MH17

Let’s stay clear of the conspiracy theories, of which there are innumerable. Let’s ignore the theory that the earlier Malaysian flight was some kind of practice run, that the Americans or the EU did it to force Putin into a corner, ignore it all.

I don’t think Putin or Russia are to blame. The ‘Russian separatists’ in Crimea are a rag-tag band of rebels, most of whom are barely under any kind of control from their ‘generals’. If they get hold of a missile launcher they are going to want to fire a missile. It is quite possible that Putin has supplied them with some equipment but he has no more control over how they use it than we had over Saddam’s chemical weapons (that we sold him) or what those Syrian rebels do with the guns we send them.

I’t akin to the antismoker argument that tobacco companies sold something they knew was dangerous so are responsible when those who buy the product get sick. It’s the same as arguing that the car dealer is at fault when someone flattens Granny – and if they were drunk, it’s the drinks industry’s fault too. When you sell or give something to someone else you no longer have any say in what they do with it.

I gave away an air rifle a while back. If it is later used in an armed robbery, am I to be held responsible? I have sold toy trucks on eBay in the past. They are covered in easily detachable small parts so I made clear that they should not be given to small children. That is, I stated that I knew they were potentially dangerous. If some idiot gives one to a child and they choke on a wing mirror, whose fault is that?

If Putin has supplied those rebels with weaponry, he did so expecting the weapons to be used against their local enemy. He, I am quite certain, did not say ‘Yeah, shoot the Westerners and if any of those Malaysian jets fly over, get them too.’

The Mail had identified the type of missile used and the launcher it came from almost before the plane hit the ground. Nobody outside Crimea has had a good look at that wreckage as yet. The investigation is yet to happen but the Mail, and most of the English press, talks as if Putin himself aimed and fired it.

So now we have the Cameroid calling for sanctions against Russia. Where does this idiot think most of our gas supplies come from? Then he demands that France break a 1.2 billion deal with Russia over some helicopter ships they have built for Putin’s navy. Is France so cash-rich it can afford to scrap whole naval vessels, all the cost that went into building them, just to make a petty point?

It was not Russia who fired that missile. They just made it. If the Russians use those helicopter ships to shoot down an American plane, will that be France’s responsibility? It doesn’t work that way.

Today the Mail is claiming that only 200 bodies were recovered. ‘What happened to the other 98’ they howl, among claims that those showing signs of shrapnel were hidden away.

A plane crash is a very messy thing. A plane hit by a missile at 30,000 feet will come down in bits. Not all the bits will land in the same place. In fact, if the plane was hit by a modern anti-aircraft missile at that altitude it is impressive that they have already found two-thirds of the bodies aboard. Wreckage and bodies will be widely scattered and hunting for them in a war zone is not the easiest of tasks.

There is no point throwing blame at those who cannot have known about this tragedy until after it happened. Blame lies with a man or a few men. Not with a country. Someone brought this plane down but it wasn’t Putin.

Those responsible for firing the missile should be brought to trial and then shot. Calls of ‘But it’s a war’ only redefine the crime as a war crime, which makes the penalties available to the court that much higher. Should we demand Putin hands over the men responsible? How can he? He does not command those rebels and will have no idea who was pressing which button.

Someone does. Someone knows.

Someone has the power to avert a third world war.

But do they have the courage?

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36 thoughts on “MH17

  1. “But do they have the courage?”

    Courage, in 2014? What a delightfully quaint view of the world.

    Even if those responsible are publicly named-and-shamed — which I think is very unlikely given the, ahem, robust attitude of the eastern Ukrainian separatists to what outsiders think of them — they’ll (or their Russian ‘advisers’) be media savvy enough to quickly claim victim status over a ‘tragic accident’.

    The 21st century, aka the Century of the Twisting Weasel.

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  2. The whole think stinks, like you rightly pointed out the mainstream media were blaming Russia within 2 hours of it happening, with no evidence. And they still don’t have any evidence but now consider it a “done thing” that Russia were behind it.

    Kind of reminds me of how Bin Laden was blamed within hours of 9/11 despite no evidence there either.

    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

    Oh one more thing, one of the conspiracy theories doing the rounds is that it was the missing Flight MH370 that crashed and not MH17. F**king nutters lol.

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  3. Now, I know that I’m a bit behind on things here, but what exactly is all the squabbling about in Ukraine? OK, OK, yes – I know that there are some Ukrainians who want closer ties with Russia and others who want closer ties with the EU (though God knows why they want to get involved with that bunch of bankruptcy-bringers!). But Ukraine is (now) an independent country. Can’t it have close ties with both? What’s wrong with having lots of lovely trade and good diplomatic relations with Russia and having lots of lovely trade and good diplomatic relations with the EU as well? Is it absolutely impossible for a country to get on with more than one of its neighbours? Of course not! As an independent country they don’t have to become full members of the EU (even if some of them would like to) and neither do they have to re-integrate to become part of Russia (even if some of them want that). Russia and the EU – both being entities with empire-building instincts may want them as members, but that doesn’t mean that Ukraine has to take the ties that far.

    Why didn’t the Ukrainian Government once they were installed after the initial rioting had died down, take a step back and say to both of them: “Right then. We live right next door to each other, so of course we want to do business with you, we want our people to be able to communicate and travel freely between us and we want lots of cross-pollination of goods, services and ideas with you, but we are an independent sovereign country and we won’t be dictated to by either of you as to whether or not we can deal with the other one. You be nice to us, and we’ll be nice to you. Simples.” It really isn’t rocket science, is it? (No sick pun intended, there!)

    I get that the Ukrainian Government, for reasons best known to itself, seems to be enamoured of the EU and keen to be best-buddies with it, although I personally think they’re bonkers to be having any more to do with such a bunch of inept morons than they absolutely have to. But hey, it’s up to them, and if that’s what they want to do then fine – whatever floats their boat. But why do closer ties with the EU (now all signed and sealed, I understand) cause such outrage amongst the Russia-lovers in the country and, by default therefore, to Putin himself – hence his ample weapons-gifting to pro-Russian rebels? Do closer ties with the EU automatically rule out business and co-operation with Russia? Surely not if, as the papers keep telling us, both Germany and France – keen and active members of the EU that they are – have such good deals going with Russia that they aren’t even able to support talk of sanctions against Putin and his crew.

    I find myself wishing that, purely in order to shut the EU up and get it to butt out of a conflict for which, in truth, it was one of the main primary irritating factors, Putin should simply “turn off the energy taps” – just for, say, a week or so as a sort of warning shot across the bows. He holds all the cards in this respect, but the EU – unrealistic and starry-eyed with the alluring image that they have of themselves as omnipotent and all-powerful world leaders of great importance – don’t seem to recognise this and, like the little guy in the pub who has something to prove, they just won’t stop kicking the big guy’s chair. Until, that is, he turns round and gives them a short, sharp slap to put them firmly back in their place.

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    • It would be great if that could happen, however, I think Putin is more worried about Ukraine becoming a NATO member and with that, the positioning of (mostly) American forces on his border.

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      • Then he has misread the situation and is busy fighting a war which was sorted 30 years ago. NATO is not his enemy, provided he stays in his borders.

        The one he needs to really worry about is the Black Flag. If he looks, he will notice even the Chinese struggling with that, and they do not piss about with the niceties when it comes to stability of government.

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        • XX NATO is not his enemy, provided he stays in his borders.XX

          As NATO did/are doing, in Irak, Jugoslavia, Afghanistan, etc, do you mean?

          And, extending you borders to fit in with the present political wishes of the dicatorship known as “The European Union.” does NOT constitute “staying within your borders” either.

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  4. Having had the dubious pleasure of working on the victims of air-incidents, a couple of points. The people roped in to recover the remains probably only had to meet the complimentary criteria of:

    A: Not screaming like a weed, and
    B: Not projectile vomiting on the job

    Unfortunately the task needs a little more to be accomplished successfully. As things stand, they have a large number of bags, containing rotting bits of people. In short, until they get a properly experienced team on task; no-one can tell how many bodies have been recovered, let alone what killed them. Best if everybody shuts right the fuck up until they have something concrete to go on…

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  5. Not to be a pedant, but it’s France and Germany who would be badly hit by a lack of Russian gas. We buy a lot from Norway, it comes through the 42″ Llangelled pipeline into Easington by Kingston on Hull. We also have LNG coming in by tankers to Pembroke and the Isle of Grain, as well as our own North Sea gas.
    Just for a giggle, here’s a link to a story about simulators for anti aircraft missile launchers, expert training does not seem to be a requirement!
    View story at Medium.com

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    • That would explain why France and Germany are holding back on the ‘let’s blame Russia’ game. Sensible, but it doesn’t help if the countries carrying the pipe between them and Russia get hit.

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      • XX That would explain why France and Germany are holding back on the ‘let’s blame Russia’ game. XX

        Couldn’t POSSIBLY have anything to do with the fact we may, just MAY, think Russia is actualy in the right here???

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  6. Too late for the grassy knoll. I can only express my surprise that Israeli involvement with their time condensing beam is being kept relatively quiet.

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  7. Funny how Camoron is still selling arms to Russia! I am tired of hearing how Putin is the bad guy. The bad guys here are Obama, Camoron and the other Western nations that would have us believe we are still in the 1950’s and that the Commie reds are our biggest enemy.
    It’s a diversion tactic the old idea of focus on the Russians and everyone will band together to fight evil.
    Obama looks like he is trying to start a world war, it would not be the first time this tactic had been used to divert jo publics attention from the ills it’s own politicians have brought on them.

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  8. To be honest here, Putin cannot really be blamed to any real extent. Russia and its local environs aren’t under his control; he’s simply the guy at the front riding herd on a large collection of criminals, Mafia, tin-pot generals and assorted hard-guy nutjobs, all of whom are similarly riding herd on similarly fractious sociopaths. What Putin is effectively doing is trying to keep all of this mob scared of him and distrustful of each other, so that they do not unite and depose him. As far as Putin is concerned, the Ukraine is a nice distraction, plus it helps keep his main Black Sea port under his control, meaning he still retains control of an easy means of controlling that area.

    Over in the Ukraine, he looks to have supplied the Pro-Russian lot with a few missiles capable of clobbering anything the Ukrainian air force has, in order to keep the battle down on the ground. The SAM missiles he supplied are “fire and forget”, but it isn’t the missile that is the technical bit but instead the targeting systems. Given that he was dealing with rebels, I would hypothesise that these rebels were given the Missile Use for Dummies course.

    This course goes on the lines of “This blip on the screen is a plane. When these criteria are met, the missile can hit it and destroy it. Fire outside these criteria and you fire a big firework; it won’t hit”. What the rebels wouldn’t be given is the complicated technical one that actual Russian army people get, the one that teaches you how to tell friend from foe, target from decoy. All Putin’s lot will have done is give the rebels just a very few SAMs and just a little knowledge, plus they would have told the West to keep aircraft out of that airspace.

    The Malaysian Airlines didn’t get the memo. As a result they flew a honking great target over some trigger-happy numpties who actually could not distinguish warplan from airliner, because that takes weeks of training, not hours. There’re even reports that there was a Ukrainian warplane in the area at the time, so maybe the rebels did try for the warplane and got the bigger, slower, easier target instead. The Ukrainian plane might even have been shadowing the airliner to use it as a human shield (over-estimating rebel brainpower) or as a decoy.

    The answer is, we don’t know and we won’t ever know; the evidence is gone now. Putting the boot behind Putin isn’t the answer here, though.

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    • XX Given that he was dealing with rebels, I would hypothesise that these rebels were given the Missile Use for Dummies course.XX

      The Russians have always done this.

      The tanks and planes they supplied to other Warsaw pact countries were always known as “The monkey version.”

      The Russians kept all the hight tech ones, and sent the “point, fire and 1 in a 100 times you MAY hit something of importance” ones to the rest.

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  9. The reaction of the MSM was utterly predictable. However, there are two sides to every story. The other side is of course dismissed, because, well, they would say that, wouldn’t they.

    Only the western news agencies can be trusted to give us the true events, eh? I mean, they have a record of critical and robust journalism which always delivers the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Not like those damned Russkies with their propaganda pieces.

    Anyway:

    http://rt.com/news/174380-crash-issues-ignored-media/

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    • The Mail is still using that image of the guy holding up the toy. They also had a photo of a soldier finding what looks like a gold ring, and claim it’s evidence he stole it. They do not have a photo of him pocketing it.

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  10. Sergey Yurievich Glazyev is a Russian politician and economist, Full Member of Russian Academy of Science since 2008. He was a minister in 1993, a member of the State Duma in 1993-2007, and ran for President of Russia in 2004.
    Now then its only an opinion but I have a feeling its an opinion felt across Russia.
    Oh deary me.

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  11. Pingback: Saturday Evening Posts Worth Reading and the 25-Hour News.

  12. “akin to the antismoker argument that tobacco companies sold something they knew was dangerous so are responsible when those who buy the product get sick.”

    Also akin to the argument that gambling companies should be held responsible for the losses of their customers. The next logical step? I think so.

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  13. Great article – except that the rebels are in the “Donbass” region (Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts) and not in Crimea.

    Crimea is now part of Russia and is not involved in the fighting.

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    • Ah, my last lesson in geography would have been about 1974. There have been some changes since then. Like Yugoslavia and that ancient bridge at Dubrovnik, both of which I visited and both of which are now gone. I do not accept responsibility for that, by the way, nor for the subsequent disappearance of many places I worked at and other places I visited. It’s a coincidence.

      Either that, or some supernatural being is out to get me but is always too late.

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