Blaming Russia as ‘Flat Fact’

Exclusive: The American rush to judgment blaming ethnic Russian rebels and Russian President Putin for the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 continues unabated despite other possible explanations, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

As nuclear-armed America hurtles into a completely avoidable crash with nuclear-armed Russia over Ukraine, you can now see the dangers of “information warfare” when facts give way to propaganda and the press fails to act as an impartial arbiter.

In this sorry affair, one of the worst offenders of journalistic principles has been the New York Times, generally regarded as America’s premier newspaper. During the Ukraine crisis, the Times has been little more than a propaganda conveyor belt delivering what the U.S. government wants out via shoddy and biased reporting from the likes of Michael R. Gordon and David Herszenhorn.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a crowd on May 9, 2014, celebrating the 69th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Crimean port city of  Sevastopol from the Nazis. (Russian government photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a crowd on May 9, 2014, celebrating the 69th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Crimean port city of Sevastopol from the Nazis. (Russian government photo)

The Times reached what was arguably a new low on Sunday when it accepted as flat fact the still unproven point of how Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down. The Times dropped all attribution despite what appear to be growing – rather than diminishing – doubts about Official Washington’s narrative that Ukrainian rebels shot down the plane by using a powerful Russian-supplied Buk missile battery.

U.S. and Ukrainian government officials began pushing this narrative immediately after the plane went down on July 17 killing 298 people onboard. But the only evidence has been citations of “social media” and the snippet of an intercepted phone call containing possibly confused comments by Ukrainian rebels after the crash, suggesting that some rebels initially believed they had shot the plane down but later reversed that judgment.

A major problem with this evidence is that it assumes the rebels – or for that matter the Ukrainian armed forces – operate with precise command and control when the reality is that the soldiers on both sides are not very professional and function in even a deeper fog of war than might exist in other circumstances.

Missing Images

But an even bigger core problem for the U.S. narrative is that it is virtually inconceivable that American intelligence did not have satellite and other surveillance on eastern Ukraine at the time of the shoot-down. Yet the U.S. government has been unable (or unwilling) to supply a single piece of imagery showing the Russians supplying a Buk anti-aircraft missile battery to the rebels; the rebels transporting the missiles around eastern Ukraine; the rebels firing the fateful missile that allegedly brought down the Malaysian airliner; or the rebels then returning the missiles to Russia.

To accept Official Washington’s certainty about what it “knows” happened, you would have to believe that American spy satellites – considered the best in the world – could not detect 16-feet-tall missiles during their odyssey around Russia and eastern Ukraine. If that is indeed the case, the U.S. taxpayers should demand their billions upon billions of dollars back.

However, the failure of U.S. intelligence to release its satellite images of Buk missile batteries in eastern Ukraine is the “dog-not-barking” evidence that this crucial evidence to support the U.S. government’s allegations doesn’t exist. Can anyone believe that if U.S. satellite images showed the missiles crossing the border, being deployed by the rebels and then returning to Russia, that those images would not have been immediately declassified and shown to the world? In this case, the absence of evidence is evidence of absence – absence of U.S. evidence.

The U.S. government’s case also must overcome public remarks by senior U.S. military personnel at variance with the Obama administration’s claims of certainty. For instance, the Washington Post’s Craig Whitlock reported last Saturday that Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, U.S. commander of NATO forces in Europe, said last month that “We have not seen any of the [Russian] air-defense vehicles across the border yet.”

Whitlock also reported that “Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said defense officials could not point to specific evidence that an SA-11 [Buk] surface-to-air missile system had been transported from Russia into eastern Ukraine.”

There’s also the possibility that a Ukrainian government missile – either from its own Buk missile batteries fired from the ground or from a warplane in the sky – brought down the Malaysian plane. I was told by one source who had been briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts that some satellite images suggest that the missile battery was under the control of Ukrainian government troops but that the conclusion was not definitive.

Plus, there were reports from eyewitnesses in the area of the crash that at least one Ukrainian jet fighter closed on the civilian plane shortly before it went down. The Russian government also has cited radar data supposedly showing Ukrainian fighters in the vicinity.

Need for a Real Inquiry

What all this means is that a serious and impartial investigation is needed to determine who was at fault and to apportion accountability. But that inquiry is still underway with no formal conclusions.

So, in terms of journalistic professionalism, a news organization should treat the mystery of who shot down Flight 17 with doubt. Surely, no serious journalist would jump to the conclusion based on the dubious claims made by one side in a dispute while the other side is adamant in its denials, especially with the stakes so high in a tense confrontation between two nuclear powers.

But that is exactly what the Times did in describing new U.S. plans to escalate the confrontation by possibly supplying tactical intelligence to the Ukrainian army so it can more effectively wage war against eastern Ukrainian rebels.

On Sunday, the Times wrote: “At the core of the debate, said several [U.S.] officials — who, like others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the policy deliberations are still in progress — is whether the American goal should be simply to shore up a Ukrainian government reeling from the separatist attacks, or to send a stern message to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin by aggressively helping Ukraine target the missiles Russia has provided. Those missiles have taken down at least five aircraft in the past 10 days, including Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.” [Emphasis added.]

The link provided by the Times’ online version of the story connects to an earlier Times’ story that attributed the accusations blaming Russia to U.S. “officials.” But this new story drops that attribution and simply accepts the claims as flat fact.

The danger of American “information warfare” that treats every development in the Ukraine crisis as an opportunity to blame Putin and ratchet up tensions with Russia has been apparent since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis – as has been the clear anti-Russian bias of the Times and virtually every other outlet of the mainstream U.S. news media. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Will Ukraine Be NYT’s Waterloo?”]

Since the start of the crisis last year, U.S. officials and American-funded non-governmental organizations have not only pushed a one-sided story but have been pushing a dangerous agenda, seeking to create a collision between the United States and Russia and, more personally, between President Barack Obama and President Putin.

The vehicle for this head-on collision between Russia and the United States was the internal political disagreement in Ukraine over whether elected President Viktor Yanukovych should have accepted harsh International Monetary Fund austerity demands as the price for associating with the European Union or agree to a more generous offer from Russia.

Angered last September when Putin helped Obama avert a planned U.S. bombing campaign against Syria, American neocons were at the forefront of this strategy. Their principal need was to destroy the Putin-Obama collaboration, which also was instrumental in achieving a breakthrough on the Iran nuclear dispute (while the neocons were hoping that the U.S. military might bomb Iran, too).

So, on Sept. 26, 2013, Carl Gershman, a leading neocon and longtime president of the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy, took to the op-ed page of the neocon-flagship Washington Post to urge the U.S. government to push European “free trade” agreements on Ukraine and other former Soviet states and thus counter Moscow’s efforts to maintain close relations with those countries.

The ultimate goal, according to Gershman, was isolating and possibly toppling Putin in Russia with Ukraine the key piece on this global chessboard. “Ukraine is the biggest prize,” Gershman wrote. “Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”

To give the United States more leverage inside Ukraine, Gershman’s NED paid for scores of projects, including training “activists” and supporting “journalists.” Rather than let the Ukrainian political process sort out this disagreement, U.S. officials, such as neocon Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and neocon Sen. John McCain, also intervened to encourage increasingly disruptive demonstrations seeking to overthrow Yanukovych when he opted for the Russian deal over the EU-IMF offer.

Though much of the ensuing violence was instigated by neo-Nazi militias that had moved to the front of the anti-Yanukovych protests, the U.S. government and its complicit news media blamed every act of violence on Yanukovych and the police, including a still mysterious sniper attack that left both protesters and police dead.

On Feb. 21, Yanukovych denied ordering any shootings and tried to stem the violence by signing an agreement brokered by three European nations to reduce his powers and hold early elections so he could be voted out of office. He also complied with a demand from Vice President Joe Biden to pull back Ukrainian police. Then, the trap sprang shut.

Neo-Nazi militias overran government buildings and forced Yanukovych and his officials to flee for their lives. The State Department quickly endorsed the coup regime – hastily formed by the remnants of the parliament – as “legitimate.” Besides passing bills offensive to ethnic Russians in the east, one of the parliament’s top priorities was to enact the IMF austerity plan.

White Hats/Black Hats

Though the major U.S. news media was aware of these facts – and indeed you could sometimes detect the reality by reading between the lines of dispatches from the field – the overriding U.S. narrative was that the coup-makers were the “white hats” and Yanukovych along with Putin were the “black hats.” Across the U.S. media, Putin was mocked for riding on a horse shirtless and other indiscretions. For the U.S. media, it was all lots of fun, as was the idea of reprising the Cold War with Moscow.

When the people of Crimea – many of whom were ethnic Russians – voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, the U.S. media declared the move a Russian “invasion” although the Russian troops were already in Ukraine as part of an agreement with previous Ukrainian governments.

Every development that could be hyped was hyped. There was virtually no nuance in the news reporting, a lack of professionalism led by the New York Times. Yet, the solution to the crisis was always relatively obvious: a federalized system that would allow the ethnic Russians in the east a measure of self-governance and permit Ukraine to have cordial economic relations with both the EU and Russia.

But replacement President Petro Poroshenko – elected when a secession fight was already underway in the east – refused to negotiate with the ethnic Russian rebels who had rejected the ouster of Yanukovych. Sensing enough political support inside the U.S. government, Poroshenko opted for a military solution.

It was in that context of a massive Ukrainian government assault on the east that Russia stepped up its military assistance to the beleaguered rebels, including the apparent provision of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to fend off Kiev’s air superiority. The rebels did succeed in shooting down some Ukrainian warplanes flying at altitudes far below the 33,000 feet of the Malaysia Airlines plane.

For a plane at that height to be shot down required a more powerful system, like the Buk anti-aircraft batteries or an air-to-air missile fired by a fighter jet. Which brings us to the mystery of what happened on the afternoon of July 17 and why it is so important to let a serious investigation evaluate all the available evidence and not to have a rush to judgment.

But the idea of doing an investigation first and drawing conclusions second is a concept that, apparently, neither the U.S. government nor the New York Times accepts. They would prefer to start with the conclusion and then make a serious investigation irrelevant, one more casualty of information warfare.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

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56 comments on “Blaming Russia as ‘Flat Fact’

  1. incontinent reader on said:

    Another excellent, excellent article.

  2. Mike on said:

    Nice piece!

  3. ignasi orobitg gene on said:

    What I think is that we are rolling a snowball rotten, and in the course of the history I met some facts that are totally ignoble that justice conviction penalties are serious when committed by citizens.
    The press keeps clothes and swims like a lousy teacher not to tell sab lesson that can only read the book.
    And We, the free citizens, raise your hand and ask you do not understand having a reasoned opinion and rigorous but our media respond as we do with the children by Santa Claus.
    Do not we deserve this after working so many generations that a few idiots ruin us and while we as children ‘s.
    Many of us add voices in the choir of Truth

  4. I don’t think you can say that the US has not provided any satellite imagery (see link). However, it is interesting that in the US “evidence” below Russian missile batteries are marked as such, while mystery Ukrainian sites are simply described as “military units.” What kind of military units are deployed in cornfields? Likely the same as Russia’s.
    http://www.npr.org/assets/news/2014/07/Evidence-of-Russian-Firing-into-Ukraine.pdf

    • Clever Handle on said:

      Those are images of Russia firing ground to ground artillery into eastern Ukraine. They don’t, and aren’t meant to, verify Washington’s claim that ethnic Russian separatists in Ukraine downed MH17, which is what Robert writes about here.

      • Brendan on said:

        So the US presents satellite photos implicating Russia in cross-border artillery fire but still hasn’t released any images of the the MH17 crash area. That only reinforces the suspicion that they are hiding something.

    • F. G. Sanford on said:

      The manner in which these photos were “released” is not consistent with standard operating procedure or appropriate media outlet venues for “official” press releases. They are most likely a fraud. If the American public takes the bait, the State Department wins a propaganda victory. If the fraud is exposed, they can use “plausible deniability” to exculpate themselves from this deception. This is the EXACT same strategy that was used in the “Government Assessment” released on Syrian poison gas – pretending that the “release” was an “official” intelligence assessment rather than a low fraud. Please see Paul Craig Roberts article, “Another State Department Hoax?”

  5. Ma hongqing on said:

    Very good analysis about Malysia flight 17 incident. The series articles open the eye for the incident. The mainstream media, even in China, following the voice of the US government, despite so many uncertain things are to be clarified. I strongly believe I can get rational and reliable information from your webside.

  6. njdoc on said:

    Mr. Parry, please continue with your work. We must avoid a military confrontation with Russia at all costs. I think people here have not seen a real war for so long that they don’t fear it. Even if it was not nuclear, a war with Russia would not be war fought by “warriors” pushing buttons in an air conditioned room. It would be a terrible war of attrition with massive casualties. It’s just unthinkable.

  7. alexRUssiya on said:

    I am surprised that in the USA there are analysts such as Robert Perry .
    and I am pleased that not all U.S. citizens support the politicians who lie and deceive the whole world and his country.
    I would really like to America and Russia lived together and not fought, both behind the scenes and in the open.

    I wish everyone good, Russian guy from Russia Alexander

    • Joe Tedesky on said:

      People are people, Alex.

      Robert Parry does a great job of reporting. Yet, America’s Main Stream Media isn’t so great. Our media started beating up on Putin right before the beginning of the Sochi Olympics. At a time when we should have started loving Putin, our media started making fun of him.

      It’s how we all (everywhere) get the news….& people are people!
      Peace

  8. F. G. Sanford on said:

    Follow the money…or in this case, the pipeline. What’s gas and oil got to do with the Neocon frothing and mainstream fomenting? Bear with me on this one.

    Journalist Chris Floyd writes, “One hundred and ten bombing raids, a military incursion, 17 killings, mass arrests — all before Hamas fired a single rocket. This is what Obama — and every single member of the United States Senate — call an “unprovoked attack.”"

    “Journalist” John Graham writes, “As evidence mounts of their complicity in the disaster, Russia is now thrown on the defensive…the glare of global condemnations and threats of significantly more painful economic sanctions…revolting pictures of the carnage of MH-17, should provide both time and support for current peace initiatives.” Graham, who claims to be an “international peacemaker, active in the Middle East and Africa”, has a bio that definitely reads more like a CIA covert operative than a legitimate journalist, made these observations from the Caux Conference on Just Governance, held annually in “an old hotel tucked away in the mountains above Montreaux”, Switzerland. (Journalism is nice work, if you can get it, but the CIA pays better.)

    Switzerland wouldn’t seem to figure heavily in all this, except that Ihor Kolomoisky happens to live there. He’s the 2nd wealthiest oligarch in Ukraine, the leader of the Ukrainian mafia, owner of Privat Bank, the Ukrainian metal industry, and in 2011 took over the gas sector. Ihor controls a private militia called the “Dnieper-1 Brigade”, has publicly offered $1 million for the murder of a political enemy, Oleg Tsarev, and $10,000 for each “Russian saboteur” arrested on his turf. An Israeli citizen regarded as a “philanthropist” in his home country, Kolomoisky is the guy who hired Hunter Biden. And, some sources “speculate” (they’re actually pretty sure) Ihor has his own personal Buk Missile Battery.

    But the coup de gras, as Nafeez Ahmed writes, is “Israel desperately covets Gaza’s gas as a ‘cheap stop-gap’ yielding revenues of $6-7 billion a year, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The UK’s BG and the US’s Noble Energy are lined up to do the dirty work – but first Hamas must be ‘uprooted’ from Gaza, and Fatah bullied into cutting off its talks with Russia’s Gazprom.”

    OK, everybody that still thinks Russian separatists shot down the plane, clap your hands. Applause-O-Meter says…it says these fools are absolutely desperate.

  9. Elena on said:

    So, this is how it looks like to me:
    1) Relentlessly lie about Russia and Putin, get absolute support of general population for any possible action against Russia.
    2) Destroy economy of Russia, and ,by the way, of West Europe as well.
    3)Use Ukraine as a military base right beside Russia.
    4) War ?
    I have pretty simple mind, Is this the plan ? Do I understand it right ?

    • Joe Tedesky on said:

      You nailed Elena. It’s called “Operation Chaos”. Not sure how it all ends, but just make more pretend money & profit! I guess????

    • In general, you are right. But not on the last point: WAR. The other side (Russia) can fight back. Therefore the goal is government-change in Russia and specifically Putin’s fall. Sanctions are the main goal of the downing of MH17 and the desired long term outcome is isolated Russia ravaged by economic and social difficulties, Russian oligarchs working for the US as in Yeltsin time (Russian Poroshenkos), all to be finished off by an NGO-lead revolution. In essence, Ukraine Redux.

      • Serg Derbst on said:

        But Russia is not isolated at all. Don’t forget the BRICS who have just founded a “world bank” of their own.

  10. Colin Brace on said:

    I live in the Netherlands, and the media here has fallen for the conventional narrative hook, line, and sinker. The public perception is now quite simply that it was “Putin’s missile” and that the Eastern rebels are thieves and scoundrels. Because it is obviously a deeply emotional issue, there is no space in the public discourse for an alternative narrative.

    • Fallen for? Sorry, but it reads more like you have fallen for believing that your media has fallen for some narrative. They know very well what they are doing, but as long as there are people who believe in chance and honest mistakes and falling for, they are winning. 99.9% of what media say is in someone’s interest, nothing to do with truth or reality.

    • Serg Derbst on said:

      Seriously? Here in Germany the media is facing a shit-storm of comments against their silly propaganda. They have even started to insult their readers as “Putinversteher” (“understanders of Putin” – in German this has a condescending notion) or as being paid by or at least controlled by Moscow, namely Spiegel and FAZ. Many (including me) have stopped paying their TV license fees (GEZ), which is mandatory by law, but public TV and radio also have a duty for balanced and informative information.

      In fact, more and more Germans are waking up to this and the view of America has never been so bad since 1945. When I express my views honestly, I used to get puzzled face or angry replies or was ridiculed as anti-American just one year ago. Now most people will just agree or remain silent. Polls show that Putin still has a lot of trust over here. The propaganda is counter-productive here.

      I would have expected the Dutch to be more sceptical, to be honest. But after all, we owe much to the Russians (reunion etc.).

  11. onno frowein on said:

    US foreign politics has been a disaster since WW II and US involvement in Russia and Ukraine dispute shows it again. Lack of knowledge – or even worse the thought that USA politicians – think they can write their own history in the world bypassing hundreds of years of creation is a SCARY.
    The downing of MH 17 and the cover-up by Washington is a foreign-policy-scheme like USA had so many before -Bay-of-Pigs, Allende murder in Chile, Panama and more recent Iraq and Afghanistan all full of murders and as they say in Washington of ‘classified information’ which can not be released now and has to wait 20 years to be known to the public.
    In the meantime USA-NATO-EU uses psychological warfare against Russia and President Putin in particular by using the powerful MSM scheme and journalists who don’t want to be blacklisted by the White House so they can enjoy a ‘ free ride on Air Force One or on the plane with VP Biden and John Kerry whose personal interests in Ukraine with their son Hunter resp. stepson involved with shale gas projects (Burisma Holdings Ltd) in Ukraine with the help of a criminal oligarch Kolomoisky (Kiev appointeed governor of Dnepropetrovsk Oblast) who had put $ 500.000 on the head of Putin. I am sure the White House had doubled this.
    My theory is also the fact that President Putin returning from South America was within 20 minutes of the fatal MH 17 when flying over Warsaw. Plus the exterior sign of both planes -with blue-white-red- stripes look very similar enough for the Ukrainian Army to shoot it down a typical mistaken identity similar to the US downing of a commercial airliner Iran Air 655 in 1988 by US Navy in the Persian Gulf.
    In the USA they speak about ‘innocent until proven guilty but in case of President Putin he was guilty after Crimea voted to become part of the Russian Federation.
    On top of that NATO has 2 surveillance ships ( French frigate SURCOUF and USS VELA GULF) in the Black Sea equipped with highly sophisticated electronc devices only 350 miles away from the MH 17 crash site.
    So indeed if USA had the facts pointing the BUK missile attack to Russia it would have been spread all over the world but since this is NOT the case USA, NATO and EU are using MSM propaganda daily and hourly to BRAINWASH the public.

    • Dahoit on said:

      Yep,that’s my take also,and they are screaming behind the scenes about trying to kill Putin;Very very provocative and a sign of insanity.

  12. B. Randy Kirsch on said:

    When are people going to accept the truth? It’s Russia’s fault! Putin personally did it!
    Whether it’s a missile downing a commuter plane, the melting of the polar ice caps, or your dog shit on the carpet. Don’t blame the dog. Blame Putin!
    Show me evidence to the contrary? It’s fake!
    Just last weekend, at the racetrack, Russia made my horse come in dead last.
    Now i have to tell my landlord, if he wants my rent money, he can get it from Putin!

  13. Brendan on said:

    “Russia stepped up its military assistance to the beleaguered rebels, including the apparent provision of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles”.

    Mr Perry, is there any evidence that Russia (that’s the Russian government, not individuals) provided any military assistance to the rebels? The Russian government denies that it did and the rebels’ weapons could have been captured from the Ukrainian army.

    If you do not offer any evidence for your claims, are you not guilty of the same thing that you accuse other media organisations of?

  14. Hillary on said:

    Mr. Rumsfield knew EXACTLY where the Iraqui WMD’s were.
    General Colin Powell showed “THEM” to the world.
    The New York Times and the Murdoch Media Empire did the rest.
    How can anyone ignore the above and still believe and trust.

  15. Eugene on said:

    Ukraine always tells lies and current events in Ukraine are the direct result of these lies. People of Maidan wanted to change Ukraine and it was changed for the worst because oligarch became a president and nationalists entered parliament. People saw their expectations were betrayed and they are not going to leave Maidan until the mistake will be fixed. Of course junta is not satisfied with it and wants to suppress the new pocket of resistance in Kiev but they had no chance to do this without cover and operation in the east, the MH17 tragedy and blaming Russia in all Ukraine’s troubles became a good chance. While attention of the whole world is distracted, Kiev’s junta prepares to disperse the new Maidan just by calling all these people accomplices of terrorists in the east. And I won’t be surprised if soon Kiev’s main square again will be on fire.

  16. Mike Rennie on said:

    It was recently stated (by the pro-Western Kiev government) that the eastern Ukrainian rebels shot down some Su-25′s at about 5000 meter altitude, thus “proving” that they had active Buks that they knew how to use.

    I’d like to point out that the rebels have already admitted they had MANPADS, but a lot of “journalists” take this to mean they can only attack planes at 2.5 to 3 km altitude – without a working Buk system. The Chinese QW-3 MANPADS can hit up to 5 km high, with a range of 8 km. Russia and China are close allies in SCO – I wouldn’t be surprised if the rebels had managed to acquire some small Chinese weapons.

    The rebels never said exactly what MANPADS they had, as far as I know – and by shooting down Kiev planes at 5000 meters, that policy seems to be working.

    • Mike Rennie:

      Just to be clear:

      5000 meters is a good bit less than 32,000 feet. (5000m is about 16400′)

    • Mike Rennie on said:

      Jay:

      Yes, of course.
      See “Two Ukrainian military jets shot down over rebel-held area” in Washington Post:
      TOREZ, Ukraine — Separatists fighting the Kiev government claimed responsibility for shooting down two warplanes Wednesday over eastern Ukraine near where a passenger airliner crashed last week after being struck by a missile.

      The attack on the warplanes came just six days after the Malaysia Airlines disaster, which has drawn international outrage and showcased the advanced firepower that apparently is available on the ground in the region. The Ukrainian military said Wednesday that the two planes were flying at nearly 17,000 feet — an altitude that is out of the reach of the shoulder-fired missiles that the rebels said they had used to down the jets.

      See what they did there ? Assume MANPADS can’t reach 5000 meters (nearly 17,000 feet – 16,550 feet is “nearly 17,000″ and also 5044 meters) – implying to the reader that the rebels are lying about 2 planes they obviously shot down, therefore they have something that shoots higher than MANPADS (which they are assuming cannot reach 5 km, since many models only reach 3.5 km) – something like a Buk SAM system. Which the rebels said they don’t have, therefore couldn’t have shot down MH17.

      “We shot them down with MANPADS,” said rebel spokesman Sergey Kavtaradze, referring to shoulder-mounted missiles that can reach a limited altitude.

      Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told reporters in Kiev that the planes were flying too high to be hit by such a weapon.
      “It can be reached only by heavy missile complexes,” he said.

      Or QW-3 MANPADS – making the rebels the truth tellers, and the Kiev regime non-stop propagandists.

  17. These are 3 blogs I’ve written regarding the MH17 Incident – please review and comment
    1) An open letter to Robert Parry & Tom Engelhardt & the Families of Flight #MH17 – A Rant of the West – #MH17 – http://whiteapple.ninja/
    2) How to Seduce A Bear while Running Down the Mountain – http://whiteapple.ninja/index.php/8-technological-progress-and-moral-evolution/4-a-perspective-on-cold-war-disarmament
    3) MH17 Regarding the Shelling of the Donetsk Train Station 7/21 by Kiev forces or Making the Dead Wait – http://whiteapple.ninja/index.php/8-technological-progress-and-moral-evolution/5-kiev-conflicts-itself
    any feedback is good, and Robert, I love your work, right up there with Tom Engelhardt
    sincerely, whiteapple

  18. feel free to redact if needed ;)

  19. Aleks on said:

    Russian tanks enter whether to Kiev -continued. Arayik Sargsyan,academician,President of the Geropolitical Academy. At the beginning of this article, we reflect on the question of whether Russian tanks enter the Ukrainian capital, Kiev or bypassing they will release from Dnipropetrovsk and Odessa National Socialist Kolomoyskogo. http://knowpc.ru/razgovory-obo-vsem/vojdut-li-russkie-tanki-v-kiev/.

    On the role of ethnic Jews in the Ukrainian crisis wrote many political scientists. But for us the details of the meeting remained a mystery to the days of Mr. Putin in the Kremlin with a delegation of rabbis from several foreign countries – Israel, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and France. During the meeting they discussed the possibility of transferring part of the Crimea and Sevastopol World Zionist Organization: http://www.kremlin.ru/news/46180.

    I must say that this group of rabbis could go and governor of Dnepropetrovsk Kolomoysky, who is also the head of the Jewish organizations in Europe. Analyzing the open part of the conversation of the President of the Russian Federation with the leaders of the World Jewish organization, it can be stated that the Jews Putin presented the bill, which look like this: “since 1942 in Sevastopol, the German fascists loss of about 2 thousand representatives of the Jewish community, this should convey Russia part of Crimea from Sevastopol to free use of the worldwide Jewish organizations. ”
    Ara Sarkissian, academician, Honorary Consul of Macedonia to Armenia, Vice-President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Russia.
    http://knowpc.ru/razgovory-obo-vsem/vojdut-li-russkie-tanki-v-kiev-prodolzhenie/

  20. Leah on said:

    I am ethnic Russian and my husband is an American (born and raised). His thinking, like I am sure of many others: “I don’t care about what is going on in Ukraine, but I believe the Washington Post and CNN”. I can’t make someone care about what is going on there, but how can I explain to him that the politicians of this country, supported by the Mass Media’s hysteria are pushing us towards WWIII, the war that will end this country and countries across the world…. Sadly, mainstream belief in the US is “oh, it is overseas, we are safe here”, “we don’t care, just as long as we have our big screen tvs, Walmarts, Starbucks and the market is making money”… I would like to do something positive and constructive to change that point of view, but I am at a loss at this point. Readers – any thoughts? What can we do?

    • Joe Tedesky. on said:

      Leah, I truly believe some people just can’t handle the truth. Although, if someone were to show real interest, then turn them on to some of the sites such as this one. Gathering news is a full time job anymore. It would be nice if we could all trust the Main Stream Media, but we can’t. So not much else one can do, but BE HAPPY!

  21. per Investment Watch Blog – NEW MH17 SENSATION: German experts point finger at Ukrainian air-force jets. http://investmentwatchblog.com/new-mh17-sensation-german-experts-point-finger-at-ukrainian-air-force-jets/

    • Serg Derbst on said:

      Yea, I saw this today. Very conclusive, ain’t it? I find his speculation bit the most shocking. After all, Putin’s plane was on the way back from Brazil just shortly before the incident, wasn’t it?

  22. Drunk Bear with Balalaika on said:

    Thank you, Robert. Wonderful article.

  23. Ivan D. on said:

    Can you, please, explpain why do you call rebels to be “Russian ethnic” insted of “pro-Russian”? Do you try to manipulate your readers?

    • Clever Handle on said:

      Pro-Russian is the manipulative language, Ivan. They are ethnic Russians. The English speaking media avoids that construction, though, because it immediately evokes ethnic cleansing, which is exactly what is going on in Eastern Ukraine.

      • Ivan D. on said:

        I reside in Odessa, i speak Russian much better than Ukrainian and i know for sure that what is going on in Eastern Ukraine is definitely not an ethnic based conflict.

        • Dear Ivan,
          If you lived in Doneck, you would know whether it’s an ethnical cleansing or not. Odessa is not being bombed, is it?

      • Sandy on said:

        What counts even more than ethnicity in this matter – they are CULTURALLY Russian. Many people in the East of Ukraine are of mixed Russian/Ukranian origin but what’s crucial is their Russian identity – the language, the tradition, the history.

  24. First of all, if Ukraine is responsible for the downing of MH17, no one – I repeat: no one – in Washington can and will ever admit.

    Second, the downing of MH 17 was of course a welcome opportunity for Israel to step up its operation Protective Edge. The more general outcry over the “innocent lives” in that airliner, the less shame on Israel for collectively punishing the “guilty” in Gaza.

    One plus one makes two!

    So, for a hell of reasons it is very, very important for USA government and for its yes-men that people will keep buying into this version of history.

  25. Sergey on said:

    In Ukraine the fascists with the support of the U.S. bombing of civilians on airplanes, guns and tanks only because they are Russians

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NE18iPQ1Euk#t=868
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKuDzXAgdf4

  26. Dato on said:

    But an even bigger core problem for the U.S. narrative is that it is virtually inconceivable that American intelligence did not have satellite and other surveillance on eastern Ukraine at the time of the shoot-down.

    Why? AFAIK there are no drone flights going on and the US has no U-2 or SR-71 in operation. That leaves a satellite to get photos. But for this, you need to 1) Have it overhead – these things are not overhead all the time, indeed they only have a few minutes than it’s on to the next orbit. 2) Have it looking at the correct spot – you must KNOW what your are looking for, you cannot just photograph the whole swath of the Donbass for later analysis.

    You will have the offending battery on film if you are lucky…

    • Serg Derbst on said:

      Well, the Russians said there was an American spy-satellite overhead at the time the plane was brought down. Of course, that’s debatable, but I also haven’t heard of any American official even denying this.

  27. george A on said:

    Be very careful what you read in any article–internet or media. Why Malaysia 2 planes? Has USA a vendetta towards Malaysia of their 2012 911 hearings?
    the downing of the two Ukrainian Jets–just after MK 17 jet liner downing–most likely was done by USA operatives or done on purpose as evidence russian rebels had the means.
    MK plane left Amsterdam airport with over 190 dutch–nice set up to get the Europeans on board for WWIII. I’ll bet $100 to anyone–time bomb was placed in the cargo hold of the doomed plane–by Israel operatives for–two reasons-cover Gaza media coverage and go after Russia–2 birds with one stone

  28. Carroll Price on said:

    All you really need to know about all “news” the public is allowed to see or hear (including news associated with the Ukraine situation) is that it is first analyzed and approved by members of the Tribe to determine whether or not it serves the interest of Israel, with any news not doing so censored from public consumption. As everyone surely knows by now, The New York Times, which ranks as the nation’s premier propaganda organ, has been owned by the Tribal since its inception.

  29. Dave Nielsen on said:

    Your article doesn’t even mention the audio recording … why not? Because you’re obviously trying to hide it. BTW, If this translation is accurate, it’s pretty damning of the Russian-backed rebels. Here’s a video of the audio https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnuHxAR01Jo

    • Sandy on said:

      Is it hard or time consuming to “edit” an audio recording? Particularly when your audience doesn’t understand a word of what’s being said there – and doesn’t care about it anyway? Do you also have any Photoshop collages to share?

  30. I am russian and work at the museum of Leo Tolstoy. Not long ago we gathered money in our museum for the Ukranian refugees — there are thousands and thousands of them and THEY ALL TELL US THE SAME. Thay do not want to go back to Ukraine, because there is a really FASHIST regime there and they are just afraid of their authorities. And they all just do not understand how Europe and the USA can support the killers????? It is not Russia — Russia never made any so called ‘orange revolution’ in any country. The Eastern Ukraine (which is mostly Russian by blood) never killed a non-military person of the Western or central Ukraine. But the official ukrainian army killed a lot of kids, old people and women and made then leave their homes! They are sure that USA would support them in it! The refugees told how the so called ‘terrorists’ helped them to run away from the bombing, and the nazi-army shoot them in the backs!!! these stories are plenty — all videos are present, but ukrainians lie every day, using the trustfull western journalists. We here in Russia have relatives in Ukrane and we know the truth, but western journalists do everything to hide the real facts and blame Russia. They found only one person to blame – Putin. It is really funny! Putin did not organize this Maidan revolt! As to the Crimia: imagine the situation: you have a crazy president who gives part of your country to another country as a present. That is what happened in Russia! Crimea was just given away. With all russian people! It is possible that you will be eager to take it back when you have a chance. Because the people in Crimea want back to Russia! Russians want to speak Russian, not Ukranian! We want to remember your history and literature, and language. This is a reason for this war in Ukrane. Russian who live int the east of the county want to remain russians. But Ukraine hates them for that, kills our kids, ruins the houses. It is propaganda of hating, supported by US. Sorry for my bad English, i wrote in a hurry, just wanting to take a chance and say the truth. Thank you for giving it to me. Daria.

    • Useless.
      1. 99,99% are brain-washed and deaf to neighbors.
      2. Nobody reads “old” themes (from several days ago) – it’s a garbage…