Cross-posted from Smirking Chimp
"We have repeatedly called on all parties to immediately stop the bloodshed and sit down at the negotiating table. We strongly believe that if military action in the East of Ukraine had not been renewed on the 28th of June, this tragedy wouldn't have happened. However, no one has the right to use this tragedy to pursue their own political aims. Such events should unite and not divide people."
-- Russian President Vladimir Putin, Official statement on the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17
"Lets be clear, both Russia and the US know what happened. They'd have to. Their intelligence and orbital systems saw it all". They'd have to know."
-- Omen 4, comments line, Zero Hedge
Washington's plan to "pivot" to Asia by establishing a beachhead in Ukraine and sabotaging trade relations between Europe and Russia, entered a new phase last Thursday when Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile launched from east Ukraine. Since then, the western media and prominent members of the US political establishment have used the incident to attack Russia mercilessly and to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin personally responsible for the deaths of the 295 passengers.
On Sunday, the Obama administration launched its most impressive propaganda blitz to date, scheduling appearances for US Secretary of State John Kerry on all five Sunday morning talk shows where he made unsubstantiated claims that MH17 was shot down by Russia-backed rebels in east Ukraine. According to Kerry, Russia has not only "supported, armed and trained" the separatists, but also provided them with the missile system (BUK) which was used to bring down the jetliner.
On CBS's "Face the Nation", Kerry said:
"We know for certain that the separatists have a proficiency that they've gained by training from Russians as to how to use these sophisticated SA-11 systems... there's 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." ("Kerry Says Russia Trained Separatists to Use Antiaircraft Missiles," New York Times)
Amazingly, Kerry's claims don't square with those of his boss, President Barack Obama who admitted on Friday that he didn't know who shot down MH17 or why. He said...
"I think it's too early for us to be able to guess what intentions those who might have launched the surface-to-air missile might have had... In terms of identifying specifically what individual or group of individuals, you know, personnel ordered the strike, how it came about -- those are things that I think are going to be subject to additional information that we're going to be gathering."
The fact that neither the contents of the black boxes or the cockpit recordings have yet been revealed didn't deter Kerry from making accusations and possibly tainting the investigation. Nor did Kerry mention the fact that the Ukrainian military -- who also had BUK missile systems in the area -- may have mistakenly taken down the airliner. None of the five hosts challenged Kerry on any of his claims. He was able to provide the state's view of the incident without challenge or debate, just as one would expect in a dictatorship where information is carefully monitored.
And Kerry didn't stop there either. He went on to claim that Moscow had sent "a convoy several weeks ago of 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."
Needless to say, none of the major media or respective Intel agencies (who closely follow activities on the border) have uttered a word about Kerry's phantom convoy. Without satellite imagery or some other proof, we must assume that Kerry's claim is about as reliable as his bogus 4-page "White Paper" that pinned the use of sarin gas on the Syrian government, a charge that was designed to escalate US involvement in the Syrian war and -- as journalist Robert Parry says, "spur President Obama into a quick decision to bomb Syrian government targets."
It's also worth noting that the journalist who co-authored Sunday's piece on Kerry in the New York Times was none other than Michael R. Gordon. In 2002 Gordon co-wrote a piece about aluminum tubes with Judith Miller which was intended to scare readers "with images of mushroom clouds" into supporting the war in Iraq. The story turned out to be complete baloney, but it helped to pave the way for the US invasion as it was intended to do. Gordon escaped blame for the article, while the discredited Miller was released.
Now the politicians and the media are at it again; trying to whip up war fever to get the public on board for another bloody intervention. Only this time, the target audience is not really the American people as much as it is Europeans. The real objective here, is to build support for additional economic sanctions as well as a deployment of NATO troops to Russia's western border. Washington wants to sabotage further economic integration between the EU and Russia so that it can control the flow of vital resources to the EU, crash the Russian economy, and establish a toll booth between the continents. It's all part of Washington's "pivot" strategy that is critical to maintaining global hegemony throughout the 21st century. This is from the NY Times:
"If investigators are able to confirm suspicions that the Malaysia Airlines jet was brought down by a surface-to-air missile fired by pro-Russian rebels who mistook it for a military aircraft, American officials expressed hope that the tragedy will underscore their case that Moscow has been violating Ukrainian sovereignty. While Mr. Obama imposed new sanctions on Russia just a day before, Europeans refused to adopt measures as stringent out of fear of jeopardizing their own economic ties...
"The Obama administration already has additional sanctions prepared that could be put into effect quickly if Mr. Obama so chooses. 'The question is does this finally move the Europeans across that threshold,' said a senior administration official, who insisted on anonymity to speak more candidly. 'I don't know, but how could it not?'
"European officials were cautious in their initial reactions, seeking time and information before jumping to possible consequences, and were reluctant to assign blame. But most of the passengers were Europeans. The majority of them, 154 in all, were from the Netherlands, where the flight originated, which could increase pressure on European governments to respond...Some analysts said the disaster would invariably lead to a re-evaluation of Europe's approach to Russia.
"'Ultimately this is going to ratchet up pressure within Europe to do what they should have done a long time ago,' said John E. Herbst, a former American ambassador to Ukraine now at the Atlantic Council in Washington. 'The strength of the opposition to firm steps remains strong, and so it's not going to go away. It's just that their position just took a serious hit and it should lead to a stronger set of European sanctions...'