Nearly six weeks after Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 plummeted to Earth from the skies over eastern Ukraine, the world is clueless as to what actually happened. Whatever did take place over separatist held territory between Ukraine and Russia, the original reporting was inaccurate. What’s of growing concern for many is the long silence from U.S. officials with real proof of their contentions.
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 has become a credibility sore that demands a remedy soon.
What is absolutely known about MH17?
On July 17, a Boeing 777-200ER passenger airliner carrying 298 persons took off from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport en route to Kuala Lampur. Air controllers in Kiev lost contact with the plane at at 13:15 p.m. about 50 kilometers from the Ukraine-Russia border near the town of Toretz in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. We also know the downing of MH17 is the worst aircraft “shoot-down” tragedy in history. But if you rely on news media, the U.S. State Department, or even the White House for vital information on these world-shaking events, you’ve only speculation to go on. The media frenzy placing blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin in the hours after MH17 was reported missing, is as useless as information into the second Malaysian airliner loss this year (Flight 370 disappeared back in March).
Facts are few and far in-between for an incident that happened in broad daylight, and above one of the world’s most scrutinized pieces of land. All we know is that so far, unnamed U.S. intelligence sources originally attested to a BUK surface-to-air missile having downed MH17. And this, from territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists. These sources claimed intelligence was based on heat signatures of the missile, on supposed intercepted recorded separatist conversations, plus shrapnel patterns on wreckage at the crash site of MH17.
Since these early “determinations”, taken in large part from unreliable sources, a dozen or more theories at least as plausible have been suggested. The latest of these involves a Ukrainian SU-25 attack aircraft that was shadowing MH17. This was a military excursion Kiev initially denied took place, but has since been verified. Now some experts suggest MH17 fuselage damage indicated 30 mm cannon damage around the cockpit of MH17. Added to this, other evidence may suggest MH17’s engines were hit by heat-seeking air-to-air weaponry. This seems as plausible as the Kiev narrative a BUK launcher was ferried by truck to separatists, shot and downed a passenger liner, reloaded onto its semi-truck, and driven back to Russia in broad daylight.
Allegations and Guesswork: Is It All Propaganda?
Since MH17 fell in pieces into east Ukraine, neither American nor EU intelligence has provided one shred of verifiable evidence. Not NATO, the U.S. State Department, the White House, MI6, GCHQ, the European Commission, Kiev nor the mainstream media have provided anything of substance more than body counts. In fact, the preponderance of expert analysis and even testimony by eye witnesses refute even the BUK missile theory. The glut of media and governmental streams of misinformation actually impedes our knowing what really occurred. But we can analyze the various statements of officials like U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and others. Analysis of such may not give us the culprits of MH17, but it can reflect on intent and on irresponsibility in a dire international incident. And one with vast implications, I might add.
Just hours after MH17 went down, Kerry issued a generic press statement expressing U.S. administration horror over the loss. At that moment in time, every major media outlet on Earth had an MH17 headline, even though nothing really was absolutely known. Media did pick up on several sound bites, including one by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden the day of the incident. Biden stated that MH17 “had been shot down and blown out of the sky” over eastern Ukraine. It’s interesting Reuters “tweeted” Biden’s comment at 1:42 p.m. on the day of the tragedy, 4 hours and 30 minutes after the plane was lost. This means it’s logical to assume Biden “knew” what happened to MH17 literally minutes after the fact.
America’s executive branch commented differently than that of Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein. Apparently she had different intelligence, because on the same day she briefed her people on a mid-air explosion of unknown origin. Also on the same day MH17 was lost, former Secretary of State and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton went on the Charlie Rose show to discuss MH17. In the interview, Clinton proclaimed the same “evidentiary” truths as other U.S. officials, even without a verifiable fact, and literally moments after the downing. Clinton appeared to be her normal “cagey” self, but telling the world “the equipment used had to have come from Russia” speaks volumes.
Every former Soviet satellite state has leftover weapons systems from Russia. Clinton was clearly planting the seed of anti-Putin, anti-Russia sentiment clearly. What’s more, Clinton leaves clues into her own mindset where U.S.-Russia conflict is concerned. She mentioned having read about the Russian stock market just before giving the interview.? With almost 300 people dead, and the potential for World War III breaking out, America's gleaming hope for first female president plays the stock market. Contrite as I may seem here, it’s fair to ask the question: "What must our leaders be up to?"
Two days later, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki released a statement. This one damned pro-Russian separatists for “limiting access” to the MH17 crash site. Mainstream media in the U.S. and the UK reported this as “refusing access” to investigative officials from the OSCE monitors.
“We are deeply concerned by the Russia-backed separatists’ refusal to allow OSCE monitors safe and unfettered access to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Yesterday, the monitors were allowed only 75 minutes at the site. Today, they were allowed less than three hours. Thus far, the separatists have only allowed monitors to have limited access to a small area.”
That statement further insinuated evidence had been tampered with. Also, bodies had been removed, and that somehow Russia really controlled the separatists. The evening of the same day, July 20, Kerry was on CBS “Face the Nation.” He further incriminated Russia and the separatists as if the U.S. had indisputable proof MH17 was “blown out of the sky” by Vladimir Putin himself. The headlines read: John Kerry: "Enormous amount of evidence" Russia involved in MH17 crash.” In fact, UK tabloids and a few major media outlets led with just those kinds of headlines on their front pages. A great deal of trash journalism and iteration over social media “evidence” ensued, leaving us now with lists and dispositions of MH17 victims. Factor in the Kiev regime launching a major offensive on Donetsk while the MH17 investigation was in the early stages, and “access” to the crash site becomes less a pro-Russian fault, and more a west-backed right wing infringement. If resolving this were the goal, a ceasefire could surely speed this.
A Two-Headed Trust Coin
On the day of the crash of the Malaysian airline, even Mashable (formerly a tech blog) was on top of the story professing “data” where only speculation could possibly have been had. Just so the reader knows, the former tech blog relies heavily on information from the Kiev Post. Reading his and other Mashable headlines points at probable bias in my view. “Rebels Load MH17 Victims' Bodies Onto Train Cars, Destination Unknown”, when everything from intact black boxes (not as reported) to separatists crying over toys of child passengers (rather than bragging on as reported) attest to not simply “misunderstanding” the difference between reporting news and spreading rumor.
Looking back at the day of the tragedy, and the hours afterward though, this is what the American people may need to focus on. While the “truth” of this incident may not be known for years, our reactions weigh on every citizen of every country in the world. Sanctions against Russia by the EU in the wake of, and because of Russia’s alleged part in the MH17 tragedy, have already destroyed businesses in the EU. Worse still, a divide between economically unstable EU countries has widened. Also, U.S.-Germany interests failing to coincide could spell disaster.
Using MH17, and insinuations of Russian aggression, Western leaders have instigated an economic war that cannot be won. A so-far calm and calculating Putin finally chose to counter-sanction the West. Once EU leadership followed Washington’s lead over MH17, the Russian leader had little choice. Massive gas deals, BRICS partners taking up EU slack, and a damaged dollar currency reveal themselves. But all the Putin counter-strategies are less impactful than an EU being split apart without any proof of verifiable Russian culpability. And this is not just my view.
Finally, the numbers and kinds of coincidences surrounding the Ukraine situation seem far too many and impactful. Take Putin’s counter-strategies versus West sanctions into account for a moment. Just days before MH17 was lost, Putin and the other BRICS membership agreed to star their own world bank. In fact, the Russian president was on his way back to Moscow from Brazil on the same day as the Malaysian airliner was lost. Not only this, but Putin flew along part of the same flight path as MH17. One theory suggests Kiev (or even the CIA) may have intended to assassinate Putin over separatist territory. Forget the fact Putin’s version of Air Force One had stopped flying over Ukraine months before, this is just another of dozens of weird coincidental bits and pieces of an impossible puzzle.
Whatever facts we do have on MH17 now, these seem less impactful than the Spanish farmer burning an EU flag over harvested peach crops. Representatives of Spanish Young Farmers and Ranchers of Catalonia burned several flags atop tons of peaches piled in front of Lleida city hall in Catalonia. Spain, as you probably already know, is economically struggling since the “Great Recession” began in 2008. Like Greece, Portugal, and an ever-widening swath of European Union countries, unemployment and other hardships have shattered lives there. Sanctions on a consumer like Russia, at such a time, the EU seems headed to catastrophic meltdown. Greece farmers stand to lose 200 million euros they can ill afford. Finland’s losses over sanctions will be vastly disproportionate. Italy’s agriculture sector is threatened with collapse. Britain’s dairy farmers are all but up in arms over the collapse of that market, and the list of deep implications goes on and on.
ING Group told reporters recently, a yearlong trade embargo with Russia could cost €6.7 billion euro. They went on to report, the potential loss of 130,000 jobs in countries already smashed with joblessness. What we’re witnessing here is the potential for a world economic cataclysm. And it's all over nothing more substantial than “rumors” instigated ether through gross malfeasance, or Machiavellian leadership. Western leadership, and the media that mirrors their rhetoric, is incompetent, or criminal in their strategies to legitimize propaganda.
The reasoning behind this finger pointing does not matter. Most level-headed experts agree that if U.S. intelligence had any proof MH17 was downed by Russia or pro-Russian separatists, we’d have already seen it. On the other side of this détente coin with two heads sides, media from BBC to Reuters and even the mighty New York Times have totally ignored the only solid evidence on MH17. A few days after the U.S., Britain, Australia, and other nations showed MH17 victim families begging Putin for reasons their children were massacred, the Russian Defense Ministry released satellite imagery and radar data in a detailed report.
Supposedly, Putin has ordered a humanitarian invasion into east Ukraine. This too has interestingly ended up as only a delivery in which the “invaders” have already returned to Russia. This is akin to the wolves and wild dogs roaming the streets of Sochi during the Winter Olympiad, or perhaps the LGBT people who were crucified in public during those Sochi Games. Not unlike all the other drummed up evidence used to start wars throughout history, MH17 has been used to create conflict, and nothing more.
To sum up, I would suggest here that readers ask the question: “What kind of leader would allow ethnic Russians to starve to death or die of thirst a few kilometers from Russia’s border?” As citizens of these various nations, it seems just and right for us to demand the evidence implicating the perpetrators of this crime. What possible damage could intelligence community images, data, or conversations have in a time where no individual on Earth is immune to intelligence breeches? If the NSA can spy on us all, why can’t our representatives force the release of this vital data? You don’t have to agree with me, or love the Russians either, but justice and reason must be demanded.
If not, then all trust is lost.© Japan Today