by Alexander Mercouris
Amidst all the hysteria about what western leaders said to Putin during the Brisbane G20 summit (answer: nothing new or important), the media has entirely ignored certain very interesting comments about MH17 that Obama made in his speech at the University of Queensland. His precise words (taken from the White House website) were as follows:
“We’re leading the international community in the fight to destroy the terrorist group ISIL. We’re leading in dealing with Ebola in West Africa and in opposing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine — which is a threat to the world, as we saw in the appalling shoot-down of MH17, a tragedy that took so many innocent lives, among them your fellow citizens. As your ally and friend, America shares the grief of these Australian families, and we share the determination of your nation for justice and accountability. So, yes, we have a range of responsibilities. That’s the deal. It’s a burden we gladly shoulder.”
Obama played his usually sly trick of talking about the MH17 tragedy in conjunction with his condemnation of Russian policy (“Russia’s aggression”) towards the Ukraine. That way he continues to give the impression that Russia shot MH17 down.
This should not confuse. What is striking is that in this speech, delivered in Australia where the MH17 tragedy is a very hot issue, Obama did not say that Russia shot MH17 down and did not say that the NAF shot MH17 down. He did not even say (as he has said in the past) that MH17 was shot down by a surface to air missile launched from NAF controlled territory. Rather what Obama is now saying is that Russia is responsible for MH17 being shot down because by its supposed “aggression” against Ukraine it has supposedly created the conditions that led to MH17 being shot down.
This actually leaves open the possibility (for the first time coming from Obama or from anyone in the US administration) that it might have been the Ukrainians who shot MH17 down.
With a character as slippery as Obama it is never possible to be completely sure but this looks to me frankly like a retreat to a fall back position. Certainly it is a long way from the categorical claims made by Obama and Kerry in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.
All this makes me wonder what Obama is been told in private by his intelligence chiefs as more information about the shoot down comes trickling in.
Grasping at straws… again.
Grasping at straws… again.
Question to those fluent in Russian language:
Can it be inferred from the audio here whether the “rocket” was launched from the air or the ground?
(This is a ‘newly emerged’ video/audio from MH17 debris scene just after crash.)
Never confuse incompetence with malice when it comes to politicians. Regarding Obama it is usually the former.
gotta remember that Alexander Mercouris is a lawyer, and in the law, you have to read every word and every comma, because it’s all important. Every time there’s a new agreement or protocol communique, I turn to Mercouris for his expert parsing of the words.
But with Obama, I’m not so sure that we these words are quite so important. I don’t mean this cynically, I mean that I don’t have any sense that Obama plays to the same level of rigor as Putin or Lavrov, for example. And I don’t think his speechwriters are being held to that kind of rigor either. I think he plays to the captive media, and standards are very slipshod there, because there’s nothing left to gain or fight for.
In the G20 forum (as opposed, say, to a State of the Union or a UN address), with the 5-eye chicken hearts in attendance, I wouldn’t put much stock in Obama’s words. That’s my personal first reaction, but I have great respect for Mercouris.
@Bic Can it be inferred from the audio here whether the “rocket” was launched from the air or the ground?
Lawyers will be debating this for a long, long time. The more important issue as a practical matter is that the West can’t use it as a weapon.
Mercouris does good work, of course, but there are limits to the legal angle when it comes to a power struggle over world dominance.
From my perspective this is not a retreat for Obama or the US state, as far as I can remember there has been no official “Russia did it” statement from any high ranking officials of any state, only insinuations. The media has come close to outright claims, but it is all done by association, just as Obama continues to do up to this very day. The power elite well know that the events surrounding MH17 were outside of Putin’s control, the point of the project was to be able to insinuate Russian involvement by association, and trot it out over and over until the end of time if need be. Reality is no impediment to the aims of Zionism.
MH17 is not a threat, September 11, 2001 was a much larger project which has served its utility to near perfection, the blowback has been relatively mild considering the gaping holes in the story. In light of this the MH17 event is small fry, and quite easy to bury and contain.
This being said, why has Russia not come forward to dispel the myth of MH17? Why will it not defend its honor with evidence? Is there any good reason to maintain the fraud that MH17 most assuredly is? I can see in decisions such as these (to not provide the facts surrounding MH17) why someone like Strelkov would take issue with the Russian political establishment.
I think Putin is a true leader, but even I am perplexed at the Russian states seeming lack of finesse when it comes to image creation, or self promotion. I’ve seen very slick Russian created film and imagery (see Sochi olympics), yet for some reason the Russian state cannot leverage the best of the best in Russian society to portray its leaders in a more modern and polished light?
Channels such as RT, which seems to be Russia’s push into creating an alternative narrative in the west, also seems to lack the seamless production value of US broadcasts (as brain numbing as they are), is it that Russian development in the media sphere is too influenced by Soviet era complacency? This cultural difference, if this is indeed what it is, is a huge impairment for Russia, as the world is increasing ‘Hollywoodized’.
If a rocket was launched from the ground it would contain a very different payload from a much smaller infra-red heat seeking air launched missile.
The former would have a much larger charge and different warhead than the latter. Heat seeking missiles tend to have expanding rods to wreck an engine directly rather than shrapnel from a distance. Cannon shells either have explosive or heavy, e.g DU or Tungsten, armour piercing tips. All would leave a signature.
Regardless of whether the payload passed straight through the Boeing 777 (unlikely for all of it) it would leave explosive chemical traces, metal marks and fragments or tungsten smears.
Doubtless the bodies of the pilots would have contained chemical and metal fragments, not to mention the unforunate PAX.
I am no munitions expert and excuse the black humour but it is not rocket science.
I expect Russia to have long ago obtained sufficient forensic data from the wreckage.
There has to be story behind this story -and it is very obvious that Empire does not want the truth revealed. I fully expect them to ‘salt’ the debris on its way via Banderaland with something that incriminates Russia.
Yes, somewhere I saw that now the media has proof that the US has satellite images that they purposely withheld…
It is not up to Obama to back down. He has nowhere to go. The deep state is right up behind him. If he is starting to have personal doubts, he can’t first voice them at a public meeting of 20 nations. The way Russia is being treated has nothing to do with MH17 (and very little with Ukraine, Crimea being the unspoken elephant). If he left out the MH17 angle, it won’t make anyone ease up on Russia. So he leaves it in, for his own domestic public.
Crimea….. well nobody will talk about that. Because that opens the can of worms, of the whole world being told in no uncertain terms that the US takeover in Ukraine was aimed at STEALING that base from Russia. How would the US feel if Russia “colour revolutionized” Italy? would they let USA keep its navy bases there? would the US take this lying down? They KNEW Russia would take back the Crimea. They expected it. They planned to use it as a talking point domestically, but Ukraine is a lot safer to use.
Anyway what Obama say is not too important, as he’s not in charge. It’s when NATO or State department start t back down that we need to watch for. And how soon MH17 drops out of sight again. It has never been USA to bring it up first, for months now.
Pro-Kiev Twitterati slash pseudo-journalist trolls at Interpeter Mag are seizing upon a video released by the Associated Press that purports to show the burning wreckage of MH17. They think one guy near the crash site allegedly saying in Russian ‘a rocket went up’ supports Washington and Kiev’s BUK theory. Of course, it’s just hearsay and the guy makes the remark in the context of another man saying a missile hit the plane’s engine, which is actually more consistent with an air to air (IR homing R-60) shoot down than the BUK theory, but Interpreter Rag isn’t going to let that stop them from spinning it their way.
If this is the big data dump by the State Dept. or Kiev to back up their case because they sense their sock puppet blogger Eliot Higgins is flailing on MH17 as he failed to persuade on the East Gouta attack, then it’s a big disappointment. This video doesn’t seem to prove anything except perhaps the locals who saw the MH17 wreckage first assumed it was another Ukrainian spy or transport plane shot down by the NAF.
@ SanctuaryOne 17 November, 2014 05:24
The points you bring up about forensics on the fuselage and the victims bodies are critical. It’s the piece of the puzzle the US-UK government sock puppets like Eliot Higgins refuse to discuss or won’t discuss. Bringing the wreckage to Kharkov is both good and bad for the truth coming out.
It’s good because Kharkov is closer to Russia and the Russians may be able to infiltrate the investigation site to find out if the evidence is being tampered with or destroyed by the Ukies at Washington’s behest. It’s bad because in Kharkov the Ukies will have the opportunity to try and scrub traces of air to air or tungsten rounds off the fuselage pieces during re-assembly to hide their role. The Ukies may also try to blow up one of their BUK rockets and then plant pieces of the rocket that are suddenly, conveniently found in the wreckage when nobody saw them earlier (the Ukies will try to explain the absence of more substantial pieces of a BUK rocket by saying the evil separatists picked up the larger chunks of the SA-11 missile, including any tail fins, but they were still able to recover micro parts visible under a microscope). And Western MSM will dutifully fail to question the dating or chain of custody of the little SA-11 pieces. Which makes me think we will end up in a situation where the evidence will be scrubbed and fabricated to fit the BUK narrative and any fresh radar data or brief radio snippets of the Ukie pilots picked up by antennae on Russia’s side of the border will be dismissed as a Russian fakes. After all look at how Russian TV ran those obviously fake satellite photos, whereas our forensic evidence is rock solid!
What I meant in the last comment is simple and direct: what’s to stop the Ukies from taking out one of their own SA-11 rockets, blowing one up in a field with a little C-4, then gathering up the pieces while wearing rubber gloves and taking them to hangar in Kharkov where the MH17 remains are being re-assembled to say, “Aha! Here it is, incontrovertible forensic evidence at last!” The NYT, Economist and all the usual suspects can be counted on to scream the latest evidence from the rooftops without asking too many questions about how exactly the SA-11 BUK pieces were found months later when the Dutch investigators somehow missed or overlooked them earlier. My guess is they’ll just say the Dutch were only looking for bodies and body parts and/or some of their specialists weren’t trained to find or identify pieces of an SA-11, and it will all sound very plausible.
This is why I saw Russia bugging and keeping eyes on the Dutch/British/Ukrainian MH17 re-assembly site, and monitoring Ukie traffic in or out if it has assets in Kharkov, in order to catch the Ukies in any attempted fraud, is critical. Hopefully if the Ukies do it (try to plant BUK evidence) they get caught.
“MH17 is not a threat, September 11, 2001 was a much larger project which has served its utility to near perfection, the blowback has been relatively mild considering the gaping holes in the story. In light of this the MH17 event is small fry, and quite easy to bury and contain.”
Putin should release evidence on both MH17 and September 11! If he does not, he should be chamged for a better man, eg Strelkov!
A clever Empire would have sent a stealth bomber with a specially designed missile that contained the components from a Russian BUK. That way they could blame it on Russia or the Novorossians whichever was expedient. Russia was able to detect the stealth bomber but cannot let Empire directly know they have this capability. They let empire know though that they suspect what happened and that it would be most unwise to continue blaming Russia for MH17 or they’d release something else very,very damaging e.g. a 9/11 bombshell.
The Ukie Su-25/27/Mig-29 was just using MH-17 for protection in transit and not connected.
How’s that for a conspiracy theory?
I would be thrilled if Obama backed off on the MH17 accusations. MH17 is the predicate for sanctions and the new Cold War. Both offensive actions would end with truth on MH17.
I’m not sure that the absence of blame means a retreat on the baseless charges.
However, I am reasonably sure that before the accusations were made against the resistance and Russia, Obama knew that neither had anything to do with the shoot down. The U.S. satellite images and inside intel in the junta made it impossible not to know.
I doubt that the Atlanticist Reich will ever allow the truth about MH17 to come out. With a Western MSM sewer that specialises in flagrant lying and 100% Groupthink, they managed to lie about Lockerbie, KAL 007 and 9/11 so why not MH 17?
Sanctuary One – It’s a master conspircay theory and I’m writing the novel!
Saker, have you read the VT article by G Duff concerning the ID of the author of this?
@Anonymous:Saker, have you read the VT article by G Duff concerning the ID of the author of this?
No, but thanks to you I did check it out. I will say this: I give VT and GD exactly *zero* credibility. Zero. I have stopped paying attention to them a long time ago.
As for Mercouris, I was aware of the allegations but they are irrelevant to me. I judge him by what I see of him and what I have personally seen form him I like a lot. His past is his business, just like my past is my business, and it sure is not for me to judge, especially on the basis of what the corporate media writes.
I find Alexander a very intelligent person and a refined analyst, he has been most gracious and kind to me, and I enjoy every second of our collaboration which I sure hope will last.
Angelo @ 17:5:23 says:
“I think Putin is a true leader, but even I am perplexed at the Russian states seeming lack of finesse when it comes to image creation, or self promotion… for some reason the Russian state cannot leverage the best of the best in Russian society to portray its leaders in a more modern and polished light?…
…This cultural difference, if this is indeed what it is, is a huge impairment for Russia, as the world is increasing ‘Hollywoodized’.”
Angelo, even in the West, the tinsel and flimflammery of ‘Hollywoodization’ is wearing very thin as populations increasingly see what is being foisted upon them in this fashion as what the Irish call ‘the blarney’. It was all fine when the entertainment was well meant; in hard times we need entertainment. But we should not see it as truth, and the West has been suckered into that.
I find it disarmingly refreshing that RT doesn’t do glitz and glamour well, and I wish they would make less of an attempt. And contrary to your first statement, I would say that Putin is a master of finesse.
Here are the two areas in which he has had to be that: one, his own population, which was indeed captured imaginatively by western ‘glamour’ as the post-Soviet era began.
It is only now that he has moved into the necessary vocabulary of statesmanship and resolve, with his people now backing him all the way against that early ‘love affair’ with so-called western values. I don’t think they are true western values, and that brings me to the second area of finesse – the peoples of the world.
We western peoples were saturated in Hollywoodization, even to the point of electing a Hollywood president. (That to me was a worse situation than any racial barrier, but I digress.) And even we now turn with hope and prayer towards the calm rationality of Putin’s message.
Oh nonsense. It doesn’t MATTER what Obama explicitly accuses in every sentence. A lying SUMMARY was exiting his lips at the moment. And you think he might be holding back cuz he’s just been INFORMED of the truth? That wd imply that he CARES about truth!
FCOL! (For Crying Out Loud)
“6.1.3. However, experts of the Russian Union of Engineers find it important to note that the launch of a BUK-M1 missile is accompanied by the following significant audio-visual factors:
• Significant noise effect, both at missile launch time and during its flight, especially at altitudes between 100 and 3000m.
• A powerful flash at the launch site (Photo 10).
• A condensation trail, formed by the missile as a result of missile fuel burning on its flight trajectory (Photo 11).
• A flash and a characteristic picture in midair at the point of convergence of the missile with the target. (Photo 12).”
The photos accompanying this report make it unthinkable that MH17 was downed by a BUK grouond-based missile.
“CIS countries should unite in order to resist the vast media and sanction pressure from the West, which is aimed at hampering the integration in Eurasia, a Russian senator says.
“Today the area of totalitarian manipulation of the media extends to the Eurasian integration. We are experiencing massive information and sanction pressure [from the West],” Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy head of the International Affairs Committee in the Federal Council, is cited by Gazeta.ru.
According to Dzhabarov, the Western powers want to disturb the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) between Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia.
“We didn’t interfere with them when they put together the EU, but they keep interfering with us,” he stressed.
The senator also called for the creation of a special information center to counter US and EU information plots within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which unites nine former republics of the Soviet Union.
The treaty to form the Eurasian Economic Union was signed earlier this year, with the new bloc to go into effect on January 1, 2015. “
CIS thinking of backing Rus in any future actions?
Well, ladies and gentlemen, here is the smoking gun in my opinion.
Ran some check on this Mercouris guy…well only his facebook posts. Oh boy, he sure is a busy boi. Warning us about this and about that, riding RT like a cheap pony it is sometimes. His post about the Ukrainian plane and the recently released photo is a strange one
“From literally the day MH17 was shot down it has been clear to me that an organised attempt is being made by someone to spread the story that MH17 was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter.”
What a keen observer he is.
this is a quote from a blog comment on the VT article, Saker. does it concern you that Mercouris would say this? didn’t I read here that you also think a jet plane shot MH17 down? the point is: is Mercouris a double agent or whatever? hard to tell.
Saker, if you are closed minded enuff to state that “all” of VT is zero, than you have just lost a reader and one who sent you one day’s pay -less than $60, but that is my situation presently. you apparently have not read Jim Fetzer’s excellent investigative articles. no one has all of the truth, amigo, but anyone who is honest can find a portion of it. “A person how thinks they know can not be guided; but a person who knows they do not know will find their own way.”
If things don’t go well, and Poroshenko doesn’t bring out the goods, the US will use their knowledge about who did down MH17 to take out the current regime and replace it by an even more extreme version.
c.f. the US was silent when Hussein used nerve gas, but later used it against him when he was no longer their man.
you’d make a good conspiracy theorist ;)
What I meant in the last comment is simple and direct: what’s to stop the Ukies from taking out one of their own SA-11 rockets, blowing one up in a field with a little C-4, then gathering up the pieces while wearing rubber gloves and taking them to hangar in Kharkov where the MH17 remains are being re-assembled to say, “Aha! Here it is, incontrovertible forensic evidence at last!”
How do you think the FBI found a sizable piece of the detonator circuit board from the very guts of the Lockerbie bomb? and it was even a type of board not being sold at the time. Not very big,just happened to have serial numbers on it so they could trace that maker had sold something to someone who looked a bit like…..
LUCKILY it is not to be assembled in Kharkhiv. That is just the next major railhead out of Novorossiya. It can be taken, probably in the same rail car, all the way to the Netherlands, where they can assemble it at leisure without hearing shelling all day.
The new video? none of these people are real eyewitnesses. They are guessing among themselves. The strike was 7 or 8 kms away. The real eyewitnesses were at Petropavlivka who saw it go into the clouds. and at Rozspyne who saw it turn to approach them, already struck.
..MH17 is the predicate for sanctions..
It is the (convenient) excuse. The real reason is Crimea. Which they’ve ALL said virtually nothing about.Ukies sometimes mention they’ll take it back, but they’d need a better army for that. Funny though how Obama blamed it on Putin before the fire was even extinguished. He never had evidence. Dutch have asked RUSSIA for more back-up to what they claimed, they’ve not asked the US,I wonder why?
@ Penelope said…
“6.1.3. However, experts of the Russian Union of Engineers find it important to note that the launch of a BUK-M1 missile is accompanied by the following significant audio-visual factors:…
They always make a big deal of why no witness saw or heard the BUK going off. Ahem… there is a WAR going on. Similar loud explosions all the time. Rocket trails in the sky all the time. One more or less nobody would notice. And then who would they tell? why would they tell anybody? why would they think it is of importance? no witnesses is no evidence. I’ve seen the Russian Union of Engineers theory several times and it has a fair few holes. Their conclusion might be right but their proofs of it are not.
Back to chemical traces etc….They won’t find much on the debris, except whether it had holes on both sides or not (I rather think not but the 2-planes theories rely on their being some).
Metal fragments were found in both pilots and a Belgian first class passenger. These MUST be analysed by now. The different kinds of shot (BUK, cannon other missiles) have different shapes. They may distort a bit, but might be still recognisable. I think they may have had these results before they asked Russia for more detail on their theory. Put it this way,would thy bother if the shrapnel was definitely BUK?
about VT and Jim Fetzer. He has stuff that starts out good, then goes too CT for my liking. He has the basic picture but then he thinks EVERYTHING is a false flag. That is not so. Things Do happen by themselves sometimes. He too easily believes “a friend of a friend with inside info” type of thing.
Saker did search and read what you suggested anyway; he just said he doesn’t find that site credible, so doesn’t bother with it. He needs to prioritize for the most reliable first.
For an example, it wasn’t Fetzer, but I remember VT in the first days of MH17, claiming it had not happened and was a fake, based on careful analysis of the debris. They said the shape of the tail was wrong, and showed samples of Boeings to prove it. TRUE. Except for MH17’s tail they were using the truly different tail of one of the other planes recently shot down in Ukraine. If they did it on purpose it is 110% dishonest, if they did it by accident it is 110% sloppy. What,the guy just Googled “ukraine air crash images” ??? and knew nothing else at all about the situation there?
So, going to that site always annoys me because it is not reliable. To say nothing of the many conspiracies it peddles with very dubious “proofs”. I can’t wade through all that to find the occasional valuable gem, when I know sites that are ankle deep in gems.
As for saying did you see on VT? heaps of people may not even know what VT is. Or have the time to go read something even if you put a link. If something is really good,it is always worth quoting the best paragraphs of it, put the link for anyone interested in more.
Stick around, this is a good place to be. Everyone can read their own choice and bring in the gems to share.
juliania, I’m not suggesting Russia adopt hollywood themes, or ‘glitz and glamour’, just a refined and finished product. My reference to ‘hollywoodization’ is not a judgement of the themes within hollywood, but made in the context of how the message is polished and packaged. Russia could reach the same level of finish and the content be entirely different, I’m talking image, which whether you know it or not carries immense weight.
America is the king of branding, in much of the world, whether it’s recognized or not, most have been influenced by American culture, especially the young. Look at Russia itself, much of its pop culture is a mimic of America.
Russia needs to refine itself, refine its image, and in doing so the content of its message will reach a wider audience.
I do not agree that Obongo is in retreat.
I cannot understand Russian silence and why Russia let West to have all initiative over MH-17 issues. They let them to conduct entire investigation, although is well known that western politicians are pathological liars.
Russian behaviour is really frustrating.
The US has given the German and Australian governments satellite images as MH17 proof. At first they looked convinced and made a lot of aggressive noises towards Russia. But it looks like they had a second look at the evidence and are not so convinced any more.
So now Obama is taking another strategy. He isn’t particularly interested in proving Russia’s guilt. His real goal is forcing Russia to take its hands off Ukraine. And if the MH17 evidence becomes problematic he has no problem reverting to another strategy. And so we heard a lot in Brisbane about violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and similar claims.