By Chandra Muzaffar
The Russian military has released military monitoring data which challenge allegations circulating in the media pertaining to the MH 17 crash in the Donetsk Region of Eastern Ukraine on July 17 2014. Questions have been raised about Kiev military jets tracking MH 17, Ukrainian air traffic controllers and the deployment of Buk missile systems. Kiev should also release military data on the circumstances leading to the crash. So should the Pentagon which reportedly has relevant intelligence and satellite data.
Since military data is hardcore information, Kiev and Washington should be persuaded to be transparent and accountable. The UN Secretary-General can play a role in this since there is a specialized agency within the UN, the ICAO, dedicated to international civil aviation. Military data from Moscow, Kiev and Washington should be scrutinized by the independent international panel that is supposed to probe the MH 17 catastrophe.
Such data carries much more weight than videos purportedly revealing the role of the pro-Russian rebels and the Russian government in the crash. One such video showing a Buk system being moved from Ukraine to Russia is a fabrication. The billboard in the background establishes that it was shot in a town — Krasnoarmeisk — that has been under the control of the Ukrainian military since May 11. Similarly, a You Tube video showing a Russian General and Ukrainian rebels discussing their role in mistakenly downing a civilian aircraft was, from various tell-tale signs, produced before the event.
The public should be wary of fabricated “evidence” of this sort, after what we have witnessed in the last so many years. Have we forgotten the monstrous lies and massive distortions that accompanied the reckless allegation that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) which led eventually to the invasion of that country in 2003 and the death of more than a million people? Iraq continues to bleed to this day. What about the Gulf of Tonkin episode of 1964 which again was a fabrication that paved the way for wanton US aggression against Vietnam that resulted in the death of more than 3 million Vietnamese? The “babies in incubators” incident in Kuwait in 1990 was yet another manufactured lie that aroused the anger of the people and served to justify the US assault on Iraq. Just last year we saw how an attempt was made by some parties to pin the blame for a sarin gas attack in Ghouta, Syria upon the Assad government when subsequent investigations have revealed that it was the work of some militant rebel group.
From Tonkin to Ghouta there is a discernible pattern when it comes to the fabrication of evidence to justify some nefarious agenda or other. As soon as the event occurs before any proper investigation has begun, blame is apportioned upon the targeted party. This is done wilfully to divert attention from the real culprit whose act of evil remains concealed and camouflaged. The colluding media then begins to spin the “correct” version with the help of its reporters and columnists who concoct “fact” out of fiction. Any other explanation or interpretation of the event is discredited and dismissed derisively to ensure that the “credibility” of the dominant narrative remains intact. As the narrative unfolds, the target often embodied in a certain personality is demonized to such a degree that he arouses the ire of the public and becomes an object of venom.
The pattern described here is typical of what is known as a “false flag” operation in which blame for some dastardly deed is consciously transferred to one’s adversary. It has happened right through history and many contemporary nation-states — and not just the United States — are guilty of flying false flags.
To protect ourselves from being deceived by such operations, the general public should always ask: who stands to gain from a particular episode? Cui Bono is in fact an important principle in the investigation of a crime. In the case of the MH 17 carnage, the pro-Russian rebels do not benefit in any way from downing a civilian airliner. Their goal is independence from the Kiev government which is why they are fighting Kiev through sometimes violent means including shooting down its military planes. Massacring 298 passengers in a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur does not serve their cause. Moscow which backs the rebels to an extent also gains nothing from involving itself in such a diabolical carnage.
10 days after the carnage, it is now clear who is trying to reap benefits from that terrible tragedy in the skies. The demonization of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, orchestrated from various Western capitals, including Kiev, after Crimea voted to join the Russian Federation, thus thwarting one of the primary strategic goals of NATO’s eastward expansion, has now reached its pinnacle. After MH 17, it has become a lot easier to convince people— even without an iota of evidence — that Putin is a “mass murderer”. The tarnishing of Putin’s image is crucial for those in the West who want to curb Russia’s political re-assertion so that the US and its allies can perpetuate their global dominance without hindrance.
MH 17 has helped the elite in Washington in yet another sense. It has strengthened its push for tougher sanctions against Russia which began after the Crimea vote. Given their extensive economic ties with Russia, many European countries such as Germany, France, Netherlands and Italy have been somewhat lukewarm about widening and deepening sanctions. But will that change now? Will an outraged European public, incensed by the MH 17 massacre, demand that their governments punish Moscow?
It is obvious that those who seek to punish Russia and the pro-Russian rebels, namely, the elite in Washington and Kiev, are poised to gain the most from the MH 17 episode. Does it imply that they would have had a role in the episode itself? Only a truly independent and impartial international inquiry would be able to provide the answer.
In this regard, we must admit that while elites in Kiev and Washington may stand to gain from MH 17, those who actually pulled the trigger may be some other group or individual with links to the powerful in the two capitals. It is quite conceivable that a certain well-heeled individual equipped with the appropriate military apparatus and with access to air-control authorities in the region may have executed the act of evil itself.
Because of who he is, and where his loyalties lie, that individual may have also decided to target Malaysia. Was he giving vent to his anger over our principled stand on the question of justice for the Palestinians? Was he also attempting to divert public attention from Israel’s ground offensive against Gaza which time-wise coincided with the downing of the Malaysian airliner?
As we explore MH 17 from this angle, would we be able to connect the dots between MH 17 and MH 370, between July 17 and March 8, 2014?
We should not rest till the whole truth is known and the evil behind these two colossal catastrophes punished severely.
We owe this to every soul who perished on those fateful flights.
(This article is dedicated to the cherished memory of all those on MH 17 — especially the 80 children who were on board).
Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is the President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST).
26 July 2014.