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30 July 2014


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TTG: Occam's razor: If Kiev was winning in the East, sanctions against Russia would be superfluous.

Charles Dekle

We did the same last July over here in Virginia. Our congressman and both senators answered with variations of the same reply — "We know more than you but thank you for your interest in National Defense."

The reply that we got from Senator Kane was particularly galling:

"I believe that acting now to uphold the prohibition against chemical weapons will make us safer and avoid larger challenges in the future. I recognize the risk this poses, but I believe the risks of inaction are greater. If America leads, we will have partners. But if we do nothing, I am not sure that any nation will stand up against this horrific crime. I find the gassing of innocent men, women, and children intolerable, and believe there must be a consequence.

Once again, I appreciate your thoughts."

He seems to imply that my wife and I were somehow in favor of gassing innocent men, women, and children. "What a maroon," as Bugs Bunny used to say.


Charles Dekle

I agree. Well said.


Sanctions a l'Americaine are a one way street. Once issued they are never lifted. They are going to poison US-Russian relation for years to come, and that is by design.

Sanctions will deepen the wedge they have driven between Putin and Obama, which is the point of the Ukraine crisis.

With Russia out, they hope to be able to fix Obama into their policy by denying him alternatives, and to see the dominos fall:

No more disgusting Russian meddling in Iran or Syria to help Obama to not have to bomb either of these places - against the fervent insistence of his rabidly hawkish foreign policy nuts. With Putin neutered, they hope to finally they hope they'll be able to pursue their pet warlets undisturbed.

I mean, what prospect:

Regime change, finally! It's just around the corner! If onyl the US can do some more of the same, all will be peachy! Look what a splendid success Libya turned out to be! And Syria will be a riot, and Iran a blast, not to mention Ukraine ...

None among the bash-Russia crowd in DC gives a fuck about the Ukies. For all they care, they could all drop dead as long as they can only blame Russia for it.

Norbert M Salamon

An interesting analysis to USA/EU/Ukraine?Russia



robt willmann

FB Ali,
Yes, I think that the idea that the Malaysian airliner flight MH17 was shot down by another airplane with an air-to-air missile or projectiles from a type of mounted gun on an airplane should not be ruled out. In fact, I think it is equally likely to have happened that way.

There was an intriguing report on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation program called The National on July 28, 2014. It was an interview with a Ukrainian-Canadian named Michael Bociurkiw who was one of the first persons at the crash scene to try to negotiate access to it for the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OCSE).

He said that the cockpit was pretty much intact when they first got there. But then, on "day two, I believe it was, there were actually men in uniform hacking into it with a power saw. They could have been involved in active body recovery or human remains recovery, we don't know. But even since then I would say in the past three days it's been spread out even more".

Then, at 6 minutes and 5 seconds into the interview he is asked, "I [the interviewer] go back to, what do you think we know about what happened to that aircraft today as compared with the first day you came?

Mr. Bociurkiw: There have been 2 or 3 pieces of fuselage that have been really pock marked. It almost looks like machine gun fire; very, very strong machine gun fire, that has left these unique marks that we haven't seen anywhere else. We've also been asked, for example, have we seen any examples of a missile. Well, no we haven't, that's the answer. And even if it was there we don't have those trained eyes to pick that up, but now there are experts here who would be able to."


If another plane shot down MH17 and not a surface-to-air missile, or if a bomb inside the airliner did not do it, then it could have been a Ukrainian military plane, or somebody else's plane, that shot it down. Then we are left with whether it was a knowing act that was a vicious false flag event to demonize Russia and the separatists, or whether it was a mistake. A mistake means the shooting plane thought that MH17 was a different plane.

Which different plane?

This presents the theory that the shooting plane mistakenly thought that the Malaysian airliner was the Russian government's plane with Vladimir Putin on board.

The huge problems also exist regarding destroying evidence, altering evidence, planting fabricated evidence, and so on. Mr. Bociurkiw said in the interview that men "in uniform" were hacking at a largely intact cockpit with a power saw.

Which men? In what kind of uniforms?

William R. Cumming

CP! After reading the Wiki entry provided by you would agree!


USSR weapon designers where both Russian and Ukrainian (and obvious others) but a it works but not well nuke is easy to make and has all the major good point of nukes. (status, political deterrence)

Also if you have inoperable nuclear weapons you can get the enriched material you need out of those nukes



if they are so easy to make why is Iran having such a hard time.


Re: Missiles

Thanks for clarifying the distinction between tactical and intercontinental BMs. There are missiles and missiles, I guess...

Re: the Cauldron

The Western media (eg, last night's TV) give the impression that Donetsk is all but surrounded and the rebels are on the run.

Colonel Cassad, however, gives a dramatically different account. Money quote: "The smell of a really big defeat is in the air." (He's not talking about the rebels).


Cassad also gives a fascinating account of the military/political situation in Donetsk after the fall of Slavyansk:


Now, I've no idea whether Cassad is accurate or truthful or not, but he does provide an alternative framework with which to watch the development of events.

FB Ali


Alastair Crooke has a very worthwhile article up on the Valdai Discussion Club site titled:

Ukraine, MH17 and the Struggle for Europe.


He quotes a couple of other writers, quotes that are worth reproducing here:

"....[the spying saga] showed [to Germans] that the U.S. national security apparatus is no less voracious than the Stasi in seeking to penetrate the deeper recesses of the human soul. It wants it all; worse, it thinks that ‘wanting it all’ is perfectly normal”.

“....sanctions [on Russia] have become an end in themselves for the United States [and that] my outsider's impression is that the US foreign policy for Russia has been pretty much captured by doctrinaire anti-Russians in a diplomatic and military deep state that pretty much permeates and survives every incoming administration”.

I would strongly recommend the article.


FB Ali,

Very powerful indeed. It also clearly shows the difference in the quality of leadership between the American and Russian republics.

"The Russian parliament has been recalled from holiday in order to debate an important Ukrainian new initiative..."

Has the US Senate even held a debate on American foreign policy in Ukraine?

William R. Cumming

Thanks General Ali for the link to the article. It is clear that in the years since 1945 the Germans have learned how to manipulate the USA for their own purposes. And the German finance sector owns Russia since Russian finance largely corrupt.
German is the location of choice for Russians
fleeing Russian kleptocracy and its oligarchs.

Oddly the Chinese can only wonder at Western stupidity!


From Wallerstein's article:

"One last poignant detail: The U.S. ambassador to Germany speaks no German. The Russia ambassador is so fluent one scarcely notices his accent. Entrance to the U.S. Ambassador’s office is protected by the highest-level security possible, surpassing that which governs the entrance to the White House’s Oval Office. Entrance to the Russian embassy is so casual that it prompts disbelief."

Why would the US ambassador need to speak German? For one, the German officials he meet probably tend to speak excellent english, however accented.

There's no need for him to persuade when the other party is supposed to do as they're told when he is administering US leadership.

Then language skills are something entirely optional. Indeed, it may be seen as a disadvantage, just like actual in-country experience, which may have the undesired impact of creating doubt where there should be self-righteous certainty.

I mean, what would happen if quips like "Sind Sie verrückt, Herr Botschafter?" were understood and not politely ignored by the translator as 'Inexplicaly, your German counterpart is upset, the coward!'

Where would US policy get to if ambassadors actually understood what the hell they're getting the US and their allies into? Such sombre thoughts would only slow them down!

"The U.S. government has been stupid and very clumsy. However, the problem is structural and not the passing mistakes and stupidity of those in power in the United States.

The basic problem is that the United States is, and has been for some time, in geopolitical decline. It doesn’t like this. It doesn’t really accept this. It surely doesn’t know how to handle it, that is, minimize the losses to the United States. So it keeps trying to restore what is unrestorable – U.S. “leadership” (read: hegemony) in the world-system. This makes the United States a very dangerous actor. No small number of political agents in the United States are calling for some sort of decisive “action” – whatever that could possibly mean. And U.S. elections may depend in large part on how U.S. political actors play this game.

That is what Europeans in general, and now Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany in particular, are realizing. The United States has become a very unreliable “partner.”"

I find Crooke's and Wallerstein's view that the US is a dangerous actor quite correct, and it disturbs me deeply.

Well, when one stirs the pot as wildly as the US does of late, spill over is nearly guaranteed. But since it usually hurts others, the US don't notice. They often don't even notice when it hurts, as was the case when Ambassador Stevens was killed.

It would have been the final irony if Viccy Nuland, when instigating at the Maidan, had been beaten up by Svoboda or Right Sector thugs calling her a kike. Because these people do such things.

Perhaps that would have penetrated the thick layer of ideologically reinforced concrete sealing off the the administration's collective brain from reality.

It speaks to Paul Wolfowitz credit that, for all his numerous flaws, he at least had the good sense to learn the Indonesian language when he served as ambassador there.



The hard part is enrichment. Not the building of the bomb. And the obvious answer to Iran is that they are not trying to make a bomb.

ps. Breakout yes and for useful bombs you need ICBMs. They are almost ready to build those.


MFA Russia just now tweeted: "Russian Defence Ministry has analysed satellite imagery released by Ukrainian Security Service" with a link to an "Analytics" page at the website of the Ministry Of Defence of the Russian Federation.

The twitter link is:


The Ministry Of Defence link is:


At the MoD website, they analyse "the satellite imagery released by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on July 30, 2014, which allegedly disproves the authenticity of the Russian satellite imagery showing the Buk-1 batteries in the Boeing 777 (MH17) crash site area on July 17 and confirms that Russian Armed Forces opened fire on Ukrainian territory."

The text is in English but the captions are in Russian. Judging by the text, they see this as something of a slam dunk. Here's their intro:

"First of all, one needs facts to level grave accusations or make conclusions. It is widely acknowledged that geo-reference and astronomical time are necessary for satellite images to count as factual evidence in order to pinpoint specific satellites in a constellation that was flying over the area at the time and take into consideration their technical characteristics and capacities. All satellites orbiting the Earth move in accordance with predetermined trajectories.

In connection to this, we can state that according to the Russian space surveillance system, Ukrainian satellites Sich-1 and Sich-2 were not flying over this territory from 10am to 1pm Moscow time (GMT+4; 9am-12pm GMT+3) on July 12, 16, 17 and 18, 2014.

At the time specified in the images, the American electro-optical reconnaissance satellite of the Key Hole series was flying over the crash site area, so the source of the images for Ukrainian Security Service is obvious.

As for the images, the analysis goes as follows."



You have a remarkable knowledge of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. I would have thought that at Arenfoort in Utrecht Province in the Netherlands there would be only a limited opportunity to acquire such expertise. Perhaps you are an official in the Dutch Ministry of Defense. pl


Not necessarily Dutch Ministry of Defense. URENCO is seated in the Netherlands.


Trivia: They made those centrifuge designs that A.Q. Khan stole and later built and sold.



Ingolf -

This Russian MOD analysis appears devastating. I wonder if the satellite imagery mavens here could review the analysis and see if they agree.

David Habakkuk

Ingolf, Joe100,

I have tended to think – and still do – that this is one of those situations where none of those involved wants to full truth to come out.

On the one hand, even the claims made in the presentation turn out to be completely valid, it would still not rule out the possibility that the shooting down of MH17 was a catastrophic blunder by the insurgents – or even, the possibility that it was shot down with a missile supplied by the Russians.

On the other, an unambiguous claim is now being made, backed up by evidence, that there is unambiguous proof of collusion between the Kiev authorities and U.S. intelligence in disseminating disinformation.

If there is no response to this claim, the natural conclusion has to be that both Kiev and the U.S. authorities have a very great deal to hide.

If that is the case, then the question becomes whether people of integrity in the U.S. intelligence community may let some more of what they know into the public domain.


story turning even more bizarre. what on earth is this thing?


supposedly shot down, but it is undamaged and doesn't look like any kind of crashlanding where it is filmed. Person says cord is for parachute (??). Voiceover is mostly trash talk.

FB Ali

The Saker has a full report on this on his blog today.

For anyone interested, worth checking.

The Twisted Genius

pbj, it's a Tupolev 143 tactical drone.




You may well be right about the mutual reluctance to be forthright. Equally, as you say, these images and the associated commentary are at best pieces in a puzzle. Still, it's hard not to wonder if the Russians are doing a drip feed.

In the light of everything that's going on, it's interesting that Obama talked with Putin today (at Obama's instigation):

"Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the United States of America Barack Obama on the American side’s initiative.

The two leaders exchanged views on developments in the Ukrainian crisis. Despite their significant differences in views on many fundamental issues, both sides stressed the urgency of an immediate and stable ceasefire in southeast Ukraine and the launch of a political process. In this regard, the two presidents gave a positive assessment of the consultations by a contact group held in Minsk and noted the importance of continuing talks in this format.

The two heads of state discussed many aspects of the relations between Russia and the US. The President of Russia described Washington’s actions to impose pressure through sanctions as counterproductive, causing serious damage to bilateral cooperation and international stability overall.

Both presidents agreed that the current state of affairs does not serve the interests of either state. In this context, the two leaders exchanged views on prospects for Russian-American dialogue.

August 1, 2014, 20:55 "




Thanks for that.

Unfortunately, all the Saker has done is copy and post the material from the Russian MoD site. No translation, no analysis.

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