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A Couple of Things on MH17
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Over the years I have studiously avoided commentary on MH17 because of the banal fact that I am not an expert on plane crash forensics.

The official Dutch inquiry that has just released its findings says that it was downed by a Buk missile that came from rebel-controlled territory.

Many serious people have come to other conclusions, as well as – no surprise – Russia itself. As Patrick Armstrong points out, the Americans have yet to release the intelligence they claim to have. Malaysia had for some reason been excluded from the official investigation.

As is usually the case, which version you “believe” in depends heavily on your partisan sympathies.

That said, there are two points I’d like to bring to the discussion which would be valid even if the results of the Dutch inquiry are true.

1

This does not mean that it is was entirely the fault of the rebels and Russia.

First off, a little background on Soviet SAMs.

They are very complicated systems. It takes several people to operate them. There are several control panels, and you have to turn the right knobs and press the right buttons in the correct order to acquire and kill your target. Just locking in requires locating the target on a fire control radar while adjusting for range, elevation, and azimuth. No nice 3D graphics here; targets are interferences on 1D axis or abstract blips on 2D spaces. Then you must pick the guidance mode for your missile based on factors such as whether or not your target is flying low, its speed, and whether or not it’s jamming. Then you fire the missile, which involves its own set of procedures. If your target then experiences a sudden change in speed and altitude, it probably means you’ve scored a hit. Feel free to imagine a climatic BOOM going off in the skies above, but all you’re going to hear is the continuing drone of electronic machinery.

You can explore the fascinating life of a SAM operator for yourself by downloading the SAM Simulator, a video game developed by a Hungarian aficianado of 1960-1980 era Soviet SAM systems.

9k33-osa

Screenshot of 9K33 Osa main control panel from SAM Simulator.

Here are some (Russian language) technical guides on their various SAM systems. They can be 100-200 pages long and contain calculus.

So what’s the point of it all this? The point is that operating a SAM is learnable for the average enthusiast, conscript, or Donbass rebel – you can figure out how to knock balloon targets and maybe even big airliners traveling in straight lines after a couple of hours study. Becoming good at it is another matter entirely. The Buk is a newer and somewhat simpler system than those in the SAM Simulator, but for the amateur it remains a foreboding forest of knobs and analog screens. I only explored the SAM Simulator for a few hours back in 2014, so I can’t attest to it personally, but my impression from discussions on the game’s forums is that to “git gud” you’ll need to invest a few dozens of hours in it, and while it’s about as “hardcore” as simulator as they come, it’s still not real life.

One more possibility. Consider the following two allegations:

First, that MH17 was diverted to fly over contested airspace.

Second, that MH17 was being trailed by two Ukrainian Su-25′s. (Some conspiracy theories allege that they were actually the ones who shot it down).

An alternate possibility, however, is that the Su-25 escorts and possibly the diversions were an intentional Ukrainian policy to increase the chances of an AA missile fired by an inexperienced rebel crew bringing down a civilian airliner. After drawing out the missiles, the Ukrainian fighters would engage their counter-measures and fly off, while the missiles would autonomously home in on the target with the much bigger radar signature – that is, MH17 itself. The resulting fallout would hopefully pressure Russia into withdrawing support for the rebellion.

This theory is the only one that more or less the only one explains all aspects of the case and integrates most of the main narratives.

It explains why the Americans have no released their intelligence. If it was to show the Su-25′s were directly or almost directly below MH17 then questions would be asked.

It explain why we have not seen a consistent or credible alternate theory from Russia. Because there is none. While if it where to push this theory it would then have to admit that at the it is to some extent culpable.

And it would also explain the findings of the Dutch report. It might well be just true.

2

Nor would it in any case qualify as an act of terrorism.

It cannot qualify as an act of terrorism because as phone conversations between the rebels in the immediate aftermath prove, and as the US itself has admitted, the shooting down of MH17 if done by the rebels was based on the mistaken impression that it was a legitimate military target.

That said, in the immediate aftermath, there were hystrionic calls from certain quarters to invoke NATO’s Article 5 on behalf of the Netherlands. Lithuania’s Dalia Grybauskaite called Russia a terrorist state.

At the very least, perhaps this should be used to step up sanctions against Russia, until it acknowledges its guilt, pays compensation, and hands over any suspects to an international tribunal.

Well, I suppose you *can*. But then for consistency’s sake you would also have to label the US and Ukraine (ironically enough) as terrorist states themselves.

In 1988, a missile fired by a US warship in Iranian territorial waters took out Iran Air Flight 655 over Iranian airspace The US tried to avoid responsibility, and never apologized to Iran, but eventually paid up some blood money.

In 2001, Ukrainian air defense shot down Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 during exercises. They initially tried to avoid taking responsibility until a Russian investigative team came up with definitive proof. Never apologized, though they did eventually pony up blood money.

If you do not support declaring the US and Ukraine to be terrorist states on this basis, with all the consequences thereof – massive sanctions, pariah status, etc. – then you have no ground to do so either for the DNR or Russia. The most that could be legitimately demanded is for Russia to pay the relatives.

However, it is hardly a secret that the Western world order operates by double standards, so I suspect that a more likely template for the future of the MH17 case is that of Pan Am Flight 103, better known as the Lockerbie bombing. At a first approximation, this would involve putting international (Western) pressure on Russia to not only pay out compensation to the victims of MH17, but to admit its guilt and to hand over any suspects to an international tribunal. It might be used as a justification for prolonging or extending sanctions, and potentially even declaring the DNR and LNR terrorist organizations.

 
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  1. The summary of the report makes no mention of ELINT – radar intercepts. This is a huge lacuna.

    A longer comment and interesting discussion is here:

    http://www.unz.com/article/mh17-the-blaming-putin-game-goes-on/#comment-1007983

    It’s interesting that they are relying heavily on precisely the sort of eyewitness reports that were completely dismissed in the TWA800 case (see Ron Unz’s latest article).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    They spend a vast amount on satellite, ground and airborne ELINT systems to maintain an up to date real-time global Electronic ORBAT. If a Russian BUK was used they would have its complete deployment history. And they would immediately have announced this smoking gun.
     
    While I appreciate US ELINT capabilities are second to none, this makes it sound like they're all but omniscient. Highly skeptical.

    The Dutch showed their gratitude by resoundingly rejecting the EU-Ukraine association agreement in a referendum.
     
    Let's be honest - the Dutch care very little for Ukraine and less for Russia. It was for all intents and purposes a referendum on immigration, the only one offered to them.
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  2. ” there were hystrionic calls from certain quarters to invoke NATO’s Article 5 on behalf of the Netherlands. ”

    The Dutch showed their gratitude by resoundingly rejecting the EU-Ukraine association agreement in a referendum.

    Read More
  3. @jimmyriddle
    The summary of the report makes no mention of ELINT - radar intercepts. This is a huge lacuna.

    A longer comment and interesting discussion is here:
    http://www.unz.com/article/mh17-the-blaming-putin-game-goes-on/#comment-1007983


    It's interesting that they are relying heavily on precisely the sort of eyewitness reports that were completely dismissed in the TWA800 case (see Ron Unz's latest article).

    They spend a vast amount on satellite, ground and airborne ELINT systems to maintain an up to date real-time global Electronic ORBAT. If a Russian BUK was used they would have its complete deployment history. And they would immediately have announced this smoking gun.

    While I appreciate US ELINT capabilities are second to none, this makes it sound like they’re all but omniscient. Highly skeptical.

    The Dutch showed their gratitude by resoundingly rejecting the EU-Ukraine association agreement in a referendum.

    Let’s be honest – the Dutch care very little for Ukraine and less for Russia. It was for all intents and purposes a referendum on immigration, the only one offered to them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @El Dato

    Highly skeptical.
     
    S'truth.

    Actually I was amazed that there was talk of satellites having picked up a "heat flash" when ISIS downed the russian plane in Egypt last year:

    Russian plane crash: Heat flash detected by military satellites at time of crash, US media reports

    That... very good coverage. By an atmosphere-skimming satellite. What are the chances that this observation occurs??
  4. “In 1988, a missile fired by a US warship took out Iran Air Flight 655 over international waters.”

    Blah, you can’t really compare the death of Iranians to the death of EU citizens. Sorry, at least as far as I’m concerned I don’t care that much if citizens of a nasty Islamic pariah state get killed (and won’t pretend to do so for reasons of pc); I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though.
    Probably correct though that the shooting down wasn’t intentional, more a result of the rebels’ incompetence (am not convinced by the theories Ukraine manufactured this incident, though it might be possible). Russia should pay compensation to the relatives of those killed, and have those cretins who fired the missile punished for their negligence.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    You should punish yourself for your negligence as a commenter, for failing to consider the basic "cui bono" question.
    , @5371
    [ I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though]

    That's nice. Then you'll understand how angry Russians get when Russians in Donetsk or Odessa are deliberately murdered by svidomite vermin with the aid of the vile EU.
    , @reiner Tor
    Your feelings have no legal relevance. You probably have enough empathy to understand why the Iranians were outraged, and you're probably intelligent enough to understand the analogy. Except in the case of Iran Air Flight 655 the only people responsible were the missile operators (and a bit the pilots who didn't respond to the American requests, but they were in Iranian airspace and also went down with the plane themselves), whereas here it's also people who allowed civilian airliners to fly above a war zone. (With the possibilities AK mentioned in the post regarding the Su25s and MH17 being diverted.)

    But ultimately, both were accidents.

    (I still find the deliberate downing unconvincing.)

    , @Jon0815

    I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though.
     
    Do you consider the people of the D/LNR to be fellow Europeans? Because far more civilians have been killed by Ukrainian government shelling of Donetsk and other population centers, than were killed on MH17.

    Russia should pay compensation to the relatives of those killed, and have those cretins who fired the missile punished for their negligence.
     
    The only government involved in this tragedy that clearly deserves to pay compensation is that of Ukraine, for failing to close the airspace over the conflict zone. At best Ukraine is guilty of gross negligence, at worst of using civilian airline passengers as human shields for their bombers.

    Why should Russia pay compensation when it was almost certainly not fired by Russian military personnel, and it has not even been proven in court that the Buk came from Russia (as opposed to being captured, as German intelligence reportedly concluded)?

    And if you are going to argue that Russia is responsible for a mistake made by a third party using weapons it provided, why shouldn't the USA be paying compensation to Yemeni civilians killed by the Saudis with US-supplied weapons?
    , @reiner Tor

    have those cretins who fired the missile punished for their negligence
     
    There's no precedent for that, cf. Iran Air Flight 655.
    , @Boris N

    Sorry, at least as far as I’m concerned I don’t care that much if citizens of a nasty Islamic pariah state get killed (and won’t pretend to do so for reasons of pc); I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though.
     
    Very inhumane, really. The Iranians are as much as people as you and they deserve no less sympathy than the Dutch, French or whoever.
    And Iran is not nasty, it's hardly done any harm, at least it does not kill and bomb people around the world by some silly great cause. And it has become a pariah only because of the USA and Israel. And while they condemn Iran of being "undemocratic" and "dangerous" to the world, by the same standards they befriend very "democratic" and "peacemaking" Saudi Arabia.

    Though it is not a big surprise. The Westerners are extremely hypocritical and double-faced. When the terror attacks occurred in France, everybody showed the "solidarity" from street marches by high EU officials to tricolour avatars in FB. But when hundreds die in attacks somewhere in Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, Russia, etc., nobody in the EU goes to marches, nobody changes their avatars, nobody feels sympathy, nobody rages. All people are equal, but some are more equal.
    , @JayGoldenBeach
    "...I don’t care that much if citizens of a nasty Islamic pariah state get killed... I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though."

    Innocent civilians are innocent civilians, period. They are not worth less; we are not worth more.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    In defense of German_reader this is a fairly understandable attitude, it's called concentric circles of empathy and everyone is affected by it to some extent.

    He is uncharacteristically blunt about it to be sure but it's not as if The Unz Review or my blog in particular cares about promoting feelz over realz.
    , @El Dato
    > German reader
    > Cares about "death of EU citizens"
    > Not german citizens

    Seriously?

    I have still to meet a german who gets upset if bombs go off in Paris for example.
  5. @German_reader
    "In 1988, a missile fired by a US warship took out Iran Air Flight 655 over international waters."

    Blah, you can't really compare the death of Iranians to the death of EU citizens. Sorry, at least as far as I'm concerned I don't care that much if citizens of a nasty Islamic pariah state get killed (and won't pretend to do so for reasons of pc); I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though.
    Probably correct though that the shooting down wasn't intentional, more a result of the rebels' incompetence (am not convinced by the theories Ukraine manufactured this incident, though it might be possible). Russia should pay compensation to the relatives of those killed, and have those cretins who fired the missile punished for their negligence.

    You should punish yourself for your negligence as a commenter, for failing to consider the basic “cui bono” question.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Contraviews
    True. Who benefited. Well you only have to follow the western media and you have the answer.
    Point, The separatists handed over the black boxes only dusts after they had been found in good faith. Shiwn on TV worldwide. Question why should they incriminate themselves. These boxes could have contained vital information that would hang them. The recordings have never been released and revealed.
  6. @German_reader
    "In 1988, a missile fired by a US warship took out Iran Air Flight 655 over international waters."

    Blah, you can't really compare the death of Iranians to the death of EU citizens. Sorry, at least as far as I'm concerned I don't care that much if citizens of a nasty Islamic pariah state get killed (and won't pretend to do so for reasons of pc); I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though.
    Probably correct though that the shooting down wasn't intentional, more a result of the rebels' incompetence (am not convinced by the theories Ukraine manufactured this incident, though it might be possible). Russia should pay compensation to the relatives of those killed, and have those cretins who fired the missile punished for their negligence.

    [ I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though]

    That’s nice. Then you’ll understand how angry Russians get when Russians in Donetsk or Odessa are deliberately murdered by svidomite vermin with the aid of the vile EU.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    you’ll understand how angry Russians get when Russians in Donetsk or Odessa are deliberately murdered
     
    So angry about the deaths of 48 people in Odessa (the Odessa murder story is contradicted by UN observations, but who cares) that they enable a war in Donbas to continue - over 2000 dead civilians (according to wiki, perhaps this is an underestimate) and counting. *

    Brilliant.

    *There were three possible Russian options for Donbas:

    1. Seize Donbas quickly, as in Crimea. A few hundred casualties perhaps, a few hundred arrests. Donbas becomes part of Russia and remains relatively intact and peaceful.

    2. Do nothing but maintain the border (so no massive arms deliveries, volunteers, etc.). Kiev takes Donbas. A few hundred casualties at most, several hundred arrests. Donbas becomes like Kharkiv (peaceful) and remains relatively intact.

    3. Provide support (volunteers, arms, military advisers, intelligence) to keep the war going with no decisive victory. Thousands of ethnic Russians from Donbas dead, hundreds of thousands homeless, region slowly destroyed.

    Russian state chose (3). It makes sense from the perspective of the Russian state. Option (1) would create a lot of diplomatic problems and be expensive. The region requires subsidies, and is a black hole in terms of social problems sch as crime and corruption, natural population growth rate, etc. Yanukovich and his ilk are fine as retirees in outer Moscow. Not as participants in the Russian state structures, even locally. Option (2) would let Ukraine get off too lightly. But Option (3) bleeds Ukraine constantly, providing possibility of some sort of eventual "autonomy" for rebel-held areas within Ukraine, prevents for awhile NATO membership for Ukraine, and keeps the expensive region from being Russia's full responsibility. It also results in the best from Donbas (young, healthy better-educated people) settling in Russia by the 100,000s. Russia can use such people. At the same time, undesirable violent Russian nationalists leave Russia to fight in Donbas, where many are killed. They are no longer a problem. Given the advantages for Russia of Option (3), who cares about the sacrifice of a few thousand ethnic Russians who aren't even Russian citizens anyways.

    So Russia's actions are logical from the perspective of benefit for the Russian state. But for people focused on the deaths of Russians, Russia's actions have not been so good.
  7. Frankly this is the theory I consider most likely because it is more or less the only one that explains all aspects of the case.

    Yes. But what is the evidence for the presence of the Su25s?

    Also isn’t the statement that the plane was diverted at least contested? In the confusion following a tragedy many stories get printed, usually some of them false.

    Even so, there’s still at least some Ukrainian culpability for allowing civilian flights over a war zone while simultaneously attacking the rebels there from the air. Especially if Ukrainian statements (in the immediate aftermath) were true that they already had evidence the rebels had a Buk.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    But what is the evidence for the presence of the Su25s?
     
    I recall reading about from multiple sources 1-2 years back, but on checking up on it, it appears to be entirely or almost entirely sourced from explicit pro-Russian/pro-Novorossiya sources.

    As such I will have to drastically lower its epistemic status.
    , @Boris N

    Even so, there’s still at least some Ukrainian culpability for allowing civilian flights over a war zone while simultaneously attacking the rebels there from the air. Especially if Ukrainian statements (in the immediate aftermath) were true that they already had evidence the rebels had a Buk.
     
    Exactly. It is out of understanding, why it is a responsibility of Russia that a plain was shot down in the Ukrainian air by Ukrainians citizens (the rebels are Ukrainian citizens) by an AA allegedly stolen from the Ukrainian Army.
    , @inertial
    "Especially if Ukrainian statements (in the immediate aftermath) were true that they already had evidence the rebels had a Buk."

    The Ukrainians didn't quite say that the rebels had a Buk. They claim that the Buk was smuggled from Russia for this one job and then smuggled back. This is quite an exraordinary claim if you think about it. Buk is a major weapons system, you can't just steal it from a Russian military warehouse. Therefore it must have been provided by the Russian government. And since it's hard to imagine that the Russians would hand this piece of complicated weaponry to some random clowns in the militia, it must have come with a crew. The only conclusion from this is that Russia shot down the plane deliberately. The Ukrainian government claimed this explicitly. Now it is implicitly claimed by the Western governments.

    Meanwhile, the black box recordings still haven't been released. Neither have the dispatcher recordings. Neither has the radar data. Well, the last one won't ever been released because the Ukrainian government claims that all radars in the area were shut down for maintenance that day. How convenient.
  8. @German_reader
    "In 1988, a missile fired by a US warship took out Iran Air Flight 655 over international waters."

    Blah, you can't really compare the death of Iranians to the death of EU citizens. Sorry, at least as far as I'm concerned I don't care that much if citizens of a nasty Islamic pariah state get killed (and won't pretend to do so for reasons of pc); I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though.
    Probably correct though that the shooting down wasn't intentional, more a result of the rebels' incompetence (am not convinced by the theories Ukraine manufactured this incident, though it might be possible). Russia should pay compensation to the relatives of those killed, and have those cretins who fired the missile punished for their negligence.

    Your feelings have no legal relevance. You probably have enough empathy to understand why the Iranians were outraged, and you’re probably intelligent enough to understand the analogy. Except in the case of Iran Air Flight 655 the only people responsible were the missile operators (and a bit the pilots who didn’t respond to the American requests, but they were in Iranian airspace and also went down with the plane themselves), whereas here it’s also people who allowed civilian airliners to fly above a war zone. (With the possibilities AK mentioned in the post regarding the Su25s and MH17 being diverted.)

    But ultimately, both were accidents.

    (I still find the deliberate downing unconvincing.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    You're right of course, but frankly I'm a bit annoyed by that sort of whataboutery...I've lost count of how often I've seen the shooting down of that Iranian airliner mentioned. It happened almost 30 years ago, and it's not like Iran wasn't guilty of worse things itself (like state-sponsored terrorism). I don't regard it as terribly relevant tbh.
    But apart from that I've no real disagreement with AK's comment...not much else to be said.
  9. @reiner Tor

    Frankly this is the theory I consider most likely because it is more or less the only one that explains all aspects of the case.
     
    Yes. But what is the evidence for the presence of the Su25s?

    Also isn't the statement that the plane was diverted at least contested? In the confusion following a tragedy many stories get printed, usually some of them false.

    Even so, there's still at least some Ukrainian culpability for allowing civilian flights over a war zone while simultaneously attacking the rebels there from the air. Especially if Ukrainian statements (in the immediate aftermath) were true that they already had evidence the rebels had a Buk.

    But what is the evidence for the presence of the Su25s?

    I recall reading about from multiple sources 1-2 years back, but on checking up on it, it appears to be entirely or almost entirely sourced from explicit pro-Russian/pro-Novorossiya sources.

    As such I will have to drastically lower its epistemic status.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I remember this to have been an almost exclusively pro-Russian thing because I also thought that would neatly explain a lot of things (like why they didn't invite the Malaysians to the investigation). But then I realized there was little hard evidence of it.
  10. @Anatoly Karlin

    But what is the evidence for the presence of the Su25s?
     
    I recall reading about from multiple sources 1-2 years back, but on checking up on it, it appears to be entirely or almost entirely sourced from explicit pro-Russian/pro-Novorossiya sources.

    As such I will have to drastically lower its epistemic status.

    I remember this to have been an almost exclusively pro-Russian thing because I also thought that would neatly explain a lot of things (like why they didn’t invite the Malaysians to the investigation). But then I realized there was little hard evidence of it.

    Read More
  11. @5371
    [ I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though]

    That's nice. Then you'll understand how angry Russians get when Russians in Donetsk or Odessa are deliberately murdered by svidomite vermin with the aid of the vile EU.

    you’ll understand how angry Russians get when Russians in Donetsk or Odessa are deliberately murdered

    So angry about the deaths of 48 people in Odessa (the Odessa murder story is contradicted by UN observations, but who cares) that they enable a war in Donbas to continue – over 2000 dead civilians (according to wiki, perhaps this is an underestimate) and counting. *

    Brilliant.

    *There were three possible Russian options for Donbas:

    1. Seize Donbas quickly, as in Crimea. A few hundred casualties perhaps, a few hundred arrests. Donbas becomes part of Russia and remains relatively intact and peaceful.

    2. Do nothing but maintain the border (so no massive arms deliveries, volunteers, etc.). Kiev takes Donbas. A few hundred casualties at most, several hundred arrests. Donbas becomes like Kharkiv (peaceful) and remains relatively intact.

    3. Provide support (volunteers, arms, military advisers, intelligence) to keep the war going with no decisive victory. Thousands of ethnic Russians from Donbas dead, hundreds of thousands homeless, region slowly destroyed.

    Russian state chose (3). It makes sense from the perspective of the Russian state. Option (1) would create a lot of diplomatic problems and be expensive. The region requires subsidies, and is a black hole in terms of social problems sch as crime and corruption, natural population growth rate, etc. Yanukovich and his ilk are fine as retirees in outer Moscow. Not as participants in the Russian state structures, even locally. Option (2) would let Ukraine get off too lightly. But Option (3) bleeds Ukraine constantly, providing possibility of some sort of eventual “autonomy” for rebel-held areas within Ukraine, prevents for awhile NATO membership for Ukraine, and keeps the expensive region from being Russia’s full responsibility. It also results in the best from Donbas (young, healthy better-educated people) settling in Russia by the 100,000s. Russia can use such people. At the same time, undesirable violent Russian nationalists leave Russia to fight in Donbas, where many are killed. They are no longer a problem. Given the advantages for Russia of Option (3), who cares about the sacrifice of a few thousand ethnic Russians who aren’t even Russian citizens anyways.

    So Russia’s actions are logical from the perspective of benefit for the Russian state. But for people focused on the deaths of Russians, Russia’s actions have not been so good.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Boris N

    So angry about the deaths of 48 people in Odessa (the Odessa murder story is contradicted by UN observations, but who cares) that they enable a war in Donbas to continue – over 2000 dead civilians (according to wiki, perhaps this is an underestimate) and counting. *
     
    The problems of Ukrainians that they fail to remember things. Or at least they pretend they do not remember or do not know anything. But Russians never forget. Everybody saw who started the war in 2014, who started the bombings of Slavyansk, Lugansk and Donetsk, who bombed and killed civilians during the first phase of the war. Russians have not forgot that. Even if the rebels now bomb in reply the other side of the front and might kill civilians on the Ukrainian held territory, the prime cause guilt of Ukraine is undisputed

    *There were three possible Russian options for Donbas:
     

    Russian state chose (3).
     
    It is somewhat not surprising that you've failed to list the options for the Ukrainian state as if it is not the main actor and driving force in the war. Ukraine has had an option not to start the war in the first place, not to muster its Army and heavy weaponry against a bunch of lightly armed men (a couple of hundred special forces would suffice if Ukraine really wanted to suppress the rebels), not to bomb and destroy its own cities, not to kill its own civilians (destroying living quarters is hardly a way to take control of those cities and make the people loyal), and not to constantly lie about "self-exploding air-conditioners" or "they bomb themselves".

    The region requires subsidies, and is a black hole in terms of social problems sch as crime and corruption, natural population growth rate, etc.
     
    Everybody knows it is a lie. Until 2014 Donbas has been one of the most rich and developed region (along with Kiev and Dnepr). The black hole is Western Ukraine populated by "true Ukrainian" uneducated village fools (aka raguls), the main driving force of Ukrainian nationalism and the Maidans.

    So Russia’s actions are logical from the perspective of benefit for the Russian state. But for people focused on the deaths of Russians, Russia’s actions have not been so good.
     
    Here I agree. The Kremlin ("the Russian state") is populated by a bunch of Ukrainophiles and xenophiles, who actually hate and fear Russians. So they easily as if make war with Ukraine, where thousands of Russians and Ukrainians die, and at the same time give Kiev all the resources for the Ukrainian Army and Ukrainian economy unless such actions provide good profits. And Kiev does the same. Unprincipled bastards they all are.
  12. @German_reader
    "In 1988, a missile fired by a US warship took out Iran Air Flight 655 over international waters."

    Blah, you can't really compare the death of Iranians to the death of EU citizens. Sorry, at least as far as I'm concerned I don't care that much if citizens of a nasty Islamic pariah state get killed (and won't pretend to do so for reasons of pc); I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though.
    Probably correct though that the shooting down wasn't intentional, more a result of the rebels' incompetence (am not convinced by the theories Ukraine manufactured this incident, though it might be possible). Russia should pay compensation to the relatives of those killed, and have those cretins who fired the missile punished for their negligence.

    I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though.

    Do you consider the people of the D/LNR to be fellow Europeans? Because far more civilians have been killed by Ukrainian government shelling of Donetsk and other population centers, than were killed on MH17.

    Russia should pay compensation to the relatives of those killed, and have those cretins who fired the missile punished for their negligence.

    The only government involved in this tragedy that clearly deserves to pay compensation is that of Ukraine, for failing to close the airspace over the conflict zone. At best Ukraine is guilty of gross negligence, at worst of using civilian airline passengers as human shields for their bombers.

    Why should Russia pay compensation when it was almost certainly not fired by Russian military personnel, and it has not even been proven in court that the Buk came from Russia (as opposed to being captured, as German intelligence reportedly concluded)?

    And if you are going to argue that Russia is responsible for a mistake made by a third party using weapons it provided, why shouldn’t the USA be paying compensation to Yemeni civilians killed by the Saudis with US-supplied weapons?

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  13. @German_reader
    "In 1988, a missile fired by a US warship took out Iran Air Flight 655 over international waters."

    Blah, you can't really compare the death of Iranians to the death of EU citizens. Sorry, at least as far as I'm concerned I don't care that much if citizens of a nasty Islamic pariah state get killed (and won't pretend to do so for reasons of pc); I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though.
    Probably correct though that the shooting down wasn't intentional, more a result of the rebels' incompetence (am not convinced by the theories Ukraine manufactured this incident, though it might be possible). Russia should pay compensation to the relatives of those killed, and have those cretins who fired the missile punished for their negligence.

    have those cretins who fired the missile punished for their negligence

    There’s no precedent for that, cf. Iran Air Flight 655.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    Yes, you're right of course, iirc the crew of the American ship in that case even got a medal for their service ...pretty pathetic.
    Personally I hate incompetence and think it ought to be punished...and after all the idiots who fired that missile caused a lot of embarrassment and trouble to Russia, so even from that perspective they should feel some consequences for their actions.
  14. How do we know that Putin didn’t order the shoot down?

    He’s up against crazy/incompetents on the US side.

    The questions in his mind would be:

    How far are these nut jobs willing to push the civil war in Ukraine?

    How many Russians will be killed if I don’t stop this now?

    The shoot down sends an unmistakable signal to the US side that you should stop f***ing with me, you are in over your head.

    The situation did settle down after this incident.

    Why shouldn’t we consider that Putin was willing to kill people in order to save many more from being killed? Leaders have made this decision from time immemorial.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    "Why shouldn’t we consider that Putin was willing to kill people in order to save many more from being killed? "

    I don't think that's plausible at all. Putin isn't a fool, and Russia's interest regarding the Ukraine situation is to encourage sentiment in EU countries for a rapprochement with Russia. A large part of the public in Western Europe doesn't want permanent conflict with Russia because of Ukraine (we don't care that much about it tbh, we've got other, more pressing problems), same for business leaders. Intentionally killing a lot of EU citizens would be rather counter-productive in that regard, to put it mildly.
    Personally I'm convinced it basically was an accident, people f**k up all the time. There might be a slight possibility the Ukrainians intentionally created a risky situation in which something like this could happen, but I haven't seen any convincing evidence this was the case.
  15. It cannot qualify as an act of terrorism because as phone conversations between the rebels in the immediate aftermath prove

    As far as I know, that phone conversations is a phoney made by the Ukrainians and then disseminated by the “independent” Ukrainian media.

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  16. I suspect that a more likely template for the future of the MH17 case is that of Pan Am Flight 103, better known as the Lockerbie bombing. At a first approximation, this would involve putting international (Western) pressure on Russia to not only pay out compensation to the victims of MH17, but to admit its guilt and to hand over any suspects to an international tribunal.

    I fear they might be deliberately developing a Libya scenario, that is totally destroying Russia, even if not today but in the long term. Even if it seems unbelievable, it might be so, 20 years ago nobody could believe that Libya and Syria would end up like today. The future of Russia is worrying.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    I fear they might be deliberately developing a Libya scenario, that is totally destroying Russia, even if not today but in the long term.
     
    Russia is not Libya, not even in the 100th approximation. The only thing which can destroy Russia are Russians themselves. If that was true when Clausewitz wrote his famous dictum on Russia's downfall, it is even more so today. Putin, tolerating his government of incompetent hacks and fifth columnists could potentially be such a reason, among some others. But for anyone who is even remotely acquainted with the dynamics of the Cold War it is clear that no external force can "win" Russia. Quoting Clausewitz: "only forces of internal disunity can bring such country as Russia to its knees". (c) You may observe similar process now on the example of the good ol' USA. Militarily no one can win Russia in her vicinity conventionally, period. It is this understanding (or sensing, since pundits and journos can not grasp such things) which, among other factors, drives US beltway's "elites" hysteria--precisely because Russia is not Libya, or contemporary Germany, or even EU and that any attempt on "Libyan Scenario" for Russia may see some stones rearranged in US proper.
    , @5371
    The prestige of the west, the little that is left of it, will certainly not last 20 years.
  17. @German_reader
    "In 1988, a missile fired by a US warship took out Iran Air Flight 655 over international waters."

    Blah, you can't really compare the death of Iranians to the death of EU citizens. Sorry, at least as far as I'm concerned I don't care that much if citizens of a nasty Islamic pariah state get killed (and won't pretend to do so for reasons of pc); I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though.
    Probably correct though that the shooting down wasn't intentional, more a result of the rebels' incompetence (am not convinced by the theories Ukraine manufactured this incident, though it might be possible). Russia should pay compensation to the relatives of those killed, and have those cretins who fired the missile punished for their negligence.

    Sorry, at least as far as I’m concerned I don’t care that much if citizens of a nasty Islamic pariah state get killed (and won’t pretend to do so for reasons of pc); I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though.

    Very inhumane, really. The Iranians are as much as people as you and they deserve no less sympathy than the Dutch, French or whoever.
    And Iran is not nasty, it’s hardly done any harm, at least it does not kill and bomb people around the world by some silly great cause. And it has become a pariah only because of the USA and Israel. And while they condemn Iran of being “undemocratic” and “dangerous” to the world, by the same standards they befriend very “democratic” and “peacemaking” Saudi Arabia.

    Though it is not a big surprise. The Westerners are extremely hypocritical and double-faced. When the terror attacks occurred in France, everybody showed the “solidarity” from street marches by high EU officials to tricolour avatars in FB. But when hundreds die in attacks somewhere in Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, Russia, etc., nobody in the EU goes to marches, nobody changes their avatars, nobody feels sympathy, nobody rages. All people are equal, but some are more equal.

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  18. @reiner Tor

    Frankly this is the theory I consider most likely because it is more or less the only one that explains all aspects of the case.
     
    Yes. But what is the evidence for the presence of the Su25s?

    Also isn't the statement that the plane was diverted at least contested? In the confusion following a tragedy many stories get printed, usually some of them false.

    Even so, there's still at least some Ukrainian culpability for allowing civilian flights over a war zone while simultaneously attacking the rebels there from the air. Especially if Ukrainian statements (in the immediate aftermath) were true that they already had evidence the rebels had a Buk.

    Even so, there’s still at least some Ukrainian culpability for allowing civilian flights over a war zone while simultaneously attacking the rebels there from the air. Especially if Ukrainian statements (in the immediate aftermath) were true that they already had evidence the rebels had a Buk.

    Exactly. It is out of understanding, why it is a responsibility of Russia that a plain was shot down in the Ukrainian air by Ukrainians citizens (the rebels are Ukrainian citizens) by an AA allegedly stolen from the Ukrainian Army.

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  19. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Boris N

    I suspect that a more likely template for the future of the MH17 case is that of Pan Am Flight 103, better known as the Lockerbie bombing. At a first approximation, this would involve putting international (Western) pressure on Russia to not only pay out compensation to the victims of MH17, but to admit its guilt and to hand over any suspects to an international tribunal.
     
    I fear they might be deliberately developing a Libya scenario, that is totally destroying Russia, even if not today but in the long term. Even if it seems unbelievable, it might be so, 20 years ago nobody could believe that Libya and Syria would end up like today. The future of Russia is worrying.

    I fear they might be deliberately developing a Libya scenario, that is totally destroying Russia, even if not today but in the long term.

    Russia is not Libya, not even in the 100th approximation. The only thing which can destroy Russia are Russians themselves. If that was true when Clausewitz wrote his famous dictum on Russia’s downfall, it is even more so today. Putin, tolerating his government of incompetent hacks and fifth columnists could potentially be such a reason, among some others. But for anyone who is even remotely acquainted with the dynamics of the Cold War it is clear that no external force can “win” Russia. Quoting Clausewitz: “only forces of internal disunity can bring such country as Russia to its knees”. (c) You may observe similar process now on the example of the good ol’ USA. Militarily no one can win Russia in her vicinity conventionally, period. It is this understanding (or sensing, since pundits and journos can not grasp such things) which, among other factors, drives US beltway’s “elites” hysteria–precisely because Russia is not Libya, or contemporary Germany, or even EU and that any attempt on “Libyan Scenario” for Russia may see some stones rearranged in US proper.

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  20. @AP

    you’ll understand how angry Russians get when Russians in Donetsk or Odessa are deliberately murdered
     
    So angry about the deaths of 48 people in Odessa (the Odessa murder story is contradicted by UN observations, but who cares) that they enable a war in Donbas to continue - over 2000 dead civilians (according to wiki, perhaps this is an underestimate) and counting. *

    Brilliant.

    *There were three possible Russian options for Donbas:

    1. Seize Donbas quickly, as in Crimea. A few hundred casualties perhaps, a few hundred arrests. Donbas becomes part of Russia and remains relatively intact and peaceful.

    2. Do nothing but maintain the border (so no massive arms deliveries, volunteers, etc.). Kiev takes Donbas. A few hundred casualties at most, several hundred arrests. Donbas becomes like Kharkiv (peaceful) and remains relatively intact.

    3. Provide support (volunteers, arms, military advisers, intelligence) to keep the war going with no decisive victory. Thousands of ethnic Russians from Donbas dead, hundreds of thousands homeless, region slowly destroyed.

    Russian state chose (3). It makes sense from the perspective of the Russian state. Option (1) would create a lot of diplomatic problems and be expensive. The region requires subsidies, and is a black hole in terms of social problems sch as crime and corruption, natural population growth rate, etc. Yanukovich and his ilk are fine as retirees in outer Moscow. Not as participants in the Russian state structures, even locally. Option (2) would let Ukraine get off too lightly. But Option (3) bleeds Ukraine constantly, providing possibility of some sort of eventual "autonomy" for rebel-held areas within Ukraine, prevents for awhile NATO membership for Ukraine, and keeps the expensive region from being Russia's full responsibility. It also results in the best from Donbas (young, healthy better-educated people) settling in Russia by the 100,000s. Russia can use such people. At the same time, undesirable violent Russian nationalists leave Russia to fight in Donbas, where many are killed. They are no longer a problem. Given the advantages for Russia of Option (3), who cares about the sacrifice of a few thousand ethnic Russians who aren't even Russian citizens anyways.

    So Russia's actions are logical from the perspective of benefit for the Russian state. But for people focused on the deaths of Russians, Russia's actions have not been so good.

    So angry about the deaths of 48 people in Odessa (the Odessa murder story is contradicted by UN observations, but who cares) that they enable a war in Donbas to continue – over 2000 dead civilians (according to wiki, perhaps this is an underestimate) and counting. *

    The problems of Ukrainians that they fail to remember things. Or at least they pretend they do not remember or do not know anything. But Russians never forget. Everybody saw who started the war in 2014, who started the bombings of Slavyansk, Lugansk and Donetsk, who bombed and killed civilians during the first phase of the war. Russians have not forgot that. Even if the rebels now bomb in reply the other side of the front and might kill civilians on the Ukrainian held territory, the prime cause guilt of Ukraine is undisputed

    *There were three possible Russian options for Donbas:

    Russian state chose (3).

    It is somewhat not surprising that you’ve failed to list the options for the Ukrainian state as if it is not the main actor and driving force in the war. Ukraine has had an option not to start the war in the first place, not to muster its Army and heavy weaponry against a bunch of lightly armed men (a couple of hundred special forces would suffice if Ukraine really wanted to suppress the rebels), not to bomb and destroy its own cities, not to kill its own civilians (destroying living quarters is hardly a way to take control of those cities and make the people loyal), and not to constantly lie about “self-exploding air-conditioners” or “they bomb themselves”.

    The region requires subsidies, and is a black hole in terms of social problems sch as crime and corruption, natural population growth rate, etc.

    Everybody knows it is a lie. Until 2014 Donbas has been one of the most rich and developed region (along with Kiev and Dnepr). The black hole is Western Ukraine populated by “true Ukrainian” uneducated village fools (aka raguls), the main driving force of Ukrainian nationalism and the Maidans.

    So Russia’s actions are logical from the perspective of benefit for the Russian state. But for people focused on the deaths of Russians, Russia’s actions have not been so good.

    Here I agree. The Kremlin (“the Russian state”) is populated by a bunch of Ukrainophiles and xenophiles, who actually hate and fear Russians. So they easily as if make war with Ukraine, where thousands of Russians and Ukrainians die, and at the same time give Kiev all the resources for the Ukrainian Army and Ukrainian economy unless such actions provide good profits. And Kiev does the same. Unprincipled bastards they all are.

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  21. @reiner Tor
    Your feelings have no legal relevance. You probably have enough empathy to understand why the Iranians were outraged, and you're probably intelligent enough to understand the analogy. Except in the case of Iran Air Flight 655 the only people responsible were the missile operators (and a bit the pilots who didn't respond to the American requests, but they were in Iranian airspace and also went down with the plane themselves), whereas here it's also people who allowed civilian airliners to fly above a war zone. (With the possibilities AK mentioned in the post regarding the Su25s and MH17 being diverted.)

    But ultimately, both were accidents.

    (I still find the deliberate downing unconvincing.)

    You’re right of course, but frankly I’m a bit annoyed by that sort of whataboutery…I’ve lost count of how often I’ve seen the shooting down of that Iranian airliner mentioned. It happened almost 30 years ago, and it’s not like Iran wasn’t guilty of worse things itself (like state-sponsored terrorism). I don’t regard it as terribly relevant tbh.
    But apart from that I’ve no real disagreement with AK’s comment…not much else to be said.

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  22. @reiner Tor

    have those cretins who fired the missile punished for their negligence
     
    There's no precedent for that, cf. Iran Air Flight 655.

    Yes, you’re right of course, iirc the crew of the American ship in that case even got a medal for their service …pretty pathetic.
    Personally I hate incompetence and think it ought to be punished…and after all the idiots who fired that missile caused a lot of embarrassment and trouble to Russia, so even from that perspective they should feel some consequences for their actions.

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  23. I think that the Dutch inquiry into the downing of flight MH17 is definitely credible for several reasons. The main one being that thanks to western technological superiority, the investigators were able to pinpoint the angle under which the rocket hit the plane – they were able to deduct this from the scratch marks left by the rocket on the plane.

    They even factored in the wind that was blowing at the time (and still is) from a westerly direction – the one I like to call a propaganda wind – and which affected the flight path of the rocket.

    If there wasn’t such a weather phenomenon present at the time of the downing of the plane, the Russians might have been able to fool the international community – without impunity and with total immunity – into believing that the rocket came from Ukrainian territory. Again, thanks to superior western technology, and the propaganda wind which helped the investigation to conclusively prove that no matter how you look at it – the rocket came from the Russian side.

    I think that the Dutch outdid themselves on this one. Such a brilliant investigation. They got it down to a science. And they did it the old fashion way – the way that KGB used to do it in the old days – by using human intelligence.

    I know I am being awfully generous referring to the UkroNazis as both human and intelligent in a same sentence, but give them some credit, will you. After all, who in their wildest dreams could imagine that Ukrainians might have some motive to lie about the whole thing? What could be in it for them to blame the Russians?

    I mean, the whole investigation was based on Ukrainian eyewitnesses’ accounts of seeing the transport of the BUK system? Really?

    I think the Dutch are on the roll here. I think that next they should reopen the case of Anna Frank. I think the Germans got framed on that one and I believe that a lot of people on this site would agree that the whole thing was a vast Jewish conspiracy. When the smoke clears, I believe the truth will come out that Anna Frank ended up in a gulag and it all got blamed on the innocent Germans who were too polite to deny it, because they are so western and civilized.

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  24. @iffen
    How do we know that Putin didn't order the shoot down?

    He's up against crazy/incompetents on the US side.

    The questions in his mind would be:

    How far are these nut jobs willing to push the civil war in Ukraine?

    How many Russians will be killed if I don't stop this now?

    The shoot down sends an unmistakable signal to the US side that you should stop f***ing with me, you are in over your head.

    The situation did settle down after this incident.

    Why shouldn't we consider that Putin was willing to kill people in order to save many more from being killed? Leaders have made this decision from time immemorial.

    “Why shouldn’t we consider that Putin was willing to kill people in order to save many more from being killed? ”

    I don’t think that’s plausible at all. Putin isn’t a fool, and Russia’s interest regarding the Ukraine situation is to encourage sentiment in EU countries for a rapprochement with Russia. A large part of the public in Western Europe doesn’t want permanent conflict with Russia because of Ukraine (we don’t care that much about it tbh, we’ve got other, more pressing problems), same for business leaders. Intentionally killing a lot of EU citizens would be rather counter-productive in that regard, to put it mildly.
    Personally I’m convinced it basically was an accident, people f**k up all the time. There might be a slight possibility the Ukrainians intentionally created a risky situation in which something like this could happen, but I haven’t seen any convincing evidence this was the case.

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    • Replies: @iffen
    Well, I don't think Russia is ever going to give up Crimea, so European rapprochement is not for this lifetime.

    How about some rogue Colonel that wants all of "Greater Russia" back and thought widening the conflict in Ukraine would be a good way to push that along?
  25. @German_reader
    "Why shouldn’t we consider that Putin was willing to kill people in order to save many more from being killed? "

    I don't think that's plausible at all. Putin isn't a fool, and Russia's interest regarding the Ukraine situation is to encourage sentiment in EU countries for a rapprochement with Russia. A large part of the public in Western Europe doesn't want permanent conflict with Russia because of Ukraine (we don't care that much about it tbh, we've got other, more pressing problems), same for business leaders. Intentionally killing a lot of EU citizens would be rather counter-productive in that regard, to put it mildly.
    Personally I'm convinced it basically was an accident, people f**k up all the time. There might be a slight possibility the Ukrainians intentionally created a risky situation in which something like this could happen, but I haven't seen any convincing evidence this was the case.

    Well, I don’t think Russia is ever going to give up Crimea, so European rapprochement is not for this lifetime.

    How about some rogue Colonel that wants all of “Greater Russia” back and thought widening the conflict in Ukraine would be a good way to push that along?

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    I don't really care about Crimea, and neither probably do most people in Western Europe (admittedly I don't have poll numbers, just my impression). Sure, it's an infringement of international law, and that's somewhat of a problem...but it's pretty clear the majority of the population there are pro-Russian, and that Russia won't give it back. There probably won't be official recognition of it for a long time, if ever, but I don't believe Crimea by itself will make European-Russian rapprochement impossible (the situation in Eastern Ukraine is probably a lot more problematic).
    The whole "Russia is our eternal enemy, Putin wants to bring back the USSR" nonsense doesn't have deep popular roots in most of Western Europe, it's an elite and media thing, and the way things are going that view might well be soon just as discredited as the rest of the phoney consensus. I think Putin has some awareness of that, I don't think he'd be foolish enough to intentionally have a civilian airliner shot down; also haven't heard of evidence for any rogue elements in the Russian military (that actually seems to be more of a problem with NATO, with those disturbing reports about Breedlove trying to escalate the situation).
  26. @Boris N

    I suspect that a more likely template for the future of the MH17 case is that of Pan Am Flight 103, better known as the Lockerbie bombing. At a first approximation, this would involve putting international (Western) pressure on Russia to not only pay out compensation to the victims of MH17, but to admit its guilt and to hand over any suspects to an international tribunal.
     
    I fear they might be deliberately developing a Libya scenario, that is totally destroying Russia, even if not today but in the long term. Even if it seems unbelievable, it might be so, 20 years ago nobody could believe that Libya and Syria would end up like today. The future of Russia is worrying.

    The prestige of the west, the little that is left of it, will certainly not last 20 years.

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  27. @iffen
    Well, I don't think Russia is ever going to give up Crimea, so European rapprochement is not for this lifetime.

    How about some rogue Colonel that wants all of "Greater Russia" back and thought widening the conflict in Ukraine would be a good way to push that along?

    I don’t really care about Crimea, and neither probably do most people in Western Europe (admittedly I don’t have poll numbers, just my impression). Sure, it’s an infringement of international law, and that’s somewhat of a problem…but it’s pretty clear the majority of the population there are pro-Russian, and that Russia won’t give it back. There probably won’t be official recognition of it for a long time, if ever, but I don’t believe Crimea by itself will make European-Russian rapprochement impossible (the situation in Eastern Ukraine is probably a lot more problematic).
    The whole “Russia is our eternal enemy, Putin wants to bring back the USSR” nonsense doesn’t have deep popular roots in most of Western Europe, it’s an elite and media thing, and the way things are going that view might well be soon just as discredited as the rest of the phoney consensus. I think Putin has some awareness of that, I don’t think he’d be foolish enough to intentionally have a civilian airliner shot down; also haven’t heard of evidence for any rogue elements in the Russian military (that actually seems to be more of a problem with NATO, with those disturbing reports about Breedlove trying to escalate the situation).

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  28. @reiner Tor

    Frankly this is the theory I consider most likely because it is more or less the only one that explains all aspects of the case.
     
    Yes. But what is the evidence for the presence of the Su25s?

    Also isn't the statement that the plane was diverted at least contested? In the confusion following a tragedy many stories get printed, usually some of them false.

    Even so, there's still at least some Ukrainian culpability for allowing civilian flights over a war zone while simultaneously attacking the rebels there from the air. Especially if Ukrainian statements (in the immediate aftermath) were true that they already had evidence the rebels had a Buk.

    “Especially if Ukrainian statements (in the immediate aftermath) were true that they already had evidence the rebels had a Buk.”

    The Ukrainians didn’t quite say that the rebels had a Buk. They claim that the Buk was smuggled from Russia for this one job and then smuggled back. This is quite an exraordinary claim if you think about it. Buk is a major weapons system, you can’t just steal it from a Russian military warehouse. Therefore it must have been provided by the Russian government. And since it’s hard to imagine that the Russians would hand this piece of complicated weaponry to some random clowns in the militia, it must have come with a crew. The only conclusion from this is that Russia shot down the plane deliberately. The Ukrainian government claimed this explicitly. Now it is implicitly claimed by the Western governments.

    Meanwhile, the black box recordings still haven’t been released. Neither have the dispatcher recordings. Neither has the radar data. Well, the last one won’t ever been released because the Ukrainian government claims that all radars in the area were shut down for maintenance that day. How convenient.

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    • Replies: @Sparkon
    I still have not seen any credible motive established for Russia to shoot down MH17. With full-court Western media propaganda blitz ongoing against Putin, would loyal Russians be stupid enough to execute this shoot-down? Do any anti-Putin interests within Russia have the chops to pull this off?

    Also puzzling is reason for presence near Donetsk of a few Ukrainian Buk missile batteries on day MH17 was downed, in view of the fact that Donbass rebels have no air force.

    But the $64 question is why and by whom MH17 was diverted from its normal flight path across the Sea of Azov to a route well north of Donetsk, where it was shot down. According to some sources, the diversion was up 300 miles north of where the 10 previous MH17 aircraft had flown.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/malaysian-airlines-mh17-was-ordered-to-fly-over-the-east-ukraine-warzone/5392540
    , @reiner Tor
    I think the story is that the Russians were giving more and more weapons to the rebels, which culminated in them giving a Buk to some bozos who immediately managed to down an airliner with it.

    I'm not sure if that is true, but at least it's possible. When giving weapons to rebels or guerrillas or whoever, you can easily end up with your weapons in some bozos' hands. That's equally true of Russians or Americans or anybody else. And sure enough, that has happened to Russians, to Americans and to others as well.

    The Ukrainians doing this is also possible, but at present there's exactly zero evidence for that. The problem is, Occam requires the Ukrainian Theory to have more evidence than the Rebel Theory, which definitely means more evidence than zero.
  29. Sparkon [AKA "SP"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @inertial
    "Especially if Ukrainian statements (in the immediate aftermath) were true that they already had evidence the rebels had a Buk."

    The Ukrainians didn't quite say that the rebels had a Buk. They claim that the Buk was smuggled from Russia for this one job and then smuggled back. This is quite an exraordinary claim if you think about it. Buk is a major weapons system, you can't just steal it from a Russian military warehouse. Therefore it must have been provided by the Russian government. And since it's hard to imagine that the Russians would hand this piece of complicated weaponry to some random clowns in the militia, it must have come with a crew. The only conclusion from this is that Russia shot down the plane deliberately. The Ukrainian government claimed this explicitly. Now it is implicitly claimed by the Western governments.

    Meanwhile, the black box recordings still haven't been released. Neither have the dispatcher recordings. Neither has the radar data. Well, the last one won't ever been released because the Ukrainian government claims that all radars in the area were shut down for maintenance that day. How convenient.

    I still have not seen any credible motive established for Russia to shoot down MH17. With full-court Western media propaganda blitz ongoing against Putin, would loyal Russians be stupid enough to execute this shoot-down? Do any anti-Putin interests within Russia have the chops to pull this off?

    Also puzzling is reason for presence near Donetsk of a few Ukrainian Buk missile batteries on day MH17 was downed, in view of the fact that Donbass rebels have no air force.

    But the $64 question is why and by whom MH17 was diverted from its normal flight path across the Sea of Azov to a route well north of Donetsk, where it was shot down. According to some sources, the diversion was up 300 miles north of where the 10 previous MH17 aircraft had flown.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/malaysian-airlines-mh17-was-ordered-to-fly-over-the-east-ukraine-warzone/5392540

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    • Replies: @Fredrik
    Why do you need a motive? There are no credible sources saying the rebels wanted to shoot down a passenger aircraft.

    That's not the same as saying they in fact did not shoot down a passenger aircraft. Mistakes happen and it's hard to not see that the rebels, who aren't very disciplined, would have been ignorant(and it's up to you to judge that particular thing) about foreign passenger aircraft in the airspace above them.
  30. @German_reader
    "In 1988, a missile fired by a US warship took out Iran Air Flight 655 over international waters."

    Blah, you can't really compare the death of Iranians to the death of EU citizens. Sorry, at least as far as I'm concerned I don't care that much if citizens of a nasty Islamic pariah state get killed (and won't pretend to do so for reasons of pc); I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though.
    Probably correct though that the shooting down wasn't intentional, more a result of the rebels' incompetence (am not convinced by the theories Ukraine manufactured this incident, though it might be possible). Russia should pay compensation to the relatives of those killed, and have those cretins who fired the missile punished for their negligence.

    “…I don’t care that much if citizens of a nasty Islamic pariah state get killed… I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though.”

    Innocent civilians are innocent civilians, period. They are not worth less; we are not worth more.

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  31. Malaysia had for some reason been excluded from the official investigation.

    I read somewhere that they were later made privy to the investigation, but only after they signed a non-disclosure agreement like the other participants.

    It explain why we have not seen a consistent or credible alternate theory from Russia. Because there is none.

    As I recall, a few days after the incident, the Russian government released radar data from one of their civilian airports in the region–I believe it was Rostov on Don–showing that the passenger plane was being shadowed by one or more fighters, though they didn’t directly speculate as to why.

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  32. @inertial
    "Especially if Ukrainian statements (in the immediate aftermath) were true that they already had evidence the rebels had a Buk."

    The Ukrainians didn't quite say that the rebels had a Buk. They claim that the Buk was smuggled from Russia for this one job and then smuggled back. This is quite an exraordinary claim if you think about it. Buk is a major weapons system, you can't just steal it from a Russian military warehouse. Therefore it must have been provided by the Russian government. And since it's hard to imagine that the Russians would hand this piece of complicated weaponry to some random clowns in the militia, it must have come with a crew. The only conclusion from this is that Russia shot down the plane deliberately. The Ukrainian government claimed this explicitly. Now it is implicitly claimed by the Western governments.

    Meanwhile, the black box recordings still haven't been released. Neither have the dispatcher recordings. Neither has the radar data. Well, the last one won't ever been released because the Ukrainian government claims that all radars in the area were shut down for maintenance that day. How convenient.

    I think the story is that the Russians were giving more and more weapons to the rebels, which culminated in them giving a Buk to some bozos who immediately managed to down an airliner with it.

    I’m not sure if that is true, but at least it’s possible. When giving weapons to rebels or guerrillas or whoever, you can easily end up with your weapons in some bozos’ hands. That’s equally true of Russians or Americans or anybody else. And sure enough, that has happened to Russians, to Americans and to others as well.

    The Ukrainians doing this is also possible, but at present there’s exactly zero evidence for that. The problem is, Occam requires the Ukrainian Theory to have more evidence than the Rebel Theory, which definitely means more evidence than zero.

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    • Replies: @inertial
    "When giving weapons to rebels or guerrillas or whoever, you can easily end up with your weapons in some bozos’ hands. "

    There was no military reason for Russia to give Buk to rebels. Planes at 10,000 feet weren't a threat to them. Now, it may be plausible to assume (like many did in the beginning) that the rebels captured an Ukrainian Buk, tried to use it, and accidentally shot down a civilian plane. But the claim that Buk came from Russia (and then disappeared back into Russia) is equivalent to accusing Russian government of premeditated murder of neutral civilians. This is an extraordinary accusation. The fact that it's just accepted by default without anyone questioning it is mind boggling.

    "The problem is, Occam requires the Ukrainian Theory to have more evidence than the Rebel Theory."

    No. In a just world Occam razor would point at Ukraine. Look, we know there were several Ukrainian Buk systems in the area. No one denies that, although you'd be hard pressed to find many mentions of it. Furthermore, the plane shot down brought enormous benefits to the Ukrainian government. Ukrainians had the motive, the means, and an opportunity. On the other hand, the (pro)Russian side had no dicernable motive to attack the plane. And in order to posit the means and opportunity they had to come up with Occam's extraneous entity - a story of mysteriously appearing and disappearing Buk.

    Oh, and on top of all this (as I alluded to in the last paragraph of my previous message) there is strong evidence that Ukrainian side is engaged in coverup.
  33. @reiner Tor
    I think the story is that the Russians were giving more and more weapons to the rebels, which culminated in them giving a Buk to some bozos who immediately managed to down an airliner with it.

    I'm not sure if that is true, but at least it's possible. When giving weapons to rebels or guerrillas or whoever, you can easily end up with your weapons in some bozos' hands. That's equally true of Russians or Americans or anybody else. And sure enough, that has happened to Russians, to Americans and to others as well.

    The Ukrainians doing this is also possible, but at present there's exactly zero evidence for that. The problem is, Occam requires the Ukrainian Theory to have more evidence than the Rebel Theory, which definitely means more evidence than zero.

    “When giving weapons to rebels or guerrillas or whoever, you can easily end up with your weapons in some bozos’ hands. ”

    There was no military reason for Russia to give Buk to rebels. Planes at 10,000 feet weren’t a threat to them. Now, it may be plausible to assume (like many did in the beginning) that the rebels captured an Ukrainian Buk, tried to use it, and accidentally shot down a civilian plane. But the claim that Buk came from Russia (and then disappeared back into Russia) is equivalent to accusing Russian government of premeditated murder of neutral civilians. This is an extraordinary accusation. The fact that it’s just accepted by default without anyone questioning it is mind boggling.

    “The problem is, Occam requires the Ukrainian Theory to have more evidence than the Rebel Theory.”

    No. In a just world Occam razor would point at Ukraine. Look, we know there were several Ukrainian Buk systems in the area. No one denies that, although you’d be hard pressed to find many mentions of it. Furthermore, the plane shot down brought enormous benefits to the Ukrainian government. Ukrainians had the motive, the means, and an opportunity. On the other hand, the (pro)Russian side had no dicernable motive to attack the plane. And in order to posit the means and opportunity they had to come up with Occam’s extraneous entity – a story of mysteriously appearing and disappearing Buk.

    Oh, and on top of all this (as I alluded to in the last paragraph of my previous message) there is strong evidence that Ukrainian side is engaged in coverup.

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    • Replies: @El Dato
    This.

    I also don't see how it makes sense to promenade a single Buk battery around without any support troops, the other system elements nor any support gear unless someone is seriously brain damaged in the russian decision hierarchy and thinks this is a video game.

    Especially if it's going to be stationed in an area where rebels and government are contesting the territory. "Oy, we have captured a Buk from Russia, let's show the journalists". Ouch time!
  34. @German_reader
    "In 1988, a missile fired by a US warship took out Iran Air Flight 655 over international waters."

    Blah, you can't really compare the death of Iranians to the death of EU citizens. Sorry, at least as far as I'm concerned I don't care that much if citizens of a nasty Islamic pariah state get killed (and won't pretend to do so for reasons of pc); I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though.
    Probably correct though that the shooting down wasn't intentional, more a result of the rebels' incompetence (am not convinced by the theories Ukraine manufactured this incident, though it might be possible). Russia should pay compensation to the relatives of those killed, and have those cretins who fired the missile punished for their negligence.

    In defense of German_reader this is a fairly understandable attitude, it’s called concentric circles of empathy and everyone is affected by it to some extent.

    He is uncharacteristically blunt about it to be sure but it’s not as if The Unz Review or my blog in particular cares about promoting feelz over realz.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    I feel like I'm merely being honest...it's not like I wish harm on any innocent Iranians or other Muslims (in general I'm opposed to Western military interventions in the Islamic world); and certainly US behavior regarding that incident was pretty pathetic, as has been the general US attitude towards the effects of America's mideast wars on local populations. But I won't pretend that I feel equally for everyone. I feel like there's a certain fake moralism among many critics of US and Western foreign policy, and I have less and less tolerance for that.
    Anyway, I hope I didn't come across as wanting to promote a callous disregard of human life. But as you write, the Unz review is one of the few places in the net where one can dispense with the usual pieties and state freely what one really thinks (which of course also goes for people who feel offended by my statement), and I appreciate that.
  35. @Anatoly Karlin
    In defense of German_reader this is a fairly understandable attitude, it's called concentric circles of empathy and everyone is affected by it to some extent.

    He is uncharacteristically blunt about it to be sure but it's not as if The Unz Review or my blog in particular cares about promoting feelz over realz.

    I feel like I’m merely being honest…it’s not like I wish harm on any innocent Iranians or other Muslims (in general I’m opposed to Western military interventions in the Islamic world); and certainly US behavior regarding that incident was pretty pathetic, as has been the general US attitude towards the effects of America’s mideast wars on local populations. But I won’t pretend that I feel equally for everyone. I feel like there’s a certain fake moralism among many critics of US and Western foreign policy, and I have less and less tolerance for that.
    Anyway, I hope I didn’t come across as wanting to promote a callous disregard of human life. But as you write, the Unz review is one of the few places in the net where one can dispense with the usual pieties and state freely what one really thinks (which of course also goes for people who feel offended by my statement), and I appreciate that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I think the problem is that when dealing with outsiders, your demands have to be reasonable, unless you're both able and willing to back them up with force. Now in the case of Russia, we are neither able nor (I hope so) willing to back up with force the demands to extradite or imprison the soldiers who operated the Buk system. And, as the precedents of Iran Air Flight 655 and also Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 show, this demand is not reasonable at all, because there is no precedent for such soldiers receiving legal punishment. (Maybe their commanders yelled at them afterwards or something, but apparently there was no disciplinary action taken against them. Probably military high command thinks that it would badly affect morale, make them unwilling to shoot down any plane, even when needed. And I tend to think they are correct. Procedures might need to be updated, but such events are rare anyway, there's no need to punish badly paid soldiers for some error while doing their jobs.)
  36. @German_reader
    I feel like I'm merely being honest...it's not like I wish harm on any innocent Iranians or other Muslims (in general I'm opposed to Western military interventions in the Islamic world); and certainly US behavior regarding that incident was pretty pathetic, as has been the general US attitude towards the effects of America's mideast wars on local populations. But I won't pretend that I feel equally for everyone. I feel like there's a certain fake moralism among many critics of US and Western foreign policy, and I have less and less tolerance for that.
    Anyway, I hope I didn't come across as wanting to promote a callous disregard of human life. But as you write, the Unz review is one of the few places in the net where one can dispense with the usual pieties and state freely what one really thinks (which of course also goes for people who feel offended by my statement), and I appreciate that.

    I think the problem is that when dealing with outsiders, your demands have to be reasonable, unless you’re both able and willing to back them up with force. Now in the case of Russia, we are neither able nor (I hope so) willing to back up with force the demands to extradite or imprison the soldiers who operated the Buk system. And, as the precedents of Iran Air Flight 655 and also Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 show, this demand is not reasonable at all, because there is no precedent for such soldiers receiving legal punishment. (Maybe their commanders yelled at them afterwards or something, but apparently there was no disciplinary action taken against them. Probably military high command thinks that it would badly affect morale, make them unwilling to shoot down any plane, even when needed. And I tend to think they are correct. Procedures might need to be updated, but such events are rare anyway, there’s no need to punish badly paid soldiers for some error while doing their jobs.)

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    I didn't mean to imply that Russia should extradite anybody (it's obvious anyway that would never happen)...I just feel that people who are that incompetent ought to be punished, especially in a military setting. But that's just my personal opinion which of course isn't legally relevant.
    I'm mostly in agreement with you and AK on this issue (that is it most likely was an extremely unfortunate accident). I do believe that in an ideal world Russia would admit responsibility and pay compensation, but then of course great powers rarely act like that, and the general behaviour of Western powers in recent decades (e.g. the Kosovo war) isn't much to be proud of either.
  37. @reiner Tor
    I think the problem is that when dealing with outsiders, your demands have to be reasonable, unless you're both able and willing to back them up with force. Now in the case of Russia, we are neither able nor (I hope so) willing to back up with force the demands to extradite or imprison the soldiers who operated the Buk system. And, as the precedents of Iran Air Flight 655 and also Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 show, this demand is not reasonable at all, because there is no precedent for such soldiers receiving legal punishment. (Maybe their commanders yelled at them afterwards or something, but apparently there was no disciplinary action taken against them. Probably military high command thinks that it would badly affect morale, make them unwilling to shoot down any plane, even when needed. And I tend to think they are correct. Procedures might need to be updated, but such events are rare anyway, there's no need to punish badly paid soldiers for some error while doing their jobs.)

    I didn’t mean to imply that Russia should extradite anybody (it’s obvious anyway that would never happen)…I just feel that people who are that incompetent ought to be punished, especially in a military setting. But that’s just my personal opinion which of course isn’t legally relevant.
    I’m mostly in agreement with you and AK on this issue (that is it most likely was an extremely unfortunate accident). I do believe that in an ideal world Russia would admit responsibility and pay compensation, but then of course great powers rarely act like that, and the general behaviour of Western powers in recent decades (e.g. the Kosovo war) isn’t much to be proud of either.

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  38. @Anatoly Karlin

    They spend a vast amount on satellite, ground and airborne ELINT systems to maintain an up to date real-time global Electronic ORBAT. If a Russian BUK was used they would have its complete deployment history. And they would immediately have announced this smoking gun.
     
    While I appreciate US ELINT capabilities are second to none, this makes it sound like they're all but omniscient. Highly skeptical.

    The Dutch showed their gratitude by resoundingly rejecting the EU-Ukraine association agreement in a referendum.
     
    Let's be honest - the Dutch care very little for Ukraine and less for Russia. It was for all intents and purposes a referendum on immigration, the only one offered to them.

    Highly skeptical.

    S’truth.

    Actually I was amazed that there was talk of satellites having picked up a “heat flash” when ISIS downed the russian plane in Egypt last year:

    Russian plane crash: Heat flash detected by military satellites at time of crash, US media reports

    That… very good coverage. By an atmosphere-skimming satellite. What are the chances that this observation occurs??

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    With an infrared scanner, over dry terrrain, rather good. They can pick up individual bush clearing fires across Africa for example. If one was recording the area at the time it would be possible. But the chances of one passing over at the right time are small.
  39. @German_reader
    "In 1988, a missile fired by a US warship took out Iran Air Flight 655 over international waters."

    Blah, you can't really compare the death of Iranians to the death of EU citizens. Sorry, at least as far as I'm concerned I don't care that much if citizens of a nasty Islamic pariah state get killed (and won't pretend to do so for reasons of pc); I do get viscerally angry about the death of fellow Europeans though.
    Probably correct though that the shooting down wasn't intentional, more a result of the rebels' incompetence (am not convinced by the theories Ukraine manufactured this incident, though it might be possible). Russia should pay compensation to the relatives of those killed, and have those cretins who fired the missile punished for their negligence.

    > German reader
    > Cares about “death of EU citizens”
    > Not german citizens

    Seriously?

    I have still to meet a german who gets upset if bombs go off in Paris for example.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    Obviously I can only speak for myself, not for all Germans.
    But given how apathetic German reaction generally is when German tourists get killed somewhere by Islamists (which has happened numerous times), many Germans don't seem to care that much about the death of other Germans either.
  40. @inertial
    "When giving weapons to rebels or guerrillas or whoever, you can easily end up with your weapons in some bozos’ hands. "

    There was no military reason for Russia to give Buk to rebels. Planes at 10,000 feet weren't a threat to them. Now, it may be plausible to assume (like many did in the beginning) that the rebels captured an Ukrainian Buk, tried to use it, and accidentally shot down a civilian plane. But the claim that Buk came from Russia (and then disappeared back into Russia) is equivalent to accusing Russian government of premeditated murder of neutral civilians. This is an extraordinary accusation. The fact that it's just accepted by default without anyone questioning it is mind boggling.

    "The problem is, Occam requires the Ukrainian Theory to have more evidence than the Rebel Theory."

    No. In a just world Occam razor would point at Ukraine. Look, we know there were several Ukrainian Buk systems in the area. No one denies that, although you'd be hard pressed to find many mentions of it. Furthermore, the plane shot down brought enormous benefits to the Ukrainian government. Ukrainians had the motive, the means, and an opportunity. On the other hand, the (pro)Russian side had no dicernable motive to attack the plane. And in order to posit the means and opportunity they had to come up with Occam's extraneous entity - a story of mysteriously appearing and disappearing Buk.

    Oh, and on top of all this (as I alluded to in the last paragraph of my previous message) there is strong evidence that Ukrainian side is engaged in coverup.

    This.

    I also don’t see how it makes sense to promenade a single Buk battery around without any support troops, the other system elements nor any support gear unless someone is seriously brain damaged in the russian decision hierarchy and thinks this is a video game.

    Especially if it’s going to be stationed in an area where rebels and government are contesting the territory. “Oy, we have captured a Buk from Russia, let’s show the journalists”. Ouch time!

    Read More
  41. @El Dato
    > German reader
    > Cares about "death of EU citizens"
    > Not german citizens

    Seriously?

    I have still to meet a german who gets upset if bombs go off in Paris for example.

    Obviously I can only speak for myself, not for all Germans.
    But given how apathetic German reaction generally is when German tourists get killed somewhere by Islamists (which has happened numerous times), many Germans don’t seem to care that much about the death of other Germans either.

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  42. @5371
    You should punish yourself for your negligence as a commenter, for failing to consider the basic "cui bono" question.

    True. Who benefited. Well you only have to follow the western media and you have the answer.
    Point, The separatists handed over the black boxes only dusts after they had been found in good faith. Shiwn on TV worldwide. Question why should they incriminate themselves. These boxes could have contained vital information that would hang them. The recordings have never been released and revealed.

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  43. @Sparkon
    I still have not seen any credible motive established for Russia to shoot down MH17. With full-court Western media propaganda blitz ongoing against Putin, would loyal Russians be stupid enough to execute this shoot-down? Do any anti-Putin interests within Russia have the chops to pull this off?

    Also puzzling is reason for presence near Donetsk of a few Ukrainian Buk missile batteries on day MH17 was downed, in view of the fact that Donbass rebels have no air force.

    But the $64 question is why and by whom MH17 was diverted from its normal flight path across the Sea of Azov to a route well north of Donetsk, where it was shot down. According to some sources, the diversion was up 300 miles north of where the 10 previous MH17 aircraft had flown.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/malaysian-airlines-mh17-was-ordered-to-fly-over-the-east-ukraine-warzone/5392540

    Why do you need a motive? There are no credible sources saying the rebels wanted to shoot down a passenger aircraft.

    That’s not the same as saying they in fact did not shoot down a passenger aircraft. Mistakes happen and it’s hard to not see that the rebels, who aren’t very disciplined, would have been ignorant(and it’s up to you to judge that particular thing) about foreign passenger aircraft in the airspace above them.

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    • Replies: @Sparkon
    According to Wikipedia,

    On 28 September 2016, the JIT gave a press conference in which it confirmed that the aircraft was shot down with a 9M38 BUK missile which it concluded had been fired from a rebel-controlled field near Pervomaisky, a town 6 km (3.7 mi) south of Snizhne.[117] It also found the Buk missile system used had been transported from Russia into Ukraine on the day of the crash, and then back into Russia after the crash.
     
    So now we have it that it wasn't drunken or incompetent rebels after all, but rather murderous Russians, who went out of their way to incriminate the Donbass rebels.

    Were it so motivated, Russia could easily shoot down an airliner from its own territory without needing to cross into Ukraine. What would be the purpose of such an idiotic adventure?

    There would seem to be no credible, conceivable, or entirely sane motive for Russia to shoot down MH17.

  44. Sparkon [AKA "SP"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Fredrik
    Why do you need a motive? There are no credible sources saying the rebels wanted to shoot down a passenger aircraft.

    That's not the same as saying they in fact did not shoot down a passenger aircraft. Mistakes happen and it's hard to not see that the rebels, who aren't very disciplined, would have been ignorant(and it's up to you to judge that particular thing) about foreign passenger aircraft in the airspace above them.

    According to Wikipedia,

    On 28 September 2016, the JIT gave a press conference in which it confirmed that the aircraft was shot down with a 9M38 BUK missile which it concluded had been fired from a rebel-controlled field near Pervomaisky, a town 6 km (3.7 mi) south of Snizhne.[117] It also found the Buk missile system used had been transported from Russia into Ukraine on the day of the crash, and then back into Russia after the crash.

    So now we have it that it wasn’t drunken or incompetent rebels after all, but rather murderous Russians, who went out of their way to incriminate the Donbass rebels.

    Were it so motivated, Russia could easily shoot down an airliner from its own territory without needing to cross into Ukraine. What would be the purpose of such an idiotic adventure?

    There would seem to be no credible, conceivable, or entirely sane motive for Russia to shoot down MH17.

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  45. Newest MH17 theory:

    Putin wanted to shoot down Russian plane that was passing at the time, blame Kiev govt and use it as pretext to invade and annex Ukraine. But BUK crew screwed up and hit MH17 by mistake.

    http://www.alexanderboot.com/did-flight-17-die-to-save-ukraine/

    You might know crazy neocon Max Boot. Alexander Boot is his even crazier father.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Boot

    http://www.alexanderboot.com/biography/

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  46. @El Dato

    Highly skeptical.
     
    S'truth.

    Actually I was amazed that there was talk of satellites having picked up a "heat flash" when ISIS downed the russian plane in Egypt last year:

    Russian plane crash: Heat flash detected by military satellites at time of crash, US media reports

    That... very good coverage. By an atmosphere-skimming satellite. What are the chances that this observation occurs??

    With an infrared scanner, over dry terrrain, rather good. They can pick up individual bush clearing fires across Africa for example. If one was recording the area at the time it would be possible. But the chances of one passing over at the right time are small.

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