US Empire Reaches Breaking Point. “Greatest Threat to Humanity”. Time To End It

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Global Research, July 20, 2014
popularresistance.org/

Region: USA
Theme: US NATO War Agend

The people of the United States must work to end the interventionist violence of the U.S. Empire.

This is Part I of a two part series on American Empire. Part II will focus on the Empire Economy and his it is failing to work for most Americans as well as most people of the world.

The historian who chronicles US Empire, William Blum, issued his 130th Anti-Empire Report this week. In it he notes that the US, by far, is seen by the people of the world as “the greatest threat to peace in the world today” with 24% taking that view. Only 2% see Russia as such a threat, and 6% see China.

This should not come as a surprise since, as this map shows, much of the world has been bombed, had their democratically chosen government overthrown and has been occupied by the United States. Blum follows these interventions closely and has reported that since the end of World War II, the United States has:

* Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected.

* Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.

* Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.

* Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.

* Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries, according to Chapter 18 of his book Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower.

It seems the people of the world are factually correct when they label the United States the greatest threat to peace in the world.

Yet, despite this mass public opinion about the United States, US leaders seem oblivious. As Blum points out, Secretary of State John Kerry said: “In my travels as secretary of state, I have seen as never before the thirst for American leadership in the world.”

And, potential future leaders show support for the path of military intervention. The Republican Vice Presidential candidate in 2012, Paul Ryan (R-WI) said: “We need to be reminded that the world needs American leadership.” And the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton has said “The United States can, must, and will lead in this new century.”

A more accurate appraisal comes from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Vietnam era when he said: “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world : My own Government, I cannot be Silent.” The people of the United States must follow the lead of Dr. King and work to end the interventionist violence of the United States Empire.

Reviewing the Hottest Spots in US Empire

The US is involved in military disputes around the globe, conflicts each could lead to a much broader war. The US role seems to encourage violence, rather than minimize it; to intervene, rather than allow people in the country or region resolve disputes. The breadth of Empire is costly in financial and human terms as well as to the respect of the United States and its people. Is the US Empire spread so thin at a time of a struggling economy that this is a moment where people can come together and build a movement to end Empire?

There are multiple hot spots where US Empire is participating, supporting and approving of escalating violence. Here’s a quick review:

Israel-Palestine: Even before its founding Israel was entangled with violence – the violence of removing Palestinians from their homes to create the “Jewish State.” Former Secretary of State and Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Alexander Haig perhaps most honestly described what Israel is to the United States when he aptly called Israel America’s “unsinkable battleship in the Middle East.”

The US battleship Israel is now involved in another slaughter of the Palestinian people of Gaza. We could write this entire article on the atrocities of this attack and the lies on which it is based, but we will be brief (for more see here). As we write this article, Israel is expanding the ground invasion of Gaza moving from the “iron dome to the iron fist.” The last time there was a ground attack on Gaza was January, 2009 during Operation Cast Lead when 1,400 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians, were killed.

There have been protests throughout the United States see e.g. Boston, Detroit, Washington, DC at the White House as well as the Israeli Embassy). This week, when local politicians expressed their fealty to Israel in New York City, protesters showed up to express a different viewpoint. In addition, students are organizing protests across the country and the international boycott and divestment movement against Israel grows. There are massive protests around the world.

The government of the United States supports Israel at all costs. Even when Israel kills children playing on a beach, the United States incredibly blames the Palestinians. The US never talks about the people of Gaza defending themselves from daily brutalization by Israel – that has gone on for decades – but always talks about Israel having the right to defend themselves. Social media is helping to show the reality of this manipulated and lopsided conflict. The veil is lifting.

As is common in military intervention hot spots, the US and Israeli public are treated to false, inaccurate and biased reporting. This has been especially on display in the current military attack on Gaza. One recent effective propaganda ploy reported widely in the US was the so-called cease fire brokered by the anti-Hamas government of Egypt with Israel. The Palestinians were not part of the negotiations and it would have reduced their rights, but Israel used the failure as an excuse to expand their war to a ground invasion. Imagine if the tables were turned and Syria negotiated a cease fire with Hamas that gave Hamas all it asked for – would Israel agree? Here’s the truth about the phony propaganda cease fire.

Major media outlets have been caught in lies and misrepresentations. ABC News may have been the most blatant when it showed video of Palestinians running for their lives and said they were Israelis. ABC was forced to admit the obvious lie, but that does not change their bias. The NY Times was caught changing the headline about the horrific killing of four young Palestinian boys playing on the beach. The pro-war bias of the Times is evident on many fronts of war. NBC has also become embroiled in controversy around its reporting as it removed a journalist who has been reporting on what is occurring in Gaza, and who witnessed the four children being killed by Israel at the beach just before the ground invasion began. The pressure grew so quickly that NBC was forced to reinstate the reporter. It is evident the US media cannot be trusted when it comes to their reporting on what is actually occurring in Palestine.

Ukraine: We have been reporting on developments in Ukraine for over a year. And, as with Israel there have been many instances of biased reporting in the US media. Robert Parry writes that “MSM outlets have been feeding Americans a highly biased narrative of the crisis non-stop from the beginning.” He points to the failure of the media to report on the right wing extremist role in the new Kiev government, describing the Russian “invasion” of Crimea – an invasion where no troops crossed the border, the harsh austerity plan agreed to by the new US supported leaders, the failure to report a secret visit to Ukraine by the head of the CIA among other false narratives and omissions.

Another important item not reported in the corporate media is how the two leaders chosen since the US supported and funded coup – the coup of an elected president to supposedly bring democracy to Ukraine – are consistent with US wishes. A Wikileaks document describes the president as “Our Ukraine (OU) insider Petro Poroshenko,” and shows how he has been working as an agent of the US government since 2006. And, former intelligence official, Ray McGoven, points out how US officials were caught on a telephone call saying the current Prime Minister, Arseniy Petrovych Yatsenyuk, a former banker, was the US choice. These two leaders have gotten Ukraine deeply into debt with Western bankers and have done as Western powers wanted including accepting major austerity requirements.

The horrible shooting down of a passenger plane seemingly by a missile is causing controversy now. We published two stories on the event, one from the NY Times and the other from Russia Today to show the stark contrast. RT reports that Kiev moved missiles that could shoot down a plane to the region and ten years ago shot down a Russian aircraft to demonstrate Kiev has the technology. This is not being reported in the US media which has ruled out the possibility that Kiev fired the missile and is debating whether Russia or the Eastern Ukrainian separatists fired the shot.

Both Kiev and the Eastern Ukranians have denied the shooting. Vladimir Putin has blamed the catastrophe on the ongoing attacks by Kiev against Eastern Ukraine and has urged a ceasefire, Obama joined in the call for a cease fire a day later. There have been aerial bombardments of Eastern Ukraine by Kiev. All the facts have not come in as we write this, so at this stage we just note the disparity in reporting. It would be wise not to make any assumptions but to wait for the evidence and certainly not use this as an excuse for direct involvement by the United States or escalation of hostilities. Putting in place a cease fire and finding a peaceful solution to the conflict is the approach we hope Ukraine takes.

Also notable is the lack of reporting on Ukraine. There are some incredible stories in the Russian media about atrocities being conducted by right wing extremists in Eastern Ukraine. We have not seen any western media deny the stories. One horrible story is of a child who was allegedly crucified by Ukrainian extremists while his mother was forced to watch and then she was dragged through the square by a tank until she died. Some describe what is occurring as genocide with the targeting of civilian buildings. International lawyer, Francis Boyle, said in an interview that the US was aiding and abetting genocide.

Iraq: After military attacks and economic embargoes of Iraq by Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the country is a mess. The government is in chaos, a new Muslim group, ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), has taken many of the major cities by military force and there is talk of dividing the country into multiple parts. Obama has already sent hundreds of troops to Iraq, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Martin Dempsey, has not ruled out a large US troop presence saying if “our national interests drive us there” we will send more troops. Too many in government do not realize that the cause of the problems in Iraq was the US invasion and occupation and that more of the same will not solve the problem, but is likely to make it worse. As Chris Hedges writes, ISIS is “the final answer to the collective humiliation of an occupied country, the logical outcome of Shock and Awe…”

We are pleased to see growing bi-partisan opposition to military involvement in Iraq by members of Congress who are urging Obama to get authorization from Congress as required by the Constitution. This letter, authored by Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Scott Regall (R-VA) ended up with 103 members of Congress signing on.

Once again the corporate media played its usual role of propagandizing Americans to drum up support for another war in Iraq. They consistently aired people who advocated prior attacks and occupations of Iraq while never allowing war opponents on the air. The media also exaggerates sectarian divisions, divisions the US made worse to control the population during the occupation. Despite mass propaganda, a majority of the American public oppose military intervention in Iraq and only 20% support it.

Those who oppose another Iraq War quickly organized protests throughout the country. Usually war propaganda works long enough to start the attack. For a new war with Iraq and an attack on Syria, the public has shown greater immunity to propaganda.

As William Blum notes, Hillary Clinton now admits she made a mistake in voting for the authorization for the use of force in Iraq. But, she is equally wrong on its outcome. Blum reports that in 2007 Clinton said, “The American military has done its job. . . the American military has succeeded.” Can the American public trust someone who is so mistaken in her hawkish, pro-militarist judgments?

Afghanistan: The longest war in US history is supposedly winding down at a very slow rate. President Obama agreed to draw down troops in 2016. This slow draw down may change now that a president who is friendlier to the US has been elected in Afghanistan. And, the leading candidate for president, Hillary Clinton, says she would be open to keeping U.S. military forces in Afghanistan past 2016. Clinton notes that with the new president there might be a “legal basis” for the US staying.

One thing that has not closed is the secret Bagram prison in Afghanistan officially known as the Detention Facility in Parwan. This prison, informally known as the Afghan Guantanamo, holds 40 secret “detainees.” These prisoners are held without charges, many for years. The prison is reportedly believed to be holding Pakistanis, Yemenis, Tunisians, Uzbeks and Russians. Bagram prisoners have even less rights than prisoners at Guantanamo and much less is known about their conditions. They do not have a right to a lawyer or to challenge their detention. This week it was reported that the prisoners in Bagram have been on hunger strikes which indicates there are serious issues at the prison. If the US presence in Afghanistan continues, these prisoners are likely to continue to be held.

The Asian Pivot: The centerpiece of President Obama’s foreign policy is the pivot to Asia. This massive shift of forces to Asia is meant to focus the US military on China, which the United States sees as its only economic rival; and a country that presents an alternative to big finance capitalism.

The pivot has led to major changes in many countries in the region as well as increasing tensions. Japan may be the most important as it is the third largest economy and has a long history of militarism. Japan has a large military and has worked with the United States for decades, buts its “pacifist” constitution has a clause that forbids it from engaging in foreign war. Article 9 of the Constitution says:

“Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

“In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

Ret. Col. Ann Wright points out that the US has been pressuring Japan to change that restriction. The United States wrote Japan’s constitution, but once China became a communist nation, the US wanted Japan to participate in militarism in the region. As William Blum reports, on July 1, Prime Minister Abe gave the US its wish. Without changing a word, he reinterpreted the constitution to mean that Japan could not attack another nation on its own, but it could do so in allegiance with another nation. (Hmm, we wonder what country he had in mind?) This unilateral change was made despite strong opposition in Japan, including a protester who burned himself to death.

Already there have been tense moments between China and Japan with its ally, the US. Last November there were multiple challenges as Japan and the US violated the “Air Defense Zone” of China resulting in China scrambling fighter jets over the East China Sea in response. Tensions will likely rise as the US has now brought drones into the Asian Pacific which are housed on military bases in Japan.

The United States has also entered into new agreements with Australia, resulting in former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser warning his country may be drawn into a war against China as a result of how intertwined the US and Australian military’s have become. Similarly, new military agreements between the Philippines and the US, protested by the Philippine people, create a situation where some see their country as once again becoming a US colony.

There have also been ongoing protests in South Korea as that country becomes more entangled with the Asia Pivot. The “Peace Island” of Jeju, South Korea has been a special focus as the country which was devastated by a US puppet government is being forced to accept a naval base that is inconsistent with the nonviolent views of the population.

Bruce Gagnon, who has worked with the people of Jeju Island to stop the navy base and who is active with Veterans For Peace, warns that the US is looking for trouble with China. And Nile Bowie warns that the peace movement should spend more focus on China. There are a lot of hot spots in the world, but the future of military conflict is likely to emanate from Obama’s Asian Pivot.

These are just the current hot spots. The US is also increasing it militarism in Africa. AfriCom has rapidly grown under President Obama. Tom Dispatch reports the US military is active in Algeria and Angola, Benin and Botswana, Burkina Faso and Burundi, Cameroon and the Cape Verde Islands, Senegal and the Seychelles, Togo and Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia. “From north to south, east to west, the Horn of Africa to the Sahel, the heart of the continent to the islands off its coasts, the US military is at work. Base construction, security cooperation engagements, training exercises, advisory deployments, special operations missions, and a growing logistics network, all undeniable evidence of expansion—except at US Africa Command.”

Then, of course, there is Iran where things seem to no longer be on the edge of war, but Iran is a nation the United States has been at odds with since the CIA put in place the Shah in a coup in 1953 and was thrown out in the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Since that time there has been constant conflict. While there are tenuous nuclear negotiations right now, Iran always has the potential to become a hot spot as it has refused to become part of the US Empire.

Is US Empire Collapsing?

The US Empire is the largest in world history with more than 1,100 military bases and outposts around the world. To put that in perspective, compared to two other large empires, there were 37 Roman bases at that empire’s peak in AD 117 and 36 British bases at empire’s peak in 1898. Not only is the US Empire the largest in history but it has been the most destructive.

Each of the conflicts described in this article could escalate until a much larger war where US ground troops become enmeshed in war. The faltering US economy can no longer afford the expensive US military. The people of the United States no longer support war and the people of the world are rebelling against US rule. People are beginning to mobilize (see. e.g. World Beyond War) to finally put an end to US militarism and Empire.

Next week: How the Empire Economy

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This article is produced by Popular Resistance in conjunction with AlterNet. It is a weekly review of the activities of the resistance movement.

Articles by: Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Center of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: publications@globalresearch.ca

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Copyright © Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, popularresistance.org/, 2014

US News Networks Remove Reporters Critical of Israeli Attack on Gaza

By Barry Grey
Global Research, July 19, 2014
World Socialist Web Site


Region: Middle East & North Africa
Theme: Crimes against Humanity
In-depth Report: PALESTINE

palestineflag3On two consecutive days this week, journalists reporting from the Gaza war zone who evinced empathy for the Palestinians and less than unquestioning support for Israel were removed by television network executives.

NBC News’ Ayman Mohyeldin, an award-winning Egyptian-born journalist who provided on-the-spot coverage of the Israeli invasion of Gaza in 2008-2009 and had distinguished himself for his objective reporting on the current Israeli war, was suddenly pulled from the region on Thursday.

He was removed after he described via social media and video the murder Wednesday of four Palestinian children by Israeli gunboats as the youth, between the ages of 9 and 11 and all from the same family, played soccer on a Gaza beach near hotels used by foreign journalists.

Mohyeldin wrote movingly of the tragic deaths, tweeting, “4 Palestinian kids killed in a single Israeli airstrike. Minutes before they were killed by our hotel, I was kicking a ball with them.” He also sent photos and a video of the devastated parents.

While NBC has given no public explanation for Mohyeldin’s banishment, numerous reports have referred to unnamed network executives citing “security concerns” as the reason. However, the Huffington Post and other sources have suggested the immediate trigger for his ouster was a tweet he posted, and subsequently removed, questioning a US State Department spokesperson who blamed the Palestinian Islamist movement that rules Gaza, Hamas, for the death of the four youth.

The tweet stated: “The US State Department Spokesperson just said that Hamas is ultimately responsible for Israel shelling and killing 4 boys who were cousins aged 9-11 because Hamas didn’t accept the ceasefire. Discuss among yourselves.”

Reporting Thursday on the removal of Mohyeldin, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has collaborated closely with Edward Snowden in exposing the National Security Agency’s secret and illegal mass spying, cited a report last week by Mohyeldin in which he said that “you can understand why some human rights organizations call Gaza ‘the world’s largest outdoor prison.’” In his news account, Mohyeldin went on to say: “One of the major complaints and frustrations among many people is that this is a form of collective punishment. You have 1.7 million people in this territory, now being bombarded, with really no way out.”

Greenwald noted that right-wing and pro-Israel web sites have repeatedly denounced Mohyeldin as a “Hamas spokesman” who spouts “pro-Hamas rants.”

In NBC’s Nightly News broadcast on Wednesday, Mohyeldin was inexplicably absent, and his report on the killing of the Palestinian youth was fronted instead by NBC chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, reporting from Tel Aviv. Engel, who has unswervingly mouthed State Department propaganda from every recent war zone, including Libya and Syria, has been assigned to replace Mohyeldin in Gaza.

On Friday, CNN removed correspondent Diana Magnay from her post covering the Israeli invasion of Gaza. She was banished in retaliation for a tweet in which she described as “scum” Israelis who were cheering the bombing of Gaza and threatening to attack her if her report diverged from the Israeli government line.

Magnay appeared on CNN Thursday, reporting from a hill overlooking the Israel-Gaza border. As she was reporting, Israelis could be heard cheering as missiles were fired at the Palestinian territory. After the live report, Magnay tweeted: “Israelis on hill above Sderot cheer as bombs land on Gaza; threaten our car if I say a word wrong. Scum.”

The tweet was quickly removed and a CNN spokeswoman issued a craven apology, followed by the announcement that Magnay had been reassigned to Moscow.

These incidents underscore the ironclad and rigidly enforced self-censorship practiced by the corporate-controlled media, which hardly bother any longer to disguise their role as purveyors of government lies and propaganda. Any evidence of sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians, any hint of criticism of Israeli war crimes is met with instantaneous banishment, generally followed by blacklisting.

The removal of the two reporters, particularly Mohyeldin, is intended as a warning to any other journalists who retain some commitment to journalistic principles and respect for the truth to keep their mouths shut. Under no circumstances can the people be given access to an honest and objective account of what is taking place in Gaza.

RT: ​It was Putin’s missile? by Pepe Escobar

 

RT: ​It was Putin’s missile? by Pepe Escobar

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.

Published time: July 19, 2014 15:29

 

Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev

Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev

Here’s the spin war verdict: the current Malaysian Airlines tragedy – the second in four months – is “terrorism” perpetrated by “pro-Russian separatists” armed by Russia and Putin is the main culprit. End of story. Anyone who believes otherwise, shut up.

Why? Because the CIA said so. Because Hillary ‘We came, we saw, he died’ Clinton said so. Because crazy Samantha ‘R2P’ Power said so – thundering at the UN, everything duly printed by the neo-con infested Washington Post.

Because Anglo-American corporate media – from CNN to Fox (who tried to buy Time Warner, which owns CNN) – said so. Because the President of the United States (POTUS) said so. And mostly because Kiev had vociferously said so in the first place.

Right off the bat they were all lined up – the invariably hysterical reams of ‘experts’ of the ‘US intelligence community’ literally foaming at their palatial mouths at ‘evil’ Russia and ‘evil’ Putin; intel ‘experts’ who could not identify a convoy of gleaming white Toyotas crossing the Iraqi desert to take Mosul. And yet they have already sentenced; they don’t need to look any further, instantly solving the MH17 riddle.

It doesn’t matter that President Putin has stressed the MH17 tragedy must be investigated objectively. And‘objectively’ certainly does not mean that fictional ‘international community’ notion construed by Washington – the usual congregation of pliable vassals/patsies.
And what about Carlos?

A simple search reveals that MH17 was in fact diverted 200km north from the usual flight path taken by Malaysian Airlines in the previous days – and plunged right in the middle of a war zone. Why? What sort of communication had MH17 received from the Kiev air control tower?

Kiev has been mute about it. Yet the answer would be simple, had Kiev released the Air Traffic Control recording of the tower talking to flight MH17; Malaysia did it after flight MH370 disappeared forever.

It won’t happen; SBU security confiscated it. So much for getting an undoctored explanation as to why MH17 was off its path, and what the pilots saw and said before the explosion.

The Russian Defense Ministry, for its part, has confirmed that a Kiev-controlled Buk anti-aircraft missile battery was operational near the MH17’s crash. Kiev has deployed several batteries of Buk surface-to-air missile systems with at least 27 launchers; these are all perfectly capable of bringing down jets flying at 33,000 ft.

Radiation from a battery’s Kupol radar, deployed as part of a Buk-M1 battery near Styla [a village some 30km south of Donetsk] was detected by the Russian military. According to the ministry, the radar could be providing tracking information to another battery which was at a firing distance from MH17’s flight path.

The tracking radar range on the Buk system is a maximum of 50 miles (80km). MH17 was flying at 500mph. So assuming the ‘rebels’ had an operational Buk and did it, they would have had not more than five minutes to scan all the skies above, all possible altitudes, and then lock on. By then they would have known that a cargo plane could not possibly be flying that high.

For evidence supporting the possibility of a false flag, check here.

And then there’s the curiouser and curiouser story of Carlos, the Spanish air traffic controller working at Kiev’s tower, who was following MH17 in real time. For some Carlos is legit – not a cipher; for others, he’s never even worked in Ukraine. Anyway he tweeted like mad. His account – not accidentally – has been shut down and he has disappeared. His friends are now desperately looking for him. I managed to read all his tweets in Spanish when the account was still online. And now copies and an English translation are available.

President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.(AFP Photo / Alexei Nikolsky )

These are some of his crucial tweets:

“The B777 was escorted by 2 Ukrainian fighter jets minutes before disappearing from radar (5.48pm)”

“If the Kiev authorities want to admit the truth 2 fighter jets were flying very close a few minutes before the incident but did not shoot down the airliner (5.54)”

“As soon as the Malaysia Airlines B777 disappeared the Kiev military authority informed us of the shooting down. How did they know? (6.00)”

“Everything has been recorded on radar. For those that don’t believe it, it was taken down by Kiev; we know that here (in traffic control) and the military air traffic control know it too (7.14)”

“The Ministry of the Interior did know that there were fighter aircraft in the area, but the Ministry of Defense didn’t. (7.15)”

“The military confirm that it was Ukraine, but it is not known where the order came from. (7.31)”

Carlos’s assessment (a partial compilation of his tweets is collected here: the missile was fired by the Ukraine military under orders of the Ministry of Interior – NOT the Ministry of Defense. Security matters at the Ministry of the Interior happen to be under Andrey Paruby, who was closely working alongside US neo-cons and Banderastan neo-Nazis on Maidan.

Assuming Carlos is legit, the assessment makes sense. The Ukrainian military are divided between Chocolate king [President Petro] Poroshenko – who would like a détente with Russia essentially to advance his shady business interests – and St. Yulia Tymoshenko, who’s on the record advocating genocide of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. US neo-cons and US “military advisers” on the ground are proverbially hedging their bets, supporting both the Poroshenko and Tymoshenko factions.
So who profits?

The key question remains, of course, cui bono? Only the terminally brain dead believe shooting a passenger jet benefits the federalists in eastern Ukraine, not to mention the Kremlin.

As for Kiev, they’d have the means, the motive and the window of opportunity to pull it off – especially after Kiev’s militias have been effectively routed, and were in retreat, in the Donbass. And this after Kiev remained dead set on attacking and bombing the population of eastern Ukraine even from above. No wonder the federalists had to defend themselves.

And then there’s the suspicious timing. The MH17 tragedy happened two days after the BRICS announced an antidote to the IMF and the World Bank, bypassing the US dollar. And just as Israel ‘cautiously’ advances its new invasion/slow-motion-ethnic-cleansing of Gaza. Malaysia, by the way, is the seat of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission, which has found Israel guilty of crimes against humanity.

Washington, of course, does profit. What the Empire of Chaos gets in this case is a ceasefire (so the disorganized, battered Kiev militias may be resupplied); the branding of eastern Ukrainians as de facto ‘terrorists’(as Kiev, Dick Cheney-style, always wanted); and unlimited mud thrown over Russia and Putin in particular until Kingdom Come. Not bad for a few minutes’ work. As for NATO, that’s Christmas in July.

From now on, it all depends on Russian intelligence. They have been surveilling/tracking everything that happens in Ukraine 24/7. In the next 72 hours, after poring over a lot of tracking data, using telemetry, radar and satellite tracking, they will know which type of missile was launched, from where, and even produce communications from the battery that launched it. And they will have access to forensic evidence.

Unlike Washington – who already knows everything, with no evidence whatsoever (remember 9/11?) – Moscow will take its time to know the basic journalistic facts of what, where, and who, and engage on proving the truth and/or disproving Washington’s spin.

The historical record shows Washington simply won’t release data if it points to a missile coming from its Kiev vassals. The data may even point to a bomb planted on MH17, or mechanical failure – although that’s unlikely. If this was a terrible mistake by the Novorossiya rebels, Moscow will have to reluctantly admit it. If Kiev did it, the revelation will be instantaneous. Anyway we already know the hysterical Western response, no matter what; Russia is to blame.

Putin is more than correct when he stressed this tragedy would not have happened if Poroshenko had agreed to extend a ceasefire, as Merkel, Hollande and Putin tried to convince him to do in late June. At a minimum, Kiev is already guilty because they are responsible for safe passage of flights in the airspace they – theoretically – control.

But all that is already forgotten in the fog of war, tragedy and hype. As for Washington’s hysterical claims of credibility, I leave you with just one number: Iran Air 655.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.