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News :: International
Risk of Nuclear War Between Russia and the US
20 Jul 2014
Modified: 03:59:16 PM
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STEPHEN COHEN: The horror of it all, to quote Conrad, watching your reports on Gaza, knowing what I know but what’s not being reported in the mainstream media about what’s been going on in eastern Ukraine cities—these cities have been pounded by Kiev—and now this. "Emeritus," as you call me, means old. I’ve seen this before. One function of cold war is innocent victims. The people who died, nearly 300, from many countries, are the first victims, nonresidential victims, of the new Cold War. This crash, this shootdown, will make everything worse, no matter who did it.

There are several theoretical possibilities. I am not a conspiracy buff, but we know in the history of the Cold War, there are provocations, people who want to make things worse. So, in Moscow, and not only in Moscow, there are theories that somebody wanted this to happen. I just can’t believe anybody would do it, but you can’t rule anything out.

The other possibility is, because the Ukrainian government itself has a capability to shoot down planes. By the way, the Ukrainian government shot down a Russian passenger jet, I think in 2001. It was flying from Tel Aviv. It was an accident. Competence is always a factor when you have these weapons.

Another possibility is that the rebels—we call them separatists, but they weren’t separatists in the beginning, they just wanted home rule in Ukraine—that they had the capability. But there’s a debate, because this plane was flying at commercial levels, normally beyond the reach of what they can carry on their shoulders.

There’s the possibility that the Russians aided and abetted them, possibly from Russian territory, but I rule that out because, in the end, when you don’t know who has committed a crime, the first question a professional investigator asks is, "Did anybody have a motive?" and the Russians certainly had no motive here. This is horrible for Putin and for the Russian position.

That’s what we know so far. Maybe we’ll know more. We may never know who did this.

STEPHEN COHEN: Sanctions are beside the point. Obviously they’ll cause economic pain, possibly equally to Europe, which doesn’t want them, didn’t want them. Major American corporations took out ads in major American newspapers before Obama did this, asking Obama not to do it. When you resort to sanctions, it means you have no policy. You have an attitude. And the anti-Putin attitude in Washington is driving American policy.

Let me mention, because I think it’s relevant to what you’re covering here, your very, very powerful segments before I came on today about what’s going on in Gaza, the pounding of these cities, the defenselessness of ordinary people. The same thing has been happening in East Ukrainian cities—bombing, shelling, mortaring by the Kiev government—whatever we think of that government. But that government is backed 150 percent by the White House. Every day, the White House and the State Department approve of what Kiev’s been doing. We don’t know how many innocent civilians, women and children, have died. We know there’s probably several hundred thousand refugees that have run from these cities. The cities are Donetsk, Luhansk, Kramatorsk, Slovyansk—a whole series of cities whose names are not familiar to Americans. The fact is, Americans know nothing about this. We know something about what’s happening in Gaza, and there’s a division of opinion in the United States: The Israelis should do this, the Israelis should not do this. But we know there are victims: We see them. Sometimes the mainstream media yanks a reporter, as you just showed, who shows it too vividly, because it offends the perception of what’s right or wrong. But we are not shown anything about what’s happened in these Ukrainian cities, these eastern Ukrainian cities.

Why is that important? Because this airliner, this shootdown, took place in that context. The American media says it must have been the bad guys—that is, the rebels—because they’ve shot down other airplanes. This is true, but the airplanes they’ve been shooting down are Ukraine’s military warplanes that have come to bomb the women and children of these cities. We don’t know that.

AMY GOODMAN: There have been several discussions—in the corporate media, it was said that this plane might have had a sort of unusual path, had gone further south, and that they thought it was a Ukrainian military plane.

STEPHEN COHEN: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: Also, in terms of the black boxes, that Ukrainian officials and NTSB cannot get there because it’s rebel-held territory, and that the rebels might have taken the black boxes.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, the rebels have said they’re going to turn them over to Moscow, and Moscow will not conceal them. I mean, Moscow is going to play openness, so far as we know. But what’s preposterous, of course, is the prime minister of Malaysia coming out and telling us that Malaysia will uncover this mystery, when it still can’t find its missing airliner. This is just absolutely preposterous. But you’re right, the investigation is going to be politicized. Will we ever know?

Let me make the point again, though, because you hearkened back to it: This is a war zone. It’s a war zone. It’s been a war zone, an air war zone, for at least a month. Americans don’t know that. I hear you’ve shown it. But that’s—

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, that’s one of the reasons that—well, what I wanted to ask you is, because of what’s been going on in Syria, in Iraq, and now with the Israeli attacks on Gaza, it’s almost as if what’s going on in Ukraine has receded in the consciousness of the media here in this country, even though it’s conceivably much more dangerous and has more long-term impact on the United States.

STEPHEN COHEN: I don’t want to prioritize death—I mean, whose death is worse or not so worse. But the reality is, if you’re going to ask an historian, that the conflict in the Middle East, including Iraq, is going to affect regional politics, but the conflict in Ukraine is going to affect global politics, because we are now in a new Cold War with Russia. We have been for several months. One aspect of cold war is civilian deaths. We’ve had these shootdowns. We had them in the old Cold War. This is going to get worse. It also brings us closer to war between Russia and the West, NATO and the United States. So, if you’re going to ask which is more important—Russians have a saying that, which is worse? And the answer is, both are worse. They’re all worse. But if you’re going to ask which is going to have impact for our grandchildren, it’s what’s going on in Ukraine now.

AMY GOODMAN: Obama announcing stricter sanctions against Russia, how significant is this? It was a day before the downing of the plane.

STEPHEN COHEN: I’ll repeat what I said before: By resorting to sanctions, Obama reminds us he has no policy toward Ukraine or Russia other than to blame Putin. That’s not a policy; that’s an attitude.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics, New York University and Princeton University. We’ll link to his piece in The Nation. His latest book, just out in paperback, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War.

That does it for our show. I’ll be speaking at the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, Monday, July 21st, at 7:00, and then on July 26th on Martha’s Vineyard. That’s Saturday, 7:00 p.m., Katharine Cornell Auditorium in Vineyard Haven. Check our website at democracynow.org.


http://m.democracynow.org/stories/14506

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US escalates threats against Russia over Ukraine crash
21 Jul 2014
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21 July 2014

The Obama administration is intensifying its propaganda campaign against Russia and pro-Russian separatists over the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. Even as it is clear that the US does not know how MH17 crashed or what role Russia played in the tragedy, top administration officials are using the crisis to issue repeated ultimatums against the Russian government.

US Secretary of State John Kerry made multiple television appearances Sunday, issuing bellicose statements and threats. The shooting down of the airline was a “moment of truth” for Russian President Vladimir Putin, he told Fox News.

Kerry provided the US “case” that Russia gave the east Ukrainian forces weapons that could have been used to shoot down MH17.

“There was a convoy several weeks ago, about 150 vehicles with armored personnel carriers, multiple rocket launchers, tanks, artillery, all of which crossed over from Russia into the eastern part of Ukraine and was turned over to the separatists,” Kerry told CNN. “So there’s an enormous amount of evidence, even more evidence than I just documented, that points to the involvement of Russia in providing these systems, training the people on them.”

Even if Kerry’s claims were true and Russia had provided weapons capable of shooting down MH17, this would not prove that the east Ukrainian forces in fact shot down the plane. Citing Mark Galeotti of New York University’s Center for Global Affairs, CNN said that the “evidence is largely circumstantial. NATO’s images did not show the tanks actually crossing into Ukraine.”

Asked on CNN whether Russia was “culpable” in the MH17 crash, Kerry refused to answer. “You know, culpability is a judicial term, and people can make their own judgments about what they read here. That’s why we’ve asked for a full-fledged investigation,” he said.

The recklessness of Kerry’s statements is staggering. The United States’ top diplomat is insinuating that Russia might have helped shoot down MH17, while issuing threats that could lead to international sanctions against Russia and an escalation of the civil war in Ukraine into a global war. As he advances these charges, however, he admits that the administration does not actually know what happened.

In reality, for the Obama administration, matters of fact—what actually happened and who shot down MH17, provided it was shot down—are beside the point. The event was seized on to press longstanding political aims. Washington continued to exploit the issue yesterday to pressure Russia and the United States’ imperialist allies in Europe to fall in line with US foreign policy.

Speaking on CNN, US Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (Democrat of California) demanded that Putin “man up” and confess to shooting down MH17. She said, “I think the nexus between Russia and the separatists have been established very clearly. So the issue is, where is Putin? I would say, ‘Putin, you have to man up. You should talk to the world. You should say if this was a mistake, which I hope it was, say it.’”

Feinstein also called on the European Union to impose deep economic sanctions against Russia: “I think Europe has to come together. I think Germany, in particular, has to lead. I think we have to continue with sanctions. It’s difficult, because you need Russian help in so many things.”

For their part, Britain, Germany and France announced on Sunday that they would prepare to increase sanctions against Russia over the plane crash at a European foreign ministers meeting Tuesday.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Sunday said Russia “risks becoming a pariah state if it does not behave properly.”

Alluding to divisions within Europe over policy toward Russia—particularly, reluctance from sections of the German political establishment to follow in lockstep behind the US—Hammond said, “Some of our European allies have been less enthusiastic, and I hope that the shock of this incident will see them now more engaged, more willing to take the actions which are necessary to bring home to the Russians that when you do this kind of thing it has consequences.”

While it presses its propaganda campaign against Russia, the US appears to be hedging its bets about what actually happened. In comments Friday in which he denounced Russia, Obama himself made a peculiar reference to a lot of “misinformation” on the MH17 crash, saying that it was necessary for people to “sift through what is factually based and what is simply speculation.”

US claims that Russia is politically responsible for the crash of MH17 are a cynical fraud. Whether the plane was brought down by a missile fired by Ukrainian or Russian-backed forces, the central responsibility for this tragedy lies with Washington, Berlin and their European allies. The civil war raging in east Ukraine, in which one or another side shot down the jetliner, was provoked by their support for the installation of a far-right, pro-Western Ukrainian regime through the fascist-led putsch of February 22 in Kiev.

Since then, CIA officials, mercenaries from the firm previously known as Blackwater, and European intelligence operatives have worked closely with Ukrainian fascist militias, such as Right Sector or the Azov Battalion, to attack and terrorize east Ukrainian cities. It is unclear how much the White House, which has already claimed that the CIA spied on German officials and intelligence agencies without telling Obama, knows about these activities.

Under these conditions, it is impossible to place confidence in any statement coming from the Obama administration about the MH17 crash. While pro-Russian forces might have shot it down, it is also possible that Ukrainian army forces or fascist militias, working with Western intelligence units or mercenary groups, shot down the plane and blamed it on pro-Russian forces.

Significantly, what reports have emerged about missile batteries active in the region at the time of the MH17 crash point to involvement not by Russia, but by the US-backed regime in Kiev.

US intelligence has claimed that US spy satellites over Ukraine detected an SA-11 Buk missile battery firing a missile shortly before MH17 crashed. Both Russian and Ukrainian army units field Buk missile batteries, which were originally designed in the Soviet Union. The Kiev regime subsequently released a video clip of a Buk missile battery, which it said was being rushed towards the Russian border after the attack, ostensibly in order to escape detection after shooting down MH17.

According to Russian television coverage reported by NBC News, however, the serial number on the missile launcher in question—312—showed that it is in fact operated by the Ukrainian army.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/21/ukra-j21.html
Russia Bashing: Hatred, Hysteria and Humbug
25 Jul 2014
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A Tale of Three Aircraft Tragedies by BRIAN CLOUGHLEY

“A civilian jet airliner shot down by US Navy surface to air missiles on 3 July 1988 as it flew over the Strait of Hormuz at the end of the Iran–Iraq War. The aircraft, an Airbus A300B2-203 operated by Iran Air, was flying from Bandar Abbas, Iran, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. While flying in Iranian airspace over Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf on its usual flight path, it was destroyed by the guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes. All 290 on board, including 66 children and 16 crew, perished.”

The captain of the ship that killed 290 innocent people was given a high military decoration by the United States of America “for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service” during his period in command.

The following report about Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 sums up the attitude of the great majority of the west’s media and political administrations to the disaster in Ukraine. It is from a British newspaper that I used to respect, the Independent, which announced that “The 192 bodies found after the Flight MH17 plane crash have been bundled into black body bags and unceremoniously loaded into large refrigerated train cars, bound, it is understood, for the rebel heartland.” The paper didn’t have a reporter anywhere near the place, and shifted its shaky ground a bit when stating that “the bodies were reportedly moved by Ukraine’s emergency services who were working for the rebels under duress on Sunday.” It had to inject that “under duress” bit, but couldn’t avoid admitting that experts from official Ukrainian emergency services were involved.

If the bodies had been dealt with in the way the Independent claimed then of course there would be reason for disgust and condemnation. But it didn’t happen that way. The bodies were not “bundled” into body bags, nor were they “unceremoniously” loaded into the refrigerated wagons. But lots of media outlets followed the same propaganda line. The UK Daily Mail, which is admittedly a joke of a newspaper, screamed that “pro-Russian rebels left the victims’ bodies to decay for several days in body bags dumped around the crash site before eventually allowing them to be taken by train to Kharkiv airport.” Absolute rubbish.

According to Euronews, to which (with Al Jazeera, AFP, AP, Reuters and the BBC) I increasingly have recourse in order to obtain unbiased accounts of world affairs, it wasn’t like that at all. It reported that “the Ukrainian government announced that it had reached an agreement on the removal of bodies with representatives of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, the pro-Russian rebels who control the territory around the crash site” and that “International observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) inspected the train before it departed. The train was made up of refrigerated wagons to preserve the remains of the victims.” The BBC recorded that “the remains . . . have been loaded on to refrigerated rail wagons,” and that “Dutch experts examined some of the 196 bodies kept in refrigerator wagons in Torez, some 15 km away from the crash site. ‘I think the storage of the bodies is of good quality,’ team leader Peter van Leit said after the inspection.” There was no drama about these reports — because there was no drama.

But it’s essential for the US-dominated west to manufacture anti-Russian fantasies, and the Independent (and other hate-Putin fraternities) recounted that there were “reports from the crash site of the rebels blocking investigations and even allowing the bodies to be looted.” There were no verified first-hand reports of any such thing, of course, but then there was a bit of embarrassment when a western reporter at the crash site, a particularly nauseating little fragment of filth called Colin Brazier, of Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News, was shown on camera removing personal items from the luggage of a dead passenger. (Why does Murdoch come in to almost everything that is slimy and disgusting?)

It wasn’t exactly looting, of course, because no doubt Mr Brazier was well-equipped with personal items, but it must have been a little sad and upsetting for the relatives of victims to see on Murdoch television the set of keys and the toothbrush that he displayed. Make no mistake : the western media was at its most energetic — and hypocritical — in presenting the hideousness of the shooting-down of Flight MH17.

There is hypocrisy in the fact that western media castigated people — without evidence — for “looting” baggage while a strolling player of international television enjoyed a ghoulishly morbid dabble in suitcase contents. It must be pointed out that if local hooligans were acting as claimed by western media — forbidding entry of foreigners to the crash site — then how did the toothbrush-plucking Mr Brazier manage to get there for Sky News in order to titillate the world with displays of a dead person’s keys? Make no mistake : there are plenty like Brazier. And his only mistake was to misjudge audience reaction. An equally abominable Australian journalist, Phil Williams, was also pictured poking around in the belongings of the dead. There’s no limit to the depths to which these people will plunge. But it’s all in what they think is a good cause — the pillorying of Putin, the man who is trying to do his best for the citizens of his country which has lots of oil and gas and other goodies and thus presents an economic threat to Washington.

The ghoulish manufactured reportage about the aircraft’s flight recorders was another example of western media hysteria. The headlines fairly shrieked propaganda nonsense such as “Flight’s Black Box ‘Found and En Route’ to Moscow for Investigation.” But of course the two recorders were not on the way to Russia. They were found and handed over to officials of Malaysia Airlines, as was right and proper. No western reporter checked out the original story in spite of its being denied by the Russian government. Why should they? — They had got the headlines, and people believed their lies. The rebels handed over the recorders to Malaysia Airlines simply because they didn’t trust the Ukrainians not to interfere with them. But this wasn’t the sort of news that is acceptable to Russia-bashers.

The tsunami of malevolent anti-Russian propaganda surged on and still surges, thanks to such as the US Secretary of State John Kerry who is rarely at a loss for an intriguing declaration. (Remember his pronouncement of 2010 that “Syria will play a very important role in achieving a comprehensive peace in the region and in putting an end to the five decades of conflict that have plagued everybody in this region.”) He did his bit to whip up hatred by announcing that there was “extraordinary circumstantial evidence” showing that the missile that destroyed MH17 was “a system that was transferred from Russia in the hands of separatists.” But five days later, as reported by Associated Press, “intelligence officials were cautious in their assessment, noting that while the Russians have been arming separatists in eastern Ukraine, the US had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia.”

Kerry then jumped on the body bandwagon and declared on NBC that “What’s happening is really grotesque. There are reports of drunken separatist soldiers unceremoniously piling bodies into trucks, removing both bodies, as well as evidence, from the site.”

What proof had he for saying that anyone was “unceremoniously piling bodies into trucks”? Or that the missile system had been transferred from Russia? The word “circumstantial” in relation to evidence means “indirect, inferred or conditional.” It is used by international political conmen like Kerry to make us believe they have proof about something they want us to believe. And the western media go out of their way to help them.

There was even more hysteria whipped up by the media which shrieked that it had taken far too long to collect the bodies — four days — and that this was absolutely scandalous. Does anyone remember the bombing of Pan American Airways flight 103 in 1988? The plane exploded and fell out of the sky onto Lockerbie in southern Scotland, killing 259 people. As the Guardian newspaper later reported “Search teams would comb through much of the 2,190 square kilometres of the county with the help of helicopters, airplanes and even spy satellites. But they would be unable to locate the bodies of seven of the passengers, as well as about 10 per cent of the plane. And in some cases they may have arrived too late: 10 years after the catastrophe, the chief pathologist reported that two of the passengers had suffered serious but not fatal wounds. Possibly they froze to death on the ground before the search teams found them in a forest four days later.” Four days later. There was no media frenzy about that four day gap. Why was there media mania about the four days taken to find the MH17 bodies? — Because there is a well-orchestrated campaign of vindictive anti-Russian propaganda.

The West thinks they’ve got Putin at last. The Sochi Winter Olympics were a great success, to the great vexation of governments in Washington, London, Warsaw and some other capitals, and the plebiscite in Crimea in which its citizens voted without a single instance of bloodshed to rejoin Russia (yes — rejoin; not a word you’ll have seen much in western papers), was similarly infuriating. But now there’s a chance to imply that Putin is responsible for everything that’s wrong in Ukraine, and especially the destruction of MH17, there is mega-lip-smacking in the corridors of conspiracy.

As noted above, many western newspapers and other media squealed and screeched about how terrible it was that the MH17 bodies were “ bundled into black body bags and unceremoniously loaded into large refrigerated train cars” — but at the site of the Lockerbie disaster “the first corpses were brought to the town hall, but people [ordinary villagers, just as in Ukraine] then started bringing them to the hockey stadium because it was the only place large and cool enough to store so many bodies.” There was no “ceremony” in Lockerbie. How could there be in any such circumstances? But the Putin-bashers seize on anything and everything that they think could whip up hatred of Russia. The “pro-Russia separatists” are guilty of everything that’s nasty.

Then Kerry leapt on the next bandwagon and pronounced that “it is clear that Russia supports the separatists, supplies the separatists, encourages the separatists, trains the separatists.”

Many of us remember the months before the US went to war on Iraq in 2003 when another US Secretary of State made similar pronouncements. We should remember that the then incumbent of that office declared “we have first hand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails.” He announced a lot more baloney about “rocket launchers and warheads containing biological warfare agents” —and so on — and there was not a scrap of proof or truth in any of it. It was all lies.

Why should we believe John Kerry’s rabble-rousing proclamations about anything to do with the stricken MH17? Where is his proof?

Sure, many of the separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine are vicious horrible people. Their cause might be reasonable but some of their actions are barbaric. Many are former members of the Ukraine army. They are the Taliban of Ukraine’s tribal areas. But their political leader Alexander Borodai said they had moved the bodies “out of respect for the families” because “we couldn’t wait any longer because of the heat and also because there are many dogs and wild animals in the zone.” That is an entirely practical reason, and would any of the ignorant and spiteful western critics have acted differently in such circumstances?

Borodai denies that the rebels shot down the Malaysia Airlines flight, but of course he would, wouldn’t he? Just as the government of Ukraine denies having done it.

So there must be a totally independent international inquiry into this ghastly disaster. It should be an investigation on the same lines and with the same terms of reference as the independent inquiry that took place following the shooting-down of Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988. Or does my memory play tricks? Surely there must have been a full independent inquiry into that atrocity, as demanded, now, about MH17, by President Obama who has demanded a “a rapid and credible investigation” ? Or perhaps there wasn’t.

Do you remember that international crime? It involved “a civilian jet airliner shot down by US Navy surface to air missiles on 3 July 1988 as it flew over the Strait of Hormuz at the end of the Iran–Iraq War. The aircraft, an Airbus A300B2-203 operated by Iran Air, was flying from Bandar Abbas, Iran, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. While flying in Iranian airspace over Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf on its usual flight path, it was destroyed by the guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes. All 290 on board, including 66 children and 16 crew, perished.”

There was no attempt to find bodies after Iran Air 655 smashed into the waters of the Persian Gulf. There were no toothbrushes to be brandished by the squalid morbid media — and nor was there an independent inquiry. The captain of the ship that killed 290 innocent people was given a high military decoration by the United States of America “for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service” during his period in command.

It’s OK for the US to shoot down an Iranian airliner and kill 290 people — there’s never been an apology to the Iranian people for that war crime — but when there’s an opportunity to claim, to shriek, to propagandise at cyclone-level, that a disaster has occurred in which there just might be the tiniest chance to blame Russia, then there is clamour for investigation.

Of course there must be an investigation. And let it take into account exactly where Washington stood in regard to the first rebellion in Ukraine, against the elected government, and precisely what it did to foment it. Let the whole gutter-gobbing sleazy tale be told. Let the culprits who killed the 298 innocent people on board MH17 be brought to justice. But without anti-Russian hysteria. Or western humbug. The hatred, of course, will remain.

Brian Cloughley lives in Voutenay sur Cure, France.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/25/russia-bashing-hatred-hysteria-an/
Random Thoughts on My Ukrainian Heritage
25 Jul 2014
Modified: 01:34:28 PM
History and Identity

Random Thoughts on My Ukrainian Heritage

by GARY LEUPP


My great-grandmother Theresa Dobler emigrated to the U.S. with her parents Christian and Dorothea from Ukraine in 1884 when she was 14. (In 1897 she married my great-grandfather Paul Leupp, whose parents were both immigrants from northern Switzerland.)

Her father had been born in Ukraine in 1838, her mother (in Odessa) in1844. So I suppose I am—by definition—in some small part a “Ukrainian-American” by ancestry.

(I thought about this family link when reading about the incident on May 2 in Odessa, in which 39 “pro-Russian separatists” were incinerated in the House of Trade Unions by neo-fascists or beaten to death as they sought escape. Western reports suggested that the whole thing was “murky” and that maybe the protesters had somehow set fire to the building with their own Molotov cocktails. That reporting was a new low, exceeding even the disinformation surrounding the invasion of Iraq. The key principle of self-censorship in the mainstream media involving Ukraine is: Don’t mention the neo-fascist role! Or if you mention “fascism,” depict it as Russian exaggeration and PROPAGANDA!)

Theresa and her parents were not “ethnic Ukrainians”—not that that’s an easily defined category. The gene-pool in that region being highly complex. The Doblers were Germans, from Württemberg, from the region around Stuttgart. They were among the tens of thousands of south German peasants who wound up in what we now call Ukraine as a result of the Russian-Ottoman wars of the early 1800s.

The Danube valley region (referred to at the time as “Bessarabia”) had been wrested from the Turks in 1814 and the tsar Nicholas I and his successors invited German and Polish peasants to cultivate the land.

I suspect that Theresa, Christian and Dorothea were actually of Swiss extraction (like the Leupps, whose origins in the northern Swiss canton of Schaffhausen I have traced to the early 1600s). A lot of Swiss people with surnames like Dobler and Handel migrated to the Palatinate in the aftermath of the Thirty Years’ War in the seventeenth century, including Anabaptists fleeing persecution. This would make the Doblers Swiss-German-Ukrainians.

Not to confuse you further, but Christian’s father Peter was born in 1803 in what is now Serbia (but was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), also cultivating what had once been Ottoman land. My ancestors on that side were textbook examples of what Oscar Handlin called “the uprooted.” Peter was the one who made the move to Bessarabia.

Anyway, Theresa (whom I met just once, shortly before her death in 1963, when she was 97 and I was 7) had been born in what is now called Teplitsa in Ukraine. It was a German colony named after the city of Teplitz in what is now the Czech republic.

Why the name? Teplitz had been the site of the signing of an important mutual defense agreement between the Austria, Prussia and Russia at the time of the Napoleonic Wars. The German settlers in Ukraine named their community after that town as an assertion of nationalist sentiment, even in exile. The name remains, even though the Germans are gone, or have been absorbed into the complex local gene pool.

Theresa’s passport and U.S. census documents make no mention of Ukraine. She and her parents were listed as coming from “Bessarabia, Russia” or sometimes from Odessa (which was perhaps the port of embarkation). At that time Ukraine was a principality of the Russian Empire, as it had been since 1654.

I have always been aware of my own complex ethnicity: Norwegian, Swedish, Swiss, German-Ukrainian, Scots-Irish and English.

Oh come on, you say, that’s not so complex! You’re white, for god sakes! So why any need to go into details?

Why? Because these are all different peoples, and everyone deserves respect. One should give attention to historical details and avoid simplistic thinking. Recent events in Ukraine demonstrate how people looking strikingly similar can feel themselves quite different from one another and have real reasons to insist on a degree of autonomy.

My mother’s father was a Swedish immigrant whom (my mother once told me) thought he had “married down” by wedding a Norwegian. (You know about the historical relationship between Norwegians and Swedes!) Oh you don’t?

Never mind. It’s not important. My grandmother Ella and grandfather Sven spoke closely related, mutually comprehensible languages and shared a common Lutheranism. There is such a thing as “Scandinavian culture” and in those days, in Minnesota, it was natural for Nordic people to intermarry. But even among them, there were perceived distinctions—the Swedes representing the higher level of culture.

And of course (thinking about my father’s mother’s Norwegian-English-Scots Irish background), the Irish have a sense of self that distinguishes them from the English, and vice-versa. Ethnic identity is based upon a lot of things. In this country we tend to think in terms of skin color as the main ethnic marker. But in some places, religion and/or language are equally important shapers of identity and division.

I imagine that Theresa Dobler and her parents had a strong sense of German identity. They spoke German at home all their lives, in Teplitz, then Colorado, and the Dakotas. Theresa’s father Christian bonded with my great-great grandfather Andreas Leupp, a Swiss theologian, and as a skilled carpenter built him what remains Colorado’s oldest Lutheran church. Andreas preached in a series of Lutheran churches throughout the Midwest and Colorado during a long career.

(Christian by the way was gored by a bull in Boulder in 1923, killed at age 85. He was wearing a red jacket, chopping wood in his backyard. But I digress.)

You might ask: why would Andreas Leupp, a Basel-trained Swiss Reformed Calvinist minister find employment in the New World, in a Lutheran church? (After all, for people who notice such things, the Swiss Reformed Church and the Lutheran church have significantly different theologies.)

I figure it basically had to do with language. Germans and German-speaking Swiss were avid churchgoers; the church was the center of their social lives, where they met marriage partners. They wanted their liturgy in German; they wanted the gospel in Luther’s translation; they wanted fiery sermons auf Deutsch.

The congregations were much less interested in whether one believed in transubstantiation or consubstantiation in the Eucharist than one’s ability to preach the gospel in their ancestral tongue.

I have reason to believe my great-great-grandfather Andreas never really mastered English. It was not necessarily required in his environment. And I know that my grandfather (his grandson, Arthur Andreas Leupp), who owned a hardware store in a tiny town in North Dakota, routinely spoke German with customers.

In my youth I never brought up this inconvenient fact when listening to relatives inveighing against bilingual (mainly English-Spanish) education. I should have said: Don’t you realize that some our own ancestors lived in a German-language bubble all their lives—because you could do that in North Dakota? And you realize, of course, that Benjamin Franklin famously wondered whether Germans could ever successfully assimilate into U.S. society, due to their foreign language and habits? Give immigrants a break…

On my mom’s side, as I mentioned, Swedish was always spoken at home. My grandmother was born on a farm in Minnesota but had a thick Scandinavian brogue all her life, and always pronounced my mother’s name (Ruth) as “Root.”

Back to my dad’s side—the Swiss, German-Ukrainian, Scots-Irish and English side (which also includes some Norwegian). The only traces of the Bessarabian (Ukrainian) heritage in the family I can recall would be the family traditions of eating borsht, beef stroganoff, and Fleishkuekle. (If you are unfamiliar with the latter, I notice Wikipedia describes it as a type of meat pie traditional among “Volga Germans from Russia” and part of the “cuisine of North Dakota”).

I personally have no sense of “Ukrainian” identity. But when debating recent events in that country and encountering someone who wants to insert identity into their argument (“My parents came from Lithuania!”) as though that has anything to do with the discussion, I’m not above saying (shamelessly, opportunistically): “Well, hey, I myself am of Ukrainian heritage!”

Which is—for the above-mentioned reasons— totally true, is it not? Not that it allows me any special right to speak or grants me any special insight. There are all kinds of people of “Ukrainian heritage,” including the significant Russian, Tatar, Jewish, Polish and Hungarian minorities (whom are being disparaged in some official Kiev propaganda as “subhumans”). The DNA of people living in what now constitutes Ukraine includes contributions from Celts, Goths, Khazars (a Turkic people), the Mongols of the Golden Horde and many others.

And the whole region east of the Dnieper, the region described in the western media as “controlled by pro-Russian separatists” was in fact only incorporated into Ukraine in the twentieth century. The Russian language has been prevalent there for centuries.

Anyone positing the existence of a “pure” Ukrainian “race” requiring defense against outside inferiors is obviously attacking science and history. Mein Kampf is not a good model for ethnological thinking. Stephan Bandera is not a hero. Anyone demanding that there be just one official language in Ukraine is attacking millions of people at a fundamental level of identity, telling them they don’t belong.

The Doblers left Ukraine in 1884 because the tsar had reneged on the original promise to German settlers that they would be exempt from military conscription. They came to the U.S. seeking “freedom.”

Now the U.S. is firmly allied to a regime in Ukraine that includes in the most crucial positions people who oppose the mixing of “races” and even advocate—with shocking openness, met with shocking mainstream media indifference—the elimination of communities they call “vermin” and “filth.”

A regime whose first legislative action last February was to repeal the law protecting minority linguistic rights.

I think Ukraine-born Theresa and her Ukraine-born parents Christian and Dorothea would be sickened about the putsch in Kiev in February and the assault it represents on ethnic minorities in Ukraine (a country that did not exist until the Bolshevik Revolution).

And perhaps sickened by the response of the first (half) African-American president, who shows no understanding of the history or issues but lets his State Department’s reckless eagerness to expand NATO—in order to transform the Black Sea into a NATO lake—blind him to everything else.

GARY LEUPP is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan; Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, (AK Press). He can be reached at: gleupp (at) granite.tufts.edu

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/23/random-thoughts-on-my-ukrainian-h/
MH17 – Sacrificed Airliner
25 Jul 2014
The special train carrying refrigerated corpses from the MH17 catastrophe has left the station of Torez, just a few miles from the crash site. People, who died a terrible death onboard the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200, will soon be reunited with their grieving families. They will receive a proper funeral, and will be laid to rest in the Netherlands, Malaysia and several other countries. They are on their way home, at last.

The Ukrainian rebels handed over the black boxes to international authorities. The investigation can begin. It hopefully will begin, unobstructed by political maneuvering.

Will the Empire allow the investigation to follow its course? The Western propaganda machine is in full gear. The twisting of facts, obscuring of evidence, and maneuvering public opinion all over the world: all this is being done with determination and routinely applied precision.

So much is at stake! Increasing cooperation between Russia, Latin America and China could mean the end of Western neo-colonial control of the world. The creation of alternatives to the World Bank can free billions of human beings from market feudalism and its slavery. Powerful news organizations broadcasting from Russia (RT), Venezuela (TeleSur) and Iran (Press TV) are consistently breaking the depressing and nihilistic monopoly of Western propaganda and control of people’s brains all over the world.

The more liberating these trends and waves are for the world, the more panic there is in Washington, London and Paris, but also on Wall Street and in the City, as well as in the newsrooms of the corporate media.

The West is terrified. Its ‘exceptionalism’, tremendous profits from controlling everything that moves on this planet, the kick of being in charge and holding the whip, all this can disappear if these waves of resistance are not reversed!

And the villains are damned Russia and Putin, who is refusing to yield. Putin is despicable, and a real nuisance in the eyes of the Empire, because he is unwilling to sacrifice, or to destroy his own country as Yeltsin had done two decades earlier. The villains are also those bloody Chinese, because they are sticking to their ideals, to socialism the Chinese way, while lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. The other villains are those bastards from Latin America, with their big dreams and humanism, their revolutions and sudden refusal to sacrifice their own people for the wellbeing of the Western elites.

And all of them – these three disobedient parts of the world, three cohorts – are now getting closer and closer together, forging an as yet undefined alliance, but an alliance nevertheless, increasing cooperation, signing treaties, creating alternative organizations, and saying “No!” to the world order. And more countries are looking at all this with hope; more are joining the club of the free. Not absolutely free, but free from Western colonial terror, which is now perhaps the worst kind of terror that exists on this planet (including those horrid derivates of the regime, implanted all over the planet).

To fight these dissident nations openly, to do it on ideological or moral grounds, is impossible. They would most certainly not lose! By now it should be too obvious, it should be too clear who is on the ‘right and wrong sides of history’.

Therefore, the “smear” is the only way for the Empire to advance its destructive cause. Or at least it is the most effective way. The good old way of discrediting one’s enemy, was by dragging him through filth, by turning his achievements into failures, his heroic resistance into hideous crimes. The Brits perfected this, ruling their colonies for centuries, by deceit and perverse philosophical concepts. The German Nazis were fairly effective as well.

The way it stands, there is nothing good that Russia can do. There is nothing decent about China (it is Communist when it suits Western propaganda or ‘more capitalist than traditionally capitalist countries are’, when it fits the bill). Venezuela with its direct democracy is dictatorial. And so on.

And now the plane… The second Malaysian Boeing 777 lost in one single year… Both belonged to one of the best airlines on earth, with a great maintenance record for its equipment! Strange, very strange… But Russia is certainly to blame. Because the President of the United States said so, because the British PM said so… No proof is needed. The Western public is extremely obedient.donate now

Now the bodies are going! From a small Torez station, they are going home, wrapped in bags.

They are victims of something that many decent people all over the world are even afraid to formulate in their minds.

The area of Eastern Ukraine that they – the corpses – are now leaving, is full of local victims, too – those civilian victims of ethnic cleansing, whose only fault is that their maternal tongue happened to be Russian, or that they do not or cannot live in a country run by the pro-Western fascist dictatorship of the ‘Chocolate King’, Poroshenko, and his gangsters.

Now civilians are dying, every day. That does not bother the Western regime. Killing the rebels, their families and neighbors, is encouraged. Burning people in Odessa, burning them alive, is not even criticized in the lackey corporate media. The entire debate and coverage of events has become grotesque and sick.

More then 100,000 people have recently crossed into Russia, seeking refuge from Ukrainian bombers and rockets, or perhaps more, most likely much more.

Russian lives do not count. Asian lives do not count. African lives do not count. Middle Eastern lives do not count. The lives of Latin Americans do not count. That is why the West so freely and without hesitation has murdered tens of millions of ‘unpeople’, for decades and centuries.

The formula is simple: Dutch tourists do count. Ukrainian villagers don’t. It was quite similar during Nazi control of Europe.

***

Right after the tragedy, the legendary thinker and Chief Editor of “The Greanville Post”, Patrice Greanville, summarized the events and predicted what is coming. He did it with deadly accuracy:

“The US TV networks —the West’s Ministry of Truth organs—and other media have been blabbering almost nonstop for the past few hours about the Malaysian airliner down in Ukraine.

In the early reports on CBS, ABC, etc., I perceive a marked tendency to suggest “Russia or her proxies did it”, in this case also involving the “Pro-Russia separatists” in East Ukraine, who supposedly “have been shooting at planes” (the implication is indiscriminately) in their struggle against Kiev’s all-out military offensive.

As you probably agree, this is either an outright blatant provocation by the West, or a direct result of Washington’s criminal policies in Ukraine.

It’s easy to determine several scenarios in varying degrees of plausibility and culpability. While it’s plausible the plane was shot down by Eastern Ukraine separatists, it’s also obvious they (and Russia) have little to gain from such an act. So at worst, it can be argued it was simply an error on their part.

Indeed, if the plane was shot down by a missile, it could have been fired accidentally by the East Ukraine rebels—perfectly understandable given the horrible pounding they’ve been taking by Kiev’s air force, etc.

The second type of suspect involves not error but direct intention and therefore complete culpability. Here the lineup is clear, as the shot could have come from Kievan forces in the region, seeking to heighten tensions as per script, or a third party working for the West…

As usual, the larger context, that the US is the principal and very real meta-cause of this tragedy, will be lost to most in America…

Welcome to the new, even higher stakes Cold War, courtesy of the usual bastards in Washington, and their accomplices around the world.

The problem for us now is how to counter the inevitable propaganda wave sure to follow. Brace yourselves for the barrage of hypocrisy and sanctimonious accusations to pour out of Washington’s mouthpieces.”

All this was happening while I was working in Cambodia, trying to counter another fully perverse narrative manufactured by the West in this tortured country, several decades ago.

I met my friend, a fellow war correspondent, Andrew Marshall, and asked him, theoretically, about the coverage of similar events. Andrew is the former head of Reuters in Iraq, who later resigned from the agency because it refused to publish his critical findings about the Thai establishment and its ‘elites’ (I will be soon publishing my full interview with him). He offered his thoughts on the issue of the downed passenger jet. The point he was making: whatever the answer to ‘The question’ is (who is responsible for the act itself?), it does not change the wider geopolitical and ethical issue:

“There is a tendency in the 21st century World of 24-hour rolling news coverage to overemphasize and dramatize individual incidents in a conflict, subjecting them to intense coverage, while at the same time failing to analyze the underlying causes and patterns of conflict. The task of analyses is to focus on the “signal”, not the “noise”, but most modern media do the opposite. It’s also clearly true that powerful global interests seek to control the narrative by staging events to drown out the signal with noise. Some opponents of this strategy seek to create their own “noise”, trying to undermine the dominant narrative. In many instances it is justified, but a focus on the noise rather than signal can be counterproductive.

For example, I believe the overwhelming evidence of what happened on 9/11 is that men associated with Al Qaeda flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This was then exploited by the United States to justify a disastrous “war on terror” in the Muslim world.

The modern news media seize on incidents such as MH17, or 9/11, to exemplify a wider struggle. But in fact, in conflict, all sides tend to commit atrocities sometimes, and all sides make mistakes. In any conflict, innocents on all sides, and innocents unconnected with any side, routinely suffer. This is tragic. But sensible analysts need to avoid conflating the horror and blame of specific incidents within a conflict with the overall moral calculus of the conflict. The two are totally unconnected.”

***

Soon, things began to crystalize. As Western propaganda howling reached a crescendo, I contacted another trusted source, Sergei Kirichuk, the leader of the ‘Borodba’ movement, an influential left-wing organization in Ukraine, which is fully opposed to the Kiev junta, but at the same time maintains its independence, and cannot be defined as fully ‘pro-Russian’. He replied at length, and I have translated most of his quote for this essay:

“Without any doubt, the tragedy of the Malaysian airliner has become the most significant political event of the last few years. The tragic death of innocent people shook public opinion in Ukraine and in the entire world. Unfortunately, the circumstances of the tragedy and the information related to it, offers more questions than answers. First, and the most important question, is how did a passenger airliner happen to be in the epicenter of the military conflict? In all those days leading to the tragedy, the mass media was carrying stories about attempts by the insurgents (both successful and unsuccessful attempts) to down airplanes belonging to the Ukrainian military. Earlier it was announced that the airspace was declared closed for civilian aviation. Besides, MH17 deviated significantly from its usual flight path; routinely it was flying more to the south. Answers to these questions should be given through an international investigation.

The second important question is based on the claim by the Ukrainian security services, related to some “intercepted communication of the terrorists”, that the ‘terrorists’ were the ones who downed the plane. This communication appears to be a clear fabrication, fake, but were it to be genuine, it would provoke even more questions towards the Ukrainian security services: would it mean that they were able to monitor the communications of their adversaries, were familiar with their plans, but did nothing to prevent the tragedy?

The most terrible thing is that the tragedy of innocent people who lost their lives is being used by Ukrainian mass media as some sort of justification for the loss of lives of the civilian population in Donbas. The onslaught of the Government forces began with renewed zeal, not caring at all, anymore, about the losses among the armed forces or civilian population.

Besides that, pro-NATO elements now believe that there is solid justification for the invasion of Ukraine by Western forces…”

***

But a leading international lawyer, Christopher Black (he has investigated genocides and crimes against humanity all over the world), based in Toronto, Canada, went even further, and declared in a letter to me:

“The downing of the Malaysian airliner was either an accident by the Kiev forces or the anti-fascist forces of the Donetsk Republic, in each instance targeting the plane because they thought that it was a military and therefore a legitimate target, or it was a deliberate attack on a known civilian aircraft. If it was deliberate then it is a case of mass murder and a war crime since it took place in the midst of hostilities. I wouldn’t call it an act of terrorism as some have said as an act of terrorism is designed to create fear and panic in a population. Clearly those who downed the plane had other motives than creating fear and panic among civilians.

Many writers over the past few days have commented that neither the DPR forces nor Russia had either the equipment in place to hit neither the plane nor the motive to deliberately shoot it down. But there is strong circumstantial evidence that the forces of the Kiev regime had the means, the opportunity and the motive. They had the equipment and engaged in very suspicious actions; they had BUK anti-aircraft systems in place for unknown reasons since the DPR forces have no aircraft, the Ukraine Air Traffic Control ordered the plane’s crew to divert from the regular more southerly route to go north over the combat zone, a Ukraine jet fighter was recorded by Russian radar climbing rapidly towards it just before it went down, and, within minutes of the crash, it was the Kiev regime and its masters in Washington and London who cried loudly that it was the DPR and Russians who were to blame without a shred of evidence to support the claim. And now we know that the Ukraine SBU immediately seized the ATC radar tapes and do not appear to have handed them over to international investigators.

Kiev and Washington also had the motive: to smear Russia and the anti-fascist forces and to provoke the EU to abandon its political and economic relations with Russia. It does not take a Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes to conclude the most likely suspects are in Kiev and Washington not in Donetsk and Moscow.

President Putin has insisted on an objective international investigation since the news broke while President Obama and his minions in Kiev have done nothing but call for the head of Putin. History shows that President Putin has insisted on adherence to international law and civilized behavior consistently throughout his terms in office. His integrity is unquestioned, whereas President Obama has been consistent in his calls for war, war and more war in every region of the globe and insists that the Americans are “exceptional” and above the law and judgment.

It may be that the results of an independent investigation of this tragic and terrible event will have consequences for the United States that are beyond its imaginings and that will erase any remaining influence or credit that it may still have in the world. They have committed many crimes. This may be the one crime too many.”

***

The presentation of logical arguments and proof, by Moscow, by the rebels, and even by some dissidents inside the Western regime, has not changed the dogged and extremist position of the Empire. But why should it, really, if the entire scenario had been, most likely, manufactured (or at least manipulated) by the neo-con mafia in Washington and by their counterparts in European capitals?

At some point, The Wall Street Journal reported in its article, “Russia Presents Its Account of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Crash,” and it was refreshing that at least some quotes ‘from the other side’ were able to make it into the mainstream Western media:

“Russia’s Defense Ministry on Monday presented its first detailed account of the final moments of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, saying Russian radar had spotted a second aircraft in the vicinity shortly before the crash and that satellite imagery showed Ukraine had moved missile systems into the area before the incident.

At a news conference, air force chief Igor Makushev didn’t say who the ministry thought had fired the missile that apparently brought down the airliner on Thursday.

In an elaborate presentation displaying radar and satellite imagery, Mr. Makushev said it was likely that the second airplane was a Ukrainian fighter jet. He also showed satellite photos allegedly portraying several Buk ground-to-air missile systems in the area close to where the plane crashed. The systems, he said, could only belong to the Ukrainian military. Ukraine has accused Russia of giving the rebels a Buk system, with which they then shot down the passenger jet.

Mr. Makushev said the airplane deviated from its course by 14 kilometers, but then attempted to return to its course, before crashing shortly after.

He said Russia is prepared to hand all of the information it has to European authorities, which included satellite imagery and data from its own radars.”

***

But there was much more to it – proof after proof painstakingly put together by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. And one is only left to wonder how many ‘objective’ and ‘well-informed’ European and US citizens ever read these accounts.

It is becoming clear and obvious, that even at the height of the so called Cold-War, citizens of the Soviet Union, even countries like Romania, were much better informed and knew more about the lines of thought of their adversaries, than the arrogant and thoroughly brainwashed Westerners now know about the points made by the people in the countries designated as their enemies.

But back to the Russian response:

The Wall Street Journal was referring to what occurred on July 21, 2014, at a Special Briefing by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on the crash of the Malaysian Boeing 777 in Ukrainian air space, the speech was given by the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant-General A.V. Kartapolov. For those who are interested in what Russia has to say, these briefings are indispensable.

I worked for several hours, on improving the original translation, while trying to keep the original tone in which this was presented.

General Kartapolov argued that:

After the Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 accident on July 17, studying the international flight-plan for, Amsterdam – Kuala Lumpur, we can find a quantity of conflicting information. In this case, the Russian Federation Ministry of

Defense considers it necessary to submit the information which is at the General Staff’s disposal. On the scheme you can see the international flight-path. The

Boeing-777 was supposed to fly on this flight-path. Draw your attention to the fact that the aircraft was flying inside the specified air corridor to Donetsk, but then it deviated north from the route. Meanwhile the maximum distance from the left border of the air corridor was 14 kilometers.

Then we can see that the Boeing-777 turned back to the borders of the specified air corridor. Nevertheless, the Malaysian aircrew didn’t perform the maneuver successfully. At 17.20 the aircraft began registering a rate reduction, at 17.23 the aircraft’s point blinked off on the radar. Why did the aircraft cross the border of the air corridor? Was it a navigation mistake, or the aircrew following the Dnepropetrovsk ground control orders? We will find out the answers after the decoding of the “black boxes” and communications. According to our information on the day of the accident, the Ukrainian Armed Forces deployed 3 to 4 artillery batteries of Buk-M1 missile systems not far from Donetsk. The system can hit targets at a distance of up to 35 kilometers, and at an altitude, up to 22 kilometers. Why did the Ukrainian Armed Forces deploy these air defense units in the Donetsk region? As we know militants don’t have any aircraft.

On the scheme we can see that both the projected impact point and the flight-path are inside the air defense battle zone of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ Buk-M1 missile system. We have satellite photos of the Ukrainian Air Defense systems deployed in the Southeast of the country.”

Then the photos of the Buk are shown, near Luhansk and Donetsk. The first three photos are dated July 14, 2014. There are photos from that day to the day of the accident: launchers, radar, all belonging to the Ukrainian military.

After the painstaking photo presentation, the General continued:

“I want to expose the airspace situation in the Donetsk area that day. In the picture you can see the information of the objective air traffic control between 17.10 to 17.30 Moscow time.

During that period, there were 3 civilian aircraft:

Flight from Copenhagen to Singapore at 17.17;

Flight from Paris to Taipei at 17.24

Flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur… Beside it, the Russian system for air traffic control detected a Ukrainian Air Force aircraft, supposedly a Su-25, moving upwards towards the Malaysian Boeing-777. The distance between two aircraft was 3-5 kilometers.

The Su-25 can gain an altitude of 10,000 meters in a short time. It is armed with an air-to-air missile R-60, which is able to lock-on and destroy a target at a distance of 12 kilometers, and destroy it definitely at a distance of 5 kilometers. What was the mission of the combat aircraft, in the flight-path of civilian aircraft, almost at the same time and same altitude with the civilian craft? We want to have this question answered.

The video of the Rostov Aerial Center of the Joint Air Traffic Management

System can provide the information. The Chief of Staff of the Air

Force, Lieutenant-General Igor Makushev, will comment on the video.”

Then the Chief of Staff of the Air Force of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant-General I.Y. Makushev presents his arguments:

“Today the aircraft Air Traffic Control has acquired some objective control materials from the Rostov Aerial Center of the Joint Air Traffic

Management System. The video presents the air control information on the airspace situation in the region of Donetsk in the period from 17.19 P.M. to 17.25P.M., Moscow time, on July 17, 2014. In the upper left corner there is a

Boeing-772 mark, as it was following the route from Copenhagen to Singapore. Under this dot, there is another aircraft – it is marked as Boeing-777, which is on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. And on its right there is a Boeing-778 mark making its way from Delhi to Birmingham. All these three aircraft have been steadily monitored by the three radar stations of the air traffic control of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. The Boeing-777 is moving towards the Russian Federation state boundary, and is to cross it at the point of «TONAK». An air traffic control officer has been controlling the aircraft flight and keeps on enquiring for its flight variables to compare them with the given ones. At 17.20 P.M. at a distance of 51 kilometers from the Russian Federation state boundary and the azimuth of 3000 (degrees), the aircraft started to lose its speed inexplicably, which is to be seen quite distinctively on the table of the aircraft characteristics. At 17.21.35 (seconds) P.M. with the aircraft at a speed of 200 km/h, at the point of the Boeing crash, there is a new mark of an aircraft to be seen. The radar stations of Ust-Donetsk and Butirinskoe, during the 4 minute period, steadily monitored the aircraft. The Air Traffic Control officer, having enquired for the characteristics of newly appeared aircraft but couldn’t possibly get them, because it is in all likelihood that the aircraft had no secondary deduction system mounted on it, which is typical of military aircraft. The early detection of this aircraft appeared to be quite impossible because those radars work in a standby mode and usually perform the air situation control. Detection possibilities at the given distance are over 5000 m altitude.

The detection of the aircraft turned out to be possible as soon as the aircraft ascended.

The further aircraft flight variables changed. It was now flying in the area of the Boeing crash and was monitoring the situation. Earlier the Ukrainian officials reported that on the day of the Boeing-777 accident, there were no military aircraft flying in the region. So, as you can see, it does not appear to be true.

…We also have some questions for our US partners. According to the statement of the US representatives, they have some pictures from space supporting that the militants launched the missile. But nobody has seen these pictures.

According to our records from 17:06 till 17:21 Moscow time on the July 17 over the Southeastern territory of Ukraine, a US space satellite flew overhead. This is a special device of the experimental space system designed to detect and track various missile launches. If the US party has photos made by the satellite, please let us ask them to show them to world community for further investigation.

Is it a coincidence or not? However, the time of the Malaysian Boeing-777 accident and the time of the observation done by the satellite over the Ukrainian territory are the same. In conclusion, I would like to mention that all the concrete information is based on the objective and reliable data of the different Russian equipment, in contrast to the accusations of the US against us, made without any evidence. A good example of such facts is that some mass media showed the transportation of a Buk-M1 missile system from Ukrainian to Russian territory. We can clearly see that it is a frame-up. These pictures were taken in the city of Krasnoarmeisk, which is confirmed by a banner situated close to the road. This banner has an address of the car shop situated at No. 34, Dnepropetrovskaya Street. Since May 11th, the Krasnoarmeysk city has been under the control of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. That is why we have some questions. What kind of launching system is it? Where is it being transported? Where is it now? Why is it completely unloaded? What was the last time it launched missiles? To end my speech I would like to emphasize that the Russian Federation did not deliver any Buk-M1 missiles systems to the militants, and any other such equipment. All the data compiled by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation will be transmitted today to the experts of the European countries and Malaysia…

The Ministry of Defense will continue to inform you about the newly revealed facts connected with the air disaster of Malaysian Boeing-777.

***

Now why on earth should we not believe this presentation, backed by facts, images and concrete analyses?

Western and Ukrainian lies are piling up: wobbly explanations or no explanations at all for change of 777’s course, lowering altitude, ‘bad weather’, and revealing testimony of the Spanish traffic controller working in Ukraine…

And why should we believe people like the current President of the United States, who openly bragged about US ‘exceptionalism’, at the military academy, which has been responsible for producing countless mass murderers?

And for the sake of objectivity, why would we not listen to the Russians, before imposing sanctions on them, for something that we are, most likely, responsible for, ourselves?

And although it is most likely that the pro-Western Ukrainian military shot down the plane, even if it were to be the other side that did it, the entire conflict began with the EU and the US destabilizing Ukraine, overthrowing the legitimate government, and igniting the war.

Angry Dutch families of the victims should stop pointing fingers at Russia. Instead they should go to Brussels and Washington to express their wrath and to demand justice.

***

And what about Malaysia and Indonesia? Indonesia lost 12 people on that ill-fated flight.

Most of the Southeast Asian countries are historically “client” states of the West, with hardly any independent, non-corporate media. Indonesia has been exactly that since the 1965 ‘events’. Malaysia, pushing for an independent course under Dr. Mahathir’s rule, is presently being lured by the US, which is trying to establish military bases there, or to at least gain access to existing Malaysian ones.

Suddenly, a great amount of US funding has been unleashed, to win over Malaysian intellectuals, some of the most shamefully subservient in the region. Several have already began departing for conferences, cultural exchanges and writer’s retreats, to destinations all over the United States, all expenses paid.

In Kuala Lumpur, there was deadly silence after the downing of MH17. Not one writer or filmmaker that I know and contacted wanted to go on record. One mistaken word and the entire rosy dream of Western ‘funding’ would go up in flames.

Only the official anti-Russian narrative was available.

Two filmmakers spoke, but off the record:

“To be honest, Malaysians are completely out of touch with what’s happening or even with the political consequences of the ‘deal’ that our Prime Minister had made to bring the bodies back. No one has even questioned what the deal was. There is no discussion whatsoever, even in the educated circles as it’s taboo to even start talking about anything other than the people who died. All Malaysians care about is that it’s tragedy and that we should feel sad. But largely, Russia and Putin are the villains in the mind of Malaysians.”

In Indonesia, theories vary. Some are far, remote from the war in Ukraine.

Mr. Agus Suhartono, a former aeronautical engineer at PT. Dirgantara Indonesia, thinks that Malaysia has been punished for creating an alternative banking system for the Muslim world:

“I think it is bit strange. How could a plane at an altitude of more than 30,000 ft be a mistaken missile target? At that altitude, the plane identification should be very clear. Whoever fired knew perfectly well what he was doing. The question should be why MAS (Malaysia Airlines) again? Did they rub somebody the wrong way? Why was Malaysia the target twice in a row? I think maybe because the financial turnover of the Arab world is centered in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia is the gate. The sharia gate of the Arab financial world.”

***

New sanctions are being leveled against Russia. “Cold Warriors” in Canada, Australia, UK and US are back in their saddles, like Major Kong in the unforgettable film, “Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”, they are ready to cover their skulls with cowboy hats, and stick A-bombs between their legs. Time to ‘go and bomb the Russkies’.

Arabs are not tough enough adversaries, and most of the Muslim world is now in ruins anyway, thanks to the ‘War on… ehm… terror’.

Russia and China are again blocking the West from fully controlling the world. ‘How dare they?’

The most frightening thing is the state of the self-righteousness and self-deception of the Western public. One wants to scream: Don’t they see? Do they refuse to see? Is it more comfortable not to see? How long are they going to pretend that they are blind? Or maybe they are blind…

After the MH17 tragedy and after the way it has been handled by the Western mass media, there is no doubt that we are back to the Cold War again. It is not just a war against Russia. The war is reflected in the arms race that is being accelerated by the US in Asia, from the revolting, racist anti-Chinese propaganda, and from the attempts to overthrow our socialist governments in Latin America.

We should never forget that Western imperialism murdered tens of millions of innocent people all over the world, after the Nagasaki ‘A-bomb’ and the official end of the WWII: all those crimes and horror to satisfy its unbridled obsession with controlling the world.

Tens of millions of lives already lost.

Why should they spare some 298 of those on MH17?