Some answers to the confusion about the #MH17 crash site

Given my comments yesterday (see Making political capital out of the deaths of innocents) I thought it worth sharing this video. It is of a press conference in Donetsk given by  Alexander Borodai, one of the leaders of the anti-Kiev forces in eastern Ukraine. Its about 30 minutes long, including the extensive Q&A. Video quality is not the best but there are English captions.

Personally I think it helps address some of the avalanche of  misinformation we are getting at the moment. And it is far more respectful to the innocent victims.

Alexander Borodai 19 Jul press conference about Malaysian #MH17 crash – YouTube.

Important Note: To activate subtitles, click on the (cc) button in the dashboard at the bottom of the video, then, in the Captions menu, select English or French.

Thanks to Sonya Roussina

86 responses to “Some answers to the confusion about the #MH17 crash site

  1. I take it you are siding with the pro-russian thugs…

    Interesting.

    Ron Law

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  2. Interesting response, Ron. Are you offended when political leaders you don’t like speak to press conferences? Do you think politicians you disagree with should not be allowed to speak for themselves?

    Interesting!

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  3. I don’t care what he says. I care about what happens on the ground.
    Actions speak louder than words.
    Let the the international observers in and don’t menace them.
    Not kidnapping them would be a nice touch too.
    Keep the drunks with guns away.

    Respect for innocent victims would be to tell the truth about how they shot down the plane. Transparency: There is no substitute.
    Let’s not pretend to be all confused about this. We not dealing with a grand mystery here. The list of potential suspects is…short.

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  4. Well, Cedric, you seem to have made your mind up before the evidence is in and considered objectively.

    The list of suspects is very short – 3. The “separatist” forces. The forces of the Kiev regime and the forces of the Russian Federation. Let the investigators do their job (and if you listened to the press report you would get a more objective picture of what the problems are) and stop prejudging on the basis of what? Ethnic prejudice?

    The observers are already in there – but the OSCE only observe. They have been in the country for months – observing. International observers are only now arriving in the country and a proper cease-fire would help them immensely – who is preventing that?

    I actually posted this press conference because it provides material for people to get a more balanced view – not to support one side or the other or to convince anyone of one prejudged theory or another. I find your refusal to look at the material disappointing – and your refusal really does undermine any conclusions you are drawing.

    And it is disrespectful to the innocent victims.

    >

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  5. Cedric, your comment makes a number of statements of fact that can only be based on reports from a war zone.

    These reports are often not likely to be reliable and given the distortions that have been circulating I would be careful of forming premature judgements.

    (As an example, and one that also includes allegations of drunken separatists, I recall Ken a few months ago posting a video clip clearly debunking similar allegations from the Press that arose of an alleged incident involving a drunken pro-Russian mob . )

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  6. More recent information – photo of the hand-over of the black boxes to Malaysian officials from Borodai. Is he a man of his word?🙂 https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BtGbX2XIcAAUbem.jpg

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  7. …and stop prejudging on the basis of what? Ethnic prejudice?

    You should know me better than that by now. What are you going to do next? Accuse me of being in the pay of the Ukrainian government or something? It’s not appropriate.

    These reports are often not likely to be reliable…

    I don’t see any problem with going direct to the OSCE and following their reports.

    I find your refusal to look at the material disappointing –

    Either he is in a position of power and can do what needs to be done or he is not. Nothing else matters. Let him chat with Thomas Spence.

    These reports are often not likely to be reliable and given the distortions that have been circulating I would be careful of forming premature judgements.

    I get that but…again, we’re not dealing with some grand mystery. The Americans figured out that the Ukrainians didn’t shoot down the plane. It took them no time at all. Not the media. The government.

    Then there’s the intercepted phone calls. Could it be propoganda? Sure.
    Or…they could simply be intercepted phone calls.

    Intercepted Audio of Ukraine Separatists

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  8. The investigators are now in place, doing their job. An international commission has been set up and will receive the bodies in the Netherlands (there is a very good reason why neither of the Ukrainian parties could head this commission).

    As for evidence, each of the parties so far producing evidence has irons in the fire – including the USA. The evidence I have seen so far is fascinating but must be considered by professional investigators, not politicians. And I refer to evidence for the Russian Federation, as well as the USA and Kiev. The intercepted audio is the least of it, and probably the most suspect.

    In 2001 the Ukrainians shot down a similar commercial airliner with similar missiles. It took them months (I think) to finally acknowledge their error. I expect the same thing to happen here. Neither side will admit an error at this stage but, hopefully, a good investigation will convince an acknowledgement. Although I fear, again, it may take a few months.

    As for my comment about ethnic bias – my observation is that the very moment the word “Russia” comes up many politicians and news media start frothing at the mouth and there is hence forth no chance of any rational discussion or consideration of evidence. I personally consider it a form of racism. As I said, the Russian Federation is one of the three parties which could be to blame – let’s see if that is the case relying on objective and professional consideration of the real evidence, not politicians words.

    Just imagine if 2 months down the track this turns out to be the result of some rogue Ukrainian battalion made up of Right Sector extremists and neither the Russian Federation or Self Defence forces have anything to do with it. What are those people who have shot their mouths off now purely in the basis of prejudice going to be saying? I would rather be in the position of saying I don’t know at this stage. It is the honest response.

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  9. In 2001 the Ukrainians shot down a similar commercial airliner with similar missiles.

    Those missiles (Buk and the S-300) are SAMs. The Ukrainians are not running any training exercises to make sure their SAM’s are in tip-top condition, not while there’s a real ground-level conflict in their Eastern Zone. Nor are they firing SAMs for any reason. They can’t shoot down Russian planes because that would be very, very stupid and dangerous. They can’t shoot down rebel planes because…the rebels don’t have any.

    If you want to talk about aircraft being shot down in the Ukraine, you don’t have to go far back as 2001. There are much more recent examples and all in the relevant area. There doesn’t seem to be much confusion on how they went down. Certain groups even bragged about it. Repeatedly.

    It took them months (I think) to finally acknowledge their error. I expect the same thing to happen here.

    The Ukrainian admin of 2001 is long gone. On the other hand, Putin is still around. How did he respond to that crisis? Is he now a new man?

    “Russian officials initially dismissed the American claim as “unworthy of attention,”[12] and Russian President Vladimir Putin told the press the next day that “the weapons used in those exercises had such characteristics that make it impossible for them to reach the air corridor through which the plane was moving.”[12] Ukrainian military officials initially denied that their missile had brought down the plane; they reported that the S-200 had been launched seawards and had successfully self-destructed. Indeed, Defense Ministry spokesman Konstantin Khivrenko noted that “neither the direction nor the range (of the missiles) correspond to the practical or theoretical point at which the plane exploded.”
    However, Ukrainian officials later admitted that etc, etc, etc…

    (Wikipedia)

    Just imagine if 2 months down the track this turns out to be…. exactly what it appears to be? What are those people who have shot their mouths off now about fantasy rogue Right-Sector Extremists purely in the basis of “whatever” going to be saying? Pretending that there’s not even a prime suspect at this stage is not an honest response. Keeping an open mind is great, just not so much as to let your brains fall out.

    As for my comment about ethnic bias – my observation is that the very moment the word “Russia” comes up…

    That’s not what you said.

    …and stop prejudging on the basis of what? Ethnic prejudice?

    You should know me better than that by now. What are you going to do next? Accuse me of being in the pay of the Ukrainian government or something? It’s not appropriate.

    The intercepted audio is the least of it, and probably the most suspect.
    (…)
    If you were the Ukrainians and you got incriminating intercepts that made the rebels look really, really bad,…what would you do?

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  10. seconded

    Of course “the Russians” are responsible. The Russians are always responsible.

    …For younger New Zealanders, “Russia” means “Putin”. He’s the dead-eyed, bare-chested, gay-bashing gargoyle who threw Pussy Riot and Greenpeace into prison. The President whose gun-toting, balaclava-wearing Spetsnaz stole Crimea from Ukraine. Of course Putin did it!…

    Chris Trotter http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2014/07/who-shot-down-mh17.html

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  11. Cross-posted, I was seconding Ken.

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  12. Cedric, if 2 months down the track investigators conclude the Russian Federation is to blame or the Ukrainian self defence forces my attitude would be the same because I do not have a bias and so have not made a commitment to a specific agenda. For the record – my opinion several days ago was that the most likely culprit were the self defence forces. Currently I think the Ukraine army, or some part of it, is the most likely. Tomorrow I might think differently. But I recognise such opinion is just speculation based on very incomplete and probably very faulty evidence.

    So 2 months down the track I will not be embarrassed. I am used to saying I don’t know and also used to recognising that the immediate knee jerk conclusion based on agendas and confirmation bias usually turns out to be incorrect.

    My comments on the responsible party taking time to admit it has nothing to do with administrations (although the current Kiev administration is hardly trustworthy). I expect whoever is responsible will react in that human way – as we have seen in past similar tragedies with Ukraine, USA and USSR.

    I am not going to make judgments on what your specific agenda is for your emphatic conclusion – all I can say is that I am seeing a lot of what feels very much like a form of racism among politicians and the media at the moment.

    One thing about the Ukrainian situation today is that there is an incredible amount of evidence around. Everyone seems to have a smartphone and is uploading video. Evidence of what is happening in the Eastern cities is there – even if the media is not reporting it. So I imagine that investigators will probably have plenty of material enabling them to locate the missile systems and their movements. So even though this whole thing is most likely a horrible accident and political leaders really cannot say with any authority what happened on the ground the investigators may well be able to produce a pretty convincing conclusion.

    >

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  13. Thanks for the link Richard. Chris Trotter’s article is well worth reading. As he said, context is everything.

    >

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  14. Ken, I don’t think racism is the appropriate term, jingoism is more accurate. Jingoism based on a host of factors, including nationalism, political and economocal worldviews, historical grudges etc – the list goes on.
    IMO racism is an often misused term.

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  15. Given my comments yesterday (see Making political capital out of the deaths of innocents) I thought it worth sharing this video.

    This is perhaps what strikes me as being completely out of character.
    I don’t understand why you (of all people) would be comfortable linking to RT and a press conference put together by some guy from the rebel side.

    Personally I think it helps address some of the avalanche of misinformation….

    I’m not seeing it. Surely this is more of the same? Why give such people and organizations oxygen?
    As some wag put it, it’s a needle-thread away from Scopie’s Law.

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  16. On the other hand, in the way of other sources of information, there’s always the UN Security Council.
    I’ve left out the Ukrainians and the Russians for obvious reason but there are plenty more official statements to look over. Please check the link and read it all for yourselves. Plenty of multiple sources from lots of different countries. Some are more…blunt than others.

    “JEAN ASSELBORN, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg, welcoming consensus on the resolution, said he had co-sponsored it to condemn the downing of the aircraft, to express solidarity with the victims and their countries of origin and to support a full, independent investigation of “this unspeakable act”. He noted that among the victims was a family living in Luxembourg and he expressed solidarity, in particular, with the Netherlands. The behaviour of armed groups in the area of the crash was unacceptable and they must provide unhindered access, as well as cease military activity and refrain from evidence tampering.”

    “OH JOON (Republic of Korea) offered his solidarity to those States in today’s meeting who had lost citizens in the crash. The most urgent task was to institute a full investigation establishing solid facts, including about who caused the downing. He commended the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Ukrainian Government for their efforts in that regard, but said that in order to shed full light it was critical to maintain the crash site’s integrity. The bodies of the victims should be recovered and treated in a dignified manner. He hoped that full implementation of today’s resolution would lead to positive changes on the ground.”

    “AMANTHA POWER (United States) said that the resolution was necessary as there had been a lack of cooperation from some Member States to support unimpeded access to the site. Images had shown armed thugs walking around the site, crunching debris and carting away evidence, which had been condemned around the world. However, there had been too little condemnation from the Russian Federation, which had blamed air traffic controllers and Ukraine, among others. If that country genuinely believed those elements had caused the crash, President Vladimir Putin would have told the separatist groups to lay down their arms and guard the site so that a thorough investigation could take place. Only today had he called for such access. However, separatists had allowed access to only a few Dutch investigators today, she said, insisting that access must be immediate and full, as a “spigot” approach was a form of obstruction. The Russian Federation could use its influence on the armed groups to stop evidence tampering and allow full access, as well as to agree on a ceasefire and sit down with President Petro Poroshenko. That would demonstrate its willingness to take steps to end the conflict.”

    “PHILIPPE BERTOUX (France) said the resolution was the first step in ensuring clarification of the incident and holding to account those responsible for the “odious act”. He demanded that everything be done to facilitate the investigation, expressing alarm over obstruction by the separatists. Inhuman treatment of victims’ remains must stop. His country would work to ensure that today’s resolution was implemented; the victims were owed as much.”

    “FRANCISCUS CORNELIS GERARDUS MARIA TIMMERMANS, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, acknowledged his country’s grief and outrage at the downed flight, as well as despair over the “excruciatingly slow process” of securing the crash site and recovering the victims’ remains. The priority was to bring those bodies home; however, there had been disturbing reports of bodies being moved about and looted for their possessions. It was beyond his understanding why it took so much time for rescue workers to be allowed to do their work, or why human remains could be used in a political game. Images of victims’ luggage being opened or their passports being shown had turned the Netherlands’ grief into anger, and he demanded unimpeded access to the terrain and respectful treatment of the crash site.”

    “HUSSEIN HANIFF (Malaysia) underscored that no amount of measures would ever compensate or assuage the grief and suffering of the families and loved ones of the victims. It was incumbent that the United Nations honour those killed by undertaking a full, thorough and independent investigation into the downed flight. After informing the Security Council that his country would dispatch a team on 18 July to help investigators, that team had arrived in Kyiv on Saturday, 19 July, joining other national teams from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, known as the Joint International Investigation Team.
    However, he said, the team had yet to be given full access to the crash site. That was unacceptable, and he reiterated the call on all States and actors in the region to cooperate fully, including by ensuring the safety and security of the investigation teams. One priority of the Malaysian team was the recovery, identification and repatriation of the bodies and remains of the victims. The flight was a civilian airliner and evidence had been established that it had been shot down. Those accountable must be brought to justice, he said, calling for the resolution’s full implementation by all concerned parties.”

    Security Council
    7221st Meeting (PM) 21 July 2014

    I don’t see how anyone can spin this to make the rebels somehow look good or reasonable. People wearing the white hats don’t typically behave this way.
    I don’t care what this Borodai person said.
    I really don’t.
    I care about what actually happens on the ground.
    The physical reality of the situation.

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  17. I should mention that I didn’t come up with the idea to go to the UN site as a primary source of information.
    I have to give credit to Rachel Maddow for that.

    International community seeks options to pressure Russia

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  18. Cedric, some of your comments are really worth considering as they do get to the heart of the matter.

    You are upset that I posted a video from a RT presenter – you don’t understand why. Yet you seem to be oblivious the the fact I have directed you to its content about prejudgment and cynical use of a human tragedy to promote political agendas. Perhaps you should play the video and listen to what she says. Then comment on that content – not its source or provenance.

    Most (not all) of the comments made by that presenter resonate strongly with me. Why should I not post it? Why should I not try to encourage a discussion of those contents – I think they are extremely relevant for anyone who is genuinely concerned about the air crash tragedy and the wider human tragedy in that part of the world (after all the number of civilian deaths in Lugansk in the last 2 months is about the same as the total deaths in the aircrash and this gets extremely little coverage in our media).

    One of the things this whole Ukrainian situation has angered me about is the way our media and politicians are effectively forcing a way we should think and the way we should approach evidence on us. One of the effects is indicated by your own behaviour in declaring your will not look at key parts of the evidence – for probably political or ethnic reasons. That is out of character for someone supporting a scientific approach to things.

    You claim to be concerned about what is happening on the ground yet you refuse to listen to the comments of one of the people on the ground. Whatever you think of his political or ethnic origins he did provide a lot of answers to questions they people are asking – and these answers were far more credible than those coming out of the authorities in Kiev. And why should political statements of political ambassadors in NY somehow provide more information of what is happening on the ground – even though they may satisfy your own beliefs? isn’t that confirmation bias?

    It is shocking that you seem to think that any sources should be “denied oxygen.” It is up to the individual to approach sources in an intelligent and critical way. It is extremely lazy to rely dogmatically on only pet sources.

    I am very comfortable linking to both those videos because they provide information or express humanitarianism I agree with. Information and empathy cynically missing in most of our media. I am not going to limit my sources of information just because others might be upset about what I may discover.

    To be clear, that is not an endorsement of any specific source – just an encouragement to people to think for themselves and use all sources they can – to refuse to wear the blindfolds that others attempt to put on us. For example – last night I read the straightforward report from Malaysia about progress in the investigation and body return. It was refreshing because it was simply factual with no implied instruction of what I should think http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/dutch-expert-ukraine-body-recovery-team-for-mh17-crash-did-a-hell-of-a-job.

    We need more of that.

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  19. Cedric, out of interest ,why do you label Eastern Ukraine separatists rebels?

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  20. Thanks for the UN ambassador comments, Cedric. Most of them are the acceptable empathetic comments we should expect (although Amantha Power certainly puts political spin in to hers). However, it was hardly a complete list, Churkin’s comment is noticeably absent for example (your choice?), so perhaps I could supplement it with the brief comment from the President of the Russian Federation:

    “VLADIMIR PUTIN: In response to the terrible tragedy that took place over Donetsk, I want to reiterate Russia’s position with regard to the current situation in Ukraine.

    We have called repeatedly on all parties to the conflict to stop the bloodshed immediately and begin negotiations. I believe that if military operations had not resumed in eastern Ukraine on June 28, this tragedy probably could have been avoided.

    At the same time, no one should and no one has the right to use this tragedy to pursue their own political goals. Rather than dividing us, tragedies of this sort should bring people together. All those who are responsible for the situation in the region must take greater responsibility before their own peoples and before the peoples of the countries whose citizens were killed in this disaster.

    Everything possible must be done to ensure that international experts can work in safety at the crash site. Representatives from the Donbass region, Donetsk, Ukraine’s Emergency Situations Ministry, and Malaysian experts are already working at the site, but this is not enough.

    It is essential that a full-fledged group of experts under ICAO aegis, an appropriate international commission set up for the task, be able to work at the crash site. We must do everything possible to ensure their complete and guaranteed safety and provide them with the humanitarian corridors they need for their work.

    For its part, Russia will do everything within its power to move the conflict in eastern Ukraine from the military phase we see today to the negotiating phase, with the parties using peaceful and diplomatic means alone.”

    I realise that you might object to Putin having any oxygen and may refuse to read his comments. And I agree politicians really are not the most reliable source of information. But I at least find myself sympathising with his comments “no one should and no one has the right to use this tragedy to pursue their own political goals. Rather than dividing us, tragedies of this sort should bring people together.” And I also agree that if the contact group had been allowed to continues its work and the ceasefire not ended this plane would not have been shot down. A large number of lives, both passengers and civilians on the ground, would not have been needlessly lost.

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  21. You are upset that I posted a video from a RT presenter – you don’t understand why.

    That’s true. I don’t. It would never occur to me to link to anything from RT except as maybe a bad example. I don’t link to prisonplanet or whatsupmybutt for the same reason. That’s not prejudice. That’s being sensible about where you get your information.

    Perhaps you should play the video and listen to what she says.

    It’s not happening. She’s a nutjob. There’s no polite way to say it.
    I don’t listen to nutjobs.
    It’s one of those quirky rules I have.
    Google her. The flouride business should be a neon-lit clue but there’s plenty of other stuff. I don’t make it a habit of paying attention to people like that. Not for any reason.
    A broken clock can be right twice a day. Yet I don’t make a habit of paying attention to broken clocks.

    …not look at key parts of the evidence…

    No. That’s not true. I’m very happy to look at “key parts of the evidence”.
    What have you got?

    That is out of character for someone supporting a scientific approach to things.

    Your methodology is bad. You have no quality control. You don’t make any distinction between good or bad sources of information. You’re not even trying.
    This leaves you wide open to manipulation.

    You claim to be concerned about what is happening on the ground yet you refuse to listen to the comments of one of the people on the ground.

    You are not getting this. Look at your claims. Look at your framing.

    …it helps address some of the avalanche of misinformation we are getting at the moment. And it is far more respectful…”
    (…)
    “it provides material for people to get a more balanced view”
    (…)”

    That’s not what is happening. You have no idea if that press conference is addressing misinformation…or adding to it. There’s no quality control. Before you give these people oxygen, you need to ask yourself why.

    It is up to the individual to approach sources in an intelligent and critical way.

    Then walk us through it. How exactly is posting the press conference an intelligent and critical approach…as opposed to being played.

    Whatever you think of his political or ethnic origins….

    I’d really appreciate it if you would stop doing that. Either you are going to not try and judge whatever agenda I may or may not have or you are.
    Make up your mind.

    ….he did provide a lot of answers to questions they people are asking –

    Monckton can do that.

    ….were far more credible than those coming out of the authorities in Kiev.

    “Credible?” Interesting word choice.
    If you don’t trust the authorities in Kiev then…fine. Pull their plug. Doesn’t really explain why you find this guy “credible”.

    And why should political statements of political ambassadors in NY somehow provide more information of what is happening on the ground…

    This needs some serious re-wording.

    “And why should statements of ambassadors at the UN Security Council somehow provide more information than a press conference by one of the one of the leaders of the anti-Kiev forces in eastern Ukraine…”

    You really don’t see a difference? Really? The two sources of information are sorta kinda the same in your judgement?
    Not good, Ken. Not good at all.

    It is extremely lazy to rely dogmatically on only pet sources.

    You mean, like NASA?
    (…awkward silence…)
    I cannot believe that you are using this kind of framing. It’s creepy.

    To be clear, that is not an endorsement of any specific source….

    No, no. Of course not. Perish the thought.

    – just an encouragement to people to think for themselves and use all sources they can – to refuse to wear the blindfolds that others attempt to put on us.

    Gosh, that sounds familiar.

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  22. Cedric, out of interest ,why do you label Eastern Ukraine separatists rebels?

    It’s easier to type than insurrectionists. Nor do I see it as “labeling” in a pejorative way. It’s a term of reference, nothing more.

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  23. However, it was hardly a complete list….

    That’s true. As I mentioned at the beginning, I left out the Ukrainians and the Russians for obvious reasons but there are plenty more official statements to look over.

    (although Amantha Power certainly puts political spin in to hers)

    If you don’t like it then feel free to ignore it. There are plenty of other statements to choose from.

    However, it was hardly a complete list, Churkin’s comment is noticeably absent for example (your choice?)

    Yes, that’s true. As I mentioned at the beginning, I left out the Ukrainians and the Russians for obvious reasons.

    I said before that I care about what happens on the ground.
    Let the the international observers in and don’t menace them.
    The selected statements from the UN have one thing in common. They all mention specific details of the physical reality on the ground. Nobody seems very happy with the rebels.
    Nor does anyone have anything bad to say about the way the Ukrainians have been handling the international observers.

    I realise that you might object to Putin having any oxygen and may refuse to read his comments. And I agree politicians really are not the most reliable source of information.

    So far, so good.

    But….

    Ah, here it comes…

    … I at least find myself sympathising with his comments….

    Yes. You’re supposed to. That’s the point. It would be surprising if you didn’t.

    I am very comfortable linking to both those videos because they provide information or express humanitarianism I agree with. Information and empathy….

    Yep.

    I am not going to limit my sources of information just because others might be upset about what I may discover.

    That’s not why I’m upset, Ken. Discover away.

    It is up to the individual to approach sources in an intelligent and critical way.

    Then walk us through it. What’s the intelligent and critical approach…as opposed to being played.

    One more thing.

    In 2001 the Ukrainians shot down a similar commercial airliner…

    This is a talking point.
    Where did you first encounter it? If you want to claim that you came up with it completely independently, I will take your word for it. Yet before you claim that, I ask you to really think about where you got this from originally.

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  24. Well, I guess Cedric, you are determined to protect your current position. That is your responsibility – but imagine how you might be feeling 2 months down the track if the investigators come to a different conclusion – after looking at the evidence and hearing the witnesses you have shut your eyes and ears to. (I put that question to you before – you avoided answering it. Perhaps you could face up to it now). Will you not be embarrassed? Will you apologise for your statements here?

    Even in this discussion (which I am enjoying and appreciate by the way – no hard feelings) you are making mistakes because you are pontificating on things you know nothing about because you insist on not looking or hearing.

    The RT presenter was not providing any information at all – something you would have known if you watched the video.

    Similarly your comments on Borodai’s conference are made from a position of ignorance as you refuse to watch the video – therefore you cannot judge the credibility of what he was saying about the actions of the local ministry of emergencies, the OSCE observers and his own armed forces. Nor what the plans were regarding the arrival of relatives, the investigation team, the Malaysian officials and the “black boxes.” Things your media was misinforming you about.

    I did watch and compared them with the claims coming out of Kiev and video evidence I have been watching and yes, Borodai was far more credible than the Kiev spokesman, who was ,after all, 700 km away and did not have the advantage of actually spending time at the crash site, arranging the local security aspects of the visiting teams, dealing with problems of providing security to the crash site, facing up to problems of decomposition and feral animals while at the same time preserving evidence, etc. And the problems of sparing men and women who were urgently needed at the front because Donetsk was experiencing a fierce and inhuman attack with many civilian deaths. Subsequent statements from the Malaysian officials and the leader of the officIal investigation team confirm the credibility of what Boradai had said. Or perhaps you choose not to read source where their statements are reported?

    Now, isn’t it silly for you to have refused to open your eyes and ears to Borodai but prefer to uncritically accept the narrative coming from Kiev and Washington? I had one up on you this time because I did not select information sources in such a biased way.

    You are not going to be able to see key parts of the evidence if you ignore, for example, the evidence from the self defence forces, eg Borodai. Do not ask “what have you got.” Don’t rely on me. There is a lot of information around at the moment – currently I think the best substantiated stuff is coming out of Moscow and RT (which you are a unable to consider) – none of it provides final evidence, just parts of the whole picture. (I refer to the data handed over from the RF Defence Ministry to the European Commission).

    And comments on quality control are naive and silly – an attempt to justify your uncritical approach. The intelligent person has ways of exerting their own “quality control.” They are not scared of looking at information from other sources and making up their own minds about what to accept and what to reject. An intelligent purpose does not hand their quality control over to others.

    I actually do make a distinction between good and bad sources of information – every night I watch local TV and I know it is an extremely bad source of information – but I process it, use quality control. In other words I adopt an intelligent and critical approach. I am always considering news reports from around the world, US, UK, Russian, German, etc. I have no trouble sifting out the rubbish (and there is a lot of it) from the useful.

    Why do you avoid doing the same thing?

    Finally, on agendas. I don’t know what yours is and really am not interested.. I would prefer to just discuss factual information (easy to do in writing).. But I am aware of the hysteria that many people lapse into after the word “Russia” is vocalised. I have compared it to a form, of racism – – but that is just reporting what I feel. That’s the effect this sort of hysteria has on me. But, yes, I realise there are all sorts of agendas so don’t blindly use labels.

    But I have always found attempts to dictate to me about what I should read, what I should listen to and what I should think offensive. I prefer people who disagree with me, or a source I have used, to discuss the facts. Not resort to character assassination of my sources and by implication me.

    >

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  25. Cedric, your appear to be extremely badly informed. How can anyone make the demand today “let the international observers in and don’t menace them.” The observers have been there from very early on and the other teams have now arrived. They report that the local authorities are being very helpful, although they have made a few specific criticisms of early security/access and movement or damage of parts of the plane during body recovery. Hardly surprising in the situation. (And if you had watched the Borodai press conference you will have become aware he also referred to these criticisms). But you do wonder about someone who is still saying “let the observers in.” Where have they been? And if they are so uninformed of the current facts why should we listen to them?

    Yes I am aware some politicians are saying exactly what you are saying and they must surely know better – but they have political agendas and are cynically using the deaths of 300 innocents to promote their agendas.

    And what a strange inhuman reaction to my sympathy with Putin’s comments. That sympathy arises from my inherent human empathy – and has nothing to do with Putin. He is not the only one making these important points. It offensive to imply that my humanity is somehow the result of manipulation by a politician around the other side of the globe. Of course I had these thoughts long before I saw Putin’s speech (only last night).

    Actually, Cedric, just to clarify – do you sympathise with the points made by Putin and others regarding the need for a ceasefire and negotiation and for people not to make cynical political use of these deaths? Are you going to give up your humanity just because Putin has these same ideas?

    As for the 2001 downing of the Siberian plane of course I became aware of it recently independently through my own reading. Haven’t you? Many news sources have been listing similar downing of commercial airliners over the years and I am old enough to remember them, if only vaguely in most cases. But I don’t recall any specific “first encounter” – but it is usually local TV or radio.

    >

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  26. It’s easier to type than insurrectionists….
    It’s a term of reference, nothing more.

    Actually, language matters.

    Why not use the term loyalists? Loyal to the Ukrainian constitution and its fledgling democratic institutions.

    Arguably. a more accurate term than rebels or insurrectionists.

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  27. That is your responsibility – but imagine how you might be feeling 2 months down the track if the investigators come to a different conclusion…

    Well, I’d…

    – after looking at the evidence and hearing the witnesses you have shut your eyes and ears to.

    No, I haven’t.
    What I have done is not bother to watch the press conference.
    It’s a very different thing.

    Will you not be embarrassed? Will you apologise for your statements here?

    Do you seriously doubt that I would not?

    Even in this discussion (which I am enjoying and appreciate by the way – no hard feelings)…

    Thank you. The feeling is mutual.

    …because you are pontificating on things you know nothing about because you insist on not looking or hearing.

    I do look and hear. My sources of information are different though.
    Very, very different.

    Similarly your comments on Borodai’s conference are made from a position of ignorance as you refuse to watch the video…

    What comments?
    I don’t know how to put this more clearly.
    I don’t care what he is saying.
    He’s nobody to me.

    If you want to say that he’s credible, then that’s great. However, I don’t understand why you focused in on him….in the first place. I don’t understand your methodology.
    How on earth do you come to the conclusion that he’s worth listening to?
    Why would you even start?

    …he was saying about the actions…”

    Honestly, I don’t care.
    If I want to find out about the OSCE, I’ll go to their website. Information about relatives, Malaysian officials etc can be also gathered independently from whoever this guy is, presumably.

    Things your media was misinforming you about.

    (…)
    Okaaay.
    We are entering weird territory here. Where does this rhetoric come from?

    Subsequent statements from the Malaysian officials and the leader of the officIal investigation team confirm the credibility of what Boradai had said.

    Malaysian officials? Fine.
    Official Investigation Team? Fine.
    This Boradai person? No. Not fine at all.

    Now, isn’t it silly for you to have refused to open your eyes and ears to Borodai but prefer to uncritically accept the narrative coming from Kiev and Washington?

    I guess it would be…if that’s what I was doing. Do you want me to list the sources of information I’ve used on this thread and the people I’ve quoted?
    If it’s really necessary, I’ll do it. Why are you talking like this?

    You are not going to be able to see key parts of the evidence if you ignore, for example, the evidence from the self defence forces, eg Borodai.

    You’re not getting this. Why are you paying attention to him in the first place? You have no real idea who he is. He’s not answerable to anybody. He’s just some guy that gave a press conference in the middle of a rebellion. He’s not even the leader of the rebellion.

    There is a lot of information around at the moment – currently I think the best substantiated stuff is coming out of Moscow and RT…

    Ah.
    This is not good. This is bad.
    Very, very bad.

    And comments on quality control are naive and silly – an attempt to justify your uncritical approach.

    Hmm.

    They are not scared of looking at information from other sources and making up their own minds about what to accept and what to reject. An intelligent purpose does not hand their quality control over to others.

    What information am I scared of?
    RT and the stuff coming out of Moscow?
    No.
    “Scared” does not accurately describe my response to it.

    I actually do make a distinction between good and bad sources of information – every night I watch local TV….

    No you don’t.
    Your choice of information sources is appalling.
    If someone had told me a couple of months ago that you would be watching RT and stuff coming out of Moscow and thought it was the best substantiated for some topic or other, I would have laughed at them in the face.
    I honestly thought the RT video about Abby was just an incidental. I had no idea you’ve been mainlining the stuff this whole time. How long has this been going on?

    But I have always found attempts to dictate to me about what I should read, what I should listen to and what I should think offensive. I prefer people who disagree with me, or a source I have used, to discuss the facts. Not resort to character assassination of my sources and by implication me.

    There are bad sources of information available on the internet.
    There really are.
    There’s the George Marshall Institute, for example.
    They suck.
    There’s Prisonplanet. They’re cringeworthy. There are a whole host of others. When someone links to them, it tells you all you need to know about where the discussion is going to head.
    Scopie’s Law.
    As it goes on the internet, so it goes on the global media.

    RT is not your friend.
    I’m not making them look bad.
    They are bad.
    I’m not making this up. There no way to slap lipstick on this thing and salvage it somehow. Google them. Their reputation precedes them.

    There’s a big difference between the Western media and the Russian media.

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  28. As for the 2001 downing of the Siberian plane of course I became aware of it recently independently through my own reading.

    Well, maybe.
    Or you could be just repeating a meme.

    However, it was hardly a complete list, Churkin’s comment is noticeably absent for example (your choice?)

    “VITALY I. CHURKIN (Russian Federation)
    (..)
    He said that Kyiv was attempting to draw on the shock of the international community, while its indiscriminate air strikes were hitting cities and killing civilians. In 2001, a Russian Federation flight travelling over the Black Sea had been shot down. Ukraine had refuted its legal responsibility. Given that, it would be frivolous to give Ukraine a lead role in the current investigation. They then would have to answer questions about their traffic controllers and the location of Buk systems,…”

    … recently independently through my own reading. Haven’t you?

    No.
    I haven’t thought about it in years.
    Then you brought it up. I thought it was odd at the time.
    Then I read it again via Churkin and noticed the strange coincidence. Then I read this and thought “Don’t let it be this. Do NOT let it be this.”

    Then you said “…There is a lot of information around at the moment – currently I think the best substantiated stuff is coming out of Moscow and RT…”

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  29. Actually, language matters.

    Yes. Yes it does.

    Why not use the term loyalists? Loyal to the Ukrainian constitution and its fledgling democratic institutions. Arguably. a more accurate term than rebels or insurrectionists.

    If you wish to make such an argument, then by all means do so.
    For now, I’m comfortable with rebels.

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  30. Interesting, Cedric, but really this sort of silliness does you now favours. So Churkin used the information on the Siberian airline plane that most of the news media have and for you this is proof that I relied on him for my information?

    I think I did say somewhere that I thought ambassadors to the UN were hardly a good source of information -I was criticising your reliance on such. And you very use of Churkin’s statement in a negative way now really shows that your previous advocating of these statements as sources is opportunist. I had not bothered following the UN discussions because of their low reliability (and really I don’t have that much time or that interest). But I guess you have made your mind up about that as well.

    As I said such silliness does you no favours. It’s worse than a silly diversion.

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  31. If you wish to make such an argument, then by all means do so.

    The argument isn’t difficult. The current Ukrainian Government is illegitimate. It arose from a coup against a legitimate democratically elected government mere months prior to a scheduled national election. Those who refuse to accept this government are not rebels, but loyalists to the democratic outcome of an earlier, pre-coup, constitutionally legitimate election.

    US and EU involvement in helping to incite the conditions that led to the coup and the western Press’s role in cheerleading its progress in the west was eerily reminiscent to earlier historical events in which superpowers sought to engineer political change and disruption in sovereign nations that displeased them.

    I am not comfortable with the term rebel. It buys into a narrative that I don’t accept.

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  32. Cedric, I will just respond to the disparaging comments you make on sources of information and your weird, probably motivated, misunderstanding of what I mean by “substantiated.”

    You have asked about my methods and thinking about it I do check a very wide range of sources – helped by the way I use social media to locate sources. For instance I follow Pravi Sector on Facebook. It is an ultra-nationalist, often described as fascist, group which played a key role in the Maidan activity and has several battalions in the National Guard and heavily involved in the armed conflict. They have been particularly brutal in treatment of captured prisoners and civilians and were implicated in the Odessa massacre. A very unreliable (and politically repugnant) source – but nevertheless I do pick up some video information (it always amazes me how some of these extremists will proudly provide records of their own brutal activity) and they do help me understand the context of the Ukrainian problems.

    Yes, I do pick up information from the Kiev government – again not a credible source – have a look at videos of the recent fist fight in the Rada when they were passing laws to “liquidate” the communist party and extend mobilisation to include everyone who had ever done military service (a law promoted by the president one day and passed into law the next)! It’s a micky mouse outfit. Actually the corruption is so widespread, and the political setup so pathetic, only a fool would trust a Ukrainian politician – and I don’t limit that assessment to the period since the February coup.

    However, this example demonstrates what I mean by “substantiation”. The Kiev government source was the first to provide any substantiated information beyond simple political claims (well the first I came across – you linked to it I think). They produced an audio tape (at that time 2 separate tapes which have since been stitched together. They were claimed to be records of radio chat between members of the self defence forces. Despite questions of authenticity (and that they are in themselves hardly the “smoking gun”) they are the sort of information the investigation commission should be given for their analysis and consideration.. So despite the micky mouse nature of the information source they did provide substantiated information.

    Similarly, whatever you think of RT, RT was the first to cover the presentation of evidence from the Defence Ministry of the Russian Federation relating to Ukrainian military aircraft in the area at the time, the position and movements of at least 3 BUK units owned by the Ukrainian army which were active in the area at the time, and the radar activity relevant to these BUK units over the several days either side of the crash. The news report was substantiated in that it displayed several of the graphics – satellite shots of the BUKs, radar activity and radar data showing locations of Ukrainian military aircraft in proximity to the Malaysian airline. That radar and satellite information has been submitted to the European commission – presumably to be passed on to the investigation body. Please note RT was not alleging that Ukrainians shot down the airliner – just that some of the claims made by Kiev (that they had military aircraft in the air that day and did not have capability to shoot down the airliner) were questionable and that Kiev has questions to answer. You would not be aware, because of your self censorship, but RT’s coverage regularly report the allegation of the rebels being responsible – it’s just they do not present that as the only possibility.

    That is what I meant by a “substantiated” news report – nothing to do with the news agency itself. I should add that subsequently this information has been mentioned in local news coverage but without the substantiation RT supplied.

    None of the claims from US government sources have, to date been given substantiation. It does make one suspicious, they after all are heavily involved in the conflict, and possible have technically the best evidence (I understand they had a satellite directly above Ukraine at the time). But I would expect they will provide evidence to the investigation commission where it can be considered along with everything else. I also hope that the Kiev flight controllers’ data for the day of the incident which has been seized by the SBU (Ukrainian security services which are effectively under Svoboda control – another extremist nationalist group) will be passed on untampered with to the international investigators.

    Another example of use of different sources is related to the BUKs and the questions about the ability for the Donetsk self-defence forces to hit a target at that height. Borodai’s press conference was dealing with the problems his administration faced in managing the crash site, bodies, etc. but he was asked a question on this and reported that the Donetsk group did not have the capability. It was the main thing in his report I found questionable but in coming to my own provisional conclusions on the subject I have relied on information from the self defence forces and the Kiev government. Both sides have denied the rebels had the capability the day before the crash. The Kiev side suddenly changed their story after the crash but implicated the Russian military. From both sides I have seen information that the self-defence forces had captured at leas 1 Ukrainian BUK. However, there was still the problem of experienced people to man it (no evidence of Russian experts presence is available). But from a self-defence source I discovered that members of the Ukrainian army had defected during their capture of one of the army’s bases. So I think it plausible that the self-defence forces had a least a primary BUK (without the usually required supplementary units for radar etc) and experts (from the Ukrainian army) to man it. At that stage my provisional belief was that the Donetsk self-defence forces were responsible for the crash.

    However, recently this scenario has seemed less credible to me because my reading of both Kiev and self-defence sources indicates that the captured unit was inoperable – critical parts had been looted by Ukrainian soldiers before it’s capture. (Of course there is a scenario that perhaps those parts had previously been sold to the rebels?). So currently I think the Ukrainian military forces are most likely to have downed the plane. I still have big questions about why the Ukrainian army had active BUK units in the area of the crash – what were they being used for as the self defence forces have so far not used any planes? But the fact remains that it is clear they did have those units there in a conflict zone.

    I could go on, but my point is that by being open-minded, avoiding self-censorship, I have been forming a provisional picture which is possibly closer to the truth than I could possibly have got by leaving my quality control to the news providers and censoring my sources.

    Perhaps a final comment about RT. I have had a particular interest in Ukraine, their problems and the current conflict and found RT one of the best news agencies to follow for information. Al Jazeera was just as good, until recently, when they seemed to withdraw some of their reporters. But RT has reporters on the ground in the east who speak Ukrainian and Russian. Very often they are British nationals (eg Graham Phillips who has just gone missing in Donetsk – presumably captured by Ukrainian government forces for the second time). You will not be aware of their coverage or how objective it is but I have found there is a minimum of political spin. Anyway, I can and do think for myself and do not hand my quality control over to RT or anyone else. I take spin into account.

    Previously I posted about a brutal attack on civilians in Lugansk (see Inna Kukuruza – “her eyes spoke to the whole world” and Lugansk – a modern Guernica?). This was covered by RT, CNN and Al Jazeera – who each had reporters on the ground. It was ignored by all the other news sources I checked at the time. Although video coverage of the attack and the brutal aftermath were widespread online those news media still did not cover it. You can see what happens when one irresponsibly hands over one’s quality control to pre-selected news media. It was a brutal attack and just on humanitarian grounds more people should have been aware of it.

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  33. Malaysian officials? Fine.

    No, they’ve vested interest in outcomes, they should be heard but treated with as much caution as any others with vested or political interests.

    Official Investigation Team? Fine.

    No, not necessarily fine, only perhaps. Dependant on make up of *official* team and who appoints them. they should be heard but treated with as much caution as any others with possible vested or political interests

    This Boradai person? No. Not fine at all.

    Allegations have been levelled against those he represents. Every civilised judicial process allows for the right of reply.
    You should too.

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  34. Here is a rather prophetic video. The speaker is a member of the self-defence forces in Slavansk, eastern Ukraine – uploaded about a month before the crash of flight MH17. Her comment “They wanted to provoke the militia to shoot at the passenger plane. There would be a global catastrophe. Civilians would die.”
    If the video does not start go to http://www.maxkeiser.com/2014/07/weeks-ago-they-wanted-to-provoke-the-militia-to-shoot-at-the-passenger-plane-there-would-be-a-global-catastrophe-civilians-would-die/#PuBwqqXvi0E0Km4P.99

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  35. Another video which provides interesting context to the MH17 incident. Unfortuantelky Cedric will be unable to watch it (its an RT programme) but there is some useful information and intelligent viewpoints. As always, approach it crticially and intelligently.

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  36. “So Churkin used the information on the Siberian airline plane that most of the news media have and for you this is proof that I relied on him for my information?”

    No. Nor am I suggesting that Churkin relied on your blog for his talking point before appearing before the UN Security council.
    If there’s any confusion as to what I said, then quote me and I will be happy to explain in more detail.

    Cedric, I will just respond to the disparaging comments you make on sources of information and your weird, probably motivated,…

    Let me make this clear…

    …and stop prejudging on the basis of what? Ethnic prejudice?

    You should know me better than that by now. What are you going to do next? Accuse me of being in the pay of the Ukrainian government or something? It’s not appropriate.

    I am not going to make judgments on what your specific agenda is for your emphatic conclusion –

    That would be nice. When do you plan on starting?

    Whatever you think of his political or ethnic origins….

    I’d really appreciate it if you would stop doing that. Either you are going to not try and judge whatever agenda I may or may not have or you are.
    Make up your mind.

    …and your weird, probably motivated, misunderstanding of what I mean by “substantiated.”

    You need to ask yourself why you keep doing this. I’m asking you to stop. Politely.
    I don’t do it you and I expect the same courtesy.

    You have asked about my methods and thinking about it I do check a very wide range of sources –

    This is not a good start.

    For instance I follow Pravi Sector on Facebook. It is an ultra-nationalist, often described as fascist…

    Yep, our methodologies are very different.

    Yes, I do pick up information from the Kiev government – again not a credible source –

    Well, this is the thing. You can’t really know that. I can understand not paying attention to the primary actors in a conflict as a preventative measure. That’s fair enough. It could be just an endless stream of propoganda from both sides on the topic of the plane crash.

    Or….one side is actually guilty and compounding their hopeless situation with a badly botched response. This gives the other side the sweet position of not needing to make anything up at all. All they have to do is keep the opposition on “open mike” (so to speak) and let them sink themselves as they go into damage control. It’s happened before.
    It’s possible to have such an awesome winning hand, that the pundits on the homefront automatically discount it as propoganda when they don’t actually need to.
    Own goals do happen.

    Similarly, whatever you think of RT, RT was the first…

    No, it’s not “me”.
    Google RT for yourself. Their reputation precedes them.

    “None of the claims from US government sources have, to date been given substantiation. It does make one suspicious, they after all are heavily involved in the conflict…

    What exactly do you mean “heavily involved”? It’s possible that your definition of “heavily involved” differs from mine.

    “…and possible have technically the best evidence (I understand they had a satellite directly above Ukraine at the time)….”

    They have the budget and the tech so it’s reasonable to assume they have that and more besides. It would be criminally negligent of them not to have multiple means of observation given the nature and possible ramifications of the conflict.
    If , hypothetically, President Obama was to make a case for actual involvement based on some new happening, then the smart thing to do would be to have a vast panorama of video, audio and other reports prepped and ready to go. The only trouble is that asset information, once revealed, tells the opposition about what you can do and allows them the chance to come up with counter-measures.
    Even giving that evidence to friendlies can cause…awkwardness.

    “AHAH, thanks Obama. This data revealing our top-secret defense computer being used against us by the rebels in collusion with Kremlin hackers is the proof we need that…Hey wait a minute!”

    So currently I think the Ukrainian military forces are most likely to have downed the plane.

    And successfully kept it from the Americans.
    That’s a critical problem.

    (…awkward silence…)

    Either the Kiev forces are incompetent yahoos or they are not.
    Shooting down a plane is a big thing. Big weapons. Big heat trail. Excited chatter.
    If it happened that way then, if anyone is going to be in a position to know it, it’s going to be the Americans.
    They have the hardware. This is what they do. Nobody can touch them on this. They wrote the book on electronic surveillance.
    Look at the American response.
    The Americans have not hedged their bets.
    Not even a little bit.
    Almost instantly, they came down hard and fast that the plane was shot down and they named names. Now, initially, that could have been a mistake by an official shooting their mouth off. Yet there’s no sign of them walking their conclusions back. It’s definite. Obama is owning it.
    They are not putting any safety distance between themselves and the Ukrainians to protect themselves from possible political fallout when “the awful troooth” is revealed.

    The other possibility is that, sure, the Americans know what happened but…they’re lying in grand detail for their own nefarious purposes.
    Could be.
    Or maybe, the Americans egged the Ukrainians into shooting down the plane accidentally on purpose, promising them political cover…so as to achieve something or other.
    Or….maybe the Americans shot down the plane themselves (in collusion with Kiev, of course) so as to create a crisis for their own nefarious purposes.
    Or…or maybe…..it’s not Flight 17 at all. What if the American CIA planned the entire thing months in advance? What if the CIA snatched Flight 370 as a part of a deliberate, super plot to embarrass the Russians by switching the planes around, shooting the first one down yet pretending it was the second one?
    Then, naturally, the innocent rebels try to do the right thing and aid the international observers by giving them the broken wreakage….only the international observers discover (as the CIA planned all along) that the fuselage serial numbers don’t match up to the original Flight 17!
    It’s really Flight 370!!
    Instant media outrage.
    Putin can deny and deny all he likes but now he’s on the hook for not one but two plane disasters. In the meantime, the CIA is laughing up their sleeves, playing a clever double-triple-cross thingy.
    Or not.

    “We assess that Flight MH17 was likely downed by a SA-11 surface-to-air missile from separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine. We base this judgment on several factors.

    Over the past month, we have detected an increasing amount of heavy weaponry to separatist fighters crossing the border from Russia into Ukraine. Last weekend, Russia sent a convoy of military equipment with up to 150 vehicles including tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery, and multiple rocket launchers to the separatist. We also have information indicating that Russia is providing training to separatist fighters at a facility in southwest Russia, and this effort included training on air defense systems.

    Pro-Russian separatist fighters have demonstrated proficiency with surface-to-air missile systems and have downed more than a dozen aircraft over the past few months, including two large transport aircraft.

    At the time that flight MH17 dropped out of contact, we detected a surface-to-air missile (SAM) launch from a separatist-controlled area in southeastern Ukraine. We believe this missile was an SA-11.

    Intercepts of separatist communications posted on YouTube by the Ukrainian government indicate the separatists were in possession of a SA-11 system as early as Monday July 14th. In the intercepts, the separatists made repeated references to having and repositioning Buk (SA-11) systems.

    Social media postings on Thursday show an SA-11 system traveling through the separatist-controlled towns of Torez and Snizhne, near the crash site and assessed location of the SAM launch. From this location, the SA-11 has the range and altitude capability to have shot down flight MH17.

    Ukraine also operates SA-11 systems, but we are confident no Ukrainian air defense systems were within range of the crash. Ukrainian forces have also not fired a single surface-to-air missile during the conflict, despite often complaining about violations of their airspace by Russian military aircraft.

    Shortly after the crash, separatists – including the self-proclaimed “Defense Minister” of the Donetsk People’s Republic Igor Strelkov – claimed responsibility for shooting down a military transport plane on social media.

    In an intercepted conversation that has been widely posted on the internet, a known-separatist leader tells another person that a separatist faction downed the aircraft. After it became evident that the plane was a civilian airliner, separatists deleted social media posts boasting about shooting down a plane and possessing a Buk (SA-11) SAM system.

    Audio data provided to the press by the Ukrainian security service was evaluated by Intelligence Community analysts who confirmed these were authentic conversations between known separatist leaders, based on comparing the Ukraine-released internet audio to recordings of known separatists.

    Video posted on social media yesterday show an SA-11 on a transporter traveling through the Krasnodon are back to Russia. The video indicated the system was missing at least one missile, suggesting it had conducted a launch.

    Events on the ground at the crash site clearly demonstrate that separatists are in full control of the area”

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  37. The argument isn’t difficult.

    Let me ask you some questions for clarification.
    No snark intended.
    Is this your argument…or are you simply playing devil’s advocate and exploring options?

    The current Ukrainian Government is illegitimate.

    Do you genuinely believe this? Even with the recent elections?

    I am not comfortable with the term rebel. It buys into a narrative that I don’t accept.

    Then, according to you, what really is the correct term that people should use?
    What term do you use?
    I need a term that will not cause confusion and is easy to type. Further, I don’t want to be the only person in the audience clapping in case someone throws me a fish. I’m not looking to start a new trend. I’m happy to stick with the herd.

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  38. Cedric, this debate seems to have petered out with your advocating the politician’s from US and Kiev government claims be accepted without substantiation and that information provided by sources you don’t like should not be accepted even when substantiated.

    Need you be reminded of the Iraq invasion and the assurances politicians gave then? – lovely photo with this blog article http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/07/u-s-evidence-russian-involvement-plane-shootdown-just-trust-us.html

    No, I will do my own quality control, thanks.

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  39. Terminology in this situation is extremely difficult – I think everyone has problems. Certainly one should avoid the laden descriptions used by extremists – eg the Kiev regimes label of “terrorists.” Similarly the popular label of “fascist” to describe the Kiev regime.

    But with the liquidation of at least one party faction in the Rada, and the ongoing process of making it illegal, and the withdrawal of 2 other party factions, together with the resignation if the PM and presumably the government, things are becoming even more complex. As I have said – that regime is a micky mouse outfit – the whole country is a mess.

    I don’t claim any expertise on Ukraine and have certainly found myself unable to predict much in the way of events there but I can see a scenario involving another coup – this time by the Ukraine army. After all, it’s troops are not going to be paid and are poorly supplied. They suffer badly from defections.

    I then see the possibility of another civil war breaking out between the army and the national guard battalions together with the batallions set up by some oligarchs and the Radical party, Pravi Sector, etc.

    That might be a good thing. The current self defence forces could ally with the army with an understanding of future federalism or similar form of autonomy. On defeat of the extremist national guard a military government could initiate a genuine national discussion of a new constitution involving all parts of the country. When approved there could be elections to form a more representative Rada, and new presidential elections.

    Utopian, perhaps. But Ukraine would then become a genuine united country with proper guarantees to minority languages and cultures. The ultra-nationalist and political extremist, “fascist” groups could be defeated, and international political and economic relations could be established which protect the interests of all Ukrainians. Possibly entry into the EU with proper protection of existing trade treaties with Russia. Ukraine would then become a bridge between Europe and Russia, rather than a vassal state of either. Then perhaps they could get stuck in and put some fetters on the oligarchs and make a move on the extreme corruption.

    Yes, I know , a utopian pipe dream.

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  40. The current Ukrainian Government is illegitimate.

    “Do you genuinely believe this? Even with the recent elections?”

    Most certainly, or, at least highly sympathetic to that viewpoint.

    A democratically elected government was forcibly overthrown months out from an election which could have instead allowed for a constitutionally legitimate change.

    I don’t endorse such an action, do you?

    Subsequent elections, organised by those who illegally overthrew a legitimate government were held to legitimise their earlier illegal manoeuvres. In fairness, given their illegal behaviour they really had no choice but to attempt to legitimatise it.

    Do you endorse such a procedure or believe that this automatically makes the coup and its result, legitimate?

    Bear in mind that these elections were boycotted by a substantial section of the population.

    We know the system was always fragile and was still a fledgling democracy. However, it was deliberately broken to the loud cheerleading from western powers, whose bungling geopolitical machinations have backfired in their faces.

    Like

  41. Cedric, this debate seems to have petered out with your advocating the politician’s from US and Kiev government claims be accepted without substantiation and….

    I accept that’s how it seems to you, Ken.
    However, my words have not disappeared. They are still there.

    You have no quality control. Nor does dismissing my caution about quality control somehow makes it appear for you.
    The problem is still there.
    It’s not enough to claim be all skeptical and scientific.
    Actions speak louder than words.
    There does not appear to be any barrel left unscraped by you. You don’t get to claim to be a skeptic if you can’t approach a topic in a skeptical manner. Your method is purely subjective.
    It’s all “I’ve done this” and “I’ve done my homework on that”.
    I can take tracts of what you have said and put it in the mouth of say, Andy, and it would work perfectly well for his pet hobby horse.
    That’s a bad sign.

    Your most recent posting is an excellent example of this. Look at it again. Adapt it to the purposes of a climate denier or an evolution denier.
    It will work.
    I can give you a real, live example of this from a climate denial exchange I hand myself a while back.
    Or I can grab an example from talkorigins.
    That’s a really bad sign. Yet you don’t seem to be interested in slowing down and checking yourself in the mirror.

    Need you be reminded of the Iraq invasion and the assurances politicians gave then? – lovely photo with….

    Then use it.
    Put up or shut up.
    I dare you.

    Show me the error of my ways. How exactly does that incident gel with the situation now? Spell it out for me. Because, like your 2001 Siberian Airlines example (or was it?) , I’m just not seeing it.
    To me, there’s no honest comparison between what happened in 2001 to what happened just now.
    I very fairly looked at it and then dismissed it. It wasn’t that hard to do.
    You could have done the same thing yourself.
    Anybody could have.
    Same diff with the Iraq war.
    You are just repeating a meme. You have not seriously sat down and tried to work out any possible kinks in this theory.
    Or if you have, you don’t seem willing to share.

    You, at least, should be able to figure out what you yourself really believe is going on. Give a coherent mechanism. What are the nuts and bolts of the operation?
    Whatever it is that you think is going on has to factor in that awkward American stuff. The Americans have really stuck their neck out with this one and…they did it very, very quickly too.
    You can reject the mundane “Well, duh” explanation of why and how they would do that.
    Sure , go ahead.
    Only now, you end up drifting in some other,…. more mysterious direction.

    I’ll even give you the same free kick as I gave Andy.

    No links needed.
    No cutting-and-pasting.
    No evidence required at all. It’s not even that helpful.
    Just you and your thinking.
    The “how” bit.

    Like

  42. “Do you genuinely believe this? Even with the recent elections?”

    Most certainly, or, at least highly sympathetic to that viewpoint.

    Ok, fair enough. I don’t know enough about Ukrainian politics to offer a comment myself. I haven’t looked into it properly.

    However, I still don’t know what term you are comfortable using.
    I need a term that will not cause confusion and is easy to type. The word “rebel” is short and convenient. People do readily understand it.

    Like

  43. We are at an impasse, Cedric, because you do not understand my concept of political autonomy, that I can do my own “quality control.” It is not adequate, or honest on your part, to simply declare “you have no quality control.” I could say the same of your – but I would prefer is instead we discussed specific issues and examples.

    All it boils down to in terms of action is that I have a wider range of sources and do look for evidence or substantiation. You seem to prefer to take on faith anything that comes out of Kiev (rather embarrassing at the moment) or Washington. Also embarrassing considering the ribbing the State department is getting for the assurances that “they know, trust us” when reporters ask for the evidence.

    No skin of my nose. You are not the first person to criticise me for refusing to censor myself and am old enough and experienced enough (and ugly enough) to take such criticism as a compliment. I am happy with my approach and well prepared to discuss what my understanding or tentative conclusions are in this situation.

    I am offended by any attempts by discussion partners to instruct me on how I should be thinking, what sources I should read, or what my tentative conclusions are. As always I am prepared to discus the political situation in Ukraine and what I think is happening there. But I cannot see any point in your lecturing me about how to read and think. I am too old for that, unfortunately.

    If you wish to discuss your theory about what happened to the plane, or the politics of Ukraine, go ahead. I would welcome such a discussion. As I said I have a particular interest in what is happening there. >

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  44. Nasty business is civil war.

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  45. What part of what you just posted didn’t sound like Andy?
    Feel free to quote yourself.

    No skin of my nose. You are not the first person to criticise me for refusing to censor myself and am old enough and experienced enough (and ugly enough) to take such criticism as a compliment. I am happy with my approach and well prepared to discuss what my….

    Nope. He could say all that. Word for word. No need to change a thing.

    I am offended by any attempts by discussion partners to instruct me on how I should be thinking, what sources I should read, or what etc, etc…

    Nope. That all fits.

    If you wish to discuss your theory…

    It’s not my “theory” Ken.
    This is not my theory versus your theory.
    I’m just the messenger.

    It’s you versus the official version of events.
    Anybody can check out the OSCE site for themselves or the UN Security Council or read the official American statement.

    Anyone can look at the sources that you are using and see a wildly different approach.

    You are besieged by conspiracy theories. A vast, wonderous flood. Alternative musings as to what might have happened. It’s a rich field to choose from. An embarrassment of riches at your fingertips thanks to RT and the rest. This is what they do. This is what they always have done. By all means sample their rich and extensive selection of 9/11 Troofer videos. You’ll instantly notice a familiar pattern.

    Which one grabs your fancy? Which scenario strikes you as even remotely possible, given that you dismiss the American version of things?

    As I said at the very beginning, the list of possible suspects is short. There’s not much wiggle room.

    Murder on the Orient Express? That’s a mystery.
    Murder on a bus? Well, ok.
    Murder in a car? Hmmm, pushing it.
    Murder on a surfboard? No. Not happening.

    You made a comparison to the Iraq war. Nobody held a gun to your head. You did that all by yourself.
    Own it.
    Put up or shut up.
    This “ring the bell and run away” business only embarrasses you.
    Say what you mean and mean what you say.

    …that I have a wider range of sources and do look for…

    This is NOT a point in your favour. You have no discrimination. You have made no allowances for the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

    You, at least, should be able to figure out what you yourself really believe is going on. Give a coherent mechanism. What are the nuts and bolts of the operation?
    Whatever it is that you think is going on has to factor in that awkward American stuff. The Americans have really stuck their neck out with this one and…they did it very, very quickly too.
    You can reject the mundane “Well, duh” explanation of why and how they would do that.
    Sure , go ahead.
    Only now, you end up drifting in some other,…. more mysterious direction.

    I’ll even give you the same free kick as I gave Andy.

    No links needed.
    No cutting-and-pasting.
    No evidence required at all. It’s not even that helpful.
    Just you and your thinking.
    The “how” bit.

    (…crickets chirping…)

    Like

  46. And it is far more respectful to the innocent victims.
    (…)
    And it is disrespectful to the innocent victims.
    (…)
    How can anyone make the demand today “let the international observers in and don’t menace them.”
    (…)
    Yes I am aware some politicians are saying exactly what you are saying and they must surely know better – but they have political agendas and are cynically using the deaths of 300 innocents to promote their agendas.

    Yeah, um…about that…..

    Emotional MH17 Crash Speech By Netherlands Delegate to UN

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  47. Cedric, you show a surprising lack of political sophistication – to put it mildly. To blandly say it is me vs “the official version of events” is incredibly naive. OSCE provides observer, they don’t provide investigation let alone conclusions but their reports can certainly be useful, even if limited (they can’t be everywhere – but have you read there recent reports on the national guard killings of civilians in Lugansk). Political ambassadors at the UNSC are just that – and they do spout a lot of rubbish – quite normal for politicians. And this is your preferred alternative to someone who prefers to look at evidence from all sources. Excuse me but that is pathetic.

    As for the photoshopped, cartoon, photo relating to Iraq. You perhaps could not see the message in that, perhaps it was too subtle. But it is directly relevant. If you really prefer to accept political stories as “official versions” you will end up supporting all sort of atrocities. Like invasion of other countries on manufactured pretexts like weapons of mass destruction.

    It is true that anyone can look at the sources I have looked at and see widely different approaches. In fact it is obvious. But what the hell is your point? It would be more sensible to critique my provisional ideas on the events using some intelligence”. I would welcome that it it could well lead me to improve those initial and very provisional ideas.

    It appears you list of suspect is a little more limited than the three I initially suggested – why is that? Is it evidence based or does it rely on confirmation bias?

    But to attack me for daring to look at evidence, for approaching such a tragedy without a closed and judgemental ideologically or ethnically motivated mind. That is insulting.

    >

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  48. How can help for the investigation the words of a man who came from Russia to contribute to the plan of Putin to create a conflict in Ukraine? Who elected Boroday? Nobody.
    Would you accept that some guy of other country come to yours to create a “new republic”, taking away part of the territory of your country? And would you believe blindly the words of this guy?

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  49. Fred, did you listen to the video?

    I posted it because there were lots of questions, and some hysteria, about the crash site, its security, looting, treatment of bodies, preservation of evidence and movement of bodies. There were also questions about access of observers and investigators.

    Borodai’s report – and his responses to reporters’ questions, help clarify the situation. it also provides context about the reality of dealing with these issues in the middle of a conflict zone.

    Everyone has their own idea of the political situation in Ukraine, the situation in the east, the nature and role of the self-defence forces, etc. But please note that while I am happoy to discuss my own views on these this post was really not about those issues.

    Perhaps you should watch the video and then respond with specific questions.

    If you would rather discuss the poltics then perhaps I could put your question back to you. Given that a coup took place in Kiev back in February and no-one elected the acting president, “who elected that guy” is relevant also to Kiev, and perhaps helps one understand subsequent events. One cannot complain about voilation of a constitution by others when one has come to power through violation of the constitution oneself.

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  50. To blandly say it is me vs “the official version of events” is incredibly naive.

    Let me help you with that.
    The word you are looking for is “accurate”.

    There are officials. Really.
    They make official statements.
    For the record.
    It’s what they do.

    You can choose to disregard them. You can justify that dismissal will any rationale you like.
    It’s still you versus the official version of events.
    That part does not go away.
    The American statement is there in plain English. It’s you versus that.
    That’s the state of affairs at the moment.

    Political ambassadors at the UNSC are just that – and they do spout a lot of rubbish – quite normal for politicians.

    Only, they are officials.
    They are answerable for their actions. They don’t speak in a vacuum. They make a bad call, they run a risk of paying for that bad call in a multitude of ways.
    The bigger the bad call, the badder the fallout.
    These people are not unknowns. They’re, y’know, officials. They have reputations to lose. Further, they have resources at hand not available to the general public to inform any official statements.
    Officials have indeed shot off their collective mouths many times in the past. However, there’s a price for that to be paid when it happens. If and when they screw up, you can look to the people they answer to and watch their reaction. You can even watch their peers and see how they react. They can become an instant joke by lunchtime and worse.

    Let’s assume that the Netherlands Delegate was drunk when he made that speech. Does that possible scenario have legs?
    No.

    There would be fallout.
    He could have been drunk, sure. (I can’t very well give him a blood test.)
    It would have been very easy for him to have been drunk.
    I’m sure it’s happened on various occasions in the past to other public dignitaries where they have embarrassed both themselves and their nation by getting plastered just before getting in front of the mike. Only, if that’s the case, then we can all predict what would happen next.
    That cluster of events, that three-ring circus that would leap up and grab the headlines? It hasn’t happened.
    The Dutch are owning this speech. People are proud of it.

    You want me to believe it’s rubbish?
    Show me the Dutch officials that are hemming and hawing about whatever details he brought up. Show me the OSCE report going “Well, actually, no disrespect to what the Netherlands delegate said of course, but…”
    Show me officials from other friendly nations putting some distance between themselves and what was said.
    Then I could at least understand where you are coming from. I’m might still dispute your position but I could at least see where you are coming from.

    As for the photoshopped, cartoon, photo relating to Iraq. You perhaps could not see the message in that, perhaps it was too subtle. But it is directly relevant.

    Awful. Just awful.
    Do us both a favour and stop the handwaving.
    Put up or shut up.

    If you really prefer to accept political stories as “official versions” you will end up supporting all….

    No. You can’t weasel like that.
    There is no valid comparison to what happened in the lead up to the Iraq War and the position take now by the Americans. This is what happened, Ken. You blindly repeated a meme you got somewhere off the internet without thinking it through.
    If you did have something plausible, you would have shared it by now. You would have opened it up to critical examination.
    You chose, however, to ring the bell and run away.

    This is not like you, Ken. I have never seen you take this approach before on any topic. I don’t understand why you would post something just willy-nilly like that. You are not vetting your own various and contradictory positions. You are not seeing how this looks with critical eyes. My criticisms are basic. There’s nothing surprising about them. There’s no ambush here. My methodology, at least, has not been abandoned.

    But to attack me for daring to look at evidence…

    Pejorative framing.
    Think about it. Why would I tell you not to look at evidence? When was the last time I ever ripped into anybody ever….for “daring to look at evidence”? That’s not me.

    …, for approaching such a tragedy without a closed and judgemental ideologically or ethnically motivated mind.

    More pejorative framing. Read this again. See it for yourself. How did you get here? I have never seen you make this move before except for this thread.

    That is insulting.

    No. Stop trying to seek martyrdom. Andy does that. It does not work when he does it. It will not work when you do it. Stop it. It’s not happening.

    I’m not attacking you.
    I have, however, been attacking what you have been doing.
    Big difference.

    1)Your sources of information stink.

    2)Your allusions as to what might be possible alternatives to the official version of events don’t have substance. When challenged, you abandon them at the doorstep. Not even you are taking your own tawdry nudges and winks seriously. It would be good if you did.
    Give them a thorough airing. I guarantee they will break down in front of you once you try and make it work. You will, hopefully, catch yourself using the shopworn rationalizations beloved of conspiracy nutters everywhere and then recoil in horror at the depths you have sunk.

    2) Your methodology is no better than some yahoo who’s dived headfirst into the University of Google and “done his research”. Do you want me to list the number of times you airily assured me that YOU are in the driver’s seat and YOU know what you’re doing?

    I posted it because there were lots of questions, and…

    Yes, questions.
    So, for some unknown reason, you decided to give this particular guy oxygen. What next? A Fred Singer video?

    Borodai’s report – and his responses to reporters’ questions, help clarify the situation. it also provides context about the reality….

    “Monckton’s report – and his responses to reporters’ questions, help clarify the situation. it also provides context about the reality….”

    (…facepalm…)

    Perhaps you should watch the video and then respond with specific questions.

    Contact Address: Robert Ferguson
    Science and Public Policy Institute
    5501 Merchants View Square # 209
    Haymarket, VA 20169
    Email Address: bferguson[at]sppinstitute.org
    Phone: (202) 288-5699

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  51. Cedric, I am frankly finding your silliness over this issue insulting.

    If you cannot see the relevance of the Iraq cartoon to your naive adherence to “official” positions and just as naive justifications then that is your loss. I am sure most other people do see it.

    I repeat, I am politically autonomous. I take responsibility for my own assessments of what is happening in the world. I make my own mistakes, and occasionally feel satisfied that I have seen things others haven’t. That is the nature if autonomy.

    I object very strongly to pressures directing which way to think, to close my eyes to the vast amount of information we have now, to insisting I hand my “quality control” over to others and the implied implication that I should allow myself to be manipulated into what could well be a very dangerous and anti-human support for confrontations which have the worst sort of consequences.

    It is significant that you cannot and will not discuss either the Ukrainian situation, the realities of the conflict or the information we so far have on the crash. You have restricted yourself to attacking me for my ability to think for myself. This does you no favours. I don’t understand your agenda and motives, and frankly don’t want to.

    But I suggest that this sort of silliness has gone on long enough. It’s become tiresome and I find I do not bother to finish reading many of your comments.

    Deal with the realities of the situation or the information that so far exists on the crash – play the ball rather than the man.

    You are not going to win this one Cedric, you are not going to convert my own approach (that I am very satisfied with) to the one you seem to adopt. I suggest you just accept that situation and give it a rest.

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  52. Deal with the realities of the situation or the information that so far exists on the crash – play the ball rather than the man.

    Quote me.

    Again and again, I have told you that your sources are rubbish. Again and again, I have been able to label swap to show you how you are talking and the way you keep framing things. Again and again, I have asked you to spell out your methodology so the rest of us can see how what you are doing is actually ok.

    I’m playing the man rather than the ball?

    Quote me. In context. In detail.
    Put up or shut up.

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  53. No, Cedric. As I said this is tiresome. Just accept I am my own person and move on.

    >

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  54. The political arena is not the scientific arena.

    Methodology for the gathering, verification and interpretation of information isn’t even similar.

    Taking one aspect of the reporting and media commentary –

    I don’t dismiss reports that observers and/or recovery officials may have been initially interfered with, It’s a brutal civil war being waged by irregular troops and undisciplined civilians. Not long ago this sort of thing was happening in the Ukraine. We in the West have no real appreciation of how such events affect a nation’s psyche. Actually I’d be more surprised if observation/recovery teams were not interfered with in a war situation.

    What I object to and, correct me if I’m wrong, Ken also objects to, is the immediate framing by western media and political circles as it deliberate policy of the separatist forces or leadership, even to the ridiculous extent of blaming personally Putin for such actions on the ground.

    It is not good methodology to refuse to even entertain listening to refutations or explanations from those that stand accused. It doesn’t even satisfy basic principles of natural justice.

    In war don’t trust any source of information, any or all of it is subject to bias.

    Cedric, I have high respect for your methodology in regard to science, but
    on matters of justice, and politics, we seem to differ.😉

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  55. To put into context the interference, etc., at the crash site have a read of this – ‘Sick’: Family of MH17 victim condemn Sky News reporter filmed live on air rifling through dead passengers’ possessions as Ofcom receive more than 100 complaints

    This is not to justify anyone’s looting, etc., just to show the problems that existed and the ease with which anyone and everyone could violate what someone over the other side of the work might think is the best procedure.

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  56. It is not good methodology to refuse to even entertain listening to refutations or explanations from those that stand accused. It doesn’t even satisfy basic principles of natural justice.

    Yes it is. They can’t lie to you if you don’t listen to them. This leaves the focus back on what physically happened.
    That’s a real advantage.
    It throws a spanner in the works of any possible propoganda.

    If that guy wants his day in court, get him in court. Then I’ll listen to him. There’s a nice room in the Hague he can have. I’ll even insist he has a lawyer.

    We’re not talking about natural justice nor the scientific area.
    It’s not that complicated.
    We talking about basic critical thinking.
    Critical thinking and how to avoid propoganda. Or not.
    There’s no need to even rely on any videos or reports or press conferences.
    There’s a very short list of suspects here.
    This particular situation isn’t that hard to figure out. Another different situation might have more wiggle room. But not this one.

    The Ukrainians can be easily eliminated.
    Take a hard look at how various people have been trying to tie the Ukrainians to the crash.
    None of those scenarios work. Each new one that is brought up gets more and more bendy.
    By all means, champion any one you like or make up a new one.
    Doesn’t work.

    That leaves the other guy on the surfboard. It’s not that hard.

    Then there’s the official statements. Ken can disregard them to his heart’s content.
    Only….they exist.
    And there are more. And more.
    That’s not possible to deny.
    They’re there.
    You have to factor them in….somehow. Anyhow. Even as you dismiss them.
    That will put you instantly in tinfoil hat territory.
    Try it for yourself as a thought experiment. Go ahead. I already have.

    Ken has been played. It’s front and centre. There is a disinformation campaign going on. A loud, crass and old-school disinformation campaign. Only it’s from the other side.

    That disinformation campaign is not in the least bit concerned with respect for the victims. Caring about the victims shouldn’t be measured as to how low you have sunk in your search for “the trooth”. Ken would never normally behave like this.

    Playing their game and giving them political cover. Every day he does this, they are giving themselves a big hi-five. Even if he were to reform himself tomorrow, the damage is already done.
    They’ve already managed to get (checks watch) nine precious days of doubt and hesitation and plausible deniability from a gullible public. All of whom are, no doubt, earnestly googling away and convinced that propoganda is something that happens to other people. And they can keep the performance up for as long as they like.

    Somehow, they have managed to convince Ken that he can parse truth from reality by including RT and Co. as part of his newsfeed.
    (?!?!?)
    But that’s OK, because he’s too smart to be fooled by propoganda, right? He’ll tell you that himself. Because smart people never get fooled by propoganda. Ken must have some special secret super power that makes him immune.

    And when someone comes along and says “Don’t do that. You are making a horrible mistake.” that person gets discounted and ignored.

    Suddenly, my motives are questioned. Repeatedly.
    Suddenly, I’m the one who’s naive. Or bigoted. Or inhuman. Or taking things on faith.
    Suddenly, I’m even supposed to be making personal attacks.
    Nice.
    Never does it occur to anyone that, if this were really true, that I’ve never been accused of this before around here.
    Except by the nutters.
    Never does it occur to anyone that it’s not really what I normally do.

    I can understand you casually dismissing some anonymous person on the internet.
    Only, I’ve been here a while. Maybe you’ve noticed?
    Everything I’ve said from all those hundreds of conversations is still there. Can anyone point to how I’ve changed?

    (…awkward silence…)

    That’s right. I haven’t. I’m still me. I’m doing the same thing from before.

    Nobody here is seeing the surfboard. If you know that Dunning Kruger exists, then why are you not taking concrete, objective measures against it? If you know that propoganda exists, then why are you not allowing for the possibliity that it’s happening now. To you. Right now.

    Follow my methodology. It’s really, really simple.

    You take the physical reality of the plane on the ground.
    You take a good hard look at the surfboard.
    You take any and all official versions…and dismiss them as lies to your heart’s content.
    Now construct a plausible scenario (taking into account those lying official versions, of course) that doesn’t embarrass you instantly and sound just a bit Andy-ish.

    (…crickets chirping….)

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  57. Unfortunately, Cedric, your self description looks quite accurate based on what you have been writing.

    “Suddenly, I’m the one who’s naive. Or bigoted. Or inhuman. Or taking things on faith.”

    Similarly you don’t sound at all convincing in your declaration:

    “The Ukrainians can be easily eliminated.
    Take a hard look at how various people have been trying to tie the Ukrainians to the crash.
    None of those scenarios work. Each new one that is brought up gets more and more bendy.
    By all means, champion any one you like or make up a new one.
    Doesn’t work.”

    Why – because you are not bothering one iota about evidence, substantiation. You are taking things on faith. The Ukrainian armed forces are one of the possible perpetrators as even US intelligence experts seem to be admitting, referring at least to people in Ukrainian uniform manning a BUK. And there is the so far unexplained appearance of Ukrainain military planes near NH17 showing up on the Russian radar but denied by Kiev.

    Yes, there are plenty of scenarios where either the self defence forces, the Ukrainian army or armed forces of the Russian Federation could be responsible – despite your faith in the Kiev regime. Let’s see what the investigators find out. I just hope that all sides do provide the evidence they have (it is heartening that the Russian Federation has handed over their satellite, traffic control and radar information, it is disheartening that the Ukraine government has yet to hand over the information from Kiev traffic control that the SBU confiscated and the US has so far not handed over the information they must have from their satellite overhead at the time and their naval forces in the Black Sea at the time). And I hope the politicians of the guilty party or parties do not manipulate the investigation or it’s report.

    Like

  58. You are taking things on faith.

    No, I’m not.
    Quote the faith part. Do it. Put up or shut up.

    The Ukrainian armed forces are one of the possible perpetrators…

    Then stitch it together. Make it work.
    You don’t have to provide a lick of evidence.How hard can it be?

    No links needed.
    No cutting-and-pasting.
    No evidence required at all. It’s not even that helpful.
    Just you and your thinking.
    The “how” bit.

    Do it already. Bring in whatever wonderful scenario you have managed to pick up today from the University of Google. Add all the twists and turns you like. You have a completely free hand.

    Follow my methodology. It’s really, really simple.

    You take the physical reality of the plane on the ground.
    You take a good hard look at the surfboard.
    You take any and all official versions…and dismiss them as lies to your heart’s content.
    Now construct a plausible scenario (taking into account those lying official versions, of course) that doesn’t embarrass you instantly and sound just a bit Andy-ish.

    (…crickets chirping….)

    (…more crickets chirping…)

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  59. Ken, you’re using the pro-russian rhetoric, when you speak about “coup” back in February. It wasn’t a coup, it could be called a “riot” (according to the definition of this word), as it was a civil movement against the corruption in the governent and turned violent when the special forces of the police used unjustified force against young students on 30 November 2013. People demanded to continue the political process in order to sign the association with the European Union. It wasn’t an armed uprising, like the case in Donetsk and Lugansk. After the massacre of civilian people in Kiev on 20 February, the President Yanukovich run away to Russia together with some main members of his government, so the Ukrainian Congress elected an acting-president to keep the political order in the country. Donetsk and Lugansk were possible only because of the support of Russia, which is an external intervention in the problems of a sovereign country. But Putin has the mentality of the XIX century, so he keeps supporting the separatists and russian mercenaries more and more to reach his own interests. The pro-russian separatists were violent against the pacific pro-ukrainian people from the very beginning, I saw a lot of videos, that’s why The pro-russian position is based on incredible lies of the Kreml’s anti-ukrainian propaganda. They called “nazists” the ukrainian politicians in the power. It is absurd. If it was true, how is possible that the EU supports the association with Ukraine?
    Regarding the speech of Boroday, there’s nothing relevant for the investigation. It’s clear that there is a massive information war on both sides, therefore only objective facts can be considered, but in any case only words .

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  60. Fred, what happened in Kiev in February was not constitutional. The resulting government and authorities did not have constitutional legitimacy. So I think “coup” or “junta” are more appropriate descriptions than “government.”

    Because there was no constitutional basis to the junta the question of it’s legitimacy was paramount. Despite the immediate, and eager, recognition by EU and USA the fact that new presidential election were required was acknowledged by everyone, including the Kiev regime.

    The agreement between the president and opposition preceding the coup was a far more rational solution to the problems with the very important aspect that it gave precedence to immediate constitutional reform and involvement of all parts of Ukraine in this. This was central to the representational and political problems in Ukraine and it is telling that despite international agreements involving the acting authorities in Kiev, those very same authorities have refused to allow any transparent constitutional discussion involving the whole country.

    You have a idealised and one sided picture if what happened during the coup. To me an important aspect was the role of the ultra-nationalist (loosely described as “fascist”) groups who effectively controlled the fighting in Kiev and the takeover if many state institutions. They were involved in detention and beating of Rada MPs and now constitute the most reliable and active components if the National Guard. Regular units of the Ukrainian army have proved in effective because if defections and desertions.

    The avoidance of the reality of ultra-nationalist or “fascist” groups by EU and US politicians is disgraceful. Pravi Sector, Svoboda and the Radical party and their militias or battalions in the politics and the civil war are facts. Several ministries in Kiev are under control of these groups. This should concern all democrats.

    As for Boradai’s speech – of course it’s content is not relevant to the actual investigation. It was not meant to be. He was simply answering questions, and correcting the wild assertions that have been made about the security at the crash site, the treatment of bodies, etc. so a incredible claims had been made about this. In my view subsequent statements of the OSCE people,the Malaysians and the has if the official investigation team give far more credence to Borodai’s steam tents than they do to the intense propaganda and misinformation we have been exposed to by our media.

    The question of EU association for Ukraine is surely fundamentally a question for the Ukrainian people themselves, not the USA or EU states. The Ukrainian people are deeply split on that issue and it is disingenuous and politically motivated to claim that they should be represented by just one faction of the people. Divisions within the Ukrainian population of this and similar issues, like language rights, cannot be solved by the approach taken by the EU, USA and the current regime in Kiev.

    One cannot understand what is happening in Ukraine if these facts are ignored and the old knee jerk explanations relied on. As I said before, I have noticed whenever the word “Russia” comes up some people start foaming at the mouth and all rationality becomes impossible.

    >

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  61. Cedric, it is interesting you appear to be hearing voices, or at least chirping crickets, and seem to think it adds to the discussion.🙂

    You have a short list of one – presumably the self defence forces.

    I have a short list of three – the forces of the Russian Federation, the Ukrainian army/national guard or forces of the Kiev regime, and the self defence forces.

    For the life of me I cannot see why any rational person would at this stage declare for only one possibility. Clearly the Russian Federation and the Kiev regime has the capability – both in the air and on the ground. Simple declaration by Kiev they had no military planes in the air that day and did not have capable missiles in the ground cannot be taken at their word any more that the self defence claims they had no capability (although that is less certain). Avoiding, at this stage, conspiracy theories, either of these parties could have taken action resulting in a horrible unintended accident

    On top of that the state internationally recognised as responsible for the investigation is represented by the Kiev regime. The fact that almost everyone demanded that this responsibility be handed over to an international commission shows the tacit admittance that Kiev is in that short list. No investigation of theirs, or of the Russian Federation or the defence forces, would be recognised as authoritative because of the irons they had in the fire. Incidentally, I also think few people would have trusted a US led investigation for the same reason.

    No, I am not going to advance a scenario – I do not know enough to seriously and confidently give one. But I notice you are in the same position, but have for presumably other reasons, already reduced your short list to one.

    Perhaps you should justify that – and I mean with evidential support – not on the basis of political, ideological or ethnic bias. Let’s face it there is already far too much of that around.

    >

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  62. Ken, now I’m sure you’re a Russian troll, as you used the well-known “cliche word” introduced by Kreml against the temporary ukarinian government after Yanukovich run away from Ukraine. I mean the word “junta”.
    You’re not a neutral observer of the problem in Ukraine, You are on the Russian’s side, working for the interest of Putin.
    This so called “junta” was formed by politicians in majority from the ukrainian party “Vatkivshina”. This party lost the presidential election and they didn’t try to stay in the power, the ultra-nationalists parties reached only about 2 %. So, how a “junta” could give the power so easy? The answer is that there was any “junta”, it was just Putin using his propaganda to justify the agression and annexation in Crimea using his military and to create “evil ghosts” in the heads of russian-speaking people in Eastern Ukraine to extend the area of his agression. There’s so much absurd lies in the russian TV, like that one when the Channel One informed that the Ukranian ultra-nationalist Yarosh won the presidential election.
    But, I see you will defend and justify every single action of your idol Putin and his puppets in Esatern Ukraine, as the same Boroday.

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    • What about it? Does it help for the investigation? This speech was before the MH17

      Ken’s answer: of course it doesn’t add to the investigation itself – I never said it did. Boradai was simply answering questions and responding to claims and assertions made by politicians about what was happening at the crash site. He was there, on the ground, dealing with the problems (one if which was to make it possible for investigators to arrive an work). As such I believe what he said helps put into context the extreme hysteria we had right after the crash where outlandish claims were made based on nothing.

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  63. Well, Fred, you show all the symptoms of mouth-frothing at the moment. As I said, rationality has disappeared.

    The presidential election was vital to confer some sort of legitimacy to the regime – in that sense a step forward, despite the problems. Eg several candidates were forced out by beatings and assassination attempts and of course the whole country was not represented. But it did help win the recognition required for the Geneva and Berlin negotiations.

    The third largest vote went to Lyashko, who is an extremely nasty piece of work – interesting you exclude him from your figure. His radical party may well be the main winner from the collapse if the current government – not good news for Ukraine.

    Yes, Svoboda and Pravi Sector did not get support in the presidential elections. Despite this Svobada-based people have control of, I think, 4 ministries. We will see to what extent untra-nationalist and “fascists” win support in Rada elections.

    Lyashko has his own battalion in the National Guard – his group was involved in shooting people trying to vote in the referendum. Pravi Sektor has very strong influence and battalions in the National Guard. Oligarchs are financing and running their own battalions in the National Guard.

    I find your examples and claims amount to straw clutching – eg the Internet meme of an election channel claiming Pravi Sektor had won the presidential election. Even if that single example had been true instead if a distortion it is silly to base ones whole understanding of serious events on such things. Mind you it aids confirmation bias.

    And a hint, personal attacks on me do not aid you argument, they undermine it.

    >

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  64. Follow my methodology. It’s really, really simple.

    Thanks but no thanks Cedric.
    Conflict situations require all voices be heard, all explanations considered, all evidence weighed. I don’t believe in goodies vs badies, both traits exist in all.

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  65. Ken, why do you avoid to speak about the intervention of Putin as the origin of the conflict in Ukraine? Maybe you will be honest and tell me that for you Putin and his government has nothing to do with this armed conflict to understand well your real position?
    All deaths happening in this war are the consequence of Putin’s actions. If Putin hadn’t start his plan of agression in Ukraine, all the internal problems could be solved without war. But as Putin was not satisfied with Crimea and continued his plan introducing the idea of “Novorossiya” (I think you know perfectly that the plan of Putin was, or still is, to take control of many regions of South-Eastern Ukraine), then Ukraine had to react and organize fron zero the miserable army left by Yanukovich in order to defend own sovereignity against the pro-russian separatists and russian mercenaries, who represent the physical force of Putin’s plan. If Ukraine hadn’t react this way, now all these regions were already taken by the separatists. it’s clear.
    You only speak about the “bad ukrainians” like Lyashko, for example. Lyashko is less radical and nasty piece of work than Zhirinovsky, Kurginyan, Dugin, Glazev, Milonov and many other russian politicians that openly support the separatists and call Putin to send the official russian army to Ukraine. These russians are the real fascists. It’s true that Lyashko has a very radical way to say the things, but he’s defending his country from the separatists and mercenaries, he’s not trying to redefine the territory of a foreing country.

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  66. Fred, I referred to Lyashko because you pretended he didn’t exist with your 2%. And now you make excuses for him.

    Have a look at this video from the BBC (a source Cedric possibly considers “official”) for the scary aspect of the coup back on Feb 28. Things have got worse since then.

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  67. why do you avoid to speak about the intervention of Putin as the origin of the conflict in Ukraine?

    Really Mr Flintstone, “the origin of the conflict”. What a simple world you inhabit. Here’s a heads up : the Bronze Age is just around the corner.

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  68. No, I am not going to advance a scenario – I do not know enough to….

    You already have.
    There was the 2001 Siberian Airlines comparison.
    That was abandoned.

    There was the “rogue Ukrainian battalion” or something scenario.
    Probably just a throw away comment. Abandoned.

    The Iraq War comparison. Hand-waved away since you didn’t really mean anything by that photo after all. You were just having some fun or something. Abandoned.

    …currently I think the Ukrainian military forces are most likely to have downed the plane.

    And successfully kept it from the Americans.
    That’s a critical problem, people.
    (…awkward silence…)

    Yes, there are plenty of scenarios where either the self defence forces, the Ukrainian army or armed forces of the Russian Federation could be responsible….

    Which ones are even plausible? Name your poison. Pick any one you like. You have a free hand.

    Simple declaration by Kiev they had no military planes in the air that day and did not have capable missiles in the ground cannot be taken at their word any more….

    No Ken. It’s not that hard. I’m not asking you to take anybody’s word for anything. Cross my heart and hope to die. Read what I write, not what you think I wrote.
    Give the Kiev forces all the planes in the world for the sake of a workable hypothetical. No problem. It’s not like you are shackled by any need to produce actual evidence.

    This has nothing to do with what you “know”. It’s not a question of dutifully waiting and seeing for more evidence to come it. My methodology doesn’t require it. It’s beautifully simple. And conspicuously unchallenged.

    Avoiding, at this stage, conspiracy theories, either of these parties could have taken action resulting in a horrible unintended accident.

    Demonstrate it.
    I’ll give you every advantage. Give me a plausible scenario that you would be comfortable with. No evidence at all is necessary. Throw anything into the pot you like.

    On top of that the state internationally recognised as responsible for the investigation is represented by the Kiev regime.

    I don’t care. Throw that into the pot too. There are no restrictions. If that fact somehow helps you construct a hypothetical scenario then go for it.

    Conflict situations require all voices be heard….

    Agreed but all the platitudes in the world do not a hypothetical scenario make, no matter how heartily I assent to them personally.
    I’m happy to consider all explanations too.
    I’ll even consider the ones that have no evidence whatsoever to support them.
    I’m very open-minded that way.
    The thing is, if you can’t even…imagine…a plausible alternative scenario to the official version then (…dramatic pause…) that limits your tentative position dramatically.
    Anything else is intellectual dishonesty.

    … your advocating the politician’s from US and Kiev government claims be accepted without substantiation….

    Nope. Perish the thought.
    My position is very simple. I entertain the possible. I’ll even deal with the vaguely possible. If you can come up with a halfway decent purely hypothetical scenario to demonstrate that it’s still an open question “who done it” then do so.

    Yet I don’t see it.
    There’s no faith involved here.
    No naivety.
    It’s just critical thinking skills on an elementary level.

    The Ukrainians can be easily eliminated.
    Take a hard look at how various people have been trying to tie the Ukrainians to the crash.
    None of those scenarios work. Each new one that is brought up gets more and more bendy.
    By all means, champion any one you like or make up a new one.
    It won’t work.

    With all due apologies to Holmes, “Once you’ve ruled out the Andy-esque, whatever remains, however possibly disappointing to you personally, must be true.”

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  69. Ken, you’re still avoiding talking about the intervention of Puitin. Any single word about it.
    The ultra-nationalists exist in Ukraine, nobody denies it, but they don’t have the support of ukarnian people. Lyashko and his party are nationalist and his radical way is more intensive against the pro-russian separatists and russian mercenaries, it is understandable, or would you propose that Ukraine gives wihotut fight to the pro-russian separatists all the regions that Putin wants to control? In this context, Lyashko receives the support of a part of people.
    I read your comment somewhere above:
    “Perhaps a final comment about RT. I have had a particular interest in Ukraine, their problems and the current conflict and found RT one of the best news agencies to follow for information.”
    For me this is a fact, that you’re feeding your opinion with one of the main sources of Putin’s propaganda, as RT in fact belongs to the russian government. Thus, it becomes clear why you have an anti-ukranian position. I guess Richard “Flintstone” Christie also reads too much RT, therefore he doesn’t understand a simple question. If you could read information in Russian maybe you could find another independent russian sources to have a balanced opinion, but I see this is not the case, you’re already infected by the russian propaganda. It’s obvious that in RT you won’t find any neutral information about the conflict in Ukraine, any information against Putin, but a lot of information against the official Ukraine.

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  70. Fred, the question of support for specific party’s will await the next Rada elections. We do know the nationalist/”fascist” groups have influence in the current governing regime with 4 ministries. We do know they have strong influence in the National Guard which was formed and armed by the present governing regime.

    As for your obsession with Rt, well be like Cedric and refuse to watch it. But seems you also refuse to watch the BBC if their material offends your model of the universe.

    Fred, I am not avoiding Putin – I just can’t see the relevance, except as an avoidance tool. Why do you ignore the political and ethnic realities in the Ukraine. It is a deeply divided nation, incredibly corrupt with a farcical political system dominated by oligarchs and crime gangs. Yanokovich was incredibly unpopular (but still had a popularity rate higher than previous presidents) but he was elected. He was overthrown illegitimately and the ultra-nationalists/”fascists” played a key role in that. From then on everything was illegal and unconstitutional – let’s not be hypocritical and complain about legality in Crimea and pretend everything was OK in Kiev, or that the two issues are unrelated. Unless of course you have a specific agenda.

    Fred, it is you who are avoiding, avoiding reality on the ground. Avoiding the large number of civilian deaths and casualties, avoiding the large number of refugees, avoiding the economic and political corruption, the undemocratic and violent actions (unless committed by the ethnically Russian). You will never understand the complex situation by obsessing with Putin.

    As I said to Cedric, you are welcome to your biases – just don’t insist I share them with you. I prefer to use all sources which provide information. I am adult enough to approach these sources critically and intelligently – and that goes for the BBC, Al Jazeera, RT, Moscow Times, NY Times, etc.

    But a childish obsession with an individual like Putin instead of looking at the realities in Ukraine really does show the inadequacies of your approach..

    >

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  71. Cedric, have you ever considered these “awkward silences” you keep experiencing arise for the embarrassment of observers at you irrationality?🙂

    You have said I have advanced scenarios – although I haven’t – and now you ask me to advance them. Strange.

    However, for your enjoyment here are a few possibilities – not in order of preference or likelihood. Please note I do not stand behind either of them. I am happy to say at this stage “I don’t know!”

    1: Forces of the Russian Federation may well be involved in an a undeclared and relatively tentative imposition of a no-fly zone and therefore responsible for shooting down many of the planes lost by the Ukrainian army – as claimed by Kiev. They simply mistook MH17 thinking it was a military plane.

    2: Self defence forces have a captured operational BUK system. They have been shooting down military planes at this high altitude for the last month. Now they hit MH17 thinking it was military.

    3: Ukrainian army or national guard forces have been operating several BUK systems in the conflict zone for some time. Presumably they are ere and operational because they at least think Russian planes are involved in the conflict. They mistake MH17 for a Russian plane (after all they believe there are no Ukrainian planes in the air) so shoot it down. Alternatively they are involved in an exercise which goes wrong and they fire the missile even though such uses have been banned since the accident with the Siberian commercial airliner.

    Now, I do not claim either of these happened or have any preference for likelihood. Notice I have also not bothered with any of the many conspiracy theories being advanced.

    But while most countries acknowledge that there is a short list of 3, even the Ukrainians having accepted they cannot insist in the retaining responsibility for the investigation because they are in that list, you have declared “the Ukrainians can easily be eliminated!” All without considering any evidence but simply reliance on “official” political statements! Oh, and the mouth-frothing.

    No wonder other observers here are feeling embarrassed.

    >

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  72. The US state department appears to have released satellite photos supporting their claim that forces of the Russian Federation are firing missiles from their side of the border into Ukraine. Here is a link to the information and images from RT http://rt.com/usa/175980-us-images-russia-ukraine/

    I chose the RT link (it is being reported by Washington post and a number of other news outlets as well) for several reasons:

    1: As a challenge to Fred and Cedric who probably are unable to look at the material because it might challenge their prejudices.

    2: Because it was the best of the range of articles I looked at, displaying all 4 photos where some sources displayed less.

    3: It included the video of a comment from someone about the strange way and timing of the information release (that is – a bit more information)

    However, this is the sort of thing the US should have been releasing to support the claims they made about the responsibility for the MH17 tragedy. The fact they did nothing to substantiate their claims, except say “trust us,” and the conflicting rumours attributed to US intelligence sources, does raise questions.

    It is tempting to say, as would Cedric(?), “put up or shut up!”

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  73. You have said I have advanced scenarios – although I haven’t –

    “There was the 2001 Siberian Airlines comparison.
    That was abandoned.
    There was the “rogue Ukrainian battalion” or something scenario.
    Probably just a throw away comment. Abandoned.
    The Iraq War comparison. Hand-waved away since you didn’t really mean anything by that photo after all. You were just having some fun or something. Abandoned.”

    …and now you ask me to advance them. Strange.

    “You have not seriously sat down and tried to work out any possible kinks in this theory. Or if you have, you don’t seem willing to share.” (…)”Your allusions as to what might be possible alternatives to the official version of events don’t have substance. When challenged, you abandon them at the doorstep. Not even you are taking your own tawdry nudges and winks seriously. It would be good if you did.
    Give them a thorough airing. I guarantee they will break down in front of you once you try and make it work. You will, hopefully, catch yourself using the shopworn rationalizations beloved of conspiracy nutters everywhere and then recoil in horror at the depths you have sunk.”

    However, for your enjoyment here are a few possibilities – not in order of preference or likelihood. Please note I do not stand behind either of them. I am happy to say at this stage “I don’t know!”

    I can understand “I don’t know”, to a point.

    What I don’t get is this false balance you have going on. If you want to keep the Ukrainians in the running as a possible prime suspect then you have to deal with the “possible” bit.
    If you can’t come up with a possible scenario without sounding like Andy then your list of suspects gets one narrower by default.
    Anything else is intellectual dishonesty.

    “They mistake MH17 for a Russian plane (after all they believe there are no Ukrainian planes in the air) so shoot it down. Alternatively they are involved in an exercise which goes wrong and they….”

    There are two problems here. One is motivation. Why would the Ukrainians shoot at a Russian plane? You have not considered the basic problem of the Ukrainians firing anything…in the first place. Plus, look at the flight path of the Malaysian Flight. Which direction was it going? Spot the problem.
    Think about it.

    Even if you skip those problems entirely with a simple ” some drunk guy just played with the buttons and launched a missile” scenario, then there’s still the internet chatter from the rebels, the intercepted cell phone calls and the official statement from the Americans.

    All without considering any evidence but simply reliance on “official” political statements!

    No, Ken. Porky pies will not help you. My words have not disappeared. They are still there for all to read in plain English.

    “You can reject the mundane “Well, duh” explanation of why and how they would do that.”

    This does not translate into simple reliance on “official political statements”.

    “They make official statements. For the record. It’s what they do. You can choose to disregard them. You can justify that dismissal will any rationale you like. It’s still you versus the official version of events. That part does not go away.”

    This, too, does not translate into simple reliance on “official political statements”.
    Quite the opposite, in fact.

    “Then there’s the official statements. Ken can disregard them to his heart’s content. Only….they exist.”

    Nope. This does not translate into simple reliance on “official political statements”

    “You have to factor them in….somehow. Anyhow. Even as you dismiss them.”

    Nope. Nor that.

    “Follow my methodology. It’s really, really simple.
    You take the physical reality of the plane on the ground.
    You take a good hard look at the surfboard.
    You take any and all official versions…and dismiss them as lies to your heart’s content.
    Now construct a plausible scenario (taking into account those lying official versions, of course) that doesn’t embarrass you instantly and sound just a bit Andy-ish.”

    I’ve given it a close re-reading, Ken. Just not seeing the whole simple reliance on official political statements thing. Where did you get this idea?

    “I’m not asking you to take anybody’s word for anything. Cross my heart and hope to die. Read what I write, not what you think I wrote.

    Hmmmm.

    Notice I have also not bothered with any of the many conspiracy theories being advanced.

    You mean, like these?

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  74. Really, Cedric, why this obsession with removing the forces of the Ukrainian regime from any possibility in this horrible accident? Especially as an important feature of accidents is that things have gone wrong so things like motivation, directions of targets, etc., cannot be relied on as reliable arguments. After all, what the hell was the motivation for Ukrainian military planes to shoot up their own troops in a recent accident? These things happen.

    Seems you obsession with the Kiev regime has interfered with your comprehension.

    My mention of the shooting down of the Siberian commercial airline by the Ukrainian army in 2001 was simply to illustrate that the responsible party in such accidents may take months to acknowledge their mistake. Don’t expect a quick admission in this case.

    My illustration involving the US “evidence” for weapons of mass destruction as an illustration for their justification for the Invasion of Iraq simply showed that your so-called “official position” is not an intelligent understanding if evidence.

    And why this demand for me to deal with “the possible bit.” All my 3 scenarios have problems.What motivation a have the RF or self defence forces to fire at a commercial airliner.? Why would they? What about the problem of capability in the case of the self defence forces? Etc.

    That is the problem with scenarios based on nothing more the political, ideological or ethnic prejudice rather the evidence.

    Hell, the investigation team has yet to make its initial report (hopefully in the next few days) and you already have decided.

    As I asked, how will you feel a couple of months down the track if the investigation rules out your pet scenario and produces something you don’t like as more likely? You refuse to answer that question and yet it illustrates the difference between basing claims on prejudice or building a likely picture of events based on evidence.

    Might I suggest Cedric, that on this particular issue you sound more and more like Andy as you keep digging your hole. >

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  75. why this obsession with removing the forces of the Ukrainian regime from any possibility in this horrible accident?

    It’s about honesty, Ken.
    Intellectual honesty.
    Cutting though a crass disinformation campaign. The Russians are selling damaged goods and nobody is buying. You have not seriously sat down and tried to work out any possible kinks in any possible theory that would keep the Ukrainians somehow (anyhow) in the picture. You are better than this.

    My mention of the shooting down of the Siberian commercial airline by the Ukrainian army in 2001 was simply to illustrate that the responsible party in such accidents may take months to acknowledge their mistake. Don’t expect a quick admission in this case.

    That’s not how it came across, Ken. It came across as you bending over backwards to keep the Ukrainians somehow as a viable option no matter how unlikely it really was. It sounded like you just repeating a meme from official Russian statements.

    A responsible party may take months to acknowledge their mistakes?
    Well duh!
    What’s to argue about that?
    I wouldn’t even bother to start.
    If that’s what you think I’ve been objecting to all this time then we really do have a communication problem.

    …their justification for the Invasion of Iraq simply showed that your so-called “official position” is not an intelligent understanding if evidence.

    You are not getting this.
    Ken, if you dismiss the official position as propoganda then….I’m ok with that.
    Really! Cross my heart and hope to die.
    I can fully understand why you would be suspicious of any official position from anywhere. I don’t know how to make this any clearer to you.
    Reject to your heart’s content.
    But….
    We both know that the official position…exists.
    It has to be factored in to whatever scenario you wish to build. That part remains. That’s the part that’s the tricky bit.
    Focus. Read what I write.

    Seems you obsession with the Kiev regime has interfered with your comprehension.

    Ad hominem. Stop it. It’s beneath you.

    “All my 3 scenarios have problems.”

    No they don’t. You are doing the whole false balance thing. It’s not a level playing field at all. The Ukrainians can be easily eliminated. Take a hard look at how various people have been trying to tie the Ukrainians to the crash. None of those scenarios work. Each new one that is brought up gets more and more bendy.
    By all means, champion any one you like or make up a new one.
    Doesn’t work.

    What motivation a have the RF or self defence forces to fire at a commercial airliner.? Why would they?

    Gee Ken. That’s a real head scratcher. Never thought about that particular poser before.
    Not.

    What about the problem of capability in the case of the self defence forces? Etc.

    Think Ken. Put a tiny bit of effort into it for once.
    Other people have.
    If you were Russian-backed rebels and you wanted AA capacity, who would you ask for assistance? Oman? Jamaica? Belgium?
    (…awkward silence…)
    If this is genuinely a stumper for you, then no wonder your critical thinking skills are on the fritz. Something is badly wrong.

    That is the problem with scenarios based on nothing more the political, ideological or ethnic prejudice rather the evidence.

    Horsepucky.
    It’s about critical thinking skills. I even spelled out my methodology.

    You take the physical reality of the plane on the ground.
    You take a good hard look at the surfboard.
    You take any and all official versions…and dismiss them as lies to your heart’s content.
    Now construct a plausible scenario (taking into account those lying official versions, of course) that doesn’t embarrass you instantly and sound just a bit Andy-ish.

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  76. On this issue, Cedric, you have abandoned any critical thinking skill you have had in the effort to come to a conclusion without any evidence.

    You talk about damaged goods but see this through an ethnically biased filter so can’t understand my reference to the false US justification for invasion of Iraq. This is incredibly naive. The US is just as capable of lying for political purposes as any other country. And they have been caught out horribly at times. I am old enough to remember the Gary Powers incident – very embarrassing. The way you have jumped on to the particularly lynching bandwagon may well put you in the same embarrassing position Eisenhower ended up in.

    I actually have no trouble seeing the Ukrainian forces as a likely guilty party – just as likely as the RF and the self defence forces. That might upset you, but that only confirms your bias — and possibly lack of knowledge or understanding about the problems in Ukraine and the nature of the current regime in Kiev and it’s relationship with the US. I certainly hope lack of knowledge is the reason you are thoughtlessly allying with such crooks rather, than political sympathy.

    Yes, Cedric, we do have a communication problem – obviously. I put that down to your rush to judgement, and childish condemnation of me for daring not to see things the way you do. Accompanied by a rather naive political, ideological or ethnic prejudice.

    As I said, this is long past tiresome. You are not going to change my desire to understand things on the basis of evidence or force me to accept your prejudices. That might upset you, but tough. I am happy with my approach and don’t seek the approval of others. I am happy to wait for the evidence before making up my mind. My “short list” still contains 3 and I think only a fool or a political/ideological/ethnic bigot would cut their’s back to 1 at this stage.

    You can talk all you like about “critical thinking skills” but on this matter you are not displaying any.

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  77. designafuture

    Have just stumbled across the preceding mish-mash of argument and am quite amazed at what comes out when self proclaimed intelligent individuals disagree. In regards to the #MH17 tragedy the facts are simple – someone used a missile to down the aircraft. When the wreckage is examined it will show what the missile was and identify its origin. That will lead to identifying ownership of the weapon and who fired it.
    Why do you wind up in the same sort of pointless debate on virtually every subject you engage in. It just makes you all look ridiculous!

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  78. Actually, design, you may well have made unwarranted assumptions about the facts. Although a missile seems very likely the available evidence – from the wreckage – also agrees with the plane being bought down by machine gun or canon fire. At least from observers at this distance.

    It is just too early to tell. The professional investigators reports will be more informative.

    Also, even if the evidence from the plane wreckage in the end supports a ground to air missile that in itself will not reveal who fired it. Other evidence such as the air traffic control tapes, radar and satellite photos will be needed to help there. That evidence will be very useful and it is distressing to hear that some of the states involved appear to withholding the evidence they have.

    I do not understand who you are specifically criticising in your comments about “pointless debates.” Perhaps a case of pots and kettles.

    >

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  79. With time people are starting to accept a more a realistic assessment of the role of the self-defence forces in the crash zone immediately after the crash. A report in the Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/06/mh17-netherlands-prime-minister-recovery-mission) quotes the Dutch PM Mark Rutte:

    Rutte also said that information from a Ukrainian military doctor who had overseen operations in the days immediately following the crash “has changed the recovery team’s perception of an earlier effort undertaken by local authorities”.

    “There was an intensive search in the area with 800 volunteers,” he said.

    The Dutch-led international recovery team that arrived in the area later has not found a large number of human remains.

    He said that it appears “fortunately, more was done after the disaster than we thought until now”.

    This is in line with the information in the video posted in this article above.

    The knee-jerk hysteria based purely on anti-Russian feelings was just wrong – dangerously so.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. Another realistic assessment coming from the Sydney Morning Herald.

    Paul McGeogh takes the Australian PM and Foreign Affairs Minister to task for their biased approach and making political capital out of the tragedy.

    “Instead of acting on the basis that the rebels controlled the site and that it was in Australia’s interest to negotiate with them for the return of the victims’ bodies and for investigators to have access to the site, the logic seemed to be that the people in Kiev must be nice, because they wanted to join our friends in the European club.
    It followed that the eastern rebels had to be riff-raff because they wanted to join Vladimir Putin and his bovver boys in Moscow. Lost in that equation was that no one can be trusted here – Ukraine is not rated as one the most corrupt countries in the world for no reason.
    In all the circumstances it never made sense to insert an investigative team into such a roiling conflict without a clear understanding with all parties, including the rebels.
    Time will tell, but it seems now we’re being told that despite all the limitations and problems confronted by the investigators, the search went very well.”

    We are now seeing the same behaviour with attempts to prevent humanitarian aid to Eastern Ukraine. Ethnic and political prejudice interprets such aid as an invasion. The underlying attitude is very racist – claims that there is no crisis or that the Eastern Ukrainians must surrender before they are entitled to aid!

    Politics is incredibly inhuman.

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  81. Ken, you continue to use the term racism. What race is being discriminated against? The Eastern Ukrainian race?

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  82. In this example it is the ethnic Russians but there are also current problems in Ukraine with the ethnic Hungarians and Ruthenians with developing protest movements in the west.. In more general terms I am referring to the knee jerk reaction amongst many, and particularly our media and political leaders, to the word “Russia.” Even the simplest things get turned on their head. Hence the automatic assumption that somehow the “Russians” are responsible for this tragedy, that there is no humanitarian disaster in the East, or attempts to organise humanitarian aid are plans for an invasion – it is a lynching mentality which comes across to me as racist in essence.

    In Ukraine there are a number of derogatory terms used to describe ethnic Russians “Moskals”, “beetles,” etc., but I think in the wider world years of conditioning has led people to adopt the same attitude to Chechens, Georgians and other non-Russian people’s including (at least in the past) Ukrnians and Byelorussians.

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  83. I agree with your identification of existence of bias, discrimination etc and add that it exists on both sides of any conflict.
    It’s the word racism that I consider inappropriate. Even in the broadest sense* of race as tribe or peoples of a nation sharing common descent or ancestry it is only a partial description. A lot of the bias of Western commentary is rooted in economic/political ideology and not on race. The term racism misses this completely. Also a lot of the ethnic-traits and groupings span different political and economic boundaries.
    I prefer to reserve the term racism for skin colour discrimination and the fundamental racial distinctions I refer to below in the footnote*

    * rather than that of the great divisions of mankind based on physical and genetic characteristics – perhaps this is an outdated concept?)

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  84. Perhaps I am using this term in the current discussion to compare and parallel biased attitudes to the easily identified racism where skin colour is involved because that is easily seen as bad. While racial (in terms of skin colour and other genetic differences) is probably rigidly defined differently to ethnic, in practice the two are often mixed. And I notice the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination includes ethnically-based discrimination.

    1. In this Convention, the term “racial discrimination” shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.

    However, I agree such prejudice exists on both sides and is actually quite widespread in Europe between different European ethnic groups, if not as openly professed as during Hitler’s day. In Ukraine extremists groups like Pravi Sektor and Svoboda are known for such biased statements but even the current PM and president have referred to the population in the East as “subhuman”- which has unfortunate connotations.

    As for the general political knee-jerk conditioning – I had hoped this would disappear after the end of the Cold War but even a generation later politicians and the media seem to be able to rely on it to prevent any rational consideration of real problems. The MH17 crash and the humanitarian problem in East Ukraine are current examples but such a mentality can have dangerous consequences.

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