Ilargi: Follow The Money All The Way To The Next War

The prospect of unnecessary war has focused Ilargi’s mind. He starts with an important article in Handlesblatt that a record number of NC readers flagged, then turns to an issue we’ve focused on: what is the evidence behind US claims of Russian responsibility for the downing of MH17? After Colin Powell’s Iraq WMD canard, it’s remarkable that anyone accepts “trust me” from American officials, but remarkably, that’s where things stand.

One excuse offered for the failure of the US to support its claims is that the military apparatus does not want to expose its information-gathering capabilities. But there’s another, more obvious reason. The officialdom does not want to establish the precedent of being required to deliver the goods in order to foment war. That would mean they’d be expected to do so in the future, and the failure to be forthcoming would be seen as a sign that the officialdom was making stuff up. Needing to establish the legitimacy of their case would constrain their game.

By Raúl Ilargi Meijer, editor-in-chief of The Automatic Earth. Originally published at Automatic Earth

A lot of people will be paying attention today to the open letter published in his own paper by Gabor Steingart, the publisher of Germany’s leading financial newspaper Handelsblatt. And it’s admittedly not an everyday occurrence when a man like Steingart writes a letter like that. But the content is not that big a deal. He doesn’t call out any lies.

Mind you, the Handelsblatt is not some small paper, it’s Germany’s major financial publication, and Germany is Europe’s largest economic power. For the proper perspective, think of the publisher of the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times writing a major article, in 3 languages, that denounces the politics of their respective governments and the coalitions they are part of.

Thing is, if either of the latter would write such a thing, our first thought would be, and rightly so, that there are political reasons behind it. Steingart’s letter seems to fit that pattern. He doesn’t go so far as to say what the western media are claiming about Ukraine and Russia is wrong, he merely says that ‘our’ politics vis à vis the situation, and Putin in particular, are. Because they harm German interests.

I don’t think that goes nearly far enough. I don’t think we should say that what our politicians and press have claimed over the past 23 days since MH17 crashed is fine, or acceptable, or even pardonable, and that we should simply only try and find a different approach towards Russia going forward, because that would be more constructive. It wouldn’t help us understand, let alone solve, what happened, and more importantly, what’s wrong with us that makes us blindly follow the lies (a.k.a. lack of evidence).

In my view, it’s time for every single one of us to take a few large strides back and look at what evidence there is, and what there is not. When we’re done looking at that, and we know right from wrong, we can assign blame, and perhaps punishment. With a clear conscience. Right now, we have done no such thing, and we risk not ever doing it.

We’re instead engaged in a shouting contest for assigning blame, and we shout so loud precisely because we have no evidence. The louder our screams, the less the evidence seems to matter. In the course of this, we risk doing things that we will not easily, or not at all, be able to take back. We risk doing serious and lasting damage without a shred of evidence. Because our politicians and media tell us that’s the thing to do. It obviously is not.

Since the crash that killed 298 people, I have, right here at The Automatic Earth, been through what evidence I think we should demand, at least the minimum amount of it, before we pass judgment.

Politicians and media tell us the MH17 was brought down with a BUK rocket, but not one square inch of such a rocket was found on the crash site. Which means the involvement of such a rocket is merely a theory, nothing more. Nothing.

We don’t know what information is on the black boxes, though they were handed over to a British lab two weeks or so ago. We don’t know what’s on the Air Traffic Control logs, because those were taken away by the Ukraine Secret Service the day of the crash, and no-one ever heard from them again.

We don’t know why there were Ukraine jets near the MH17 plane when it got hit, but ti’s getting hard to deny that they were there. We don’t know why Ukraine deployed BUK installations in the area not long before July 17.

Malaysia was obviously one of the main parties involved in the crash: it lost many people, and it pretty much lost its major airline, which was delisted and taken over by its government at a huge price. Malaysia’s no. 1 newspaper, The New Straits Times, maybe not quite as big as the Handelsblatt, but still, published this 3 days ago:

US Analysts Conclude MH17 Downed By Aircraft

Intelligence analysts in the United States had already concluded that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by an air-to-air missile, and that the Ukrainian government had had something to do with it. This corroborates an emerging theory postulated by local investigators that the Boeing 777-200 was crippled by an air-to-air missile and finished off with cannon fire from a fighter that had been shadowing it as it plummeted to earth.

In a damning report dated Aug 3, headlined “Flight 17 Shoot-Down Scenario Shifts”, Associated Press reporter Robert Parry said “some US intelligence sources had concluded that the rebels and Russia were likely not at fault and that it appears Ukrainian government forces were to blame”.

In a statement released by the Ukrainian embassy on Tuesday, Kiev denied that its fighters were airborne during the time MH17 was shot down. This follows a statement released by the Russian Defence Ministry that its air traffic control had detected Ukrainian Air Force activity in the area on the same day .[..]

Yesterday, the New Straits Times quoted experts who had said that photographs of the blast fragmentation patterns on the fuselage of the airliner showed two distinct shapes – the shredding pattern associated with a warhead packed with “flechettes”, and the more uniform, round-type penetration holes consistent with that of cannon rounds. [..]

Parry also cited a July 29 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation interview with Michael Bociurkiw, one of the first Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) investigators to arrive at the scene of the disaster, near Donetsk. Bociurkiw is a Ukrainian-Canadian monitor with OSCE who, along with another colleague, were the first international monitors to reach the wreckage after flight MH17 was brought down over eastern Ukraine. In the CBC interview, the reporter in the video preceded it with: “The wreckage was still smouldering when a small team from the OSCE got there. No other officials arrived for days”.

That rhymes with the video of a rebel leader saying nobody came to pick up the bodies, and after 3 days they themselves started doing it – with respect -, because it seemed the right thing to do, and because leaving dead bodies in 3 days of 35ºC heat is a really bad idea. Nobody ever came in the first days.

“There have been two or three pieces of fuselage that have been really pockmarked with what almost looks like machinegun fire; very, very strong machinegun fire,” Bociurkiw said in the interview. Parry had said that Bociurkiw’s testimony is “as close to virgin, untouched evidence and testimony as we’ll ever get. Unlike a black-box interpretation-analysis long afterward by the Russian, British or Ukrainian governments, each of which has a horse in this race, this testimony from Bociurkiw is raw, independent and comes from one of the two earliest witnesses to the physical evidence. [..]

Retired Lufthansa pilot Peter Haisenko had also weighed in on the new shootdown theory with Parry and pointed to the entry and exit holes centred around the cockpit. “You can see the entry and exit holes. The edge of a portion of the holes is bent inwards. These are the smaller holes, round and clean, showing the entry points most likely that of a 30mm caliber projectile. [..]

“It had to have been a hail of bullets from both sides that brought the plane down. This is Haisenko’s main discovery. You can’t have projectiles going in both directions — into the left-hand-side fuselage panel from both its left and right sides — unless they are coming at the panel from different directions. “Nobody before Haisenko had noticed that the projectiles had ripped through that panel from both its left side and its right side. This is what rules out any ground-fired missile,” Parry had said.

Ironclad evidence? Certainly not. But no less credible than what we’ve heard thus far, and what nigh all western opinion is based on, much of which, especially in the first days, came from the US repeating what Kiev government social media said, information that has since all been torn to bits, or 99% of it: no source has less reliable than Kiev.

Come to think of it, if ever you needed proof that the Ukraine government consists of a set of handpuppets, you can now be satisfied. PM Yatsenyuk announced on Friday that the country considers shutting off the Russian pipelines under its territory, so no gas can be delivered to Europe.

Ukraine would not dare say any such thing of its own accord. The Ukraine ‘leaders’ are handpuppets to US and EU interests. In turn, EU leaders are US handpuppets, or they would have never accepted a list of sanctions that hurt them, but not America. It spells ‘follow the money’ all the way to the next war. They all sing the same tune, and as long as they can get the majority of their people to go along, they can take it further. And risk doing serious and lasting damage. Without a shred of evidence.

Do read Steingart’s The Escalation of Politics: The West Has Lost Direction , and do read Dmitry Orlov’s reaction to it, but don’t forget, it’s important you make up your own mind about all this.

To that end, may I suggest y’all write to your Congressmen and MPs or whatever they’re called where you are, and your newspapers and TV outlets, and ask them to provide you the proof that either the east Ukrainians or the Russians, or all of the above, those parties that everyone today lays the blame on, are responsible for the crash of flight MH17. And that they crashed it on purpose, which is not a minor detail.

If you don’t receive- detailed – proof from anyone, that should tell you a lot. Don’t accept some ‘trust us’ line, that won’t do. Go for actual evidence. I for one would like to see some, any, evidence. I’d like to know what happened. And nobody wants to tell me.

I’d like to know so I can stop thinking about it, and writing about it, but most of all so I no longer have to listen to all the lies my ‘own people’ tell me 24/7.

Sometimes it makes me feel like I’m some kind of second class citizen, just because I don’t like war party talk, and I want to see with my own eyes, and judge with my own brain.

I should never have to feel like that just for asking questions. And if I do have to, that means there’s something wrong with ‘my people’.

Or, sure, with me.

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  1. Christopher Dale Rogers


    Although Ilargi is sceptical of the “Steingart letter”, as I said at the time of reading it on this forum, it actually read like a breath of fresh air from someone acting in a sane and rational manner – that he is part of the German elite made it all the better to read and consider – the subtext of the letter was clear, Steingart was against the “sabre rattling” and this can only be a positive.

    Further, and as I enquire often now, I’m struck that the “anti-Putin/Russia” bile being exhibited by the EU is counterproductive and seems against the EU’s economic interests. The Steingart letter backs this contention up and demonstrates conclusively for me a desire by some in the ruling elite to reconsider their views on the “Nation-State” and supranational bodies such as the EU. Steingart clearly is projecting a Nation-State argument, which means looking at issues via the lens of “is this trajectory good for Germany or does it undermine Germany and its own national interest.” Clearly he’s opposed to talk of war with Russia and the crass sanctions that have been imposed by puppets of US imperialism.

    Invoking the spirit of Lord Palmerston, who’s famous dictum should never be removed from its actuality, this being that from the early part of the 18th Century the UK’s national interest in Europe was best achieved by maintaining the balance of power between the Great Powers, Steingart is actually invoking this, namely: “that Britain had no eternal allies and no perpetual enemies, only interests that were eternal and perpetual.” And this theme runs strong in the Steingart Letter, for here Steingart is demanding Merkel invoke what’s in the German national interest, and this runs counter to US national interests, which it would seem it has none given the fact that Washington DC and its numerous policymakers only have their interests at heart, rather than the nation itself, something Chomsky highlights continually in many of his US critiques.

    As for the other issues Ilargi highlights, its plain to see that regardless of who is to blame for the downing of the MAL flight, the power elite in Washington wish to use this incident as a “false flag” to fan the flames of war against Putin and Russia, with its ultimate goal either being the removal of Putin and his replacement with a more compliant leader, or the removal of what military prowess Russia still has to turn the country into another basal state, whereby all its abundance of natural wealth can be utilised by the US oligarchs in furthering their own personal interests and increasing their own wealth exponentially, as if they were not wealthy enough already.

    1. tesla

      the only thing that will lead germany away from ww3 is self interest and that is why putin is playing the long ball.

      a major newspaper cannot and will not publish a tirade with a string of accusations of major politicians lying . why? because they will get screwed.

      a major paper however can public ‘controversial’ opinions when they are dressed up in highly political language that doesn’t step on any toes while seizing on a small toe of the truth that people want to hear.

      the ultimate criticism here is that , if indeed the united states through an numer of financial maneuvers can make it in germany interest , self interest—to not want to benefit from trading with putin—then the u.s. will be in a position to lead germany, as well as japan on the other side of the globe—-to war against russia and china respectively.

      the obvious problem here is the americans need to bring the germans ‘out of their shells’ to regain their aggression they lost with their surrender at the end of ww2. a few false flags could possibly fix that.

      the german oligarchy and corporatist overstructure certainly doesn’t give a rats ass about anything other than raw power. same as it ever was and will be….

      1. susan the other

        Toward the end of the Handelsblatt op ed there was a comment to the effect that what is really going on here is the US protecting its “Eurasian” oil. North Eurasia specifically. I’m sure that includes all parts of the Caspian that are not nailed down. Which would probably be all of the Caspian not under strict Russian military control. I’m fixated on the Caspian because 15 years ago it was hyped as a virtually endless supply of oil; remember The Prize? And then silence. Nobody today even mentions the name. So I speculate this about that: US interests are not muddled at all. In fact they are as in-your-face as any nation’s interests could possibly be. We want control of Middle East oil; and the cherry on top is the Caspian. And more to the point, we do not want China sneaking in the back door. Which China is very skillful at doing. China seems to play fair with her foreign relations. We, the US at least, have always been generous with our big oil allies as well; not so much with other resources. Certainly as far as our exports of finance go we are the proverbial, and shameful, economic hitman of the planet. But oil is our one guiding interest. Cooking up a war with Russia, imo, is not what is going on here. It will all blow over (hopefully). We are setting a hostile stage against China’s interests. Regarding the downing of MH17: If there were machine gun-like holes in the fuselage that pretty much settles the argument. I was suspecting it was a bomb rigged in Amsterdam and strategically detonated over UIkraine. But it’s all sort of 6s, except for the fact that it looks like the evidence points straight to us. We must all finally learn how ruthless “our country” is. It goes on until we win: today a plane crashed taking off from Teheran airport.

        1. Scylla

          Remember that Putin has been the loudest voice calling for the formation of the so-called BRICS bank. This is going to be a direct alternative to the IMF and Worldbank and it is slated to begin making loans in 2016. The IMF and World bank are the two greatest tools wielded by western corporate interests to create economic vassal states, and it is very possible that the BRICS bank will break the back of dollar/corporate hegemony. I think there is a huge interest in bringing down Putin, Russia, and anyone else that has helped/is helping bring this about.

          Just my opinion.

          1. susan the other

            I know. When we pushed Russia into China’s arms it was kind of a dead giveaway. We want Russia, with its massive oil resources, to supply China, and help us protect our “Eurasian” oil supplies, which we want to sell to Europe and maybe take the rest for North America. And voila! Russia did just that. And China too. I mean – that was just too easy. And it promptly began the BRIC consortium. So this can’t be without our blessing, imo. We need a bifurcated world. Russia, China, India and to some degree Brazil and Argentina (who now hates us severely and with reasonable cause). Because the US is stressed to the max trying to orchestrate the whole damn world. We might not be as bad as we look; we might just be in way over our hubristic heads.

        2. toldjaso

          Connect the Big Covet for Caspian and Black Sea resources with Globalist “Khazar” lust in RothZioState+Khazar Diaspora, expressed by Generalissima Nuland for the “Kagan” Khaganate from The City unto HSBC, advanced by the WZC/WJC/BIS/NATO Permanent Putsch featuring militant Yanks and Coca Cola on ICE for endless derivatives to every MOT in harness.

        3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          There is an understandable residual tendency to ascribe other motives beside raw, evil money- and power-seeking to Americans, especially in the wake of our world-saving anti-fascist efforts in WWII. Faced with an unassailable avalanche of facts, however, from 1953 Guatemala through the Shah/Mosadegh, through Vietnam and Panama and Nicaragua and Libya and Iraq and Afghanistan and Ukraine, in addition to US global financial crime on a Leviathan scale, topped with our relentless pre-crime spy assault on the world’s citizens and leaders…people of any remaining judgement must drop this “freebie” tendency. Just the facts, ma’am: America is the bloodthirsty apex world bully and can no longer be assumed to have aw shucks innocent or even neutral motives.
          History is a tale of nations aligning to oppose tyrannical empires, a process that now seems well under way.

  2. psychohistorian

    The call for war is a distraction from the wheels falling off the global debt can kicking process.

    How do we have a world war and not kill almost everyone in the process? Is that a feature or a bug? Will those who are left think the process was worth it?

    Party on!!!!!

    1. Christopher Dale Rogers

      Yes, it could be a case of “circuses” for the masses, regrettably it seems that the “bread” part is missing from all their equations, which does not augur well shall I say as it clearly demonstrates how crass the mentality is within DC and the Beltway.

      Not too sure about the EU though, perhaps they desire to take peoples minds off the disaster they have instigated in the Southern periphery and Ireland. As for the UK, well that’s a difficult one to answer, for not only have our masters embraced “austerity” on steroids for the masses, they have neglected to remember if you are browbeating the masses you require a disciplined and compliant police force and reasonably large military apparatus, both of which our Masters are cutting, which proves how crazed they have become in their own hubris.

  3. Yata

    It seems to me the U.S. government has put quite a bit of time and effort into this coup. I have to wonder what lengths are they willing to go to see it to fruition.

    1. jgordon

      They have put time into it, but they have also been unexpectedly frustrated again and again in their efforts to grab resources/incite war. I suppose having a government owned and run by corporate oligarchs makes for a government that can produce neither good nor effective policy. Certainly their goals are of the blackest evil, but it’s increasingly coming into question whether or not they have sufficient competency to implement their evil designs. Being known as a duplicitous, evil liar is one thing; but being known as incompetent laughingstocks as well must truly be gut-wrenching.

      1. trish

        ” been unexpectedly frustrated again and again in their efforts to grab resources/incite war”
        true. at least in this particular case. especially when many of (their usual allies) the elite (European or american) go and complain because all this stuff is threatening their interests. That’s a problem.

        but (and perhaps I’m too cynical) they have a vast amassed power within our no-longer-democracy corporate security state from which to draw.

        And they have distraction (ebola and ISIS- terrorist-fundamentalists beheading everyone in their path!- and there’s Gaza… so Americans are nicely insecure, and simultaneously “secure” in being Americans, here, away. from all that).

        and the initial MSM PR/con was effective- much of the public I think do (still!) see this as evil Russians. Or saw. they’re on to other things (distractions) now.
        And I think that those Americans who may not accept the “trust me” from American officials quite so much simply don’t care much about the Ukraine…

        It seems the neoliberals may not get what they stupidly thought would be easier to grab, but they haven’t “lost” completely either. They’re working hard in multiple areas/ways to extend, cement the grab, to grab what they can.

        re “a government owned and run by corporate oligarchs makes for a government that can produce neither good nor effective policy.” good, effective policy for them is policy that effectively works for their good. and they’ve been producing plenty of this, despite their arrogant misjudgment re Ukraine.

    2. Yonatan

      Something like Operation Northwoods, which was intended to lead to regime change in Cuba?

      “These sickening plans called for innocent American civilians to be shot, for Cuban refugees to be blown up, for violent and continued acts of terrorism to be perpetrated in major American cities, for innocents to be framed for bombings, and for planes to be hijacked.

      This would then be blamed on Fidel Castro and Cuba, thus inciting hatred for him and Communism, and instigating the public backing that the JCS needed as an excuse to launch the preplanned war.”

      The US CIA/military seriously considered murdering US citizens in order to frame Cuba. These people are psychopaths.

      1. Ray Phenicie

        “Something like Operation Northwoods, which was intended to lead to regime change in Cuba.”
        Which was morphed into Operation ‘another Pearl Harbor is needed’ so the World Trade Center came down. Along with about 1800 civilians there and 650,000 or more in Iraq. Along with about 1-3
        million refugees in Iraq.

  4. OutsideLookingIn

    “but don’t forget, it’s important you make up your own mind about all this.”

    I’ve made up my mind to never make up my mind about all this, as I cannot now contemplate hearing from any source I could unequivocately give credence to.

    1. mikkel

      Yeah I gave up during the Libya adventure and feel much more sane for it. I realized that the conceit that I could be an armchair arbiter of truth was both delusional and gave more power to propagandists. It feels much more realistic to spend energy working on efforts to undermine the reasons for the geopolitical gamesmanship in the first place.

      1. Jacrabbit

        This is about a potential war in Ukraine and possibly a world war, not just 298 passengers on a plane.

        Its also about a just world. Do you want to live in a world where a plane is downed or and nobody asks any questions?

        1. hunkerdown

          To those who adhere to particular pro-life ideologies, quantity is everything and quality (e.g. justice) is someone else’s problem.

        2. Dirk77

          Far from it. All this handwringing over MH17 seems less about justice for the ones who died and more about interest in your own satisfaction in solving a puzzle. That plane could have downed by a Russian rocket fired personally by Putin and it doesn’t come near to what has gone on in the Middle East in the last 12 years.

          And this plane downing causing a war? Please. The only way that is going to happen is if people forget about the last 12 years, forget Tonkin Gulf, etc., which was the whole point of my post – you know the one you pissed all over?

  5. sd

    If the plane was shot down, then the passengers would be witnesses. Surely in this day and age of the ubiquitous smartphone, some one shot video or took a photo before the plane disintegrated. Whether or not the data survived the crash is another matter. But it seems an important detail to rule out.
    That said, not immediately getting to the crash site facilitates the natural destruction of evidence from fire.

    1. paul

      You don’t see that much out of a plane window and how many would have the poise to compose a photo even if they worked out wtf was happening?

      1. sufferin succotash

        Explosive decompression at 33,000 feet? Everyone gets sucked out of the plane instantly.

        1. Ray Phenicie

          I believe the article points to the possibility that many dozens of rounds of gunfire to the fore of the ship caused it to go down as the pilots were killed and/or the controls of the plane were shot to smithereens. There were many if not all of the 287 bodies that were recovered at the same location as the plane.

    2. timbers

      “If the plane was shot down, then the passengers would be witnesses. Surely in this day and age of the ubiquitous smartphone, some one shot video or took a photo before the plane disintegrated.”

      Maybe, but the smart phone person would have to act very quickly, if the CIA report is correct in it’s guess that air-to-air missile hit the plane, followed by air-to-air gun fire to finish it off.

    3. Yonatan

      MH17 was attacked b a small military jet from below, possibly several kilometers away if it used its air-to-air missiles. It probably wouldn’t trigger the collision detection system in MH17. It would be a speck in the sky out of view of everyone on board. The first the pilots would know would be an explosion of the engines if that was hit first or nothing if the cockpit interior was shredded by shrapnel or cannon fire.

  6. John

    Getting solid proof for assessing blame on what is going on Ukraine’s border with Russia is shady at best. Neither Russia nor the USA are providing the public with what they know from their intelligence sources on the shoot down.

    However, people need to pay attention to what key officials are stating and not to politicians (nor media talking heads) who are spewing nonsense. Officials in a position of authority are looking for proof, which is the right thing to do.

    Innocent people are still dying, which, unfortunately, is absent from the discussion. War is already here in Europe whether people realize it or not. The grudge match between Russia and the West has been simmering for some time. European countries adjacent to Russia are alarmed and have a wary view of what is happening. MH17 is part of a bigger political mess being played out by powerful political forces. Neither side is backing down, on the contrary, but is actually escalating.

    1. Christopher Dale Rogers


      Could you please instruct us which nations/supranational institutions are doing the ramping up with regards the crisis underling in the Ukraine?

      Your own links provided say it all, it’s the Kiev horehound, the USA, NATO and the EU that’s doing all the ramping up, whilst the Russian’s have given all kinds of conciliatory overtures since it absorbed the Crimea into the Russian Federation – you can see this by the fact that the Duma was instructed to rescind powers given to Putin to directly intervene in the disputed Russian-majority regions of Ukraine.

      The downing of the MAL flight added a further layer to the crisis and has been used by the West to ratchet up extreme accusations against Russia, none of which would stand up to any scrutiny in a court of law, but still the accusations against Putin and Russia come thick and fast.

      At this juncture in time its Kiev forces bombing and shelling Federalist positions close to the Russian boarder, which can only have two possible reasons behind them, either ethnic cleansing of the Russian Ukrainian’s, or to force Putin’s/Russia’s hand into giving overt military assistance by actually sending troops into the disputed areas. Thus far Putin has played it quite cool and not fallen for this brazen provocative trap laid by the Kiev fascist government.

      Further, the US has imposed strict sanctions on Russia and expected the EU to do the same, despite the fact that any sanctions against Russia would have a far greater impact on the EU-members, rather than the USA and its other lapdogs. What’s even more farcical is the way the EU vacillated in imposing sanctions to satiate its US master, believe those areas it focused on would not enrage the bear too much – basically they wanted their cake and wanted to be able to eat their cake, which did not amuse the Russian’s who retaliated with sanctions of their own aimed at undermining the EU/USA consensus. This being both a logical and realpolitik thing to do as the last thing the Russian’s want is encirclement by hostile powers, and yet this is the very thing the USA is trying to achieve, hence its policies towards the Ukraine and backing for the openly fascist administration.

      One could go on to labour the point, but the fact remains that its the USA that’s invoking its “madman” foreign policy as usual, which as Chomsky has noted, has been at the heart of US foreign policy since the 1950s.

    2. timbers

      John, you say

      “Neither Russia nor the USA are providing the public with what they know from their intelligence sources on the shoot down.”

      Are you sure that is correct? Because I’ve read Russia has shown it’s intelligence data to Europe, while the article lists various evidence the U.S. is withholding thus far.

      “Officials in a position of authority are looking for proof, which is the right thing to do.”

      John, did you read the article? It seems “Officials in a position of authority” are hiding “proof” and yet everyone from Obama to Hillary are saying “Russia created the conditions that made this happen” when in fact Obama/USA did.

      Also, Chritsopeher Dale Rogers point on how USA, NATO, EU are ramping up war hysteria, not Russia.

      1. MtnLife

        The data the Russians have shown has been civilian or low-end military. Both sides know what really happened without a doubt. I think Russia has chosen the smart way to cast doubt on the US/Kiev provided narrative. They could probably prove it without revealing the full extent of their surveillance capabilities but there is a difference between merely disproving someone’s theory (ideology) versus disproving, ridiculing, and publicly embarrassing them. The former can diffuse tensions whereas the latter can escalate when a fragile ego is involved. Especially a nuclear armed, power mad, exceptionally fragile ego. Russia’s strategy is to slowly chip away at the facade of moral superiority that America projects to reorganize allegiances/sway world opinion.

        1. Jackrabbit

          The ‘smart thing'(tm) to do would be to distribute key info to other countries early on. Trying to refute false info after it is released is difficult. Other parties have to have what you believe/know to be true beforehand.

          This could be why the US/West is proceeding carefully.

  7. John Merryman

    If they fail to start this war, the supreme irony will be because they shot their wad on Iraq and Afghanistan.

  8. MikeNY

    Without a good war, we’ll NEVER get our economy back on track, people. Jobs! Growth! Priorities!

    — America’s “Defense” Industry

      1. fresno dan

        Jim Haygood
        August 10, 2014 at 1:37 pm

        I thought you were opposed to ZIRP?
        (I assume you mean “I” as a proxy for USA)
        But if you want the USA to declare war on ZIRP, you should consider how “successful” the war on cancer was, the war on drugs was ……..uh, and the war on Iraq and the war on Afghanistan was (or does changing “on” to “in” change the outcome of the war somehow???)

  9. par4

    On the bright side everyone concerned about global warming can start worrying about nuclear winter.

    1. Christopher Dale Rogers

      You omitted to add its an excellent method of “population” control, so only with a handful of people left after a full-scale nuclear exchange, not only can we preempt global warming, but the coming population catastrophe, so much easier than genocide, which may resonate uneasily with some of our masters – I’m going long on manufacturers of NBC shelters, NBC suits and other survivalist necessities.

        1. The Dork of Cork

          The Nuclear winter argument was essentially a political rather then scientific one.
          Carl Sagan and the lads essentially tried to stop the doctor strangeloves of this world using dubious science.

        2. hunkerdown

          But how many elites will the glowing condemned take down with them? Ideas worth spreading!

  10. The Dork of Cork

    Too much weight is put on the pretext for war here.
    Prussian soldiers raping some Belgium nuns or someone or other shooting down a plane is not the reason for war.
    In the modern context the big wars are about renationalizing claims so that the production distribution and consumption process can form a unbroken loop again.
    There is another way – giving people back their wealth without preconditions but alas this will never happen as can be most clearly seen in Ireland
    The mortgages will never be shredded and the land given back to the people.

    The objective of war in the east is to reinvigorate the economies of the Western approaches , France and perhaps even Spain.
    To essentially reignite their scarcity engines.

  11. tgs

    At this stage I would need to extremely compelling evidence that the Ukrainians didn’t shoot down MH17 in order to change my mind. It has been evident for weeks that the ‘west’ has no interest in an investigation. The role of the media in this has been a disgrace.

    What is particularly irksome are posts talking about a propaganda war. Russia has been trying to dial down the tensions for months now to no avail while Washington and the ‘west’ have continued to escalate. neo-liberalism is a vicious, avaricious system. But the fact that it is willing to risk nuclear was surprises even me.

    1. Brindle

      Neo-liberalism reminds me of the the character in “No Country For Old Men”, Anton Chigurh (Played Javier Bardem in the film). He is a relentless killer, seemingly half borg–half human. He is a walking, sometimes talking, human TINA/Sharknado.

    2. Jagger

      What is sad is it doesn’t matter now who shot down that plane. The powers that be have already sold the product to the public even without evidence. I guarantee you that 5 years from now, even if it is definitely proved that the Ukraine shot that plane down, you will find substantial numbers of people that will say that Russia shot down that plane.

      And the powers that be were able to move forward on their goals without proving anything. The power of the big lie is very effective when the media goes all in.

  12. mellon

    The best reaction is WHO CARES-

    Let them fight it out themselves, as its THEIR problem, hands OFF.

    Otherwise we will forever be manipulated and literally terrorized by shadowy groups who want the US to intervene in this conflict or that. AND SUCCEED.

    Isolationism in these regional conflicts makes sense. We are not going to be able to solve their problems.

    1. Ray Phenicie

      The point is that the officialdom in the US is already deeply involved in the Ukraine-up to the hilt. The people who sit in the Oval Office, some few in the Congress and many inside the corporate lobbying posts along the Potomac are also involved and committed to keeping the war in Ukraine going as fodder to feed the home fires around those swampy tide pools that are sometimes decorated with marble statuary. “We need this Ukraine thing to be Front and Center” says the chief of the Praetorian guard from his palatial abode
      And so it is and so it goes; the American Czars and Czarinas of the military-industrial complex have one skill set and they are practicing it with great virtuosity-bang the drum of war loudly.

      1. Ray Phenicie

        And believe you me, if the princes of the war mongering industry want to pauperize the country-drag you and me into this-which they are-they will do it. We have few choices on this except to throw the baggage carriers into the Potomac.

  13. geoff

    The New Straits Times article incorrectly identifies Robert Parry as an Associated Press reporter. Parry is a FORMER AP reporter.

    1. Ned Ludd

      As some background, during his 10 years with the Associated Press, Parry won the George Polk Award and broke many of the biggest stories around Iran-Contra. He was the first to expose the role of Oliver North.

      Parry left the AP after editors blocked his “comprehensive expose of drug-trafficking by the Nicaraguan contras“, which was published only after the AP’s Spanish-language wire distributed it by mistake. Parry also discovered that his boss was regularly conferring with Oliver North.

      Parry then joined Newsweek, where he linked the Reagan White House to the Iran-Contra cover-up and exposed: “domestic propaganda apparatus overseen by CIA Director William Casey, the CIA’s covert political operations inside Nicaragua, and hidden deals between the U.S. government and Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.”

  14. Eureka Springs

    Well I hope Ilargi will revisit the suggestion in this post title and pen a follow the money post soon. As for the rest I think Ilargi and the rather tepid letter by Mr. Steingart ultimately ask us to believe the liars at some point. I mean, seriously… ask our congresscritters or any other government official to be honest? Does Ilargi hear himself here?

    If I recall correctly the Brits have had the data recorder since July 22….. Far too long. Plenty long enough to edit or manufacture a completely new set of data… which is exactly what we should expect from these serial liars, serial manufacturers of lies. Never believe the US or UK governments, evah! Nor their Nazi coup puppets who overthrew the Ukrainian government bloody foaming at the mouth to begin mass murdering. And no, Mr. Stiengart, Russia did not Annex Crimea. I do not understand how so many can believe and or perpetuate that (easy to discern) lie while expecting anyone else to take them seriously. With or without the downed plane ALL of these monsters (US/UKR) should be facing war crimes trials with what we do know now.

  15. toldjaso

    “warhead packed with ‘flechettes'” — “flechettes” are the *tell* of ZioState arms : the “specialite de l’empirerogue de la maisonrouge”. Follow the money and the weaponsdna signature.

  16. YoungExPat

    I’m an American who lives in Russia, but is currently visiting friends in Europe.

    A few weeks ago my European friends were all in my face with “How could Russia shoot down that plane??” Since then, it’s been fun watching their iron-clad certainty about what is actually happening in Eastern Ukraine dissolve like a vitamic C wafer in a glass of water. They can’t explain why the United States has not produced a shred of evidence. And they can’t explain why Kiev redirected the flight over an active war zone. They can’t even really justify Ukraine’s “anti-terror” campaign, which involves shelling and bombing residential areas, displacing and killing civilians, all in the name of EU/Western Enlightenment. (And our old friend, Austerity.)

    Can we please just state the obvious, here? The United States has had WEEKS to back up their claims…..Do we still have to pretend that their narrative is credible?

    Anyway, here’s the take-away: Americans still might have their heads in the sand (they always will, poor slobs), but Europeans know that something is deeply fishy.

    1. OIFVet

      We had a dinner with a Dutch friend last night. When the conversation got to Ukraine, she was shocked to learn that Ukie ATC redirected the flight further north over rebel territory, that the Brits have had the black boxes for a while now but no data has been released, that the SBU confiscated the communications between ATC and MH17, that there had been Ukie military plane near MH17. This is an intelligent person, but unfortunately her news uptake is from MSM. She was rather flabbergasted that none of this info is being covered by the Dutch and British media she follows.

  17. toldjaso

    Recall the cliche: If it walks like a duck, etc. — the imperial modus operandi unto “ISIS” in the “MENA” implements the RothRhodesZiocreed of the PNAC Duck, penned by the GlobalZioGovernanceAgency of the RothRhodesZvi Elect twofer “citizens” in America.

    To comprehend the (ISIS) frame fully, please read.every.word of the essay by Adeyinka Makinde:
    “Debacle of a ‘Great Game’: the Islamic state (IS) and America’s War on Iraq and Syria”
    posted today, Sunday 10 August 2014, at — and
    Investigate at your leisure the essays/books by Michel Chossudovsky showing evidence of the same.

    “American PuppetPrezies&Co. STILL “just follow orders” insinuated from on high, from 1913 through today.
    RothRhodesIsrael is the “brain” and RothRockWashington D.C. is the “brawn” of this ZioGlobalGovernance Golem Gonzoshow. The “militant” fodder and all “other” genocide targets are the potential “holocaust” (sacrifice by fire) to their Moloch for their .01%DNA Imperial Gain, as The Great Game Moves On.

    Why are “mercenaries” such as “alQ” and “IS” and “Global Polizei” and FEMA required? To ensure that the “Trauma Bond” works only to the benefit of the “Globalist”/ex”International” .01%DNA and their .99%Agency, pitting their 1% against the Other 99%. It’s the the .01%DNA Imperium + .99%Agency Killer Whores vs. “The Rest”. The rule of The Law Merchant, and the meticulous calculations of the Players in The Great Game ensure that human bonding and independent human communication is kept to a minimum.

    Even Benjamin Franklin toed the line in his day: (“Join or die”), but he did it to advance the success of the mutiny of the founders against King George (Slave to Bullioneer Bosses) on a very cruel Ship of FIRE State.

    What if another timely mutiny should occur in America today?

    “Suppose the lions all get up and go,
    And all the brooks and soldiers run away;
    Will time say nothing but I told you so?
    If I could tell you, I would let you know.”
    (from W.H. Auden’s “If I Could Tell You” 1940)

  18. Jackrabbit

    There has been a lot of speculation already but I find two things troubling that I haven’t seen discussed:

    1) The damage to the cockpit seems like the pilots were targeted (see “left cockpit panel”). It looks like a section of the cockpit was blown out. And damage across the wing may confirm as it appears to run in direction away from the cockpit (see “left wingtip” – shrapnel from a missile that blew up near the cockpit or damage from a piece of the cockpit that was blow out?) I’ve heard that BUK missiles explode above and many anti-aircraft missiles are heat seekers (will blow up near an engine) so how likely is it that a missile would’ve damaged the cockpit at this exact point and with such a pattern? And while there does seem to be some bullet holes, they are not extensive enough and unlikely to be directed well enough to tear out a section of the cockpit skin.

    2) It seems to me that the best scenario for any CIA/SBU planner would be to have the plane crash in Russia. But Russian radar showed that the plane circled back. Note: some have suggested that this may have been due to a hit on an engine which eliminated thrust and created drag.But whatever the reason, it seems that the ‘plan’ went awry.

    A crash in Russia and a claim that a Russian warplane attacked MH17 would set up Russia for a charge of tampering with the evidence of their own culpability. From a planner’s perspective, this would be much better than having the crash site in a Separatist area and consistent with the barrage of blame and innuendo that had been directed at Russia in the weeks prior (including the claim of a Russian fighter plane attack a few days before). Some have suggested that the goal could’ve been to have the plane come down in the ‘cauldron’ where Ukrainian troops were encircled, but I disagree. Rescuing these troops would only be a tactical victory. Maximum strategic benefit would be gained by depicting all Russian actions as criminal or suspect.

    Also note: Two or three days before the crash of MH17, the Ukrainians claimed that Russian planes had fired on/downed one of their military planes. But they warned that the Separatists had BUKs only hours before the crash – despite the fact that the Separatists had themselves claimed to have captured a BUK (probably not a full complement) a few days before. So the Russian plane attack seems much more relevant to any planning for downing an airliner.


    To have MH17 “attacked” over Ukrainian territory but land in Russia requires a predictable fall. Explosive decompression is messy and leads to unpredictable results. It seems like the best way to ensure that the plane falls where you want it to is to kill the pilots and stop the engines. Wouldn’t this be best done with a bomb in the cockpit? This could explain the section of the cockpit being blown out and other cockpit damage that appear to be exit holes.

    Ukrainian military planes at the height necessary to target MH17 pilots would’ve been visible to Russian radar. Maybe the planners wouldn’t care for this ‘detail’ since Russia was being set up as an unreliable source of data? But if they did care, then it seems that placing a bomb in the cockpit would’ve been the best way to accomplish what they sought to do. If so, did the ‘op’ may go bad because one of the pilots lived? Was the SU-25 was shooting at a plane that was returning and had lost altitude? Instead of attacking the plane at 33,000 ft – a feat which many here and elsewhere have been skeptical of – perhaps the SU-25 attacked at a much lower altitude. And, did the SU-25 target the (surviving) pilot(s) because he/she might issue (or continue to issue) a mayday/distress call?

    Note: Some have noted that an Israeli company handles security at the Dutch airport that the train took off from and have speculated that Kolomoisky’s Dniep ATC might have been directing MH17 when it was attacked.

    There have been many misleading and shifting explanations and an apparent desire to suppress info. Assuming that the ATC recordings and black box info will not be available or may be compromised means that investigators must explore every avenue for insight. I think it would be important for someone who is more knowledgeable than I to calculate where the plane would’ve crashed if it had fallen in the most predictable way from the point that it was first struck/attacked. Would that have been in Russia?

    (apologies for the lengthy comment)
    H O P

    1. Jackrabbit

      Where MH17 would’ve crashed is only one ‘piece of the puzzle’ but it seems like an important one as it is suggestive of planning – or no planning (because a crash in Russia seems too advantageous to not have been planned). ‘No planning’ would indicate an accidental downing.

    2. Jacrabbit

      Using the damage on the wing, wouldn’t it be possible to determine if it was caused by shrapnel from a missile or a section of the cockpit that is blown out? A missile would have blown up some distance from the cockpit so the angle/arch of damage on the wing would reflect that. And I think we already know how fast the plane was traveling.

      Any aeronautical engineers out there?

    3. Crazy Horse

      (Since NC has elected to run Ilargi’s article in its entirety I’ve moved my yesterday comments over this more appropriate section)

      “I just read Ilargi’s (The Automatic Earth) summary of the current evidence surrounding the downing of Flight MH 17. Seems that a Canadian investigator was on the scene while the wreckage was still smoking and before it was sealed off by heavy fighting instigated by the Ukrainians. No sign of any surface missile attack but lots of nice .30 caliber holes in the cockpit area. And the Brits are still working on their black box laundry job while the air traffic control tapes are firmly in the hands of the Ukrainian secret service. Or more likely mere ashes in the incinerator.

      Since the US has produced no factual evidence whatever to support its claims we must rely on that released for public examination by the Russians.

      The evidence points toward the following sequence of events:
      –MH17 was ordered by Ukrainian air traffic to divert onto a flight path where it could be targeted by a Ukrainian fighter jet.
      –The fighter jet fired an air to air missile but probably hit only one engine, causing the180 degree reversal of course reported by Russian radar.
      – The fighter jet then finished off the job using it’s 30 caliber machine guns, thus accounting for the observed bullet holes entering from both sides of the aircraft cockpit.

      First, let us realize that the US spy agencies know exactly what happened. The most sophisticated electronic spy ship in the world was stationed within range, and a spy satellite passed over at exactly the time of the attack. With cameras capable of reporting the color of nail polish used by Ex-General Petraeus’ mistress, the information is all there, and likely on Obama’s monitor as it happened.

      If this is how the plane was brought down that ends any speculation as to what faction had the means to commit the crime. Let’s consider motive next:

      1- The Ukrainian government, acting alone, engineered the attack to place the blame on the Russians to aid their war financing and extract more money from their US backers.
      2- The attack was a botched false flag attack of the type the US has used repeatedly as pretext for war. It was planned and coordinated by US contract operatives in coordination with one of the private oligarch armies that constitute the Ukrainian military. Had the wounded airliner not turned back it would have crashed near or in Russian territory making the blame game easier to sell.

      The US propaganda attack on Russia was prepared in advance as the opening shot in a policy of economic warfare against Russia which has proceeded with no reference to facts or justification. Just good business for Warfare State and all the corporate vampires that profit from supplying it. And there might be a personal grudge as well— Obama can’t have liked being made to look like a boy by Putin as Putin skillfully defused his poison gas false flag attack and planned war in Syria a few months back.

      So two explanations fit the evidence. Take your pick.”

      1. Jackrabbbit

        What you write agrees with my conjecture that planners would have wanted to down the plane inside Russia. I hope someone can do an analysis that includes calculations showing that this is what was actually attempted (I am also open to proving the opposite).

        But your scenario doesn’t adequately explain the damage on the side of the plane near the cockpit. It doesn’t seem like bullets alone would do that, and it seems too well targeted to the cockpit/pilot to be a missile. No has (yet) talked of a missing or missile-damaged engine, either.

    4. Jackrabbit

      From the next day’s links (brought back here because it is relevant to this comment). My thinking is now more in line with Crazy Horse.


      Today I read about the R-60 missile (also see: expanding-rod warhead) that is carried by the SU-25 and which is conjectured to be the air-to-air missile that would’ve been fired at MH17. I think it helps in thinking through what may have happened.

      I was thinking that in any kind of ‘false flag’ it would be important to kill the pilots – and doing so at 33,000 ft was difficult to do reliably without a bomb having been placed on board. But an R-60 is designed to slice through the fuselage or wing, causing catastrophic damage and bring the aircraft down quickly. Much less need to kill the pilots.

      But the R-60 may have simply not worked well with an airliner that is as big as a 777. So MH17 was still airworthy and maneuverable by the pilots. It turned and may have landed. Which the perpetrators of this attack didn’t want. Whether you accept the inching-toward-accepted view of a mistaken attack on what was believed to be Putin’s plane, or a ‘false flag’; witnesses were apparently deemed to be rather unwanted. Thus, it appears, the canon attack, which seems to have been mostly directed at the pilots, on the stricken aircraft.

    1. Jacrabbit

      You prefer the rightist venom where downing a plane and other massacres, hardships, etc. that are inflicted on people is fine as long as it furthers the interests of the right people?

  19. OIFVet

    Shouldn’t you be trying to find new market for your apples or blame the jews or give the US a BJ or sumpthin’?

  20. participant-observer-observed

    There are 2 other points not yet considered in the above interpretative descriptions:

    1. Was the target mistaken (Dutch+Malaysians) for another, or was it a decoy distraction, or a “this-could-have-been-you message.”

    2. How similar an inauspicious harbinger of worse things to come this event is to the “trial-balloon” (as it looks in hindsight) hi-jacked Nepali aircraft flown to Pakistan/Afghanistan a few years before 9/11.

    Just saying…

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