July 21, 2014

Deadly game of human chess

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When an airliner is blown out of the sky by people who want part of their country to break away, it’s time to actually take things seriously. This isn’t just some country. We are talking about Russia here and its southern border with Ukraine. The West (and that includes us) will now demand that the Russians disown their out-of-control compatriots in Ukraine. We will be treated to experts suggesting that this is evidence of the war mongering of the Russians, the instability of Putin and the need for Ukraine to move towards the EU with haste.

I am writing this morning from the Balkans and as a result, have been listening to different interpretations of what has been going on globally. Many of these views are more understanding of the Russian interpretation than the western one. Over the years, having spent some time in Russia, I have been aware of the very different ways the Russians and the West view the same events.

 

When seen from the Russian perspective, Ukraine is just another example of the gradual but definitive encroachment of the West into all things Russian. Russia and Ukraine are not different cultures. They are part of the same broader Russian/Slavic family. Our narrative is that the Russians are happy to keep Ukraine unstable and that what happened to the Malaysian airliner was the risk Russia was running by arming the separatists with sophisticated weapons.

Seen from the Russian side, it isn’t the Russians who are doing the destabilising but the Americans.

For them, the Americans arming and financially supporting an opposition in Ukraine would be like the Scottish Nationalists being financed by Russia. How do you think London and Washington would react to that? How do you think they’d react to the idea of a Russian puppet running an independent Scottish state from Edinburgh?

This is how close Ukraine is to Russia.

Now when you think about it in those terms, do you think Putin will back down and do what the West wants him to do?

Many in Russia believe that ultimately Ukraine is simply a pawn to keep Germany away from Russia. They believe that the only real alliance in Europe is one between an energy-rich Russia and an energy-impoverished Germany, between a technology and manufacturing-rich Germany and a manufacturing-poor Russia. These Russians regard an alliance with Germany as the logical geopolitical relationship for Europe in the first half of the 21st century. They regard the EU as a relic of the 20th century, necessary to protect western Europe under the umbrella of Nato both from itself and ultimately from the Red Army. With this threat gone, many Russian strategists argue that an alliance between Russia and Germany is going to happen.

Such a coalition would terrify America because it would mean that America would no longer be a player in Europe. This is why America heightens the fears of those who would have most to lose in such an alliance – such as Poland. Therefore Poland gets all the best American military equipment, gets the US investment and regular US pats on the back. By destabilising Ukraine, the Americans can heighten the regional angst of the Poles and also line the Germans up against the Russians in defence of a Ukrainian state, which is little more than an IMF supplicant propped up by IMF/EU loans to cover the day-to-day pilfering of its home grown kleptocracy.

Again when seen from Moscow, further south on the other side of the Black Sea, America is happy to allow its ally, prime minister Erdogan, in Turkey to tear up the Turkish constitution, jail opposition politicians and questioning journalists, and allow him to do the very thing that they scolded Putin for doing, staying in power by jumping from prime minister to president and back.

While Erdogan makes a mockery of Ataturk’s Turkish republican values, America sells Turkey the finest military hardware because Turkey promises to put manners on Russia’s ally in the region, Assad in Syria. Furthermore, the Turks and the Persians have hated each other for millenniums, so a strong Turkey keeps Russia’s other ally, Iran, in check.

America’s other ally in the region, Saudi Arabia, lends its support to al-Qaeda and its various Sunni offshoots such as Isis in Iraq, revealing that America is either very capable of playing both sides or is terribly out of its depth in the region. All the while, America’s biggest ally in the region, Israel, pulverises Gaza, but Gaza itself is held by Iran’s ally Hamas and thus is a pawn in Iran’s regional game.

Hamas were out of favour with Iran for not backing Assad in Syria at the beginning, but now with Assad securely in power after an unbelievable 150,000 people have been killed in Syria, Hamas has to cozy up to Iran again. The Hamas embrace of Iran was made more urgent by the eclipse of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Qatari-financed movement in Cairo, which is now on the run.

This grotesque geopolitical chessboard, where each conflict can be seen as a proxy war for something else is the kaleidoscope through which the world is seen from Moscow and Washington and indeed the other capitals of major world players from Beijing to London.

All sides have their narratives, allies and interests. All desperately want to remain in control and are happy to turn a blind eye to the atrocities committed by their allies. In all cases, innocents are killed. So the Americans look the other way in Gaza, while the Russians discount the killings in Aleppo. The French get all hot and bothered about Ukraine while ignoring the fact that its own troops are up to their eyes in the civil war in Chad and southern Libya. Britain lectures Russia on intervention in Ukraine while ignoring the fact that their troops are in Afghanistan.

Maybe it’s because I am in the Balkans 100 years after Gavrilo Princip killed Franz Ferdinand and kicked off a global conflict, but the unstable alliances of 2014 look equally as fragile as they did in 1914.

Sometimes when you are living through historic times you don’t realise it, but last week’s events from Ukraine to Gaza and Iraq do have a momentous feel to them.


  1. Colin

    Ukraine should be split in two. The differences between the Eastern (Russian speaking and in religion recognise authority of the Eastern Orthodox Pope)and Western (Ukrainian speaking and in religion recognise authority of the Roman Pope) Ukraine have existed for hundreds of years. There is a civilisation fault line running through the heart of the country. It is a cleft country. Why waste time, effort and lives trying to hold something together which wishes to break apart?

    • Deco

      A Canadian style federation.

      Or a Velvet divorce (the dissolution of Czechoslovakia – with no blood being spilled and both remaining friends).

      • Colin

        Yes, either option ok, but let the people vote, just like the Scots are going to do in a few weeks. Quebec had a referendum a few years ago, and narrowly decided to stay in Canada. No one died. There used to be a country in Europe called Prussia, no one ever mentions it now.

        • Deco

          Exactly.

          I cannot see why anybody would oppose this, or claim that it is not necessary to ask people for their opinion on the matter.

          Yet this is the standard policy of all NATO members. Supposedly founded to defend values, that many of it’s members discard whenever they can get away with it.

    • Daryna Gorbatiuk

      Colin, I always wonder how easy people from other countries can decide if we should separate or not.
      FYI, I’m Ukrainian, was born and live in Kyiv and I speak Ukrainian although almost all my relatives and friend from Kyiv speak russian.
      My mom is from Eastern Ukraine, Lugansk region and indeed speaks russian, my father is from Kyiv and also speaks russian. We have a lot of relatives in Donetsk and Lugansk regions and cities. From time to time we visit each other and NEVER had language or religious issues (as you refer to these aspects).
      And now I know for sure that my relatives who live in the East are afraid for there lives cause their cities are occupied by real terrorists.
      Also FYI, one month ago my cousin was in her uni campus to take her staff away and she did this while a man with rifle was standing and watching every her move.
      But i should say that we also have relatives in the Western Ukraine. We have very friendly relations and at least once a year visit each other’s homes.
      2 years ago I was invited by my Kyiv friend to visit her relatives from completely russian-speaking Crimea. And, believe me, people treated me were good and even tried to talk to me Ukrainian.
      If you say, that it’s just relatives, I may tell you hundreds of examples from my life which will show you that the West and the East are united in Ukraine.
      But – let’s be fair – indeed there were people who wanted (because after war which is going on in the East less and less people still want to do so) to join russia but they are not majority! And that is the point!
      And the last but for sure not the least: now there are RUSSIAN SOLDIERS fighting on the East! It’s fact! We found the russian labels on the weapon and russian ids in the terrorist’s staff.
      So, please, don’t tell me – the citizen of Ukraine – that my country wished to break apart!!!!

      • Colin

        If you give the Eastern Provinces a vote, you will find the majority want to leave the Ukraine. If you don’t believe me, prove it by offering them the vote.

        You need to win the hearts and minds of the people of Eastern Ukraine if you want them to stay in the Ukraine. Stop blaming bad old Russia, the bogeyman.

        • Daryna Gorbatiuk

          Hey Colin, it´s again nice to hear that you know everything about relations between Ukraine and russia and our internal affairs.
          Look, Eastern regions always have their vote and – by the way – thanks to their votes we received our previous president (who is still somewhere but not with people who voted for him).
          As I told before, the majority is for Ukraine and they have already had the opportunity to see how they might live in russia when their territories were occupied with russians.
          If some people want to separate, they can just move to country they want to join. If tomorrow I want to join Spain, that doesnt mean Spanish army should defend me and Kyiv from others who dont want to join Spain.
          Am I wrong?

          • Colin

            Hi Daryna,

            They want to separate and take their land with them. Land is the difference. It’s no fun separating and having no land with you.

            By the way, I also think north western Romania should be taken away from Romania and given to Hungary.

            Belguim should be divided if the people get the chance to vote for it.

            Scotland get their chance to end a 300+ year union with the rest of Britain and Northern Ireland.

            Catalonia should get the chance to vote to leave Spain.

            Kurdistan looks like it has an opportunity of leaving Iraq finally.

          • Daryna Gorbatiuk

            Hello Colin!
            I fully agree with you in case we are talking about the majority of the citizens.
            I can´t say about all the regions you talked about but Catalonia for sure should separate. But if they do this, it will be a sign for other regions (e.g. El Pais Vasco).
            But about Ukraine and our Eastern regions I must repeat you again (and again if you can´t realize my words) – that is not majority!!
            The last research showed that only 30 % of those people want to separate/unite to russia.
            Or do you think 30 % is already enough to seoarate???

        • Deco

          I think a large amount of the problem is that they are not being asked.

          This is developing into Civil War. And that is a very nasty business indeed.

          • Daryna Gorbatiuk

            Please…. Don’t think it is or it will be civil war.
            Civil war is when people inside the country want to separate but it’s not our case.

  2. McGoo

    Very good article, David, but reading it made my head hurt. Interesting times indeed.

    • mick.dfarmer

      Is it possible that the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner is the catalyst for WWIII?

      • J-Will

        Yes is the chilling answer to that question and it’s not a “Kayzer-Soza spook story” either.It’s very Real indeed.

        I just watched a channel 4 programme relating to MH17 – full of spin and anti-Russian propaganda and for good measure,(i still can’t believe CH4 stoooped to such lows & be so grossly irrespnosible to include emotionally evocative scenes of body-bags. – There’s quite enough insane anger, bitterness, hate and thoughts of revenge (not justice!)

        Obama’s pet Rowtweilers -john kerry/feinstein ((who surely-be-to-God,can’t have ANY credibility left?)may soon encourage air-strikes on Ukraine?Putin will not tolerate it for a split-second.Believe that.

        [so when you ask yourself,why then would one poke a big stick at a ferocious tiger - who has shown to date,i say,amazing strength and fortitude not to have at given a snarl!]

        NerObama,with a forked-tongue,will use this tragedy, this evil incident of terrorism and wanton disregard for human life,to pressure Merkel(Europe)now to side with him,and we are all too aware of its real warmongering intent – All to counter the THREATS of Real International Economic Progress and a collapsing bankrupt financial system and of course the dying reign of US$.

        It’s just like,it’s exactly like the british empire torpedoing Bretton-Woods!which promoted fixed exchange rates to promote economic stability,right?!

        War,the preferred P.T.O. shaft of empire,eh Mick..”same script,different actors”…. just 70 years later…

        • J-Will

          We know very little fact beyond the [tragic] obvious of MH17. It’s gonna take time to discover the Truth,if ever.We need to accept that.

          And better to say “We don’t know what happened” or “we can’t be sure who was responsible” than to say [Again] “i don’t know and i don’t care, i have a strong gut-feeling (and fear & hatred for my enemy!)coz some guy was wearing a certain uniform,therefore ,in all likelehood, those guys did did it ,so

          “GO MASSIVE>>SWEEP IT ALL UP!” …

          • J-Will

            There is an intolerable,almost inebriatingly numbing level of frustration and anguish in this mystery of answering the who’s and why’s and what kinda mongrels are capable of such an atrocity,but we are not beasts and our emotions ought not get the better of us.The ‘liar and chief’ is facing Real growing pressure of impeachment.If venomous Obama had been impeached a week ago,and thus neutralising the stratospheric levels of current tension,would an incident like this have happened.Hard to know.If Obama was impeached now,would the odds of a future like-incident be much less?…undoubtedly.

            And while our thoughts,and prayers,are with the family and friends of MH17, there are 100’s more being openly slaughtered elsewhere – e.g. in Syria by fascist ISIS [backed by Obama!] and not being covered by MSM with the same gusto,so i will borrow from our host again -”who will speak for them?”

            We can’t possibly think that we can compromise with a snake and Obama is a snake,he’s a snake and we need to turn on him !

          • J-Will

            “to win by any means necessary,which makes us,because we win,Right,and because we are Right,we are therefore Good”

  3. Spot on David- its like bushfire season- one spark could erupt into a global catastrophe. I wonder if the human species will for survival, peace and justice is stronger than the willful need for self righteousness…….

  4. Going back to the topic of blowing civilian aircraft from the sky, this is the result of morons in charge of all the boys toys. Most armies are in the hands of morons, but militias who are proxies in a “game of chess” are particularly prone to having gun-happy morons in charge. Might as well give matches to a child at a petrol station. The Americans are no strangers to blowing civilian aircraft out of the sky. They have had that experience.

  5. Irish PI

    LOCKERBIE ring a bell with you bechance Groengoen??
    Its funny that all those who rush to judge America forget to mention that Lockerbie was also a retaliation for the downing of Iran air.Maybe it doesnt count with the pendantics of the liberal “blame America for everything” brigade because it wasnt actually a missile but a bomb.But still 400 plus died in that explosion as well.

    • I was not accusing the US of anything, and I don’t believe they were involved in this particular incident. I was just pointing out that the morons in this case had there counterparts in a previous incident. You seem to be pedantic enough to remember previous incidents.

  6. Deco

    Thank God(or whatever is your preference), somebody is finally talking sense.

    It seems that the West (in decline to Asia) is playing stupid games with people’s lives. The “global chessboard” is an insult to humanity. How comes up with this barbaric nonsense ? Needless to say, when it played by idiots, who always have insufficient information, and who rarely take advice from people who usually know better (check the Iraq mess), the results are an enormous amount of suffering.

    It is absolutely nonsensical. The lot of it.

    And David is correct – it is very much like the run up to 1914.

    Time for the non-aligned and neutral countries to do something to stop this madness.

    David could also have included Putin’s tour of Latin America, give an endorsement to a range of leftist leaders who are not happy with Washington.

  7. cooldude

    Very interesting article David. The truth is always the first casualty in war and we have both sides blaming the other on this atrocity. According to US ambassador Victoria Nuland the US have spent $10 billion over the last ten years trying to destabilize this region. Since Putin brokered a peace deal which stopped the imminent war in Syria the neocon element in the US administration have been hell bent on revenge and did sponsor the so called revolution.
    It is not impossible that they could also be behind this atrocity but as of yet not enough facts are known to begin attributing blame let alone start yet another bloody war. Here is a very interesting exploration of all the angles in this case

    http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/special-report-malaysian-flight-false-flag-evidence-revealed/

  8. cooldude

    Here is a long list of cases where the US has used a “false flag” pretext to initiate war. No one yet knows is this airline disaster was another but at least we do know they have form when it comes to this

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-to-start-a-war-the-american-use-of-war-pretext-incidents/28554?utm_source=feedly&utm_r

  9. onq

    The former satellite blok countries have been ruined by American influence and before that by the British. Britain and America are like a dog and its tail. One follows the other around constantly.

    Britain in the Nineteenth Century tried to prevent European states from joining up in an overall alliance. Yes, the alliance between Germany and Russia certainly looked on the cards three months ago. But not now.

    Which is a pity, because the potential exists for a unified Sino-Eurasia running from China in Far, Far, East to Capo de Saint Vincent in Portugal in the West. The liking of such disparate areas by land and air trade routes would create a trading area that would dwarf the American hinterland.

    I believe it is partly in fear of this Super-economic Block that the Americans are pushing the Transpacific and Transatlantic Trade Agreements. Add to this the BRICS Bank of which Russia is a main member and you have the perfect financial storm heading for the IMF.

    Unless, of course, something were to happen to destroy, delay or derail is.

    • Eireannach

      Why do think an emergence alliance between Germany and Russia will not go ahead? There will be a big blame game over this disaster. Germany will position itself more or less in the middle of the US-Russia propaganda blame game.

      Absolutely nobody – like, 0% – of the German population want to swallow American propaganda from the likes of John ‘Skull and Bones’ Kerry. The German political and business class will wait for this to blow over, which’ll take about 6 months. Then they’ll be back signing 20 and 30 year natural gas contracts with Russia, because nobody else has enough gas for German industrial demand, basically.

      Western public opinion has accute ADSD. I’d day that most people in the West are already sick of hearing about this Flight MH17 already, and it’s only a few days old news. In 6 moths practically everyone will have forgotten about, and the emerging German-Russian cooperation will continue.

  10. This is a very good article, probably one of your best ever.
    And is a completely different interpret of events than the crap presented in mainstream media which is full of contradictions and hypocrisy.

    It would be great if you could apply the same depth of thought to analysing they way low paid workers are underpaid, overstressed, abused and over taxed by Irish home grown kleptocracts, crooked governments and multinational vultures operating in Ireland.

  11. Adelaide

    My own view is that these ‘games’ are the manifestations of two concurrent phenomena, the death throes of both America as a super-power and Islam as a mass religion, both will survive in diminished forms but their on-going extreme actions indicate their desperation to stay in ascendancy and their awareness that the tide has turned. They are lashing out at the diminishing of their lights. I feel the ‘shot down airliner’ is a non-story in regard to significant events, it’ll be forgotten soon enough, mainly because Ukraine itself is a non-story, it’s a regional issue entirely in Putin’s hands. Expect no action from Obama as he is totally dis-interested and disillusioned with being the President, he’s biding his time with golf/walkabouts/charity dinners. As for ISIS and Islamic extremism, they’re on the wrong side of history and will wither back into obscurity as Islam like all major religions fades into a secular tradition. The one possible catalyst for a ‘proper’ war is Israel. I was in Israel recently and the ordinary citizens there are on a war footing. They expect war, none could say what form it would take, but a full-scale attack on Israel is what WILL happen, not MIGHT happen, is what they say. Perhaps the last hurrah from Islam will be heard on Israeli battlegrounds?

    • Colin

      ‘As for ISIS and Islamic extremism, they’re on the wrong side of history and will wither back into obscurity as Islam like all major religions fades into a secular tradition.’

      I sincerely do hope you are right, but my gut tells me you are wrong. Islamists are doing what they’ve always been doing since they first started robbing the caravan trade in Arabia in the early part of the 7th century.

      I’ve always found it amazing that the Irish living over 3,000 miles away from Jerusalem had become Christian approx 400 years after Jesus’s crucifixion, yet many of the Arab tribes which mohammad belonged to, who lived in the southern back yard of Jerusalem had remained pagan 700 years after.

  12. StephenKenny

    It looks like the realities of the state of the US & UK economies have made a global war attractive alternatives to ‘maning up and admitting it’.

    What is even more disconcerting than yet another rerun of the Iraq deception and warcrimes, is the increasing number of senior people who claim to be convinced that when the time comes, a nuclear war is winnable; that the US have some secret anti-missile systems that’ll take out almost every Russian and Chinese missile.

    It feels like we’re living in a 1970s dystopian apocalyptic movie.

    Having glanced at the UK newspaper headlines this morning, perhaps England should be renamed Blairland.

    • Adelaide

      +1
      If you had read yesterday’s Sunday Times editorial “Make Putin The Pariah Pay For This Outrage” you’d imagine that Putin himself pulled the missile trigger.

      Sabre-rattling tosh from the bankrupt UK. If Scotland votes No in September then Scotland can go rot. Go Scotland!

  13. AndreiC

    Very, very, poor analysis. It seems to imply that almost all global players are equally bad in a way, because they mostly seem to be using the same tools… Well, sure they are, because they are all playing (fighting) on the same global scene. But we cannot put an equal sign between Russia who is fighting on the global scene to bring as many countries under their authoritarian heel of thugocracy and the USA whose excesses (like Iraq) came out of idealism.

    • Eireannach

      Soviet idealism was the purest idealism of the 20th century, and it led to catastrophe. If American idealism leads now in the 21st century, then expect the greatest lies and deceits to emanate from America, precisely because idealism is used to mask entirely contrary behaviour.

  14. joe hack

    Kerry’s Latest Reckless Rush to Judgment
    July 21, 2014

    Exclusive: Though the investigation of the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 has barely begun, the Obama administration and the U.S. media have sold the world on the narrative blaming Russia’s President Putin, with Secretary of State Kerry sealing the deal, writes Robert Parry.

    By Robert Parry

    Secretary of State John Kerry boasts that as a former prosecutor he knows he has a strong case against the eastern Ukrainian rebels and their backers in Russia in pinning last Thursday’s shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on them, even without the benefit of a formal investigation.

    During his five rounds of appearances on Sunday talk shows, Kerry did what a judge might condemn as “prejudicing the case” or “poisoning the jury pool.” In effect, Kerry made a fair “trial” almost impossible, what a bar association might cite in beginning debarment proceedings against prosecutor Kerry.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Aug. 30, 2013, claims to have proof that the Syrian government was responsible for a chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21, but that evidence failed to materialize or was later discredited. [State Department photo]
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Aug. 30, 2013, claims to have proof that the Syrian government was responsible for a chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21, but that evidence failed to materialize or was later discredited. [State Department photo]
    But what Kerry did was actually much worse. He essentially dictated the outcome of an inquiry that risks pushing the world into a new and dangerous Cold War. With his didactic – all-tell-no-show – presentation of the “evidence,” Kerry made any objective assessment of the actual evidence nearly impossible, certainly for U.S. government investigators and even for many international officials whose jobs often depend on the goodwill of the United States.
    If you were, say, a U.S. intelligence analyst sifting through the evidence and finding that some leads went off in a different direction, toward the Ukrainian army, for instance, you might hold back on your conclusions knowing that crossing senior officials who had already pronounced the verdict could be devastating to your career. It would make a lot more sense to just deep-six any contrary evidence.

    Indeed, one of the lessons from the disastrous Iraq War was the danger of enforced “group think” inside Official Washington. Once senior officials have made clear how they want an assessment to come out, mid-level officials scramble to make the bosses happy.

    If Kerry had cared about finding the truth about this tragedy that claimed the lives of 298 people, he would have simply noted that the investigation was just beginning and that it would be wrong to speculate based on the few scraps of information available. Instead he couldn’t resist establishing a narrative that has – in the eyes of the world – made Russian President Vladimir Putin the guilty party.

    Kerry’s TV performance recalled his rush to judgment in blaming the Syrian government for a still-mysterious sarin gas attack last Aug. 21. In both instances, the Secretary of State stitched together circumstantial evidence around the repeated refrain, “we know.”

    However, in the Syrian case, much of what Kerry claimed to “know” later turned out to be false. Yet, relying on this unreliable “evidence,” Kerry pushed the United States to the edge of a major bombing campaign before President Barack Obama pulled back and – with the aid of President Putin – reached a compromise that avoided another U.S. war and got Syria to surrender its entire stockpile of chemical weapons. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “John Kerry’s Sad Circle to Deceit.”]

    But Kerry apparently learned no lesson from the Syrian fiasco, nor from getting snookered by President George W. Bush in 2002 about Iraq’s non-existent WMDs, nor from the pattern of U.S. government deceptions that dispatched him and millions of other young Americans into the jungles of Vietnam in the 1960s. [For more on that, see Consortiumnews.com’s “What’s the Matter with John Kerry?”]

    Back on the High Horse

    On Sunday, Kerry was off again on his high horse, charging beyond the bounds of any serious evidence or investigation to leave little doubt who should be found guilty regarding Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 which was shot down by a missile over war-torn eastern Ukraine. Though one of the natural suspects would be the Ukrainian military, Kerry only focused on the ethnic Russian rebels and Moscow.

    During his appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” with David Gregory, Kerry said, “Let me tell you what we know at this point, David, because it tells you a lot about what is going on. In the last month, we have observed major supplies moving in.

    “Several weeks ago, about 150-vehicle convoy, including armored personnel carriers, tanks, rocket launches, artillery all going in and being transferred to the separatists. We know that they had an SA-11 system in the vicinity literally hours before the shoot-down took place. There are social media records of that. They were talking, and we have the intercepts of their conversations talking about the transfer and movement and repositioning of the SA-11 system.

    “The social media showed them with this system moving through the very area where we believe the shoot-down took place hours before it took place. Social media – which is an extraordinary tool, obviously, in all of this – has posted recordings of a separatist bragging about the shoot-down of a plane at the time, right after it took place.

    “The defense minister, so-called self-appointed of the People’s Republic of Donetsk, Mr. Igor Strelkov, actually posted a bragging statement on the social media about having shot down a transport. And then when it became apparent it was civilian, they quickly removed that particular posting. We –“

    David Gregory: “Are you bottom-lining here that Russia provided the weapon?”

    Kerry: “There’s a story today confirming that, but we have not within the Administration made a determination. But it’s pretty clear when – there’s a build-up of extraordinary circumstantial evidence. I’m a former prosecutor. I’ve tried cases on circumstantial evidence; it’s powerful here.

    “But even more importantly, we picked up the imagery of this launch. We know the trajectory. We know where it came from. We know the timing, and it was exactly at the time that this aircraft disappeared from the radar. We also know from voice identification that the separatists were bragging about shooting it down afterwards.”

    Gregory: “Right.”

    Kerry: “So there’s a stacking-up of evidence here which Russia needs to help account for. We are not drawing the final conclusion here, but there is a lot that points at the need for Russia to be responsible. And what President Obama believes and we, the international community, join in believing, all, everybody is convinced we must have unfettered access. And the lack of access – the lack of access, David, makes its own statement about culpability and responsibility.”

    Yet, like the case with Syria, Kerry presented no verifiable proof from the U.S. government, no images of the 150-vehicle convoy, no support for the claims about the rebels possessing the SA-11 Buk system (beyond allusions to “social media”), no countervailing information about the Buk systems possessed by the Ukrainian military, no effort to allow for contrary explanations for comments made during the confusion that followed the crash within a disorganized rebel organization that has poor command and control, no demands for cooperation from the Kiev regime.

    Also, there was no explanation for why Kerry’s statements were at variance with public remarks by senior U.S. military personnel. For instance, the Washington Post’s Craig Whitlock reported on Saturday that Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, U.S. commander of NATO forces in Europe, said last month that “We have not seen any of the [Russian] air-defense vehicles across the border yet.”

    Whitlock also reported that “Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said defense officials could not point to specific evidence that an SA-11 surface-to-air missile system had been transported from Russia into eastern Ukraine.”

    Of course, the only skepticism expressed by NBC’s Gregory was over why the Obama administration hadn’t jumped to the conclusion of Russian guilt even faster. Instead of citing the contradictory information in Whitlock’s article, Gregory cited a belligerent Post editorial.

    Gregory: “The Washington Post has editorialized this weekend what was missing from the President’s comments when he spoke out on Friday was a clear moral conclusion about the regime of Vladimir Putin or an articulation of how the United States will respond. What about it? … Call Vladimir Putin what he is. What is the threat that he and Russia present to the United States and to the West?”

    When Kerry’s response wasn’t bellicose enough, Gregory egged him on:

    “But I detect in your words, Mr. Secretary, some reluctance to make this a one-on-one battle. You want to give Russia a little bit more room here. But the question is still about consequences.”

    One-Sided Reporting

    There also was nothing in the interview about the shared responsibility for the nasty civil war gripping Ukraine; nothing about the reckless U.S. support for the neo-Nazi spearheaded overthrow of elected President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 22, just a day after he had signed an agreement with three European nations to reduce his powers and hold early elections. Instead of supporting that deal, Kerry’s State Department immediately embraced the coup regime as “legitimate.”

    Though the Ukraine reality is complex and murky – with blame on both sides – Official Washington’s narrative has been black-and-white: the western Ukrainians, including a significant number of neo-Nazis who trace their ideology back to Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, are the good guys and the ethnic Russians from eastern Ukrainians are the bad guys, with Vladimir Putin the baddest of the bad guys.

    A less biased journalist than David Gregory might have asked Kerry if he thought that Ukraine’s new President Petro Poroshenko was wise in terminating a partial cease-fire in late June and launching a brutal offensive against the towns and cities of rebellious eastern Ukraine. That fighting was the context for the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines plane.

    But the immediate pressing issue should be to determine who fired the missile that brought down the plane. If indeed Russia recklessly provided the rebels this high-powered anti-aircraft weapon, whoever approved that transfer should be held accountable along with the rebels who fired it, even if the Boeing 777 was mistakenly identified as a military aircraft.

    Similarly, if elements of the Ukrainian military fired the missile – possibly thinking the plane was a Russian reconnaissance flight on its way back to Russia – then a thorough investigation should determine who in that chain of command was responsible.

    I was told by one source who had been briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts that some satellite images suggest that the missile battery was under the control of Ukrainian government troops but that their conclusion was not definitive.

    Which is why Kerry’s outbursts on Sunday could be so harmful to any pursuit of the truth. By clearly pointing the finger of guilt away from the Kiev regime and toward Moscow, Kerry has made it much harder for any intelligence analyst to assess the evidence without fear of some painful consequences.

    • cooldude

      Here is Russia’s take on what exactly happened to the Malaysian airline. I suppose you could say of course they would say it was the Ukraine but the tone and the the material they present is very matter of fact and completely avoids the “we know” attitude of John Kerry. What the US and NATO needs to do is just show the FACTS they have in relation to this terrible tragedy and avoid all the war mongering that they have been engaged in.

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-21/russia-says-has-photos-ukraine-deploying-buk-missiles-east-rader-proof-warplanes-mh1

      • joe hack

        I have been flowing the Ukrainian story and Malaysian airline incident obsessively. I don’t how this plane fell from the sky nor can anyone else at this time. I agree the Russians are at least asking questions, Kiev/USA knew within 15 minutes! – Who, where, when, why, and how – How!

        Cui Bono:

        The first act of war is to demonize your enemy this was ramped up after Syria e.g. Putin is homophobic Russia is homophobic… Putin dared to take on the empire of chaos over Syria…

        I was surprised that DMW put the Russia and Germany “alliance” together, no matter what the “collateral damage” costs are the USA – the Empire of Chaos – will not allow this marriage. The Wolfowitz Doctrine has not gone away, if needs be, the Chaos Empire would divide Europe too and will attempt to drive it toward war – chaos is play right now- it’s pivot in china is part of it containment strategy the chaos it creates in the ME is also part of its contaminate strategy. The imitate aim now is to demonise Russia and drive away from Europe
        Ukraine /MH17 Cui Bono?

  15. joe hack

    “the implication that Ukraine attempted to assassinate the president of Russia implies war, which Russia wants to avoid. It also implies Washington’s complicity as it is highly unlikely that Washington’s puppet in Kiev would risk such a dangerous act without Washington’s backing. The Russian government, being intelligent and rational, would obviously deny reports of an attempted assassination of the Russian president by Washington and its Kiev puppet. Otherwise, Russia has to do something about it, and that means war.”

  16. dwalsh

    …some damned foolish thing in the Balkans!

    Excellent article and analysis David. The most balanced I have read from any Irish pundit.

    The Irish Times lot are routinely publishing that Russia shot down the airliner; when in fact it has not yet been determined what actually happened. Disgraceful and irresponsible.

    I would agree with the view that the rational way forward for Europe is some form of alliance with Russia. Some form of pan-Eurasian alliance. We share the same continent and have much to gain from a more integrated continental development. We need to put the misunderstandings of the 20th century behind us; especially cold war Russophobia.

    As you point out, any such rapprochement between Europe and Russia will be viewed as a threat by the Washington regime in the USA. Especially now that their dollar hegemony is under increasing danger of collapse – for which they have only themselves to blame.

    My own analysis off the USA/NATO destabilisation of Ukraine has always been that its primary aim is to drive a wedge between Europe and Russia, to weaken both. It is an insane gambit, and reminds me of what Bismarck said about the on-coming possibility of general war in Europe towards the end off the 19th century:

    “Europe today is a powder keg and the leaders are like men smoking in an arsenal … A single spark will set off an explosion that will consume us all … I cannot tell you when that explosion will occur, but I can tell you where … Some damned foolish thing in the Balkans will set it off.”

  17. Conclusions

    A long time ago on this blog many of the contributors over a long period of time discussed and concluded that War was the catalyst of change from what the existing abyss of the present economic quagmire presented .And now you have it .

    Its now Pawns and Bishops , King and Queens , Castles and Knights ………..and of course…a racing clock .

    It is interesting that this game never conceived at the time Rockets and Planes , Drones and War Heads , and Nuclear Weapons and Gas .

    • J-Will

      A single Trident II missile is equipped with up to eight nuclear warheads,aboard a multiple independently targetable
      re-entry vehicle (or MIRV)… from the time of launch it can less than 10 minutes for an SLBM (submarine launched ballistic missile)to reach it’s target in as little as 5 minutes,if it is flown on a depressed trajectory – this allows a very short margin for reaction…..Minutes fracture into seconds – this is not a test,this is not scheduled.

      Russian nuclear command and control systems,carried over from the Soviet era,leave little time to opt-out, or delay a full-fledged response. Within fifty seconds the missile has peaked above the earth’s atmosphere,it reaches it’s top-speed,the engine drops off,the bust releases multiple warheads as well as decoys,the radar systems on the ground are overwhelmed and unable to differentiate the two when they are in the post-boost phase.

      Re-entering the atmosphere,the decoys burn off and the warheads enter their terminal phase..it will be less than 180 seconds before they touch down

      The yield of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was 15 Kilotons. The yield of a Trident II missile equipped with 8 w88 warheads, is 253 times greater than “Little Boy”.

      Unsurvivable !

      short video
      http://larouchepac.com/unsurvivable

  18. Pat Flannery

    This is a very busy air route to the Far East. Flightaware reports that 300 commercial airliners were scheduled to fly that route that day. A Singapore Airliner was only 16 miles behind the Malaysia Airlines plane at the time it was shot down. That’s nothing at 33,000 feet. There were 55 other airliners in the air at the time coming or going along that air route.

    Why then did an anti-aircraft missile crew pick out this one aircraft from a readily identifiable stream of commercial airliners overhead, that every local farmer is daily familiar with, and treat it as hostile?

    We have yet to learn a lot about what happened here. It seems Malaysia Airlines is breaking all records in the bad luck game. This is stranger than fiction.

  19. Fat Tony

    You are all missing the really important question here, the one thing that really matters.

    What effect will war in the Balkans have on Irish Property prices?

  20. Pat Flannery

    David: you are letting your imagination run away with you. There is very little similarity between the present geopolitical situation and that of 1914. The world is now much more integrated than it was in 1914 and therefore much safer. There will always be local wars but the world has learnt to keep them local.

    The same process that built peaceful communities, now known as nations, from previously perpetually warring tribes, is at work building a mutually dependent global community of nations. As happens within each constituent nation, keeping the global peace is now a matter of global law enforcement.

    “The unstable alliances of 2014 look equally as fragile as they did in 1914″.

    I don’t think so. Time to come back to the stability of Dublin where there are just ordinary local murderers and lots of other ODCs.

    • mishco

      +1 I agree with you, Pat, and think that David sometimes goes way over the top when he attempts to piece together too many different world problems. His experiences in Russia and E Europe seem to encourage him to do this.(I was married to a Ukrainian for many years, but I don’t feel qualified to comment on their country just because of this.)

      Of course all the problems in the word have multiple links, but I don’t think David’s attempts to provide us with a 21st century “Weltanschauung” clarify matters. There are two many imponderables and life basically goes on with too many unpredictable events. (FWIW I thought right from the start that a few crazy idiots fired that missile thinking it was a Ukrainian plane, and I still think this, but by all means, investigators, prove me wrong.)

      I find the voices of the 2 Ukrainians who have commented above to be far more interesting and convincing, and I respect their lifetime experience, just as I respect David’s when he comments on Ireland – but not on Ukraine!

  21. DB4545

    David I think you’re doing a version of “the skibbereen eagle is watching you Mr. Hitler”. Nobody who is a player gives a rats ass what our little Country thinks of this sad situation. We have absolutely no power to influence any outcome. I travelled in the Balkans in the early 1980′s when Yugoslavia still existed. I had no idea or understanding of the ethic or religious fault lines that existed. I found the people polite, gracious and welcoming. I couldn’t believe that the term “ethic cleansing” could find its origin in such people. I’m just grateful that the North and South never spiralled out of control to barbarity on that scale. The world is engaged in resource wars as it always has been. We’re under the US security umbrella despite the nonsense that we spout about “neutrality”. Why waste time on navel gazing and hand wringing on issues that don’t concern us? Our “job” is to protect and serve our families and our Country’s interests. That means selling our skills, resources, goods and services to the highest bidder to create wealth, employment and prosperity. We have this ridiculous desire to be “liked” instead of focusing on being respected. We pretend we’re JFK when in reality we behave like Richard Nixon.

    • J-Will

      “We have absolutely no power to influence any outcome.”

      and

      “Why waste time on navel gazing and hand wringing on issues that don’t concern us?”

      *deep sigh*

      Thankfully DB,we had determined Leaders that didn’t have your defeatist attitude and “the North and South [of our little island] never spiralled out of control to barbarity on that scale”

      • DB4545

        What’s your point? We have no argument there it was a local issue that local (Irish and British) leaders could influence to some degree. Thankfully cool heads prevailed on both sides of the Irish Sea. We had morons armed with 1st world war weapons and trained for 2nd world war scenarios who thought they could take on the British Military who are armed with fighter jets and nuclear weapons. The British military could have bombed Ireland into the Stone Age by taking out our power stations and been home in time for lunch.

        We have no influence in global issues. Why waste time and energy on issues that we can’t influence or control? I’m not a defeatist or an idealist. I’m a pragmatic realist. The battle lines are drawn my ass. You do your fighting with a keyboard. Do me a favour and communicate in normal English without your usual dogmatic or esoteric references and links to bullshit and websites that I have neither the time or inclination to read. Maybe give me your own original viewpoint concisely written in two to three paragraphs of less than three hundred words that is informative, educational or makes me laugh.

        • J-Will

          “I’m a pragmatic realist”…

          The practical man,maybe our greatest enemy!

          You always sound like George Carlin,but he’s funny at least.But Carlin doesn’t creatively suggest any solutions.He’s not a Leader.He never “dreams of things that never were and ask why not”. Carlin doesn’t want change…just the cheque for his gig and he’ll be on his way.Piss on the fire,my toast is done.

          When the chips are down,that vacuous cynicism bullshit of the “obvious realities” is no f***ing use !

          When nations co-operate,their enhanced solidarity projects strength and CHANGE !

          Have you heard of Human Rights?Who will speak for the genocide in Gaza? You?!Have you read about Netanyahu’s slaughter of Palestinians is now approaching 600 persons dead in Ghaza – at an increasing rate too,of currently 100 persons per day,but it’s “over there” therefore and somehow contained? Won’t affect me eh DB!You are out of your tiny mind!You know nothing of strategy,ZIP and geo-politically grossly unaware and that’s me being kind.

          Are that brow-beaten DB?

          That was rhetorical.

          • DB4545

            Here’s the reality. The Israelis have turned into the Nazis they were trying to escape from. I’ve seen the pictures of those babies blown to pieces in Gaza.I’ve also seen the pictures of those two little baby girls blown to pieces in the Dublin car bombings. Who cried for them? The Israelis fired on a position having been informed it was a UN position in Lebanon and killed an Irish soldier. What did the Irish Government do in both cases? Nothing except the usual meaningless platitudes and continued with its business. What you can say with some degree of certainty is that if you f**k with Israel you do so at your peril. If you harm one of their Citizens they will come after you.What have we achieved two years shy of 1916? Create wealth and employment and that puts you on course to influence events. That’s the real world bonbon.

          • Colin

            Funny how this genocide policy perpetrated by Israel has over the years a habit of producing a huge increase in the population of the people suffering from genocide.

  22. J-Will

    The battle lines are drawn!

    http://larouchepac.com/node/31383#

    What will empire do – to save their evil monetary system?

  23. coldblow

    While I agree with much of David’s article I am not persuaded of a German-Russian alliance. Rather this seems to be the continuation of historical rivalry between the two. I must check out what Michael Hudson has to say, and Kunstler too, now I think of it.

    It is obvious that the intial problem arose from EU (German) interference and the Maidan Sq. demonstrations to oust, unconstitutionally, the elected governement were clearly abetted by the EU and America.

    Media coverage on the other hand is even worse than you’d expect and based on fantasy. (This is possibly what Stephen Kenny is referring to with ‘Blairland’ as Britain under him was ‘Fantasy Island’ as in the book’s title.) Remember it was only a short time ago (last year?) that the West very nearly intervened in Syria. Now look at what our supposed allies have got up to in Iraq.

    In summary there is are deep geopolitical and globally economic forces at work combined with a fantastic, hysterical and frivolous governmental reaction. Paul Birrell in the Daily Mail of 18 July called for “brutal decisiveness to put a power-crazy president back in his box”. Putin is accused of suffering “Tsarist fantasies”. He is an award-winning foreign correspondent yet the fantasies appear to be on his side. How can you explain it? Well, for starters I assume he is an extrovert.

    • J-Will

      Putin is a courageous Leader tho’ dude and a strategist [and with with plenty of his own flaws!] He has given Obama plenty of rope and Obama has taken every bit. Putin being a billionaire and controlling the other Russian oligarch billionaires,as contradictory as it may read,doesn’t think of money when he puts his socks on every morning.It’s not what he is all about.

      The BRICS are making a Power move,have made their Power mover ,rather.Germany,if not now,must soon choose between a future alliance with Russia,India,South Africa,China,Brazil or The United States. Merkel will of course want to keep everyone ‘happy’,but that’s not the required level of commitment sought in order to yield the long-term benefits – to realise those benefits,you’re either all-in ,or you fold your hand.

      That’s ‘the state of play’ as i see it and watching this unfold in the last 10 days,just the last week really,well it must seem like a slow-motion car crash for Cameron/Blair and Obama !Good!

    • coldblow

      Reading my comment again I realize it was clumsily put.

      It is clear (or fairly clear) that this is the old Germany-Russion rivalry at work again. Using terms like “geopolitical and global economic forces” is something I try to avoid as it is too vague and waffly. I looked at a recent article by Hudson and he compares Western interference in the Ukraine to what happened in central Africa (the Belgian Congo I assume) just over a century ago, ie a form of colonialism. History shows a German Drang nach Osten, or march eastwards, from the Teutonic Knights onwards, I think. How this makes itself felt in modern terms (as Germany is now a democracy) is not clear to me at least, but all the same countries have interests as they always did.

      I also don’t know how this relates, in concrete terms, to the very strange media reaction. As I said, it is similar to the outrage over the alleged use of gas by the Syrian government, which very nearly led to intervention to support the same crowd (it is said) who are causing havoc in Iraq.

      No doubt some of this is calculated, but I believe that these are essentially outbursts of sheer irrationality.

      I mentioned extroverts at the end as I believe they are the main driving force in these examples, as in all other cases, of mass outrage. Half the world, one in every couple, etc. Nothing against them, they are on the whole a better class of person if anything. However, because of the way they see the world (their identification with external reality) they seem to be much more likely to believe what “everyone else” is saying, even if it is wrong when you look at the facts. From my observation they are characterized by enforcing “norms” (generally these days political correctness), an attraction to cliche (easy, superficial explanations) and a drive to action (now! They used to post here in the past about this just being a talking shop while they were going to go out there and “do something”).

      Talking of all this, has Georg been here recently? I’m keen to find out if there have been any developments in the “Nexus” which he discovered linking the Vatican to the economic crisis. And if he has seen a hulking albino priest acting suspciously.

  24. DB4545

    Before jumping into any conflict you need to know what your exit strategy is. The UK has global interests but no longer has global reach so has to piggy back on US muscle and it’s a policy that has largely served the UK well. Blair is a great man for talking up intervention but thankfully for him it’s not his kids that have had to do the fighting. The US has learned the hard way not to get dragged into a ground war. I fail to understand the lack of focus on China. China has usurped the other superpowers and has been extremely economic in deploying its military might but look at what it has achieved without hardly firing a shot. That’s where other global players could learn some lessons. But back in planet Ireland we need to create wealth and jobs and then we can get around to annoying people with our idle speculations.

  25. David NZ

    The fuel for any new combustion is in Europe in the form of long term unemployment and the refusal of the Germans to allow any form of demand creation through fiscal easing or monetary stimulus. A right wing Maiden type movement is gathering pace without anyone realising how serious the implications are.

    America is a bystander in this conflict. Their govt has always encouraged anti-communist movements in whatever form (Poland,Chile, Vietnam etc.) Some efforts have been successful (Poland) most have not and have come back to bite the hand that feeds. I doubt that they see this conflict as particularly different. Yes, they will have some responsibility but they are not the main actor.

    The Americans also appear to have an economic recovery underway and are increasingly energy self-sufficient. So they’re really not going to be that concerned about a small european regional conflict. Did they send the US seventh fleet into the Black Sea to send a message to the Russians when they took the Crimea? Fire a few shells over the peninsular? No.

    Ukranians want a form of self-determination that they previously have not had and they probably look with envy at the achievements of Poland, Latvia, Finland etc in being able to keep Russian influence at arms length while making good economic progress.
    The right wing organisation in Kiev made this a possibility, and that is where the lesson for Europe lies. If moderate parties in Europe do not take action to generate economic growth within Europe then the right wing parties (if they say they are prepared to use govt fiscal action to generate demand) will be given a chance to do so by european voters.

    The question will then be how much of this govt driven demand will be peaceful infrastructure type programs and how much will be military build-up.

    We could yet see unemployed Spanish, French, Italian, Irish, and Hungarian youths in soldiers uniforms fighting unemployed Russian youths on a new eastern front. This would be a cynical manipulation by the elites of Europe rather than the fiendish plots of the American strawman.

  26. [...] Hamas verbroederde opnieuw met Assad in Syrië nadat Assad opnieuw verkozen werd ondanks een dodentol van 150.000 Syriërs in de eigen burgeroorlog. Zo zijn alle geopolitieke conflicten steeds een nieuwe zet in het globale schaakspel tussen de Verenigde Staten en Rusland. Het netwerk van onstabiele allianties lijkt zo steeds meer op 1914 … aldus David McWilliams. [...]

  27. When an airliner is blown out of the sky by people who want part of their country to break away, it’s time to actually take things seriously.

    Is this a false flag event and or an assassination on Putin himself.

    There is utube video recording Ukrainian breakaway Russian speakers viewing the events as they unfold describing the location f the missile launch being from Kiev controlled territory.

    There is other discussion that says the airline shot down is remarkably similar in markings to one used by Putin for transport.

    Thus speculation that the US backed Ukraine government attempted to shoot down Putin.

    In the lack of believable evidence presented as to who done it this is as good a speculation as any other.

    The US has a long history of false flag accusations to get involved in destabilization of one country after another.

  28. StephenKenny

    If there have ever been false flag operations, this is one. When the coup happened against the previous, democratically elected, Ukrainian government, the pro-Russian one, and a couple of people were shot, the western newspapers, TV, and radio went completely berserk. They started talking about sanctions, intervention, Hitler, and all the usual nonsense that we’ve come to expect form the New York Times, BBC, and all the rest of them .

    Having got a pro-US government into power via a coup (I think it was one of the top BBC foreign affairs experts who called it ‘democratic coup’), the Russian speaking regions decided they wanted to secede, and rejoin Russia. They didn’t launch a coup, the just declared independence. The response from the ‘democratic coup’ government was to use tanks, and fighter bombers – rather more than a couple of people being shot in Kiev.

    The New York Time and BBC? They all nodded sadly, and, if it got mentioned at all, talked about how unreasonable the pro-Russian areas were.

    It’s so biased, so pathetic, it’s actually disgusting. Iraq, Syria, Libya, and the rest are filled with people who’s main worry in life should be what kind of iPad to get next, and are in fact living in a bombed out ruin, in terror for their lives, at the whim of some local, ‘pro-western’, military ‘warlord’. Curtesy of the ludicrously named ‘Operations Enduring Freedom’ sorts of foreign attacks by the US & UK. This is backed up by newspapers, TV stations, and radio stations that act like arms of the state during wartime – absolute and unquestioning support for whatever horrors and international crimes the lunatics in these governments perpetrate next.

    For myself, I’m disgusted at the whole thing. The politicians, militaries, and state machines are clearly completely corrupt, but I also question the quality and type of person that works in the media: The so-called current affairs experts who sit there and say things that anyone with an IQ over about 70 knows is nonsense; people who write long pieces in the newspapers that would have been more at home in mid-1950s ‘Pravda’.

    I wondered whether I should post this. The reason is that I’m just slightly concerned about the ‘file’ that the NSA & GCHQ have, and what that might mean to my future.
    This is something that friends in the old Eastern Bloc countries said was always at the back of their minds when they talked about the state of things. It was what I believed would never, ever, happen in the west. It has. It’s so sad. And so bad.

    • Deco

      The entire episode has been most revealing of Western societies, their politicians, and their media.

      And what has been revealed is frightening.

      The same news media organizations that brought us “too big to fail” are now including the current Ukrainian government in the same category.

  29. DB4545

    Stephen when was this ever not the case? The players have been fighting resource wars since time began. I can’t recall who said 90% of commercial media is PR and 10% is news and I’d consider those numbers extremely conservative. The people who work for them aren’t bad people they just have to earn a living and they’re talent is spinning. The players have been fighting wars by proxy since 1945 just as violent and ugly as anything today. The difference is that “content” is difficult (but not impossible) to spin in the age of the internet. Possibly the most truthful part of mainstream media is sports reporting. But even there we all know examples of the corruption behind the scenes in soccer, cycling and horse racing. Just look at local Irish mainstream media particularly RTE. The current affairs spin supports the government of the day. Why? Because the licence fee and ad revenue stream provides a nice lifestyle for the D4 brigade and the government of the day control the purse strings. The privately owned sections of the media have they’re own agendas of course. Who sowed it into Brian Cowen when hard questions had to be asked? It wasn’t the RTE pussycats it was Vincent Browne.
    We don’t have some unique Irish “exceptionalism”. This is the way the mainstream media works throughout the world. It serves the interests of those who control the purse strings. Orson Welles got it absolutely correct with his film Citizen Kane and his War of the Worlds episode spelled out the dangers of accepting “news” as facts. We always have to be alert and read between the lines. I think given the challenges facing the NSA and GCHQ with current issues they have better things to be doing than wasting their time and resources on a few “Micks” or “Paddies” shooting the breeze on world events so I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over that.

    • StephenKenny

      To some extent, of course you’re right, but also, so what? That it’s happened before, doesn’t make it right today; that it’s happened before doesn’t equate like with like, given considerable differences in scale of means, and scale of outcomes;
      that it’s happened before doesn’t tell us of the context of such occurrences; in fact that it’s happened before doesn’t really tell us anything useful.

      There’s difference between an entire media lying about corrupt politicians, and lying to help start a war. Sure, to some extent people will ignore events to give themselves a comfy life. But only to some extent. There is a difference between taking fat brown envelopes to facilitate zoning flexibility, and destroying every single level of Maslow’s hierarchy.

      Until some time recently, there was, throughout my life, at least two sides of every national policy. There was tension in the system, and the system allowed for such tension. It is only by such variation and tension that things improve. There was always pushback. Teachers, doctors, nurses, and government staff went on strike, left wing newspapers and students fought rightwing newspapers and students, and so on.

      Today, there seems to be no tension in the system. None at all.

      Friends of mine in the UK said that the most horrifying thing about the appalling ‘care pathway’ policies, and other national scale horrors, wasn’t that they happened, because, as you say, stuff happens. No, what was horrifying was that over a period of up to 15 years, in the second biggest employer in the world, in multiple hospitals, over many health care administrative regions, no one said anything. Not a doctor, not a nurse, not a patient welfare executive, not a politician, not an anyone. As these horrors continued day in and day out, no one said anything. A system with no tension, no pushback. Just an astonishing number of prematurely dead people.

      • DB4545

        There was two sides Stephen but in 1989 a wall came down and the balance of “terror” between Capital and Labour ended. Capital won and we are where we are and the tension as you put it is gone. Ruthless self interest is the driving force. It’s brutal and nasty but so was the alternative. What’s your solution?

        • StephenKenny

          You’re making it sound like it’s all written in the stars, or fate, or something, Whatever it is, human endeavour simply has no place?

          The system, what ever it is, is “brutal and nasty”, and that’s it? Goodnight freedom of choice? Goodnight almost everything that ‘s happened since the enlightenment? Brutal and nasty? really? The USSR collapsed so it was inevitable the USA would take it’s place?

          There was no alternative to the fall of socialism, by the way – all modern non-free market systems are guaranteed to fail. They collapse under their own ever increasing weight, of unwanted left boots. It’s simply when.

          • DB4545

            I’m not a fatalist I’m a realist. The East Germans rose up against one of the most disgusting repressive regimes in modern history because they’d had enough. They succeeded partly because the East German Military command defended their constitution and refused to fire on the people. When people are f**ked around with for too long they will react. People will always dissolve a government if it tries to dissolve the people. The eastern bloc was bound to fail when the food available in restaurants wasn’t fit to be fed to dogs.The US is not taking the place of the USSR. China already has.
            That poses a lot of questions for the West in general and our little offshore Island in particular. Without the US security umbrella and access to oil we’d be back to turf fires surprisingly quickly. If ever global events pointed to us gearing up to some measure of energy self sufficiency now is definitely a good time. The US may not be regarded by some as our best friend but history shows that the US is our only friend. The problem is that the US, Europe and Russia are currently engaged in a pissing contest that can destabilise the West and that definitely does not serve our interests.

          • StephenKenny

            Well, in the context of this conversation, I don’t see a difference between what you describe as ‘realism’, and fatalism.
            Oil has to be sold to someone, or it actually has no value. There is more oil produced, at $100 per barrel, than there are buyers. That’s the thing about real markets – the price adjusts to fit demand. If markets break down, then real national security concerns make war internationally acceptable and reasonable. Every international treaty includes clauses for this.

            The US security umbrella is, post cold-war, a myth. The US isn’t defending anyone other than the US from anyone. Even most of the so-called defence of the US is a myth.
            The Chinese and Russian militaries couldn’t launch a successful attack on anyone. Even the Americans and British, who spend in excess of $700bn a year on their military, failed dismally in Iraq and Afghanistan. They’ve spent trillions of dollars on cutting edge technology, over 12 years so far, and every stated goal is further away than at the beginning.
            Although a real possibility during the cold war, the Russians no longer spend in excess of 60% of their GDP on their military. So the idea of a Russian invasion of Western Europe is just a neocon wet fantasy, let alone dream. The vast majority of the Russian military is 50/70 years old. That is the reality.

            We’ve been watching 20 years of catastrophic, totally corrupt, almost medieval, failure, by the west.

            The only real risk we have is that of some US or British politician, or military person, starting to really believe that a nuclear war is winnable. And then, as I believe we are, we’re in Dr Strangelove territory. Then god help us all.

  30. J-Will

    for anyone interested, the “fictional” illusionary sleight of hand derivatives live-feed just started -focusing on criminal basket-options for hedge funds

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-22/congressional-hearing-hedge-fund-tax-evasion-through-fictional-derivatives-live-webc

  31. DB4545

    Jesus Christ Bonbon you really do need to get out more. A nice meal, some wine, interesting people and all the other nice things I’ve already stated life has to offer. If I want to go to zero hedge I can find my own way there thank you very much. If you want to focus on criminality start with your own criminal abuse of the English language. Are you capable of stringing a few sentences together giving your own opinion in plain English? You sound like Captain Kirk on Valium and coke reading the business news on CNN. I’m sure there’s an original thought in there somewhere just coax it out and express it in language the average person can understand. You have yourself a nice day.

    • J-Will

      The bull you are writing here DB reminds me of a joke Niall Tóibín once told,where a farmer had a prized bull on-loan to service his herd.When the bull had ‘done the needful’,the farmer thought to himself that he didn’t want an idle bull,so he decided he would now put this bull to work pulling a plough!

      Well,one random day,the bull’s owner arrives to his customers yard and to his shock and horror,he saw his customer out in the field cracking a whip while steering the plough and screaming at this man’s prized bull – “Get on up there ya boyo,i’ll show you that there’s more to life than romance!” ;)

      Further to your recent contributions here- where you SSuggested ,in your quest for “a society with a soul”- that those involved in anti-social behaviour/drugs that are in seek of medical treatment are forced to a designated separate areea and receive the lowest priority for treatment”,spoke VOLUMES.

      You don’t have any “large batons and Alsatians” to hand do you DB? Yerself and M.Coughlan are the two who ought to meet up for pints one fine day..i’m not usually a betting man,but i’d have a punt that you both would be soul mates – Poodles in the same bed.

      • DB4545

        Bonbon I thought for a moment that you may have had me on the ropes ready for a knockout because of my previous comments. But when I looked back I actually suggested some practical solutions to very irritating and expensive problems facing our society. I concede the solutions are somewhat robust but they would deliver a good outcome for most people. If you remove the moral compass you can sometimes get a different perspective, not perfect but different and it can be fine tuned. I prefer the carrot to the stick which you described with your usual bull, but sometimes the stick is needed. I also thought where are your solutions bonbon? We’ve been glasssteagalled and larouched to within an inch of our lives but where are your practical solutions to normal everyday problems? Answers in 2 to 3 paragraphs of less than 300 words thank you very much.

  32. The manipulation of Ukraine into the western hemisphere is all about defending the US dollar supremacy.
    This is done by attacking Russia and stripping Russian defensive positions to threaten them if not outright attack them as they are primary movers in bilateral trade deals with China using local currency rather than dollars.
    The first thing that happened to Ukraine after the coup was the removal of their gold to “safe keeping”. Then arms from the west are moved to the russian border.
    If Russia allows this they will be destroyed.
    russian weakness in geological defence is the north European plane. It allows easy access for troop occupation. Ukraine is the buffer from this.
    Russia has also economic suasion over Europe in terms of energy supplies.
    Germany in particular is sensitive to this. There is a great deal of trade to be made hear as Germany turns North away from the EU and toward the Russia sino trade pact of billions of people.
    Russia is a major player in the BRIC nations advocation and formation of a new trade basket of currencies backed by gold that eliminates the US dollar completely.

    This is the striking out of empire against their own demise.It will viciously attack anything and anyone in their path of vengeance.

    This in turn is part of the modus operandi of the bankster elites who control the puppet strings and who care for nothing, nobody or nation as long as they consolidate their personal power.

    They will set person against person, nation against nation, as the final days of the ponzi money system play out as the current monetary system destructs.

    authoritarian government after authoritarian government will be imposed until there is insurrection from the people that is uncontrollable except by armed force and draconian law.

    Then we will be offered the law of one world government to bring us peace. It will prove to be a fools paradise.

    Our solution relies on individual self reliance. The devolution of the nation state to autonomous districts or areas. The adoption of the principles of libertarian living, and the application of democratic principles by smaller entities so that all people are affected, by the decisions made, in equal measure.

    In a strange twist that is happening in BC here a the native Indians are by supreme courts edict now to be consulted on any event that affects their traditional territory. As these Nations as they are already called are as little as 200 people sometimes and seldom over 10,000 they will wield a huge influence over development and infrastructure in BC.

    This is the future way of the world as I see it developing. But not until the forces of evil are defeated. These forces of evil are immensely powerful and have created mayhem in the middle east and now the balkans.

    Information is now available for people to understand what is happening and to communicate. The internet will be a force to save the future of mankind.

    In the meantime Putin must be very careful as he is no doubt a target of the same forces that killed the Kennedys’ and Lincoln and many others.

    There will be many other false flag events but we are learning to recognise them for what they are and react accordingly.

  33. Posted at the Money Lender

    While I’ve got y’all thinking for yourselves, y’all might like to ask yourself the all-important “Cui bono?” question about the downing of that Malaysian airliner over Ukraine: Who benefits? Would Putin or Russia benefit? Just the opposite. Is Putin stupid? Just the opposite. Who has the most to lose? Putin.

    Here’s another question: Why was that airliner 300 miles away from the typical flight path? See http://bit.ly/1rnxDvh

    Finally, who benefits by fomenting war between Russia and the rest of the world?

    Now let your mind wander back over some of the “false flag” operations of the last 150 years, and about this latest incident, ask yourselves, “Is it real, or Memorex?”

  34. http://usawatchdog.com/author/greg-hunter/

    Germany Secretly Planning on Joining BRICS-Jim Willie

    • J-Will

      +1

      and this interview with Rob Kirby is well worth a watch Tony!

      Globalists’ agenda of de-industrialisation,including the promotion of the FRAUD that is Green energy! which is DENYING humanity the opportunity to GROW,in Real terms

      http://usawatchdog.com/the-chaos-is-planned-rob-kirby/

      • J-Will

        Have a listen to Natalie Lovegren in the first 5 mins of this video – a MUST watch to counter our indoctrination!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKRG_k4oOes

        • J-Will

          and Lady Natalie again countering ZERO growth genocidal policies of the neo-cons,and the grossly unscientific green ‘attempts’ of supporting a growing population – if you only have 5 mins, then fast-forward to 43.30,for 5 mins…she just sums it all up…to be found in the most recent “New Paradigm for Mankind” from LaRouchePac.com

        • Interesting stuff to contemplate.
          How close is it to activation??

          • J-Will

            Activation? Fusion you mean Tony? years away sir,maybe decades,but that’s entirely dependent on how keen Goverments are in implementing these technologies,but maybe your question ,although a fair one,is not really the best question to ask,i feel.

            We can see from that graph alone the necessity for an increase in efd,aside from the survival factor for our species,but the creative future potential a Fusion Economy offers – we are talking about Power on a scale greater than the sun,right? Mind-boggling,but when constructed and then activated,what trajectory will that take humanity? No more reliance on oil,which from that “MUST” watch,is,comparatively speaking,not in the same ball park of energy thro’put.

            we’ll both continue to contemplate the ifs ;)

      • yes I have already read it but it is a good one for everyone.

        Rob Kirby’s final comment is anyone who does not own precious metals is a fool!!!!!

        • And Andy Hoffman’s summary of the gathering storm of world madness is worth a read for anyone considering what they can do for themselves to come out safely on the other side as long as the world is not blown up in the meantime.!!!

          http://blog.milesfranklin.com/peak-madness

        • J-Will

          fool,i’m not sure

          foolish,perhaps and only perhaps – no guarantee that ‘precious’ metals [regardless of the 6,000 years stuff]or precious stones,will remain the highly sought after as it currently is

          but these days,most people are hoping to find coins down the side of their sofa,so Au is of no importance to them,so what’s needed is productive jobs with a promise of Future,right?

          wonderful video [maybe start at 9.30 if talk of Prometheus doesn't suit?;]

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PRtpOp-n_U

  35. In the story of the three little pigs it was the house made of BRIC the the wolf could not blow down

    http://blog.milesfranklin.com/passing-the-baton

  36. To get a perspective of the lies and deceit spewed in our path try a little of

    http://www.nomorefakenews.com/

  37. [...] is u ongetwijfeld niet ontgaan: foute boel in Gaza. Ja, ik weet het, ook foute boel in de rest van de wereld, met vliegtuigen die spontaan uit de lucht komen dwarrelen en kalifaten en drugsoorlogen en [...]

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