From The Automatic Earth
Presumed innocent. Innocent until proven guilty. Reasonable doubt. How long ago it seems that these principles guided our societies. Perhaps there are a few courts in the heartland left that still live up to them, but the aftermath of 9/11 certainly erased them from the overall American conscience. Some animals are more equal than others, said Orwell in Animal Farm.
Guantanamo Bay showed that some people are far less equal than others, and laws that apply to everyone else don’t apply to them. That, somewhat ironically, is probably the case at the other end, the upper echelons of society, as well, judging from the – lack of – numbers of persecuted bankers.
What’s unfolding now, in the wake of flight MH17, looks more like Saddam Hussein 2.0 than anything else. Seems like all we need to do is wait for Colin Powell to bring the ‘evidence’ to the UN. And for someone in the White House to bring up some more known unknowns. Behind the scenes, of course, Saddam 1.0 was about oil, and so is 2.0.
At least 193 of the 298 people (that’s two thirds) who died in the Malaysia Airlines plane crash had the Dutch nationality. The Dutch government makes sure not to point fingers until it has proof. This restraint represents a matter of respect for the victims and their families and friends. No false flags, no false accusations. As you may know, this is my country of birth, to which I’ve also temporarily returned, and I can assure you this is a devastated nation. To make a cruel comparison: the US population is almost 20 times that of Holland, which means that on a relative basis, many more Dutch nationals died than did Americans in 9/11.
The US, which apparently found one dual citizenship American on the plane after looking hard, doesn’t know any such restraint, and hence no such respect. Nor does the UK. Do we detect a pattern? Are we once again allegedly sure that someone possesses something they in reality don’t? Do we repeat our own mistakes, do we forget our follies, that easily?
One things that seems obvious is that the plane was hit by a projectile of some sort. Obama claims US intelligence says it was fired from the ground, but he offered no proof. Reasonable doubt. He also said it came from territory held by ‘separatists’, by again no proof. Reasonable doubt. Everybody and their aunt claims the separatists fired the projectile, but again no proof. Reasonable doubt. Some even say Putin must have supplied the projectile plus the launch installation, but we’re just getting further away from proof all the time. Reasonable doubt. We’re solidly into suspicions and presumptions, edged on by political agendas, and, again, that is highly disrespectful to victims and loved ones.
One source says the separatists have maybe one launch installation for a BUK ‘surface to air’ rocket, and it may well not be in working order. The separatists took one from the Ukraine army some three weeks ago, and that army at the time said it was broken. That same Ukraine army, meanwhile, is reported to possess 60 of these launch installations. Of which they may have recently transported a number into east Ukraine.
Who fired the thing? We don’t know. So why can’t Obama and David Cameron bring themselves to admit they don’t know? Is that for the same reasons Blair and Bush claimed to be sure Saddam had WMD?
As much as I feel for, and mourn with, the victims of this tragedy, I still want to emphasize to myself that this is a tragedy. I refuse to believe for now that either the separatists or the Ukrainian army (or a third party) deliberately shot a civilian plane out of the sky. Why should they? Does the army want to play the false flag card so much they would do it, just to then blame the separatists? Would the latter do it? They seem to have nothing to gain whatsoever, quite the contrary. Putin? Let’s get serious.
Don’t let’s forget that far more than 298 people have been killed by the Ukrainian army in its quest to ‘eradicate’ the separatists. Even if that has so far happened largely under the western media radar. There’s still an army, and a government, and a newly elected president, waging a very bloody war against people with the same nationality as they have, inside their own country. The president may have been elected somewhat democratically, though east Ukraine refused to vote, but the – rest of the – government is still the same bunch that was installed by the US – Victoria Nuland, Jeff Pyatt – after the Maidan riots ousted elected president Yanukovich.
And in between all the allegations of Putin supplying arms to the separatists, a few things are missing. Putin cannot withdraw his support, whichever form it may have taken, because the risk of a genocide among Russian speaking people in east Ukraine is very real. Russia as a nation recognizes the moral obligation to protect those Russians who were cut off from Moscow when the Soviet Union fell and many new nations were formed from its ashes.
Yulia Tymoshenko, who may have lost the elections but remains a formidable force in Ukraine, has called multiple times for her Russian speaking compatriots to be eradicated, burned, and nuked. Kiev, time and again, and despite their Ukraine passports, labels the separatists terrorists. Because with terrorists you can do what you want. Cue Gitmo.
A second thing missing in translation is that the Ukraine army, despite the talk of Putin arming the other side, is much better armed. Where do they get their weapons? Who finances them? And who fights on their side? We know that there has been, and likely still is, input and cooperation from the likes of the CIA, Blackwater/Academi, right wing extreme government party Svoboda, and other – to our western view unsavory – elements.
The OSCE reports that in June and July, in the city of Lugansk alone, the Ukraine army and its helpers have killed 250 civilians and wounded 850, and that’s not including people living close to combat zones. East Ukraine has been under heavy fire since February, thousands of people have died, and we feign surprise that the separatists are suspicious of everything and everybody connected to the US and EU? And Putin has to withdraw his support for the rebels so west Ukraine, with our support, can finish off the remaining 4.5 million Russian speaking people in the east?
What are we going to do if it becomes clear that it wasn’t the rebels who shot down MH17, but the Ukraine army “we” support? Or maybe we should ask another question: what are the odds that we will ever find out what really happened? Both Russia and the US have tons of equipment monitoring the area, and it’s not likely that both don’t have a huge amount of additional information on the crash that for reasons we don’t know, they haven’t released to date.
One thing we do know is that the SBU, the Ukraine Security Service, has confiscated the taped conversations between the plane and air traffic control, which could clarify a lot about what happened, and taken them to an undisclosed location. The same SBU that has released – among many other ‘findings’ – a series of audio conversations it alleges are between various ‘separatists’, and which paint a damning portrait that strongly suggests they were responsible for downing the plane. But again, that sort of thing is easily fabricated, so no proof.
Reasonable doubt. That’s how you show respect. For victims, for loved ones, for democracy and for justice. From where I’m sitting, which happens to be Holland, far too many amongst us show neither such respect nor doubt nor reason. You would think and hope that 298 dead bodies deserve more than to be reduced to pawns in infantile blame games. They deserve that we should be better than that.