Last year I published Our American Pravda, making the case for the utter corruption and unreliability of the mainstream American media, both in the past and especially in recent years. The enormous lacunae I daily noticed in the pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other leading media outlets were a major motivation behind my creation of The Review, whose readership has grown enormously in recent weeks.
A perfect example of this dangerous MSM “conspiracy of silence” may be found in the growing confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, greatly accelerated by the death of almost 300 passengers aboard Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, shot down last month over Eastern Ukraine. The American media and its Western counterparts have almost unanimously placed the blame on anti-government rebels backed by Russia, and darkly insinuate that Russian President Vladimir Putin has the blood of those hundreds of innocent lives on his hands. London’s once-respected Economist magazine has repeatedly run shrill covers promoting the great threat of Putin and Russia to world peace, even featuring a photo of the former under the stark title “A Web of Lies.” There is the serious likelihood of a renewed Cold War against Russia and with the neoconized Republicans in Congress proposing legislation to incorporate Ukraine as an American military ally and deploy American forces there, the actual possibility of a military clash near the Russian border.
As readers know, I have been overwhelmingly consumed with my own software work in recent months and aside from closely reading the NYT and WSJ every morning, have devoted little time or effort to following the disastrous Ukraine situation. But just carefully reading between the lines of our elite MSM outlets and glancing at a few contrary perspectives presented on alternative websites have left me highly suspicious of our media narrative, leading me to wonder where the finger of guilt actually points.
For example, according to the official American story, MH17 was downed by rebels armed with a BUK anti-aircraft missile battery. As it happens, the pro-American Ukraine government possesses a large inventory of exactly those weapons, while it is far from clear that the rebels have a single unit, let alone the expertise to operate such sophisticated devices. Furthermore, there apparently exists radar evidence demonstrating that Ukraine fighter planes were in the immediate vicinity of MH17 just before it was shot down and there are firsthand reports from investigators on the ground that portions of the crashed fuselage showed strong evidence of having been hit the sort of heavy machine-gun fire employed in air combat. I find it extremely suspicious that the American government has repeatedly refused to release the evidence supporting its narrative, while the Russian government has released copious evidence supporting its contrary perspective.
We must bear in mind that the downing of MH17 and the deaths of the hundreds of mostly European passengers came as a fortuitous stroke of fortune for the embattled Kiev government and its neoconservative American backers, given that Germany and most of the other major European governments had just balked at approving the harsh anti-Russian economic sanctions being proposed by the White House. Cui bono?
Furthermore, this terrible suspicion that 300 innocent lives may have been sacrificed in a ghastly false-flag operation by an American-supported government is somewhat buttressed by earlier events. Consider that the overthrow of the democratically-elected and neutralist Ukrainian government was sparked by the massive bloodshed that erupted between riot police and pro-American demonstrators in the Kievan capital, as many hundreds on both sides were suddenly killed or wounded by an outbreak of heavy gunfire over a couple of nights. I found it very intriguing that soon afterward an intercepted telephone call between the pro-Western foreign minister of Estonia and European High Commissioner Catherine Ashton, later confirmed to be genuine, revealed that the bullets found in the bodies of both government police and anti-government demonstrators had apparently come from the same guns. The most plausible explanation of this strange detail is that the snipers responsible were professionals brought in to cause the massive bloodshed necessary to overthrow the government, which is exactly what soon followed. Again cui bono?
Am I certain about these facts, let alone the analysis built upon them? Absolutely not! As emphasized, I’ve been entirely preoccupied with other matters over the last few months. But if such obvious suspicions are apparent to someone who occasionally glances at the news reports out of the corner of his mind’s eye, the total silence of the American media and its huge corps of full-time professional journalists constitutes a very telling indictment. Personally, I think there’s a high likelihood that forces aligned with current pro-Western regime were responsible for the massacre in Kiev’s Maidan Square and a better than fifty-fifty chance they more recently shot down MH17, but I really can’t be sure about either of these things. However, I am absolutely 100% certain that the American MSM has been revealed as a totally worthless source of information on these crucial world events, although it can be relied upon to provide every last detail of Robin Williams’ troubled life or the endless foibles of the Kardashians.
In the interests of providing our readers at least some access to alternate accounts of why we may now be heading into a new Cold War against Russia—or even a hot one— I’ve recently republished a couple of Mike Whitney’s fine Counterpunch columns on the mysteries of Flight MH17, which cautiously raised questions rather than claimed to answer them, as well as those of the redoubtable Paul Craig Roberts.
Aside from attracting considerable debate from our website’s often “excitable” commenters, whose views range from the sensible to the deranged, our Whitney columns regarding MH17 had a far more important consequence. One of our left-liberal readers was shocked to read facts totally absent from the pages of The Nation, the Huffington Post, or any of the other left-liberal sites she visits. Out of curiosity, she contacted a very prominent left-liberal American academic, someone with special expertise in exactly that area of Europe. To her considerable surprise, he largely confirmed the outlandish “conspiracy theory,” saying that the evidence increasingly indicated that the American-backed Kiev government had shot down Flight MH17, either accidentally or otherwise.
Based on his remarks, it sounded like he and his friends had devoted 100x the time and effort that I had to investigating the incident, thereby reassuring me that my casual conclusions were at least not wholly ridiculous. Yet it also appeared that neither he or any of the other American experts in his circle who apparently share his views had seen fit to publish their opinions in any of the numerous media outlets to which they have easy access, presumably for fear of being denounced and stigmatized as “conspiracy nuts.” They may regard the possibility of an American military confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia as a terrible danger, but it pales compared to the horrifying risk that the 22-year-old bookers at MSNBC chat shows might decide to put a black mark down next to their names.
The following day I lamented this cowardice of our intelligentsia to another prominent liberal academic with whom I’m friendly, and he immediately sent me the draft by a friend of his on that very topic that I am now greatly honored to publish. Most of the dead on MH17 were Dutch citizens and Karel van Wolferen ranks as one of the world’s most prominent Dutch journalists, winner of major awards and someone whose numerous books that have sold well over a million copies worldwide. His article describes the evidence regarding MH17, but more importantly focuses on the totally corrupted worlds of journalism and politics that have enabled this dangerous situation to develop.
I urge everyone to read van Wolferen’s long and thoughtful piece and ask themselves why such basic facts and simple analysis appear nowhere within the mainstream American media. Given his standing and his credibility, the New York Times should have long since featured his byline on a major opinion piece, and the absence constitutes powerful evidence. During our disastrous Iraq War the American media applied exactly the same boycott to the views of my old friend Bill Odom, the three-star general who had run the NSA for President Ronald Reagan and ranked as one of Washington’s leading experts on national security issues. Our totally incompetent ruling elites refuse to let discordant voices puncture their bubble of unreality.
For those readers who refuse to admit the possibility that our vaunted MSM might conceal such vital facts, consider the important point I made at the beginning of my 2013 article. In recent years, leading scholars have conclusively established that for a decade or two during the 1930s and 1940s, a small network of Communist spies quietly gained substantial control of our national government in Washington, DC, successfully diverting the actions of the United States to their own nefarious ends. If our mainstream media had failed to notice or report that situation at the time and then spent the next half century ridiculing anyone who suggested this possibility, why should anyone believe that the media can be trusted on the question of who actually shot down Flight MH17 in Ukraine? Our American Pravda indeed.
By Karel van Wolferen • August 14, 2014 • 3,900 Words
UPDATE: Our long, detailed article by distinguished Dutch journalist Karel van Wolferen has had enormous traffic, and is now on the verge of becoming the most heavily read piece in the history of our young webzine, while the nearly 600 Tweets it has so far received indicatie distribution comparable to that of a major New York Times article. All this has happened in just the last couple of days.
Furthermore, just as I had hoped, the very lengthy comment threads of the two articles have provided a wealth of additional information, far beyond anything I had previously encountered, given my slight familiarity with this issue.
First, I learned that a group of highly-experienced former intelligence officers from the CIA, FBI, NSA, and other government agencies has issued a public statement sharply criticizing the lack of evidence substantiating the claims made by American government officials.
Also, the blogsite of Col. Patrick Lang, a very highly regarded former Defense Intelligence official, has published a lengthy and detailed analysis of the MH17 Incident, raising many of the same issues:
Furthermore, one of the commenters on our website, who purportedly has a military intelligence background, pointed us to the very detailed analysis he had published on his own blogsite regarding MH17:
And I also discovered that a prominent leftist journalist had also published a lengthy reconstruction of the shoot-down:
Although I claim no great expertise in military affairs, these analyses certainly seem to strengthen my suspicions that the Official Story almost universally accepted by the Western MSM is far from solid and may indeed be a ridiculous fabrication. I urge others to follow the links I have provided, and draw their own conclusions, perhaps different from my own. But they should ask themselves why so many highly-regarded former U.S. intelligence professionals would be raising these serious doubts and why our mainstream media has totally failed to report them.
As for me, I’ve noticed a curious fact. It appears that the people and organizations promoting the current Official Line on Ukraine have a huge overlap with the people and organizations that promoted the disastrous Iraq War, based on the notorious WMD Hoax. Meanwhile, the people providing serious skepticism about government accusations regarding MH17 are exactly the same people who raised doubts and skepticism about Iraq’s alleged WMD and the wisdom of attacking Iraq, while being just as totally ignored by the MSM then as now.
Since none of the Iraq War or WMD Hoax culprits ever received proper punishment for their crimes, they’ve mostly remained alive and free and able to promote equally disastrous foreign policy adventures in the media they continue to control. But that doesn’t mean we must be so gullible as to believe what they say.
Going forward, the crucial unknown is whether our timorous media or even its ideological fringes, will begin to seriously report these issues, or whether they’ll all get into line just as they did during the WMD Hoax.
Scott Horton has a podcast interview of Karel van Wolferen