When MH370 vanished into thin air on March 8th this year, an international search-and-rescue party scanned two of the world’s oceans, pored over satellite images and radar readings, and consulted automated communication relays between parts of the plane and their manufacturers that monitor aircraft system performance in real-time. Despite these multiple layers of hi-tech monitoring systems, there is still no trace of the missing Boeing 777-200ER. Or so we’ve been told. All 239 passengers and crew are officially reported as missing, presumed dead. Planes have literally disappeared in the past, but none with so many people onboard.
As if that weren’t extraordinary enough, here we are 4 months later and a second Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777-200ER and its passengers and crew have been ‘taken out’, although this time in a more easily discernible manner. There is as yet no direct connection between the two events, although only the most ardent scientific materialist could claim complete indifference to the fact that they’re the same type of aircraft used by the same airline company, as well as the numerological synchronicity of a Boeing-777 with flight number MH17 crashing on 07/17/2014, exactly 17 years to the day since its maiden flight on 07/17/1997.
The first event seemed to be random and caught the world’s media completely by surprise. But the second occurred at ‘ground zero’ of the ‘new cold war’ we find ourselves in. Shouting the loudest about the crash of MH17 is, as usual, the US government. From the get-go, it ‘knew’ exactly how it happened, and exactly who to blame for the deaths of 298 innocent people: the “Russian-backed terrorists” in eastern Ukraine had “shot MH17 down with an SA (surface-to-air) series missile shot from a BUK missile-launcher near where the plane came down in terrorist-controlled territory.” The ‘evidence’ to support their claims, however, is non-existent, unless you count “social media” and the US brand of “common sense” as evidence.
Kiev and Washington’s ‘proof’ included a ‘leaked phone conversation’ between Donbass rebels in which they “boasted” about shooting the airliner down. But this has since been shown to be fake: three separate conversations were spliced together, one of the speakers refers to a town 100 km away from the crash site. The ‘conversation’ appears to have been created the day before the crash which is, in itself, loaded with implications.
What has been happening in the region is that the rebels have shot down over a dozen Kiev fighter jets in recent weeks, including at least one Antonov An-26 military transport plane, all of which Kiev says could not have happened without Russian weapons and training. Two days ago Kiev lost two more fighter jets to the rebels. On July 17th, just before MH17 fell out of the sky, Kiev went one further to claim that Russian military forces shot down one of its fighter jets, and from within Russian territory. The Kremlin called the report “absurd” and predicted – correctly, again – that Kiev would not produce the ‘evidence’ it claimed it had.
Given this background situation in the area where the plane crashed, it’s easy to see how the Donbass rebels and/or Putin could plausibly be linked with either deliberately or accidentally shooting down MH17. Here’s the rub though: many other commercial aircraft have regularly flown over this area, despite the chaos going on below. Kiev’s airstrikes on cities in Donetsk and Lugansk, and the rebels’ responses with shoulder-fired MAN-PAD rocket launchers, have all taken place at altitudes below which civilian airliners typically travel. As the Russian Defense Ministry pointed out, at least two other international flights were passing through the same immediate area around the same time, with the second airliner actually passing the same way after MH17 crashed. FlightRadar24.com also called out various airline company statements in which they claimed they had no flights passing through the area.
Then there’s the issue of MH17 deviating from its usual flight path. MH17 descended from 35,000 to 33,000 feet upon entering Ukrainian airspace, presumably on the orders of someone within Ukrainian Air Traffic Control. It would be interesting to learn why, but it’s looking extremely unlikely given the Kiev regime’s track record with providing evidence, and the fact that, immediately after the incident, Ukraine’s intelligence services confiscated the recordings of conversations between Ukrainian air traffic control officers and the crew of MH17. Have they something to hide? If not, then the tapes should be released in the interest of transparency. If they continue to withhold this information, then suspicion over the destruction of MH17 falls squarely on Kiev.
Although maps produced by the Russian Defense Ministry indicate that MH17 was flying within a recognized international air corridor, it was about 100 km north of its normal Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur flight path. Here is Flightaware’s real-time flight-tracking of MH17’s flight path on July 17th:
And here’s a typical pre-July 17th route, according to Flightaware:
The above screenshot was taken by Joe Quinn immediately after the incident. If you go to their website to check for yourself, you’ll no longer see the pre-July 17th pattern of MH17 passing south of the Sea of Azov. Flightaware appears to have since ‘updated’ its pre-July 17th records…
This inconsistency was explained away with the suggestion that MH17 was flying a more northerly course that day due to “the possibility of thunderstorms brewing in southern Ukraine,” but a Malaysian Airlines official said “there were no reports from the pilot to suggest that this was the case.”
Eyewitnesses in two villages either side of the crash site reported seeing “a spinning plane without a wing with something falling out of it”, “explosions in the sky” (presumably heard and not seen), and “hear[ing] the buzz which fighter jets make.” Most eyewitness reports, however, describe the sounds (and gruesome results) of bodies and debris impacting the ground. There is also video footage of a fireball erupting at ground level, but no visual of the plane being hit by any missile, and no evidence of any missile trail.
Moscow countered with claims that Kiev forces, and not the rebels, have BUK missile launchers at their disposal. Unlike Kiev, which says it has evidence but won’t show it, Moscow is actually backing up its claims. Russian generals have provided the international press with the first pieces of evidence in this game of whodunnit: satellite images show Kiev-controlled BUK launchers stationed in one location on July 14th; then at least one of them goes missing from this same location on July 17th; then another satellite image (they say) shows a BUK launcher parked just off a rural road near Zaroshchens’ke, which is about 20 km from the crash site in Hrabove.
Moscow called on Kiev to come clean about its air force’s movements that day. Kiev stated that it had no fighter jets in the air in the region on July 17th, but Moscow has countered – with evidence – that its radar installations picked up least one Kiev Su-25 within missile-striking distance of the passenger plane, and which appeared to be tracking it. Note that the Russians did not imply that this Kiev jet shot down the plane; they just pointed out that Poroshenko’s government lied.
Another interested party keeping a very close eye on what goes on in Ukraine is, of course, the all-seeing US national security state. In the course of presenting the first actual piece of evidence, the Russians also let it be known that they know a US military satellite happened to be directly overhead when the plane crashed, and “urged the US to publish the space photos and data captured by it.” As Robert Parry points out, the US could easily clarify who fired what and when by sharing this data. But they’re probably not going to do that if the only missile launcher in the area was Kiev-controlled, leaving you to wonder if that BUK wasn’t moved into place to serve as a decoy with which to blame the “Russian-backed separatists”. The Russian Defense Ministry’s point-by-point rebuttal – all provided with supporting evidence – of US and Ukrainian claims is concisely summarized in this Mashable.com article.
Based on the known facts, I find this to be a more plausible scenario:
- A BUK launcher was positioned close to the Russian border by the Kiev forces
- A bomb was placed onboard the plane sometime before take-off
- Someone in Ukrainian Air Traffic Control instructed MH17 to fly along an alternate international air corridor to take it over the disputed territories of Donetsk and Lugansk
- The bomb was detonated remotely or via a timer
- ‘Facts’ were supplied to the Western media – via ‘special advisors’ to the Kiev junta and ‘anonymous intelligence officials’ – within minutes of the plane going down, emphasizing specifically that it was “shot down by a surface-to-air missile.”
The tricky part is getting a bomb on board the plane. We all know how notoriously stringent airport security is, right? So let’s turn to MH17’s point of departure.
Schiphol: Not Your Typical Airport
On Christmas Day 2009, the spaced-out 16-year-old son of a Nigerian banker – aka the ‘knicker-bomber‘ – was escorted through check-in and security at Schiphol, without a passport, by “a well-dressed man in a suit”. Security at Schiphol is contracted to a very successful and privately-owned security firm by the name of International Consultants on Targeted Security (ICTS).
Established in 1982 by former Shin Bet Israeli intelligence officers, ICTS’s hub at Schiphol is more than an airport security gig: it’s also home to ICTS’s corporate headquarters since the 1980s, from where it provides security services – including travel document verification and cargo screening – to airports in 11 countries, including the US and Western Europe. It also provides transport and network security to dozens of companies, transport hubs, and public agencies worldwide. In 1999, ICTS acquired Huntleigh USA, giving them responsibility for airport security at Boston Logan and Newark Airports. ICTS also handled security at Charles de Gaulle Airport when “shoe bomber” Richard Reid boarded a US-bound plane from Paris on December 22nd, 2001. The company also handled security for London’s bus network during the July 7, 2005, ‘suicide’ bomb attacks. In fact, two of its subsidiaries, ICTS UK and ICTS Europe Systems are based at Tavistock House, Tavistock Square in London, scene of the London Stagecoach bus bombing that day.
Israeli involvement with Schiphol Airport is deep and murky. The El Al cargo crash into an apartment block in the Bijlmer suburb of Amsterdam in 1992 left around 1,000 local residents and emergency workers with respiratory, neurological and mobility ailments, as well as cancers and birth defects. The plane had been carrying vast quantities of key ingredients for chemical weapons like Sarin nerve gas, along with a substantial quantity of depleted uranium. Subsequent investigations into the accident revealed that Schiphol Airport had become “a hub for Israeli secret weapons transfers from the US.” While investigating this and other revelations resulting from the ‘knicker bomber’ incident in December 2009, SOTT.net learned from a Dutch journalist that “a special secluded area (hangar and apron)” within Schiphol is set aside for exclusive use by the Israeli intelligence services.
Missing missiles, a recurring theme
“I will never apologize for the United States – I don’t care what the facts are.”
~ US President George Bush Sr. when asked for his reaction to the US missile cruiser Vincennes shooting down an Iranian airliner and killing 290 civilians in 1988.
There is actually a precedent for Putin backing down and accepting US stories about missiles downing passenger planes. Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 from Tel-Aviv to Novosibirsk in Russia disappeared from radars south of Crimea, above the Black Sea, on October 4th, 2001. The NSA – which for decades has conducted routine, worldwide satellite reconnaissance of missiles being launched – was first to report that the plane had been hit by a Ukrainian missile in the course of joint war games in Crimea between Ukraine and Russia. Neither Putin nor the Ukrainian government believed the US; in fact, they were adamant the passenger plane was never in any danger of coming too close to the missiles they were firing in the area. The Ukrainian newspaper Den criticized US and European press coverage, saying at the time:
“As soon as news of the Russian Tu-154 plane crash broke yesterday, some Russian and Western media rushed to blame the Ukrainian armed forces. This was done in complete absence of any official information.”
But within a month, Russia did an about-turn and the Ukrainians soon conceded that they were responsible, sort of. They paid out compensation to the victims’ families, but members of their government have always denied responsibility when asked directly about it. Siberian Airlines sued the Ukrainian government for damages in a 2004 case that was still being challenged in the country’s highest court as late as January 2013. Patrick Martin, writing for World Socialist Web Site, analysed this incident at the time:
Russian officials initially sought to blame the plane explosion on unnamed terrorists. The sections of the plane recovered from the Black Sea include the cockpit, nearly intact, which reportedly had a series of punctures in the metal that resembled bullet-holes. […]
But in the face of US insistence on the missile theory, Putin reversed himself, effectively endorsing the American view, although Russian military personnel participating in the war games in Crimea monitored the missile launches and reported no unusual outcomes.
The American response to the tragedy has been peculiar in the extreme. Within a few hours of the explosion, even before any fragments of the plane had been recovered, let alone the black boxes that would provide more substantial evidence, the US government declared the destruction of 78 lives to be a regrettable accident and not a terrorist attack.
US officials were remarkably free in citing the information supplied by US satellites using infrared detectors, usually a closely guarded secret. The New York Times noted, “the United States vigilantly monitors missile launches around the world, and has long kept a hawk’s eye on the Black Sea from cold-war-era observation posts in Turkey.”
The response of the American media, especially the television networks, was notably muted, without the sensationalism that usually attends their coverage of such tragic events. […]
The rapid US intervention to “solve” the mystery of the mid-air explosion and the relative indifference of the media have a political explanation. The disaster took place at a time of maximum tension between the Bush administration and the Israeli government, only two days after the State Department revealed that the US government was prepared to sanction the establishment of a Palestinian state, and only hours after Sharon denounced Washington in the most strident terms, comparing its policy toward the Arab regimes in the Middle East to the Munich appeasement of Hitler. […]
In Israel there were hints that the crash itself might have been a product of the growing tensions in the region. The Jerusalem Post published a commentary on the crash under the extraordinary headline, “Sharon’s Warning Shot.”
It is certainly interesting to note the parallels between that event and the destruction of MH17 and current developments in the Israel-Palestine conflict. The one notable difference of course – with the exception of that interesting headline in the Israeli press – was the muted US response compared with today’s no-holds-barred propaganda blitz.
The US Department of Common Sense
In a complete mockery of the truth, the Western media has spewed tera-bytes of bile about the “drunken Pro-Russian terrorists” who were accused of tampering with crash site evidence, desecrating the corpses and preventing investigators from accessing the site. What actually happened was that investigators were slow to reach the site because Kiev officials were in no hurry to give them the all-clear to travel there because, they claimed, they “couldn’t guarantee their safety”. Which is sort of true: the Malaysian representatives, finally setting out on their own to the crash site after giving up waiting for assistance from Kiev, came under artillery fire from the Ukrainian army, even after Poroshenko announced a 40-kilometer ceasefire zone around the crash site. The rebels were nothing but respectful to the dead, and their handling of the data flight recorders and crash site was, under the circumstances, impeccable. The head of the Dutch forensics team in the area was very impressed by the way in which the rebels handled the situation, stating that they “did a hell of a job in a hell of a place”. As for Poroshenko’s government, the only logical conclusion we can draw is that they were trying to stall for time. So, again, what is Kiev trying to hide?
The rebels handed the plane’s data flight recorders to Malaysian officials, but a timely intervention from the British government – on behalf of “international investigators”, of course – means that its military will be first to open and examine the data, including audio recordings of the pilot’s communications with Ukrainian ATC. Apparently the Malaysians don’t have the technological know-how to do it themselves. The ever-helpful British government promises to then “share the findings” with its Dutch and Ukrainian counterparts. Somehow I doubt we’ll be getting an objective data analysis from the Brits, given how heavily invested they are in pinning the blame on Putin:
And in the middle of all this anti-Russian hysteria, the Cameron government has launched a ‘Public Inquiry’ (the British equivalent of a show-trial) into the death of former FSB spy Alexander Litvinenko, who died in 2006 in London after he was poisoned with radioactive polonium. Boy are they really piling it on! Litvinenko, by the way, was probably taken out by the Mossad.
If you thought US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was a ditz, wait until you meet her deputy. Here’s Maria Harf’s response to the Russians’ presentation of actual evidence:
Did you catch that? Who needs to back spurious assertions with such things as hard data when all that’s needed to make people believe are John Kerry’s blustering, ‘social media’, and ‘common sense’!
No, don’t hold your breath waiting for evidence. Stand by for more of the same mercurial ‘reality-making’ bullshit from anonymous ‘intelligence officials’, the kind of nonsense that Washington’s UN envoy, Samantha Power, has been repeating to the Security Council: apparently we’re never going to see actual evidence of the rebels firing a missile from a BUK launcher because the contraption was ‘brought back across the Russian border in the dead of night.’
Is Power even aware that she lies incessantly? She ought to look up the cognitive bias ‘Availability Cascade‘. Or maybe just ask her husband about it…
The fact of the matter is that it’s not yet known how the plane came down or who was responsible. The masses have been given a story that Putin did it, or was responsible for it because the mess in Ukraine is his fault, but will that explanation hold water with leaders of countries that are already moving towards closer economic and strategic cooperation with Russia? Perhaps, in their utterly cynical and demented wishful thinking, the perpetrators think they can milk enough international outcry from this to isolate Putin and Russia with further sanctions.
When MH370 disappeared, we were 3 weeks into the beginning of the stand-off between the US and Russia over Ukraine. The US initiated and facilitated the Ukraine coup, Russia responded by facilitating Crimea rejoining the Motherland, and the way was opened for other regions in the Ukraine to follow suit. The US responded as only a furious tyrant could: by increasing the saber rattling and fighting talk to fever pitch, and, for a while, it looked like the Empire might intervene directly to ‘protect the territorial sovereignty’ of its newest vassal state.
Then March 8th came around and headlines broke away from the Ukraine for the first time in weeks. By the time global attention returned, the Western media’s baying for blood had been noticeably toned down. There were no reprisals, as Putin had completed the formalities with respect to ‘Krym’, accepted all-Ukraine elections for May 25th, and urged Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the East and South of the country to settle down and call off their referenda on secession. The situation in Ukraine has badly deteriorated since then of course – parts of the country are going through hell – but the crisis has at least been confined within Ukraine’s borders.
While the Empire has been moving to isolate Russia through sanctions and Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific trade zones that would cut Russia out of the loop, Putin has also been travelling the world to win votes, friends, and some of the biggest bilateral trade deals in history. This month’s BRICS summit in Brazil had barely concluded when MH17 came down: both Putin and new Indian prime minster Narendra Modi were still airborne at the time.
Most galling for America’s ‘Atlanticists’ has been the formal establishment of a Eurasian Union which, coupled with Putin talking freely about Russia’s vision for an “a joint space of economic and humanitarian cooperation from Lisbon to Vladivostok,” has them hyper-paranoid that Europe may soon realize it doesn’t need the US but does need Russia.
Where does Israel stand on these geopolitical issues? They were eerily quiet at the height of the initial post-coup crisis. The Financial Times noticed this too, pointing out Israel’s no-show at the UN Security Council vote on censuring Russia’s annexation of Crimea, which happened to take place in the middle of an Israeli ambassadorial staff ’employment dispute’ that saw its entire diplomatic corps ‘on strike’. The White House was reportedly “furious” that the country it had stood by at the UN time and time again was AWOL when it needed a favor returned.
That other strange coincidence: Ground invasion of Gaza
Two Malaysian Airlines Boeing-777s in 4 months is one thing. This second incident coming on the same day that Israel launches a ‘ground invasion’ (more like a ‘flattening-by-tank’) of Gaza is another. Israeli leaders are so insane that you can never quite tell whether the way in which numbers, dates, and ‘coincidental events’ synch with their activities is the result of Mossad planning to the nth degree, pure luck that comes with being ‘the chosen ones’, a pact with the devil, or some combination of the above.
Joe Quinn makes the case here for the abduction and murder of those three teenagers being the handiwork of Israeli intelligence, a psy-op to whip up blood lust towards the Palestinians. Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki came to the same conclusion. Since then it’s been a repeat of the Cast Lead formula in ’08/’09 – drone strikes, then jet airstrikes, then tank and troop invasion. In just a month, Gaza has gone from an open-air-prison to the pit-of-hell (again). Here’s recent footage of Israel’s wanton human mutilation, shot by Ruptly TV crew embedded with Palestinian emergency personnel. Warning: the footage is extremely graphic from the start.
Netanyahu actually said this a few days ago:
“We have to protect ourselves. We try to target the rocketeers, we do. And all civilian casualties are not intended by us but actually intended by Hamas who want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can because somebody said they use telegenically dead Palestinians for the cause. They want the more dead the better.”
I’ll give you a second to take that in.
Do you get what he’s saying? Netanyahu is claiming that Hamas is firing rockets into Israel in order to maximize the Israeli ‘retaliation’ and thereby gain optimal Palestinian body count from it. With images of the charred, broken bodies broadcast internationally, Hamas thereby ‘wins’ greater global sympathy. The theory being proposed by Bibi here is that Hamas and the Palestinians that support them actually want as many dead Palestinians as possible. So we must also conclude that Hamas members want their own houses destroyed and families murdered, including themselves, for some PR benefit. Hamas wants Israel to kill civilians, and so the Israelis accommodate their wishes. So Hamas and Israel are actually working together! Netanyahu more or less said it!
Psychopaths sure are an interesting breed, aren’t they? Revolting, but interesting all the same. Netanyahu here provides a stark glimpse of how their mind works – always calculating, baroque, morose – and all of it projected out onto others: in this case, onto Palestinians; in the case of MH17, onto the ‘terrorists controlled by Putin’.
Israel and missile deception
Speaking of broken bodies and phantom missiles, what about those “thousands of Hamas rockets”? Has anyone actually seen one hit Israel? Or being launched, even? I mean, Israel, like every other good Western democracy, is fully incorporated into the global surveillance superstructure, complete with 24/7 news media coverage on TV and online, and fitted with CCTV, Go-Pro cameras, and dash-cams positioned in every available public location.
So… where’s all the footage of death and destruction in Israel?
We hear about how Israelis are living in terror, how sirens are going off regularly, and how they must daily head for bomb shelters. But if you actually look at its ‘Iron Dome’ missile defense shield in action, you never see its missiles hit anything in mid-air. The sirens go off, a missile or two is fired up, then they seem to just explode without coming into contact with incoming objects.
Check some of these out for yourself. Do you see any incoming rockets? Me neither. The sirens go off, a pair of Iron Dome missiles are launched, they make a spiral motion, then they go ‘poof’ and people gathered on the streets below clap and cheer.
Is ‘Iron Dome’ really just glorified fireworks to keep ordinary Israelis compliant… or entertained? I don’t make that suggestion in jest. No doubt many Israelis feel terrified every time the sirens go off. And yet, many others seem to be having a whale of a time, while Gazans, in their hundreds and thousands, are physically and emotionally torn to shreds by real missiles and real flechette shells. An Israeli academic by the name of Dr. Motty Scheffer also thinks it’s all a fraud, a trick to fool gullible Israelis, and even more gullible Americans:
“The missiles which were intercepted by the Iron Dome and did not reach the ground are hypothetical missiles produced and destroyed in the Dome’s computer control room; as of this moment, nobody has seen an intercepted missile fall to the ground.”
It makes sense when you think about it: there is no existing video footage of any missiles of any description hitting anywhere in Israel – at least not in the current ‘war’. Having observed how Israeli intelligence gets things done, believe me, if they could show video footage to extract sympathy a la Twin Towers, they’d be broadcasting it endlessly to the whole world.
A couple of explosions of some sort have gone off in Israel this month. On July 11th a ‘missile’ hit a gas station in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod. There is CCTV footage of the station exploding, but again there is no visual confirmation that it was caused by a rocket.
On July 15th the Israeli government supposedly declared a unilateral ‘ceasefire’ that was ‘broken’ less than two hours later when a rocket allegedly hit Ashdod. Something did explode on the side of a street, apparently injuring 4 people, and the Israeli government ‘retaliated’ by taking its bombardment of Gaza to the next level of depravity. A Hamas spokesman, Osama Hamdan, told the BBC that they only learned about this ‘ceasefire’ after the fact, and through the media, which suggests that the whole thing was a sick publicity stunt to win Israel ‘clemency currency’, which it then ‘cashed in’ by scaling up its very real strafing of Gaza.
On July 22nd, the US government announced that it had issued “a strong recommendation” to US airliners to cancel flights into Tel-Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport after the Israelis claimed that a Hamas rocket had landed nearby. I can’t find any reports of destruction in or near Tel-Aviv. Despite a passenger aircraft being blown out of the sky not one week prior, this ‘recommendation’ was apparently only taken up by “some” airline companies, strongly suggesting they can’t be that worried about ‘incoming Hamas rockets’.
Consider also that Gaza is completely controlled. Not only is it under total surveillance, nothing gets in or out that Israel hasn’t pre-approved. In these circumstances, how on Earth would Gazans acquire the hi-tech parts for the manufacture of rockets with coordinates to reach targets up to 100 km away? Without computer-guided systems, if they’re just a fraction of a degree off when aimed for Tel-Aviv, for example, the rockets will land in the Mediterranean Sea.
Grotesque, isn’t it, to think that all this is the result of pure, paranoid fantasy in Israelis’ heads? But then, the ugly portrayals of the Donbass rebels and Putin’s Russia are also pure fantasy. And you see how easy it is to fill people’s heads with fantasy: just put it in a newspaper.
‘We’re all Gazans now’… well, people in Eastern Ukraine are anyway
Over 700 people have been blown to pieces in Gaza since the attacks began. About 450 have been killed in Eastern Ukraine and Odessa since Kiev launched “anti-terrorist operations” to prevent them from seceding. While Gazans have nowhere to flee to, thousands of Ukrainians have fled to Russia. People in Donetsk and Lugansk are certainly in the better position, thanks to Russian humanitarian aid, but like the Palestinians they face a vicious oppressor that portrays them as sub-human: TV commercials have been running in Ukraine since the beginning of Kiev’s “anti-terrorist campaign” programming Ukrainians to see the separatists as vermin to be exterminated, the ‘final solution’ to all Ukraine’s problems.
Just as schools, hospitals, residential buildings and journalists are targeted in Gaza, so too in Ukraine’s breakaway republics, where there has been no respite from attacks despite public declarations of ‘ceasefires’ from Kiev.
Global War on Putin
If 9/11 globalized hate and fear of Muslims, then the destruction of MH17 will surely globalize hatred of the Donbass rebels, and Putin’s Russia by association. Choco-tycoon ‘president’ of Ukraine Poroshenko brought this point home succinctly when he told CNN a couple of days ago:
“I don’t see any differences between 9/11, the Lockerbie bombing, and the attack on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Such terrorism is a danger to the whole world and to global security.”
It’s probably the truest thing the oligarch has said since being s-elected President of Ukraine. There is no difference in the mindset, interests, or methods of those who carried out these operations. As Joe Quinn wrote in his last article:
Traditionally, these types have approached this kind of problem by way of the most brutal and cynical kind of emotional manipulation of the masses (politicos included): the mass murder of civilians, preferably while they’re in a vulnerable position, doing something we can all easily identify with, like flying on a commercial airliner. If you can have the planes fly into buildings, all the better. But crashing one into the ground will do.
They are true masters of terror and deception and – being psychopathic – they project this essential function of their being onto groups, leaders, movements they are trying to turn the crowd against. It’s an excellent strategy when you think about it in the cold, clinical way they do. They ruthlessly, repeatedly, and successfully exploit human emotions, which they perceive as ‘weaknesses that make those others stupid’. When they blew up Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988 over Lockerbie, Scotland, the target they wanted us to turn against was Libya. Gordon Thomas, author of Gideon’s Spies, was told by his source at LAP, the Mossad’s psychological warfare division, that:
“…within hours of the crash, staff at LAP were working the phones to their media contacts urging them to publicise that here was ‘incontrovertible proof’ that Libya, through its intelligence service, Jamahirya, was culpable.”
The resulting campaign to demonize Gaddafi set his progressive ambitions back years and neutralized the ‘threat’ his vision posed to US-Israeli control of the Middle East and Africa. Take note that decades-long investigations and trials did not solve the crime except to exonerate the patsy and expose a cover-up by someone. The perpetrators are very good at what they do. 9/11, of course, took airplane terrorism to a whole new level, transplanting Israel’s domestic ‘War on Terror’ into America’s ‘Global War on Terror’ by making ‘Islamo-fascists’ out of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims, and cowed beasts out of everyone else. And now blowing MH17 out of the sky on Russia’s doorstep is done with a view to making a monster out of Putin, and anyone sympathetic to his aim of putting his country’s interests before the Empire’s.
World War Z?
This very week 100 years ago, European ‘Great Powers’ were frantically cabling each other through diplomatic channels while mobilizing massive armies for war. On people’s minds today is fear that another ‘Great War’ is in the cards, an understandable concern given the parallels between the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, the downing of a civilian aircraft, and comparable territorial disputes in the Eurasian Heartland.
Although the assassination is remembered as the catalyst, a European war then was not inevitable. Some European statesmen desperately tried to avoid an escalation of the crisis, while others did everything in their power to ensure that the war came about. What tipped the balance in the end was greater political will to hystericize and then capitalize upon this particular high-profile assassination (of which there had been quite a few in preceding years). The deciding factors were more complex, geopolitical in nature, and were discussed largely outside of public discourse.
While there are similarities between then and now, there are differences too. In the financial pages of yesterday’s Guardian I read this passage on ‘the markets’ take on the likelihood of a “full-scale economic war”:
Oil prices above $200 a barrel. Energy shortages in western Europe. The return of recession to the still-fragile global economy. A slump in Russia. That’s the fear haunting policymakers as they contemplate how to respond to the shooting down of MH17 over eastern Ukraine last week. […]
It is the potential for Russia to damage the west and for the west to cause even more damage to Russia that explains the belief that the crisis will not escalate into a full-scale economic war. The European Union will talk tough but fall shy of imposing wide-ranging financial and trade sanctions as punishment for the Kremlin’s alleged role in the attack on the Malaysia Airlines jet. Meanwhile, hopes that Putin is putting pressure on the separatists in Ukraine boosted share prices.
It’s not raining rockets in Israel, and it’s not going to rain rockets in Europe. It’s not going to rain nuclear warheads anywhere either. Nor will NATO and Russian forces slug it out in Ukraine or anywhere else. This is not going to descend into ‘full-scale ground war’ with troops versus troops, or predator drones versus amphibious assault vehicles.
While actual, physical weapons rain down in Gaza and the Donbass, in Syria and Iraq, across North Africa, and in Pakistan and Afghanistan, there are no real wars – in the sense of two or more armies vying for top spot – happening in these places. Top spot belongs to one global superpower only, and has done since the 1920s. There are regional champions like Israel of course, but their pre-eminence relies on the superpower’s pre-eminence.
These ‘war theaters’ are all examples of ‘asymmetric warfare‘, defined as “war between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly.” We see the ultimate expression of this in the fact that the generally defenceless civilian population is confronted with the overwhelming military might of NATO and Israel.
Taking out random airplanes high up in the sky is part of asymmetric warfare. It hits people where they are most vulnerable. The terror, outrage and opportunities for emotional manipulation it offers – so the perpetrators believe – are much more cost-effective than conventional military and economic strategies. It certainly is in the short-term – more people hate Putin today than they did before MH17 was blown up. But in the long-term, it’s a risky strategy because the more frequently it’s deployed to maintain strategic advantage, the more likely it is that people will figure out the game being played.
The backdrop against which all this takes place is the global battlefield for people’s minds. Billions of people are perilously teetering on the edge of an abyss, lambs to cosmic slaughter if they do not fundamentally shift their perception of reality away from the comfortable and crass lies of the Empire and its cronies, and towards the real common sense objective, if uncomfortable, truth.
We are in an information war, not a ‘world war’. This is what the Pentagon was talking about early in the last decade when it introduced those strange new terms: full-spectrum dominance, total information awareness, info-crafting, cyberwarfare, and cyberterrorism. The US, UK and Israeli regimes are firing all they’ve got in this massive and sustained propaganda offensive that will not stop until people’s ability to connect with their inner humanity – to think, feel, resist, and See – has been slaughtered.