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September 9, 2014

Washington's seedy propaganda campaign: Satellite Images of Alleged Russian Artillery in Ukraine Come A-Cropper

By Dave Lindorff

Given Washington's history of lies in the interest of warmaking, it pays to look more closely at satellite images the Obama administration says are Russian heavy artillery in Ukraine, writes TCBH! journalist Dave Lindorff

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By Dave Lindorff

Cannons of combines? You decide (
Cannons of combines? You decide (
(Image by ThisCantBeHappening!))
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In the ongoing propaganda campaign mounted by the Obama administration to claim that Russia has "invaded" Ukraine from the east, it offered up some grainy black-and-white satellite images purporting to show heavy Russian military equipment inside the Ukraine.

I earlier noted that unlikelihood of what were said to be heavy mobile artillery pieces set in a perfect line in what appeared to be a field of crops, with, as the government claimed, cannons aimed towards Ukrainian positions in toward the west. As I pointed out, there was no sign of piles of ammunition alongside these "units" as we routinely see in closeups of heavy mobile artillery, for example IDF pieces outside of Gaza. I also noted the unlikelihood that such equipment would have been set up in an open field, unprotected by trees or other cover, and lined up to make for easy targeting by enemy artillery or air attack.

Now an alert reader from the agricultural state of Texas (Laredo, TX to be precise), has sent a note suggesting out that what the incriminating images most likely show are combines in a field of grain or some other crop planted in rows. He sent along photos showing harvesters, which of course feature a long, straight "cannon-like" tube which is used to shoot the harvested grain up and into an accompanying truck to be hauled off to market or to a storage silo.

As he points out, these harvesters are typically run in groups which often work in parallel, which does a much better job of explaining the precision alignment of the machines in the government's image than do mobile artillery units.

Now maybe the satellite images do show Russian artillery, but given Washington's extensive history of abject lying in the interest of promoting its war agenda (think Gulf of Tonkin, Iraq WMDs and mobil poison gas factories, Assad gas attacks in Damascus, etc.), it's worth taking the claim with a "grain" of...well, in this case actual grain.

DAVE LINDORFF is a member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent, uncompromising, four-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper. His work, and that of colleagues JOHN GRANT, GARY LINDORFF, ALFREDO LOPEZ, LORI SPENCER, LINN WASHINGTON, JR. and the late CHARLES M. YOUNG, can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net



Submitters Bio:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the Disintegration of American Democracy" and "Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Penalty Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal"). His latest book, coauthored with Barbara Olshanshky, is "The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office (St. Martin's Press, May 2006).


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