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Updated. Unverified information posted about the downing of MH17 over Ukraine is irresponsible. Rachel Maddow exposed tonight just how much of what we supposedly knew about this story is actually a kind of reckless gossip. It's gossip that could have consequences far more tragic than the downing of a civilian aircraft. We should resist the impulse to engage in it.

I haven't had time to post much lately, but the coverage of the Malaysian airliner apparently shot down over Ukraine, including at least one poorly-written diary on DK, shows that a lot of unverified material is being posted and being used to support conclusions that are not supportable. For reasons that I shall discuss, this is an important enough issue to take time I need for other tasks to do this post.  

Rachel Maddow did a good job of dissecting what is known and what is not known at this point. What is known is that the jet was flying at an altitude too high to be reached by a shoulder launched missile, and that therefore a weapon like the Buk surface-to-air missile was likely to blame. Ukrainian rebels are believed to have seized these weapons from the Ukrainian military, though of course the Russians also could have supplied them to the rebels.  And it's pretty clear that the rebels know how to use such weapons, because they have shot down Ukrainian military aircraft.

Rachel got a bit ahead of the facts in indicating that the Russian military trained Ukrainian rebels in using these weapons. Certainly they might have, but it's also possible that Russian nationalists who trained in the military provided the training without the sanction of the Russian government. It's difficult for me to believe that the Russian government, with its centralized decision making, would have farmed out control of surface to air missiles to a unit not under close control. Without access to sophisticated radar, the Buk missileis incapable of differentiating civilian and military aircraft. It's extremely difficult to believe that Russia would knowingly shoot down a civilian aircraft. And so what this chain of reasoning leads us to is the conclusion that if Russian- or Russian-backed forces shot down the aircraft, it was very likely a tragic accident.

Nor can we at this stage completely neglect the possibility, unlikely as it might seem, that the Ukrainian military fired the missile. As Professor Stephen Cohen noted, they are the ones with a motive for creating an incident of this kind.

Reviewing the history of the KAL 007 incident, what that teaches us is that when big powers clash, they use incidents like the accidental downing of an airliner for political goals. In KAL 007, the US military had been playing cat-and-mouse games with Soviet forces in the area and the US military failed to recognize that the airliner had strayed off course (and, by the way, into a NORAD restricted zone, according to Wikipedia). So the US had some indirect culpability for what happened. Furthermore, the US knew the shoot-down was accidental, yet chose to use it for political purposes.  And, interestingly, the US Air Force destroyed records it had that could have shed light on KAL 007's flight path.  

Given that history, a repetition is likely to seriously exacerbate Russian-American relations. Assuming the downing of the aircraft was a tragic accident, the Russians will view American attempts to exploit it for political purposes with justifiable rage.  

We are drifting into a new Cold War. We may already have entered one. Those who remember the Cold War, when on several occasions we came within inches of incinerating the world , will concede that no political goal, no matter how lofty, is worth resurrecting the Cold War.

None. No, not even shaming the Russians into doing their part to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of irresponsible actors. When one looks at the sorts of groups we arm around the world, America is not blameless in that regard.

Posting unverified information on a topic this sensitive is irresponsible. If we end up in a new Cold War, it will be because demagogy overcame reason. It is not enough to blame our leaders for this eventuality. We too are responsible for keeping this from becoming an emotion-driven debate.  
___
Update:  It seems that Robert Parry, a seasoned journalist, shares my misgivings about the rush to judgment. Unlike me, he has sources in the CIA. He says:

Regarding the shoot-down of the Malaysian jetliner on Thursday, I’m told that some CIA analysts cite U.S. satellite reconnaissance photos suggesting that the anti-aircraft missile that brought down Flight 17 was fired by Ukrainian troops from a government battery, not by ethnic Russian rebels who have been resisting the regime in Kiev since elected President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown on Feb. 22.

According to a source briefed on the tentative findings, the soldiers manning the battery appeared to be wearing Ukrainian uniforms and may have been drinking, since what looked like beer bottles were scattered around the site. But the source added that the information was still incomplete and the analysts did not rule out the possibility of rebel responsibility.

I promise that if it turns out that that source is correct, and the Ukrainian military did shoot down MH17, I will not jump to the conclusion that they did so to frame the Russians.  

Parry also reminds us that President Obama said,  “It’s an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the [Syrian] regime carried out this attack [of sarin gas].” That. of course, turned out to be wrong.  

Take your time, folks. The facts do come out eventually.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Nonsense (11+ / 0-)

      That diary, including the title, sensationalized the issue in a calculated fashion to get hits like a crappy CNN report and was below this site.

      If anyone owe an apology it would be Brit, to the families of the victims of that terrible event he used in a similar way Dick Cheney et al use 911.

      I found that diary highly offensive, said so and took it up with Brit, who not surprisingly, was his usual dismissive self.

      Check the site guidelines. This diary is on topic and reasonable, and not an call-out in any way. Brit's diary is just used as an example.

      •  "BREAKING: Pro Russian Rebels Boasted About (13+ / 0-)

        Downing a Plane."

        That's the so-called "poorly written" diary, according to CharlesII? The diary mainly just quoted a story in which the self-proclaimed "defense minister" Igor Strelkov (AKA, Igor Girkin) brags about shooting down a plane on Vk.com and then deletes the post.

        Yet, the title and diary were "highly offensive" according to koNko? You say Brit should apologize for posting it.

        Really? Maybe it's because it challenges your bizarre apologism for Putin. You offer only speculation that maybe Russia wasn't directly involved (which is increasingly unlikely) and weakly reasoned claims about other peoples motives. That appears to be what you want to believe, despite a lack of evidence.

        It's not Brit who owes anyone an apology for his diary. It's ridiculous comments like this that you should be ashamed about.

        Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

        by tekno2600 on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 08:20:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Quoting myself (8+ / 0-)

          Brit says, "It's too early to be sure of the facts at the moment. " ... and then, instead of wisely waiting until the facts are known, he goes on at length based on unverified material.

          Why should I apologize for agreeing with him?

          •  He didn't "go on at length about unverified (15+ / 0-)

            material."

            You're the one who attempts to speculate and draw conclusions about things that are not in evidence to support the conclusions you already decided you want to believe. However, you can't hide for very long behind this claim that we haven't verified that the rebels boasted about shooting down this plane. That is now pretty much confirmed. You are way behind the curve on this and fighting a dead end holding action. In another few hours or a day at the most, there will be pretty good analysis of all the phone call and posts. At that point, you need to have the integrity to accept the conclusions and not keep hiding behind the claim that the facts were uncertain. If anyone has made hollow claims about this whole incident or owes anyone an apology, it is you, not Brit.

            Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

            by tekno2600 on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 08:53:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It is pretty much verified at this point (5+ / 0-)

            that the location of the missile launch was in rebel-held territory.

            It's also absolutely verified that separatists control the debris field....and have been hostile toward those who wish to investigate the site.

            Furthermore, Putin hasn't suggested that the Ukraine military downed the plane....he just blames it for the heightened tensions in the eastern provinces.

            While I'm willing to believe the launch was a tragic mistake on the rebels' part, it was certainly no accident.  And if the Russians didn't actually fire the missile (though they might have) the considerable support Moscow has given to the separatist cause is at least partially to blame for the current situation.

            This doesn't have to lead to a resumption of the Cold War, but it should certainly force Russia into acknowledging  Ukraine's right to handle its own internal affairs.

            •  Tragic Mistake? Get serious here. (5+ / 0-)

              One of the boring premises of most law is that when you use a firearm to shoot a projectile at something intending to hit it, and you hit what you aimed at, the consequences of your projectile hitting your target are no mistake. You shot intending to hit, you hit, it's on you.

              This notion of a " tragic mistake" is itself terribly wrongheaded.

               The fact that they did not bother to verify what they were shooting at and may, there being no evidence so far that this is what they intended being posted as part of this discussion, have intended to shoot down something sent by the Ukrainian military,and seem iinstead to have shot what they aimed at without verifying it was Ukrainian military rather than the people in a clearly marked Malaysian Airlines commercial jet plane, does not make the shoot down a mistake. It makes them spectacularly reckless as well as homicidal. Particulary if some of them are veterans of conflicts in which aircraft and therefore radar and communications radios figured.

               The fact that they are being alleged by implication to have  thought they were shooting at a different kind of airplane and made no attempt thusfar reported to confirm that they were shooting at something Ukrainian, rather than what they aimed at and hit, is not a "mistake." There are reasons people are held responsible for the consequences of the use of firearms. You are not supposed to be shooting at something  if you do not know for certain what you are shooting at.

              •  Then the US is a nation of cold-blooded murderers? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                penelope pnortney, Alhambra

                We too shot down an airliner.  USS Vincennes, Iranian airliner. Fog of war, etc.  

                Use the same standard to judge the United States as you use to judge the rebels. Then tell me what you think.  

                The question is not whether the shooting down of an airliner is wrong. Of course it is, and there are international procedures to prosecute such a crime. The point is that the rebels are being presented as cold-blooded murderers. There's absolutely no reason to believe this. If they did it, it was almost certainly a mistake. Just like with the Vincennes.

                In my update, I point out that some US intelligence sources think that it might have been the Ukrainian military. And that if that's the case, I won't assume they intentionally did it.

                •  We admitted it was a mistake promptly. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tekno2600

                  I can't recall the exact chronology, who made the confession, or just how contrite he was; but the Reagan administration did accept that it was a mistake.

                  I have a suspicion that it was because the world accepted our explanation that this was a monstrous mistake and that Iran couldn't play the Victim Card that they ended their war with Iraq soon after that.

                  Freedom's just another word for not enough to eat. --Paul Krugman's characterization of conservative attitudes.

                  by Judge Moonbox on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 06:58:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  There is a difference between the two. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tekno2600, fredsfish, hypocrisissy

                  Chuck, the difference was the Iranian jet line was not using its identification broadcasting equipment that our Navy has the capability to interrogate.  The Iranian airliner was also warned off, because of possible hostile actions in the area, it was warned not to approach.  This was done over what is called the guard channel, which all of our Naval and Air Force assets monitor.  That airline was also not on any establish air routes of the area.  They also were flying at an altitude and direction that presented themselves as hostile inbound aircraft.  Up to the point of the launch the aircraft was still not identified as a civilian aircraft.  By the time the weapons free order had been issued they had still not replied to any of the challenges transmitted to them.  As far as I know all commercial aircraft have an IFF transmitter that identifies them as to the type of aircraft it is.  I believe the request for the aircraft's ID would have been transmitted something like this "Squawk your Ident."  One of the cockpit crew would then push a button on the transmitter and the planes ID number and aircraft type would appear next to the radar blip.

                  Do not say, 'well the pilots did not speak English.'  English is the accepted language of the commercial aviation world. better known as the Queen's English.  

                  So at that point the weapons officer and others in that chain did not know they had an airliner full of pilgrims on their way to Mecca, approaching.  All they could tell at that point they had a potential hostile boogie inbound and it had to be stopped before it was in range to launch antishipping missiles, that could sink or severely damage the ship and kill or maim most of the crew.

                  So it wasn't just a matter of 'Oh, there's a plane lets shoot it down!'  The weapons officer and crew as well as the radar crew did all they could to identify the aircraft before it was in range, were it could launch weapons against the Vincennes.  So it was decided to protect the ship and the lives of its crew.  Overall the CO is responsible for all the actions in his ship.  If he had not ordered a missile fired and the planed had turned out to be a hostile war plane or a plane whose pilot was bent on blowing up an American ship and killing most of the crew, you all would be screaming for the CO's blood, if he had survived.

                  From what we know at this point of this latest incident is a SAM was launched at an airliner using an established air route at altitude.  The missile struck the aircraft and blew it out of the sky killing the 239 or so passengers and crew.  The "black box" would need to be recovered and analyzed to determine if the aircraft had been warned off before the SAM was launched.  At this point the blame lies with the 'officer' who authorized the launch and the gunner for not being sure of their target.  The rebels not allowing the investigators much time on the crash site does not look good for them.  It kind o makes them look guilty.  If the do not let the international investigative team recover the black box for analysis it makes pointing a finger at them and saying 'they are the ones'.

                    So no your trying to make the Iranian airliner incident and this one the same does not work, they are far from being the same.  The weapons section in the Vincennes followed the established protocols for the situation and acted within the ROE and within the International Law of Land and Naval Warfare.  As for this latest shoot down, well we do not know enough to even make an educated guess yet.  All we can say was someone shot it down.

                  /s/ A Proud Honorable Disabled American Veteran, 1970-1994, Combat 1991.

                  •  The situations are very similar (0+ / 0-)

                    The rebels are under air attack. They have apparently shot down Ukrainian military aircraft in this area. It's ridiculous that the flight was allowed in what was well known to be a conflict zone.

                    If the rebels fired on the aircraft believing it was from the Ukrainian military, it's the same as a ship firing in the belief it's defending itself.

                    The world judged the US culpable. But that doesn't mean that the crew of the Vincennes were cold-blooded killers.

                    Neither can we conclude that the rebels are.

                    •  It is reported that there were 55 flights through (0+ / 0-)

                      the very same flight corridor immediately after the shoot-down.

                      And, no: commercial flight is legal.  War is illegal.  Killing non-combatants is a war crime.

                      The Conventions are clear: if either side in a war is likely to kill combatants, it is to cease what it is doing that will kill them.

                      Your diary, though, is actually a round of speculation based upon an out-of-whole-cloth premise -- and ignoring that which is verified: it was a Russian surface-to-air missile, and it was launched from within the territory controlled by the "rebels," who already have a record of using surface-to-air missiles to shoot down aircraft.  

                      What I wonder is why you're defending the "rebels".  Might it be that you're attempting to find a way to invent conspirabunk by means of which you can blame the US, because everything is a US gum'mint "conspiracy"?

                      All in all, this diary is specious, spurious, a waste of time both to produce and to read.

                      This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain. A lie is half way around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain.

                      by JJustin on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 08:13:19 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  I think what I said, regardless of the identity (0+ / 0-)

                  of the intentional shooters. It is the responsibility of the shooter to make sure he or she is shooting only what they actually intend to shoot, not simply, "that thing in the sky" but "that airplane in the sky which is a military target and not a shuttle bus for tourists on the way to X." The consequences of such shooting are sufficiently severe that it is the duty of the shooter to take teh steps needed not to shoot the innocent.

                •  I think what I said, regardless of the identity (0+ / 0-)

                  of the intentional shooters. It is the responsibility of the shooter to make sure he or she is shooting only what they actually intend to shoot, not simply, "that thing in the sky" but "that airplane in the sky which is a military target and not a shuttle bus for tourists on the way to X." The consequences of such shooting are sufficiently severe that it is the duty of the shooter to take teh steps needed not to shoot the innocent.

              •  To Simplify (0+ / 0-)

                Murder is Murder, even if you hit the wrong person and they died!

                This is Murder on a mass scale.  Whomever is responsible should be held accountable, even if they shot at the wrong plane.

                Why obfuscate the actual point?

                Sometimes, you need a sensa uma!

                by HashHoward on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 10:02:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  See diary update (0+ / 0-)

              There are people in the US intelligence community who think that the missile was launched by the Ukrainian army. Whether that's true or not, I don't know. But if there is debate at that level, there ought to be a lot more debate on DK.

              •  There doesn't need to be "debate" of speculations (0+ / 0-)

                which are beside the point: the facts we have.

                Why does everything have to be a twisted into a massive convoluted gum'mint conspiracy?  Are those who indulge in that corrosive, destructive practice that lacking in life?

                This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain. A lie is half way around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain.

                by JJustin on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 08:16:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, that diary was a sensationalized junk (0+ / 0-)

          Worthy of the NY Post or The Sun.

          I'll do just fine ignoring him in future.

          Cheers

    •  Not at all (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, koNko, antv, Phoenix Woman

      Brit says, "It's too early to be sure of the facts at the moment. " ... and then, instead of wisely waiting until the facts are known, he goes on at length based on unverified material.

      Why should I apologize for agreeing with him?  

      •  So far his information has been verified. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain. A lie is half way around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain.

        by JJustin on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 08:16:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why fly a civilian plane over a war zpne (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CharlesII

      That's what really bugs me & the question seems to be left out of most of the discussion I've been hearing on msnbc.

      "Malaysian officials said an airline could not be expected to have the intelligence information and other resources to make independent determinations to avoid an area where air traffic controllers were still sending planes. But some carriers had already done just that. China Airlines, the flagship carrier of Taiwan, said that it had avoided flying over all of Ukraine since April 4. Korean Airlines and Asiana Airlines also confirmed that they had not flown planes through Ukrainian airspace since March 3."

      NY Times
      July 19, 2014

      I've been paying attention to Prof Stephen Cohen who tells us that Kiev had been bombing the region where MH17 was shot down. It seems quite plausible that rebels may have shot the plane believing that they were protecting civilians on the ground from yet another air assault launched by Kiev.

      ```
      peace

      "There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people." — Howard Zinn

      by peace voter on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 06:36:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Why fly a civilian plane over a war zpne" -- (0+ / 0-)

        Because it is LEGAL, and the norm.

        Why are you blaming the victims, when the war which killed them is illegal?

        This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain. A lie is half way around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain.

        by JJustin on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 08:18:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "LEGAL" is not the important word here... (0+ / 0-)

          I'm thinking words like "dumb" and "unwise" are a bit more relevant.

          It would be nice to live in a world where warring parties kept their conflict to themselves and didn't disrupt routine commerce (after all, making money is the purpose of life, right?), but it seems that the Russians, Americans, Israelis, Chinese, British, French, etc., have all at one time or another furnished weapons to groups that later turned out to be Bad Guys (see "Hussein, Saddam" or "muhajadeen" for starters). Routing commercial flights through a war zone where military planes have been shot at and apparently shot down strikes me as a symptom of systemic bad management. Don't think I'd trust my luggage, let alone my safety, to an airline that poorly run.

          •  Immediately subsequient to the shoot-down of (0+ / 0-)

            the Malaysian airliner, 55 commerical airlines flew the exact same flight "corridor".

            Those 55 were not shot done, despite the fact that they flew over an illegal war, exactly had the Malaysian plane.

            Stop blaming the victims.

            This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain. A lie is half way around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain.

            by JJustin on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:46:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  you lose credibility (46+ / 0-)

    when you quote stephen cohen, who was a soviet apologist and now is a putin apologist.

    and this is a facepalm:

    And so what this chain of reasoning leads us to is the conclusion that if Russian- or Russian-backed forces shot down the aircraft, it was very likely a tragic accident.
    when someone kills people they didn't intend to kill rather than the people they did intend to kill it's not a "tragic accident."

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 12:30:49 AM PDT

  •  The crime scene stretches for miles in eastern (23+ / 0-)

    Ukraine, consisting of debris from a Boeing 777 that fell from the sky and the corpses of its passengers.

    The lead OSCE investigator, Mike Bociurkiw, reported on Friday that the site had not been secured when he and his team arrived.  Heavily armed separatists, who are suspected of shooting the plane down, restricted the OSCE team's access to conduct a proper investigation. They were allowed to inspect an area a few hundred meters long, a fraction of the 9 mile debris field for a limited time period.

    The 57 OSCE members, which include Russia and Ukraine, issued a statement calling for:

    • immediate, safe and secure access to the site and surrounding area for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and other representatives of relevant international organizations  in co-ordination with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), with participation of technical and forensic experts from the Ukrainian, Malaysian, and Dutch governments as well as other technical and forensic experts and relevant regional bodies;
    • all those in the area to preserve the crash site intact, including by refraining from destroying, moving, or disturbing wreckage, equipment, debris, personal belongings, or remains;
    • all participating States and other actors to support the steps above and to refrain from any interference with an international investigation.
    •  the guardian (22+ / 0-)
      As the UN security council called for a "full, thorough independent international investigation" into the downing of the plane, concern that a cover-up was under way was fuelled by a standoff at part of the crash site between observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and rebel gunmen, which ended with a warning shot being fired.

      Postings on rebel websites immediately after the crash boasted of having shot down what they claimed was an Antonov Ukrainian military transport plane, but these have since been deleted....

      There is also confusion over the black boxes and other devices apparently salvaged from the plane. A rebel military commander initially said he was considering what to do with them, while another rebel leader, Aleksandr Borodai, contradicting his colleague, said the rebels had no black boxes or any other devices....

      Rebels said the boast on the social media site on Thursday that a plane had been shot down was not put up by them but by a sympathiser who mistakenly assumed it was a Ukrainian military plane that had been shot down. But in a separate posting a rebel leader also claimed that a plane had been brought down. "We warned you – do not fly in our sky," he said. That too was removed.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 01:00:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  point to make. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Progressive Witness, charlatan

      Why would the Russian Separatists even want to keep inspectors away, if their claims that it was Ukraine's fault were true?


      "I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ....... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car ..." - Emo Philips

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 04:41:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In the parent comment I wrote: (0+ / 0-)

        "Heavily armed separatists, who are suspected of shooting the plane down, restricted the OSCE team's access to conduct a proper investigation. They were allowed to inspect an area a few hundred meters long, a fraction of the 9 mile debris field for a limited time period."

        It doesn't say that the inspectors were kept away.  Their access was confined to a small area. Maybe the separatists believe the access has been sufficient for their story to survive. It's hard to say what they think.

        From the OSCE report that came out today:

        The SMM obtained very limited access to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines MH17, which came down on 17 July near Hrabove (79 km east of Donetsk). There were dead bodies at the scene, marked, but exposed to the elements. No process of debris collection was observed. Some of the ’Donetsk People’s Republic’s‘ guards were visibly intoxicated and aggressive.
      •  The aircraft wreckage... (0+ / 0-)

        The aircraft wreckage is unlikely to hold any useful clues. It can definitively prove that the plane was downed by a missile rather than, say, an internal explosion. It can pinpoint the moment of impact and how badly damaged the plane was. Beyond that, apparently not much.I base that on listening to a former crash investigator.  

        So, there's probably not much to be gained from blocking the investigators. I suspect it's more of a signal of how embattled the rebels feel.  

        •  Not true. Traces of fuel/propellant, material (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JJustin

          the missile was constructed of, and explosive materials, can all be collected - from bits of debris, from clothing, from bodies. If it hasn't been badly contaminated.

          And all of those can be traced to verify what kind of missile was used and where it was produced.

          A homo in a bi-national relationship - at 49, I had to give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my family & friends and move to Europe. And I'm one of the *lucky* ones: Immigration Equality

          by aggieric on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 12:24:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well,ok... (0+ / 0-)

            But if it's a Buk missile, it could have been fired by the Russians, by the rebels, by the Ukrainian military, or by anyone that the Russians have sold the missile to. It is highly unlikely that whatever remains can identify the type of missile, when it was produced, or other information that might have any bearing.

            It's wrong for the rebels to block the investigation in any way, but it's probably not going to have any effect on what would be determined from it.

            •  I am not addressing you. I am addressing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JJustin

              the commenter who claimed that no information could be gleaned from debris, which is patently false.

              You, on the other hand, in your delusion? propagandistic role? are not worth the effort of addressing.

              A homo in a bi-national relationship - at 49, I had to give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my family & friends and move to Europe. And I'm one of the *lucky* ones: Immigration Equality

              by aggieric on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 07:57:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Well, fuck me. You're actually the (0+ / 0-)

              person making the patently false comment.

              What a waste of time

              A homo in a bi-national relationship - at 49, I had to give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my family & friends and move to Europe. And I'm one of the *lucky* ones: Immigration Equality

              by aggieric on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 08:14:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  lol @ Stephen Cohen (40+ / 0-)

    These are two statements from the same portion of his interview (emphasis mine):

    Was it Ukraine or pro-Ukrainian provocateurs?

    There are several theoretical possibilities. I am not a conspiracy buff, but we know in the history of the Cold War, there are provocations, people who want to make things worse. So, in Moscow, and not only in Moscow, there are theories that somebody wanted this to happen. I just can’t believe anybody would do it, but you can’t rule anything out.
    Was it Russia?
    There’s the possibility that the Russians aided and abetted them, possibly from Russian territory, but I rule that out because, in the end, when you don’t know who has committed a crime, the first question a professional investigator asks is, "Did anybody have a motive?" and the Russians certainly had no motive here.
    So, if we're talking about Ukraine, well, I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but maybe we'll never know the truth! But if we're talking about Russia it's not true, full stop.

    He's gotten worse and worse on this issue as he's been ignored. It's a sad situation.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 12:43:12 AM PDT

    •  i give him credit (17+ / 0-)

      it's one thing to jump the shark, it's another to launch into orbit.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 12:56:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's a laughing stock. When they can't get (12+ / 0-)

      somebody from the Kremlin they call Stephen Cohen.

      His wife (Katrina Vanden Heuvel) may be just as bad. Allegedly, she said yesterday that Nina Khrushcheva knows nothing about Russian history.

    •  He seems reasonable to me. (5+ / 0-)

      The Ukrainian government benefits from the black eye that this gives the pro-Russian rebels.
       By the same token, the shootdown is a big blow to Russia's position in the conflict.
       So, while it's highly unlikely that the Ukrainian government somehow engineered this, Russia almost certainly did not.
        It's almost certain that the pro-Russian rebels. acting on their own, shot down the plane.
        There is, though, that nagging fact that Ukrainian forces have brought down planes in the past.

      •  Precisely, DD (7+ / 0-)

        By Ukrainian forces, I trust you mean the government? They did shoot down a Russian airliner.

        One could add that American forces have also shot down a civilian airliner before. I'm pretty sure that was an accident,  too.

        •  That "they shot down a Russian airliner" line is (7+ / 0-)

          the most disgusting cynical talking point Putin has ever trotted out. Of the all the propaganda lines you repeat that is the worst, and you need to stop.

          First of all, unlike most of the 7 other cases where countries have shot down airliners, the Ukrainian situation appeared to be a perfect storm of circumstances, such as a Russian airliner being in the middle of an area where a military exercise was underway and a missile racing past a target drone and locking onto the wrong target. It doesn't appear to have been a conspiracy or a case of recklessness, such as the Russians shooting down KAL 007 without even attempt to make radio contact.

          Well, the Bulgarians did shoot down an Israeli airliner, etc... Bring up every airliner ever shot down in not only irrelevant. It's a cynical ploy to obfuscate the situations and compare things that aren't remotely comparable.
           

          Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

          by tekno2600 on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 09:10:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Did the article to which Charles linked... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chuckvw, aliasalias

            ...show that the Ukrainians deliberately shot down a civilian jet?

            Did it?

            No, and you know it.

            Charles is merely stating that if the West can take at face value the Ukrainian government's statements (statements it took eight days for them to make; they tried to pretend otherwise even when the world knew the truth) about the plane (Siberian Airline flight 1812) they shot down in 2001, why must we reflexively assume the rebels didn't make a similar accident last week?

            Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

            by Phoenix Woman on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 02:11:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  What Phoenix Woman said (0+ / 0-)

            You impute all sorts of things to me... cynicism, repeating someone else's talking points, etc.

            No. I am speaking my mind, and have been treated to a display of just how lacking in rationality are the people who are insisting that this is a case of deliberate murder.  

            And, as you may have now guessed, attempts by people like you to make me shut up simply make it clear to me how important it is to keep speaking my mind.

          •  It's less sophisticated than that. It's the (0+ / 0-)

            childish,

            "Everyone does it -- so what's the big deal about this instance?  And besides, [speculation, speculation, speculation]."

            This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain. A lie is half way around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain.

            by JJustin on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 09:04:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Dallas, just because the Russians wouldn't WANT (4+ / 0-)

        to have the black eye that has now occurred does not mean they weren't involved.
         

        "So, while it's highly unlikely that the Ukrainian government somehow engineered this, Russia almost certainly did not.
        Not true at all.

        That is a seriously flawed conclusion that CharlesII has mistakenly concluded as well.

        You seem to equate Russian involvement with perfectly monitoring and providing real-time data support to every Russian Special Ops agent or weapons expert who might be assisting the rebels. To operate a BUK system takes a whole team of support vehicles and specially trained operators. The idea that rebels just happened to capture an abandoned BUK and just happened to have a full team rebels who had all the necessary training to operate it seems far fetched. What is more likely is that Russian experts either helped train rebels (which in itself makes Moscow responsible for this), or more likely, Russian personnel were the actual people operating the equipment. They probably did receive at least semi-regular information from Russia to help them with targeting, but it is unlikely that at a small field unit like this, they had a real-time data link to Russian satellites, long distance radar, and perfect knowledge about every plane in the area. They had had success recently in this area shooing down two other Ukrainian planes, so they may have just gotten cocky.

        So, don't leap to the conclusion that if Russia or Russians were involved it means they would not have made this mistake. They very well could have...and I think when the facts come out, this type of scenario is probably pretty close to what actually happened.

        Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

        by tekno2600 on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 09:30:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Extraordinary claims (4+ / 0-)

          require extraordinary evidence.

          Your claim that Moscow is responsible for this is ct.

          The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

          by dfarrah on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 09:48:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not an extraordinary claim that Russians are (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RightHeaded, killjoy, ps2os2, maregug

            involved in (and orchestrating) the conflict in eastern Ukraine or that they are specifically responsible for downing this airliner when in this very diary, it mentioned a link to the story about Igor Strelkov (AKA Girkin), the self-declared defense minister in Donetsk, who posted a comment bragging about rebels shooting down the jetliner. Girkin is also a Russian citizen, not a Ukrainian. He has mysteriously shown up in war zones in Georgia, Transnistria, and other trouble spots. But, of course, don't jump to the conclusion that he works for the Russian GRU. That would make your head explode.

            Please don't use the words "conspiracy theory" when you clearly don't know what that means.  

            Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

            by tekno2600 on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 11:34:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It doesn't help Russia at all... (0+ / 0-)

              ...as has already been shown.

              So yes, it would be an extraordinary claim.

              And right now, you have no proof, much less extraordinary proof, that Russia or the rebels deliberately shot down a civilian airliner.

              Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

              by Phoenix Woman on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 03:17:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If Russia wouldn't benefit from it, they couldn't (0+ / 0-)

                have done it. That's your argument. CharlesII and DallasDunlap made the same specious argument and I pointed out how false that is.

                Russian trained rebels or Russian personnel may very well have made a mistake. It is unlikely that a small field station like this had access to real-time satellite data, long distance radar, and detailed knowledge of every plane that was supposed to be in the sky at that time. In other words, crazy stuff happens in war zones. They screwed up. But, I know that doesn't enter into the minds of conspiracy believers like you or Charles. Everything must happen for a reason, right? Everything is controlled. There aren't mistakes, only conspiracies. If it didn't benefit the Russians then they didn't do it. Period.

                As far as extraordinary claims, what did you fail to comprehend in my previous comment about the rebel leader admitting that he shot the plane down? It is not an extraordinary claim to quote him saying he shot down the damn plane. He is also a Russian, not a Ukrainian.

                You are completely behind the curve on the claims that the rebels were somehow not involved. Even Putin doesn't blame the Ukrainians. He just says it's their fault there's a conflict. But, by the minute, there is confirmation of the transcripts on phone calls after the shoot down.

                Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

                by tekno2600 on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 09:14:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Go look up "Occam's Razor" sometime (0+ / 0-)

                  For all your complaining about conspiracy theories, you sure are inventing some convoluted rationales to justify branding the rather hidebound jumped-up KGB apparatchik Putin as some sort of multi-level scheming comic book villain.  Classic paranoid-style thinking worthy of a typical Tea Partier.

                  Charlie Pierce has the antidote for people like you:

                  It is becoming plain that the atrocity visited on the Malaysian jetliner is a direct result of arming morons. The New York Times obtained audiotape, allegedly from the people who shot down the plane, and these guys sound like they shouldn't be trusted with a lemon zester, let alone a surface-to-air missile. And it is quite plain that the one thing this situation doesn't need is to arm more morons, or to have another superpower come bungling in. Either by accident or by design -- and Josh Marshall is right to point outthat, if it's the former, that's infinitely worse -- Vladimir Putin is responsible for a horrendous crime, and one that weakens his international standing. The only thing that would bail him out would be a flood of American arms to our own set of morons. The only thing that would bail him out would be if we all started listening to John McCain again.
                  That last bit in bold (my bold) is why Charles wrote this diary.  

                  As Charles stated (and you are doing your level and mendacious worst to ignore):

                  Reviewing the history of the KAL 007 incident, what that teaches us is that when big powers clash, they use incidents like the accidental downing of an airliner for political goals. In KAL 007, the US military had been playing cat-and-mouse games with Soviet forces in the area and the US military failed to recognize that the airliner had strayed off course (and, by the way, into a NORAD restricted zone, according to Wikipedia). So the US had some indirect culpability for what happened. Furthermore, the US knew the shoot-down was accidental, yet chose to use it for political purposes.  And, interestingly, the US Air Force destroyed records it had that could have shed light on KAL 007's flight path.  

                  Given that history, a repetition is likely to seriously exacerbate Russian-American relations. Assuming the downing of the aircraft was a tragic accident, the Russians will view American attempts to exploit it for political purposes with justifiable rage.  

                  We are drifting into a new Cold War. We may already have entered one. Those who remember the Cold War, when on several occasions we came within inches of incinerating the world , will concede that no political goal, no matter how lofty, is worth resurrecting the Cold War.

                  None. No, not even shaming the Russians into doing their part to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of irresponsible actors. When one looks at the sorts of groups we arm around the world, America is not blameless in that regard.

                  Posting unverified information on a topic this sensitive is irresponsible. If we end up in a new Cold War, it will be because demagogy overcame reason. It is not enough to blame our leaders for this eventuality. We too are responsible for keeping this from becoming an emotion-driven debate.  

                  Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

                  by Phoenix Woman on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 09:51:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I read all of your comments in this thread and (0+ / 0-)

                    I responded to your reply to one of my comments. What attracted my attention was your invitation to another member to rebut Stephen F. Cohen.

                    I write about topics like the NSA, free-trade, Russia, and Ukraine from a EU perspective.

                    Sometimes I write about American political issues and I wrote about Cohen last February.

                    http://www.dailykos.com/...

                    Here's a link to a more interesting piece which was part of a larger project.

                    http://www.dailykos.com/...

                    Using transcripts available to the public on the Kremlin website, it reconstructs the narrative of Russia and Ukraine's relations from 2007 to the Maidan Revolution.
                    (The Kremlin is a building in Moscow where the present-day executive functions of the Federation are housed. It's website includes an English language version like the governments of most major European countries.)

                    eng.kremlin.ru

                    The transcripts are a record of conversations, speeches, statements, and press conferences given by Putin, Medvedev, and other important personalities. Questions and concerns about how these transcripts may have been edited are answered by the content which sometimes seems a bit more candid and revealing than it was meant to be. I say that after reading a large volume of material. The individuals involved start to seem like characters in a historical novel and even like shockingly real people.

                    I selected excerpts to summarize the narrative and tell it quickly with a pace suitable for this venue. I included links back to the source material for authenticity.

                    I'd rather not have Stephen Cohen or anyone else hand me their cookie cutter ideas and opinions. I prefer to search for the truth and I encourage others to do the same.

                    A word for people who never read the Kremlin material and condemn it by knee-jerk reflex reaction as the worst of the worst propaganda: businesses that sell news for profit have a built-in incentive to sensationalize. They omit important information that doesn't fit their agenda. Governments as primary sources may filter for national security or politics. I've learned that they also archive huge volumes of information that can be a treasure to those who are willing to search. This is meant as an addition to commercial news outlets and a reality check against them.

                    Here's a sample. There's a little bit of subtle and revealing humor in this short vignette.

                    June 21, 2007
                    President of Russia Vladimir Putin Meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych

                    http://archive.kremlin.ru/...

                    Yanukovych: Unfortunately, Ukraine has been going through a period of political crisis that began at the start of April. The main thing that we have achieved over this time is to ensure that all the branches of power operate within the framework of the law. There are still some outstanding questions that we need to resolve, and that concern the opposition mostly.
                    Putin: Viktor Fyodorovich, you don’t have any opposition! Everyone is in power! Where’s the opposition? I can’t figure it out. Everyone there seems to be in power…
                    Yanukovych: I remember well one of the first conversations I had with you. You asked me, what is constitutional reform?

                  •  The most ironically long defense of Occam's Razor (0+ / 0-)

                    in history? If that's your goal, you did really well.

                    I simply said that just because this action doesn't benefit Russia (or the rebels they support) doesn't mean they didn't do it.

                    Now deal with that!

                    Don't you dare paste in a 500 word response full of irrelevant crap. Deal with the issue.

                    You said this action doesn't benefit them. Yes.

                    But, all indications are that the DID do it.

                    Charles makes the same faulty assumption: Russia didn't do it because it doesn't benefit them.

                    FALSE.

                    I am proposing the simplest, most logical answer. You are proposing some elaborate conspiracy.

                    (And, Occam's Razor is just a rule of thumb--a rather crude one, by the way--which can be summed up by the even cruder rule: Keep It Simple Stupid. Take your own advice and follow it.)

                    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

                    by tekno2600 on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 10:14:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  "tekno2600" makes no such claim. (0+ / 0-)

            Decades ago I was hit by a car which broke a leg.  It wasn't my intent -- "motive" -- that that happen, or to my benefit for that to happen -- but it happened.

            Call it a "fuck up".

            This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain. A lie is half way around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain.

            by JJustin on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 09:10:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Motive isn't everything (5+ / 0-)

      The Russian Proxy forces (Ukrainian Separatists) had the means, motive and opportunity to shoot down aircraft.  I believe they misidentified the target because the separatists had previously been shooting down Ukrainian aircraft.  

      I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

      by DavidMS on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 07:29:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Again, arguments ad hominem are not arguments (7+ / 0-)

      I mention him in stating the obvious, namely that the Kiev government is the political beneficiary of deaths that occur in a nominally rebel-held region.

      It serves as a kind of a test to see whether people are focused on facts or on personalities. Arguing based on who said something, at least when it's as obvious as this, is ad hominem, and exposes the fact that the person who uses it is reasoning with his/her gut, not the brain.  

      •  Pointing out his inconsistencies (6+ / 0-)

        is not argumentum ad hominem. Really, you're just embarrassing yourself now.

        ....no longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38 [160276]

        by TFinSF on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 08:22:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  See here (5+ / 0-)

          I am not citing Cohen for something that is really disputable. See here.

          The "inconsistencies" are that Cohen understands that the Russians do not benefit from having a civilian airliner shot down over territory nominally controlled by pro-Russian forces.The incident has turned the whole world against that side of the conflict. So they did not have a motive in downing a civilian aircraft... even if they might have been quite happy to see a military  aircraft shot down.  

          •  No. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gator Keyfitz, TFinSF

            The "inconsistencies" that I'm pointing out is that he refuses to dismiss the idea of a Kievan conspiracy, despite the lack of evidence, because in his words "you can't rule anything out"... unless it's the idea of a Russian conspiracy, which he does rule out, not because of evidence, but because of assumed motive.  That's pretty much as lazy and ideological as it gets - and it's rare to have such a transparent example of someone contradicting himself in such a self-serving way within a few sentences.

            I also don't understand this "motive" idea that you're putting forth: if the evidence pointed toward Kiev, wouldn't sympathies shift dramatically in favor of the separatists and against Kiev? Wouldn't Kiev be the beneficiary if and only if the evidence pointed toward the separatists? You can't really attach a consequent of the evidence to an assumption of motive like you're trying to do - it's a weird set of fallacies (affirming the consequent, casual oversimplification) that are simply not defensible as an argument.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 12:44:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Except that this doesn't help Moscow (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chuckvw, aliasalias

              As has already been demonstrated (italics TPM's, bolding mine):

              Europe and even America never cared that much about Crimea. It is difficult to dislodge an annexation when a majority of the population really did support it.  And the Europeans, as long as the big red lines weren't being crossed, are too tied to Russian fuels and their myriad other concerns to care that much about mischief on Ukraine's eastern border.  But having a passenger plane, filled with EU citizens, shot out of the sky above what is presumed to be the bubble of first-world safety that is "Europe" is a game changing event not only in the Ukraine crisis but much more broadly about Putin's role in Europe generally.

              Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

              by Phoenix Woman on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 02:29:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Non sequitur? What are you responding to? (0+ / 0-)

                If it were found that Kiev had shot down the plane, Kiev's support would have dried up substantially: do you not agree with this?  To hypothesize guilt based on perceived benefit not from the event itself, but from the evidence that's accumulated, is exactly backwards.

                Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                by pico on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 02:36:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  See the diary's update (0+ / 0-)

              Sources from the US government apparently believe that a government unit may have been responsible.

              I lean toward believing the rebels are responsible. But it is not beyond the bounds of respectable discourse to believe that Kiev could be responsible.

    •  The Russians have a motive: re-taking Ukraine (0+ / 0-)

      and making it part of a rebuild of the Russian emprie.

      This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain. A lie is half way around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain.

      by JJustin on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 09:00:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Are you more honest than Sara Firth? (15+ / 0-)

    Umm no.

    Even Putin doesn't accuse Ukraine of actually shooting the plane down.  Your insinuation that this is possible is insulting and dishonest.  What Putin implied was that Ukrainian military action against the rebels created a circumstance in which the rebels felt justified in shooting down any plane entering airspace the rebels could target.  

    Of course this is bullshit.  There is no excuse for targeting civilian aircraft.  Also, there is no excuse for Russia to be arming and training rebels in sovereign Ukraine... though that fact has never stopped them before in Georgia or elsewhere.

    This diary is nothing more than Russian apologetics.  Do you really want to be the one who justifies murder?

    STFU!

    The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

    by tecampbell on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 01:12:04 AM PDT

    •  Just curious (8+ / 0-)

      What you think about this.

      Particularly the position taken by (then) Vice President of the US George Bush and later President Bill Clinton:

      The U.S. government issued notes of regret for the loss of human lives and in 1996 paid reparations to settle a suit brought in the International Court of Justice regarding the incident, but the United States never released an apology or acknowledgment of wrongdoing.

      George H. W. Bush, the vice president of the United States at the time commented on the incident during a presidential campaign function (2 Aug 1988): "I will never apologize for the United States — I don't care what the facts are... I'm not an apologize-for-America kind of guy." Bush used the phrase frequently during the 1988 campaign and promised to "never apologize for the United States" months prior to the July 1988 shootdown and as early as January 1988.

      Half the legal wrangling as well as the settlement occurred under Clinton, who also refused to apologize for the incident.

      Are you equally outraged at this?

      Apparently, based on her comments to the press, Secretary Clinton takes a much dimmer view of such incidents:

      But Hillary Clinton, the former US secretary of state, was more potent in her statements, saying in a television interview that indications pointed at the Russian-backed side and action was needed to "put [Vladimir] Putin on notice that he has gone too far and we are not going to stand idly by".
      Perhaps she could now apologize to Iranians to set an example?

      Or is she a "no apologies for the United States sort of gal"?

      I don't see that anyone here is suggesting this is less than a terrible human tragedy, but I do see value in what the diarist suggests; to avoid jumping to conclusions and hasty judgements.

      And it seems President Obama agrees; his statements have been very cautious and moderate so far.

      •  Vincennes (9+ / 0-)

        I was horrified by this incident and felt our military was equivocating and outright lying to cover up for individuals who let their itchy trigger finger get the best of them.

        We even gave them a f'ing medal.

        That doesn't mean we should stand by while Russia equivocates and justifies in this instance.

        Wrong is wrong.  

        Obama is cautious because it is part of the job requirement.  But moral outrage is justified on behalf of the families who left behind hundreds of individuals because some combative jerk in Eastern Ukraine refused to take the time to differentiate civilian fro military aircraft.  And it is becoming increasingly clear that Russia supplied and trained these jerks.

        The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

        by tecampbell on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 05:47:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You lost me on the last paragraph (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, Phoenix Woman, chuckvw

          But it is a perfect example of why to exercise moderation in such circumstances.

          I'm wondering how you conclude the chain of events in this case is somehow more or less evil or accidental than Vincennes based on the unreliable information that we have at this point, and particularly the information likely to have been available in the present case verses an AGES system.

          But all that is speculation at this stage.

          If you'd like to know where I stand on this see my diary from yesterday on the subject, I'd welcome you answering a few questions I raise. Sorry I can't link since I'm posting from my phone but it is my last published diary.

          •  I responded to your diary. (0+ / 0-)

            Evil is evil.  What happened in the past does not justify current atrocities.  That way leads to madness: a zero sum game with Death the only winner.  

            The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

            by tecampbell on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 01:04:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK, I will have a look (0+ / 0-)

              So if you read my diary then I suppose you understand I agree evil is evil and stupid is stupid and foolish is foolish. It seems we get a choice in this case.

              And that just because someone did something bad in the past doesn't justify something bad in the present.

              But I think something else is very important too: getting the facts, acting out of reason instead of just emotion and taking the high road.

              Because .... acting in haste we often get things very wrong and a nice bunch of folks can turn into an ugly mob very quickly.

              So as unpopular as the idea might be right now, I'm going to keep urging people to exercise restraint, reason and moderation, and let the fools and evil fuck heads trip over their own feet.

              My thoughts on Putin: give him enough rope.

      •  The Vincennes incident happened long ago (7+ / 0-)

        and the Reagan administration's handling of it was deplorable.
          But that does not in any way mitigate what happened in Ukraine.
          Apparently, irregular forces opposed to the Ukrainian government fired on a civilian airliner by mistake, because they did not have the capability to identify passing aircraft.
          That was criminally reckless. That other countries have accidentally shot down airliners in the past doesn't make it less criminally reckless.
           BTW, in 1996, the US reached a settlement with Iran over the Vincennes incident.
           Hopefully, somebody involved in the Ukrainian conflict will eventually pay some compensation to the relatives of the victims on the Malaysian aircraft.

        •  Who said that ? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, ps2os2, Phoenix Woman, chuckvw

          The Vincennes is very valid to raise in this situation because if sailors using what is probably the best battle command and control system can make a tragic misjudgment that results in a downed airliner why are people so certain of the motives of whomever is responsible for the present case under circumstances where they probably had less information and training?

          No one is excusing anything that I can see, merely suggesting people don't go off the deep end before an investigation is done.

          And all things considered, it's pretty unlikely those responsible will be able to evade responsibility like the US did, isn't it?

          •  The US evaded responsibility -- and also paid (0+ / 0-)

            reparations?

            How does that work?

            This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain. A lie is half way around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain.

            by JJustin on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 09:25:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  The one event has little to do with the other. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Smoh, lordcopper, tecampbell

        Strawman.
        It's not about asking Putin to apologize. It's about finding out what happened and why.
        Apologies really have minor significance in global geo-politics.

        This diarist is pointing fingers and diverting attention from the most likely guilty parties.

        If it turns out that Putin-backed separatists shot the plane down thinking it was a Ukrainian transport, then it will be a similar case of "cowboy" military geo-politics getting out of hand.

        Putin is a stinking murdering slob, this is a fact independent of western propaganda. If this is the beginning of his downfall, and a change in Russia, it won't reduce the tragedy, but it may prevent many more tragedies in the future.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 06:34:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Listen to yourself, David (6+ / 0-)

          "Putin is a stinking murdering slob, this is a fact independent of western propaganda. If this is the beginning of his downfall, and a change in Russia, it won't reduce the tragedy, but it may prevent many more tragedies in the future."

          The point of the diary is that if we have a Cold War, we may have a nuclear war that will make the terrible deaths of the people on MH17 plae by comparison. You are clearly emotional and not rational on this point.

          As for your personal attack on me, I have been taking note of how Putin works starting with the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. I have no illusions about him. But trying to turn what is almost certainly an accident similar to what the US did in the case of the USS Vincennes into a case of calculated murder will simply turn Russia (not Putin, but the entire nation) further against the West.  

      •  It's more complicated. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BaritoneWoman

        It's now for practical purposes proven that Iranians organized the 1983 Beirut barracks truck bombings and the bombing of that Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.  

        The shot down airliner is part of a longer conflict with Islamic Revolution Iran.   The U.S. did acknowledge responsibility and pay some fairly minimal compensation to the victims of that shootdown.  But the overall score is unsettled- where is the Iranian apology and compensation for killing 200+ American and 100ish French soldiers?- and it would be a lie to pretend otherwise.

        •  You are mistaken (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, Phoenix Woman, aliasalias

          The US never acknowledged wrong and never apologized for it's actions. It only paid compensation when compelled to by an international tribunal.

          You go off the rails trying to justify that as badly as some trying to explain away the present case.

          If you want to know why I raised Vincennes see my comments elsewhere it's pointless for me to repeat myself ad nausea.

    •  Actually, Ukraine has shot down an airline before (5+ / 0-)

      See here.  

      The US shot down an airliner too.

      I'm pretty sure those were  accidents.  

      So, exactly what is your chain of reasoning?  

      (By the way, if you watch the Maddow episode, much of it is devoted to tearing apart claims by Russia and RT. So I am pretty sure you never bothered to watch it).  

      •  I actually did watch it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RightHeaded, charlatan

        and agree with it.

        That doesn't mean I agree with this crappy diary.

        The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

        by tecampbell on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 11:17:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's ironic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias

          As the diary is pretty much in agreement with that Maddow episode.

          Can you show otherwise?  I'd like to see you do so.

          Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

          by Phoenix Woman on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 02:33:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're kidding, right? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Progressive Witness, charlatan

            You spend much of the diary chastising people for speculating about the most likely scenario -- that the rebels shot down the plane with a Buk missile launcher.  Meanwhile, you post even more speculative accusations -- that the Ukranian military did it.  

            Rachel was nowhere near jumping that shark.

            The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

            by tecampbell on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 04:28:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not just an assertion. Was reported (0+ / 0-)

              See the diary update. The journalist who reported that some people in US intel think that the Ukrainian Army shot down the airliner is a very brave and seasoned reporter, one brave enough to put his career on the line for the truth.  

              Personally, I doubt that's the case. But there is doubt at very high levels.

              Just none on Daily Kos, where certain people think they possess the truth.

              •  Reported? (0+ / 0-)

                The Consortium is infamous for making outlandish assertions based upon anonymous sources.

                I used to read Parry and Cockburn regularly.  At some point I felt like I was being used and stopped.  

                Meanwhile, almost all reliable sources point to the obvious.  I must admit I am curious why you are so determined to obfuscate.  It's not like Europe and the US are going to do anything more than pass stricter sanctions against Russia.

                The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

                by tecampbell on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 10:59:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Please instruct me... (0+ / 0-)

                  Please instruct me on how The Consortium has a worse track record on accuracy than, say, The New York Times, which deliberately lied us into Iraq.

                  Bob Parry is running The Consortium because he got forced out of the mainstream media for telling the truth. He reported a massacre in a town called El Mozote, which exposed the genocidal nature of the Central American wars. The Reagan Administration pursued him, putting pressure on his employers to get rid of him. He ended up on Frontline, where he did some excellent journalism. Again, he was forced out.

                  He has a point of view. He's earned the right to be cynical about the US government. He's not always right, nor is any journalist, but he has a pipeline into the intelligence community.

                  What you're saying is unsubstantiated by even the slightest shred of evidence. I think it's slander against a man a lot braver than the keyboard commandos on this thread.

  •  As I write (12+ / 0-)

    I am listening to the Al Jazeera reporter, Scott Heidler, on the ground telling how the OSCE delegation are still being prevented from the site.

    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 03:14:08 AM PDT

  •  You're trotting out uber Putin apologist Stephen (20+ / 0-)

    Cohen while the Russia-controlled "separatists" are messing with the crime scene and obstructing justice by preventing a clean international investigation of the incident?

    Since Russian Propaganda networks and Stephen Cohen are so big on asking about motive, maybe we should ask what motive the Russia-controlled separatists would have to obstruct justice....

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 03:14:36 AM PDT

    •  Can you disprove any of his assertions? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CharlesII, aliasalias

      Don't just say he's a "Putin apologist" and leave it at that.  Show us, with facts in context, where he is wrong on this issue.

      Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

      by Phoenix Woman on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 03:21:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Listen, (3+ / 0-)

        Putin called for a ceasefire.

        Do you REALLY think he would do that if he thought the Ukrainians had shot down that airliner?

        Really?

        Do you think that the separatists would be shooting at inspectors to keep them from the crash site, if they wanted it proven that the Ukrainians did it?

        Really?

        And don't ask me a damn question.

        ANSWER THOSE!!!!!!!!


        "I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ....... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car ..." - Emo Philips

        by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 04:48:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Posting unverified information on a topic.... (15+ / 0-)

    this sensitive is irresponsible."

    And yet, here you are, giving credence to the false flag community and - through some very twisted logic - blaming the U.S. for forcing Russia's hand into providing highly sophisticated weaponry to a rag tag bunch of suicidal fuck ups - the same group of fuck ups who have formed an armed barrier around the crime scene.

  •  If this is anything other than an accident... (5+ / 0-)

    ...I have yet to figure who would have motive and what that motive would be.

  •  Why is it unlikely? (4+ / 0-)
    Nor can we at this stage completely neglect the possibility, unlikely as it might seem, that the Ukrainian military fired the missile.
    With the Kiev military advance bogged down, they have the most to gain by trying to frame Russia. Their goal would be for more international support for their war by blaming Russia, and tougher sanctions that are not unilateral by the US.

    Progressive, Independent, Unitarian, Vermonter.

    by Opinionated Ed on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 07:09:49 AM PDT

    •  Well... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, Phoenix Woman

      I don't think the Kiev government is are bogged down. They are shooting the hell out of the place, they have cleared a number of cities, and the rebels are being ground down. And I don't think the majority government would plan such an atrocity, just as I don't think the USS Vincennes intended to kill Iranian civilians.

      There are ultranationalists within the government and the military who are capable of a horrific premeditated deed. Did they have the opportunity? I don't see how. The rebels don't control their territory very strongly. But it would be hard to drive a truck full of missiles into that area without it being noticed.

      The evidence seems to me to lean strongly toward an accident, with the rebels being ultimately responsible. But, as Brit said, the facts aren't known yet. So let's wait before we form strong opinions.

    •  The rebel controlled pocket (0+ / 0-)

      is presently about 100 km (60 miles) length east to west and 50 km (30 miles) wide north to south, which is half or a third of what they held at maximum.  The Ukrainian army is at work retaking Luhansk; it's largely waiting around Donetsk.  

      There's only one militarily rational reason available why they haven't flanked the rebel forces and crushed the rural 80% of the pocket, which is that they are out to minimize bloodshed and leave the rebels multiple escape routes to Russia.

  •  The diarist forgot to listen to the entire show (7+ / 0-)

    I watched the entirety of Maddow's show and using the hard evidence, she condemned the Russians for blatant propaganda, blame-shifting, and lying anyway.

    Russian apologists make me want to puke

    •  That statement is a lie (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, Phoenix Woman, aliasalias

      You state "The diarist forgot to listen to the entire show"

      That is a lie.  

      Of course I listened to her blistering dissection of Russia Today! People shouldThat's why I linked it  

      Everyone knows that state media report what the state wants them to. The same can be said of the BBC on occasions. The extremes to which RT went just  makes clear how important this issue is to them.  

      Accusing me of being an apologist perfectly illustrates what I am saying: people are thinking with their guts and not their heads.  

  •  The truly sad thing... (6+ / 0-)

    The truly sad thing is that just like the gas attack in Syria, most Americans will mindlessly watch the TV news where propagandists try to lie us into another war by distorting the facts.

    After Iraq I thought that most people would be clued in... but I was wrong.

    Too many people are ass-u-ming that Russia is to blame. We don't know yet, but such posturing plays right into the hands of those that want more war.

    Progressive, Independent, Unitarian, Vermonter.

    by Opinionated Ed on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 07:14:34 AM PDT

    •  Actually, a lot of the very same people who didn't (7+ / 0-)

      believe the Bush/Cheney propaganda machine bullshit about Iraq are now the very same people who don't believe the Putin propaganda machine bullshit about Ukraine.

      And then there are those oddballs who don't seem to mind bullshit, as long as it is not coming from the U.S.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 07:33:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the clarification (6+ / 0-)

        You like the bullshit coming out of places like Kiev and other warmonger friendly sources.

        Others like a balanced presentation from sources where biases are known, so they can be calculated into the interpretation.

        Progressive, Independent, Unitarian, Vermonter.

        by Opinionated Ed on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 08:09:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hm, let's see here.... (3+ / 0-)

          Russia invaded another country, annexing part of it.

          Russia has been sending very heavy, advanced war machines into another country and volunteers/mercs/others who are making war on Ukraine and leading the "separatists".

          And you call Kiev warmongers?

          Gotta love people who blame the victims for the crime.....

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 08:31:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You could be talking about Iraq (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dfarrah, Sandino, Phoenix Woman

            The US invaded Iraq. The US supplied the weapons which ISIS has appropriated. The US has supplied heavy weapons to all sorts of sketchy people, including (in the 1980s) the mujahedeen who became Al Qaeda. We gave them shoulder launched missiles. The West (including the US) sold the components of chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein. On and on.  

            Great powers do terrible things. All great powers.

            So, sure, the Russians are really, really awful.

            Should we try to match them?

            •  And I didn't support the invasion of Iraq. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              david f knight

              In fact, I did my part to try and stop it.

              Nice try at deflecting, though.

              It's interesting to note that you complete ignore the fact that the Soviet Union murdered the President of Afghanistan, invaded the country, and was responsible for the deaths of millions there.

              Your spin might earn you points with ideologues and people ignorant of history, but it won't work with intelligent people who have some knowledge of historical facts.

              "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

              by Lawrence on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 10:46:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You then should be against jingoistic rhetoric... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aliasalias

                ...designed to lead us into a war with Russia.

                Because war with Russia over this is already being discussed.

                Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

                by Phoenix Woman on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 02:49:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Your memory of Afghanistan is faulty (0+ / 0-)

                You state:

                It's interesting to note that you complete ignore the fact that the Soviet Union murdered the President of Afghanistan, invaded the country, and was responsible for the deaths of millions there.
                From Wikipedia:
                The Afghan government, having secured a treaty in December 1978 that allowed them to call on Soviet forces, repeatedly requested the introduction of troops in Afghanistan in the spring and summer of 1979. They requested Soviet troops to provide security and to assist in the fight against the mujahideen rebels. On April 14, 1979, the Afghan government requested that the USSR send 15 to 20 helicopters with their crews to Afghanistan, and on June 16, the Soviet government responded and sent a detachment of tanks, BMPs, and crews to guard the government in Kabul and to secure the Bagram and Shindand airfields. In response to this request, an airborne battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel A. Lomakin, arrived at the Bagram Air Base on July 7. They arrived without their combat gear, disguised as technical specialists. They were the personal bodyguards for President Taraki. The paratroopers were directly subordinate to the senior Soviet military advisor and did not interfere in Afghan politics. Several leading politicians at the time such as Alexei Kosygin and Andrei Gromyko were against intervention.
                ...
                Based on information from the KGB, Soviet leaders felt that Prime Minister Hafizullah Amin's actions had destabilized the situation in Afghanistan. Following his initial coup against and killing of President Taraki, the KGB station in Kabul warned Moscow that Amin's leadership would lead to "harsh repressions, and as a result, the activation and consolidation of the opposition."[63
                ...
                Estimates of Afghan civilian deaths vary from 850,000 to 1,500,000 [not "millions", and many of these were killed by the mujahedeen]

                You made three assertions. All three are wrong.

                I'm sorry, but you simply don't know what you are talking about. Sneering at me just draws more attention to that point.  

    •  The trick was to make it a dem/republican issue (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, Phoenix Woman, aliasalias

      when it isn't.  Unfortunately Obama hired neocons like Nuland to serve in the state department.   We also have democratic neocons known as "liberal interventionists" like Susan Rice and Samantha Powers.

  •  Let's not be in such a hurry to assume (4+ / 0-)

    that we're in, or headed toward, a cold war.

    It's 1913 all over again, folks -- decaying empires spoiling for a blaze of glory.  Or, better, it's 1938 all over again: phony economies with lots of unemployed or unemployable people who need to be "taken care of" one way or another.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 07:31:04 AM PDT

    •  Well, there's that (5+ / 0-)

      The US is engaged in conflicts in dozens of countries, and may be sucked back into Iraq any time.

      That's why these moments are so dangerous. The US doesn't have the conventional force to confront the Russians in that way. The Russians don't have the conventional force to invade Ukraine and get the buffer zone they want that way. The temptation to escalate rapidly endangers us all.  

      •  Lucky us -- (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino

        HRC is waiting in the wings.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 10:09:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You know my opinion (0+ / 0-)

          That she is culpable, either actively or through neglect, for what happened in Honduras.  

          I am very unhappy about that. She's smart and an effective leader. She's worked for some great causes. But what happened is what happened.

  •  Imagine someone (4+ / 0-)

    accusing the U.S. of arming and training Israeli soldiers...and then Israel going out and invading Palestine.  What an outrage!  

  •  I don't know that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino, Phoenix Woman

    I would characterize any of the items you criticize as poorly written or 'gossip.'

    Much more likely to be simple propaganda with the obvious aim of turning opinion against the Russians.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 09:11:33 AM PDT

  •  Ukraine claims to have photos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SilentBrook

    of three Buk units going- probably returning- across the border to Russia at 2 and 4 AM the night after the airliner shootdown at the closest, rebel held, border crossing.  

    Rebel units are currently closing off much of the wreck site.  It's assumed Russian experts are searching for and removing evidence of the missile impact and shrapnel.

  •  Only one thing to say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino

    CNN started it.

    Shortly after the downing of the airliner I was flipping through channels and CNN (you know the network that loves a downed plane story) was already saying that given where the plane went down, now we are saying that this is what happened but since it was in the area of...

    It's why I don't watch cable news and wait to read up on stories once the facts are in.

    Now the issue is the US either has it all on film or the NSA and CIA and DoD are highly overrated.

    You don't believe in superstition yet believe in god and you fail to see the cognitive disconnect?

    by nosacredcow on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 10:49:54 AM PDT

  •  The Crash News Network (0+ / 0-)

    What else does the Crash News Network have to do if they are not reporting 24/7 on a crash?

  •  Putin troll? (6+ / 0-)

    This post is ridiculous.   He links to Stephen Cohen, who is a distinguished expert on Russia, but I have heard Cohen on the radio and he is clearly on Putin's payroll.  Russian rebels supported by Putin shot this plane down ... period.  Check out Remnick's post on the New Yorker blog.  Putin is playing to Russian extremism and spewing propaganda to the population.  His military may not have shot the plane down, but his aid and comfort has created the conditions that caused the disaster.  

    Oh, by the way, drop all the indirect responsibility stuff about the Korean Airlines etc.

     

    •  Can you prove the "Putin troll" wrong on this? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      Don't just call him a "Putin troll".  Show us where he is wrong.  

      Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

      by Phoenix Woman on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 02:52:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it was proven above. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        charlatan

        read it.

        Was it Ukraine or pro-Ukrainian provocateurs?

            There are several theoretical possibilities. I am not a conspiracy buff, but we know in the history of the Cold War, there are provocations, people who want to make things worse. So, in Moscow, and not only in Moscow, there are theories that somebody wanted this to happen. I just can’t believe anybody would do it, but you can’t rule anything out.

        Was it Russia?

            There’s the possibility that the Russians aided and abetted them, possibly from Russian territory, but I rule that out because, in the end, when you don’t know who has committed a crime, the first question a professional investigator asks is, "Did anybody have a motive?" and the Russians certainly had no motive here.


        "I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ....... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car ..." - Emo Philips

        by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 04:59:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Strelkov claims plane he shot down already filled (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida, AlyoshaKaramazov

    with dead bodies.

    For all you conspiracy buffs here, I'm sure you'll eat this one up.

    Ukraine Rebel Commander Claims Plane He Shot Down Already Filled with Dead Bodies

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 11:52:34 AM PDT

  •  Confusion in battle (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tekno2600, SilentBrook, CharlesII

    All of the posters here are assuming rational, planned action and political motives.  Combat is not like that.  One of the aspects of this that bothers me is the supposed conversation between the rebel and the Russian intelligence Major discussing the incident.  That suggests that the Russians were monitoring the BUK deployment and lost control of the incident.  In 1967 I was over Hanoi in a heavily armed fighter when my wing man was fired on by a  MIG-21.  Rules of engagement at the time required clearance from the ground controller to fire, even at a target demonstrating hostile behavior.  Clearance never came, and one communist  belligerent survived to fight another day.  The rules of engagement were changed to allow the firing decision to be made by the "on scene commander" and the Vincennes Incident drastically proved the inappropriateness of that policy as the Vincennes was under attack by speed boats and an attack helicopter. Flying into or toward a joined battle is considered a "hostile" act and Vincennes was the on scene commander.

  •  This is a weak tea argument... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SilentBrook, IndieGuy
    Without access to sophisticated radar, the Buk missileis incapable of differentiating civilian and military aircraft. It's extremely difficult to believe that Russia would knowingly shoot down a civilian aircraft. And so what this chain of reasoning leads us to is the conclusion that if Russian- or Russian-backed forces shot down the aircraft, it was very likely a tragic accident.
    Here are the problems with the above statement:

    (1)  Since technological limitations in the missile system are available to all of us on Google, we can assume that the Russians, who designed and built the damn things, also know this information.  Knowing the risks and failing to mitigate them do not equate to a "tragic accident".  At best they equate to culpable incompetence.

    (2) Soviet fighters shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 902.  Two passengers were killed and the damaged plane was forced to land.  The Soviet centralized command-and-control system has a demonstrated history of knowingly shooting at civil aircraft and Putin provides us with no reason to believe the system has evolved a moral compass since the transition from Soviet Union to Russia.

    (3) Failing to properly identify a target before shooting it down isn't an 'accident'; it's a completely preventable incident where criminal culpability can be assigned.

    If atheism is a religion, then "off" is a TV channel.

    by DaveinBremerton on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 12:03:43 PM PDT

  •  "Some say...." (6+ / 0-)

    ...the plane was filled with already dead bodies when it was brought down. The same guy said "Ukrainian authorities are capable of any baseness."

    I think maybe it's time to stop apologizing for these people.

    •  Another doozy from that article: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilentBrook, IndieGuy, mjd in florida

      "He claimed that a large amount of blood serum and medications were found in the wreckage."

      Yes. Because the airplane was carrying a large number of people on their way to an international AIDS conference!

      This from the man whose "troops" have been looting from the bodies and luggage. Sickening.

      "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." --MLK

      by Progressive Witness on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 01:31:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The consequences of war are not reason enough t... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaveinBremerton, SilentBrook

    The consequences of war are not reason enough to never make enemies. Toppling regimes doesn't cease to be worth addressing just because the blood is on everyone's hands.

  •  Airliner downed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SilentBrook, IndieGuy, mjd in florida

    I note that those who would investigate the fragments, the bodies and the black box of the plane are being denied access by the pro-Russian forces. Now, if they had nothing to do with this escapade, you would think they would allow intl. forensics experts and journalists to have greater access. A principle in the law is that if you withhold evidence, it will be construed against you. This said, Pres. Obama has been careful not to point the finger...yet.

  •  There are few unmitigated goods... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CharlesII

    The internet isn't one of them.

    The instant news we have today, watching news-as-it-happens, has some good points. But I wish there were some type of settling pond for breaking news, to let the worst of the crap and automatic partisanism sink and only let semi-purified (by which I mean at least somewhat accurate) news out.

    One size of anything NEVER fits all.

    by KDfrAZ on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 01:36:37 PM PDT

    •  What Charles does is use a variety of sources... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      ...and compare them to one another.

      It also helps to know a language besides one's mother tongue.  

      For instance, Charles understands Spanish quite well, and so can read Spanish-language media that never seem to get translated into American English, and which is at odds with, say, the Lanny Davis view of the world.

      Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

      by Phoenix Woman on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 03:37:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A cross-section of views and original languages... (0+ / 0-)

        ...are always a good thing, so good to know this about Charles as a source.

        And complete agreement on the need for another language! I lived for a year in the city of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, one of the happiest of my life. My Spanish has gotten rusty in the four decades since then; I can still converse, but my grammar is HORRIBLE, which makes reading Spanish difficult. But you inspire me to try...

        One size of anything NEVER fits all.

        by KDfrAZ on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 04:28:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's all hollow-So nothing changes, except (0+ / 0-)

    clever people make money bullshitting about it, including Rachel Maddow. Since all these liberal blogs went into effect, what the hell has changed? Nothing. People have more access to talk to each other. Great. Bigger circle jerk. There are occasional people outed for being freaks and they are fired. That's good.
    What has substantively changed? GOP holds House and Senate because of Christian and other mindless voters in mostly Red States.
    The only reason they can do that, which shows how inept the Democratic Party is, is because Dems waste their time and money with the same old thing every damned year. Give me a reason they can't register most of the poor people and get them to vote and take back this country from the freaks and liars in the GOP, like Ted Cruz, etc. etc.Surely some smart person on this site can tell me why they can't do that. Not enough money? Bullshit. Obama got 300 million in 2008. Will some sophisticated political genius on this site give me a reason, please, because I think they can do it and should do it.

    In 2010-37% of eligible American voters voted for their U.S. Reps. (Census) The 1% is not taking this country from us. We are giving it to them.

    by Incredulousinusa on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 02:23:07 PM PDT

  •  I feel to see what this biased rant has to do w... (0+ / 0-)

    I feel to see what this biased rant has to do with the headline: Rachel Maddow exposes hollowness of reporting on MH17 downed in Ukraine.

    •  Click through the link to her show (0+ / 0-)

      She goes through just how outrageous the reporting by, say, Russia Today has been.

      And then she shows just how equally unverified the reporting in the US is. It's a very subtle and very damning equation.  

      If you believe that my diary is a "biased rant," then perhaps you should read it a little more carefully. Especially the Update.

  •  I am reminded of the Lusitainia ..... (0+ / 0-)

    Another false flag op to get us into WW1.
    I figure most of wars of the last 120 years have had their false flag moments.
    This plane thing sure smells like one and is a critical diversion from the genocide in the Israeli/Palestine war.
    Now if the US hadn't put a bunch of Nazis in power in the Ukraine, maybe none of this would have happened.
    If we didn't want to control every drop of oil/gas on the planet, maybe we could have some breathing room from incessant war and economic rampages.
    But, then, we'd have to be sane.....

    •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

      You consider the sinking of the Lusitania as a "false flag op" to be established fact? You have knowledge the rest of us don't, apparently, that she was not sunk by the SM U-20 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Walther Schwieger. So enlighten us. Who did?

      "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." --MLK

      by Progressive Witness on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 03:10:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What difference does it make? (0+ / 0-)

    Regardless of who did it or why it makes no difference except for what gets posted in the history books. The world will not punish this act in any meaningful way. Putin has his sights set on reassembling the Soviet Union albeit one piece at a time and would welcome the war he knows the world will not wage if only because its negotiated settlement would hasten his progress.

    The downing of this plane was not part of some master plan, but rather the result of incompetence within the command and control the Russians are using over the so called rebels. That however does not mean that there is not a master plan afoot and that Putin is not ready, willing, and able to fight a nasty little war to take back what he considers his...

    •  Please see my update (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      Some US intelligence sources think it was the Ukrainian military that fired the missile. While I lean toward thinking the rebels did it, this report reminds us that we owe it to our country to be slow toward accusation and belligerence.

  •  Cold War (0+ / 0-)

    The last Cold War was a battle of two economic systems and the political regimes that used them. What is the cause for a new Cold War? Isn't Russia now basically capitalist. Doesn't it have a nascent democratic form of government. Doesn't it also have a National Christian Religion, Russian Orthodox? What in Heaven's name is there to disagree on to the point of war?

  •  Who shot down the Malasian Airlines Flight over Uk (0+ / 0-)

    So titled, Prof. Steven Cohen is a professional apologist for Putin and a Ukraine hater.  He denies the right of Ukraine to exist as a sovereign country despite the fact that it is 9 times larger than Israel in population and the geographically largest country in Europe.  He may be related to Lazar Kaganovich, the Jewish brother-in-law of Stalin and the man in charge of orchestrating the Holodymyr, the famine that killed 7-10 million Ukrainians in 1932-33.  He should be ridiculed, not given a voice to spread Putinist propaganda.  He should be teaching at Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, not NYU.

  •  Late to the game but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CharlesII

    I'll say it anyway. This diary and the responses to it, show the sorry state of our traditional media. It is a sad situation when "The Fourth Estate" is more motivated by profit than their benefit to society. We can expect political entities to try to spin this story, and so many others lately, but the media has lost their perspective to sensationalism and the profit made from it.  The media, including social media and Daily Kos, should have a responsibility to first, do no harm, but the ready spread of speculation and even falsehoods means that those entrusted to resolve very complex and difficult situations like this have to deal with distractions and complications. Above all, we need to find a way for all entities involved to be able to save face.  We are dealing with countries and organizations lead by people with egos the size of China and we will never get to the bottom of this if all that takes place is finger pointing and a search for blame.  Let's find the truth first and allow those responsible to gracefully, if that is even an appropriate word in this situation, bear the public burden of responsibility.  Someone pushed the trigger and that person certainly knows who they were. The truth will not come out if the only response is known to be a lynch mob.
    On another note, I have found very good coverage and discussion on PBS and finally thank you if you have read this far down in the comments and then thorough this diatribe.

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." MLK, Jr.

    by KimmieInIN on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 04:36:06 PM PDT

  •  The Airlines Put Their Passengers at Risk! (0+ / 0-)

    by flying over or close to a conflict zone!

    I don't care if there were prior authorizations by the involved countries and/or airline companies. I am pissed that the airlines could even think they were immune by flying over 32,000 feet.  

    It's simple: If you are not in the area of a conflict zone, you are not a potential target!

    Add in the Russian history of the KAL shoot-down, and U2 spy planes getting shot down over Russia and Cuba at 60,000+ feet, you have to ask "What were the airlines thinking?"

    The airlines that flew over the area are at fault!

    •  well...................... (0+ / 0-)

      if you can't fly over any war-zones, you'll be pretty limited as to where you CAN fly.


      "I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ....... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car ..." - Emo Philips

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 05:01:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Russian War-zones Are Especially Dangerous (0+ / 0-)

        with their hi-tech missiles. I'm not talking about areas where there is an abundance of automatic rifles and RPGs.  Although planes have been downed during takeoff and landings by RPGs.

        We know that eastern Ukraine is especially dangerous.  The airlines should have specifically avoided over-flying the area.

  •  I believe (0+ / 0-)

    Charles II is in error in some of his assumptions.  A monitored phone call between two separatists clearly puts the blame for this "accident" on the separatists, and their simple assumption that ONLY military planes would be flying over a "war zone".  The zone had NOT been declared a no-fly zone by EITHER Russia, Ukraine, or the separatists, and no international agency or other government had issued warnings, except to state that flying above 32,000 would be safe, an altitude believed beyond the range of typical terrorist shoulder-held surface-to-air missiles.  Putin's denial disingenuously claimed it was the responsibility of the nation over whose land the attack occurred.  While the attack DID occur in Ukrainian air space, the land was actually physically under the control of the separatists AND the Russian military.  Circumstantial footage shows a SAM missile launcher racing to the border and into Russia, missing two of its normal armament of four missiles.  HELLO!  Much less evidence than this has been used to convict people of murder in this country.

  •  Hollowness, etc. (0+ / 0-)

    Far from eschewing Cold War thinking, this piece takes us back to the days of bend-over-backward-to-think-well-of Russia/USSR opinion pieces from the Cold War itself.

    Moreover, the post displays weak thinking at several points.  Now, I don't claim to know the final facts of the matter, and I, along with CharlesII, believe (perhaps naively) that the truth will come out in time.  One reason why I think the truth will out is that eastern Ukraine is being very heavily surveilled by Western and especially US satellites just now.  The Ukrainians know this better than anyone, since they have depended on detailed US knowledge of events in their own east from the very beginning. The Ukrainians surely know that any hostility against a civilian airliner on their part would come to light, and Washington would be only too happy to defuse a difficult confrontation with Russia by acknowledging Ukraine's responsibility, if that were indeed the truth.  A missile battery gone rogue, perhaps, but anything else on Ukraine's side seems totally foolhardy.

    Nor can I fathom what Russia's motive would be to shoot this airliner out of the sky, but a plane was in fact shot down, so someone is responsible.  Here again, Charles likely errs in presuming that Moscow, "with its centralized decisionmaking," would have kept such powerful weapons under direct control.  Rather, it is seems that a devious but increasingly threadbare game of deniability is the heart of Russian strategy since the Crimean invasion.  Training pro-Russian rebels to do their worst with sophisticated missiles fits this modus operandi pretty well.

    And if, as Charles suggests, the airliner's destruction was a "tragic accident" caused by Russia, why should Russia not admit it and place blame on the Ukraine government's use of high-altitude military aircraft?

    And finally, the assertion that we should ignore evidence of Russian action, and the political implications of that action, because being so direct would enrage Russia and provoke further overreaction is, as I said before, pro-Russian apologia run amok.

    Don't get me wrong.  I don't want the US or anyone else to escalate this whole mess militarily at all.  Masterly inactivity, as the saying goes, is, I think, our best course.   Cutting off eastern Ukraine will simply drive the larger part of the country more firmly westward, as Moscow seems to realize in its more lucid moments.  But it would be a big mistake to rationalize Western self-interest in letting this event run its course into acceptance of Russian victimhood, or to refuse to take whatever joints actions the ultimate truth of the matter may require.

  •  Russia and Cold Eat (0+ / 0-)

    Putin is utilizing the same techniques Hitler used to take over his first couple of countries.   By utilizing infiltration, propaganda, staged disturbances, and bogus reports of abuse, Hitler would have justification to rush in to 'save' the German people.  Europe was so worried about going to war that they actually advised a country or two to give him what he wants.  Hope we are not seeing history repeat itself.  Above info from 'The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich'.

  •  Ukraine - plane shot down by Russian thugs (0+ / 0-)

    The recorded voices between Russian military and the Russian supported "separatists" makes it very clear to me that the Russian backed thugs used captured equipment to shoot down the Mayleysian plane.  Catch up by listening to AlJazeera.  American news is usually a day late and a dollar short.

  •  Russia (0+ / 0-)

    I must agree 100%.

  •  Interesting Point (0+ / 0-)

    I agree there should not be a rush to judgement as far as to what vermin is responsible for this despicable act of shooting down MHA 17 however it is hard to overlook the following facts:

    (1) Putin knew immediately as evidenced by his informing Obama during their phone call about sanctions. If the Ukranians had done it would he have not assigned blame right then? The news obviously came up his chain of command immediately.

    (2) No doubt the Russian backed Rebels had the plane shot over their territory and they have been in charge of the crash site from the beginning. Moreover they not only took credit for it but it's been verified they posted pictures of it before they realized they shot down the wrong plane.

    I could go on but the gist is clear, which is it would take a huge stretch to think anyone other than Russia and its cronies did this either on purpose, through negligence or by pure accident. Their control of the crash site has been nothing less than perverted. Note Obama told Putin how important the site was, and if Putin had cared he could have sent his own team in 3 days ago rather than let the cleanup and coverup go on. These are all facts that show the media conclusions have been right. Lastly MSNBC lost a ton of credibility when they pulled their reporter from Gaza who told the truth about the four little kids killed by the Israeli's on the beach so Richard Engel could whitewash government nonsense on the need to kill hundreds of civilians to block a bunch of dud rockets. Just Saying...

  •  Your update is bullshit (0+ / 0-)

    Actual journalists citing actual insiders say the exact opposite. When your position comes wrapped in the mad tinfoil hattery of a guy who lost the plot a long time ago you know you're grasping at straws. If Parry is connected I'm the Queen of England. This diary is nothing but cheap insinuations masquerading as an appeal to fairness.

    •  On Robert Parry (0+ / 0-)

      Robert Parry was one of those very few journalists who reported on the genocide in Central America in real time. The Reagan Administration, which was helping to commit that genocide put pressure on his employers to fire him. He did other great investigative journalism for Frontline.

      Ultimately, he was forced out of mainstream journalism due to political pressure by the right. No one seriously challenged the veracity of his reporting. He could have just blown off journalism and taken a second career. Instead, he invested his retirement money in doing independent journalism

      He's a very brave man, far braver than the keyboard kommandos on this thread. If you had a specific criticism of his work, I might listen. But in my opinion, you're engaged in empty slander. Exactly the sort of emotional tribalism that I wrote this diary to criticize,

      •  There's nothing to critique (0+ / 0-)

        Parry's telling a bedtime story. It's unfalsifiable. His argument boils down to "I heard this crazy, oddly-specific thing--just trust me." Why should I take his word for it?

        At this point you're shopping around for fringe commentary that keeps the FUD alive... evidence, sources and corroboration be damned. The facts and international commentary overwhelmingly point in the other direction and you can't accept it.

        Talk about emotional tribalism.

  •  Probably incorrect. (0+ / 0-)

    "...the Buk missile is incapable of differentiating civilian and military aircraft."

    US/NATO military aircraft have a an IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe) transponder that can be interrogated by a simple hand held device, and most air defense radar systems. Russian military aircraft likely have the same (cuts down on losing aircraft to "friendly fire".)

    The IFF coding would have been missing from a civilian airliner.

    •  Also, the source here is Business Insider? YGBSM. (0+ / 0-)
    •  Depends on the model (0+ / 0-)

      It's unlikely that the Russians would provide a top of the line model to rebels.

      You trash Business Insider below. Are they less accurate than, say, The New York Times, which lied us into Iraq?  

      •  You speculate. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaveinBremerton

        1. I actually know what I'm talking about, being a retired USAF lieutenant colonel with over 1700 hours flight time in F-111 supersonic fighter bombers, and over 33 years in the DoD, both active duty and as a civilian analyst. I fought against Russian-built hardware and know what it is and is not capable of.

        2.  Furthermore, you do not know how this upgraded SA-6 variant was obtained by the rebels - could have been a gift from President Putin, could have been stolen from overrun Ukrainian forces.

        3. Finally, Business Insider might be a great read, but it is in no way an authority on military hardware. Had you consulted a publication that is (such as Jane's) you may have read the following:  
        "Although it has it own Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, this is only able to establish whether the target being tracked is a friendly aircraft. It is the electronic equivalent of a sentry calling out "Who goes there?” If there is no reply, all you know is that it is not one of your own side's combat aircraft."

  •  It's always interested me (0+ / 0-)

    and, at the same time makes me rather sad how quickly even progressives are to accept whatever the 'mainstream' media tells vis-a-vis international disasters. No matter how many times the press and the government exhort us to take military action against a perceived enemy before all the facts are in and no matter how many times they are proved to be wrong or outright lying, many of us are just as quick to accept whatever we are told before all the evidence is in as is any Fox freak. Yes, it might have been the rebels, yes, it might have been backed by Putin and yes, Iraq might have had WMDs.  Thing is, the evidence is still not all in and probably won't be for a while. For example, originally, it was reported there were 100 AIDS researchers on the plane; the real number was six. Perhaps, we could show a bit more restraint than our rightwing counterparts and wait until everything is known before we start demanding more sanctions and/or troops. Saying 'it's pretty much verified' is not actually proof of anything because, like pregnancy, something is either verified or it isn't.

  •  This diary sounds as if you're working for the (0+ / 0-)

    separatists and the Russians. Are you? This was posted on Friday and now by Monday the blame is pointing squarely towards the separatists and the Russians. The separatist have also contaminated the crash site and have allowed looting and evidence tampering.

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