« Jazirah diary - 9 August 2014 | Main | IS Diary - 10 August 2014 »

09 August 2014

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

David Habakkuk

All,

The most recent piece on the MH17 shootdown put up by Robert Parry on the 'Consortium News' website is entitled 'Was Putin Targeted for Mid-Air Assassination?'

The summary reads as follows:

'Exclusive: Official Washington’s conventional wisdom on the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down blames Russian President Putin, but some U.S. intelligence analysts think Putin, whose plane was flying nearby, may have been the target of Ukrainian hardliners who hit the wrong plane, writes Robert Parry.'

The first two paragraphs of the actual story read:

'U.S. intelligence analysts are weighing the possibility that the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was a botched attempt by extremists in the Ukrainian government to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin whose aircraft was returning from South America the same day, according to a source briefed on the U.S. investigation.

'If true, the direction of the investigation into the July 17 crash has veered dramatically from initial U.S. government allegations that eastern Ukrainian rebels, using a Russian-supplied anti-aircraft battery, were responsible for bringing down the plane killing 298 people onboard.'

(See http://consortiumnews.com/2014/08/08/was-putin-targeted-for-mid-air-assassination/ .)

As I noted in my post at the start of the week, this hypothesis had seemed wildly improbable to me. And, according to Parry, the hypothesis of a 'false flag' attack is still being taken seriously.

However, I can now see certain strands of evidence that suggest that the hypothesis of a botched attempt to assassinate Putin is at least worthy of serious consideration:

1. While repeated expressions of vitriolic hatred for Russians in general and Putin in particular by Ukrainian nationalists – even supposedly 'moderate' figures like Timoshenko – have been discounted in Western coverage, there is no obvious justification for this. It may be that in at least some cases, the impression of out-of-control hatred should be taken at face value.

2. The pictures of the airliners produced by Parry suggest that it would be by no means impossible, given the short time they would have had to identify the target, for Ukrainians convinced they had a golden opportunity to destroy Putin to confuse Flight MH17 with his plane.

3. The Russians claim that Ukrainian Buks were in an area from which they could have shot down the plane, and that they observed radar activity from these, and also that two Ukrainian fighter planes were close to Flight MH17 when it was shot down. If – as seems likely – these claims were accurate, the hypothesis of an attempt to shoot down Putin's plane might provide a more economical interpretation than alternatives.

4. If it does turn out that some of the damage to MH17 is only capable of being explained by cannon fire – which remains very much a moot point – then again, the hypothesis of an attempt to shoot down Putin's plane might provide a more economical interpretation than alternatives.

A critical point moreover remains that as of this writing the failure of the Kiev authorities and Western governments to produce any convincing evidence whatsoever in support of their allegations of insurgent responsibility, or indeed an explanation of their failure to do so, provides strong grounds to suspect a cover-up. And this would suggest that the hypothesis of a catastrophic bungle by the insurgents now has to be regarded as the less probable among the realistic alternatives.

If this is the case, the most obvious hypotheses have to be a 'false flag' operation, or an attempt to assassinate Putin. I think it is at least worth contemplating the possibility that the publicly available evidence meshes better with the latter hypothesis than the former.

FB Ali

Could the resignation of Andriy Parubiy have something to do with the MH17 fiasco?

http://en.itar-tass.com/world/743926

toto

b, CP:

We (Europeans) *are* managing it. Rather successfully so far, I'd say.

Our job was to build a credible economic deterrent to Russia: "invasion = economic cataclysm, for all of us, but mostly for you". IMO the recent round of almost-but-not-quite-painful sanctions has done just that.

At the same time, we need to keep constant communication with Russia and keep preparing the future (i.e. what happens after the current unpleasantness dies down). This is exactly what we are doing. Hence the "German package" mentioned in the post above.

So far things *seem* on course toward a resolution that would be acceptable for most everybody (except for the bungling rebels, to the chagrin of pretty much nobody).

Of course if some unexpected event occurs (say, a mass atrocity in the re-conquered Southeast), all bets are off.

You may be of the opinion that we should just let Russia invade former Russian dominions at will. I believe that this opinion is a minority one in Europe today. For better or worse, Ukraine minus Crimea is firmly "one of us" now (of course this may change yet again in the future).

/French, currently residing in California.

Cee

David,

I agree with the false flag theory and have seen the fuselage...it does appear to be riddled with holes.

Again, Russia nor the Ukrainian (I won't say rebels) freedom fighters had NOTHING to gain by shooting down this plane.

Ramojus

The Baltic States and Poland were victims of Russian aggression and genocide in Czarist and, especially Soviet times under Stalin.

Check out Katyn forest and the Gulags of Siberian Russia for proof.

Is it any wonder why they value the protection of the US and NATO?

Regarding the "neo facists" that run those named countries, perhaps you can identify these individuals? The current President of Lithuania is a former member of the Communist Party and the former President Adamkus was a former official at the US EPA.

There are conservative nationalists all over Europe, not necessarily "neo facists".

Misanthrope

But why? Why on earth does the EU want to assume responsibility for another basket case economy. What does it stand to gain? What does it stand to gain by deliberately antagonising Russia? It seems to me that the EU countries are acting against their own interests just in order to poke Russia in the eye and/or to suck up to the US. Surely nobody really believes Russia is about to go on a rampage through eastern Europe. There has not been any indication of that.

Babak Makkinejad

All:

Again I bring to your attention that the struggle initiated against the Russian Federation in Ukraine by NATO states is enacted by freely and democratically elected representatives of the European people.

I do not see the Bundestag in revolt, or tens of millions of Europeans in the streets protesting the initiation of another zero-sum game with Russia - and this time without the protection of that wretched Peace of Yalta.

This is democracy and there is no qualitative difference between now and 1948 or 1914 - in my opinion.

Alan

"We (Europeans) *are* managing it."

That's not what I'm reading here (in Europe). Wait till the triple dip recession hits in the third quarter. It's the safest bet around and my brother who is a trader is already trying to "price this in".

"You may be of the opinion that we should just let Russia invade former Russian dominions at will."

You have to stop reading Newsweek and such.

Ishmael Zechariah

David Habakkuk,SST,

If the KGB were to conclude that this was indeed a bungled assassination attempt, how do you all think they would react? IMHO there would be payback, sooner or later.

Ishmael Zechariah

Babak Makkinejad

Then perhaps in the European Kingdoms at least the formulation of foreign policy be returned to the Sovereign.

Then at least we know whom to hang when it hits the fan.

Babak Makkinejad

Misanthrope:

I think NATO states have decided to sacrifice the standard of living of their citizenry to play at strategic games. That is, these states are not going to provide protection against the global market's negative impact on their countries.

It reminds of Polish Nobles - they considered themselves to be "Poland" - the Polish-speaking peasants, indeed the assorted Ukrainians, Lithuanians belonging to them were mere human chattel.

Repeated attempts by the elected Polish Tsars - really a President-for-Life - at reform was met by scorn and deliberate sabotage or neglect.

And thus Poland died until Stalin resurrected her.

Castellio

Germany did engage in a genocide, not only of the Jews, but more generally had an intent to clean eastern Europe of the Slavs. Are you really claiming the same intentions of anti-Polish genocide for the Soviets?

And, given the control of the Soviets over Poland after the second world war, did they continue with the genocidal policies you allege?

I am aware of Katyn and the gulags.

Castellio

No, I don't think there would be 'payback'. There would be heightened security.

Castellio

An interesting thread, this.

Babak says that "Poland died until Stalin resurrected her". While upthread Ramojus claims "The Baltic States and Poland were victims of Russian aggression and genocide in Czarist and, especially Soviet times under Stalin".

Mark Logan

David,

I have searched enough for evidence that an Su-25 Frogfoot (except for the brand new model, of which Russia has less than a dozen and has not yet been exported) can climb much higher than 20,000ft to be convinced that it can, remarkably, not.

It has been in the hands of a lot of country's and somebody would have spilled the beans by now if it could. The pilot chatroom's actually call the 20,000 (with external stores, about 23,000 without) "optimistic" at best. It needs to be noted that the manufacturers performance figures are part of the thing's sales brochure. There is no salesman who wants to try to pitch a military jet that can be out-climbed by a Beech King Air.

I have even asked an acquaintance who was an ex-F15 driver until 4 years ago who said that if it can, it's news to him. He also said that at at that altitude it would have been moving a lot slower than a 777, as it would have had to be at it's max rate of climb speed, or "Vy", which is at "high angle of attack" and therefore "draggy". He said it would have been an impossible shot with a cannon from that distance and no competent person would have dispatched a Frogfoot for that mission.

I think that can be safely ruled out, and those who have claimed technical expertise would have provided more detailed technical explanations if they actually possessed it. They would have anticipated a lot of push-back from their peers on that particular point.

Also, it must be pointed out that presence of an Su-25 actually builds the case that the separatists had something they were shooting at in the area but "screwed the pooch". A nearly identical thing happened on 4 Oct 2001 when the Ukrainian military shot at a practice drone and downed an airliner.

I think we, the US, are behaving very stupidly in this and have in no small part created it. Nobody in the US media is questioning why we are suddenly concerned with the events in the Ukraine or explaining rational Russian interests there adequately, and it's a terrible shame. I simply don't think the conspiracy theories on the airliner are helpful to building that point though, and are at best distractions.

With greatest respect, MKL

turcopolier

Alan

I suggest Vietnam, Cuba or North Korea as an alternative location for residence. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Stalin resurrected Poland twice - once after the Russian Revolution when he was the Commissar of Nationalities and again at the end of World War II.

Dismayed

"The Baltic States and Poland were victims of Russian aggression and genocide in Czarist ..."

I have zero sympathy for these aged hatreds. The suffering of the Baltic States and Poland in Czarist times was par for the course for many European powers during that era. Victims and criminals are both long dead. I don't hear the Irish constantly whining. Why should I (as an American) have the slightest interest in listening to whining from Latvia or Ukraine?

"... and, especially Soviet times under Stalin."

Stalin was a Georgian, not a Russian, and he ruled a BOLSHEVIK empire, not a Russian one. That most 'citizens' were ethnic Great Russians doesn't invalidate the reality that the empire was not run for their benefit.

"Check out Katyn forest and the Gulags of Siberian Russia for proof."

The Polish victims in Katyn were a threat to the Bolshevik Empire and the majority of denizens of the Siberian Gulag were ethnic Russians. I wonder how many Katyn victims had ancestors who were (pampered and privileged) Polish nobles in the Russian Empire?

A quarter century is adequate time for East Europeans and our vaunted Ivy-League-degreed 'intellectuals' to pull their collective heads out of their collective ass and realize that the Bolshevik Empire is dead and gone. No flavor of communism is remotely competitive as a formative ideology on a global scale today.

Russia is a great power that must be dealt with on the basis of its own capabilities and activities. Fifteen hundred stoneburners aimed at our cities puts to the lie that notion that it is not a great power. There is far too much on the line to continue toleration of self-entitled victim myths. If Eastern Europeans (especially these moronic Ukrainians) think the the United States government (or deep state, or people, or whatever) will bail them out when the chips are down they are even bigger fools than I had already thought.

CatMack

Dear Babak,

Your country (if I guess correctly) was “occupied” by UK, USSR and USA for 30 years. I would expect you would have more judgement of what it means for national spirit and what are risks associated should such a situation last more than one generation.

The first time Stalin “resurrected” Poland was when he decided to act upon his own ambition and disobey Tukhachevski and Lenin’s orders during Battle of Warsaw in 1920 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Warsaw_(1920)). Some say this contributed to Lenin’s premature death and, ultimately, Tukhachevski’s purge. The second time, based on the satanic deal from Teheran, he created “People’s Republic of Poland”. Was the intention behind the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 resurrection of Abbasid Caliphate?

As to the Polish Nobles (Sarmatians as they called themselves, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarmatism), never liked them as a whole myself. Must by my peasant upbringing. This being said, as a social and economic class, they were destroyed during partitions and subsequent uprisings. Some collaborated, the rest diffused and allowed a new Polish romantic mythos to emerge.

When the time to fight for and rebuilt Second Republic came between 1918-1939 this yielded somewhat naïve, but extremely cohesive society. One that has seen organized collaboration with neither Soviets nor Nazis. One that has maintained an underground justice system punishing individual collaboration through the complete war. Not an unblemished picture, but morally heads and shoulders above anyone else, including so called Western “allies”.

Best,

CatMack

Pre-WWWI Tsarist Russia, Prussia and (especially) Austro-Hungary were not paradises, but they did not engage in genocide in Central Europe. Certainly not towards Baltic Nations. In case of Poland, the only clear incident I am aware of is so called Massacre of Praga during the Kosciuszko Uprising in 1794 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Praga, Praga is right-side part of Warsaw), with some 5,000 to 10,000 killed and wounded. Seventy years ago to the day, the same civilized people, when decided to succumb to statist and totalitarian ideologies at the expense of their religion, in cold blood raped and murdered at least 50,000 civilians on Wola (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wola_massacre), only to be followed by 200,000 more. All done by Germans, with some Russian (RONA) involvement.

Baltics were destroyed during Soviet occupation during and after WWII. In Poland, Soviets and their accolades continued “mowing the lawn” into 50s. No one knows how many died, upwards of 200,000. The counting is complicated by the fact that current elites in Poland, anointed now by the U.S., are almost to a person sons and daughters of Stalinist murderers.

“Germans make us into heroes, Soviets turn us into manure”. Germans and Russians are the worth each other, but overall Russians proved to be vastly more sophisticated, patient subversive and there lethal to Polish nation and culture.

Poul

Babak:

There is nothing unusual about that. It's a medieval world view. In my country of Denmark the nobility considered the royals and nobility to be the "Danes" well into the 1600's. Only several devastating wars with Sweden changed that world view as you suddenly needed to mobilise the broad population in the defence of the realm.

JerseyJeffersonian

FB Ali,

This was my very first thought upon hearing of his resignation. Whether the false flag was the intent, or the assassination, this act was beyond the pale. As I recall, Putin was reported to be very serious, if not a bit shaken, upon learning of the shoot down. A false flag might elicit this kind of reaction, but how much more so an attempt on his life, the President of the Russian Federation? And given the actions already taken by the putchists, from the massacre on the Maiden, to the murders in the Trades Building in Odessa, to the deliberate targeting of civilians in Donetsk & Lugansk, could you put it past them? No, you cannot. But what did the US know, & when did thay know it?

Bandolero

FB Ali

I would more broadly say it looks like a sign for lack of success. Ria Novosti had today a message that Kiev has 3427 soldiers Missing in Action who were encircled near Donetsk and Kiev assumes they are all dead.

http://de.ria.ru/politics/20140809/269246606.html

If that's true I think one may call it a lack of success.

However, spinning it further, such a looming disaster could well have been a motive for Parubiy to launch a desperate false flag attack with the intent of blaming it on Russia to change the course of events.

Further, I remember quite well, that after the "Heavenly Hundred" were killed by snipers in Kiev in February, Russian TV analysis blamed that on Parubiy, saying that the snipers had their base in the building controlled by Parubiy and his men, not in a building occupied by one of the numerous other Maidan militias, but in the building controlled by Parubiy. So, if it's true what the Russians said, it might well be the second false flag attack causing mass casualties organized by Parubiy in the course of half a year. It would not seem unplausible to me, when the first in February was a great success and brought him the post of secretary of Ukraine's security council, he may have tried that successful tactic again, ie a second false flag downing MH17 to win the war in the south east.

Ragrding the idea that MH17 could have been mistaken with Putin's jet, I find it holds not much water.

The Russians say Ukrainians did an air defense exercise, therefore the keys to unlock the Buks were transferred to the units some days before the downing of MH17. Also the longer range Buk radar some kilometer west of Donetsk shall be able to identify transponder signals of civilian aircraft, the "leaked" audio tape had to be doctored before the incident, and, in doubt, a simple call to the civilian air controll tower would have revealed that the jet was not Putin's. So, I think, if the Ukrainians did it, then it was a planned false flag attack on a civilian airliner, because, if that scenario is true, the attack likely needed several days of preparation.

But what I would find plausible is that the guy who actually pulled the trigger was lied by his superiors that the jet is Putin's and he will be a future Ukrainian hero for cutting off the head of the enemy.

Babak Makkinejad

I am specially unsympathetic to Poland; during World War II, several tens of thousands of Poles took refuge in Iran.

Yet Poland joined the rest of EU in her economic war against Iran.

Gratitude is not evidenced by Poland.

I understand that Poles believe that US has done a lot for them; I think Stalin and Iran have don more.

Babak Makkinejad

I was hoping to make the point that today's EU leaders, evidently, are emulating Polish nobles; Cameron and his kind are England, Merkel & her cohorts are Germany and so on and so forth - the rest of the people not in the charmed circle of power are akin to the peasants.

In today's Wall Street Journal we read:

http://online.wsj.com/articles/in-europe-job-protections-for-older-generation-are-barriers-for-younger-workers-1407541533

and

http://online.wsj.com/articles/older-greek-men-feel-pain-of-job-losses-1407543506

"Let the peasants eat cake while we wage a war against Russia."

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

July 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
Blog powered by Typepad