Ukraine “shot down the wrong plane” #MH17


MH17 witness emerges, claims Ukrainian jet brought down Boeing

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This story suggests that the Ukrainian pilot, Captain Voloshin, shot down MH17 via mis-identification with a real target. So, with the eastern Ukrainians lacking any real air force, what target was Captain Voloshin searching for that would look like a Boeing passenger jet?

As it happens, Russian President Vladimir Putin was flying through the same area on that very day, returning home from a six day visit to Cuba and South America. Putin’s Presidential jet, not as grand as Air Force One, is based on the Ilyushin 96. The IL-96 is a passenger jet, and is painted with a similar color scheme to the Malaysian 777. At a distance, they could easily have been confused for one another!

So Kiev wanted to murder Putin, to throw the Russian government into turmoil while Kiev reconquered the east (and possibly Crimea), but botched the operation, shooting down MH17 instead, then tried to drop the blame on Russia.

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‘US withheld sat. image of MH17 downing’

A satellite image released by Russian media shows a fighter jet firing at Malaysian Flight MH17 on November 15, 2014.

A satellite image released by Russian media shows a fighter jet firing at Malaysian Flight MH17 on November 15, 2014.

The Russian news service, Itar-Tass today published satellite photos clearly proving that Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, was downed by a Kiev-backed jet fighter.

The United States and Great Britain have had these photos for months, proving the Kiev junta responsible for purposefully downing the plane and killing 298 passengers and crew, 196 of them from the Netherlands.

In fact, for months, the preponderance of evidence has indicated that the downing of MH17 was done by Kiev as an act of false flag terrorism, one of many during the conflict.  However, as accusations against Kiev gained substance, the investigation was handed to the Dutch government, who tabled the entire process for over a year without any promise of a definitive finding.

All the while, the US was accusing Russia of the attack and threatening retaliation, these photos were in the hands of NATO leaders.

From Tass:

“MOSCOW, November 14. /TASS/. Russia’s television Channel One said on Friday it had a photo presumably made by a foreign spy satellite in the last seconds of Malaysia’s MH17 flight over Ukraine.
Channel One showed Ivan Andriyevsky, the first vice president of the Russian Union of Engineers, demonstrating a photo sent by a George Beatle, who had introduced himself as an air traffic controller with a 20-year working record.
According to Beatle, the Malaysian Boeing was shot down by a fighter jet that followed it. First, the Boeing came under gun fire and then the cockpit was hit by an air-to-air missile, its right engine and the right wing were hit by a heat-seeking missile.
The e-mail had an enclosed snapshot of a missile launch from under the fighter’s left wing directed right at the Boeing cockpit.
‘We see a space shot made from a low orbit. Such photo shots are typically made in air and ground surveillance purposes,’ Andriyevsky said. ‘Coordinates on the photo hint that it was made by an American or a British satellite. We have thoroughly analyzed this photo to find no signs of fake.’”

In the ensuing months since the air disaster, the US and its NATO allies have repeatedly claimed that the flight, simply known as MH17, was shot down by first a missile under the control of pro-Russian separatists near Donetsk and then later by Russian forces along the border.

The situation was further obfuscated when a Dutch report came out, cleansed of all references as to causality and then later by something even stranger.

When reports by radar operators in the region indicated that a Kiev backed fighter had been following MH17, claims were made that all their planes in the area were only low level ground attack aircraft, incapable of high altitude flight. News reports, leaked from Kiev, claimed the only planes in the area were Su-25 ground attack fighters.

Later it was leaked that the plane following MH17 was an SU-22 “swing wing.”  However, in the interim, dozens of aviation websites were hacked and information on the SU-22 was altered to show it incapable of flight above 21,000 feet and of speeds in excess of 500 miles per hour.

The satellite photograph showing the missile being fired at MH17, however, shows the clear outline of an SU-22. A review of the US Air Force report on the SU-22 tells a very different story of its performance.

“The SU-17M4 was offered to export customers under the SU-22M4 designation (internal destination of S-54K0.  Production lasted from 1983 to 1990. The Su-17M4 was given a top speed of 1,155 miles per hour (Mach 1.7) at altitude with a combat range of 715 miles (1,430 miles ferry). The service ceiling was limited to 46,590 feet while the rate of climb was listed at 45,275 feet per minute.”

MH17 was flying at 500 miles per hour at 31,000 feet when the SU-22 opened up with 30mm cannon and finished the plane off with an air to air missile into the cockpit, as seen clearly on the satellite photo.

In late July, while stories of a ground-launched air defense missile were being bandied about, it was pointed out that the only missiles in the region were controlled by the Kiev government. In order to support their assertion that Russia was responsible, the Ukrainian government released satellite photos they said proved they had no forces in the region. From an August 1, 2014 Russia Today story:

“Satellite images Kiev published as ‘proof’ it didn’t deploy anti-aircraft batteries around the MH17 crash site carry altered time-stamps and are from days after the MH17 tragedy, the Russian Defense Ministry has revealed.
The images, which Kiev claims were taken by its satellites at the same time as those taken by Russian satellites, are neither Ukrainian nor authentic, according to Moscow’s statement.
The Defense Ministry said the images were apparently made by an American KeyHole reconnaissance satellite, because the two Ukrainian satellites currently in orbit, Sich-1 and Sich-2, were not positioned over the part of Ukraine’s Donetsk Region shown in the pictures.
Moscow claims weather and lighting conditions in the images were not possible at the dates and times Ukraine claims they were made, the Russian ministry said.
At least one of the images published by Ukraine shows signs of being altered by an image editor, the statement added.”

Thus far, there has been no response from the US. If, as Andriyevsky asserts, the satellite photos are genuine, it isn’t simply the Kiev junta that is culpable. It was long known that the US had satellite photos and detailed records of AEGIS radar that would have shown exactly what happened.

It is now clear why these satellite images were withheld as they failed to support America’s policy of sanctioning Russia on behalf of a regime now clearly guilty of terrorism on a global scale.

Moreover, the satellite photos of MH17 are a clear indication that the US also has photos showing the fate of MH370 as well, the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 that disappeared from the face of the earth without a trace on March 8, 2014.

We can only ask why these are also being withheld and what other agenda, what other half-baked terror plot the fate of MH370 may have served.

Flight MH370 was ‘hacked and shot down by US Air Force’ claims former airline boss

Flight MH370 was ‘hacked and shot down by US Air Force’ claims former airline boss

Mark Dugain believes the American military blasted the missing jetliner out of the sky amid fears it had been hijacked remotely and could be used in a 9/11-style terror attack

Conspiracy: Mark Dugain believes MH370 was remotely hijacked by an unknown person before being shot down by the US Air Force

Missing Flight MH370 was ‘hacked and then shot down over the Indian Ocean by the US Air Force,’ it has been claimed.

The Malaysia Airlines plane was remotely hijacked by unknown persons before being blasted out of the sky by the American military, fearing a terrorist attack similar to 9/11, according to Mark Dugain.

The Frenchman, an author and the ex-head of the now-defunct Proteus Airlines, believes the Boeing 777 was downed by US Air Force assets from the British-controlled Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia.

Mr Dugain said he had travelled to the Maldives and spoken to locals who claimed to have seen a “huge plane” flying overhead at low altitude in the direction of Diego Garcia.

According to an article penned by Dugan in French weekly magazine Paris Match, one fisherman told him: “I saw a huge plane fly over us at low altitude.

“I saw red and blue stripes (the livery of Malaysia Airlines) on a white background.”

Dugain said the man’s account was supported by several other locals.

He also wrote how he had met the mayor of Baarah island, who showed him photos of a device seized by the Maldives military after it was found on a beach two weeks after the tragedy.

Dugain claimed the device was a fire extinguisher, citing two aviation experts and a local military officer, and pointed out that the extinguisher must have been empty to have floated.

This, Dugain claimed, was due to it being automatically triggered by a fire, even as all passengers and crew might have died from asphyxiation.

In a separate radio interview, Dugain claimed that a British intelligence officer had warned him of the “risks” in investigating MH370’s disappearance, suggesting instead that he “let time do its work”.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared on March 8 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board.

The search for the vanished jet is focused on the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia.

Officials had hoped to conclude the mission by May 2015, however a technical problem affecting equipment on board one of the search ships may mean that is no longer achievable.



Why the Secrecy on the Mh17 Investigation?

Why the Secrecy on the Mh17 Investigation?

On 17 July 2014 Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over the Eastern Ukraine.

Although the precise circumstances were at that point unknown the western media were quick to blame Ukrainian “rebels”.  The means by which MH17 was destroyed, the media alleged, was a surface to air BUK missile supplied to the “rebels” by Russia.  For a host of reasons it was almost certainly not a BUK missile that caused the crash.  The stage was set however, for a demonization of Russia in general as the alleged supplier of the missile, and President Vladimir Putin in particular.  The relentless propaganda enforcing this view has continued unabated to this day, although the evidential foundation for the allegations remains at best remote.

The Russians produced an initial denial of involvement.  Four days after the tragedy however, as anti-Russian hysteria was escalating to extreme levels, the Russian military held a press presentation.  The fact of this presentation was barely reported in the western media.  The content, more importantly, was either ignored or misrepresented.

The Russians disclosed, inter alia, their radar and satellite data.  These data showed that MH17 had been diverted from its scheduled route so that it flew directly over the war zone in eastern Ukraine.  They asked for an explanation but one has never been forthcoming.  These data also showed that MH17 had been shadowed during its last minutes by two SU25 fighter jets, a model flown by the Ukrainian air force.  Again the Russians asked why this had happened.

The main response was a claim that the SU25 could not fly above 10,000 metres.  Not only is this untrue, as an examination of military resources readily demonstrates, but the Wikipedia entry on the SU25 had been altered days before the shoot down to claim that the SU25’s operating ceiling was only 7000 metres.  Again the western media ignored this obvious alarm bell.

The Russians further disclosed that at the precise time of the shoot down an American spy satellite was directly overhead the scene and would have recorded the sequence of events.  The Russians invited the Americans to share these data with the official investigation that had been launched, but to date the Americans have failed to do so.  Again, the western media are singularly incurious as to the reason for this lack of cooperation.

Under IATA Rules, the parties responsible for the investigation would be the Malaysians, as owners of the plane and home country of the airline, and the Ukrainians over whose territory the atrocity occurred.  It was the Dutch however, who took the lead role, citing two facts:  the plane had departed from Amsterdam; and they had suffered the largest number of their nationals as victims.  The Malaysians were initially excluded from the inquiry for reasons that have never been satisfactorily explained.  They were finally invited to join the Joint Inquiry on 2 December 2014.

Instead, the initial inquiry group consisted of Ukraine, the Netherlands, Australia and Belgium.  The Australians suffered the third largest loss of life but had no standing to be one of the investigatory nations, and certainly less of a claim than the Malaysians.  The Australian Prime Minister and some other politicians had been at the forefront of making extreme allegations against Russia and President Putin.  Why Belgium was included remains a mystery.

On 8 August 2014 these four investigating nations signed an agreement that the results of the investigation would not be published unless all four countries agreed.  This gave one of the prime suspects in the atrocity, Ukraine, an effective veto over any investigations result that attributed blame to them.  This is an astonishing situation and probably without precedent in modern air crash investigations.

More significantly however, is that the existence of this secret agreement was not announced by the Australian government, nor to the best of my knowledge has any report about the existence of the agreement or its extraordinary terms, been published in any mainstream publication.

The Dutch magazine Elsevier, under Dutch Freedom of Information laws, sought a copy of the agreement.  On 19 November they announced that the request had been refused on the grounds that it “could endanger the relations with other countries involved.”

An Australian citizen (name redacted) wrote to the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development (Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss) seeking a copy of the agreement.  By letter dated 15 October 2014 the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) replied on behalf of the Minister, refusing the requester a copy of the agreement as its contents were “classified.”

The present writer wrote to DFAT on 21 August 2014 seeking a copy of the agreement of 8 August 2014 under the Freedom of Information Act.  The department declaimed responsibility and said that they had passed my request on to the Attorney-General’s Department.  This was odd, but even odder was advice from the Attorney General that my request had been passed in turn to the Australian Federal Police who were the responsible body.

This must be the first time in Australian history since 1901 that negotiations and agreements between sovereign nations had been conducted on Australia’s behalf by the Federal Police.

On 2 December 2014 the Australian Federal Police finally gave their decision on the FOI request.  It was declined on the basis that disclosure of the document (which they acknowledged existed) under section 33 would, or could reasonably be expected to, cause damage to:

(i)            the security of the Commonwealth; or

(ii)          the defence of the Commonwealth; or

(iii)         the international relations of the Commonwealth.

The refusal also relied upon section 37(1)(a) of the Act which exempts a document if it could reasonably be said to prejudice the conduct of an investigation.

Thirdly, the Federal Police relied upon section 37(1) (c) where disclosure could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of a person.

The fourth ground of refusal was under section 37(2)(b) which exempts disclosure where it might reasonably be expected to prejudice an investigation by disclosing methods of investigation or detection of unlawful activity.

In the circumstances of this case it is very difficult to see how any of those provisions would apply.  The agreement, it should be remembered, is to give any one of the four investigating countries a veto over publication of the results.  A final report would be entitled to withhold details of the investigation that would truly prejudice matters of national security.

An investigation of a crash of an aeroplane is however, carried out under IATA Rules and its procedures are well established and well documented.  Whose life or safety might be endangered by releasing the agreement is unspecified.

One is left with the conclusion that 33 (iii) is the real ground and the “international relations” referred to are the difficulty Australia and other nations have got themselves into by prematurely blaming Russia when all of the emerging evidence points squarely at Ukraine.

Given the existence of this agreement it is difficult to see how anyone can have any confidence in whatever final report is published by the Dutch.  The preliminary report was careful not to apportion blame or even state the cause of the crash other than to say that the plane was hit a by a large number of “high velocity objects” which were undefined.

Another major question is why have the mainstream media kept up a barrage of misinformation up to and including the recent G20 debacle, when they know, or ought to know that the investigation is a sham?

It is also difficult to see how the continued demonization of Russia and Mr Putin for manifestly geo-political reasons (and the probable reasons for the shoot down in the first place) represents any form of justice for the families of the 298 victims and in particular the 37 who were Australian citizens or residents.

It is clear that the Government’s professed support for Security Council Resolution 2116 (2014) for a “full, thorough, and independent international investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines” is no more than window dressing for a much wider geopolitical agenda.

James O’Neill is a former academic who has practiced as a barrister for the past 30 years.  He has a special interest in international human rights issues.

A Malaysian Alternative Strategy for Russia?

The Saker

by “Diogenes”

First of all, let me say that with all my respect to Dr.Glaziev in person, and his economical and political views, I have to make some reservations and comments.

He never worked in real sector of economy, industry or the bank. His academic education and background is so called Economic Cybernetics. His postgraduate studies and Doctoral thesis were done in Central Economic-Mathematical Institute of the Russian Academy of Science – . Now its a time for me to make a full disclosure:

I did my postgraduate studies of economics and finance in the very same Institute, which I did out of curiosity less then 10 years ago at my own expense, while working in financial industry. However, this study lead me to a conclusion that contemporary financial theory and economics is a fraud (understatement). As one wise man said

” it is a manifestation of a disease of collective consciousness. It is the suppression of Logos and the embrace of Thanatos. It is, in a purest sense, evil.”
This Institute was created in Soviet Union in 1963 in view to help managing Central Planned Economy of USSR by introducing computers in the system of planning and managing economy and developing of so-called “theories of optimum control of a national economy”. In a plain language it means that if you know resources available in national economy and demand for final goods (industrial and consumer) using supercomputers and mathematical models you can calculate most efficient utilization of resources to produce this goods, calculate prices for those goods, distribute them to industries and finally to people. Another words, this is a Top-Down management. It was Harvard-style top-down management and GOSPLAN top-down management. It was a nuclear and space competition of two systems . Top-down management worked well when huge resources, both intellectual and material has to be brought together to design and built a long-range missile or A-bomb in a short period of time.This was a period of time when US and SU were actively competing and copying ideas from each other. It was a period of time when idea of convergence of two system, invented by Pitirim Sorokin (Russian-American sociologist) in 1960 at his “Mutual Convergence of the United States and the U.S.S.R. to the Mixed Sociocultural type ” became popular among intellectuals in Europe. Main ideologist and propagator (not inventor) of this theory in Soviet Union in 1960-70 was Academic A.D. Sakharov, father of Soviet H-Bomb with his “Thoughts on progress, peaceful coexistence and intellectual freedom” published in 1968. This idea became very popular in academic circles (mostly physicists, working for defense industry, eventually they had more freedom of thought and speech then any social scientists in SU then) and “advanced” political circles. One of the supporters (silent) of this convergence theory in Politburo was Y. Andropov himself and later on his hand-picked successor M.Gorbachev. He released Sakharov from domestic exile, was supportive to Sakharov, but always was opposing A. Solzhenitsyn’ s ideas. Actually, both systems US and SU were branches of the same tree, seeded at age of European enlightenment and strong believe in a science, as modern substitute of God. Practically speaking, it has a meaning that modern people using computers can plan and calculate everything and make life better for everybody. But there are 2 problems facing this idea: first, human being is not perfect, biased and egoistic. Second, mathematical – modern science perfected itself in linear domain, but mother nature is non-linear, while algorithms are linear and computer models can’t capture complexity of the subject ( known unknown and unknown unknown variables issue). This huge implied problem in financial modeling was one of the major factors that lead to recent financial crisis (from 2007- onward). More about this problem can be found in the brilliant books of Dr. Nassim Taleb, trader and professor: “The Black swan”, “Fooled by randomness”, “Antifragility”.

Dr. Glaziev’ s research papers are focused on macro problems: economics of scientifically-technical progress and Kondratiev Wave Theory (long waves of 40-50 yrs of economical growth and decline), associated with changing technological cycles.

Alas, his practical suggestions to fix currency or economy are too academic to be directly implemented on practice. Problems with Ruble exchange rate can fixed instrumentally and provide .

He understands THE BIG PICTURE and its a BIG plus. If he would be appointed to a position of Governor of Russian Central Bank he might quickly go through “on-job-learning” with some help and advice of bank experts ( most of them are retired now, like former Central Bank Chairman V. Geraschenko ), of course. Or outsourcing from Customs Union country, like Kazakhstan may be a professional experienced banker, such like Mr. Grigory Marchenko (ex-Chairman of Kazakh National Bank).

He is a designer of Kazakh financial Regulator, National banking system and Eurasian integrationist enthusiast. He is retired now, by the way, at his 55.

But enough criticism of academics, this is too long a preamble.

Let me get to a quiz:

What are the problems with the Russian economy: lack of credit, high interest rate, printing-press based Ruble emission, reduction in the volume of money inside Russia, lack of government investment, etc.?

Lastly, maybe you could explain why so many incompetent/anti-Russian people are working in Russia banking and the government?

First of all, let say , that reforms of Russian economy since 1990s were merely based on introduction of Williamson’s ten points or so-called “Washington consensus”.

1. Fiscal discipline (avoidance of large deficits relative to GDP)
2. Redirection of public spending from subsidies to education, health care, infrastructure
3. Tax reform (broadening tax base), moderate tax rate
4. Interest rates – determined by market, moderate, but positive
5. Competitive exchange rates
6. Trade liberalization
7. Liberalization of foreign direct investments
8. Privatization of state enterprises
9. Deregulation: abolition of regulations that impede market entry or restrict competition
10. Legal security for property rights

All sounds great and logical, isn’t it? Government has to implement it one by one and their job was to translate these rules and practically implement. Simple!

This is were the mantras of ministers are coming from ( fiscal discipline- “no extra budget spending!”, interest rates hikes – it must be “positive” , “privatization at all cost!”, etc). For last 20 years same people were repeating the very same mantras, losing ability of critical thinking and becoming a quasi-religious sect. They had an easy job, not requiring from them any creativity nor intellectual efforts, just discipline!

Note: Key point here is p.5: competitive exchange rate.

De facto monetary policy in Russia is so called “currency board”: when national money supply is always equal to the size of foreign currency reserves. This is a very much rigid design, which forces national money supply fluctuate on line with currency reserves and reserves to fluctuate in accordance with trade conditions. If the latter link between trade conditions and currency reserves is justified, former does not and make sense only for very small countries fully relying on foreign trade (like some African countries). Another words, national money supply growth can come from only 2 sources: export and foreign investments.

When there is lack of domestic money where enterprises and banks can get liquidity? They can borrow abroad, in Dollars, of course! This is why offshore economy was booming. To reduce borrowing rate corporation register HQ in offshore zone and direct its export revenue toward this HQ.

Monetization of Russian economy (Money volume to GDP, %) is way too low: in 2013 it was 47%, less then any other BRICS economy, next to Paraguay only with 46% monetization. For example, monetization in Brazil in 2012 was 81%, India – 76%, China -195% . Average monetization rate worldwide is 125%. Lets put it simple. Money is a blood of economy. In Russian economy there is not enough blood. That is why its too weak. It is prime source of high interest rates- high demand for rare commodity (money) makes it expensive. This is also source of monetary inflation. Yes, not exuberance of cash, but its deficit. Manufacturers transfer high interest borrowing costs to the prices. This subject is well researched by economists, and explain direct relationship between low monetization and inflation in Russia. Ruble free float exchange policy is even worse to Russian economy then previous policy of so called “dirty” exchange rate when Central Bank was intervening and sold foreign currency every time when ruble brake out of the artificial corridor set up by Central Bank itself. It was a channel to provide ruble liquidity by buying currency from market and supplying ruble to economy, increasing its monetization.

Author was participating in a close door event 2009 in Moscow – a financial conference of late Egor Gaidar and Nouriel Rubini (Dr. Doom) were even notorious Gaidar was making case for dirty-float of ruble, suggesting to “his friends and colleagues in the Government and Central Bank who determine the monetary policy” to let ruble depreciate while crude oil prices are falling – main source of foreign currency revenue! (oil prices then were in a free fall from $135 to $40). Central Bank then was trying hard to keep peg of ruble to currency basket (Euro+Dollar) i.e. fixed nominal exchange rate to basket. So, Gaidar made a conclusion, that for Russian economy, export oriented and commodity driven neither exchange policy is good : not free float nor fixed rate, only “dirty” or “manageable” rate (by whom? illuminated Central Bankers who know better?). Dr, Roubini tend to agree with him. Unfortunately, none of current bosses of Central Bank nor Ministery of Finance were not present at that function and Gaidar’s advice was not delivered to them. Nobody at the conference even mention another policy tool: capital control (more on this below). Indeed, they were liberals and it was a total blasphemy, contradicting p.5 & 9 of Washington consensus !

Sufficient money supply is vital for low interest rates and boom in manufacturing and agriculture. Alas, Central Bank of Russia monetary policy is opposite to common sense and policy of other Central Banks.

Strange, isn’t it? Are these people intentionally making harm to domestic economy or they are simply ignorant and incompetent? It seems there is a combination of both factors.

Last 20 years SysLibs (system liberals) had a comfortable life: they perfectly knew the agenda: what to say (see Williamson’s ten points above) and what to do (same 10 points). Now they have an acute cognitive dissonance crisis. What their Boss (Putin) is saying them to do contradict to their credo.

When countries around the globe were facing currency crisis IMF has a standard prescription, sorry, common loan conditionality:

• Floating of the currency.

• The capital account should remain open, and in fact financial liberalization should be deepened. Capital controls were not allowed. Foreigners and locals were allowed to take out and bring in funds with no or little restriction.

• Sharp increase in the interest rate (to counter inflation and to maintain investor confidence in the local currency).

• Contractionary monetary policies.

• Austere fiscal policies.

• There should be no or minimal government financial assistance to local banks and companies facing difficulties. In Indonesia and Thailand, the governments were asked to take measures to close down several financial institutions.

• Liberalization of foreign ownership in local assets and companies, e.g. after 1998 crisis Thailand raised its limit on foreign ownership of local banks from 10 to 100 per cent; South Korea raised the foreign ownership limit in local companies listed on the stock exchange from 10 per cent eventually to 100 per cent, and Indonesia’s Letter of Intent specified allowing foreign ownership of plantations and wholesale trade.

• Privatization of state enterprises and agencies and state economic activities.

• Reduction or elimination of state subsidies

That is exactly what Central Bank/ FinMin of Russia are doing now.

Since May 2014 Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has a “hands-off” policy on forex market, hence CBR play important role of market-maker on MICEX USDRUB turnover – historical average is 10% of turnover, sometimes could be up to 60%. It was NOT participating in the market and made NO interventions from May to October 2014 (source: CBR, MICEX,research). Basically, Ruble was de facto in a free float since May till October 2014. Exchange rate was in a free fall accordingly due to open capital account, reduced foreign direct investments, capital outflow and speculative attack on Ruble.

Last week currency market in Russia was in “St. Vitus’ dance mode”. Intraday USD-Rub rate was easily in 10% swing and bid-offer spreads were between 1,5-5 Kopecks (to illustrate magnitude of change – in normal times this spread is 0,25 Kopecks- up to 20 times !!! ) spreads for retail bank client between offered rate and bid rate were 3 rubles !!! – unheard of since 1998 default. What is really going on with the Central Bank? Overall I had pretty good idea on theoretical side- what teaching Central bankers are using, since one of my tutors – professor of macroeconomics is lecturing central bankers on same absurd staff he taught us. When I was asking him “out of the box” questions or pointed fact of life that contradicts those theories he refused to answer or provide reasoning. It is a sect-like teaching,disconnected with real world, treating any doubt as blasphemy and considering alternative schools as heresy. This professor of macroeconomics now works at High School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow where Central Bank Governor’s husband is Rector. It was not good enough. Last few days I spent talking to my friends in the banking to gain insight into the real-life story.

Central Bank’s two ladies, who are in charge now, never worked at any commercial bank or real economy- they are theorists (perfected in absurd American “Economics” -like theories) and since appointment to the main Bank were getting advice from people from HSE and internal Central bank analytics.They tried all classical prescriptions (IMF-orthodox, of course) to keep currency in check at the time of high capital outflow. They raised interest rates twice. They provided Dollar (sic!) liquidity (expensive) to the market, etc,etc. None of their advices from the book-shelf were helpful. These tricks simply did not work in the real world, especially in extraordinary situation. Then those geniuses has to turn (sic!) to commercial banking professionals: real-world experts and are getting advises from them.

However, in regulating the market the most important thing is confidence. Regulator has to be committed to the things he (she) is doing, his line has to be known to the market participants and market should learn in a hard way that this line will be enforced by “whatever it takes”. It can begin with verbal intervention and then followed by using the set of instruments from usual market arsenal to administrative measures, even to restrictions of capital movement. Funny enough its there ready available. Like Central Bank Normative of obligatory sale of export revenue by exporters which was set to zero since 01.01. 2007.

Some of the experts are saying, that it looks like situation on the market is “beyond the repair”. At list with those two charming ladies in charge. Nobody trust them. Market doesn’t understand their policy , strategy nor tactics. Its total chaos.

May be weakness of local currency is good for economy, one could ask?

Currency depreciation has some sever negative effects.

First, an increase costs of external debt servicing for both banks and corporations, which borrowed in foreign currency (mostly USD), but making revenue in local currency (RUB). Total external debt of banks and corporations is higher than CBR currency reserves now (over $600 Bln. vs. $400Bln. However, intra-group loans and FX liquidity reserves not accounted in CBR statistics makes this picture not so gloomy. This is where so-called “offshorization” plays its positive role- some Russian group of companies maintain their head offices or branches or financial companies in tax havens or in Switzerland or UK or elsewhere, making them profit centers for the Group and building currency reserves overseas, then lending money to their Russian industrial divisions. In fact, nobody know how much of the foreign debt is due to genuine foreign creditors and how much for Russian business itself.) Second, permanent unpredictable and volatile change of currency rates are destabilizing for merchants and enterprises who are unable to do business in a predictable way as price for imported goods are changing. Third, persistent decline of currency contributed to sharp fall in value of shares on a stock market (MICEX) and lead to outflow of foreign portfolio funds from stock market. One positive effect was for exporters , who obtained higher revenue.

Another concern of even larger capital outflow, as a confidence of foreign and domestic business in economy.

Due to serious adverse effects of currency depreciation issue of stabilizing Ruble should be MAJOR concern of monetary and financial authorities.

Those negative effects “financial” in nature, not originating in economy itself.

First of all, let me explain how the speculation against a currency works.

Its pretty simple. Speculator sell Ruble “short” and buy US Dollar or Euro. There at least two ways of short-selling: a) sell it on a forward market at the current rate in view to deliver Ruble at future date; b) speculator borrow Ruble in order to sell it on spot market and keep the Dollar. Spot market for USDRUB exist on MICEX (exchange) which is transparent online or interbank market (also transparent via banks daily FX reporting) for CBR, while forward market is not and business conducted between banks and their clients or between the bank (onshore or offshore). Obviously, Bank in London can sell on offshore forward market Ruble and buy Dollar for future delivery and utilize only 5-10% of capital for such trade, i.e. deal with notional $100 mln. purchase would require $5 mln. Dollars of their capital allocation (don’t mixed with outright payment). Weaker local currency is – better-off “short” -seller became, market value (mark-to-market) of their trade is increasing when RUB depreciating. This is self-fueling forest fire.

When the ruble depreciated, the speculators could reap the profit. In case a), the speculator delivers the agreed ruble amount at the previous rate and obtains the agreed Dollar amount, which in turn can now be exchanged for greater amounts of ruble (since the ruble has since depreciated). In case b), when the time comes for the speculator to repay his ruble denominated loan at the previous exchange rate, he needs to use only a part of the Dollars he has accumulated (as the ruble has now depreciated) and the balance of the Dollars is his profit. Speculation on the ruble is carried out not only in the local markets but also abroad (mostly in London).

Now, we came to a question:

Is there a plausible alternative to orthodox IMF-style policy in financial-economic crisis management?

Answer: Yes, indeed. There is an alternative, successful one. We can turn to the success story: Malaysian experience in financial-economic crisis management and make case study in a next Chapter.

Malaysian Alternative Strategy 

During the crisis in 1998 as financial and economic situation deteriorated

Malaysian government decided to adopt a different strategy then IMF advised. Development of this strategy is usually attributed to The Prime Minister of Malaysia at that time, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (by the way he is a doctor, not of nonsense “Economics”, but doctor of medicine).

This new strategy was not adopted all at once, but stage by stage and part by part as developments unfolded.

Firstly, on the institutional side, a National Economic Action Council (NEAC) was formed in January 1998 to take overall charge of economic crisis management. Previously the Finance Ministry took the lead in managing the crisis, and now the decision-making centre shifted to the Prime Minister’s Department which hosted the NEAC. The Council was chaired by the Prime Minister and comprised several Federal Ministers, the Chief Ministers of the state governments, several government agencies, and representatives of industry. It had an executive committee led by the Prime Minister and included the Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Executive Director of the NEAC Secretariat and some key economics-related officials (including the Central Bank Governor, the Director General of the Economic Planning Unit and the Secretary General of the Treasury) and a few individuals. A new NEAC Secretariat was established in the Prime Minister’s Department, with an Executive Director and full-time staff drawn initially from the Economic Planning Unit (the country’s main planning agency), and it was also serviced by a Working Group of five individuals drawn from business and academia.

The establishment of this high-powered Council with almost over-riding authority to deal with the economic crisis on an emergency basis, was a central and structural aspect of the Malaysian model of crisis management. Eventually it was the NEAC that drew up an alternative medium-term strategy to deal with the crisis. But it also intensely monitored all aspects of the economy and made decisions on a day-to-day basis. The NEAC executive committee chaired by the Prime Minister met every day for several hours to receive feedback on the implementation and effects of policy decisions and to make decisions on new measures. The NEAC was also able to cut through the usual territorial compartmentalisation of the various Ministries and agencies, and take decisions in a coordinated way.

A National Economic Recovery Plan was then formulated and launched on 23 July 1998. Its objectives were to stabilize the currency, restore market confidence, maintain financial market stability, strengthen economic fundamentals, continue the equity and socio-economic agenda, and revitalize affected sectors.

On 1 September 1998, measures were announced by the then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad relating to the currency and to mobility of capital flows. They were aimed at stabilizing the level of the local currency (through fixing of the exchange rate to the US Dollar); preventing overseas speculation on the value of the local currency and local shares (by banning the overseas trade in these); and reducing capital outflows (through selective capital controls). This set of measures was a watershed as until then it had been almost taboo for economists let alone governments to even discuss capital controls. By coincidence, a week earlier the American economist Paul Krugman had broken the intellectual taboo by advocating that Asian countries should adopt exchange controls, in an article in Fortune magazine.

The Malaysian move involved measures to regulate the international trade in its local currency and regulate movements of foreign exchange, aimed at reducing the country’s exposure to financial speculators and the growing global financial turmoil. The policy package included officially fixing the Ringgit to the US Dollar, deinternationalising the trade in the Ringgit, a one-year moratorium on the outward transfer of foreign-owned funds invested in the local stock market, and strict limitations on the transfer of funds abroad by local residents.

The rationale for the move was explained by Dr Mahathir in a television interview on the day the measures were announced. Asked whether the exchange control measures were regressive, he said they were not so, but instead it was the present situation, where currency instability and manipulation was prevalent, which was regressive. He said that when the world moved away from the Bretton Woods fixed‑exchange system, it thought the floating rate system was a better way to evaluate currencies. “But the market is now abused by currency traders who regard currencies as commodities which they trade in. They buy and sell currencies according to their own system and make profits from it but they cause poverty and damage to whole nations. That is very regressive and the world is not moving ahead but backwards.” He added the Malaysian measures were a last resort. “We had asked the international agencies to regulate currency trading but they did not care, so we ourselves have to regulate our own currency. If the international community agrees to regulate currency trading and limit the range of currency fluctuations and enables countries to grow again, then we can return to the floating exchange rate system. But now we can see the damage this system has done throughout the world. It has destroyed the hard work of countries to cater to the interests of speculators as if their interests are so important that millions of people must suffer. This is regressive.”

Dr. Mahathir added the Malaysian measures were aimed at putting a spanner in the works of speculators, and taking speculators out of currency trade. He said: “The period of highest economic growth was during the Bretton Woods fixed exchange system. But the free market system that followed the Bretton Woods system has failed because of abuses. There are signs that people are now losing faith in this free market system, but some countries benefit from the abuses, their people make more money, so they don’t see why the abuses should be curbed.”

The elements of the Malaysian strategy included:

* Selective Capital Controls

It should also be noted that the ruling, in existence before the outbreak of the crisis, prohibiting local companies from obtaining foreign-currency-denominated loans from abroad unless these were for activities that earned foreign exchange, remained in force.

The capital controls were selective in that they covered movements of funds in the capital account. In the case of foreigners, they covered mainly some aspects of portfolio investment. In general, the Ringgit was still to be freely (or at least easily) convertible to foreign currencies for trade (export receipts and import payments), inward foreign direct investment (FDI), and repatriation of FDI-related capital and dividends by non-residents. In the case of local residents, the capital controls covered a wider range of activities, and in fact the aim of preventing the flight of local-owned capital was to be just as important (if not more) than the controls imposed on foreign-owned funds. However, there was no control on currency convertibility by local residents for purposes of trade. Convertibility up to a certain limit was also allowed for certain other purposes, such as the financing of children’s education abroad. But convertibility for autonomous capital movements for several purposes not directly related to trade was to be prohibited or limited.

* Stabilizing the Currency and fixing the exchange rate.

Stabilizing the exchange rate became about the most important objective. The NEAC studied the experiences of many countries. It was decided to adopt a fixed exchange rate system, i.e., fixing the Ringgit to the US Dollar. This would NOT be done through a Currency Board system (as adopted by some other countries) because in this system the country’s money supply would be linked to the level of the country’s foreign reserves. In the Malaysian system, this linkage is not made. The exchange rate chosen was RM3.80 to US$1, which was about the rate at the time the then Prime Minister announced the adoption of a fixed exchange rate system in September 1998. The Central Bank uses this rate to exchange Dollars with Ringgit in its dealings with the commercial banks and other authorized financial institutions, and they in turn are required to use this rate in their currency dealings with the public. The Ringgit-Dollar rate has remained the same ever since. The government has announced several times its intention to stick to the same rate for as long as possible (i.e., if this does not cause the Ringgit to be too over-valued or too under-valued, especially in relation to concerns for export competitiveness) so that there will be a high degree of predictability. Up to now, there has not been any “black market” or parallel trade with a different rate. The predictions especially by international analysts (voiced when the Malaysian system was introduced) that a fixed exchange rate system would result in misalignment and a black market have not been borne out, at least till now.

The fixing of the exchange rate has been important for stabilizing the financial situation. Perhaps its most important role, however, is that it allows the government to take monetary and fiscal policies on the basis of their own merit without being constrained by fears of a fall in the value of the currency if the funds analysts do not approve of the measures. The exchange rate fixing also reduces the opportunity for speculation.

As stated by the then Prime Minister when introducing the measures in September 1998: “With the introduction of exchange controls, it would be possible to cut the link between interest rate and the exchange rate. We can reduce interest rates without speculators devaluing our currency. Our companies can revive.” He added the country would not be affected so much by external developments such as the crisis in Russia.” (Sic! – Malaysian PM said this in 1998. Now Russia is repeating same monetary policy mistakes in 2014 as in 1998. Why? Because, it was and it is a man-made crisis and people in the Government who were responsible for crisis and Government debt default then and still in charge now! )

Let me summarize the above mentioned measures in simple words :

If someone would like to have a comfortable temperature say between 20 and 22C in his home while winter is coming and its getting cold outside, what usually one does? One switch on heating system inside the house, once there is no inflow of warm air from outside and no sun light anymore penetrating through the windows and gently warming the rooms, while closing previously opened widows and insulating them from leaking valuable warm air. Winter is coming to Russia and no mantras will help to keep the place comfortable for its residents, but heating the house inside and insulating from the cold will.

Malaysia was able to manage the “climate control” very successfully since 1998. Can Russia navigate crisis now better then 1998? Who knows? Only time will tell us.

Diogenes a Russian technocrat with post-graduate education in economics and finance, with 20 years of experience of work in international and domestic banks and financial institutions.
Mahathir Mohamad, 2003. Globalisation and the New Realities. Pelanduk Publications, Kuala Lumpur.
Ministry of Finance Malaysia, 2001. Economic Report 2001/2002.
UNCTAD, 2000. Trade and Development Report 2000, and various other years. United Nations, Geneva.
Khor, Martin, 1998b. The Economic Crisis in East Asia: Causes, Effects, Lessons.
Economic Planning Unit, 1998. National Economic Recovery Plan: Agenda for Action. Prime Minister’s Department, Kuala Lumpur.
Kaplan, Than and Dani Rodrik, 2000. Did the Malaysian Capital Controls Work?

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Malaysia finally allowed to join Joint Investigation Team for MH17


Alternative Media and the MH17 JIT Reversal

Ulson Gunnar (NEO) : After weeks of protests and growing suspicion, Dutch authorities overseeing the investigation of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 have finally included Malaysia as a member of its Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

Malaysia had made it clear it was immensely displeased with its inexplicable exclusion from JIT formed after the downing of MH17 over eastern Ukraine. Including NATO members  (Belgium and the Netherlands), a defacto NATO collaborator (Australia) and a potential culprit in the air disaster (Ukraine), Malaysia’s exclusion looked to be a part of an ongoing cover-up amid a larger attempt to use the disaster to frame Russia and advance NATO’s agenda in Eastern Europe.

MH17_Crash Site_Ukraine_NEOThe conflict amid which MH17 was shot down is perceived to be a proxy conflict between NATO and Russia. That the investigation includes exclusively pro-NATO members or NATO members themselves, both the conduct of the investigation and any conceivable outcome would be highly suspect. Malaysia, the only nation directly effected by the disaster and perceived of being beyond the direct influence of NATO, would have provided a much needed counterbalance.

Now that it has become a member of JIT, analysts must vigilantly watch to ensure it is allowed full access to evidence and equal participatory standings. While Malaysia’s inclusion provides hope that JIT will now be unable to pursue a political agenda with impunity, the possibility is high that NATO will simply cite Malaysia’s inclusion in JIT to legitimize its actions, no matter how biased the conduct of JIT’s investigation may be or how skewed its outcome, even if Malaysia raises protests over both,

Child at KKuala Lumpur Airport where families of the victims of MAS MH370 and MH17 continue to gather. AAP/Newzulu/Safiyan Salim

Alternative Media’s Role in JIT Reversal 

The diminishing primacy of the West’s powerful global media monopoly may be partially why Malaysia was finally included in JIT. Had there been no alternatives to this monopoly, including networks rising up in developing nations and among BRICS, as well as the more decentralized alternative media of “citizen journalists,” Malaysia’s protests simply would have been tuned out and other issues put forward to cover up the glaringly compromised nature of JIT’s original members and their methodology.

It was also revealed that JIT had arranged agreements among members to bar the release of certain information when deemed necessary. With Malaysia excluded from JIT, any number of relevant or incriminating pieces of evidence could have already been purged from the investigation while other pieces of evidence fabricated to take their place. The alternative media played a crucial role in bringing this suspicious arrangement to the public’s attention.

In all, large and growing outrage over what was clearly a politically motivated investigation was given a platform by the alternative media to reach a wider general public. Unable to ignore obvious misconduct in the investigation and a glaring lack of objectivity and impartiality because of this fact, may have forced NATO to include Malaysia despite the obvious restraints it would put on its attempt to whitewash the investigation.

Malaysian PM Najib Razak's immediate response was to the crash and its immediate aftermath was to blast those who use the tragedy for geopolitical chess games. Photo, courtesy of Bernama.

What Malaysia Must Do Now

Malaysia must ask the questions and demand the evidence required to determine whether or not evidence was destroyed or switched during its absence in JIT, then ensure an impartial, objective investigation is pursued to determine the cause of MH17’s fateful crash and who was responsible. It must ensure it is included in all matters of the investigation and that pro-NATO members are unable to pursue avenues unilaterally without Malaysia’s knowledge and input.

If the alternative media did indeed play a role in helping Malaysia obtain a position within JIT, the truest test will be for the same media platform to now ensure NATO does not simply use Malaysia’s inclusion in JIT to force through foregone, biased and deceitful conclusions. The alternative media must help Malaysia bring any grievances it may have with JIT’s other members and their methods during the investigation to the forefront of public attention.

Inconsistencies and findings Malaysia may publish that run contradictory to NATO’s conclusions and innuendos must also be brought to the public’s attention via the alternative media, considering much of MH17’s investigation has either been spun or covered up entirely by the West’s media monopolies.

What the Drawn Out, Suspicious Investigation Already Tells Us

Had NATO truly been sure of Russia’s culpability in MH17’s downing, carrying out a quick, transparent, and inclusive investigation none could question would have been at the forefront of NATO’s agenda. Instead, a shadowy investigation carried out by a stacked Joint Investigation Team, excluding a nation effected directly by the disaster for no apparent reason besides its residing beyond NATO’s direct sphere of influence reeks of a cover up or at best, an attempt to spin an uncertain chain of events into a politically and strategically favorable outcome.

For JIT’s original members not to have vocally protested this suspicious behavior and multiple conflicts of interest, illustrate that much of JIT’s work regardless of Malaysia’s inclusion in the process lacks the legitimacy of a truly objective and impartial process.

That NATO cannot conduct the investigation in a transparent manner and has resorted to multiple attempts to imply Russian culpability before presenting concrete evidence suggests there is either no evidence to implicate Russia at this time, or there exists evidence that directly contradict NATO’s claims.

Regardless, it will be up to the alternative media to provide the necessary checks and balances the Western media should, but won’t provide itself. Independent analysts must continue examining the ongoing investigation and reporting inconsistencies in both methods and outcomes. By stopping NATO from exploiting tragedy to advance its own agenda amid the MH17 case, future disasters may see a speedy, objective investigation and perhaps, may not occur at all.

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Related article on Malaysia’s immediate response to the fatal tragedy:

MH17 Crash: Malaysian PM Najib Razak Lashes Out Over Geopolitical Chess Game


Malaysia’s Exclusion From MH17 Investigation Foreshadows Politically Motivated Outcome

MH17: Malaysia’s Barring from Investigation Reeks of Cover-up

3545343It was a Malaysian jet, carrying Malaysian passengers, flown by Malaysian pilots, yet after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July 2014, Malaysia has been systematically blocked from participating in the investigation, leaving an overwhelmingly pro-NATO bloc in charge of the evidence, investigation and outcome as well as the manner in which the investigation will be carried out.

Despite the integral role Malaysia has played during several pivotal moments in the aftermath of the disaster, it appears that the closer to the truth the investigation should be getting, the further Malaysia itself is being pushed from both the evidence and any influence it has on the likely conclusions of the investigation. With the downed aircraft in question being Malaysian, Malaysia as a partner in the investigation would seem a given. Its exclusion from the investigation appears to be an indication that the investigation’s objectivity has been compromised and that the conclusions it draws will likely be politically motivated.

Joint Investigation Team Includes, Excludes Surprising Members 

With the Dutch leading the investigation, the logic being that the flight originated from the Netherlands and the majority of the passengers were Dutch, it has formed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT). At the onset of its creation it seemed obvious that Malaysia would too be included, considering it lost the second largest number of citizens to the disaster and the plane itself was registered in Malaysia. Instead, JIT would end up comprised of Belgium, Ukraine, and Australia, specifically excluding Malaysia.

Malaysia was both surprised and has protested its exclusion from JIT, and has repeatedly expressed a desire to be included directly in the investigation.

Malaysia’s Star newspaper would report, “Malaysian Ambassador to the Netherlands Datuk Dr Fauziah Mohd Taib said Malaysia had not been invited to officially join the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which is undertaking the criminal probe.” It would also report that, “Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said recently that Malaysia had expressed its stand very clearly that it must be part of the criminal investigation team and had informed Dutch authorities of its intention.”

The Malaysian Insider cited Malaysian scholar Dr. Chandra Muzaffar who believes the decision to exclude his country from the investigation is politically motivated, aiming at excluding members that may urge caution and objectivity instead of draw conclusions first and bend the investigation’s results around those conclusions. In particular, Dr. Muzaffar believes that the investigations is intentionally being skewed to target Russia.

Ukraine’s involvement in the investigation is particularly troublesome. Had MH17 crashed in Ukraine under different circumstances, Ukraine’s role would be welcome. However, it was apparently shot down specifically in a conflict in which Kiev itself is a participant. With both sides of the conflict possessing anti-aircraft weapons and with Kiev itself confirmed to possess weapons capable of reaching the altitude MH17 was flying at when it was allegedly hit, Kiev becomes a possible suspect in the investigation. Kiev’s inclusion in JIT represents a monumental conflict of interest.

Imagine a potential suspect leading an investigation into a crime they may have committed. The possibilities to cover up, skew, spin, tamper with or otherwise distort both the evidence and the outcome of the investigation are endless.

And to compound this already glaring conflict of interest, it was revealed recently that an alleged “secret deal” was struck by JIT in which any member could bar the release of evidence. With all members of JIT being pro-NATO and decidedly arrayed against Moscow, such a “deal” could prevent crucial evidence from being revealed that would effect an otherwise distorted conclusion drawn by the investigators aimed specifically at advancing their greater political agenda in Eastern Europe. Had Malaysia been a member of JIT, the ability of other members to withhold evidence would have been greatly diminished and it is likely such a bizarre deal would not have been conceivable, real or imaged, in the first place.

Malaysia’s Exclusion Foreshadows Politically Motivated Outcome 

With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine perceived as a proxy war between NATO and Moscow, JIT’s membership including the NATO-backed Kiev regime itself (a possible suspect), two NATO members (Belgium and the Netherlands) and Australia who has passed sanctions against Russia over the conflict, is a textbook case of conflict of interest.

Those nations and international organizations calling for an investigation and for justice but who ignore the obvious problem of participants in a conflict investigating a key incident that may benefit their agenda directly, indicates that such calls for justice are disingenuous and instead, what is being done is not an investigation, but a politically motivated witch-hunt aimed at serving an ulterior motive.

Malaysia is not generally perceived to be a stanch ally of Moscow, but it is neither a loyal client state of Washington, London or Brussels. On many issues, Malaysia has exhibited an independence in foreign policy that has perturbed the so-called international order maintained by the West. And Malaysia’s internal politics have long wrestled to stem inroads by Washington’s favorites including Anwar Ibrahim and his political faction, Pakatan Rakyat.

Its inclusion in the investigation would provide a much needed, impartial counterweight to an otherwise fully pro-NATO JIT membership.

To casual observers, the current investigation led by NATO members and Kiev, a possible suspect, would be no different than the Donetsk People’s Republic and Russia leading it. Few would consider a DPR or Russian led investigation impartial, and few should see a NATO-led investigation as impartial. Had Malaysia been included in the process, an argument could have been made that an actual investigation was taking place rather than a complex propaganda campaign.

Malaysia’s exclusion is a troubling sign for the victims of the MH17 disaster, meaning the true culprits will never be known. The overt politically motivated nature of the investigation will on one hand  help fuel NATO’s propaganda war, but on the other hand, fuel the doubts of millions worldwide over the true events that took place in the skies of eastern Ukraine that day. Like so many other events in human history that took place amid a high stake political struggle, the downing of MH17 will be shrouded in mystery, mystery draped over the truth by the irresponsible leadership of NATO, and those in Washington, London and Brussels egging on the conflict in Ukraine to this very day.
First appeared:




NOVEMBER 26, 2014

by Ezaki Michio, Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact

Asia invaded by the Allied Nations after World War II

Did peace come true in Asia in August, 1945, after Japan’s losing in the Greater East Asia War? A junior high school history textbook in use in Japan reads:

“World War II … was over in August, 1945 by Japan’s surrender. Peoples of Korea and Taiwan formerly colonized by Japan, in addition to China and other Southeast Asian nations occupied by the Japanese Army were greatly jubilant, celebrating liberty.” (History for Junior High School Students, published by Teikoku Shoin in January, 2007)

“Japan decided to surrender, accepting the Potsdam Declaration …, World War II was over. Southeast Asian nations occupied by Japan and former Japanese colonies like Korea and Taiwan were liberated and headed for independence.”(New Social Study; History, published by Tokyo Shoseki in February, 2006)

These descriptions, however, do not refer to the vital historical facts.

What were the Allied Nations, while condemning Japan for the “crime against peace” (crime of waging an aggressive war) in the Tokyo Trials (formally, the IMTFE or International Military Tribunal for the Far East) doing? Did they help Asia in the postwar recovery efforts? The answer is “No”. They waged “wars of aggression” against Asian nations and crushed their independence. Taiwan was occupied by the Chiang Kai-shek led Chinese Nationalist Party (the Kuomintang Party)and tens of thousands of people were massacred (the 2-28 Incident).

On the Chinese mainland, civil war between the Nationalist Party and the Communist Party (the CCP) continued to rage and eventually resulted in the establishment of a dictatorship by the Chinese Communist Party. Even now, the Chinese people are still suffering from oppression. As for the rest of the Asian countries, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia were invaded once again by French forces. Worst of all, Vietnam was obliged to fight a war for independence for nearly 15 years, totally wreaking the land totally ruined. Indonesia was unilaterally attacked by the British Army and then by Dutch forces. The three and a half year-long war for independence cost the lives of about eight hundred thousand people. Tibet and Uygur were invaded after the end of the War by the Chinese Communist government and lose their independence. Mongolia was effectively put under Soviet rule. Korea was divided into north and south by the U.S. and USSR, and the Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950.

This is the reality that took place in Asia during the postwar years while the Tokyo Trials were held.

Why, then, did many Asian nations have to suffer from invasions by the Allied Nations after Japan’s defeat? The reason is clear. The Japanese Army was no longer there, which had been functioning as a shield against invasions by European and American colonial governments.

During the Greater East Asia War, Japan defeated European and American colonial governments then ruling Asia, one after another. Seeing genuine window of opportunity, one Asian leader after another declared independence.

On August 1, 1943, Ba Maw of Burma (presently Myanmar) declared independence. On October 14, President Jose Laurel proclaimed an independent Republic of the Philippines. On October 21, Chandra Bose established an interim liberated Indian government. On August 17, 1945, Sukarno proclaimed an independent Indonesia.

However, after the Japanese Army was defeated, these newborn independent nations had to cope on their own with renewed invasive attempts by Europe and America. Victorious Allied Nations—Britain, the Netherlands and France—had no intention whatsoever of abandoning their former colonies. The European and American Allied Nations took it for granted that Asian nations would eventually fall under the control of Western military powers once the Japanese Army, a powerful supporter of their independence, was defeated.

Quite contrary to Western expectation, new Asian nations had no intention of simply abandoning their hard-won independence. Consequently, wars broke out between the Allied Nations and Asian peoples.

The Allied Nations adopted logical reasoning to justify their aggressive wars against Asia in the postwar years, which formed the basis of their historical overview which, in turn, was presented at the Tokyo Trials. The Western Allied Nations maintained that Asian leaders proclaimed independence in cooperation with Japan, the aggressor, and so they were also militarists like Japan and, therefore, their “independence” was unacceptable.

In fact, using the Tokyo Trials’ historical view, the Allied Nations crushed the Wang Jing-wei government in China and the Laurel government in the Philippines.

However, there were nations that did not succumb to the Allied logic: They were India and Indonesia.

Chandra Bose of India founded the Indian National Army (INA) in Singapore and then established the Provisional Government of Free India, fighting together with the Japanese Army for the liberation of India at Imphal, India, against the British Army. For this reason, after the War, following the Tokyo Trials, Britain attempted to try twenty thousand officers and soldiers of the Indian National Army for treason against their colonial master, the King of Great Britain,. The Indian people resented such a trial and ardently protested, claiming that the Indian National Army were not “war criminals who committed treason against Britain, in cooperation with the aggressor Japan,” but rather “heroes of Indian independence.”

Succumbing to the surge of protests, Britain abandoned the trial for war criminals, and India won independence on August 15, 1947.

The Netherlands denied Indonesian Independence

The country that suffered a harder time than India was Indonesia. It was in 1602 that Holland began a full-scale invasion of Indonesia. At that time, eastern Indonesia was called the “Spice Islands” and the biggest supplier of pepper and spices, which Europe most dearly coveted. In order to monopolize the precious spices, the Netherlands invaded and subdued one sultan after another throughout Indonesia and put them under Dutch rule. In conquered lands, the Netherlands forced the indigenous rice farmers to raise coffee and sugar. As a result, the inhabitants were unable to produce enough food stuff for themselves and had to buy expensive food from the Dutch, which rendered them deeply in debt–eventually their meager estates and lands were totally usurped by the Dutch.

The method of exploitation became more and more ingenious as time moved into the 19th century, and it is said that profits from Indonesia accounted for one-third of the total Dutch national budget. On the other hand, according to one source, the average life-span of the poverty-stricken Indonesian population dropped to 35 years.

Against rigorous Dutch rule, Indonesia continuously endeavored to struggle for independence, only to be subdued each time. So, expectation for the Japanese Army, after it had defeated their long-held enemy, the Dutch, in just over seven days during the Greater East Asia War, was high among the frantic Indonesians. Not a few Indonesians expected to achieve their independence in no time at all, but for the Japanese Army, it was not so easy to grant Indonesia immediate independence amid the on-going, strenuous fighting against the powerful European nations and America.

General Imamura Hitoshi, commander of the Japanese 16th Army, asked independence movement leader Sukarno for his cooperation in the war effort, in exchange for help in preparing for future independence. After deliberation, Sukarno accepted the offer. He actually provided logistics and labor for the Japanese Army, and in exchange for services, and with the assistance of the Japanese Army, sure and steady progress was made in founding an army consisting of Indonesians (PETA), training government officials and implementing laws and an educational system. Finally, on August 17, 1945, just two days after the Japanese Army was defeated, first Indonesian President Sukarno declared independence.

However, at the end of September, Acting Governor–General Hubertus Johannes van Mook of the Royal Dutch East Indies Government landed in the Indonesian port of Surabaya with the British Army, ignoring the “Declaration of Independence.” He thought, “The Indonesians are an extremely obedient people. Now that the Japanese Army has surrendered, if we land in Indonesia, the Indonesians are sure to immediately be as submissive as before.”

On the contrary, the people waiting for the arrival of the British Army were not at all obedient Indonesians. Trained by the Japanese Army and equipped with Japanese Army weapons, the Indonesian people’s army attacked the British Army and immediately destroyed an entire British division. The Dutch were horrified at the changes the Indonesians had achieved, thinking “Thanks to the Japanese Army, sheep have turned into tigers.” In the end, the British Army took one hundred days to occupy City of Surabaya alone and had to give up subduing Indonesia by force of arms, obliging them to turn to peaceful negotiations. As soon as a temporary agreement was reached between the Netherlands and Indonesia in November 1946, the British withdrew its Army from the country. For that matter, Britain gave neither an apology nor compensation for torching the city of Surabaya and depriving nearly twenty thousand Indonesians of their lives in the Surabaya war.

Although the British Army had withdrawn, the Netherlands did not give up its attempt to colonize Indonesia once again. Loudly claiming that “Sukarno, who declared Indonesian independence, is nothing but a puppet of the Japanese Army (therefore, the authentic government of Indonesia is the Dutch East Indies Government), the Netherlands launched full-scale military assaults, calling them “police actions,” on July 20, 1947. At that time, at the Tokyo Trials, the Netherlands, one of the winners of the war, was in the midst of judging Japanese leaders, who had supported Indonesian independence, for the crime of waging an aggressive war.

The Royal Dutch Army had roughly one hundred thousand men equipped with modern tanks, airplanes and heavy machine guns. Up against wide-ranging air and ground campaigns, the Indonesian Republican Army had two million or so soldiers with weapons which had been secretly delivered by the Japanese Army—about forty thousand small arms. Thus, most were armed with nothing more than bamboo spears. Indonesians were obliged to beat one retreat after another, while the Royal Dutch Army promptly captured most of Java and the vital industrial areas including the Sumatra oil fields.

However, this “war of aggression” by the Netherlands became the target of harsh criticism from all over the world and on August l, 1947, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution demanding “an immediate cessation of belligerent actions on the part of the Dutch” and “a solution through peaceful measures.” Accepting this resolution, the Netherlands appeared to agree to a cease-fire, but Dutch forces refused to retreat from the occupied areas.

As the diplomatic negotiations came to a deadlock and regional battles went on, in the early hours of December 20, 1948, the Netherlands launched a second “police action.” Under attacks by Dutch airborne troops, Indonesian could do nothing and militarily, Holland scored a victory. Once again, however, international opinions were fierily against the Netherlands for indiscriminately bombarding Indonesian cities. Above all, India and other Asian countries criticized the Dutch, and the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on January 28, 1949, demanding that the Netherlands remove its army from Indonesia. The most decisive of all were voices raised in the US Congress, suggesting that the Marshall Plan (US economic aid for the recovery of Europe) as applied to the Netherlands be cut off if Dutch forces continued in its military actions. Finally, the Netherlands succumbed to international pressure and agreed to hold the Round-Table Conference in The Hague, beginning in August 1949, and lasting for two months, and to participate in peaceful negotiations on the premise of granting Indonesia total independence.

The Netherlands did not apologize

During the three and a half years of the war for independence against the Netherlands, Indonesia paid a dear, steep price. The lives of eight hundred thousand people, including children and women, were lost and over ten million were injured. The total loss, of property, valuables and homes, due to indiscriminate bombardment was too huge to calculate. Much to everyone’s consternation, at The Hague Round-Table Conference, far from apologizing to Indonesian victims, the Netherlands raised an astounding demand to Indonesia.

After the war of independence, it was in 1949 that the final peace treaty was reached between the Netherlands and our country. At that time, Indonesia did not ask for either an apology or compensation. That was because we were still in danger. It was the Netherlands that asked for money during the talks concerning the four years. Speaking of the huge sum of military scrip issued by the Dutch East Indies Government, the Netherlands demanded that if we want independence, we should settle in hard currency the scrip that was issued during that time. We had no choice but to promise to pay the sum.

Thus testified Sayidiman Suryohadiprojo, Senior Ambassador of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the time. Military scrip was issued to pay for war expenses and other expenditures spent by the Dutch East Indies government in their efforts to extinguish the Republic of Indonesia. The total amount was said to reach six billion dollars. Far from paying compensation, the Netherlands asked instead to be compensated for war expenses. No words can express the dismay evoked by the Netherlands’ imprudent demand.

It was not war expenses alone that the Netherlands demanded during the peace talks. Their demands ranged far and wide, from the payment of pensions for Dutch officials of the Dutch East Indies government, recognition of property rights of Indonesian real estate owned by the Dutch to payment of the cost of developing the North Sumatra oil field. In order to have their independence granted, the Indonesians had to accept all these unreasonable requests from the Dutch, albeit most unwillingly and reluctantly. It was not until 1963 that Indonesia publicly denounced the Dutch demands, after they had acquired complete independence and fear of another Dutch invasion had dissipated. Then Foreign Minister Ruslan Abdulgani said in an interview with this author in 1994 as follows:

Finally, after we acquired sufficient national power as a state, we tore to pieces all the promises we had had to make with the Netherlands, in the light of day with the whole world watching. In order to fight against colonialism, you have to be strong enough. Strength to fight against the Dutch, in other words, military ability was given to us by Japan during the War. We owe Japan so much for achieving our independence.

It was in 2005 that the Dutch government officially recognized the Declaration of Independence by Sukarno. It took as long as sixty years for Indonesia to persuade the Netherlands to finally come around, which previously insisted that they would never recognize independence declared by Sukarno, who cooperated with Japan.

To Indonesia, burdened with such a severe history, the historical view presented at the Tokyo Trials is hardly worth supporting, for that view clearly regards the Allied Powers including the Netherlands as “just” and Japan as the “aggressor.”

Roosevelt’s blueprint for postwar peace came to nothing

As we have seen the history of Asia, aggressions committed by the Allied powers so far, it is very clear that the historical view presented at the Tokyo Trials makes no sense at all, for it claims that only Japan is responsible as the aggressor who threatened the peace in Asia.

However, anti-Japanese powers of the former Allied Nations and left-wing liberals cooperating with the Chinese Communist Party invented political propaganda so that Japanese people would not notice the “senselessness of the view.”

Article 11 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which took effect in April 1952, states, “Japan accepts the judgments of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and of other Allied War Crimes Courts both within and outside Japan, and will carry out the sentences imposed thereby upon Japanese nationals imprisoned in Japan.” Based on Article 11, they asserted that Japan was able to re-enter the international community by accepting the judgment of the Tokyo Trials, namely, the historical view of the Tokyo Trials.
I will not re-argue the misconceptions that are apparent in Article 11 here, since Professor Sato Kazuo, a scholar of international laws, has fully discussed this issue with reference to global trends at the time in academic societies of international law in his book entitled Tokyo Trials Judged by the World (published by Meiseisha).

What I want to make clear here is whether the United States asked Japan to accept the Tokyo Trials’ historical view upon signing the peace treaty.

In fact, the Tokyo Trials were held as a part of U.S. global strategy.
Let’s go back to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s concept of the postwar political process. What kind of international political scheme would be the best to prevent another world war? After much deliberation, President Roosevelt thought of establishing a system to manage international conflicts utilizing “global policemen,” composed of four countries, the U.S., Britain, the USSR and China (with France being added later). These countries are presently the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. The gist of the idea is that America, militarily and economically the most powerful, should govern the entire world in cooperation with the Soviets, China and Britain. In realizing this idea, it was essential to thoroughly weaken the three nations of Japan, Germany and Italy, which could pose a threat and challenge to the American-led international order.

In the background of Roosevelt’s global strategy existed the view of Japan defined by the thinking that “Asian conflicts were caused by militarist Japan.” The point is that “strong Japan kept breaking the peace in Asia,” and so if Japan is made weak, then peace in Asia will be secured. This is called the “Weak Japan” policy. How, then, can Japan be weakened? President Roosevelt stated the following at the Casablanca Conference held in Morocco in January 1943:

The elimination of German, Japanese, and Italian war power means the unconditional surrender by Germany, Italy, and Japan. That means a reasonable assurance of future world peace. It does not mean the destruction of the population of Germany, Italy, or Japan, but it does mean the destruction of the philosophies in those countries which are based on conquest and the subjugation of other people.

President Roosevelt thought that in order to weaken Japan, Japan should be made to surrender unconditionally, and not just simply disarmed, but also the Japanese national philosophy itself should be “annihilated.” How was this to be achieved? By implementing a “war guilt information program,” to insinuate the sins and evils of Japanese war crimes into the Japanese minds, thereby depriving the Japanese people of their national dignity and pride.

Further, in order to justify the “information plan,” the Tokyo Trials were actually held. Moreover, to ensure that the political system will never again enable Japan to fight back against America, they changed the constitution and basic educational laws for the worse, purged approximately two hundred some thousand then-leaders of Japan from public offices, who were charged of being “militarists”, and instead supported labor unions and recruited socialists and communists into the political and scholarly spheres. For the time being, President Truman’s Democratic administration intended to put Japan unarmed under the surveillance of the Allied Nations for at least 25 years.

However, President Roosevelt’s prospect of keeping peace in Asia through the cooperation of the three nations of the U.S., the Soviet Union and China by defeating and weakening Japan did not come true. In the postwar years, the U.S. and the Soviets were constantly in conflict over the issue of Eastern Europe and on the Chinese mainland, a violent civil war broke out between the Nationalist Party and the Communist Party.

George Kennan, who criticized the Tokyo Trials, and the course reversal

Other voices were raised in America, fearing that as the Cold War era dawned, the policy of disarming and weakening Japan then in progress might eventually fall Asia to communism. One of them was William H. Draper Jr., U.S. undersecretary of the Army, and he changed Japan’s status from “hateful enemy” to “breakwater against communism” and started to shift toward the policy of “Strong Japan,” meaning “strong Japan brings stability to Asia.” This is the so called “course reversal. ”

The theoretical supporter of this course reversal was George Kennan, the first director of the Policy Planning Staff of the U.S. State Department, who became famous for creating a plan to contain the Soviets. He came to Japan in 1948 and upon observing Japan under occupation with its demobilized Army and a malfunctioning Ministry of Home Affairs (the administrative organ in charge of the police and domestic security management), stated, “At first glance, the nature of the occupation policy implemented until now by General MacArthur’s Headquarters looked like nothing but preparations solely on making Japanese society weaker so that communist may take over.” Naturally, he harshly criticized the Tokyo Trials as well.

There is really no law on which such judicial procedure can be founded…there is no crime of an international nature involved in the services which an individual renders to his own state as a public servant. The state, as such, stands responsible for its own policies; the vicissitudes of peace or war are its trial.

And in the case of Japan, the judgment is now being enacted through the disaster which has befallen the entire country in consequence of the loss of the war. This is not to say that the victor does not have the right to punish individual leaders of the defeated nation. But the punishment should take place as an act of war, not of justice; and it should not be surrounded with the hocus-pocus of a judicial procedure.

Kennan pointed out: now that the global strategy of making Japan weak in order to secure peace in Asia is no longer appropriate with the occurrence of the Cold War and the Chinese Civil War, it makes no sense at all to continue the Tokyo Trials, fabricated as they were with dubious legal procedures, which was launched in the first place in order to make Japan weak. In only four months after Kennan made this statement, on February 24, 1949, the Allied Nations Far East Committee decided that the Tokyo Trials would no longer take place, and the Tokyo Trials were closed.

And in October of the same year, the Chinese Nationalist Party led by Chiang Kai-shek retreated in defeat and Chinese Communist Party government esatablished on mainland China. The United States had been enthusiastically supporting Chiang Kai-shek so that he might establish a democratic Christian nation on the Chinese continent; a witch-hunt began immediately for those who were to blame for Chiang Kai-shek’s defeat.

Constantly opposing President Truman’s Democratic administration, Republican Party leader Senator Robert F. Taft stated that the reason Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist government lost in the civil war against the Communist Party was not due to a fault of the Nationalist government, but because the Truman administration did not give enough support to Chiang Kai-shek.

From the beginning, Senator Taft, “Mr. Republican” as he was called, was critical about President Roosevelt’s pro-Soviet and anti-Japan diplomatic stance all along even before the War started.

President Roosevelt concluded a secret pact with Soviet leader Stalin at the Soviet city of Yalta in February 1945. (It is called the Yalta Agreement.) The agreement stated that: As a reward for the Soviets agreeing to the idea of founding the United Nations, it is acknowledged that Poland and the three Baltic States would be incorporated into the Soviet bloc and in exchange for the Soviet’s entering the war with Japan, interests in Manchuria, South Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands should be given to the Soviets.

Learning of this, Senator Taft, in the mid-term election of 1946, stated: “President Roosevelt and President Truman], at Tehran, at Yalta, at Potsdam, and at Moscow pursued a policy of appeasing Russia, which has sacrificed throughout Eastern Europe and Asia the freedom of many nations and of millions of people.” According to Senator Taft, the immediate crisis of Asia falling to communism should be attributed to the diplomatic mistakes made by President Roosevelt’s administration as it acted hand-in-hand with the Soviets. (In May 2005, President George Bush, Jr. made the same accusation.)

As a natural consequence, Senator Taft was skeptical about trying Germany and Japan, which fought against Soviet Communism, in war crimes courts. On October 5, 1946, during a lecture given at Kenyon College, Taft flatly condemned the Tokyo Trials, confidently saying, “Trials of the loser by the winner can never be just, however judicially it may be dressed. The execution of the twelve German war criminals will forever remain a stigma in American history.” He added, “I sincerely pray that the same mistake will be never again repeated. Unlike Germany, any pretext for vengeance to Japan will hardly be valid.”

In October 1949, the birth of the Communist Chinese government made it widely known that President Roosevelt’s policy of “Weak Japan,” the premise that a weak Japan would secure peace in Asia, was a sheer mistake. With the support of American public opinion, Senator Taft and others asked for a shift in the U.S. policy towards Japan. President Truman’s Democratic administration accepted this request and in April 1950, it appointed Republican John Foster Dulles as top adviser to the State Department and on May 18, decided to assign Dulles to the task of concluding the peace treaty with Japan.

At that time the Soviet Union and the Chinese Communist administration were against the rearmament of Japan. The Australian government also asked that some restrictions be imposed on Japan’s rearmament. Some countries insisted that restricting Japanese commercial activities and maintaining plans for reform (namely, the “Weak Japan” policy) being prosecuted during the occupation period be clearly stated in the articles of the peace treaty. However, Dulles persuaded those countries with concerns that a peace treaty could be concluded in the direction of acknowledging Japan’s rearmament, arguing “Under the present circumstances weak Japan might lead to Red Asia.”

Thus, the punitive occupation policy was modified by Kennan, Taft and others, who criticized the Tokyo Trials, which were held as part of the “Weak Japan” policy. Under the peace treaty, which does not restrict the rearmament of Japan in any way, Japan came back to the international community.

Asian leaders who sympathized with the Greater East Asian War
There is one more thing we should not overlook in the trend of international politics. That is the fact that those who ardently supported Japan’s return to the international community were leaders of Asian countries who highly valued the Greater East Asia War.

In September 1951, at the San Francisco Peace Conference, Finance Minister J.R. Jayewardene, representing Ceylon (presently Sri Lanka), made the following speech:

Why is it that the peoples of Asia are anxious that Japan should be free ? It is because of our age-long connections with her, and because of the high regard the subject peoples of Asia have for Japan when she alone, among the Asian nations, was strong and free and we looked up to her as a guardian and friend. I can recall incidents that occurred during the last war, when the co-prosperity slogan for Asia had its appeal to subject peoples, and some of the leaders of Burma, India, and Indonesia joined the Japanese in the hope that thereby their beloved countries may be liberated.

Therefore, Ceylon did not ask for compensation from Japan, said Jayewardene.

India refused to participate in the San Francisco Peace Conference partly because India was against the article demanding compensation from Japan. On May 24, 1957, former “Class A war criminal” Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke was warmly welcomed by a mass rally on his visit to India. Amid crowds of nearly thirty thousand welcoming people, India’s founding hero Prime Minister Nehru mentioned how profoundly the Indian movement for independence was affected by the victories of Japan in the Russo-Japanese War, then adding “India did not dare to join in the San Francisco Treaty. And we have rescinded the right to compensation. This is simply because India makes much more of friendship than monetary demand.”

Besides India, with the sentiment of comradeship that “Japan fought for Asia,” Laos and Cambodia also voluntarily rescinded the right to ask for compensation.

Even in the cases where Japan did pay compensation, leaders who deeply sympathized with the ideal of the Greater East Asia War put down sums that were at the very low end.

Foreign Minister U Nu of the Ba Maw Administration of Burma, which declared independence in August of 1943 with the help of Japan, became Prime Minister after the War and concluded, prior to any other countries, a peace treaty with Japan as well as an agreement for economic cooperation, holding out for only a paltry amount of compensation.

The Philippines was put under American influence after the War, and became strongly anti-Japanese. Though negotiations over compensation often came to a deadlock, it was President Jose Laurel, who declared Philippine independence on October 14, 1943, in cooperation with the Japanese Army, contributed greatly to solving this deadlock. He exiled himself to Japan after the Philippines was invaded by the U.S. Army toward the end of the War and immediately after the War, he was detained at Sugamo Prison by GHQ. Later on, he was sent back to the Philippines and was charged with treason. He was pardoned by the Amnesty Proclamation and was elected Senator in 1951. In 1954, he accepted the post of chief plenipotentiary in the negotiations dealing with the Japanese compensation issue.

Asian countries also paid high regard in deciding how to spend the reparations each country had received from Japan. Ex-Foreign Minister of Malaysia Ghazali Shafie, who was awarded the United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Prize for his great contribution to the establishment of ASEAN said as follows:

Although the Japanese people may not be aware of this, some of the recipients of the compensation—newly independent countries who were once victims of the Japanese occupation—tried their best to avoid the payment of reparations stirring up anti-Japanese sentiment as money paid in exchange for the bloody cost and sacrifice and rather helped Japan by spending the compensation in ways so that the Japanese reparations might become worthy of admiration. For example, in Malaysia, the compensation was used to start up a jointly-undertaken international shipping company, which now results in spread of the business and has become a symbol of cooperation between Japan and Malaysia.

Moreover, ex-Foreign Minister Ghazali Shafie pointed out: “Soon after Malaysia became independent, a plan was discussed to impose traffic tax on tankers passing through the Straits of Malacca, but upon further consideration, if the taxation was implemented, Japanese trade would be hit hard and the plan was soon dropped.” Ex-Foreign Minister Ghazali Shafie deeply sympathized with the ideal of the Greater East Asia War.

Postwar Japan supported by the legacy of the Greater East Asia War
Japan became independent following the conclusion of the Peace Treaty and in order to be economically prosperous, Japan needed a new economic market replacing the booming business of special procurements brought on by the Korean War. Japan could hardly expect to achieve economic prosperity with the loss of huge markets such as the Chinese Continent and the Korean Peninsula. Afraid of the situation, Secretary of State Dulles of the Republican Eisenhower Administration focused on the Southeast Asian market.

Again, it was Asian leaders sympathizing with the “ideal of the Greater East Asia War” that supported Secretary Dulles’s economic policy and indirectly backed up Japanese enterprises entering Southeast Asia.

The Oil Shock broke out beginning in autumn of 1973 and continued to the following year. OAPEC (Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries) reduced the supply of oil to oil-consuming countries in order to take advantage of the ongoing Middle East War, and Japanese industry, heavily dependent on oil, was hit hard by the incident. The Japanese government issued two oil-related decrees and asked enterprises to reduce use of oil and electricity by 20% as well as a reduction in energy use among the general public. Bright neon signs in cities were gone, gas stations were closed on Sundays and holidays. The price of goods in January of the following year frantically shot up by more than 20% over the same month of the previous year.

When the Japanese government confidentially tried to ask King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, leader of OAPEC, to increase oil exports to Japan, those who mediated the negotiations with King Faisal were none other than Indonesian leaders such former Coordinating Minister for Public Welfare of Indonesia H. Alamsjah Ratu Perwiranegara and former Prime Minister Mohammad Natsir, who always held the opinion “Without the Greater East Asia War, there would not have been an independent and free Asia.” They ardently persuaded King Faisal, stating that “It was Japan that saved Islam (90% of the Indonesian population are Muslims who were subject to Christians (the Dutch)) through the Greater East Asia War and supported us in our independence. Japan is a true supporter of Islam.” (With gratitude for his efforts in this matter, the Japanese government presented Mr. H. Alamsjah with Grand Cordon of the Order.)

When then Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei visited Indonesia in January 1979, a large-scale anti-Japanese demonstration took place in the capital city of Jakarta. The people were repulsed by corruption, such as repeated bribery committed by Japanese enterprises entering Southeast Asia and teaming exclusively with Chinese merchants.

On the other hand, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir played a leading role as the flag-bearer, welcoming Japanese enterprises into Southeast Asia. Around 1980 and onwards, he adopted the policy of “Look East (Learn from Japan and Korea)” and launched a campaign of admiring Japan. One of the devisers of this policy was vice-president of Malaya University Unk Adis, who had studied in Japan during the War as a special foreign student from South Asia.
Thanks to leaders of many Asian countries who sympathized with the ideal of the Greater East Asia War, Japan was not only able to escape from the burdens of harsh postwar reparations, but also able to receive support from them in entering lucrative Southeast Asian markets, which laid the foundation for present-day economic prosperity. Indeed, Japan has been supported by the spiritual legacy of the Greater East Asia War.

In the broader perspective, while Japanese national interests have been constantly threatened by China, Russia, South and North Korea and their sympathizers who obstinately stick to the historical view as dictated by the Tokyo Trials, people who are critical about the Tokyo Trials view, including American conservatives and Asian leaders, have supported and helped Japan return to the international community and contributed in creating the prosperous Japan of today. It is very important that we should rightly understand the structure of the international politics surrounding the Tokyo Trials.

German intelligence report on MH17


by Alexander MercourisIt seems the German intelligence agency the BND has provided a Bundestag committee with a report that once again attributes the MH17 shoot down to the NAF.

The report has not been published but for me the single most interesting thing in it is that it apparently finally demolishes the theory that MH17 was shot down by a BUK system secretly transferred to the NAF by the Russians. We are back it seems to the theory that the NAF shot down MH17 with a BUK missile system it captured from the Ukrainians.

There are a number of points to make here:

1. At the time when MH17 was shot down the western media were in full flood that the Russians were responsible. All sorts of stories circulated about how a BUK missile system was supposedly secretly smuggled by Russia across the border and supplied to the NAF, which the NAF then used to shoot MH17 down. These stories played a key role in influencing western public opinion against Russia. The Germans forced other EU states to impose sectoral sanctions on Russia on the grounds it was responsible for the tragedy because it was arming the NAF. The stories of a BUK missile system being secretly smuggled back and forth across the border (and films supposedly culled from social media supposedly showing it doing just that) undoubtedly played a part in giving credence to these claims. The BND has now admitted that the Russians were not involved in the shooting down of MH17 and that MH17 was not shot down by a BUK missile system smuggled by the Russians across the border. It turns out therefore that all those stores that gained so much attention and which did Russia’s image so much harm were untrue. I wonder whether sectoral sanctions would have been imposed on Russia if it had been known then that those stories were untrue.

2. By saying that MH17 was shot down by the NAF using a captured BUK missile system, the BND is contradicting what the junta said at the time and is still saying. The junta still denies that any of its BUK systems have been captured by the NAF. By contrast the BND now admits that what the Russians were saying in July – that they did not transfer a BUK system to the NAF and that they were not involved in the shooting down of MH17 – was true.

3. The BND has also apparently admitted that the “evidence” the junta produced supposedly culled from social media was fabricated or falsified. This is important because it is the first western admission of the fact that the junta has lied. Up to now no western government or agency has ever called into question anything the junta has ever said. Of course if the junta falsified or fabricated evidence about MH17 it might have done so about other matters (eg. the Kiev snipers or the Odessa fire).

4. There were some reports before the MH17 tragedy that the NAF had indeed captured a BUK missile system. It is difficult to say how credible those reports were. As I have previously said, given that the capture of such a system would have been a considerable coup, one might have expected the NAF to make more of the fact by publishing photographs of the BUK system they had captured. That however never happened. Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence but I would still like to see some convincing evidence that the NAF really did have a BUK missile system in its possession (and a crew able to operate it) before I accepted the fact. Uncorroborated claims denied then and since by the Ukrainians and made in the midst of an armed conflict when all sorts of exaggerated claims are made are not sufficient evidence and do not prove anything. In the absence of such evidence all I can do is note (1) that the NAF continues to deny that it had or was operating a BUK system when MH17 was shot down and (2) that no evidence exists or has been made public which refutes that denial. .

5. The media reports about the BND report say that the BND has shown such evidence to the Bundestag committee and that supposedly it includes satellite imagery. The evidence has not however been made public and again one has to ask why? It is scarcely believable that there is something so secret about the way this evidence was collected that prevents it from being made public. The Russians and the Chinese certainly know everything there is to know about how the western powers collect imagery and other intelligence from their satellites. It is not as if publishing this evidence is therefore going to compromise any intelligence source or capability. Why then the secrecy especially over an issue of such importance? Whether the western powers want to admit to the fact or not, their refusal to make their evidence public casts doubt on how much weight this evidence really has.

6. In the absence of publication of this evidence (which would allow it to be properly examined and tested) it remains impossible to accept any claims based on it. There have just been too many cases of western intelligence agencies assuring us on the basis of “evidence” kept secret of the truth of things that turned out to be false. Recent examples include the false claims made by all western intelligence agencies including the BND about Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the wrong claims of massive Russian slush funds hidden away in Cyprus, which actually originated with the BND, and the denials last year made by all western intelligence agencies including the BND that the Syrian rebels have used sarin gas, which a UN report has since admitted they almost certainly have.

7. There is one point about MH17 I do however wish to make.

On balance and despite the fact that the body of one of the passengers was found wearing an oxygen mask, I still think the most likely explanation for the tragedy is that MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile. I realise others (eg, Petri Kohn) disagree. I am not technically qualified to decide the question.

I am however concerned that some people are trying to reduce this issue to a false binary of SU25=junta versus BUK=NAF. That is precisely what the BBC for example sought to do in a recent Panorama programme.

The attraction of insisting that MH17 was shot down by a SU25 is that in that case only the junta could have done it since no one says the NAF had an operational SU25 capable of shooting MH17 down. The danger of insisting that MH17 was shot down by an SU25 is that if it does turn out that MH17 was in fact actually shot down by a BUK missile, then some in the west will treat that as proof that it was the NAF that shot it down.

It is nothing of the sort. It cannot be said too strongly that as of now there is no proof that at the time when MH17 was shot down the NAF was in possession of either an operational SU25 aircraft or an operational BUK system, whereas there is conclusive proof that the junta was in possession of both. Until the BND or some other western intelligence makes evidence public that proves the contrary that remains the position.

The motive for MH17 was to blame Russia and impose sanctions

Exclusive: For months, Western governments and media have accused Russia of supplying the anti-aircraft missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 killing 298 people. But now German intelligence has reportedly determined the missile came from a Ukrainian military base, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The West’s case blaming Russia for the shoot-down of a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine last July appears to be crumbling as the German foreign intelligence agency has concluded that the anti-aircraft missile battery involved came from a Ukrainian military base, according to a report by the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel.

The Obama administration and other Western governments have pointed the finger of blame at Russia for supposedly supplying a sophisticated BUK missile system to ethnic Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine who then allegedly used the weapon on July 17 to shoot down what they thought was a Ukrainian military plane but turned out to be Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, killing all 298 people onboard.

A Malaysia Airways' Boeing 777 like the one that crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. (Photo credit: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

The Russians denied providing the rebels with the weapon and the rebels denied shooting down the plane. But the tragedy gave the U.S. State Department the emotional leverage to get the European Union to impose tougher economic sanctions on Russia, touching off a trade war that has edged Europe toward a new recession.

But now the narrative has shifted. The German intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst or BND, asserted that while it believes rebels were responsible for shooting down the plane, they supposedly did so with an anti-aircraft battery captured from a Ukrainian military base, according to Der Spiegel.

The BND also concluded that photos supplied by the Ukrainian government about the MH-17 tragedy “have been manipulated,” Der Spiegel reported. And, the BND disputed Russian government claims that a Ukrainian fighter jet had been flying close to MH-17 just before it crashed, the magazine said.

None of the BND’s evidence to support its conclusions has been made public, but Der Spiegel said the information given to members of a parliamentary committee on Oct. 8 included satellite images and other photography. What’s less clear, however, is how the BND could determine the precise command-and-control of the anti-aircraft missile system amid the chaotic military situation that existed in eastern Ukraine last July.

At the time, the Ukrainian army and allied militias were mounting an offensive against ethnic Russian rebels who were resisting a U.S.-backed coup regime that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych last February, touching off what quickly became a nasty civil war.

Spearheading Kiev’s summer offensive were pro-government militias, some of which were filled with neo-Nazi extremists and financed by Ukrainian billionaire oligarchs including Ihor Kolomoisky, who had been appointed governor of the southeastern Dnipropetrovsk Region. The ethnic Russian rebels also were a disorganized lot with poor command and control.

Rushing to Anti-Russian Judgment

Yet, the Obama administration was quick to pin the blame for the MH-17 crash on Russia and the rebels. Just three days after the crash, Secretary of State John Kerry went on all five Sunday talk shows fingering Russia and the rebels and citing evidence provided by the Ukrainian government through social media.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” David Gregory asked, “Are you bottom-lining here that Russia provided the weapon?”

Kerry: “There’s a story today confirming that, but we have not within the Administration made a determination. But it’s pretty clear when – there’s a build-up of extraordinary circumstantial evidence. I’m a former prosecutor. I’ve tried cases on circumstantial evidence; it’s powerful here.” [See’s “Kerry’s Latest Reckless Rush to Judgment.”]

But some U.S. intelligence analysts offered conflicting assessments. After Kerry’s TV round-robin, the Los Angeles Times reported on a U.S. intelligence briefing given to several mainstream U.S. news outlets. The story said, “U.S. intelligence agencies have so far been unable to determine the nationalities or identities of the crew that launched the missile. U.S. officials said it was possible the SA-11 [anti-aircraft missile] was launched by a defector from the Ukrainian military who was trained to use similar missile systems.” [See’s “The Mystery of a Ukrainian ‘Defector,’”]

A source who was briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts told me that some analysts had concluded that the rebels and Russia were likely not at fault and that it appeared Ukrainian government forces were to blame, although possibly a unit operating outside the direct command of Ukraine’s top officials.

The source specifically said the U.S. intelligence evidence did not implicate Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko or Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk but rather suggested an extremist element of the armed forces funded by one of Ukraine’s oligarchs.

Regarding the alleged Russian role, the source said the U.S. analysts had found no evidence that the Russian government had given the rebels a BUK missile system, which would be capable of shooting down a commercial airliner at 33,000 feet, the altitude of MH-17.

According to the Der Spiegel story, the BND reached the same conclusion, that Russia was not the source of the missile battery. But the BND and these U.S. analysts apparently differ on who they suspect fired the fateful missile. [See’s “Flight 17 Shoot-down Scenario Shifts”and “Was Putin Targeted for Mid-air Assassination?”]

What has been curious about the handling of the MH-17 case is the failure of the Obama administration and other Western governments to present whatever evidence they have, whether satellite, electronic or telephonic so the investigation can proceed more quickly in determining who was responsible.

By withholding this evidence for nearly three months, the West has benefited from keeping alive the anti-Russian propaganda – blaming Moscow and President Vladimir Putin for the tragedy – but the secrecy has given the perpetrators time to scatter and cover their tracks.

With Der Spiegel’s report, it’s now clearer why the delay and the secrecy. If the missile responsible for bringing down MH-17 came from a Ukrainian military base – not from the Russian government – then a very potent anti-Putin propaganda theme would be neutralized. More attention also would focus on whether the missile battery was really under the control of a rebel unit, as the BND suggests – or was in the hands of anti-rebel extremists.




The Ukraine, Corrupted Journalism, and the Atlanticist Faith in the “Failed States”

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 16.08.2014 | 21:53
The European Union is not (anymore) guided by politicians with a grasp of history, a sober assessment of global reality, or simple common sense connected with the long term interests of what they are guiding. If any more evidence was needed, it has certainly been supplied by the sanctions they have agreed on last week aimed at punishing Russia.

One way to fathom their foolishness is to start with the media, since whatever understanding or concern these politicians may have personally they must be seen to be doing the right thing, which is taken care of by TV and newspapers.

In much of the European Union the general understanding of global reality since the horrible fate of the people on board the Malaysian Airliner comes from mainstream newspapers and TV which have copied the approach of Anglo-American mainstream media, and have presented ‘news’ in which insinuation and vilification substitute for proper reporting.

Respected publications, like the Financial Times or the once respected NRC Handelsblad of the Netherlands for which I worked sixteen years as East Asia Correspondent, not only joined in with this corrupted journalism but helped guide it to mad conclusions. The punditry and editorials that have grown out of this have gone further than anything among earlier examples of sustained media hysteria stoked for political purposes that I can remember. The most flagrant example I have come across, an anti-Putin leader in the (July 26) Economist Magazine, had the tone of Shakespeare’s Henry V exhorting his troops before the battle of Agincourt as he invaded France.

One should keep in mind that there are no European-wide newspapers or publications to sustain a European public sphere, in the sense of a means for politically interested Europeans to ponder and debate with each other big international developments. Because those interested in world affairs usually read the international edition of the New York Times or the Financial Times, questions and answers on geopolitical matters are routinely shaped or strongly influenced by what editors in New York and London have determined as being important.

Thinking that may deviate significantly as can now be found in Der Spiegel, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit and Handelsblatt, does not travel across German borders. Hence we do not see anything like a European opinion evolving on global affairs, even when these have a direct impact on the interests of the European Union itself.

The Dutch population was rudely shaken out of a general complacency with respect to world events that could affect it, through the death of 193 fellow nationals (along with a 105 people of other nationalities) in the downed plane, and its media were hasty in following the American-initiated finger-pointing at Moscow. Explanations that did not in some way involve culpability of the Russian president seemed to be out of bounds.

This was at odds right away with statements of a sober Dutch prime minister, who was under considerable pressure to join the fingerpointing but who insisted on waiting for a thorough examination of what precisely had happened.

The TV news programs I saw in the days immediately afterwards had invited, among other anti–Russian expositors, American neocon-linked talking heads to do the disclosing to a puzzled and truly shaken up audience. A Dutch foreign policy specialist explained that the foreign minister or his deputy could not go to the site of the crash (as Malaysian officials did) to recover the remains of Dutch citizens, because that would amount to an implicit recognition of diplomatic status for the “separatists”. When the European Union en bloc recognizes a regime that has come into existence through an American initiated coup d’état, you are diplomatically stuck with it.

The inhabitants and anti-Kiev fighters at the crash site were portrayed, with images from youtube, as uncooperative criminals, which for many viewers amounted to a confirmation of their guilt. This changed when later reports from actual journalists showed shocked and deeply concerned villagers, but the discrepancy was not explained, and earlier assumptions of villainy did not make way for any objective analysis of why these people might be fighting at all.

Tendentious twitter and youtube ‘news’ had become the basis for official Dutch indignation with the East Ukrainians, and a general opinion arose that something had to be set straight, which was, again in general opinion, accomplished by a grand nationally televised reception of the human remains (released through Malaysian mediation) in a dignified sober martial ceremony.

Nothing that I have seen or read even intimated that the Ukraine crisis – which led to coup and civil war – was created by neoconservatives and a few R2P (“Responsibility to Protect”) fanatics in the State Department and the White House, apparently given a free hand by President Obama. The Dutch media also appeared unaware that the catastrophe was immediately turned into a political football for White House and State Department purposes. The likelihood that Putin was right when he said that the catastrophe would not have happened if his insistence on a cease-fire had been accepted, was not entertained.

As it was, Kiev broke the cease-fire – on the 10th of June – in its civil war against Russian speaking East Ukrainians who do not wish to be governed by a collection of thugs, progeny of Ukrainian nazis, and oligarchs enamored of the IMF and the European Union. The supposed ‘rebels’ have been responding to the beginnings of ethnic cleansing operations (systematic terror bombing and atrocities – 30 or more Ukrainians burned alive) committed by Kiev forces, of which little or nothing has penetrated into European news reports.

It is unlikely that the American NGOs, which by official admission spent 5 billion dollars in political destabilization efforts prior to the February putsch in Kiev, have suddenly disappeared from the Ukraine, or that America’s military advisors and specialized troops have sat idly by as Kiev’s military and militias mapped their civil war strategy; after all, the new thugs are as a regime on financial life-support provided by Washington, the European Union and IMF. What we know is that Washington is encouraging the ongoing killing in the civil war it helped trigger.

But Washington has constantly had the winning hand in a propaganda war against, entirely contrary to what mainstream media would have us believe, an essentially unwilling opponent. Waves of propaganda come from Washington and are made to fit assumptions of a Putin, driven and assisted by a nationalism heightened by the loss of the Soviet empire, who is trying to expand the Russian Federation up to the borders of that defunct empire. The more adventurous punditry, infected by neocon fever, has Russia threatening to envelop the West.

Hence Europeans are made to believe that Putin refuses diplomacy, while he has been urging this all along. Hence prevailing propaganda has had the effect that not Washington’s but Putin’s actions are seen as dangerous and extreme. Anyone with a personal story that places Putin or Russia in a bad light must move right now; Dutch editors seem insatiable at the moment.

There is no doubt that the frequently referred to Moscow propaganda exists. But there are ways for serious journalists to weigh competing propaganda and discern how much veracity or lies and bullshit they contain. Within my field of vision this has only taken place a bit in Germany. For the rest we must piece political reality together relying on the now more than ever indispensable American websites hospitable to whistleblowers and old-fashioned investigative journalism, which especially since the onset of the ‘war on terrorism’ and the Iraq invasion have formed a steady form of samizdatpublishing.

In the Netherlands almost anything that comes from the State Department is taken at face value. America’s history, since the demise of the Soviet Union, of truly breathtaking lies: on Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, Libya and North Korea; its record of overthrown governments; its black-op and false flag operations; and its stealthily garrisoning of the planet with some thousand military bases, is conveniently left out of consideration.

The near hysteria throughout a week following the downed airliner prevented people with some knowledge of relevant history from opening their mouths. Job security in the current world of journalism is quite shaky, and going against the tide would be almost akin to siding with the devil, as it would damage one’s journalistic ‘credibility’.

What strikes an older generation of serious journalists as questionable about the mainstream media’s credibility is editorial indifference to potential clues that would undermine or destroy the official story line; a story line that has already permeated popular culture as is evident in throwaway remarks embellishing book and film reviews along with much else. In the Netherlands the official story is already carved in stone, which is to be expected when it is repeated ten-thousand times. It cannot be discounted, of course, but it is based on not a shred of evidence.

The presence of two Ukrainian fighter planes near the Malaysian airliner on Russian radar would be a potential clue I would be very interested in if I were investigating either as journalist or member of the investigation team that the Netherlands officially leads. This appeared to be corroborated by a BBC Report with eyewitness accounts from the ground by villagers who clearly saw another plane, a fighter, close to the airliner, near the time of its crash, and heard explosions coming from the sky.

This report has recently drawn attention because it was removed from the BBC’s archive. I would want to talk with Michael Bociurkiw, one of the first inspectors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to reach the crash site who spent more than a week examining the wreckage and has described on CBC World News two or three “really pock-marked” pieces of fuselage. “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.”

I would certainly also want to have a look at the allegedly confiscated radar and voice records of the Kiev Air Control Tower to understand why the Malaysian pilot veered off course and rapidly descended shortly before his plane crashed, and find out whether foreign air controllers in Kiev were indeed sent packing immediately after the crash.

Like the “Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity”, I would certainly urge the American authorities with access to satellite images to show the evidence they claim to have of BUK missile batteries in ‘rebel’ hands as well as of Russian involvement, and ask them why they have not done so already.

Until now Washington has acted like a driver who refuses a breathalyzer test. Since intelligence officials have leaked to some American newspapers their lesser certainty about the American certainties as brought to the world by the Secretary of State, my curiosity would be unrelenting.

To place European media loyalty to Washington in the Ukraine case as well as the slavish conduct of European politicians in perspective, we must know about and understand Atlanticism. It is a European faith. It has not given rise to an official doctrine, of course, but it functions like one. It is well summed up by the Dutch slogan at the time of the Iraq invasion: “zonder Amerika gaat het niet” (without the United States [things] [it] won’t work).

Needless to say, the Cold War gave birth to Atlanticism. Ironically, it gained strength as the threat from the Soviet Union became less persuasive for increasing numbers among European political elites. That probably was a matter of generational change: the farther away from World War II, the less European governments remembered what it means to have an independent foreign policy on global-sized issues. Current heads of government of the European Union are unfamiliar with practical strategic deliberations. Routine thought on international relations and global politics is deeply entrenched in Cold War epistemology.

This inevitably also informs ‘responsible’ editorial policies. Atlanticism is now a terrible affliction for Europe: it fosters historical amnesia, willful blindness and dangerously misconceived political anger. But it thrives on a mixture of lingering unquestioned Cold War era certainties about protection, Cold War loyalties embedded in popular culture, sheer European ignorance, and an understandable reluctance to concede that one has even for a little bit been brainwashed.

Washington can do outrageous things while leaving Atlanticism intact because of everyone’s forgetfulness, which the media do little or nothing to cure. I know Dutch people who have become disgusted with the villification of Putin, but the idea that in the context of Ukraine the fingerpointing should be toward Washington is well-nigh unacceptable.

Hence, Dutch publications, along with many others in Europe, cannot bring themselves to place the Ukraine crisis in proper perspective by acknowledging that Washington started it all, and that Washington rather than Putin has the key to its solution. It would impel a renunciation of Atlanticism.

Atlanticism derives much of its strength through NATO, its institutional embodiment. The reason for NATO’s existence, which disappeard with the demise of the Soviet Union, has been largely forgotten. Formed in 1949, it was based on the idea that transatlantic cooperation for security and defense had become necessary after World War II in the face of a communism, orchestrated by Moscow, intent on taking over the entire planet. Much less talked about was European internal distrust, as the Europeans set off on their first moves towards economic integration. NATO constituted a kind of American guarantee that no power in Europe would ever try to dominate the others.

NATO has for some time now been a liability for the European Union, as it prevents development of concerted European foreign and defense policies, and has forced the member states to become instruments serving American militarism. It is also a moral liability because the governments participating in the ‘coalition of the willing’ have had to sell the lie to their citizens that European soldiers dying in Iraq and Afghanistan have been a necessary sacrifice to keep Europe safe from terrorists.

Governments that have supplied troops to areas occupied by the United States have generally done this with considerable reluctance, earning the reproach from a succession of American officials that Europeans do too little for the collective purpose of defending democracy and freedom.

As is the mark of an ideology, Atlanticism is ahistorical. As horse medicine against the torment of fundamental political ambiguity it supplies its own history: one that may be rewritten by American mainstream media as they assist in spreading the word from Washington.

There could hardly be a better demonstration of this than the Dutch experience at the moment. In conversations these past three weeks I have encountered genuine surprise when reminding friends that the Cold War ended through diplomacy with a deal made on Malta between Gorbachev and the elder Bush in December 1989, in which James Baker got Gorbachev to accept the reunification of Germany and withdrawal of Warsaw Pact troops with a promise that NATO would not be extended even one inch to the East.

Gorbachev pledged not to use force in Eastern Europe where the Russians had some 350,000 troops in East Germany alone, in return for Bush’s promise that Washington would not take advantage of a Soviet withdrawal from Eastern Europe. Bill Clinton reneged on those American promises when, for purely electoral reasons, he boasted about an enlargement of NATO and in 1999 made the Czech Republic and Hungary full members.

Ten years later another nine countries became members, at which point the number of NATO countries was double the number during the Cold War. The famous American specialist on Russia, Ambassador George Kennan, originator of Cold War containment policy, called Clinton’s move “the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era.”

Historical ignorance abetted by Atlanticism is poignantly on display in the contention that the ultimate proof in the case against Vladimir Putin is his invasion of Crimea. Again, political reality here was created by America’s mainstream media. There was no invasion, as the Russian sailors and soldiers were already there since it is home to the ‘warm water’ Black Sea base for the Russian navy.

Crimea has been a part of Russia for as long as the United States has existed. In 1954 Khrushchev, who himself came from the Ukraine, gave it to the Ukrainian Socialist Republic, which came down to moving a region to a different province, since Russia and Ukraine still belonged to the same country. The Russian speaking Crimean population was happy enough, as it voted in a referendum first for independence from the Kiev regime that resulted from the coup d’état, and subsequently for reunification with Russia.

Those who maintain that Putin had no right to do such a thing are unaware of another strand of history in which the United States has been moving (Star Wars) missile defense systems ever closer to Russian borders, supposedly to intercept hostile missiles from Iran, which do not exist. Sanctimonious talk about territorial integrity and sovereignty makes no sense under these circumstances, and coming from a Washington that has done away with the concept of sovereignty in its own foreign policy it is downright ludicrous.

A detestable Atlanticist move was the exclusion of Putin from the meetings and other events connected with the commemoration of the Normandy landings, for the first time in 17 years. The G8 became the G7 as a result. Amnesia and ignorance have made the Dutch blind to a history that directly concerned them, since the Soviet Union took the heart out of the Nazi war machine (that occupied the Netherlands) at a cost of incomparable and unimaginable numbers of military dead; without that there would not have been a Normandy invasion.

Not so long ago, the complete military disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan appeared to be moving NATO to a point where its inevitable demise could not to be too far off. But the Ukraine crisis and Putin’s decisiveness in preventing the Crimea with its Russian Navy base from possibly falling into the hands of the American-owned alliance, has been a godsend to this earlier faltering institution.

NATO leadership has already been moving troops to strengthen their presence in the Baltic states, sending missiles and attack aircraft to Poland and Lithuania, and since the downing of the Malaysian airliner it has been preparing further military moves that may turn into dangerous provocations of Russia. It has become clear that the Polish foreign minister together with the Baltic countries, none of which partook in NATO when its reason for being could still be defended, have become a strong driving force behind it.

A mood of mobilization has spread in the past week. The ventriloquist dummies Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Jaap de Hoop Scheffer can be relied upon to take to TV screens inveighing against NATO member-state backsliding. Rasmussen, the current Secretary General, declared on August 7 in Kiev that NATO’s “support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine is unwavering” and that he is looking to strengthen partnership with the country at the Alliance’s summit in Wales in September.

That partnership is already strong, so he said, “and in response to Russia’s aggression, NATO is working even more closely with Ukraine to reform its armed forces and defense institutions.”

In the meantime, in the American Congress 23 Senate Republicans have sponsored legislation, the “Russian Aggression Prevention Act”, which is meant to allow Washington to make the Ukraine a non-NATO ally and could set the stage for a direct military conflict with Russia. We will probably have to wait until after America’s midterm elections to see what will become of it, but it already helps provide a political excuse for those in Washington who want to take next steps in the Ukraine.

In September last year Putin helped Obama by making it possible for him to stop a bombing campaign against Syria pushed by the neocons, and had also helped in defusing the nuclear dispute with Iran, another neocon project. This led to a neocon commitment to break the Putin-Obama link. It is hardly a secret that the neoconservatives desire the overthrow of Putin and eventual dismemberment of the Russian Federation.

Less known in Europe is the existence of numerous NGOs at work in Russia, which will help them with this. Vladimir Putin could strike now or soon, to preempt NATO and the American Congress, by taking Eastern Ukraine, something he probably should have done right after the Crimean referendum. That would, of course, be proof of his evil intentions in European editorial eyes.

In the light of all this, one of the most fateful questions to ask in current global affairs is: what has to happen for Europeans to wake up to the fact that Washington is playing with fire and has ceased being the protector they counted on, and is instead now endangering their security? Will the moment come when it becomes clear that the Ukraine crisis is, most of all, about placing Star Wars missile batteries along an extensive stretch of Russian border, which gives Washington – in the insane lingo of nuclear strategists – ‘first strike’ capacity?

It is beginning to sink in among older Europeans that the United States has enemies who are not Europe’s enemies because it needs them for domestic political reasons; to keep an economically hugely important war industry going and to test by shorthand the political bona fides of contenders for public office.

But while using rogue states and terrorists as targets for ‘just wars’ has never been convincing, Putin’s Russia as demonized by a militaristic NATO could help prolong the transatlantic status quo. The truth behind the fate of the Malaysian airliner, I thought from the moment that I heard about it, would be politically determined. Its black boxes are in London. In NATO hands?

Other hindrances to an awakening remain huge; financialization and neoliberal policies have produced an intimate transatlantic entwining of plutocratic interests. Together with the Atlanticist faith these have helped stymie the political development of the European Union, and with that Europe’s ability to proceed with independent political decisions. Since Tony Blair, Great Britain has been in Washington’s pocket, and since Nicolas Sarkozy one can say more or less the same of France.

That leaves Germany. Angela Merkel was clearly unhappy with the sanctions, but in the end went along because she wants to remain on the good side of the American president, and the United States as the conqueror in World War II does still have leverage through a variety of agreements. Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, quoted in newspapers and appearing on TV, repudiated the sanctions and points at Iraq and Libya as examples of the results brought by escalation and ultimatums, yet he too swings round and in the end goes along with them.

Der Spiegel is one of the German publications that offer hope. One of its columnists, Jakob Augstein, attacks the “sleepwalkers” who have agreed to sanctions, and censures his colleagues’ finger-pointing at Moscow. Gabor Steingart, who publishes Handelsblatt, inveighs against the “American tendency to verbal and then to military escalation, the isolation, demonization, and attacking of enemies” and concludes that also German journalism “has switched from level-headed to agitated in a matter of weeks.

The spectrum of opinions has been narrowed to the field of vision of a sniper scope.” There must be more journalists in other parts of Europe who say things like this, but their voices do not carry through the din of vilification.

History is being made, once again. What may well determine Europe’s fate is that also outside the defenders of the Atlanticist faith, decent Europeans cannot bring themselves to believe in the dysfunction and utter irresponsibility of the American state.

Karel van Wolferen is a Dutch journalist and retired professor at the University of Amsterdam. Since 1969, he has published over twenty books on public policy issues, which have been translated into eleven languages and sold over a million copies worldwide. As a foreign correspondent for NRC Handelsblad , one of Holland’s leading newspapers, he received the highest Dutch award for journalism, and over the years his articles have appeared in The New York Times , The Washington Post , The New Republic , The National Interest , Le Monde , and numerous other newspapers and magazines.

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Malaysian press quite rightly blames the USA backed Kiev fascists for shooting down MH17

From Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crashes in Ukraine
Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crashes in Ukraine
(image by YouTube)

A Thursday article in the New Straits Times, Malaysia’s flagship English-language newspaper, charged the US- and European-backed Ukrainian regime in Kiev with shooting down Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17 in east Ukraine last month. Given the tightly controlled character of the Malaysian media, it appears that the accusation that Kiev shot down MH17 has the imprimatur of the Malaysian state.

The US and European media have buried this remarkable report, which refutes the wave of allegations planted by the CIA in international media claiming that Russian president Vladimir Putin was responsible for the destruction of MH17, without presenting any evidence to back up this charge.

The New Straits Times article, titled “US analysts conclude MH17 downed by aircraft,” lays out evidence that Ukrainian fighter aircraft attacked the jetliner with first a missile, then with bursts of 30-millimeter machine gun fire from both sides of MH17. The Russian army has already presented detailed radar and satellite data showing a Ukrainian Sukhoi-25 fighter jet tailing MH17 shortly before the jetliner crashed. The Kiev regime denied that its fighters were airborne in the area, however.

The New Straits Times article began, “Intelligence analysts in the United States have already concluded that Malaysia flight MH17 was shot down by an air-to-air missile, and that the Ukrainian government had had something to do with it. This corroborates an emerging theory postulated by local investigators that the Boeing 777-200 was crippled by an air-to-air missile and finished off with cannon fire from a jet that had been shadowing it as it plummeted to earth.”

It cited “experts who had said that the photographs of the blast fragmentation patterns on the fuselage of the airliner showed two distinct shapes — the shredding pattern associated with a warhead packed with ‘flechettes,’ and the more uniform, round-type penetration holes consistent with that of cannon rounds.”

The New Straits Times cited several sources to substantiate its position. One was testimony by a Canadian-Ukrainian monitor for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Michael Bociurkiw — one of the first investigators to arrive at the crash site. Speaking to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on July 29, Bociurkiw said: “There have been two or three pieces of fuselage that have been really pockmarked with what almost looks like machine gun fire; very, very strong machine gun fire.”

Another source the paper cited was an article, “Flight 17 Shoot-Down Scenario Shifts,” by former Associated Press reporter Robert Parry, who now writes for the web site. Given the lack of any evidence supporting US charges that pro-Russian forces shot MH17 down with a Buk anti-aircraft missile, Parry said, “some US intelligence analysts have concluded that the rebels and Russia were likely not at fault, and that it appears Ukrainian government forces were to blame, according to a source briefed on these findings.”

Perry indicated that sections of the US intelligence apparatus have concluded that US secretary of state John Kerry’s claims that pro-Russian forces shot down the plane are lies.

“Only three days after the crash, Secretary of State Kerry did the rounds of the Sunday talk shows making what he deemed an ‘extraordinary circumstantial’ case supposedly proving that the rebels carried out the shoot-down with missiles provided by Russia. He acknowledged that the US government was ‘not drawing the final conclusion here, but there is a lot that points at the need for Russia to be responsible,'” Perry wrote. “By then, I was already being told that the US intelligence community lacked any satellite imagery supporting Kerry’s allegations, and that the only Buk missile system in that part of Ukraine appeared to be under the control of the Ukrainian military.”

Finally, the New Straits Times and Parry both cited retired Lufthansa pilot Peter Haisenko, who has pointed to photographic evidence of MH17 wreckage suggesting that cockpit panels were raked with heavy machine gun fire from both the port and starboard sides. “Nobody before Haisenko had noticed that the projectiles had ripped through the panel from both its left side and its right side. This is what rules out any ground-fired missile,” Parry wrote.

The New Straits Times report constitutes a powerful accusation not only against the Ukrainian government, but against Washington, Berlin, and their European allies. They installed the Kiev regime through a fascist-led putsch in February. They then deployed a series of intelligence operatives and Blackwater mercenaries who are closely coordinating the various fascist militias and National Guard units fighting for Kiev on the ground in east Ukraine, where MH17 was shot down.

These forces now stand accused not only of stoking an explosive political and military confrontation with Russia on its border with Ukraine over the MH17 crash, which threatens to erupt into nuclear war, but of provoking the confrontation through the cold-blooded murder of 298 people aboard MH17.

These charges from Malaysia are all the more significant, in that Malaysia is not a strategic adversary of the United States. Unlike Russia, which already presented evidence suggesting Ukrainian involvement in the crash, Malaysia has no political motive for trying to discredit the US, the European powers, or their puppet regime in Kiev.

While it has not aligned itself as openly as the Philippines or Vietnam with the US “pivot to Asia” aimed at isolating China, Malaysia has in fact pushed for deployments of its forces in the South China Sea to contest Chinese influence in the area, in line with the agenda of the US “pivot.”

Indeed, the New Straits Times and its sources are basing themselves on sections of US intelligence that, disgruntled by the complete lack of evidence to back up US charges against Putin and fearing catastrophic military escalation, have criticized Washington’s handling of the crisis (see: “Former US intelligence personnel challenge Obama to present evidence of Russian complicity in MH17 crash“).

These events also constitute yet another indictment of the Western media, who have completely blacked out the investigation of the crash of MH17 and the latest material in the New Straits Times. Instead, the elements in the CIA and their Ukrainian proxies driving the war in east Ukraine have been able to escalate the confrontation with Russia and demonize Putin, without any of their unsubstantiated accusations of Russian involvement in the MH17 crash being challenged.

Kiev regime officials are continuing to stonewall the investigation, refusing Malaysian requests for information about MH17, such as the record of communication between the doomed plane and air traffic controllers in Kiev.

In an interview with the New Straits Times, Ukrainian ambassador to Malaysia Ihor Humennyi denied reports that the tapes had been seized by Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU). “There is no proof or evidence that the tapes were confiscated by the SBU. I only read this in the newspapers,” he said.

When the New Straits Times asked where the tapes were, Humennyi said he did not know. “We don’t have any information that it had not been given to the investigation team, or that it was not received by the [team of international] investigators,” he said.

There is no doubt that hydrocarbons & protection of the petro-dollar are the common denominator of the wars in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria and Libya

What do wars in Ukraine, Gaza, Syria and Libya have in common ?

For Mexican geopolitical expert, Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, the simultaneity of the events illuminates their meaning: soon after announcing the creation of an alternative to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, that is to say the dollar, Russia is having to face at the same time the accusation of having downed the Malaysia Airlines jet, the Israeli attack on Gaza backed by US and UK military intelligence, the chaos in Libya and the Islamic State offensive in the Levant. In addition, in each of these war theaters, the fighting revolves around the control of hydrocarbons, which until now were traded exclusively in dollars.

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The best-selling video game worldwide “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” pits the United States against Russia in a war for oil scenario.

Calendars, flow charts, diagrams and genealogical indexes are most useful for making a geopolitical analysis. Thus, two days before a mysterious missile blew the Malaysia Airlines plane out of the sky – an event as obscure as the circumstances surrounding both its recent flights – the sixth summit of the BRICS including a number of UNASUR member countries, such as Colombia and Peru, had ended successfully. [1]

One day before the deadly missile strike, Obama had heightened pressure on Russia and its two inextricable assets : banks and energy resources. “Pure coincidence”, the day the mysterious missile was fired in Ukraine, “Netanyahu, at the helm of a state with a nuclear arsenal, ordered his army to invade the Gaza Strip”, as Fidel Castro rightly pointed out when denouncing the coup government in Kiev which he accused of having carried out a “new form of provocation” under United States sponsorship. [2]

What could this old spoilsport of the Caribbean possibly know about this case?

As the mysterious missile was shredding the Malaysia Airlines flight, Israel, a racist and segregationist state, invaded the Gaza Strip, in violation of UN resolutions and “antagonized the international public opinion”, as stated by former President Bill Clinton. [3]

Concurrently with the “coincidence” (dixit Castro) relating to the geopolitical objectives in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip, clashes of a confessional nature involving the control of energy resources took center stage in the three Arab countries classified as “failed states” by U.S. strategists : Libya, Syria and Iraq, not to mention the wars in Yemen and Somalia.

In Libya, a balkanized and decimated state as a result of the “humanitarian” intervention led by Britain and France under the hypocritical oversight of the United States, just two days prior to the mysterious missile shooting in Ukraine rebel Zintan brigades barred all access to Tripoli (the capital) International Airport, while clashes escalated between rival clans in Benghazi from where jihadists in Syria and Iraq were provided with weapons and where the U.S. ambassador in Libya was murdered under bizarre circumstances.

Beyond the tie-in of weapon flows into Libya, Syria and Iraq within the region controlled by Al Qaeda/Al-Nusra and the new Islamic State (Daesh) [4], the crucial issue for the US, British and French oil and gas corporations is to secure control of the raw materials (gas and fresh water) belonging to Libya, where Russia and China naively walked into a trap [5].

As for the appropriation of Iraqi oil by the US/UK imperialist duo, which also led to the balkanization and destruction of Iraq, plunging the country into a “30-year war”, it would be futile and lethally boring to have to go over the well-known evidence again.

During my recent visit to Damascus, where I was interviewed by Thierry Meyssan, president of Voltaire Network, he told me that the sudden volte-face of “the West (whatever is intended by that)” against Bashar al-Assad is due in large part – in addition to the gas fields located along the Mediterranean coast – to the profusion of oil deposits which lie inside Syria, deposits that are now controlled by the “New 21st century Caliphate (Daesh).”

The interdependence between oil and gas is back in the spotlight in Gaza five years after the “Cast Lead” operation, whose strategy is being pursued by Operation “Protective Edge” (sic), without an investigation to conclusively establish who was responsible for the horrific murder of three young Israelis – which had been prophetically announced by Tamir Pardo, the “visionary” chief of Mossad [6] – and served as a pretext for yet another Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip which has claimed the lives of a several hundred children.

According to the geographer Manlio Dinucci, writing in the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto [7], the abundance of gas reserves located in the coastal waters of Gaza is one of the reasons for the Israeli intransigence.

Similarly, the substantial shale gas reserves deeply buried in the Autonomous Republic of Donetsk, which seeks to separate from or federate with Ukraine, is the source of the fierce psychological war between pro-EU and pro-Russian media to pin the responsibility on the other side for the explosion of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft. Could it not be a false-flag operation contrived by the Ukrainian government to incriminate the separatists using “recordings” that may very well have been doctored in order to accuse them of “terrorism” and thus obliterate them?

Two months ago the news channel Russia Today (RT) – which is increasingly viewed in Latin America to counter the disinformation spewed by the Israeli-Anglo-American controlled media and which was held up to public obloquy by Secretary of State John Kerry – had already stressed the importance of shale gas in the region of Donetsk (the region in eastern Ukraine which seeks to gain independence) and wondered whether “the interests of Western oil companies may not be behind the violence” [8].

Indeed, the eastern part of Ukraine, currently engulfed in a civil war, is full “of coal and a myriad of shale gas deposits in the Dnieper-Donets Basin.” In February 2013, British Shell Oil signed with the Ukrainian government (the previous one, which was overthrown by a neo-Nazi coup backed by the EU) a 50-year agreement to share the profits emanating from the exploration and extraction of shale gas in the Donetsk region. [9]

According to RT, “the profits that Kiev does not want to miss out on” are such as to prompt the Ukrainian government to unleash a “military campaign [disproportionate] against its own people.”

Last year, Chevron signed a similar agreement (with the same government filed) for 10 billion dollars worth.

Hunter Biden, son of the U.S. Vice President, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Burisma, the largest private gas producer (supersic) in Ukraine [10], which “opens a new perspective for the exploitation of Ukrainian shale gas” to the extent that “it holds the license covering the Dnieper-Donets basin.” John Kerry will not be left out in regard to the distribution of profits and Devon Archer, his former adviser and step-son’s college roommate, joined the controversial company in April.

Can an “alienation of property” license to exploit shale gas in Ukraine also serve as a “license to kill” innocent people?

Is hydraulic fracturing in the process of fracturing Ukraine? This has been a permanent feature of the tragic history of hydrocarbons exploitation by “Western” oil companies throughout the twentieth century.

There is no doubt that hydrocarbons are the common denominator of the wars in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria and Libya.

[1] “6th BRICS Summit: the seeds of a new financial architecture”, by Ariel Noyola Rodríguez, Voltaire Network, 3 July 2014. “Sixth BRICS Summit: Fortaleza Declaration and Action Plan”, Voltaire Network, 16 July 2014. «Momento BRICS en Fortaleza», par Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, 17 juillet 2014.

[2] «Fidel Castro: El derribo de avión malasio es una “provocación insólita” de Ucrania», Russia Today, 17 July 2014.

[3] AFP, 17/07/14.

[4] «¿Yihad global contra los BRICS?», por Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, La Jornada (México), Red Voltaire , 18 de julio de 2014.

[5] «El botín del saqueo en Libia: “fondos soberanos de riqueza“, divisas, hidrocarburos, oro y agua», by Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, La Jornada, 28 August 2011.

[6] „Mossad-Chef sagte Entführung der Jugendlichen voraus“, von Gerhard Wisnewski, Voltaire Netzwerk, 8. Juli 2014.

[7] “Gaza, il gas nel mirino”, di Manlio Dinucci, Il Manifesto (Italia), Rete Voltaire, 17 luglio 2014.

[8] «Shale gas and politics: Are Western energy giants’ interests behind Ukraine violence?», Russia Today, 17 May 2014.

[9] « L’Ukraine brade son secteur énergétique aux Occidentaux », par Ivan Lizan, Traduction Louis-Benoît Greffe, Однако (Russie), Réseau Voltaire, 2 mars 2013.

[10] “In Ukraine, Joe Biden’s son mixes business with pleasure”, Voltaire Network, 15 May 2014.

Alfredo Jalife-Rahme

Alfredo Jalife-Rahme Social and political sciences Professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). His columns on international politics feature regularly in the Mexican daily La Jornada and weekly magazine Contralínea. His latest book is El Híbrido Mundo Multipolar : un Enfoque Multidimensional (Orfila, 2010).

Exposed – U.S. Diplomat Behind Artillery Satellite Images was Involved in the Toppling of Yanukovich

Geoffrey Pyatt - U.S. State Department Toppling of Yanukovich Ukraine

It turns out that the man the U.S. State Department chose to handle the the latest phase of Russia demonization played an integral role in the toppling of the Ukrainian government.

Yesterday, July 27th, the U.S. state department decided to launch what turned out to be a rather weak propaganda spasm in their long running campaign against Russia. Interestingly, this round involved satellite images which were supposedly taken four days after the MH17 crash, but if you were expecting these images to be the long awaited evidence proving that the separatists shot down MH17 you are in for a disappointment. No, the images released by the U.S. State Department have absolutely nothing to do with the downing of MH17, or any other aircraft for that matter. These images supposedly show that Russia fired HEAVY ARTILLERY into Ukraine recently.
U.S. Government Artillery Images Ukraine Russia
U.S. Government Artillery Images Ukraine Russia
U.S. Government Artillery Images Ukraine Russia
Heavy artillery can’t hit an airliner (unless it’s parked on the ground), so one can only assume that these new claims are designed distract the public from the MH17 debacle (which seems to have decidedly backfired on them at this point), and to draw their attention to a new warmongering narrative. In any case, the fact that the U.S. State Department was willing to go to the trouble to fish out a set of grainy images that have absolutely nothing to do with what may very well be the most important airline disaster since 9/11, when the whole world is questioning their story, makes it abundantly clear that whatever the satellite images taken on July 17th actually show, they don’t support Washington’s narrative.
UPDATE: Some people have pointed out that there are anti-aircraft guns that they refer to as anti-aircraft artillery, however the artillery described by the State Department in their pdf report were heavy artillery used to attack terrestrial targets, not anti-aircraft artillery, and they specifically mention craters on the ground where the shells supposedly landed. Go read it yourself.
Again heavy artillery cannot hit an airliner flying at 32,000 feet. It can’t even come close, so don’t let people try to blur this issue.
Now Russia has come out to call these images fake, and until the dust settles on this it’s a bit premature to call it one way or another, but even while the jury is out on the technical side, we have one major red flag already. It turns out that the man that the U.S. State Department has put in charge of pushing this story is none other than our good friend Geoffrey Pyatt.
Geoffrey Pyatt - U.S. State Department
Geoffrey Pyatt - U.S. State Department
Geoffrey Pyatt was the man on the other end of the now infamous leaked Victoria Nuland call. That was the call in which the U.S. State Department got caught red handed discussing who they were going to install in the Ukrainian government after the fall of Yanukovich. If you haven’t listened to that call, you should. It was very revealing.
Oh, by the way, you probably heard of this audio clip back when it was first released. The main stream media put all attention on the fact that Victoria Nuland said “Fuck the E.U.” Apparently these “journalists” consider her potty mouth to be more important than the fact that the U.S. State Department was caught red handed installing a puppet government.
One has to wonder why the U.S. government is willing to use these same characters even after they’ve been compromised in previous operations. Are they just having a hard time recruiting qualified henchmen, are they just counting on the public having the attention span of a gnat, or are they just getting desperate? It might be a combination of the three.
By the way, if you missed the opening act of this fiasco, watch the video below to catch up.
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Guilt By Insinuation. How American propaganda works.

Guilt By Insinuation

How American propaganda works.

Paul Craig Roberts

Why hasn’t Washington joined Russian President Putin in calling for an objective, non-politicized international investigation by experts of the case of the Malaysian jetliner?

The Russian government continues to release facts, including satellite photos showing the presence of Ukrainian Buk anti-aircraft missiles in locations from which the airliner could have been brought down by the missile system and documentation that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet rapidly approached the Malaysian airliner prior to its downing. The head of the Operations Directorate of Russian military headquarters said at a Moscow press conference today (July 21) that the presence of the Ukrainian military jet is confirmed by the Rostov monitoring center.

The Russian Defense Ministry pointed out that at the moment of destruction of MH-17 an American satellite was flying over the area. The Russian government urges Washington to make available the photos and data captured by the satellite.

President Putin has repeatedly stressed that the investigation of MH-17 requires “a fully representative group of experts to be working at the site under the guidance of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).” Putin’s call for an independent expert examination by ICAO does not sound like a person with anything to hide.

Turning to Washington Putin stated: “In the meantime, no one [not even the “exceptional nation”] has the right to use this tragedy to achieve their narrowly selfish political goals.”

Putin reminded Washington: “We repeatedly called upon all conflicting sides to stop the bloodshed immediately and to sit down at the negotiating table. I can say with confidence that if military operations were not resumed [by Kiev] on June 28 in eastern Ukraine, this tragedy wouldn’t have happened.”

What is the American response?

Lies and insinuations.

Yesterday (July 20) the US Secretary of State, John Kerry confirmed that pro-Russian separatists were involved in the downing of the Malaysian airliner and said that it was “pretty clear” that Russia was involved. Here are Kerry’s words: “It’s pretty clear that this is a system that was transferred from Russia into the hands of separatists. We know with confidence, with confidence, that the Ukrainians did not have such a system anywhere near the vicinity at that point and time, so it obviously points a very clear finger at the separatists.”

Kerry’s statement is just another of the endless lies told by US secretaries of state in the 21st century. Who can forget Colin Powell’s package of lies delivered to the UN about Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction” or Kerry’s lie repeated endlessly that Assad “used chemical weapons against his own people” or the endless lies about “Iranian nukes”?

Remember that Kerry on a number of occasions stated that the US had proof that Assad crossed the “red line” by using chemical weapons. However, Kerry was never able to back up his statements with evidence. The US had no evidence to give the British prime minister whose effort to have Parliament approve Britain’s participation with Washington in a military attack on Syria was voted down. Parliament told the prime minister, “no evidence, no war.”

Again here is Kerry declaring “confidence” in statements that are directly contradicted by the Russian satellite photos and endless eye witnesses on the ground.

Why doesn’t Washington release its photos from its satellite?

The answer is for the same reason that Washington will not release all the videos it confiscated and that it claims prove that a hijacked 9/11 airliner hit the Pentagon. The videos do not support Washington’s claim, and the US satellite photos do not support Kerry’s claim.

The UN weapons inspectors on the ground in Iraq reported that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. However, the fact did not support Washington’s propaganda and was ignored. Washington started a highly destructive war based on nothing but Washington’s intentional lie.

The International Atomic Energy Commission’s inspectors on the ground in Iran and all 16 US intelligence agencies reported that Iran had no nuclear weapons program. However, the fact was inconsistent with Washington’s agenda and was ignored by both the US government and the presstitute media.

We are witnessing the same thing right now with the assertions in the absence of evidence that Russia is responsible for the downing of the Malaysian airliner.

Not every member of the US government is as reckless as Kerry and John McCain. In place of direct lies, many US officials use insinuations.

US Senator Diane Feinstein is the perfect example. Interviewed on the presstitute TV station CNN, Feinstein said: “The issue is where is Putin? I would say, ‘Putin, you have to man up. You should talk to the world. You should say, if this is a mistake, which I hope it was, say it.’”

Putin has been talking to the world nonstop calling for an expert non-politicized investigation, and Feinstein is asking Putin why he is hiding behind silence. We know you did it, Feinstein insinuates, so just tell us whether you meant to or whether it was an accident.

The way the entire Western news cycle was orchestrated with blame instantly being placed on Russia long in advance of real information suggests that the downing of the airliner was a Washington operation. It is, of course, possible that the well-trained presstitute media needed no orchestration from Washington in order to lay the blame on Russia. On the other hand, some of the news performances seem too scripted not to have been prepared in advance.

We also have the advanced preparation of the youtube video that purports to show a Russian general and Ukrainian separatists discussing having mistakenly downed a civilian airliner. As I pointed out earlier, this video is twice damned. It was ready in advance and by implicating the Russian military, it overlooked that the Russian military can tell the difference between a civilian airliner and a military airplane. The existence of the video itself implies that there was a plot to down the airliner and blame Russia.

I have seen reports that the Russian anti-aircraft missile system, as a safety device, is capable of contacting aircraft transponders in order to verify the type of aircraft. If the reports are correct and if the transponders from MH-17 are found, they might record the contact.

I have seen reports that Ukrainian air control changed the route of MH-17 and directed it to fly over the conflict area. The transponders should also indicate whether this is correct. If so, there clearly is at least circumstantial evidence that this was an intentional act on the part of Kiev, an act which would have required Washington’s blessing.

There are other reports that there is a divergence between the Ukrainian military and the unofficial militias formed by the right-wing Ukrainian extremists who apparently were the first to attack the separatists. It is possible that Washington used the extremists to plot the airliner’s destruction in order to blame Russia and use the accusations to pressure the EU to go along with Washington’s unilateral sanctions against Russia. We do know that Washington is desperate to break up the growing economic and political ties between Russia and Europe.

If it was a plot to down an airliner, any safety device on the missile system could have been turned off so as to give no warning or leave any telltale sign. That could be the reason a Ukrainian fighter was sent to inspect the airliner. Possibly the real target was Putin’s airliner and incompetence in implementing the plot resulted in the destruction of a civilian airliner.

As there are a number of possible explanations, let’s keep open minds and resist Washington’s propaganda until facts and evidence are in. In the very least Washington is guilty of using the incident to blame Russia in advance of the evidence. All Washington has shown us so far are accusations and insinuations. If that is all Washington continues to show us, we will know where the blame resides.

In the meantime, remember the story of the boy who cried “wolf!” He lied so many times that when the wolf did come, no one believed him. Will this be Washington’s ultimate fate?

Instead of declaring war on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, and Syria, why did Washington hide behind lies? If Washington wants war with Iran, Russia, and China, why not simply declare war? The reason that the US Constitution requires war to begin with a declaration of war by Congress is to prevent the executive branch from orchestrating wars in order to further hidden agendas. By abdicating its constitutional responsibility, the US Congress is complicit in the executive branch’s war crimes. By approving Israel’s premeditated murder of Palestinians, the US government is complicit in Israel’s war crimes.

Ask yourself this question: Would the world be a safer place with less death, destruction and displaced peoples and more truth and justice if the United States and Israel did not exist?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.

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A chessboard drenched in blood

By Pepe Escobar

“The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” Everyone remembers the Downing Street Memo, which unveiled the Bush/Blair “policy” in the run-up to the 2003 bombing/invasion/occupation of Iraq. The “policy” was to get rid of Saddam Hussein via a lightning war. The justification was “terrorism” and (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which had “disappeared”, mounted in trucks, deep into Syria. Forget about intelligence and facts.

The tragedy of MH17 – turned, incidentally, into a WMD – might be seen as a warped rerun of imperial policy in Iraq. No need for a memo this time. The “policy” of the Empire of Chaos is clear, and multi-pronged; diversify the “pivot to Asia” by establishing a beachhead in Ukraine to sabotage trade between Europe and Russia; expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to Ukraine; break the Russia-China strategic partnership; prevent by all means the trade/economic integration of Eurasia, from the Russia-Germany partnership to the New Silk Roads converging from China to the Ruhr; keep Europe under US hegemony.
The key reason why Russian President Vladimir Putin did not “invade” Eastern Ukraine – as much as he’s been enticed to by Washington/NATO – to stop a US military adviser-facilitated running slaughter of civilians is that he does not want to antagonize the European Union, Russia’s top trading partner.

Crucially, Washington’s intervention in Kosovo invoking R2P – Responsibility to Protect – was justified at the time for exactly the same reasons a Russian intervention in Donetsk and Luhansk could be totally justified now. Except that Moscow won’t do it – because the Kremlin is playing a very long game.

The MH17 tragedy may have been a horrendous mistake. But it may also have been a desperate gambit by the Kiev minions of the Empire of Chaos. By now, Russian intel may have already mastered the key facts. Washington’s predictable modus operandi was to shoot from the hip, igniting and in theory winning the spin war, and doubling down by releasing the proverbial army of “top officials” brimming with social media evidence. Moscow will take time to build a meticulous case, and only then lay it out in detail.

Hegemony lost
The Big Picture spells out the Empire of Chaos elites as extremely uneasy. Take Dr Zbigniew “The Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski, who as a former foreign policy mentor has the ears of the increasingly dejected White House paperboy. Dr Zbig was on CNN this Sunday challenging Europe’s leaders to “stand up to Putin”. He wonders if “Europe wants to become a satellite” and worries about “a moment of decisive significance for the future of the system – of the world system”.

And it’s all Putin’s fault, of course: “We’re not starting the Cold War. He [Putin] has started it. But he has gotten himself into a horrendous jam. I strongly suspect that a lot of people in Russia, even not far away from him who are worried that Russia’s status in the world is dramatically being undermined, that Russia’s economically beginning to fail, that Russia’s threatened by the prospect of becoming a satellite to China, that Russia’s becoming self-isolated and discredited.”

Obviously Dr Zbig is blissfully unaware of the finer points of the Russia-China strategic partnership, as well as their concerted voice inside the BRICS, the G-20 and myriad other mechanisms. His trademark Russophobia in the end always gets the better of him. And to think that in his latest book, Strategic Vision (2012), Dr Zbig was in favor of an enlarged “West” annexing Turkey and Russia, with the Empire of Chaos posing as “promoter” and “guarantor” of broader unity in the West, and a “balancer” and “conciliator” between the major powers in the East. A quick look at the record since 2012 – Libya, Syria, Ukraine, encirclement of China – reveals the Empire of Chaos only as fomenter of, what else, chaos.

Now compare a fearful Dr Zbig with Immanuel Wallerstein – who was a huge influence in my 2007 warped geopolitical travel bookGlobalistan. In this piece (in Spanish) Wallerstein argues that the Empire of Chaos simply can’t accept its geopolitical decadence – and that’s why it has become so dangerous. Restoring its hegemony in the world-system has become the supreme obsession; and that’s where the whole “policy” that is an essential background to the MH17 tragedy reveals Ukraine as the definitive do or die battleground.

In Europe, everything hinges on Germany. Especially after the National Security Agency scandal and its ramifications, the key debate raging in Berlin is how to position itself geopolitically bypassing the US. And the answer, as pressed by large swathes of German big business, lies in a strategic partnership with Russia.

Show me the missile
Slowly, with no hype and no spin, the Russian military are starting to deliver the goods. Here, courtesy of the Vineyard of The Saker blog, is their key presentation so far. As The Saker put it, Russia had – and has – a “20/20 radar vision”, or full spectrum surveillance, on everything going on in Ukraine. And so, arguably, does NATO. What the Russian Ministry of Defense is saying is as important as the clues it is laying out for experts to follow.

The damaged MH17 starboard jet engine suggests a shape charge from an air-to-air missile – and not a Buk; that’s consistent with the Russian Ministry of Defense presentation graphically highlighting an Ukrainian SU-25 shadowing MH17. Increasingly, the Buk scenario – hysterically peddled by the Empire of Chaos – is being discarded. Not to mention, again, that not a single eyewitness saw the very graphic, thick missile trace that would have been clearly visible had a Buk been used.

Way beyond the established fact of a Ukrainian SU-25 trailing MH17, plenty of unanswered questions remain, some involving a murky security procedure at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport – where security is operated by ICTS, an Israeli company based in The Netherlands and founded by former officers from the Israeli Shin Bet intel agency. And then there is the unexplained presence of “foreign” advisors in Kiev’s control tower.

As much as Bashar al-Assad in Syria had absolutely no motive to “gas his own people” – as the hysterical narrative went at the time – the Eastern Ukraine federalists have no motive to down a civilian airliner. And as much as Washington doesn’t give a damn about the current civilian slaughter in Gaza, it doesn’t give a damn about the MH17 civilian deaths; the one and only obsession is to force Europeans to sanction Russia to death. Translation: break up Europe-Russia commercial and geopolitical integration.

One week before the MH17 tragedy, the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies was already sounding the alarm concerning the Empire of Chaos’s “policy” and its refusal to “adhere to the principles and norms of international law and the rules and spirit of the existing system of international relations”.

Moscow, in building its case on the MH17 tragedy, will bide its time to debunk Kiev’s claims and maximize its own credibility. The game now moves to the black boxes and the cockpit voice recorder. Still Ukraine will remain the do or die battlefield – a chessboard drenched in blood.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at

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Will Russia shoot down West’s lies?

Employees of the Ukrainian State Emergency Service look at the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 two days after it crashed in a sunflower field near the village of Rassipnoe, in east Ukraine, on July 19, 2014.

Employees of the Ukrainian State Emergency Service look at the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 two days after it crashed in a sunflower field near the village of Rassipnoe, in east Ukraine, on July 19, 2014.

By Finian Cunningham

Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:6AM GMT

They don’t call it the “gutter press” for nothing. But Western so-called news media sunk to new toxic depths over the weekend in their coverage of the Malaysian airliner downed over Ukraine – and the death of all 298 people on board.

It was a veritable media-orgy of lies, propaganda and vilification spewed out by American and European corporate news outlets. Whether online, television, or newspaper, the media went into overdrive to lay the blame for the disaster on Russia or “Russian-backed rebels” in Ukraine.

Of course, informed people around the world know that the Western mainstream media operate as a propaganda machine for powerful elite interests. But what is astounding is just how brazen the brainwashing purpose has become.

Without sparing a respectful pause for the crash victims and their families, the Western media stampeded to make cheap political points – dutifully obeying their masters.

Trashy tabloids joined with so-called “quality” outlets to form a virtual lynch mob to hang Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Britain’s Daily Mail ran this front page headline on Saturday: ‘Putin killed my son’ – quoting the family of one of the dead British passengers. The Daily Express screamed: ‘Putin’s rebels blew up plane’. The Sun plumbed the sewer with this one: ‘Putin’s looters rob Brit victim.’

The supposed high-brow press were braying for Putin’s blood too, albeit in a more refined, that is, deceitful way. The Independent: ‘The fingers point at Putin’; The Guardian: ‘Ukraine claims ‘compelling evidence’ of Russian involvement.’

The same media manipulation over the weekend was seen in the US and other European countries. Hardly one of them exercised any kind of independence in reporting or analysing how the Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur flight was taken down.

It was a breath-taking case study of lazy journalism at best, or, more likely, of sinister manufacturing of public opinion by the media conglomerates and their political masters.

Even respected journalists like Jon Snow on Britain’s Channel 4 news displayed a servile mentality towards the official narrative befitting a monkey dancing to the tune of an organ grinder.

One telling aspect is that the herd-like rush to blame Russia and President Putin for the disaster is based on scant factual evidence, but lots of lurid innuendo and hearsay peddled by the Western-backed stooge regime in Kiev. It really is a measure of how degenerate the Western journalism has become.

Moreover, the agenda-former for the whole Western media is clearly Washington and its anonymous “US intelligence officials.” The “get Russia” campaign got underway on Friday when US President Barack Obama sent his ambassador over to the United Nations to begin the stitch-up.

Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, told the Security Council: “We assess Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 carrying these 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala-Lumpur was likely downed by a surface-to-air missile, a SA-11 operated from a separatist-held location in eastern Ukraine.”

Power went on to say: “We can’t rule out technical assistance from Russian personnel in operating the systems.”

This is the same tired old routine of American fabrication, of fixing facts to fit policy, that we have seen so often in the past, from weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, to Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan, from “humanitarian intervention” in Libya, to chemical weapons in Syria.

Every time, the US has been found to be lying, contriving, manipulating and fabricating in order to carry out its own criminal agenda of war or regime change.

Incredibly, the most discredited institution in the world, the US government, is allowed to repeat its criminality – thanks to a corrupt and discredited propaganda system masquerading as news media.

For the record, the US government has no evidence to support its allegations against Russia that it somehow had a hand in the downing of the Malaysian airliner over Ukraine – either directly or indirectly by supplying self-defence militia fighting in the east of the country against the Western-backed Kiev regime.

The New York Times ran this headline: ‘US sees evidence of Russian link to jet’s downing.’ But when you read the story, there is absolutely no details of any evidence. Everything is asserted on trust to anonymous “intelligence sources.”

Then came this brilliant piece of shoddy journalism in the same article by the NYT: “Ukraine [that is, the Kiev regime] denied that any of its forces had been involved, and US officials believed that denial.”

So there you go, no need to think about the possibility of the Kiev regime carrying out the atrocity because, well, the CIA-installed fascist junta says so, and US officials believe their own criminal creation.

A variation on the narrative over the weekend was that rebels in eastern Ukraine were tampering with the evidence at the crash site near the Russian border.

The Washington Post quotes Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the CIA stooge prime minister in Kiev, thus: “Russian-led terrorists are preventing access of the international community and foreign governments to the location where MH17 crashed.”

The Post goes on to report: “Ukrainian officials say the plane was targeted by separatist fighters using a surface-to-air missile, possibly with direct Russian aid.”

This is how the Western propaganda system works. The innuendo based on no facts is galvanised into seeming evidence, while also casting the “culprits” as dehumanised “terrorists”, thereby paving the way for policy objectives.

It is significant too that, over the weekend, Obama and his vice president Joe Biden were “working the phones” in talks with other leaders, such as Kiev puppet president Petro Poroshenko, Britain’s premier David Cameron and his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott. This is classic “getting everyone on the same page.”

The trouble is that this time the Western propaganda machine is up against Russia and its own very capable intelligence.

Russia is not only calmly challenging the West to present its so-called “intelligence evidence.” Moscow is now also saying that it has its own incriminating information as to what really happened to the doomed Malaysian flight.

Russia’s defence ministry says it can show from digital traces that Western-backed Kiev forces were in the precise vicinity of where the plane came down, and that the radars of the Buk missile launchers being used at that time were scanning the ill-fated airliner.

Ironically, Washington may unintentionally be telling some of the truth when it claims that the deadly surface-to-air missile was fired from “rebel-held eastern Ukraine.” The location may be correct, but the people who pulled the trigger were the very military forces that Washington is backing and directing.

One gets the feeling that Russia has the aim and ability to shoot down these Western lies, and to show up Western politicians and media for what they are: a criminal enterprise of lies and war-making.



Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The MirrorIrish Times and Independent. Originally from Belfast, Ireland, he is now located in East Africa as a freelance journalist, where he is writing a book on Bahrain and the Arab Spring, based on eyewitness experience working in the Persian Gulf as an editor of a business magazine and subsequently as a freelance news correspondent. The author was deported from Bahrain in June 2011 because of his critical journalism in which he highlighted systematic human rights violations by regime forces. He is now a columnist on international politics for Press TV and the Strategic Culture Foundation.More articles by Finian Cunningham

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Another USA motive revealed; Hillary Tells EU to Use MH17 Tragedy to Find Alternatives to Gazprom (dollar dumping gas giant)!bi3MrZ

Ah, now the agenda is starting to make a bit more sense. Hillary Clinton doesn’t want a good crisis to go to waste. She told Charlie Rose that her recommendation to the European Union is to take advantage of the shot-down MH17 tragedy to “Immediately accelerate efforts to find alternatives to Gazprom.”

Moscow-based Gazprom is the largest producer of natural gas in the world and one of the globe’s largest companies. A few weeks back on June 26th they announced that they would settle contracts with China using yuan or rubles instead of dollars. This move came about one month after Russia and China announced a record $400B gas deal. That’s a whole lot of dollars that won’t be needed in the international economy.

Couple that with the launch of the BRICS development bank, and motive for aggressive posturing towards Russia becomes a bit clearer.

At the same time, many are now saying that the true reason for Israel’s brutal air-bombing and invasion of Gaza is to secure Palestinian gas reserves valued at $4B.

In this context, it certainly looks like Western powers are making morally questionable moves to secure resources that are currently out of their control, a practice commonly known as expanding corporate empire by force.

False Flag Over Ukraine and Israel’s Ground Invasion of Gaza

kenny’s sideshow

Shot down or blown up with a bomb or whatever, the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 has all the fingerprints of a false flag. Maybe a multifaceted one including a diversion from Israel’s ground invasion into Gaza.

We may get distracted but we’re not being fooled. Very little the controlled media will tell us about the downed flight will be even close to the truth but they are working overtime to convince us.

Israel Invades Gaza

Initially I assumed Israel would time their ground invasion portion of the Palestinian genocide in Gaza to coincide with the Final match of the World Cup.  It appears the apartheid, rogue, nuclear armed, terror State has instead chose to step up aggression under the cover of the shoot down of a Malaysia Airlines 777 over the Ukraine.  Whether the shoot down was a false flag to be blamed on Russia in order to push us ever closer to another Rothschild bankster World War remains to be seen; But the timing seems rather convenient for the Zionist regime.

Jim Stone’s take on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 including this point.

“Sure a lot of debris from this Malaysian airlines flight. Why so little for flight 93 in Pennsylvania?”

ABC News tonight did do a feature on the Israelis entering Gaza. Gotta get the tunnels they said .So the MSM is not totally ignoring this as Jim was saying. They can’t. It would be too obvious. Gaza is definitely playing second fiddle though. A Nashville NBC affiliate is preempting their last half hour of local news to focus exclusively on the Malaysian flight.

JEW BUTCHERS, Malaysian Air Flight 17 and 370 and a Sharp Dressed Man- Greg Bacon

Getting Past the Lies? Unconfirmed:  Malaysian plane mistaken for Putin’s private jet which had flown over the area only moments before, leaving Israel and the Kiev junta as prime suspects.  This may well have been an assassination attempt on Putin. Gordon Duff and Jim Dean

I noticed on one picture from this source there are bodies lying on the right side of the debris field and that the debris field is charred as if there were a rather large fire, yet the bodies and the clothes they are wearing are not. And they are all on the same side, in a row. –  Scott Creighton
Jody has doubts too.

Strange things can happen in a shot down/bombed crash but I’d like to see an explanation for what appears to be an anomaly.

Penny has been updating on the event. Lots of comments.
Many links at WRH if you’re OK with going there. Zero Hedge has coverage also.

Kiev deployed powerful surface-to-air missile systems to E. Ukraine ahead of the Malaysian plane crash – RT

Hot times a-coming……

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Flight MH370 families start whistle-blower fund

BEIJING — Relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are launching a crowd-funding campaign to raise a $3 million reward for a whistle-blower to expose key information, and $2 million for private investigators to follow up leads.

Almost three months after the plane disappeared, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, some relatives are frustrated by the failure of the official search to find any concrete evidence, and say they are convinced that authorities are concealing the truth.

“We are taking matters into our own hands,” said Sarah Bajc, a U.S. citizen whose partner Philip Wood, 50, an IBM executive from Texas, was on the flight. “There is no credible evidence” the plane is in the southern Indian Ocean, where planes, boats and a minisub have searched in vain for weeks, she said. “I’m convinced that somebody is concealing something,” said Bajc, 48, a business studies teacher in Beijing and former executive with Microsoft.

Called ‘Reward MH370: The Search for the Truth’, the campaign will launch Monday on the crowd-funding website Indiegogo, with minimum donations of $5. The relatives got permission from Indiegogo to raise money for a reward, which the firm has not previously permitted, Bajc said.

Of the $5 million sought, $3 million will be put up as reward for a whistle-blower to come forward, and $2 million will pay for private investigation services to follow up on leads, Bajc said. The campaign will hire a professional company licensed to operate in multiple countries. Bajc expects its work to include securing court orders, such as to pull cellphone tower records from underneath the flight path.

The campaign is an initiative of family members from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, France and India, Bajc said, and does not involve relatives of passengers from China or Malaysia, whose citizens formed the majority of passengers on the flight.

“Granted, $2 million in investigation services won’t go very far,” Bajc acknowledged. “Clearly, they’ve already spent $100 million dollars and they’ve gotten nothing. But we’re not going to approach it with boats in the ocean, we’re going to approach it with human intelligence,” she said.

Potential donors should understand “there are no promises here, but we believe we need to try something, as if we just sit back on our heels and allow the existing path to continue, I don’t think this will ever be solved,” she said. The relatives hope they turn up a “a whistle-blower who says, ‘I know where to find this,’ ” or a flight controller who can access new data, but expect they will also encounter “some unethical people,” Bajc said. “I don’t care. I just want to find the plane.”

Australian transportation authorities, who lead the official search, will hire a specialist company to begin a renewed underwater search in a revised search zone in August. A Chinese ship is conducting underwater mapping of the ocean floor to assist the later search. The U.S. Navy’s minisub Bluefin-21 is no longer being used.

“If there was any evidence that that plane was wrecked in the water, even a seat cushion, I would be taking a totally different approach,” Bajc said. “But there’s been nothing.” The relatives are inspired by the example of family members after the 2009 crash of an Air France plane, located after two years.

“Air France was also declared unsolvable and un-findable. Family members got together and insisted the search be kept alive,” she said.

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