Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Egyptair: MH 17 The Putin Connection?

 The recent downing of  the Egyptair Airbus over the Med must have reminded somebody that MH17 is still in need of some definitive proving.  And so there is a regurgitation of the 'social media ' evidence that Putin dunnit.

Tell that to the Aussies,  who are convinced they're going to be able to convince the ICJ that the chips are all turning-up 'Putin' - and they'd like a few hundred million to assuage the grief involved. The US attorney who got Ghaddafi to cough-up the boodle over Lockerbie - or was that to ensure the release of the convicted, and at that time dying, bomber - has signed-on to 'assist' the case.  It might help if any Russians had been convicted since having a Libyan charged, and found guilty, probably made the Lockerbie case a slam-dunk even if the money did come later.  But there are no convicted, or even identified, Russians - so MH17 might be tougher.

Although the first part of the MH17 investigation was concluded and the conventional wisdom that 'the russians did it' was upheld by Dutch investigators, enough questions were left unanswered to at least hint that the final word may not be emanating from Kyiv.  The Ukrainian side of the issue was adopted from virtually the first moment and only lacking proof would indicate it isn't wrong.  Facebook posts of what  'Bellingcat' thinks the Russian military are up to, his evidence is - to a large degree - open to some questioning or interpretation. It is no 'smoking gun'. That's a large part of the problem that could apparently be resolved easily.  But for some reason it has not been.

Within two days of the incident, US Secretary of State John Kerry gave every indication that he knew all there was to know about MH17, so much so that he appeared at the UN to demand a sanctions program. But statements aside, one would think if definitive proof was available, as he claimed  it was, it would have been made available to the investigation - even 'sub rosa' if military secrets were involved.   Here's what he told America and the world three days after the crash.

Kerry on 'Meet the Press'  July 20, 2014.

The discussion had been wide-ranging before Kerry Arrived but he launched himself into the topic 'ab initio', he remarked on the separatists' guilt, the Russian commander admitting as much, rejoicing over the hit etc , their control of the crash site,  the loading of victims bodies into trucks, knowing Russia had supplied them with Buks and then.  

"Are you bottom lining here that Russia provided the weapon?

There's a story today confirming that. But we have not, within the administration, made a determination. But it's pretty clear, when, you know, there's a build-up of extraordinary circumstantial evidence. You know, I'm a former prosecutor. I've tried cases on circumstantial evidence. It's powerful here. But even more importantly, we picked up the imagery of this launch. We know the trajectory. We know where it came from. We know the timing. And it was exactly at the time that this aircraft disappeared from the radar. We also know, from voice identification, that the separatists were bragging about shooting it down afterwards.


So there's a stacking up of evidence here, which Russia needs to help account for. We are not drawing the final conclusion here. But there is a lot that points at the need for Russia to be responsible. And what President Obama believes and we, the international community, join in believing, everybody is convinced we must have unfettered access."

There was a conclusion drawn then that still exists and this is a 'smoking gun' story  if I've ever hard one.  Yet Kerry has yet to provide the evidence of which he speaks. Or admit making a creative statement to 'color' an already bloody disaster.

The most  development in the saga is a recently release dash cam of what is claimed to be the rebels Buk 'moving into position' shortly before it downed the Malaysian airliner.

 David Perry of Consortium news deconstructs the updated conventional wisdom

David Perry "More Gameplaying on MH17?"

The second part of the investigation. The presentation of incriminating evidence and the proof of Russian perfidy is not expected anytime soon. 

In the meanwhile there is another plane  - Egyptair - fallen from the sky and even now (almost two weeks later) almost beyond the ability of modern man to retrieve let alone know exactly what happened.  We're nor getting much better at air disasters, are we? 

Big Brother at Work

There have  been a number of interesting government 'interventions' in otherwise 'small potatoes' over the past wee while.  Some of them are worth a look

Anti-Israel boycotts.  A number of western governments have recently enacted legislation to 'outlaw' any 'boycott Israel' activities in organizations or institutions that receive government funding.  Canada passed such a law after a McGill University Student group moved to boycott Israel. Obama signed similar legislation in the USA. Similar laws have been passed in Britain, France and Germany.  All to stop support for Palestinians and the boycott of goods manufactured in Israeli West Bank 'settlements',  but imported as 'Products of Israel'.

The boycott was instituted to have such products labelled accurately.  One of the most notorious products was a soft-drink flavoring system (Soda Stream) manufactured in the Jewish West Bank using 'Palestinian labour'.  The company has now gone out of business completely, after  relocating to the Sinai area of Israel and hiring 'bedouin tribesmen'.

It remains to be seen what penalties will be incurred for failing to adhere to the laws.

The Brexit - Brexception:  Prime Minister Cameron campaigned his last election on the notion that Britain could do better outside the EU and should have a better deal inside it.  He has recently concluded a round of trade negotiations that, he claims, make 'staying in'  in Britain's best interests. Some commentators liken it to the Munich agreement that gained a breathing space before the inevitable bad times to come.  In Cameron's mind there will be no 'Brexit' from the EU - and so all the other is bumpff.  What nobody has noticed, yet, is that Britain has gained no special dispensation from EU control over its economy, or other important affairs of state. Britain is as 'tied' to  the EU this week, as it was a month ago, and will be in the future. Cameron got little more for his troubles than he already had.  And, should he win the up-coming referendum,  Britain will be more tightly attached to Europe than it has ever been. All this does is 'shut-up' the vocal rump who've been complaining since last the lion roared. And that isn't the British banks and financial system - which let its mind be known by devaluing the pound - citing the 'upset'.

Ukraine - on going:  The EU was had 'Ukraine Week' at the Parliament a few weeks back (shows how long I've been procrastinating)  - celebrating all things Ukrainian with socializing and canapes. The purpose was to 'keep Ukraine high on the EU agenda' - as if Ukraine and its sad state could be ignored. The Dutch were preparing to 'ratify' their EU agreement with Ukraine (they didn't- but this is 'no longer important') - something that had been bruited to fail when put to the Dutch, even after a government plan to 'manage' the dissonance was revealed last week. Ukrainian ministers were doing their world tours of western capitals, 'selling' the struggle against Russia for the 'defense of civilization'.  Western governments bought it, at least insofar as maintaining, or as in the case of the US, extending,  the sanctions program against Russia.

In the meantime,  the imminent collapse of Russia is postponed, again, while Ukraine 'gears-up' for the only option to doing nothing, trying to 'provoke' the rebels into the 'attack' that would justify one more, hopefully successful,  "tooth-breaking offensive" to regain 'the east.'  There was a minor dust-up related to this when somebody in the EU parliament  noticed the 'nazi' tattoos on the portraits of some wounded Ukrainian servicemen displayed for the edification of the Euros.  The photos were hastily removed from display but also appeared  on an AV presentation.  (So have any references to this minor fiasco.  But I shall keep on looking - they were there - video and all - on Ukrainian government sites.)

The east China Sea continues to focus the lights of the great defender of most things, as the Chinese continue to tun reefs into desert islands from which they can 'threaten' international shipping or something like that.  One would think that building a landing strip in the middle of a sea would be a good idea.  Ir's a pretty virtual certainty that international, indeed any kind of shipping, which might have avoided a submerged reef, would certainly avoid an emerged islet built on top of it.  But the Chinese building anything, without somebody's say-so,  not inside China,  is a threat to American interest somewhere, somehow.

Syria continues as Syria has continued since 'the US led coalition' showed up to fight the ISIS thing the  Saudis and Gulf States  created for them.  Correct that: things actually started to change after the Russians showed-up. Things are still changing, how is not yet clear.


 "The road to heck passeth through procrastination" - cleaning up some 'old' ideas.

 Just when you think things have gotten as funny, stupid, tragic, etc as they're  going to get,  along come the next thing, worse (or better).  In this instant it's another sad story of Putin 'doing it' (although he is never directly accused).

As we all know one of the blowback effects of the strife in Ukraine has seen both sides setting-up ministries to handle the necessary 'skew' on news, the amplification of outrages and the 'toning' of accusations.  There are - we are told -  an army - Putin's Army - of internet commentators   scanning for stories and either bolstering Putin's misdeeds or making mock of the poor valiant Ukrainians. Apparently there are a number of patriotic, nation-loving people who do the same thing for Kiev. So when 'Peace-President' Poroshenko was mentioned in the Panama Papers a tide started rising about him and his promises to divest himself of his oligarchy, so as to run the country for somebody else' benefit and not his own. Something had to be done, enter Putin's army and the cockamamie story posted in a recent New York Times. Although the writers claim their 'contact' indicated he was hired by Ukraine, you can bet your  Vyshyvanka that Putin did it -  to make Porko look better.

A Hoax Cloaked in An Ukrainian Interview

The Hindustan Times is a unique rag,  often breaking stories from Asia well-before they appear in western media.  They are BIG on 'the evils of ISIS' stories but sometimes that even can get obfuscated. One of their more garish tales was the execution of 15 potential 'Brides' in an unnamed marketplace somewhere - for, apparently, refusing to be brides.   This sad tale started in the HT early in the day, by noon it was featured by the Jerusalem Post and made it to America in time for the dinnertime news. It was like all others of its ilk,  a memory by the next day.  Strangely enough,  the same story surfaced datelined two weeks prior to the 'big' HT reveal,  on the website of a Catholic newsfeed organization in the USA and penned by one of their staffers.

HT provided this bit of human interest which typically went on to make the rounds of western media. It was, later on, displayed as a lesson learned from the gallant Israelis who featured "door knocking" - a targetting missile on the roof -  as a replacement for the formerly-used method of placing a phone call to warn that destruction was imminent.

Door Knocking

In this instant, the report accompanied the much-circulated story of the US destroying ISIS cash reserves.  It is a telling breakthrough in humanitarianism that such bomb strikes on other 'terror targets' are often decried for the later arrival of a second missile  - intended  to disrupt any rescue effort.  Could you imagine the crowd of possible 'collateral damage' that would have gathered to pick up any flying bills?   Things are looking up.