parked again in Ukraine territory, with other Buk missile launchers, and there was a missile missing. Been a lot of propaganda BS surrounding this but the most impartial and fact searching reporting has been Ruptly TV news. Kremlin owned and based in Germany. There’s been no distortions of the facts and they don’t throw blame around.

  31. ChuckTurdburger

    I’d love to see the Russians reveal spy satellite photos of the Ukrainian soldiers attending to the batteries as described by Robert Parry. In front of the UN just like Adlai Stevenson did during the cuban missile crisis. Payback is a bitch.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      At this point, I think the Chinese, Germans, French, and the BRICS know. At this point, they know they are dealing with another former coke head in the White House. The U.S./UK represent deranged madmen. Obama is going to send advisers to the Ukraine. There is no telling what Obama will do,

  32. Jill

    I am struck by several parts of this story. First, USGinc. has spy satellites trained to the entire globe. While the NSA, for example, brags about its awesome capabilities in monitoring the planet, there is never any evidence they can provide to back up USGinc.’s claims. One would think that such an awesome agency, only one of many, would be able to show the pictures. They should even be talkies! Just as w/Syria, no pictures. We now know what anyone who thought about it would suspect, the govt. lied about the Syrian govt.

    The war mongering in the press is stupefying. There are few questions asked and they are all on board with going to war. Why? No evidence needed by these people. Further, of course, war is the one and only answer to everything which occurs. Why?

    We should have real and accurate evidence, openly presented and thoroughly explained. The next question becomes what is a sane response. The fact that we do not see either coming from this govt. is telling about their real intent. As citizens, we need to ask and have answers to these questions.

  33. kaj

    I am surprised that no one yet has pointed to Israel wanting to divert attention away from its genocidal war in Gaza and Palestine by triggering a shoot down of the Malaysian Airline plane via its agents in western Ukraine. Hitlerite Germany adopted gassing as its favored technique of mass murder;;; in today’s “sophisticated” environment, the brain-washing main-stream-media gives Israel a pass when it chooses to bomb Gaza, massacring innocent men, women and children by the hundreds, plants and gets published incredible and lurid stories of Gaza citizens complicity in choosing Hamas and hence being acceptable and dispensable targets. Few people, especially in the U.S. raise the issue of war-crimes by Israel. Whatever Israel does is claimed as self-defense by the USers including Obama, who is in a race to earn 100+ millions like the Clintons after his term expires and Kerry who chooses to consort with other mass-murderers like the current Egyptian regime.
    Some one wrote on this blog that Obama is afraid of the Directorate that runs this country and does not want himself or his family “accidentally” harmed. Ever heard of Salvador Allende, the true President of Chile, who went down in 1974 for his convictions and principles? If O had any scruples and convictions he would put down his life and go down fighting. I never thought he did;;;;;; I wrote on this blog many years ago about the Manchurian Candidate and sure enough that has turned out to be so true.

    1. hunkerdown

      Read the comments. That’s where most of these Reuters propaganda feeds are debunked.

  34. OIFVet

    One can always count on the Black Agenda Report to provide a no holds barred commentary. Margaret Kimberley: “Putin’s foray to Latin America was as audacious as it was shrewd. His presence told Barack Obama that 19th century policy was nothing he felt bound to respect. Not only did Russia breathe new life into struggling left wing regimes, but he offered assistance to Argentina and Brazil with their nuclear power programs before delivering the most important news of all…

    Along with his counterparts from Brazil, India, China and South Africa, Putin announced the creation of a $100 billion BRICS development bank and a currency pool worth an additional $100 billion. Not only did he tell the United States that he wouldn’t take their interference lying down, but he also made it clear that there is another important player in world affairs.”

    Glen Ford:“Washington is embarked on a mad, scorched earth policy to terrorize the planet into submission through relentless escalation into a global state of war. Unable to maintain its dominance through trade and competition, the U.S. goes beyond the brink to plunge the whole planet into a cauldron of death. As Russia is learning, it is extremely difficult to avoid war when a great power insists on imposing it. That was a lesson inflicted on the world 75 years ago, by Nazi Germany.”

    The BAR really gets down to the underlying struggle for dominance that is driving the creation of chaos. Oh, and their coverage on Detroit is outstanding too. Quite the edition of BAR I must say.

    1. Jill

      Thank you for the links to Kimberly and Ford.

      I really do think what we are seeing is the work of “The Family” (see Jeff Sharlot). These people are all over the “leadership” of the US and other parts of the world. They are apocalyptic Christians. In the past apocalyptic Christians have tried to helpfully bring the world to and end for god, (just moving up the time table and all). They believe they are in power because god put them there. When I look at the madness around me, I see that vision being acted on everywhere.

      I do not think this is the only reason for the madness described by Ford, but I think it is an important reason behind it.

      1. Carolinian


        Funny, though, how many of the actors in our world pageant of chaos don’t seem to be Christians at all much less apocalyptic Christians. Doubtless their strings are still being pulled by the Deep State though. That’s the great thing about the Deep State–you can nominate almost anyone as Moriarty since it’s so deep and mysterious.

        And while i like Glen Ford mostly, at times he can be a bit over the top.

        1. Jill

          I urge you to read Jeff Sharlot. You need not be a christian to be a christian. It is very strange, but he explains this concept. So one can, for example, be a muslim and be a Family christian.

          If Glen Ford is going over the top in what he wrote, would you mind saying in what way? What has he said that you think is too much?

          1. Jill

            And to address one final point. Sharlot does name, names. He has the documents. Hokay…?

  35. MRW

    In other words, we may be seeing another case of the U.S. government “fixing the intelligence” around a desired policy outcome, as occurred in the run-up to war with Iraq.

    Which is what everyone I’ve talked to believes since Day One of this incident.

  36. BabyBuyBlue

    A couple of interesting points. Who is Russia’s leading European trade partner? The Netherlands. Who has pledged millions to help the Russians develop a major oil field? Shell. If part of the American endgame in the Ukraine is to bring EU members to heal, gaining the cooperation from the Dutch certainly would be a good place to start. Obviously, these are just facts and, at this point, no evidence exists to indicate anything more. But it’s worth keeping in the back of your mind, and I hadn’t seen these points mentioned above.

  37. Yonatan

    On July 9, Mike Whitney wrote an article in Counterpunch titled ‘Pushing Ukraine to the brink’.

    The article considers US wars and other actions to control resources, focussing on Afghanistan and Ukraine. Afghanistan is central to its pivot policy and Ukraine is a ‘divide and rule’ between Russia and the EU. US corporations hope to gain control of the gas pipeline infrastructure in Ukraine giving a degree of control over both the EU and Russia. One other necessary action is attempts to prevent Southstream going ahead. He considers that US has no Plan B, evidenced by Poroshenko doing the same thing over again expecting different results. Whitney gives a key paragraph ” all Putin has to do is sit-tight and he wins, mainly because the EU needs Moscow’s gas. If energy supplies are terminated or drastically reduced, prices will rise, the EU will slide back into recession, and Washington will take the blame. So Washington has a very small window to draw Putin into the fray, which is why we should expect another false flag incident on a much larger scale than the fire in Odessa. Washington is going to have to do something really big and make it look like it was Moscow’s doing. Otherwise, their pivot plan is going to hit a brick wall.”

    Shooting down an airliner surely is large scale false flag operation.

  38. Doug Terpstra

    The New Republic features an absurd piece of propaganda on internal Russian propaganda that purports to show wacky alternate theories on the crash, courtesy of Paul Craig Roberts, who aptly names TNR “the Queen of 0

      1. Banger

        TNR became the official rag of apparatchiks a couple of decades ago. I view it as the most precise reflection of official thinking in this administration and read it precisely to view the internal dialogue within the administration, particularly the WH.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          TNR as a precise reflection of official US thinking is disturbing, at least based on the ref’d article (don’t read tnr much). It’s full of breathless conjecture, borderline puerile, about rampant Russian foil-hatter theories that make Russians look like paranoid, unhinged nutcases on the verge of war, (even tho some are replays of US theories about the US shootdown of an Iranian airliner in ’88), and Putin alternately in total control or at the mercy of internal forces. (Despite an approval rating over 80%, he’s teetering on the brink of removal?).

          Links are conveniently all in Russian, and I don’t have translator on my phone, but they are certainly unrepresentative of any English versions of Russian media I’ve read. If this is how wars are sold now, it’s really amateur hour — lamestream media indeed.

  39. Fiver

    The slam dunkedness of the US case begs for at least some tangible, authoritative evidence. Yet the scale and vituperative quality of the propaganda barrage, though likely to move the needle significantly, lacked a certain authenticity of mood given the severity of the new situation the tragedy has catalyzed. Where was that sort of party spirit that takes hold of news media going to war?

    I remember early on, shortly after the coup, and after Crimea had voted to join Russia, lots of people were pooh-hoo-ing the notion this could blow up into any sort of war, let alone one where the US, Canada, UK, NATO did just about anything they could to draw Russia into a trap, i.e. attempting to occupy and hold against Ukrainian attacke, the 2 provinces that had voted to join the Russian Federations.

    My thinking re the plane disaster is now more leaning toward a Ukrainian missile launcher unit under the direction of the ultra-right, who had already demonstrated a particularly gruesome attitude towards civilian caualties and war crimes. Ukrain had 27 of these Units, and one was filmed in the area where the passenger plane went down. It is not a great stretch to imagine one of these groups going for some payback, or only half-knowing what they were doing, whatever. Point is there is no reason to believe the ‘rebel mistake’ theory that one could not apply to the Ukraine ‘military’ (and right-wing militia)/

    What I do know is all this idiocy has to stop. The US and Israel and Saudi Arabia can no longer be allowed to play their murderous games with other countries innocents. And only the US public can stop them.

    1. YY

      I hypothesize that only Nazis would have the sick sense to select a Malaysian Airlines plane for the takedown.
      And if such is the case, those who would like to be disassociated from the event should rely on pursuit of clarity rather than hope that somehow no one would find out.

Comments are closed.