The rush to judge Russia on Malaysian Flight 17 continues

The rush to judge Russia on Malaysian Flight 17 continues

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Jeroen Akkermans/Flickr

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2014 — The American and much of the European news media continue their rush to blame Russia for the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17. This, despite the fact that there has been no thorough and verified investigation, that official American government sources admit that “Russia was not directly involved” in the downing of the flight, and that much of the supposed evidence comes from social media and unsupported and unverified data supplied by the Obama-client Ukrainian regime.

None of this has deterred various American “talking heads” and prominent politicians such as Senators John McCain, John Corker, and Saxby Chambliss from engaging in collective hysteria and preemptively demanding swift and direct action against the Russians.

Corker, an inveterate Russophobe, has gone so far as to introduce legislation (S.2277), called the “Russian Aggression Prevention Act”, which would probably get the United States into a shooting war with Moscow.

Almost immediately after the tragedy over Ukrainian skies became news, an official narrative template was quickly put out by the major American media and political establishment and by the neoconservative talking heads: The Russians were responsible. No further discussion needed. Period.

Thundered John McCain, “either their soldiers shot it down, or their surrogate rebels did.” John Kerry echoed this assertion, claiming that the United States had “unassailable proof of Russian involvement.” The language and claims by the administration, the Republican war hawks and neoconservatives were almost eerily identical, illustrating once again the globalist views and ideological base that both the American left and the neoconservative right now share.

But since the original narrative was established and pounded into the brains of unwary Americans, certain aspects of this scenario have come under more scrutiny. It is usually a sign that an “official” story line is breaking down when its defenders nervously begin to make faulty counter arguments and attempt clumsily to discredit accounts that impeach their orthodoxy.

Thus, on the Wednesday (July 23) CBS morning news program, network reporters for the first time discussed how Russian media were covering the event. In contradistinction to American reporting, the Russian accounts are, as CBS called them, “propaganda.” (Obviously, for the Charlie Rose morning team what the American media states is always gospel truth; no “propaganda” here in the USA.) Interestingly, the CBS reporter mentioned a CNN report that asserts that the Russians even suspect that the passengers on board flight 17 were already dead when the plane was brought down!

Yet, the linked Russian web site used for this account states that this is one of the various wild rumors, not in any way an official view of Russian authorities.

Most of the purported evidence shown to American viewers, both by government officials and by news commentators, actually comes from either social media or Ukrainian sources. It may turn out eventually that the passenger plane was shot down by mistake by insurgents in eastern Ukraine, but the fact remains that that has not yet been established, and numerous unanswered questions and dubious assertions remain to be cleared up before any judgment should be rendered.

Let’s examine some of these.

First, major networks have been showing film footage (about 12 seconds), supplied by the Obama-backed Ukrainian government in Kiev, purporting to show a Russian/insurgent convoy with BUK surface-to-air missiles exiting eastern Ukraine, supposedly returning to Russian territory with one missile missing (obviously the one supposed to have been launched at flight 17). John Kerry brought this “fact” up on several Sunday news programs (July 20), and since then it has been reprised as evidence and proof of Russian guilt by Fox and CBS, “the smoking gun” implicating the Russians.

But there is a problem: The Ukrainian government claims the footage shows the convoy very near the Russian border. But a close inspection of the footage shows in the background a billboard on which is clearly lettered an address (in the Cyrillic alphabet), advertising a car dealership at 34 Dnepropetrovsk Street, in Krasnoarmeysk. Krasnoarmeysk is 155 miles west of the supposed site where the missile launcher is supposed to have been and has been controlled by the Ukrainian military since May 11.

One other questionable proof must be mentioned. Presented as prima facie evidence is an audio taped conversation between two Russian insurgent leaders, supplied by Ukraine, which supposedly describes the shoot down of a “military plane” at approximately the same time that flight 17 went down. But according to an analyst (Nikolay Popov) of AIM Technologies, LLC, the tape appears to be a doctored compilation, made from diverse tapes, recorded at different times and joined together.

Lastly, the reason why Ukrainian authorities directed flight 17 to change its flight plan course from a safer, more northern route and to fly directly over the most violent and contested area of Ukraine, remains unanswered. Why did Kiev authorities demand such a change of course over perhaps the most dangerous territory in Europe?

We should exercise much-needed caution and circumspection when dealing with this tragic event. Obama, Kerry, McCain, Corker, and the Fox News neoconservatives are all on the same page, demanding blood and heightened confrontation with Russia, but based on largely circumstantial evidence, not yet verified or proven. McCain and other zealous globalists urge that we send sophisticated weapons (and most probably advisors/trainers with them) to Ukraine and other states bordering Russia. But there is no greater opportunity to get us into a shooting war than such foolhardy and insane actions.

Most thinking Americans don’t want that.

McCain and many of the Fox News “talking heads” apparently have never seen a war that they didn’t want to involve American boys in. Like other zealous proponents of liberal democracy and equality, they want to impose such standards — which have failed miserably here in the USA — on every country, no matter where, in the world. And they won’t be satisfied until an American-supported puppet regime, tied to Wall Street and dependent on international capitalist interests, is installed in each of them.

Again, it is time to step back and calmly analyze what happened with flight 17, and that may take some time. The loud and inflammatory response of John Kerry, John McCain, Charles Krauthammer, and most of the establishment news media (including notably Fox) does not help this process at all.

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Boyd Cathey
Boyd D. Cathey holds a doctorate in European history from the Catholic University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, where he was a Richard Weaver Fellow, and an MA in intellectual history from the University of Virginia (as a Jefferson Fellow). He was assistant to conservative author and philosopher the late Russell Kirk. In more recent years he served as State Registrar of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History. He has published in French, Spanish, and English, on historical subjects as well as classical music and opera. He is active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and various historical, archival, and genealogical organizations.