Mercury Rising 鳯女

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More on Malaysian airliner

Posted by Charles II on July 23, 2014

My take at DK here.

The Al Jazeera flavor is this:

U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday they have no evidence of direct Russian government involvement in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The statements, made anonymously to The Associated Press and Reuters, came after a train carrying the remains of many of the 298 victims of the Malaysian Airlines passenger jet – brought down over Ukraine’s restive east – arrived in government-controlled territory on Tuesday, and as experts began to examine the plane’s black boxes, which separatist rebels handed over to Malaysian officials.

U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that they believe pro-Russian separatists likely shot down the plane “by mistake,” and that they have no evidence the Russian government was directly involved.

The yahoos won’t admit it, but this is a huge climbdown. From ABC News:

Secretary of State John Kerry told American TV viewers that rebels shot down the plane with Russian weaponry

Except they’re not even sure that it was the rebels, and have no idea whether the weapon was supplied by the Russians or was pilfered from Ukrainian stores.

Just 14 hours ago, the Washington Post published this (granted, an OpEd by a postdoc who is probably busily eating his words at this moment):

Russian personnel may well have been involved in the decision to shoot down a civilian aircraft despite Putin’s early attempts to deny any role.

The bottom line is that Russian decision-makers are either guilty of gross negligence or have blood on their hands. If Russian personnel were involved in the decision to bring down MH17, Moscow’s own forces helped authorize and/or execute an operation which tragically resulted in 298 innocent civilian deaths.

What I hear at Daily Kos–which amounts, thanks to the lack of critical reasoning by some people, to a summary of the media narrative being pushed by corporate media and the State Department–that Russian military fired the missile deliberately, or that they trained the rebels to fire the missile and they supplied the missile, or that it doesn’t matter if the rebels fired it by accident because it’s murder all the same.

But what if the rebels procured the missile from Ukrainian stores and, through accident, incompetence, or recklessness, fired the missile at what they believed to be a Ukrainian military aircraft? Is that really worth starting the Cold War over?

Robert Parry has a different take. His sources say that the guys who fired the missile were wearing Ukrainian uniforms.

I think that getting to the most likely scenario is pretty easy. Is the Russian military a very cautious, top-down, centrally-controlled organization? Yes.
Would the Russians benefit from shooting down a civilian aircraft? No.
Suppose a Russian adviser was in charge of a battery manned by Ukrainian rebels. Would he shoot down a civilian aircraft? Certainly not if he were regular military. Possible if he were a Cossack volunteer. But still, unlikely.
So, is it likely that the Russians deliberately shot down the aircraft? No.
Repeat the same analysis with the Ukrainian rebels and the regular Ukrainian army. One of the two sounds a lot more plausible. A deliberate shootdown is unlikely, but if it were, the Ukrainian military is the only one with a plausible motive to do so.


6 Responses to “More on Malaysian airliner”

  1. jo6pac said

    Thanks Charles and yes the comments were about what I expect at kos

  2. The Ukies were being beaten in the field and needed some kind of false flag.

    • Charles II said

      There’s no evidence that this is a false flag operation, Alfredo. And the rebels have lost enormous territory. See Wikipedia for the progress of the campaign. The following are excerpts with some minor editing:

      1 July Stary-Karavan and Brusivka fall. Dolzhanskyi border crossing (south of Sverdlovsk) re-established
      3 July The Ukrainian army regained control of Raihorodok and Rai-Oleksandrivka (north-east and east of Slovyansk) as well as Zakitne and Riznykivka (west and south-west of Siversk).
      5 July Pro-Russian forces abandoned the town of Sloviansk The Ukrainian flag was hoisted over the city council building of Kramatorsk. The bulk of pro-Russian forces fell back to Horlivka.
      The separatists also left Druzhkivka and Kostyantynivka
      July 6 Ukrainian authorities announced they have regained control of Artemivsk.
      July 10 Ukrainian troops took control of the town of Siversk.[682] They have also recovered the border checkpoint of Chervonopartyzansk, east of Sverdlovsk

      Do you sense a pattern here?

  3. I think that one of the reasons the Administration is pushing this so hard is to try and mitigate the damage done, especially in Germany and especially over the past three weeks, by the NSA spying revelations. Merkel sees this and is trying to do some pushback against the US’ trying to change the subject from NSA to Putin, but many observers, not without justification, are reading this as Merkel saying “please don’t cut off our fuel supplies, Mister Putin”.

  4. jo6pac said

    Charles I thought you might like this wonderful picture.

    • Charles II said

      Thanks, Jo.

      It wasn’t until the 20th century that American presidents stopped mingling with the public. The assassination of McKinley had something to do with it, but up until FDR and the centralization of power in the White House, presidents were not thought to be above it all. I was glad to see Obama taking some unscripted moments outside the security bubble.

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