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Did the allies bring down Malaysian Airline MH17?

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  • #31
    Re: Did the allies bring down Malaysian Airline MH17?

    Not sure what if anything the black boxes will tell. Things may have happened too quickly for any info.

    They may tell us any request to change course came from Ukraine air controllers. This would be important.

    What is very discouraging is the contamination of the crash site. If missile parts were in the wreckage, parts that could point out the culprit, they are likely long gone.
    This is the most telling and damaging missing information. What are they hiding??? And why are they hiding it??? Doesn't this hint of a cover up?

    Comment


    • #32
      Re: Did the allies bring down Malaysian Airline MH17?

      Originally posted by lakedaemonian View Post
      If you read up on recent Russian unconventional warfare doctrine I think the far more plausible explanation would be assistance, training, and leadership provided by ex Russian military Russians, in the form of arms length private military contractors(Russian Blackwater) funded by the Russian security services.

      What's also worth noting is that the SA11 missile system, of Russian manufacture, would be relatively easy for the Russian security services to monitor/track/negate(jam) as it would possess the specific radar frequency and telemetry specifications as well as system vulnerabilities.

      Aeroflot would have been flying over Ukrainian airspace above contested ground until recent days. Surely Russian security forces would have taken a very keen interest in the exact whereabouts, RF emissions, and operational activity of rebel groups and arms length private military contractors armed with a Russian made SA11 system easily capable of shooting down commercial traffic.

      To me it seems like the Russians really screwed up.

      How much support did the Russians provide the rebels in operating the SA11 system?

      What operational control measures did the Russians have in place(or not) over the SA11 system?

      Is it likely or even possible according to Russian political and unconventional warfare doctrine(both very closely integrated) that the Russians would allow the rebels ANY latitude in engaging aircraft without Russian approval? It would NOT be typical of the Russians to allow rebels that much command latitude with such a geopolitically sensitive weapon system.

      Personally, I think the idea of some western false flag operation is comical......anyone who actually knows how to plan a complex military operation, let alone one in a non-permissive space with a significant physical and RF emissions signature under the close eye of one of the world's greatest technical surveillance capable nations(Russia), understands the incredibly high risks and near guarantee of failure.

      One only needs to look at ethnic Ukrainian special forces who were pinched by Russian/rebel forces and paraded in front of the media while conducting a far simpler recce in Eastern Ukraine a few months back. And those were ethnic Ukrainians.....far less likely to stick out in the crowd than a bunch of westerners commandeering a SAM battery in non-permissive space on Russia's doorstep.

      I reckon no matter how this actually went down, Russia is culpable.

      Russians were either culpable in the firing command authority chain or they were culpable in failing to keep they proxies on a shorter leash.

      What other reasonable explanation is there?

      -----

      I've read elsewhere(from a senior US Anti-Air Warfare Officer) recently that the USS Vincennes shooting down the Iran Air Airbus in the late 80's resulted in a dramatic reduction in hostilities between Iran and Iraq(during their extremely costly and little known war), attacks on 3rd parties(oil and gas carriers), and aggressive posturing(aggressive maneuvering of military assets) declined dramatically.

      It certainly doesn't justify the massive loss of life on Iran Air 655......but the coincidental/accidental outcome in reduced conflict then will be watching now to see if there is a repeat.

      Hopefully we see another massive negative with some positive outcome.
      No commercial airlines flying over Iraq seemed like a good idea too.

      http://articles.latimes.com/2003/apr.../war-patriot21

      The Defense Department has acknowledged that the antimissile system was involved in the downing of two allied warplanes, resulting in the deaths of three airmen. The two aircraft -- one American and one British -- are the only confirmed cases of planes being shot down during the war. Another plane narrowly escaped becoming the third victim of the Patriot system.


      So again The US goads Europe into its hawkish ways and its in Europe's back yard.

      Comment


      • #33
        Re: Did the allies bring down Malaysian Airline MH17?

        Originally posted by gwynedd1 View Post
        No commercial airlines flying over Iraq seemed like a good idea too.

        http://articles.latimes.com/2003/apr.../war-patriot21

        The Defense Department has acknowledged that the antimissile system was involved in the downing of two allied warplanes, resulting in the deaths of three airmen. The two aircraft -- one American and one British -- are the only confirmed cases of planes being shot down during the war. Another plane narrowly escaped becoming the third victim of the Patriot system.


        So again The US goads Europe into its hawkish ways and its in Europe's back yard.

        I think one of the primary reason why the accident happened is the lack of understanding of what's happening in Ukraine. I'd not be surprised if the pilots and management of MAS didn't know that a full fledged civil war is going on is Donetsk. There's virtually no reports on MSM on the civil war, aside from a couple of reports on "anti-terrorist operations".

        There's a media blackout on military operations in Ukraine.
        Last edited by touchring; 07-22-14, 12:49 AM.

        Comment


        • #34
          Re: Did the allies bring down Malaysian Airline MH17?

          Originally posted by gwynedd1 View Post
          No commercial airlines flying over Iraq seemed like a good idea too.

          http://articles.latimes.com/2003/apr.../war-patriot21

          The Defense Department has acknowledged that the antimissile system was involved in the downing of two allied warplanes, resulting in the deaths of three airmen. The two aircraft -- one American and one British -- are the only confirmed cases of planes being shot down during the war. Another plane narrowly escaped becoming the third victim of the Patriot system.


          So again The US goads Europe into its hawkish ways and its in Europe's back yard.

          I think one of the primary reason why the accident happened is the lack of understanding of what's happening in Ukraine. I'd not be surprised if the pilots and management of MAS didn't know that a full fledged civil war is going on is Donetsk. There's virtually no reports on MSM on the civil war, aside from a couple of reports on "anti-terrorist operations".

          There's a media blackout on military operations in Ukraine.

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: Did the allies bring down Malaysian Airline MH17?

            Did the CIA managed to inform Kerry before he rattles off?


            http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-21/key-piece-video-%E2%80%9Cevidence%E2%80%9D-russian-responsibility-malaysian-plane-shootdown-debunked


            Key Piece of Video “Evidence” for Russian Responsibility for Malaysian Plane Shootdown Debunked





            Hello Mish,

            On Friday, the Daily Mail, one of the major UK tabloids carried photos and video of what was alleged to be a rebel “Buk” launcher heading back to Russia. The article carried a claim from some Ukrainian source that the launcher was missing several missiles after having shot them at the Malaysian 777. The article was prominently linked to the Drudge Report, and so was probably viewed by several million people.

            Today, this meme made it into Uncle Sam’s official narrative, as per the following New York Times excerpt:

            On the CBS program “Face the Nation,” Mr. Kerry referred to a video that the Ukrainians have made public showing an SA-11 unit heading back to Russia after the downing of the plane with “a missing missile or so.”

            The video referenced by the New York Times was, in fact, posted on the Facebook account of the Ukrainian Interior Minister. The allegation was that the launcher was crossing the border with Russia.

            However, going by the billboard and other features of the scenery, Russian bloggers and news sources claim to have identified the road in the video as having been taken in or near the town of Krasnoarmeisk (“Krasnoarmiysk” in Ukrainian), which has been under Kiev’s control since May.

            In fact, the billboard is supposedly advertising a Krasnoarmeisk car dealership. Also, one of the structures in the background is said to be a construction materials store on Gorkii Street, Krasnoarmeisk.

            Please note that this town is (very roughly) 120 kilometers from the Russian border and 80 kilometers from where the Malaysian 777 went down. And again, it has been under Kiev’s control since May.

            At least one other clip of the “Russian Buk” that has been made available also suggests that the Ukrainians are showing their own equipment. I’m still working on researching that one for you.

            Jacob

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: Did the allies bring down Malaysian Airline MH17?

              Originally posted by touchring View Post
              1. Kiev deployed surface to air missile system near to the city of Dotnsek. What are these missiles for when there's rebels had no aircraft?
              Maybe to "discourage" russian air force to provide air cover to the rebels?

              these recordings appeared to have been pre-recorded
              based on ...

              3. Why did MH17 deviated from the usual flight path that was south of East Ukraine?
              To avoid the no-fly zone over Crimea?

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: Did the allies bring down Malaysian Airline MH17?

                Originally posted by sgominator View Post
                Maybe to "discourage" russian air force to provide air cover to the rebels?


                based on ...


                To avoid the no-fly zone over Crimea?

                Any is possible and none of us know better since we're all speculating without actual proof.

                But one thing for sure, we'll know soon as the blackbox is now handed over to Malaysia.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: Did the allies bring down Malaysian Airline MH17?

                  Originally posted by touchring View Post
                  I think there's no need to speculate further as the blackbox has been handed over to the Malaysian government, and the evidence will be out soon.
                  I'm quite skeptical the FDR and CVR will provide any useful information.
                  The FDR will show something like:

                  14:15:25 - Everything normal
                  14:15:26 - Loss of power to the FDR - end of recording

                  Some information may come from the last half second of the CVR recording (sound of impact), or maybe not

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: Did the allies bring down Malaysian Airline MH17?

                    But one thing for sure, we'll know soon as the blackbox is now handed over to Malaysia.
                    http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthr...674#post283674

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: Did the allies bring down Malaysian Airline MH17?

                      Originally posted by sgominator View Post
                      I'm quite skeptical the FDR and CVR will provide any useful information.
                      The FDR will show something like:

                      14:15:25 - Everything normal
                      14:15:26 - Loss of power to the FDR - end of recording

                      Some information may come from the last half second of the CVR recording (sound of impact), or maybe not


                      For some reason, no one wants to know what the flight recorder will reveal. Maybe they fear the truth.

                      But whatever the truth, whoever is responsible, it will be out soon.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: Did the allies bring down Malaysian Airline MH17?

                        Originally posted by vt View Post
                        Not sure what if anything the black boxes will tell. Things may have happened too quickly for any info.

                        They may tell us any request to change course came from Ukraine air controllers. This would be important.

                        What is very discouraging is the contamination of the crash site. If missile parts were in the wreckage, parts that could point out the culprit, they are likely long gone.
                        This is the most telling and damaging missing information. What are they hiding??? And why are they hiding it??? Doesn't this hint of a cover up?
                        I would posit that the flight data recorders will offer little to nothing of value to investigators as it's not an airframe/engine/component failure that worries us so much with typical non-kinetic commercial airline crashes.

                        SA11(or other) missile components/fragments would provide not only clear identification of the weapon system used to destroy MH17, but quite possibly the owner(as missile serial #'s would be easy-ish to trace).

                        Also, aircraft fuselage and wing components themselves would be very helpful in determining(with high probability if not 100% certainty) the weapon system used to destroy MH17 but also HOW MH17 was engaged.

                        For example, a highly unlikely scenario of a Ukrainian SU25 close air support aircraft firing a stern shot heat seeking missile would leave substantially different indicators(hit from behind, likely direct hit or very close proximity hit to one of the two engines due to much smaller warhead and fuzing) that if hit by an SA11 nose shot(hit from the front with large proximity fused warhead detonating in the immediate path of MH17).

                        The debris field jigsaw puzzle, without SA11 missile body serial numbers, might never give 100% certainty......but examining MH17 fuselage, wing, and engine components with missile shrapnel damage will tell enough of the story I would think.

                        If the Russians REALLY believed a Ukrainian SU25 pilot shot down MH17, it would be insane for them to NOT cordon the crime scene and play an active role in the investigation, as well as hand over the SU25 cockpit voice intercepts for the SU25 to be vectored to the target(ask GRG55 himself, and maybe he could ask his brother if an SU25 mudmover could intercept a 777 at altitude and speed without ground control intercept support).

                        If the Russians really wanted the crime scene investigated thoroughly and properly under the glare of international media, they would have instantly facilitated it.

                        They don't.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: Did the allies bring down Malaysian Airline MH17?

                          Originally posted by gwynedd1 View Post
                          No commercial airlines flying over Iraq seemed like a good idea too.

                          http://articles.latimes.com/2003/apr.../war-patriot21

                          The Defense Department has acknowledged that the antimissile system was involved in the downing of two allied warplanes, resulting in the deaths of three airmen. The two aircraft -- one American and one British -- are the only confirmed cases of planes being shot down during the war. Another plane narrowly escaped becoming the third victim of the Patriot system.


                          So again The US goads Europe into its hawkish ways and its in Europe's back yard.
                          I'm pretty sure all Saddam era Soviet/Russian and French air defense systems have been taken out of service and demilitarized in Iraq.

                          But I think they have requested US man portable and high altitude/performance air defense systems...but nothing delivered as far as I know.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: Did the allies bring down Malaysian Airline MH17?

                            Just heard a report on tv(GMA) that significant portions of the fuselage have been cut away with saws and are missing. If true, kind of points toward rebels doesnt it?

                            black boxes wont tell us much if anything. I'm with others who say it's likely just a mistake by trigger happy rebels. Of course WE have only the info they give us.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: Did the allies bring down Malaysian Airline MH17?

                              The charge of the Atlanticist Brigade
                              By Peter Lee

                              The bloody farce in the Ukraine took another ugly turn with the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

                              And to be ugly about it, if the rebels shot the plane down, it shouldn't matter very much except as a horrible and unexpected catastrophe in a war zone and an overwhelming tragedy to the survivors of the victims on board. Call it an accident, collateral damage, manslaughter, there is no credible version of events in which it was intentional mass murder or terrorism, either by the rebels or Russian technicians that, according to the Ukrainian government, possessed the ability to operate the elderly but complex anti-aircraft systems fingered in the attack.

                              Recall the US shootdown of Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988 by the USS Vincennes. It was also an ugly business. The Iran Air jet was on a standard civilian flight path with its transponders on; the Vincennes through some bit of naval derring-do had actually intruded into Iranian territorial waters when it shot the plane down (something that was only admitted by the US three years later); 290 people died. The US never apologized, but eventually paid out some money to smooth things over, not in a particularly classy way, according to a 2002 account:

                              The US had compensated non-Iranian victims about US$2.9 million (not acknowledging any responsibility) but nothing to Iranian family members. In 1996, a $131.8 million settlement was reached that included the ignored families ($61.8 million). Seventy million was to be put into bank accounts and used to "pay off private US claims against Iran and Iran's expenses for the Iran-US Claims Tribunal, which is handling the claims." The US stated it was for claims "involving banking matters, not the airliner," while Iran said that 30 million was for the plane.

                              The shootdown was accompanied by the usual quotient of dishonest denial and blame shifting.

                              The following day, the Pentagon held a news conference on the incident. After originally having flatly denied Iran's version of the event, saying that it had shot down an F-14 fighter and not a civilian aircraft, the State Department (after a review of the evidence) admitted the downing of Iran Air 655. It was claimed that the plane had "strayed too close to two US Navy warships that were engaged in a battle with Iranian gunboats" and, according to the spokesman, that the "proper defensive action" was taken (in part) because the "suspect aircraft was outside the prescribed commercial air corridor". (Washington Post)

                              That it "strayed" from its normal, scheduled flight path is factually incorrect. And so was the claim that it was heading right for the ship and "descending" (emphasis, mine) toward it - it was ascending. Another "error" was the contention that it took place in international waters (it did not, a fact only later admitted by the government). Incorrect maps were used when Congress was briefed on the incident.

                              In an interesting sidebar, the "planeful of naked corpses" conspiracy canard (for which Western journos have repeatedly mocked a Ukrainian rebel militia leader who was, presumably, dumbfounded by the grotesque carnage of the crash) was first deployed by right wing US radio commentators to accuse Iran of staging a provocation by flying a plane of naked corpses at theVincennes.

                              The Iran Air shootdown was classified as a goof - although the Iranians declared it rose to the level of criminal misconduct (and have been accused of engineering the Lockerbie bombing as retaliation) - and the captain of the Vincennes was condemned by his fellow officers as a reckless dingbat, per Wikipedia:


                              Commander David Carlson, commanding officer of the USS Sides, the warship stationed near to theVincennes at the time of the incident, is reported to have said that the destruction of the aircraft "marked the horrifying climax to Captain Rogers' aggressiveness, first seen four weeks ago."[39] His comment referred to incidents on 2 June, when Rogers had sailed the Vincennes too close to an Iranian frigate undertaking a lawful search of a bulk carrier, launched a helicopter within 2-3 miles (3.2-4.8 kilometers) of an Iranian small craft despite rules of engagement requiring a four-mile (6.4 km) separation, and opened fire on small Iranian military boats.

                              Of those incidents, Carlson commented, "Why do you want an Aegis cruiser out there shooting up boats? It wasn't a smart thing to do." He also said that Iranian forces he had encountered in the area a month prior to the incident were "... pointedly non-threatening" and professional. At the time of Rogers' announcement to higher command that he was going to shoot down the plane, Carlson is reported to have been thunderstruck: "I said to folks around me, 'Why, what the hell is he doing?' I went through the drill again. F-14. He's climbing. By now this damn thing is at 7,000 feet." Carlson thought the Vincennes might have more information, and was unaware that Rogers had been wrongly informed that the plane was diving.

                              Craig, Morales & Oliver, in a slide presentation published in M.I.T.'s Spring 2004 Aeronautics & Astronautics as the "USS Vincennes Incident", commented that Captain Rogers had "an undeniable and unequivocal tendency towards what I call 'picking a fight.'" On his own initiative, Rogers moved the Vincennes 50 miles (80 km) northeast to join the USS Montgomery. An angry Captain Richard McKenna, Chief of Surface Warfare for the Commander of the Joint Task Force, ordered Rogers back to Abu Musa, but theVincennes helicopter pilot, Lt Mark Collier, followed the Iranian speedboats as they retreated north, eventually taking some fire:

                              ... the Vincennes jumps back into the fray. Heading towards the majority of the speedboats, he is unable to get a clear target. Also, the speedboats are now just slowly milling about in their own territorial waters. Despite clear information to the contrary, Rogers informs command that the gunboats are gathering speed and showing hostile intent and gains approval to fire upon them at 0939. Finally, in another fateful decision, he crosses the 12-nautical-mile (22 km) limit off the coast and enters illegally into Iranian waters.[42]


                              Captain Rogers was not officially censured for the shootdown; instead, two years later he was awarded the Legion of Merit for his services while captain of the Vincennes and soon after retired.

                              There you have it.

                              So, by the ordinary standards of murderous military ineptitude, the fallout from the MH17 tragedy would be disorganization and denial, an exhaustive and time-consuming investigation, a belated acknowledgment of responsibility, no legal consequences, and the application of some financial emollient eight or so years down the road.

                              This is obviously Putin's goal, whether or not rebel forces were complicit (which I should say is not yet a slam dunk, despite the declarations of the US government), an objective which the US and many of its allies are determined to deny him.

                              There have been several attempts to frame the accidental shootdown as an episode of Putin barbarism that places him and his government beyond the civilized pale and in the fatal zone of illegitimate pariah state upon whom demands can be made, and whose calls for due process can be swept aside, and fair game for whatever principled skullduggery the democratic powers can concoct.

                              The first and, to be blunt, most ludicrous episode was "corpse gate", an attempt to depict the militias, and by extension their purported puppet-master, Putin, as inhumanly callous in their treatment of the remains of the nearly 300 people that had fallen from the sky.

                              The militias were clearly overwhelmed by the vast disaster scene and the question of how to secure it properly. No doubt there was looting - an endemic problem at all crash sites, even in the civilized United States - and possibly the idea of diddling with evidence and getting the black boxes into friendly Russian hands. As to the disgusting drunkenness allegedly exhibited by some militia members, crash scenes are horrible, they can be extremely traumatic, and it is not out of the question that some militia members turned to alcoholic oblivion to deal with the scenes they had witnessed.

                              But the media tried to latch on to the idea that the militias were committing a crime against humanity by dragging the rotting bodies hither and yon through the 88-degree heat and eventually loading them into refrigerated rail cars. In this effort the militias worked together with emergency services of the Ukraine government, which somehow made it on site, a fact that was ignored in the accusations of militia barbarism. Once the body bags were put on the train, there was also some attempt to flay the militias for not immediately pulling the train out of the station, even though the root problem seems to have been the Ukrainian government's inability to come up with dispatch instructions.

                              Then there was "destruction of evidence gate". Again, beyond the militias' fiddling with luggage and removal of bodies, there is no credible reportage that they were attempting to tamper with the key evidence: the immense debris field of plane wreckage.

                              On US ABC News, an aviation expert, John Nance, pointed out that the key forensic evidence to be gleaned from the crash site would be shrapnel impact on the airframe, which would indicate what struck the plane (SAM, air to air missile or whatever) and where, and is available in abundance across the crash site. The black box recorders would be unlikely to yield useful information on the instantaneously catastrophic event itself, nor would the bodies.

                              The key evidence for the overall investigation will be the surveillance records of US and Russian satellites and radars, which should be able to identify where the missiles came from, as well as addressing accusations that Kiev fighters were shadowing the jet, etc.


                              If indeed MH17 was destroyed by a surface to air missile at 30,000 feet, the culprit would appear to be a BUK mobile air defense battery, a Soviet product extensively deployed across the remains of the USSR. The Russians have them - and the Ukrainian government has accused Russia of shuttling units across the border in order to do the dirty on Ukrainian military aircraft. The rebels might have captured one or more units; it's unclear whether the Ukrainian military actually disabled them before abandoning them, as they claimed. The Ukrainian government also has its own working BUK units; despite government denials that there was any need to deploy anti-aircraft batteries in the east, AP had photographs of a Ukrainian BUK battery trundling through Slavyansk in early July to protect its ATO units against potential Russian airstrikes.

                              The Russians have already distributed a fair amount of evidentiary chaff of varying quality, claiming that a Ukranian BUK radar was switched on at the time of the incident; Robert Parry's US defense sources are also telling him there's a suspicion that a Ukrainian BUK battery was responsible.

                              So, in an ordinary investigation, plenty of he said/she said, fog of war, bluster, obfuscation and the prospect that a mutually acceptable story will be sorted out months if not years down the road.

                              As to the "restricting access to crash site gate" the subject of much indignant huffing and a newly minted UN Security Council resolution (which Russia supported) this appears to be a canard.

                              Most Western journalists in the field have reported that they easily passed through rebel checkpoints and wandered unrestricted through the crash site (one journo was castigated for actually rifling through a victim's luggage to illustrate his video report), and noted that, if anybody was delaying the arrival of the international investigatory team, it was the Ukrainian government (which held 100+ international experts in Kiev until "security issues" could be sorted out). Further cognitive dissonance was assured when Kiev forces launched several attacks in Donetsk, not exactly conducive to the ceasefire intended to facilitate the investigation, and also endangering the passage of the "corpse train" that everybody was, at least a couple days ago, so worked up about.

                              To date, the US strategy seems to be to crank up the indignation machine by whatever means come to hand, in this case excoriating Russia for obstructions of the investigation that aren't occurring, in order to justify immediate further sanctions that would short circuit Russia's desire for a conventional, legalistic, and protracted investigation.

                              As of this writing, the international experts have arrived at the crash site, the rebels, after some unedifying back and forth, have coughed up the black boxes, and there seems to be little that the West can currently complain about.

                              But the United States is perhaps considering this unpalatable contingency.

                              Will it demand an immediate and intrusive inventory of Russian and rebel BUK units "or else"? Hold Russia responsible for non-appearance of rebel witnesses/suspects? Issue a pre-emptive US declaration that the culprits have been identified, coupled with a demand to produce them? Or content itself with the boilerplate declaration that Russia is not doing enough to rein in the east Ukrainian militias? We shall see.

                              By now, I think sanctions are an end in themselves for US Russia policy.

                              My outsider's impression is that the US foreign policy for Russia has been pretty much captured by doctrinaire anti-Russians in a diplomatic and military deep state that pretty much permeates and survives every incoming administration. The Russia desk has had a reasonably good run since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and I think today the prevailing idea is that oligarch anxieties about the sanctioning of their overseas assets will soon reach a tipping point (see this article about "horror of the oligarchs"), and the "Atlanticists", perhaps led by that nice Mr Medvedev, will club together against Putin's "Eurasianists" and pull the plug on his dreams of confronting the West as an equal and opposite force.

                              Maybe Putin will need more of a shove - he's an ex-KGB guy with multiple assets in the Russian elite and his current approvals are running over 80% - but there's an app for that: intensified sanctions.

                              So sanctions, and more sanctions. Sanctions for Crimea, sanctions for succoring the separatist uprising, now sanctions related to the plane crash. Sanctions that will never go away, no matter what Putin does, as long as he stays in power.

                              Best case, some combination of popular and elite revulsion pushes Putin from power and a new regime approaches the West as supplicant. Worst case, Russia = Venezuela, neutered by perpetual sanctions, vitriol, economic and political warfare, and subversion.

                              The key point, at this stage, is for the US to get European buy-in - especially from Angela Merkel, who is demonstrably less than enthusiastic about having a constitutionally dysfunctional relationship with Russia (and not enamored of the continual political heat brought by revelations of US spying) - so that the US is isolating Russia, and not the other way around.

                              My sense of the situation, especially from the Asian perspective, is that the US is in danger of overplaying its hand, indeed that it has a bad case of tunnel vision in which it is fixated on the goal of sticking it to Putin at the expense of US global interests.

                              With its almost comical insistence that "the world" is uniting against Russia (which only counts if "the world" is defined as the Atlantic democracies and their close allies and China, India, et al are excluded) and, even more damagingly, the US insistence on peddling the Russia = the world's greatest monster story even as the United States condones the catastrophic and much more bloody Israel incursion into Gaza, the US is accelerating the natural trend toward disintermediation of America in significant chunks of the global diplomatic and economic system.

                              The PRC occasionally comes in for mockery for its alleged hubris in wishing to elevate the yuan to the status of an international currency. However, I don't think the PRC's near term objective, or even desire, is to assume the glorious but extremely onerous burden of displacing the US dollar as the international reserve currency.

                              Instead, I think there are tactical as well as strategic forces in play, inspired in part by Russia's sanctions miseries as well as the PRC's own experiences with covert as well as overt US financial sanctions relating to China's Iran and North Korea transactions, which date back to the George W Bush years. The PRC approach reflects the difficulty of sustaining strict capital controls on a national currency when China's economy is increasingly open to the world; and the risk that a more freely trading Chinese currency can bring to the PRC in its current competition and incipient clash with the United States.

                              So the PRC internationalizes the yuan in a series of bilateral agreements with key trading partners, so that its financial transactions increasingly exit the dollar and are less vulnerable to US and Western sanctions; it tries to push its investors to look for adequate returns in friendly regions rather than dumping excess funds in Western financial centers; and it cracks down on corruption and capital flight so that its oligarchs will be less exposed to financial and legal blackmail in places like London and the United States.

                              And for that matter, it offers the enticement to global financial centers of profitable, high-volume trading in yuan, a fungible benefit that can be diverted somewhere else if a jurisdiction turns unfriendly.

                              And the Xi Jinping regime must take into account the possibility that the outrage and sanctions machine, so intensively deployed against Russia over Ukraine, will be employed against the People's Republic of China.

                              The United States is backing off from its stated "honest broker" position in the South China Sea to a tilt toward China's adversaries, offering the possibility of direct confrontation over the PRC's maritime claims and use of the sanctions regime to punish PRC misbehavior. Taiwan is inexorably bumping along to a political confrontation between the pro-mainland KMT and pro-independence DPP and student forces, which will offer the US government, if so inclined, a chance to ditch the One China policy and stand up to the PRC militarily and with sanctions.

                              And, finally, there is Hong Kong.

                              With that wonderful synchronicity that liberals adore (and their adversaries roll their eyes at) the three UK China-bashing prestige liberal organs - the Independent, the Guardian, and the Financial Times - all recently editorialized that Great Britain should "stand up" to the PRC on behalf of the people of Hong Kong on the issue of whether candidates for the Hong Kong chief executive should be chosen by full suffrage (instead of nominated by a pro-mainland committee).

                              If Xi Jinping decides now is not the time to countenance defiance of the PRC within China's borders and cracks down on the sizable number of pro-democracy activists and supporters, sanctions would appear to be the inevitable consequence.

                              So one consequence of the singleminded US campaign against Russia is that it is being driven into the arms of the PRC; another is that the PRC is making its ability to resist sanctions a national priority. The US Atlanticists may succeed in either subduing Russia to Western tutelage or simply expelling it from the European sphere; but what about the Pacific?

                              Peter Lee writes on East and South Asian affairs and their intersection with US foreign policy.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: Did the allies bring down Malaysian Airline MH17?

                                Originally posted by don View Post
                                The charge of the Atlanticist Brigade
                                By Peter Lee

                                The bloody farce in the Ukraine took another ugly turn with the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

                                And to be ugly about it, if the rebels shot the plane down, it shouldn't matter very much except as a horrible and unexpected catastrophe in a war zone and an overwhelming tragedy to the survivors of the victims on board. Call it an accident, collateral damage, manslaughter, there is no credible version of events in which it was intentional mass murder or terrorism, either by the rebels or Russian technicians that, according to the Ukrainian government, possessed the ability to operate the elderly but complex anti-aircraft systems fingered in the attack.


                                If it were mistaken identity, it won't mass murder. But if MH17 had been tricked to lower altitude or deviate from the original flight path, then it's another story.....

                                The truth will be out soon.

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