A Tale of Two Incidents

I’m quite certain all my readers have already heard plenty about the Dutch Safety Board’s investigation into the downing of MH17. If you haven’t read it yet, here’s a summary, and if you want to slog through the whole thing, look here. As if on cue, as tends to be the case every time some new evidence from the investigation leaked out in the past, Russia turned the bullshit up to 11 and pre-empted the release of the DBS report with another press conference held by Buk Surface-to-Air missile manufacturer Almaz-Antey. Once again, previous Russian stories were contradicted, but the fun didn’t stop yesterday. Shortly before I began writing this, the head of Russia’s aviation service was throwing out all kinds of accusations and claims, including some that contradicted yesterday’s Almaz-Antey claims. This wasn’t the first time. In other words, this satirical story is pretty close to the truth.

Some Western journalists act perplexed at this incredibly guilty behavior, particularly in light of the fact that the DSB report didn’t even attribute blame for firing the Buk and it also said that Ukraine should have closed the air space in the region (Gee, guess what part of the report Team Russia will deem reliable!). Some of us aren’t surprised at all. Personally speaking, I liken this to the recent behavior of the conservative propaganda machine back in the US when they float rumors or mock scandals about illegal immigrants committing voter fraud or Obama not being a natural born citizen. Nobody who puts these theories out there actually plans to act on them. Sure, some politicians will promote voter ID laws, but this is just about disenfranchising poor people. The real reason for these conspiracy theories is that it reassures Republicans that when they lose elections, it’s only because the other side cheated, and therefore the winning party is illegitimate.

Same thing is going on here. Russia’s foreign ministry claims that the Dutch board didn’t consider facts from “Russian experts,” without naming the experts or talking about which facts they are referring to, no doubt because the folks at the MFA can’t be bothered to keep up on the latest alternative scenario. These public statements and the media coverage they get in Russia’s domestic press is enough to reassure Putin’s base that the whole thing was unfair, and the whole world is part of a massive conspiracy against Russia.

It’s a shame though, because what Russia is doing is spitting on the graves of the victims. Then again, this is a government that spits on the graves of 25 million Soviet citizens, many of them Russian, so I guess I shouldn’t expect more sympathy for foreigners flying out of “Gayropa.” But I digress, I wanted to compare the MH17 to another recent incident, one which will suddenly have all of Team Russia nodding their heads along with my text. I’m talking of course about the airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

Now as an aside, while I post links about this, I’d just like to remind you how “the mainstream media” like CNN would never report something like this.  Okay maybe they would, but they wouldn’t air allegations that it was a war crime. Okay, maybe CNN would do that, but I bet Fox news wouldn’t! Oh…wait…no. But I keep hearing from the pro-Kremlin side that state-run outlets like RT are no different from CNN and Fox. I guess this means that we should soon expect CNN and Fox to start personally attacking journalists and airing “experts” who will insist that the Taliban, Doctors Without Borders, or literally anybody but the US forces were responsible for the deadly airstrike. I mean it’s all the same, right?

Okay enough of that. The fact is that I am as disgusted by this Kunduz attack as I was about MH17. I could start pointing out how in the case of the former, the gunner on the AC-130 could at least see what he was shooting at, whereas a Buk operator is looking at blips on a screen. I’m not going to get into detail there, however, because I don’t want some Team Russia fanatic to get overexcited, whip his dick out, and start beating it right there in his office. Part of my anger is due to the fact that it’s 2015 and we’re still involved in Afghanistan, as though we’re going to somehow get some kind of victory out of this. Another part of me is angry at the lying that took place afterward. When this story broke, I have no doubt that there were people all across America who wanted to see justice be done, because this incident is a stain on the country’s flag (some Team Russia folks might need to change their pants now). In Russia, by contrast, 3% of people believe the version of MH17 that the Western world does.

With the myriad of alternative, contradictory stories that have circulated, sometimes within 24 hours of each other, it’s no wonder that these people can’t really tell you what they think actually happened. They only know it wasn’t the rebels, and it wasn’t Russia’s fault. In other words they know exactly what the Kremlin wants them to know. When the White House and Pentagon change their story or squirm in front of cameras, Americans sense bullshit and get angrier. Russians just throw up their hands and say: “Who knows what’s true? Everyone lies! We lie, they lie!” That’s the Russia Putin’s regime has built.

Before anyone balks about the comparison of MH17 to Kunduz let me point something out. Even in spite of the Pentagon’s failed attempts to spin the events, and in spite of the White House’s reluctance to support an international, independent tribunal, the administration has accepted the blame for these deaths on behalf of the United States. And of course, they admit the presence of US forces rather than pretend that only the Afghan national army is doing the fighting. They are not crying information war and claiming that the Taliban did it, or that the hospital patients and staff did it as a “provocation.” If there is an independent investigation, don’t expect its progress to be met with periodic White House press conferences featuring new experts that will “prove” alternative theories absolving the US military of blame.

Just another example of how when it comes to political regimes, the slightest difference can have a big impact on behavior. Whatever happens, however, I think it’s clear that the victims of Kunduz will get justice long before the families of the victims of MH17 ever will.

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21 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Incidents

  1. Alex

    Official Russian news agency and government offcials lie all the time. No doubt. All Russians (sorry, 88% of them) are gullible idiots. Especially after 73 years of Communist propaganda diet. They can’t “sense bullshit”, like the Americans. This is so different from US officials (Dept of State, Pentagon, White House) who almost immedieatly came to a unanimous conclusion that it was the rebels’ fault and that the pesky Russian colluded (at least) and probably themselves fired the Buk (which version?) on the MH17. And who cares about proof!!! Why, CNN, Reuters and many other news agencies provided countless references “to prove” the point. Just browse google to confirm.

    I am so tired of “enlightened” Americans (Germans, British, French, Italians, Poles, Ukranians, CNN, FoxNews, etc.) almost preaching about endless lies of “Putin’s regime” in general, and of backwardness of Russians in particular. And this from the people and organizations who themselves are at least as guilty of the same things (regardless of various “regimes” – Obama regime, Merkel regime, Poroshenko regime — they live under in their respective countries) they so vehemently blame others of.

    Basically, the only “true” thing we can be sure of, is that “everone lies”, although later on this would also prove to be a lie.

    Reply
    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      “This is so different from US officials (Dept of State, Pentagon, White House) who almost immedieatly came to a unanimous conclusion that it was the rebels’ fault and that the pesky Russian colluded (at least) and probably themselves fired the Buk (which version?) on the MH17.”

      This was based on simple common sense- the rebels had no air force. The rebels had brought down several air craft prior to that. And of course, they claimed to have brought down an An-26 that day, which was in fact MH17. Look, even the RIA story based on their claim is still up: http://ria.ru/world/20140717/1016409306.html

      Also if you check the news from that day, you’ll see that the rebels and Moscow were immediately blaming Ukraine for the disaster, not only without proof or common sense on their side, but with actual fabricated stories, including the infamous non-existent Spanish air traffic controller “Carlos.”

      So what we have seen is that the rest of the parties involved have one basic narrative, that gets more detailed with investigation. On the Russian side, we get dozens of alternative, mutually contradictory versions of their story.

      Given that this is the case, is it any wonder that Russia has no credibility on the world stage? When you deliberately flood the world with poorly fabricated stories and then contradict them sometimes as early as the next day, nobody will take you seriously.

      “And who cares about proof!!! Why, CNN, Reuters and many other news agencies provided countless references “to prove” the point. Just browse google to confirm.”

      Yes, in some cases they actually sent people to the territory in question to speak with eyewitnesses and hunt down the Buk. I actually know one of these people. Believe me, nobody said: “Hey go to Ukraine and make shit up to frame Russia.”


      I am so tired of “enlightened” Americans (Germans, British, French, Italians, Poles, Ukranians, CNN, FoxNews, etc.) almost preaching about endless lies of “Putin’s regime” in general, and of backwardness of Russians in particular.”

      Well then what can I say? Stop being so backward and bending over for a dictatorial regime that is running Russia into the ground. There gets to be a point when you look around and figure out that maybe the reason everyone else thinks differently isn’t because they’re all conformists and you’re a unique, special individual, but rather maybe you are wrong.

      That being said, I don’t think this tendency of seeing one’s nation as a kind of football team is unique to Russia at all. It’s common throughout Eastern Europe and many other regions.

      “And this from the people and organizations who themselves are at least as guilty of the same things (regardless of various “regimes” – Obama regime, Merkel regime, Poroshenko regime — they live under in their respective countries) they so vehemently blame others of. ”

      There’s the standard whataboutism. But did you not actually read this article? I compared MH17 to the recent Kunduz bombing, and there is proof positive that the two governments reacted differently.

      Russia- Denies involvement in Ukraine, puts blame on Ukrainians, US, and everyone but Moscow and the rebels.

      US – Pays compensation to victims, orders investigation, will most likely cooperate with independent investigation if it is established. Even if it doesn’t do that last one, at least the US owned up to the attack.

      “Basically, the only “true” thing we can be sure of, is that “everone lies”, although later on this would also prove to be a lie.”

      Except the truth does exist, and in the West most media is independent, unlike the Russian press. While Western media outlets, particularly the old corporate dinosaurs, have their problems due to the failures of the market, their coverage simply doesn’t compare with that of the Russian press in this case.

      Reply
      1. Alex

        1. Maybe it would make it easier if I say that I am not Russian. I was born in what is now Belarus, I live and work out of Germany. I don’t support Putin, and I personally happen to think that Russia is indeed backward and corrupt. I just don’t understand incredibly naive statements about Western media being independent, “unlike the Russian press”.
        I read your article (twice). I personally don’t care about the reaction of the US Government or the reaction of the Russian government to anything. What really interested was the line of your thinking. That somehow the US Government is more trustworthy that Russia’s government. In my opinion, it makes no difference whether a particular government owns up to something it did. Peope still died. Do you honestly believe that if the US Government just says sorry it would somehow make everything go away (like, resurrect people who died)? Or more to the point, you think that saying sorry this time will stop the US Government from bombing yet another country with many more hospitals? The real questions the US public should be asking themselves now is why the hell we are still bombing anything in Afganistan? A similar “why” could addressed to Russia when you are trying to understand why it’s doing anything in Ukraine. Possible answers will explain a lot. The hardest thing is to avoid thinking in cliches – backward country, evil Putin, democratic Ukraine under attack by the Russians, etc.

        2. My “whataboutism” has to do with one simple fact — after “WMDs in Iraq, Abu Ghraib, government sponsored torture, revelations from Mssrs. Ossange and Snowden, Lybia (these are just most recent examples) NOONE in the US has the right to lecture ANYONE in the world about anything. Basta, as one of collegues from Spain says. There is NO MORE MORAL high ground. It appears, there is no difference between Russia secretly (or not so secretly) meddling in Ukraine, and US sponsored coalition’s behaviour in Afganistan. Who gives a shit about formal apologies?

        3. The Donetsk region is a vast country. I’ve travelled there extensively. Unless you are standing near the missile launch site with a GPS to check the co-ordinates, you can be off by several miles in estimating the distance to the launch site. Before the official investigation has reviewed ALL evidence it can get their hands on, nothing has been proven.

        4. “So what we have seen is that the rest of the parties involved have one basic narrative, that gets more detailed with investigation. On the Russian side, we get dozens of alternative, mutually contradictory versions of their story.” — Right, this is supposed to mean what exactly? That “independent Western press” supports 1 “basic narrative” and this makes the narrative THE TRUTH? What more details did we hear in the official report from the Dutch Secturity Council? The fact that MH17 was shot down with BUK missile was the principal story in Russia too for a long time (with the exception of some crazy Russian neo-nazi and chauvinistic sources).

        5. “Also if you check the news from that day, you’ll see that the rebels and Moscow were immediately blaming Ukraine for the disaster, not only without proof or common sense on their side, but with actual fabricated stories, including the infamous non-existent Spanish air traffic controller “Carlos.”” — yet that very same day, in the evening, actually, the White House officially blamed “Russian sponsored separatists” for this crime citing… what evidence exactly? Eyewitness reports? or some funny taperecording, allegedly of separatists commanders talking to each other? Or maybe the video from youtube showing something remotely approaching missile launcher driving in , oops,… Russia? No, wait, it was like,”we know this but we are not going to tell you how we got this knowledge, just trust us” 🙂 Is this the evidence? Common sense as evidence? In this case?! Please, get real! What should have been a case for serious criminal investigation was turned immediately into some sick show. And ALL interested parties are responsible for this!

        6. “Stop being so backward and bending over for a dictatorial regime that is running Russia into the ground. There gets to be a point when you look around and figure out that maybe the reason everyone else thinks differently isn’t because they’re all conformists and you’re a unique, special individual, but rather maybe you are wrong.” — I can only speak for myself. I don’t know “everyone else who thinks differently”. I’ve lived under dictatorial regime in the good old USSR, I’ve also seen it in Belarus, under Lukashenko, I tried to do something about it, then left, not very brave of me, I accept that. But calling modern day Russia dictatorial is rather stupid. The Russians have never seen more freedom in their history before. They are also considerably better off right now than they were during the Yeltzin times. I also believe that the Russians have earned (fought for, have been born with it, whatever) the right not to give a damn what everyone else thinks.

      2. Jim Kovpak Post author

        ” I just don’t understand incredibly naive statements about Western media being independent, “unlike the Russian press”.”

        Well this is demonstrably true. Most foreign press are privately-owned companies. Even state funded outlets like VOA and BBC have more independence than any of Russia’s state-owned channels.

        Once again it’s this “have cake and eat it too” idea- Putin gobbled up the media and made it into his personal propaganda service, and then we’re supposed to not point this out?

        As for the problems with corporate-owned media, they are manifold, but it’s still preferable to having all the media controlled by a president-for-life regime.

        What is more, corporate media is at least free to broadcast all kinds of opinions. Look at Fox News, which mercilessly attacks the presidential administration and half of the political system on a daily basis. While Fox has been busted lying numerous times, the channel is still free to operate. Imagine the equivalent in Russia- such a thing could not exist.

        “I personally don’t care about the reaction of the US Government or the reaction of the Russian government to anything. What really interested was the line of your thinking. That somehow the US Government is more trustworthy that Russia’s government. In my opinion, it makes no difference whether a particular government owns up to something it did. Peope still died. ”

        Well reactions matter and differences are big. It’s better if we live in a world where governments own up to their mistakes and learn from them, instead of a world where governments continually lie to avoid responsibility. You may claim the US doesn’t learn, but do you actually believe they’d be acknowledging wrongdoing and paying out compensation back in the days of Vietnam or Korea? Fuck no.

        One reason for that change, however, is not because the government just decided to clean up its act. It’s actually related to the independent press and journalism.

        “3. The Donetsk region is a vast country. I’ve travelled there extensively. Unless you are standing near the missile launch site with a GPS to check the co-ordinates, you can be off by several miles in estimating the distance to the launch site. Before the official investigation has reviewed ALL evidence it can get their hands on, nothing has been proven. ”

        I can assure you that my friend was not simply wandering around in the Donetsk oblast. This just proves that you really haven’t read any reports that contradict your conspiracy theory.

        What has been proven is that MH17 was shot down by a Buk missile from rebel-held territory, rebels, who incidentally, bragged about having a Buk, had shot down other aircraft prior to that, and who bragged about shooting down an An-26 that was really MH17.

        “What more details did we hear in the official report from the Dutch Secturity Council? The fact that MH17 was shot down with BUK missile was the principal story in Russia too for a long time ”

        Actually no, it wasn’t. Russia’s official stories changed numerous times and range from the SU-25 story, to a Mig-29, to a bomb on the plane, etc. The story is ever changing and they’ve never been able to decide on one.

        “or some funny taperecording, allegedly of separatists commanders talking to each other”

        Again Bezler, the man on the recording, did not deny that was his voice or that he had that conversation. However, he tried to spin it by saying he was talking about a different plane, shot down the day before. Unfortunately for him, Ukraine lost no aircraft that day.

        “But calling modern day Russia dictatorial is rather stupid. The Russians have never seen more freedom in their history before.”

        Incorrect. Russia has never had a fair election, the rules of every election change in ways that curiously benefit the ruling party. For all the economic hardships of earlier times, at least there were competitive politics and more opportunities to organize.

        “They are also considerably better off right now than they were during the Yeltzin times. ”

        Yes, thank globalization for that. But the fact is that now all those gains are starting to roll back, and they will continue to do so, because of Putin’s actions. What will they say when Russia is back in Yeltsin times, but worse? After all, Yeltsin’s times couldn’t have been too bad if a few years later Russia began to benefit from higher oil prices and foreign investment. But what will come after Putin?

        See Putin was like a guy who saw someone bleeding and put a field dressing on it. He stopped the bleeding. Then he stole the guy’s wallet. He continues to steal from him while the guy tells him he needs better medical care- stitches, antiseptic, a new bandage because this one is old. But Putin slaps him upside the head and demands he be happy with that bloody, infectious old bandage that’s now 15 years old.

        “I also believe that the Russians have earned (fought for, have been born with it, whatever) the right not to give a damn what everyone else thinks.”

        Well you’d better tell them because I know from personal experience that Russians are obsessed with what others think of them. They talk about it constantly in the media and on an individual level. Meanwhile, your average American goes days at a time without ever considering Russia, even when it’s in the news every night.

    2. Makhno

      Basically, what you’re saying is that you don’t like all these people from foreign parts having an opinion of your country that isn’t “Russia is the BEST country and has the BEST leader”.

      Here’s an idea, perhaps if your government didn’t invade other countries and then lie continuously about it for the next two years then people might not develop a negative view of them.

      No one here is saying their own countries are perfect, I’d be the first to say I pretty much despise the pig-bothering Prime Minister of my country, and anyone from abroad who wants to have a go at my government is welcome to.

      The fact that you like totally heart your President and he’s your bae 4 evah doesn’t mean that everyone else has to, though. And anyone with a sense of rationality and decency should find him to be distinctly lacking in human qualities.

      Reply
    3. jon

      Basically, the only “true” thing we can be sure of, is that “everone lies”, although later on this would also prove to be a lie.

      This is EXACTLY the level of cynicism that the Russian media seeks to foment with its stated philosophy of there being no truth, only narratives. Well done for falling for it!

      Reply
  2. gbd_crwx

    Could it be that there is more than 3% that believe in the the result of the investigation but chose not to say so out of fear?

    Reply
    1. Callum C

      I dunno about fear… I’ve talked to a number of Russian ex-pats in North America, who have nothing to fear from Mr. Putin and are not captive to Russian propaganda, and many (maybe even most) still won’t accept that Russian servicemen or rebel forces were responsible. When challenged, I haven’t found it very difficult to argue them into admitting that there’s at least a good chance the rebels were responsible, but as soon as they admit that they suddenly go full vatnik and start whatabouting.

      It’s like maybe Russia is responsible, but at the end of the day Russia or those “brother peoples” in DNR can’t be on the wrong side of history, so either they didn’t do it, or Ukraine’s crimes suddenly become so much worse that we can’t talk about MH-17.

      Jim’s football team analogy is maybe a good one, but it seems to me like it’s deeper than that. It’s like these people can only love Russia unconditionally (regime included) or hate it completely, with no possibility for a middle ground. Since they would prefer to love it, they get this massive, defensive response to any criticism

      Reply
      1. Jim Kovpak Post author

        I think it comes from this idea of taking things said about your country personally. In Western countries virtually nobody takes personal offense at criticisms of their president or prime minister, etc. unless they happen to personally support that figure. Even then, most people are unhappy with the politicians they support.

      2. Makhno

        Not sure about that, to be honest. I’m in danger of going whataboutist here, but post-9/11 and the invasion fiascos that followed, the bottom half of the internet on Evil Libbrul UK media such as the Guardian was somewhat infested by Ameican nationalists spouting pretty much the same my country right or wrong lines that we get from the internets Vatniks. Although, in fairness, American progressives were also present in large numbers to shout back at them.

        The irony here is that, for all their screaming of “NEOCON COOKIE CONSPIRACY”, the most analagous group to the current flood of below the line Putin boosters is the cheerleaders for the American Neoconservative right in the last decade.

      3. Callum C.

        American jingoism post-9/11 is a pretty fair comparison for Putin-mania now in some ways, though not so much in others. This isn’t an agreement or disagreement, so much as a tangential point I find interesting.

        For one thing, I don’t get the feeling that many Americans actually understood (or understand) what neo-conservativism is, let alone share(d) the ideology.

        Neo-Conservatives are people who were generally left-wing in some form but then moved to the right (hence “neo”). That meant they subscribed to several Liberal Internationalist principals, but combined them with simplistic patriotism and the conviction that they were brilliant strategists worthy of Bismark or Kissinger. So they seriously thought, it seems, that when American troops showed up in Iraq and knocked over Saddam Hussein, Iraq would spontaneously become a democracy and become economically prosperous, and the whole world would be so grateful they would just forget that the invasion was illegal.

        Reality, of course, played out *a bit* differently.

        This wasn’t the attitude of most people in the US. America had just been attacked, which provoked an outpouring of patriotism and xenophobia, but the ideological zeal of the Neoconservatives was absent from most of the public consciousness. For people who supported the invasion of Iraq, it was because Iraq did 9/11 (bullshit, but some people still somehow believe it), and therefore Iraq had to be punished.

        There was, in short, a massive gulf between the ideology of the state and the ideology of the majority of citizens. Russia’s regime is considerably more cynical than the neocons were.

        The other difference is that this piece of dissonance in the US didn’t last very long. By about 2005-6 zeal for the Iraq war had already abated and disgust with the Bush administration was on the rise. This happened because, after its embarrassing complicity with the Bush administration from about 2001-4, the US Media woke up and started calling the government on its bullshit.

        It remains to be seen how long it takes for a similar awakening to happen in Russia.

      4. Makhno

        I’d definitely agree that there was a disconnect between the neoconservative (Jesus, the words become so overused by nutters I can hardly bring myself to type it) agenda and the people cheering for it on the ground. It was nowhere near a mass-movement, or even a movement itself, being pretty heterogeneous. Although it’s possibly a bit more complex than just ex-Trots like Kristol, with as many adherents who never really moved from the right in the first place, or got there from the centre. Also, as well as the elements that could be said to be a hangover from the left, like an almost Leninist vanguardism, they were heavily influenced by theorists from the putative centre such as Strauss in the US and Berlin in the UK.

        That said, I think we’re getting to the point where neoconservatism itself is a bit of a discredited historical oddity which has nowhere near its old influence.

        It seems basic jingoism, which is really what we’re talking about here, is forever. Which is a shame.

        It does seem to calm down a bit in the US when there’s a Democrat in the Whitehouse, though,

  3. A.I.Schmelzer

    Well, you are aware that your (adminidetly right now most likely story) of the rebels capturing an Ukrainian BUK directly contradicts Bellgincat/BBC/CNN whatever who are steadfastly promoting the line that Russia gave the Buk to the rebels?

    Let me just reiterate the different western versions:

    1: SBU general Navilaichenko: Russia drove the Buk into Eastern Ukraine, wanted to shoot down a Russian passenger plane to gain a Casus Belli to invade, but misfired and hit the MH17 because they confused Donestk in Ukraine with Donetsk in Russia.
    2: Russia drove the Buk into Ukraine, and Russian soldier handling it blew up MH17, then those Russians drove it back to Russia, conveniently forgetting to cover or conceal it, and on a route that basically made no fucking sense. This is the Bellingcat and generalized Main stream media version.
    3: Russia drove the Buk into Ukraine, gave it to some rebels who blew up the Buk because they are evul, then the Buk disappeared.
    4: Russia drove Buk into Ukraine, gave it to rebels who blew up the MH17 because they are incompetent, then the Buk disappeared.
    5: Ukrainian rebels captured the Buk from the Ukrainian army (it was left behind because it was immobile), got it operational, and then misfired believing they were aiming at something else, probably at an Ukrainian fighter bomber.
    This is btw. the version endorsed by the German Secret Service BND.

    5 is what is by far most likely to have happened out of these. Amazingly enough the narratives pushed by various paragons of the free press are those who attribute a greater degree of responsibility/evilness to Russia.

    One should also add that Ukrainian behavior was weird enough to set up all manner of doubts, like directly faking evidence, sequestering the investigation team in Kiev, presenting totally harebrained conspiracy theories (case in point version 1) and shelling the crash site. Apperantly, none of it was a problem for the investigation, and giving Ukraine a right to veto anything in the report is also completely unsuspicious and no case for concern at all.

    And while 5 is more likely then the most likely “Ukraine did it” version, which is:
    6: Ukraine didnt do anti air defence drill for a decade, Russian air force could pull a Lybian style no fly zone whenever they want, so readiness has to increase and emergency drills are held, tragic mistake is made, rebels are blamed as a cover up. Number 6 cannot be discounted because it happened before, under conditions far less inducive to tragic mistakes, and in Ukraine.

    There is also option 5+6, as it appears, the rebels got a Buk, but not the control vehicle or the other Buks of that unit, these vehicles remained in Ukraines control.
    It is actually a feasible scenario that the rebel Buk as aiming at the Su25, while the Ukrainian control radar was painitng the MH17 as a part of an exercize. Rebels obviously didnt know this, fired, and the Buk missle got guided by the control radar (which should override the guidance radar from the individual Buk battery) into the MH17 instead of the SU25. The Ukrainians of course had no idea at all that the rebels repaired the missing Buk to operational status, that it was active, or that it was currently trying to kill the SU25.

    Note that option 5+6 is not disproven by either common sense or any perhaps true piece of available evidence from both sides, but absolutly no media outlet on either side writes about it.

    Reply
    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      Apart from one Ukrainian ministry of defense official voicing his own personal conspiracy theory(which was barely given any attention by the Western media because it was stupid), I haven’t seen any of these various claims coming from the West.

      The basic narrative has been this: Rebels armed with a Buk shot down MH17. Where exactly it came from, whether it got back, doesn’t matter. MH17 was shot down by a Buk in rebel controlled territory.

      Also if you read the report, the DBS confirms no aircraft anywhere near MH17 at the time, ergo there was no chance they were firing at an SU25.

      Lastly, Russia started the war in Ukraine by organizing the rebellion and arming it. Armed separatist movements that well-armed simply do not pop up so rapidly, especially when there was no serious separatist movement before. Typically they begin as political movements that attempt to do things through legal means, then there’s petty terrorism or assassinations, then you have guerrilla bands forming, etc.

      Reply
      1. A.I.Schmelzer

        Seperatism has actually quite a history in Eastern Ukraine, of which you should be well aware off. As even Keith Geesen wrote, they were local, and many of them have been around in the area for more then a decade.

        From their pov. what they did was no different from what Lviv did, the main difference was that they got shot at, while Lviv was not bombarded by Yanukovich. Russia sure fanned the flames, and frankly, I cannot think of any empire that would have done less (well, Interwar France if you count that as an Empire) in response to the events, but the triggering causes were the breaking of the february agreement in tandem with supersuccessfull revolts (first Lviv and the Crimea, both achieved their aims or more at minimal or no cost) elsewhere in the country.

        And no, Mr. Navilaichenko was, at that time the head of the SBU, did iirc offer his “opinion” during an official SBU press conference, and was thus offering a lot more then “his personal opinion”.
        It says a lot that the actually “professional” Russians (Naryshkin f.e.) actually did not spout anything as ridiculous as Navilachenko did.

        And are you serious that you havent seen the other claims in the MSM? I mean, how many “Putin is Hitler” “Putler” “Putin the butcher” “Putin did it” (all of those implying he did it intentionally, which is option 3) headlines do you need?

        You have basically joined team “Anti Putin”. That is OK as long as you are aware of it and correct for your bias, you are apperantly in danger of loosing that self correction feature if you honestly believe that “Russia/Putin did it because it is evil and insane” was not a trope in the MSM.

        Btw. the “crazy Russian conspiracy theory” that the Maidan snipers did not come from the Yanukovich regime is apperantly not so crazy, as Svoboda is now being officially investigated by the Kiev oligarchy in connection ot the murders.
        There may be other “crazy Russian conspiracy theories” that become “official” too, as soon as the powers that be consider them to be “convenient”.

      2. Jim Kovpak Post author

        I found one article on the SBU head’s comments, and it was properly sourced and the story then faded almost instantly because it was clearly bullshit. This, incidentally, is why they don’t follow up too much on Russian claims.

        And I’m sorry but there was no popular movement for federalization or separation in the Donbas until the Russians organized it. Polls clearly show most people were against it and they hadn’t raised the issue before. Why would they, when their man was president?

        “I mean, how many “Putin is Hitler” “Putler” “Putin the butcher” “Putin did it” (all of those implying he did it intentionally, which is option 3) headlines do you need?”

        I don’t know, show me some from reputable, mainstream news outlets.

        ““Russia/Putin did it because it is evil and insane” was not a trope in the MSM.”

        It shouldn’t be too hard to find examples then.

        Also, the investigation into the snipers and Svoboda has some actual weight of evidence behind it(I actually voiced such a hypothesis early in 2014 to a friend), and the first example of that was a BBC interview with someone who claimed he was told to shoot at the police. Hmm…Strange that the Western mainstream media would report that at all.

        In any case, there appears to be a possible chance that some snipers may have been with Svoboda. This doesn’t mean that none of them could be from the government. It also doesn’t change the fact that it was definitely Berkut who initiated violence against the original group of students.

  4. Chukuriuk

    There’s a poster over at the Guardian, Barzini, who endlessly links YouTube videos BTL on any space-related article.
    You see, Barzini is convinced, or wants to convince others, that all space-travel imagery — manned or unmanned — is fake.
    Engage him and you get more and more links. No coherent argument, just polluting the air.
    Not so very different from the Alexes or the Schmelzers.

    Reply
  5. EP

    “I’m not going to get into detail there, however, because I don’t want some Team Russia fanatic to get overexcited, whip his dick out, and start beating it right there in his office.”

    You don’t? He’d probably get fired, so it’s like killing two birds with one BUK 🙂

    Reply

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