Kerry Castigates Putin For Using US Strategy of Training, Arming Rebels

So far, I have suffered no ill effects from this outdated beer.

So far, I have suffered no ill effects from this outdated beer.

Aside from the fact that the only craft beer served at the National Security Caucus session at Netroots Nation 2014 was an outdated California beer rather than a local Michigan beer, it was a session marked by interesting discussion. I received quite a bit of support during that discussion for noting that the US response to any crisis anywhere, for far too long, has been simply to ask “Which group should we arm?”. Further, I noted, as we had heard in the “Iran: Diplomacy or War?” session, there is reason for optimism among those of us who favor diplomacy over violence in the successful removal and ongoing destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons rather than the missile strikes the US had been planning and in the remaining strong possibility of a diplomatic solution to the Iran nuclear technology issue instead of a war to destroy the technology. I illustrated that point by mentioning the tragic downing of MH17 and how that demonstrated the folly of training and arming rebel groups that often veer into extremist actions that result in atrocities. That point ties to the mad push to arm Syria’s rebels with the shorter range MANPAD antiaircraft missiles even though they are less powerful than the Buk missile that took down MH17. As I noted, will Syrian “moderates” promise us never to take the MANPADS to a site where civilian aircraft are within range, and would there be any reason to believe such a promise?

In executing his Full Ginsburg yesterday, US Secretary of State John Kerry reached new heights of hypocrisy, as he went from Sunday morning talk show to talk show, proclaiming the evils of Russian actions in Ukraine. The evils for which Kerry is castigating Putin are precisely the evils that the US has been unleashing on the world in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and beyond. From today’s New York Times:

 In presenting the most detailed case yet alleging Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine crisis, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that Russia had funneled large quantities of heavy weapons to Ukrainian separatists and trained them how to operate SA-11 antiaircraft missiles, the type of system that is believed to have been used to shoot down the Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine.

“We know for certain that the separatists have a proficiency that they’ve gained by training from Russians as to how to use these sophisticated SA-11 systems,” Mr. Kerry said on the CNN program “State of the Union.”

Just as when CIA Director John Brennan got his panties in a wad over al Qaeda training death squads in Syria after we had trained our own death squads to send there, Kerry is now saying that Russia choosing a group to arm and train is a horrible thing even though he has been instrumental in helping the Obama administration to do the exact same thing in other areas.

And just as the US now faces problems in its upcoming training of Iraqi troops because of the previous failures in training Iraqi troops, there is reason to believe that the atrocity of MH17 may be due in part to failed training by the Russians. From today’s Washington Post:

Meanwhile, in Kiev, the U.S. Embassy said American intelligence analysts had confirmed the authenticity of recorded conversations in which rebel leaders bragged about shooting down what they thought was a Ukrainian military transport plane moments after the Malaysian jetliner was blown apart.

So even though the separatists are good at using the missiles to blow aircraft out of the sky (the Times article notes they have downed “almost a dozen Ukrainian transport planes, reconnaissance aircraft and helicopters”), it would appear that they haven’t quite worked out that whole target verification thing and that this tragedy may not have been an intentional targeting of civilians as much as it is a training failure. But yes, the Russians own a large portion of this tragedy, as the evidence seems strong that they provided the weapon along with instructions on firing it (if not the full lesson on target verification). And their tactics in doing do were taken directly from the US playbook, all the way down to the training being an abject failure.

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62 replies
  1. Don Bacon says:

    If American intelligence analysts have confirmed the authenticity of recorded conversations, then they must not have happened.
    .
    BUSTED! Ukraine Caught Trying to ‘Frame Russia’ for Shooting Down Malaysia Flight MH17!
    .
    Which of course implicates the Kyev fascist junta.

  2. Don Bacon says:

    I illustrated that point by mentioning the tragic downing of MH17 and how that demonstrated the folly of training and arming rebel groups

    .
    There is no evidence, to date, that the rebels fired a missile at the jetliner. The fact that Kerry says they did is a clue.
    .
    I don’t doubt that both the US and Russia have full — full — information on what happened from satellite imagery, commo snooping, video coverage, etc. so the current news from Washington is all BS, what they call “public diplomacy” i.e. propaganda. Putin (AKA Mr. Rope-a-Dope) isn’t saying much, while Obama (AKA Mr. Drone Killer) is reading his TelePrompter as usual, as background noise. It’ll all blow over on the next news cycle.
    .
    Regarding rebel support, note the labels in Syria vs. Ukraine.
    –Citizens against Assad
    –Pro-Russian militants
    It’s Newspeak at its best. Orwell would love it.
    .
    The larger US strategy is to weaken strong economic/political world rivals to promote US world political and corporate hegemony. The US approach to Ukraine therefore can’t be diplomatic, it must be belligerent in order to weaken Russia, and also Europe which is a large economic partner of Russia. Europe is a rival too. It has been similar with Iran, where the sanctions not only affected Iran but also Europe, which helped put the EU in dire financial straits with low economic growth and high unemployment. Regarding sanctions on Ukraine, the EU — especially Germany — isn’t going for the economic sanctions on Russia, at least not yet. The industrialists in Germany won’t stand for it. Good for them.
    .
    The belligerent US approach has been great for US political power and arms sales, to the Gulf states in Iran’s case and now to Europe:
    WARSAW — The shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines passenger aircraft over eastern Ukraine, where Russia-backed separatists are fighting against Ukraine’s pro-government troops, is likely to further contribute to security concerns in Eastern Europe, where NATO allies eye increased cooperation in the field of defense and joint arms procurements.//
    .

  3. TarheelDem says:

    The White House strategy continually seems to be not to outflank Putin with propaganda; it’s too transparent to the rest of the world. The strategy is to outflank the peripatetic John McCain, the perpetual denizen of the Sunday talk shows–the man who would be President if only…

    • Jim White says:

      .
      Oh, I had plenty of tremendous Founder’s Porter, courtesy of Marcy. It was just at that session, which was catered by the convention center folks, that no Michigan beers were featured. I also got the chance to try the local work at Grand Trunk. It was great, too.

      • RexFlex says:

        Great! If you ever make it L-ville send me a note. I’ll buy the first round. We have the greatest beer joint in the world. Hands down.NO competition.
        http://sergiosworldbeers.com/

        Now unfortunately, and ironically being in KY, they don’t have any Founder’s KBS, but one can make due.

  4. ArizonaBumblebeeper says:

    The American people would be well advised to avoid a rush to judgement in evaluating who shot down the commercial airliner over Ukraine. Many of the most important events of the last century have not been what they originally appeared to be. When a German submarine sunk the Lusitania in 1915, which helped propel the United States into WWI, the German government was widely denounced for this “barbaric act”. Historians now agree that the German government was correct in asserting that the ocean liner was being used as a munitions ship by the British government in violation of international law (Cruiser Rules). In 1943 when the Nazis announced to the world that the Soviets had killed thousands of Polish military officers and intellectuals in the Katyn Forest after they occupied the area in 1940, their claims were widely denounced in Allied countries either as a fabrication or as an atrocity performed by the Nazis themselves. The Nazis, for once, were telling the truth. In 1964, Congress passed a resolution authorizing the use of military force against North Vietnam based on an incident which was characterized incorrectly as an unprovoked attack by the North Vietnamese on an American ship. This rush to judgement resulted in the Vietnam War, which continues to haunt America. Just recently, Seymour Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, reported the gas attack in Syria may not have been an atrocity performed by the Assad government in Damascus but a red flag incident perpetrated by the rebels with Saudi and Turkish help. Despite what most Americans are led to believe, the United States security establishment and its allies are very capable of orchestrating incidents of which most of us would disapprove. Read The Prince by Machiavelli. There are no good guys in white hats riding to the rescue out there except in movies; there are only schemers manipulating or massaging events for their country’s advantage.

    • Don Bacon says:

      The rushes to judgment you speak of were actually the implementation of well-developed plans implementing a world-hegemony strategy, and they only seem like they are precipitous.
      .
      Lusitania sunk 7 May 1915
      US declared war April 6, 1917

  5. der says:

    – “Moscow challenged Kiev, saying records show a Ukrainian military plane was flying just three to five kilometres from the Boeing 777 before it went down on Thursday, killing all 298 people on board.

    “With what aim was a military plane flying along a civilian aviation route practically at the same time and at the same flight level as a passenger liner?” asked Lieutenant-General Andrei Kartopolov.”
    http://news.yahoo.com/rebels-guarantee-safety-crash-monitors-kiev-agrees-truce-064257196.html

    If this is true and the rebels did have the Buk missile system it’s possible that the military plane was identified and fired upon which may then have caused that same Ukrainian plane to turn on it’s defense systems thus leading the missile to strike the nearby “hot” Malaysian plane.

    • Don Bacon says:

      Then why didn’t the Ukie warplane attack the supposed missile launcher, at the originating end of the plume of smoke left by the missile’s path.
      .
      There are all sorts of scenarios, none of them proven.

      • der says:

        I’m not advancing one over any other, Kartopolov is asking the question: ““With what aim was a military plane flying along a civilian aviation route practically at the same time and at the same flight level as a passenger liner?” asked Lieutenant-General Andrei Kartopolov.”

  6. Dredd says:

    The old “if the president does it, that makes it legal” does not seem to apply to other nations. Or, “if we do it it is ok, if they do it that makes it not ok.”

    Putin just won an oil war cheaper than any in history, at least compared to what the Iraq oil war cost us (The Peak Of The Oil Wars – 10).

  7. Jeff Kaye says:

    Jim, you write:

    … the Russians own a large portion of this tragedy, as the evidence seems strong that they provided the weapon along with instructions on firing it (if not the full lesson on target verification).”

    I ask as a matter of basic journalistic integrity that you tell us just what “strong” evidence you are relying upon? Is it the self-same statements from John Kerry? stories from the New York Times?

    In your article there is no indication that anyone has a different point of view on this supposed “evidence.” Have you been reading, for instance, Robert Parry’s coverage?

    • lefty665 says:

      Thank you Jeff. You said it a lot more economically than I did.
      .
      Robert Parry’s been great. There are a half dozen must read posts at his http://consortiumnews.com/ His most recent is “Kerry’s Latest Reckless Rush to Judgment”.
      .
      He and his crew of retired gov’t types still seem to have some pretty good contacts on the inside.

  8. seedeevee says:

    “United States Assessment of the Downing of Flight MH17 and its Aftermath”

    That’s your unverified proof, Jim?

  9. Jim White says:

    .
    The point of this post was not to assess the validity of US accusations against Russia (although keep in mind that the Buk system is made in Russia, question is who fired it and how they got it) but to point out the hypocrisy inherent in the US condemning Russia for training and arming the separatists, just as the US has trained and armed any number of other groups.

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      Jim, the point of your post regarding the hypocrisy of the U.S. is well-taken, however the significance of that point is very much related to the issue of whether or not it is self-serving (the Russians did it, but now the U.S. complains, when they did it, too) or lying (the Russians did not do it, and the U.S. complaint is not just self-serving and hypocritical, but dangerous disinformation).

      I would not go to the trouble of taking issue with you, if the current situation in Ukraine were not a potential tripwire for a much larger war. What you or I say matters in such an instance.

      I have no trouble with the idea that the rebels or insurgents may have shot down the plane. But the rush to judgment, and the lies that go with it, especially from the U.S., but also the compliant media, is obscene.

      You say now, “… keep in mind that the Buk system is made in Russia, question is who fired it and how they got it…” — Are you backing off your assertion that there is strong evidence of Russians supplying the weapons directly to the insurgents, and training them as well?

      You might be interested in this analysis of U.S. claims at the Corporal Frisk blog: http://corporalfrisk.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/comment-on-the-us-assessment-of-the-downing-of-flight-mh17/

      In conclusion: The US authorities seem sure that the missile was launched by the separatists, but so far lacks hard proof that they were trained in Russia, or that the crew would indeed have been made up of Russian regulars or volunteers.

      You are also aware, no doubt, that the Ukrainians have anti-aircraft missile systems, and that they have used them to shoot down civilian aircraft before (albeit in error)? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/1359353/Ukraine-admits-it-shot-down-Russian-airliner.html

      You are also aware the U.S. has falsified their knowledge of the KAL007 shoot-down in order to make propaganda points (as Sy Hersh documented in his book on the subject)?

      How you can be so critical of U.S. credibility when it comes to the war in Afghanistan, to Iraq, etc., and then be so totally ready to swallow their story in this case is confusing and confounding to me.

    • lefty665 says:

      From Jeff Kaye above: “I would not go to the trouble of taking issue with you, if the current situation in Ukraine were not a potential tripwire for a much larger war.”
      .
      That is what has been terrifying about the administration’s rush to the brink with Ukraine, Syria and Iran. One cost of “looking forward” has been to leave the neo-cons in place. Their blood lust can yet get us all killed. Bumbling, pliable John Kerry seems to be the perfect mouthpiece for their ever preferred solution to everything, raving bellicosity, go to war and kill people.
      .
      FYI. The Parry posting I referenced in #20 has a link to an aeronautics blog that has a pretty authoritative post from a former Warsaw Pact officer that the Buk was designed for conscripts (inference idiots) to run it. It is highly automated and there is no special “training” needed to make it go bang. Turn it on, wait for it to acquire a target it can hit, push a button. Posts also noted that there are surely ex Ukrainian military with the separatists who have Buk experience. Sort of knocks the props out from under the “OMG the Ruskies TRAINED them” hysteria. They may well have, 15-20 years ago right alongside the Ukrainians (see idiots above) who shot down the Russian airliner in 2001. Could be the Russians recently tried to teach them (now as separatists) not to f*** up again, to no avail.
      .
      A back story on the KAL007 was that the US habitually used air liners as cover for reconnaissance and exciter missions around Sakhalin (and other places). The Russians had reason to be suspicious. Reportedly, there may be a similar pattern here with the Ukrainians using commercial air traffic as cover for military flights that attacked separatists. While no excuse, if confirmed, it would come under the heading of provocation and contributory negligence. Not hearing much about that from Kerry et al.
      .
      Help, please refresh my memory, why did the Ukrainians have their Buks deployed in eastern Ukraine? I seem to have missed the reporting on the massive separatist air force.
      .
      The sarin rockets in Syria turned out to be a false flag incitement designed to stampede the US into war. We have no hard evidence yet that is not also the case here.

      • Don Bacon says:

        why did the Ukrainians have their Buks deployed in eastern Ukraine?
        Because there has been constant talk about Russian troops massing on the border, and a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

        • lefty665 says:

          You’ve got it right, “constant talk”, aka propaganda. It has been hysteria, “the sky is falling”, “the Russians are coming”, “it’s all Putin’s fault”.
          .
          The “constant talk”, like most everything else in this misbegotten crusade, has come from our bought and paid for neo Nazi Ukrainian coup government that overthrew an elected democracy and the neo con driven US govt itself. There has been very little hard intel to support it. When is the last (first) time you have seen a real USG intelligence finding released on youtube?
          .
          To use “constant talk” as the justification for military moves falls into the same hole that some of us been dinging Jim about. We can talk ourselves into a war of our making with a nuclear power in his own front yard. That is not in anyone’s best interest, nor is it very bright.

  10. lefty665 says:

    Jim, you got it right on US hypocrisy, but I fear have bought way too far into US propaganda. There are lots of accusations, assertions from Kerry, but nothing to back them up. Even less so than about Syria.
    .
    Yes, the Buk system is “made in Russia”. It is also widely in service in the Ukrainian armed forces. Neither fact is surprising given that Ukraine has obtained most of its weapons from Russia. Neither sheds any light on which side actually pulled the trigger or why.
    .
    See this Robert Parry post with information from the US intel community that satellite pics show what appear to be soldiers in Ukranian military uniforms manning the Buk that fired the missile. http://consortiumnews.com/2014/07/20/what-did-us-spy-satellites-see-in-ukraine/ Nothing from Kerry about that.
    .
    We’ve got nothing definitive from US intel or anyone else on what actually happened. There is no actual Intel community authentication of anything, not phone calls, not Buks in a convoy. It is all Kerry’s/State’s assertions. Kerry is demonstrably on the same rush to propaganda judgement that nearly got us into a war in Syria. His groundless accusations and certainties there were subsequently proved flat wrong. Why should he have any credibility now without verification?
    .
    Obama, H Clinton, and Kerry’s failure to clean the neo-cons out of State and other embedded USG positions has done, and continues to do, tremendous damage. Neo-con Deputy Sec of State for Europe Victoria Nuland, spouse of one Kagan brother and in law of the other (authors of the invasion of Iraq and the surge) is one example. She has bragged that we spent $5 billion to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine and have installed a bunch of neo Nazis in a coup. That set the stage for the MH17 disaster regardless of who fired the missile.
    .
    I expect nobody wanted to target an airliner any more than the Vincennes crew did. This tragedy seems no more a cause for war than that was. Putin is no sweetheart, but It seems likely there is more to the story than the bellicose rants we have had from the administration that it is all his fault. You got it right on US hypocrisy about training dissidents. Please don’t be too credulous about what happened until we get the truth.

      • bmaz1 says:

        No, but it sure as heck appears to be the best evidence to this time. By far. People have to work off the best evidence they have at any time and this is it. You have a better explanation? I bet you don’t.

          • bmaz1 says:

            Yeah??
            .
            Where exactly is your evidence???? Put up dude. Or, you know, the alternative. Cause i have not seen any competing evidence. And not a freaking lick of it has been displayed here.

        • seedeevee says:

          “People have to work off the best evidence they have at any time and this is it.” – “actual evidence present because it is not yet perfectly conclusive”

          You sure you aren’t some scumbag prosecutor?

  11. bevin says:

    ” the Buk missile that took down MH17.”

    As others have pointed out, there is no evidence either that a Buk missile was used or that such a missile was launched by the militias of the local resistance.

    The haste with which the US and the choir called NATO, rushed to condemn Russia and, this month’s Hitler, Putin for the downing of this airliner is in stark contrast to the “let’s think about this…despite all appearances, Israel might be the innocent party, anyway let’s rush them another half billion bucks, plus our unanimous sympathy for being called murdering bastards” attitude towards the undeniable reality of more than 500 deaths and counting in Gaza.

    Don’t drink the Kool Aid, Jim, just because the beer is bad.

  12. Don Bacon says:

    The US, after four days, doesn’t have ready evidence of a SAM shooting down a jetliner, which should be rather simple in today’s world of total awareness, especially in war zones.

    There are all sorts of resources that the US has been spending tens of billions of dollars to develop and procure, ranging from AWACS to satellites to NSA snooping to military comm intelligence of various sorts.

    Yet with all this, after four days, the US is “building a case” of a SAM shooting down an aircraft. Is this rocket science?

    news headlines
    –America building its case against Russia on downed airliner
    –Us building case tying pro-russian separatists to plane crash …
    –Flight 17: US builds case against rebels, Russia in downing …
    –US Building Case Tying Pro-Russia Separatists To Downed .
    –John Kerry Makes the U.S. Case Against Russia Over …
    U.S. Building Case Against Russia After Malaysia Plan Shot …

    Also, why are they so busy “building a case” instead of “getting the facts?” Sure, we know why.

    • lefty665 says:

      at #27 Good questions all Don. Not much there there is there?
      .
      Gotta figure our intel folks have some hard data. The only inference it seems we can draw from not seeing it is that it does not support the propaganda. If we had it, it would be flying from the rooftops. But, that dog is not barking. Same thing we saw in Syria.
      .
      Robert Parry reports at Consortium News that we have satellite pics that seem to show Ukrainian uniforms on the guys in the Buk battery that shot MH17. If so that means we’ve hard evidence that it was a missile and who it was that fired it.
      .
      Wasn’t poking at you in my last post. Just frustrated at how we as a nation keep going hook, line and sinker for shiny stuff that’s been in many cases just not so.

  13. Jim White says:

    .
    Obviously, after a long four days of meeting sessions and nightly debauchery, I hadn’t read as widely on this issue as I usually do, so perhaps I was a bit credulous on the SA-11 line. But today we have a NYTimes article that provides more analysis that isn’t from the US government, building a strong case for a charge being detonated just outside the aircraft. The article is quick to make the Buk connection, but air to air missiles also are capable of supersonic speeds, so that part isn’t proven.
    .
    Although the Parry info does have some appeal, like some of the commenters at Pat Lang’s site, I am a bit put off by the claim that the satellite imagery supposedly behind the information reveals beer bottles scattered around the launcher. Hard to believe a satellite could do that although perhaps the advanced imagery systems on some of the higher altitude drones might (but again, raw physics likely gets in the way) get there.
    .
    As for the alternative that the Ukranians might have done this, it seems to me that Russian satellite coverage and SIGINT for the region has to be at least as good as the US is getting. All we have from them is a claim of one Ukranian military plane possibly being close to the airliner, with nothing like the US claims (I know, unverified, but claimed nonetheless) of records of radar lock and firing records. You can bet that if Russia had something like that, they would be shouting it. [But with a Ukranian plane close by, we do need to investigate whether an air to air missile could have been fired by the plane in question.]
    .
    At the very least, the data in today’s Times seem to rule out simple engine failure or a bomb on the plane. What remains is to identify the precise missile used, who fired it and from where. The where now seems to be constrained to the range of the longest range missile that could have done this.

    • Don Bacon says:

      You can bet that if Russia had something like that, they would be shouting it.
      .
      I’ll take that bet. Since the US was fast out of the gate with its unfounded charges, Russia plays by its won rules and (rope-a-dope style) allows the US belligerency to fail on its own (de)merits. Syria-Sarin is instructive; shouting doesn’t work.
      .
      “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”
      Sun Tzu, The Art of War

      • bmaz1 says:

        It is almost hilarious how you claim there is no evidence of a Buk type missile when there is actually, as CJ Chivers’ article demonstrates, a wealth of evidence (even if not positively definitive). You know what there there is an total scarcity of evidence on? Any compelling competing narrative you can, or have, provided.

          • bmaz1 says:

            Baloney, the narrative for the Buk missile is fairly well formed, as Chivers (and others) has detailed, there just seems to be a countercurrent of people who discount actual evidence present because it is not yet perfectly conclusive. You seem to be a cheerleader for that. Just because it is not conclusive to your mind does not detract from the fact evidence exists.

            • Jeff Kaye says:

              Bmaz, these statements and caveats are not said in a vacuum, but in the context of a massive propaganda campaign against Russia over the Ukraine. It is also in the context of attacks by the Ukrainian government against civilians in East Ukraine.

              Frankly — and you are not special in this, nor Jim — it is disturbing to me that there is very little understanding of the history of this region in which to understand what is going on there. Genocide is not a rhetorical flourish in this part of the world. Neither is fascism. Or Stalinism. Russian imperial dominance or Ukrainian racist nationalism.

              The US and NATO are working very hard to extend their military dominance over the Ukraine (and the Caucasus), aimed at last at Russia, economically or militarily, or both. That is not because Putin is a working-class hero, but because the U.S. wishes to defeat a competitor, and hopefully more fully exploit their economy/land.

              Something very awful, very dreadful lies in that direction. I hope I am wrong. But everything is moving that way. I am sorry to see others so willing to jump on the bandwagon that puts the murderers who armed death squads in Iraq and Latin America (and earlier, even in East Europe and Russia and Vietnam) as purveyors of unbridled truth.

              • seedeevee says:

                “I am sorry to see others so willing to jump on the bandwagon that puts the murderers who armed death squads in Iraq and Latin America (and earlier, even in East Europe and Russia and Vietnam) as purveyors of unbridled truth.”

                Amen.

                bmaz, you get a giant stick up your ass whenever anyone criticizes the writers here. You are far from sympathetic or persuasive when you go a lawyerly bullshittathon.

              • bmaz1 says:

                When you haver actual better evidence for something else, get back to me. Until then actual evidence, whether you like it or not, is still evidence. And that controls in any rational forum unless we are going into truther land.

                • lefty665 says:

                  Hi Bmaz, the issue being that there is so far precious little evidence, but lots of assertions and theories. The assertions, many coming from Kerry, but from O too, have been that it is all the Russians fault and they need to do something about it right now.
                  .
                  Background briefing this afternoon from anon intel officials was that it seems likely MH17 was shot down by a Buk missile, likely by separatist forces by accident, and that we have no evidence of direct Russian involvement in supplying the missiles, on site or in training.

                  That seems pretty reasonable to me, but it sure does not rise to the level of a real written intelligence finding complete with caveats and alternatives, supported and documented by hard evidence.

                  What that should do is back our propaganda meisters off the apocalyptic ITS THE RUSSIANS hysteria. However, you may recall that it took around a week for Kerry to back off his attack Syria blather after the decision had been made not to. Apparently, once they program that puppet it is hard to unwind him.

                  • bmaz1 says:

                    I agree with all that. In fact, what you just laid out is almost exactly how I see it. There IS evidence available, albeit it quite incomplete to date, and it points to exactly what you said.
                    .
                    And there IS a rush to castigate the Russians. Pretty hard to say the Russians are blameless, any more than the US is blameless when the Israelis abuse the weapons the US supplies them. And saying that is more than fair game by my book. By the same token, at least to me, it appears from the evidence to date (and, again, there really is some), that it is weapons of Russian manufacture that the separatists incompetently used.
                    .
                    Maybe there will be more that enlightens, or even points in a different direction. Such would not be surprising in the least. My point, and I think Jim’s, is that the evidence to date (and.again, there really is some) is that it is what has been stated. We shall see over time. For now though, even a skeptical reading lends itself to Ockham’s Razor: i.e., so far it is what it appears to be.

                    • lefty665 says:

                      Sounds like we’re getting somewhere, but I’m still a little confused. Do I think this would be a better world without weapons? Probably. Do I think that every weapons manufacturer has complete responsibility for every act committed by every weapon ever supplied to or acquired by anyone? I’m not so sure. Do Russians bear responsibility for every AK they have produced since 1947? How about for every one they licensed for manufacture by China, Rumania, et al? How about for the ones the CIA has used as “clean weapons” around the world for decades?
                      .
                      First hand use is one thing, for example, Israeli killing enough Gazans to fill two MH17s with mostly US directly supplied, produced, licensed or funded weapons in the last week. Haven’t heard much about how the US is responsible and must stop the slaughter immediately from Kerry or O have we?
                      .
                      There is, as yet, no evidence that the missile was supplied to the separatists by Russia. What if it came from Ukrainian military stocks? We know the separatists captured some of those in the last couple of months. Would it still be Russia’s fault because they were the original mfr?
                      .
                      Maybe the distinction between manufacturer and supplier is critical. Our intel folks so far have been very careful when showing that the Russians have been supplying the separatists in general to refrain from claiming they supplied the missile in particular.
                      .
                      A posting the other day noted that the Buc’s all had signatures, meaning their radars varied slightly in frequency and/or signal characteristics. Our Intel folks do claim to have recorded the signal from the radar that tracked MH17. That is the kind of thing we like to keep track of. Curious that was not definitive.
                      .
                      Anyway, we are finally starting to get some facts. The intel conclusion that it was probably unintended seems by far the most likely explanation. Hopefully the intel releases will calm the more rabid of our propagandists as they cast more light on what happened.

                    • bmaz1 says:

                      Don’t disagree with much of that either. In fact, my first thought on hearing latest WH Press briefing guy Josh Earnest say “Russia created the conditions” was “sure, just like the US has created the conditions that armed up Israel to kill the Palestinians”.
                      .
                      My point all along has been that the scenario we appear to both be catalyzing on is really quite consistent with that which Jim sketched out generally above. The Russians are the ultimate suppliers of Buks, cause they are the ones who actually manufacture them, and it looks like it was one of those probably fired by the separatists (irrespective of how they specifically got it), and the separatists may not be that trained in target discrimination. And all the “training and arming”, whether by the Russians here, or the US in Iraq and Syria etc, seems to create as much hell as it does good. If not quite a bit more. If you read through the spin, that appears to be where the US government is too. I dunno, that feels about right for once. Maybe different facts will change that paradigm, but we have some fairly clear facts and so far they seem consistent with that. Of course, facts can change, as they did with Pan Am 103 and Megrahi etc. We shall see.

                    • Jeff Kaye says:

                      “Of course, facts can change…”

                      Facts don’t change; they replace lies and mistaken suppositions.

                      Where is your evidence the separatists fired any rocket at MH17. Please link to it, or be specific about the evidence upon which you rely.

                      It’s not about who is blameless in Ukraine. The war there (by proxy) has been going on a long, long time. You want my proof. It lies on CIA public servers and is available to any who inquire, and I will be writing it up shortly.

                    • Jeff Kaye says:

                      What evidence, indeed? The US says it largely relies on YouTube and social media postings, much of which they cannot even authenticate. The Russian government is saying there was a Ukrainian military plane very close to MA17. I don’t know if that is true or not, but they had a press conference about it. There is still no absolute proof the missile was a Buk. It could have been a missile from an airplane (hence, I guess, the Russians conclusion that the Ukrainians shot down MA17).

                      In any case, is giving the Russian “proof” any credence more “Truther” than giving credence to the proven liars in U.S. intelligence and the Pentagon?

                      The real news is the drive towards war with Russia. That is not “truther.” Bullying around Iraq, Libya, Syria, Palestinians, Afghans, etc., will be nothing compared to what is to come with war with Russia. Americans must wake up to what their rulers have in store for them.

                      If it is not too “truther” for you, bmaz, go back and view Dr. Strangelove, especially the part on what domestic casualties our rulers are prepared to accept for total dominance — and total dominance is exactly the foreign policy the U.S. has already declared. The satire back then cut too close; we knew it was not fantastic but only too true. Same is TRUE now.

        • seedeevee says:

          Perhaps with the wealth of evidence at your disposal you can tell us where the WMDs in Iraq are . . . .

    • lefty665 says:

      While the NYT article may have it right (this time), the Times currently has no more stand alone, unverified, credibility than Kerry. You may recall that it was a NYT piece on rockets and sarin that along with Kerry’s hysterical propaganda almost propelled us into a war in Syria less than a year ago.
      .
      That phony story also had logical face validity, including pictures of rockets, gassed children and rocket trajectories that tracked conveniently back to Syrian military bases around 9km away. It was months before we found that only one rocket had any traces of sarin, and that it only had a range of about 2km. That put the launch clearly in rebel territory. I’m glad we did not go to war over that kind of NYT crap, as I expect you are.
      .
      “I am a bit put off by the claim that the satellite imagery supposedly behind the information reveals beer bottles scattered around the launcher. Hard to believe a satellite could do that…” The US has been doing satellite imagery for 50 years. For half that time reading license plates from orbit has been common chatter. Sensors and imaging technology are even more awesome in the new millennium.
      .
      The Google clearly shows my 2 burner bbq grill on my deck. What makes you think that someone with national technical means could not see the necessary bbq accessories (aka beer bottle)? But don’t take my word, go ask someone who knows. That’s what Robert Parry did for his piece.
      .
      To get back to where all this started, the issue was that while correctly objecting to US hypocrisy about training/arming insurgents, you were accepting Kerry’s propaganda that it was all Putin’s fault and that he has to something about it right this instant.
      .
      Putin’s no sweetheart, but it ain’t all his fault. As noted above this has been a dingbat neo con driven US folly. It is right on the heels of another one in Syria, and before that in Iran. But this time it is different. This one has the potential to spark a war with a nuclear power. There is no reason to expect the Russians to take our aggression any more kindly than we would accept theirs if the roles were reversed and this was Russian actions in Canada.
      .
      seedeevee – I don’t agree with Bmaz on this any more than you do, but the ad hominem crap is way out of line.

      • seedeevee says:

        “I don’t agree with Bmaz on this any more than you do, but the ad hominem crap is way out of line.”

        Bmaz is the fucking bully (I’ll make a list if you need to see it) that is the first one here to bring the insults.

        You shouldn’t criticize people that call him out.

        • lefty665 says:

          I’m not criticizing you for calling him out. I’m telling you that the ad hominem attacks serve no useful purpose. Pissing in the soup just messes it up for everyone. Plus, people quit listening to you. That means that even when you have something of value to add to the conversation it doesn’t.
          .
          I feel sure that as the warm, sweet, sensitive and caring example to humanity that you are, that you will understand that. Also, that in the future, instead of cheap invective you will rely on clean simple facts and sweet clear logic to make your points.
          .
          Love and kisses. Oh, and have a nice day.

          • seedeevee says:

            Thanks for the advice, but that’s not me. I’m not here to try to convince anybody of anything. So I don’t feel the need to maximize my potential persuasiveness by utilizing the full armory of linguistic norms and trickery.

            I don’t think you are necessarily a good arbiter of what people (other than yourself) appreciate in a conversation, either.

            Let’s just say that I can appreciate bmaz’s argumentative skills as good as the next:

            bmaz ‏@bmaz

            @hboulware What makes you think he wasn’t? Are you an apologistic inhuman jackass motherfucker. You too can go fuck yourself.

            bmaz @bmaz

            [email protected] You are one sick motherfucker. Even people I know tha believe in the DP wouldn’t spew the sick shit you do @michaelbkiefer

  14. Don Bacon says:

    Isn’t it odd, with all the photo-taking cell phones around, that nobody has offered photos of the missile smoke plume, of 15 seconds’ duration, nor of the plane falling from the sky. Then there are those reports of SU-27 Flanker jets escorting the jetliner, which hasn’t been explained. Why would they escort and not take action against a missile battery? And why did MH-17 turn northward for 14 km? And why did Kiev deploy BUK missile systems on the edge of militia-controlled zones directly before the tragedy?
    .
    The US narrative may be well-formed, as it was with Syria-Sarin on Ghouta, but narratives require conclusive evidence. Kerry strikes out again.

  15. Don Bacon says:

    CTVNews, Jul 22
    No direct link to Russia in downing of Flight MH17: U.S. officials

    WASHINGTON — Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for “creating the conditions” that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement. . . .The officials said the most likely explanation for why the plane was shot down is that the rebels made a mistake.. . .The officials made clear they were relying in part on social media postings and videos made public in recent days by the Ukrainian government, even though they have not been able to authenticate all of it.

    The CIA has been watching those fake youtube vids. Good for them. Pass the popcorn. It shows that the “intelligence community” can do something with all those tens of billions of dollars they suck up every year.
    .
    As far as “creating the conditions,” the US did that when it sponsored the Feb 22 coup in Kyev which deposed a democratically-elected president and installed a fascist-oriented junta which is anti-Russian when a majority of folks in eastern Ukraine are ethic Russians. State’s Victoria Nuland said the US (with our money) spent $5 billion on the project.
    .
    So it wasn’t Russia that instigated this whole affair, but who would expect the “intelligence community” to know that.

  16. Jim White says:

    .
    Latest from Reuters:
    .

    A powerful Ukrainian rebel leader has confirmed that pro-Russian separatists had an anti-aircraft missile of the type Washington says was used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and it could have originated in Russia.

    In an interview with Reuters, Alexander Khodakovsky, commander of the Vostok Battalion, acknowledged for the first time since the airliner was brought down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday that the rebels did possess the BUK missile system and said it could have been sent back subsequently to remove proof of its presence.

    /snip/

    “The question is this: Ukraine received timely evidence that the volunteers have this technology, through the fault of Russia. It not only did nothing to protect security, but provoked the use of this type of weapon against a plane that was flying with peaceful civilians,” he said.

    “They knew that this BUK existed; that the BUK was heading for Snezhnoye,” he said, referring to a village 10 km (six miles) west of the crash site. “They knew that it would be deployed there, and provoked the use of this BUK by starting an air strike on a target they didn’t need, that their planes hadn’t touched for a week.”

    “And that day, they were intensively flying, and exactly at the moment of the shooting, at the moment the civilian plane flew overhead, they launched air strikes. Even if there was a BUK, and even if the BUK was used, Ukraine did everything to ensure that a civilian aircraft was shot down.”

    .
    Hmmm.

  17. lefty665 says:

    It’s those pesky wmds all over again ain’t it? The faces may change but the state of the Secretary stays the same.

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