Dirty politics over MH17?

I have followed events in Ukraine for a year now and learned very early on never to be surprised. There have been so many seemingly outrageous things happen. On the one hand this has kept the Ukrainian events in the news. On the other it probably serves as a warning. There is just so much corruption in that country that anything seems possible.

Since August there have been rumours of an agreement between Ukraine, Australia, the Netherlands and Belgium about revealing information from the MH17 investigations. Specifically an agreement on nondisclosure – that the results of the investigation will be published once completed only if a consensus agreement of all parties that have signed the agreement prevails.

While the source for this was apparently a statement made under the auspices of the office of the Prosecutor General Yuri Boychenko. I haven’t seen anything more official than that

Until recently when I came across this letter which appears to be a response to a Freedom of Information request in Australia.

Doc-Aus

This confirms the existence of a nondisclosure agreement and that worries me for 3 reasons:

  1. I had hoped that assurances made at the UN Security Council meetings that the investigations of the MH17 tragedy would be transparent were genuine. This agreement seems to contradict the assurances and is particularly concerning as the current Ukraine government, or elements within it, is a possible suspect for criminal actions leading to the crash.
  2. The non-disclosure agreement itself is classified! What the hell could be in the agreement which makes it a state secret in Australia, Ukraine, Belgium and the Netherlands?
  3. Malaysia, whose airline owned the crashed plane and whose citizens comprised a significant number of the victims has been excluded.

Yes, I know nondisclosure before a report is normal and reasonable. Even sensible because of the rumour mongering and political maneuvering around such events – particularly this event. But why make the nondisclosure agreement itself a state secret? What could they have to hide?

And why exclude Malaysia? I have picked up excuses relating to the existence of a death penalty in Malaysia – but how should that effect this agreement?

Malaysia is often described as cooperating in the investigation, or as a member of the investigation team. But they have formerly been excluded from this agreement – and possibly others.

I can’t help feeling this has more to do with the fact that Malaysia has got off-side with the Kiev government because it was prepared to negotiate with the authorities in the crash area. That contact enabled early progress in recovery of the black boxes and bodies. The OSCE observers also were able to give early help because of their contacts with these authorities. In contrast, the Dutch investigation and recovery teams have been extremely tardy because of their unwillingness for direct contact. And their apparent subservience to the wishes of the Kiev government who have discouraged this contact.

trucks

Trucks carrying the wreckage of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 arrive from the Ukraine at Gilze-Rijen military base, Netherlands, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. Photo credit: Peter Dejong/AP

Many wild accusation have been made against Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation, over this incident. But he at least retained the moral high ground when he warned governments and politicians not to use this tragedy for political purposes.

I think that warning was humane and important. Those using this tragedy for political purposes are showing the worst form of disrespect for the almost 300 innocent victims.

But won’t the governments and investigators who conspire to withhold information or findings also be showing the same disrespect?

Update

Malaysia-acceptedMalaysia annnounced last week, 4 months after the above agreement was signed, it has been accepted as a full member of the MH17 joint investigation team (see MH17: Malaysia to help identify perpetrators: Liow.

I cannot find any indication that this means it has signed the secret non-disclosure agreement or not.

 

wreckage-protocol

 

Also, the Dutch investigation team did eventually get around to negotiating with the local authorities in the crash area – and this lead to rapid decisions (on November 20) on collection and removal of the wreckage to the Netherlands.

This could have happened so much more quickly.

 

Similar articles

 

103 responses to “Dirty politics over MH17?

  1. Al Jazeera TV is running an few-year-old doco on Lockerbie. May find it on line. Only 10 mins left.

    Like

  2. What are you doing?
    Are you really this desperate to create an escape hatch to the inevitable results of the investigation? Is it not enough that you stoop to using RT?
    Maybe you should slow down a little and ask yourself just how many kook sources you are prepared to link to on you own blog. You’d never do this for anything else.
    Just awful.

    Globalresearch.ca (also under the domain name globalresearch.org) is the website of the Montreal-based non-profit The Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) founded by Michel Chossudovsky.

    While many of Globalresearch’s articles discuss…
    (link)

    Like

  3. Cedric, if you were not so interested in diverting attention from the point of my article and the letter describing the status of the non-dissemination agreement you would have noticed a few things.

    1: My link to the global research article was simply a link to rumours which have been circulating ever since the agreement was signed. Look at the date on the article. I agree it is flimsy evidence for the claim. After all, official announcements coming out of Kiev (this time from the Prosecutor General) are hardly known for rationality and truthfulness these says – even if some people treat them as the “official story.”🙂 There is so much corruption in that country I have learned not to be surprised even when the claims are outrageous.

    2: I have not commented on the basis of such rumours – even though they have circulated widely. Especially in Malaysia where understandably people are rather peeved at their exclusion. Otherwise you would have seen something here back at the end of August. I do realise that the MH17 is being cynically used by politicians promoting all sorts of conspiracy theories and political agendas so tend to look at these rumours a bit more critically than perhaps you do (after all you have promoted a rumour of an “official version” of the people behind the tragedy based on nothing more than politically motivated rumour).

    3: My concern, and hence this article, arose when I saw the letter from the Australian DFAT. Particularly when I noted it’s reproduction in a Dutch newspaper site. There is currently a lot of concern in the Netherlands, and elsewhere, at the tardiness of the Dutch-led investigation and even one court case by the families of 20 victims against the Dutch government specifically on this. I am not expressing anything new with my concern.

    Now you wish to divert attention away from the hard evidence of a letter from the Australian DFAT by concentrating on a source which is not the basis for my story. You want to concentrate on a rumour instead of evidence. I guess that is how you determine your “official story” – as long as the rumour is one promoted by the USA, NATO or the clowns in Kiev – sources I would label as “kook.”. You don’t give a stuff for the almost 300 innocent victims of this tragedy.

    >

    Like

  4. “Cedric, if you were not so interested in diverting attention from the point of my article….”

    Oh stop it. I’m pointing out the source you are using. That’s hardly a “diversion”. It’s vital. Having a minimum standard of where you choose to get your information from is basic stuff.

    “My link to the global research article was simply a link to rumours…”

    Your link to “global research” was simply…..a link to globalresearch which is a kook site, plain and very simple.
    There’s no avoiding that. Since when is it a good idea to peddle rumours?
    What possessed you?

    After all, official announcements coming out of Kiev (this time from the Prosecutor General) are hardly known for rationali….

    You want to comment on official announcements from Kiev?
    Here’s an idea.
    Ready?
    Link to an official announcement from Kiev.
    Don’t send your readers to a kook website.

    I have not commented on the basis of such rumours – even though they have circulated widely.

    Yes, Ken. Rumours do circulate widely. That’s what rumours usually do. Rumours will always circulate thanks to people like you.
    Shame on you.
    Really awful.

    Like

  5. You are still diverting, Cedric. I guess the letter embarrasses you. And I am sure my reference to Vladimir Putin’s comment upsets you.🙂

    Actually, your idea of quoting announcements from Kiev is quite a good idea. They have some real charming ones on the humanitarian aid convoys from the RF. I should put those quotes alongside the official statements of the OSCE monitors at the border who observed the activity of the Russian and Ukrainian border and customs officials checking the trucks.

    But then again, who is going to be surprised after seeing all the videos of the parliamentary punch ups and beating up of politicians we are so used to. That place is a huge and dangerous mess.

    Like

  6. “You are still diverting, Cedric.”

    No, I’m not.
    Read simple English. You linked to a kook website.
    Your source of information is garbage. Anyone can see that site for themselves and it’s history. 9/11, vaccine denial etc. This is genuine Alex Jones territory.

    I guess the letter embarrasses you.

    If it makes you feel better to tell yourself that then go with what you feel.
    Create any strawman you like.
    It’s says much more about you than it does me.

    blah, blah humanitarian aid convoys blah, blah parliamentary punch ups blah blah place is a huge and dangerous mess

    Not that you are diverting or anything.
    (shrug)

    The “Straw Man” Fallacy

    Like

  7. Well, Cedric, you were the one suggesting quotes and links to official statements out of Kiev, not me.

    I linked to a Dutch Newspaper which made the letter available. Now do your dirty work to discredit it – or will this violate your intention to avoid the letter? I have no intention of discussing a link to what I clearly defined as only a rumour – I am not that naive in approaching reading or understanding media.

    Anyone can see for themselves that information coming out of NATO, Kiev and the USA is garbage. Although some people wear political blinkers and rose-tinted glasses. I personally don’t see any difference between those sources you rely on and the specific source you are getting stuck into at the moment. I always put my brain into gear when reading such sources – never take things on faith or trust.

    You have an example of this more intelligent approach to Internet information staring you in the face but you choose not to read it. You are just attempting to divert.

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well, Cedric, you were the one suggesting quotes and links to official statements out of Kiev, not me.

    Actually Ken, what I said was…

    “You want to comment on official announcements from Kiev?
    Here’s an idea.
    Ready?
    Link to an official announcement from Kiev.
    Don’t send your readers to a kook website.”

    It’s good advice.
    You should take it. I’d give the same advice to Andy.
    You want to comment on NASA, Andy?
    Here’s an idea.
    Ready?
    Link to an offical announcement from NASA.
    Don’t send people off to some kook website.

    (and for bonus points, don’t shop around some kook website and copy some graph or photo that they in turn borrowed from NASA, then pretend you went to NASA all by yourself)

    “Now do your dirty work to discredit it –”

    I don’t do “dirty work”, Ken. I’m not the bad guy here. You are.
    You are the one that is linking to some kook website. It’s never ok to do that. This is what you have been reduced to.
    You don’t have any alternative sources. It’s not going to get any better. It’s RT all the way to the bottom on a permanent, downward spiral.

    “I have no intention of discussing a link to what I clearly defined as only a rumour –”

    A rumour you decided to circulate. That’s how rumours work, Ken.
    Honest.

    “I personally don’t see any difference between those sources you rely on and the specific source you are getting stuck into at the moment.”

    Sure. That’s a real problem for you. A 9/11 Troofer or a Birther would say the same.

    “Anyone can see for themselves that information coming out of Washington and the Hawaian Birth Registry is garbage. Although some people wear political blinkers and rose-tinted glasses. I personally don’t see any difference between those sources you rely on and the specific source of Prison Planet you are getting stuck into at the moment. I always put my brain into gear when reading such sources – never take things on faith or trust.
    You have an example of this more intelligent approach to Internet information staring you in the face but you choose not to read it. You are just attempting to divert.”

    “Anyone can see for themselves that information coming out of the US Governement, the 9/11 commission report and the NY Port Authority is garbage. Although some people wear political blinkers and rose-tinted glasses. I personally don’t see any difference between those sources you rely on and the specific source of 9/11Truth.org you are getting stuck into at the moment. I always put my brain into gear when reading such sources – never take things on faith or trust.
    You have an example of this more intelligent approach to Internet information staring you in the face but you choose not to read it. You are just attempting to divert.”

    No need to change a thing. One conspiracy theory looks remarkably similar to any other run-of-the-mill conspiracy theory. The same source material, the same rationalisations. That’s why I only ever need to switch the labels around and leave everything else intact to make my point.

    The investigation is going to be concluded. I’m going to go out on a very tiny limb and say you are not going to like it.
    It not goihg to fit with what you “know”.
    Therefore, you are going to have to react in the way that all conspiracists before you have reacted.
    Hence the escape hatch.

    Like

  9. Diversion again, Cedric. You are just not going to admit that here we have some letters and documents from a Dutch newspaper, the Netherlands, Malaysia, and the Australian DAFT. That is the only material worth discussing and you will avoid it like the plague because it will expose your bias.

    Still, let me take you up on another diversion of yours. You say:

    ” > > The investigation is going to be concluded. I’m going to go out on a very tiny limb and say you are not going to like it. > It not goihg to fit with what you “know”.”

    >

    Now why say that and what evidence can you possibly base that on? I actually have no pet hypothesis on this matter to defend – unlike you. I have not lumped for any of the conspiracy theories that are circulating – unlike you. And I look forward to the final report next year, and any legal case that might be pursued, with interest.

    I have no political or ideological irons in the fire – unlike you.

    I don’t claim to “know” which of the three parties is ultimately responsible for the tragedy – unlike you.

    I have had only 2 bitches about this whole incident.

    1: The way that governments, politicians and ideological people have promoted a rumour which is no more than a politically motivated conspiracy theory – and fooled a lot of their own people in the process. A rumour with no evidential base. This is extremely dangerous – brainwashing at a time of intense geopolitical conflict.

    Yes, I direct my complaint mainly at the government’s and politicians of the EU, NATO, USA and Australia. Even NZ. I also direct that complaint against some of the news media of the Russian Federation (especially lately) – but note that at the highest government levels they have not resorted to any conspiracy theory – in fact, as I noted, they have been urging other government not to cynically use these tragic deaths to further their own geopolitical aims.

    2: My perception, which is also held by many people – especially in the Netherlands and Malaysia – that the investigation team have been dragging their feet, unwilling to collect evidence like witness accounts, unwilling to contact and negotiate with local authorities to recover bodies and wreckage. The slowness, the delays and the unwillingness to make contact and negotiate has seriously delayed a proper investigation and caused a lot of resentment – especially among the victim’s families.

    So how can you deduce from that my dissatisfaction with the conclusions of the final report? Do you know something I don’t – about the thinking of the investigation team and my thinking? Or is this just silly Internet bravado.

    I wrote about the interim report – my only criticisms is that I didn’t think it went far enough. I was quite happy with what they did present and what they concluded. But for the life of me I cannot see why they were so hesitant with the primary radar material which would have indicated if there were any non-commercial planes in the area. They had had it for a long time. My only thought is that they were hesitant to broach that issue because of political sensitivities as it may have been the first indication that at least one government had been telling lies. Or a demonstration of unwillingness to look at all the evidence.

    The investigators are going to have to face the question of political sensitivity eventually – otherwise they cannot produce a credible report. There are three political parties central to this and one them at least will have to be condemned.

    So, Cedric, why should I need an “escape hatch?” Surely it is people like you who have already committed to a conspiracy theory without waiting for evidence who will be thinking along those lines.

    What the hell will you do if the final report does not support your conspiracy theory?

    >

    Like

  10. That is the only material worth discussing and you will avoid it like the plague because it will expose your bias.

    No Ken.
    Building strawmen like that simply reflects badly on you. Nothing to do with me. If it makes you feel better to rant on about bias and make me somehow the topic of conversation then…go ahead.
    I can’t very well stop you. It’s your usual M.O.
    All I can do is pity you.
    What you are doing is stupid.

    You are just not going to admit that here we have some letters and documents from a Dutch newspaper….

    Quick question: How exactly did this Dutch newspaper article come to your attention? I don’t read many Dutch newspapers myself. Were you “helpfully” guided there by any chance?

    Now why say that and what evidence can you possibly base that on?

    Because that’s the formula.
    You’ve got no other viable choice.
    Conspiracy theorists are forced to do it all the time.

    The investigation is going to come out.
    It won’t fit.
    You will therefore have to go into damage control and explain it away somehow.

    They did it with the Warren Commision.
    They did it with the Dover trial.
    They did it when Wakefield got himself struck off.
    They did it with the 9/11 commission.
    They did it with Muller and his Berkley study.

    … the investigation team have been dragging their feet, unwilling to collect evidence like witness accounts, unwilling to contact and negotiate with local authorities to recover bodies and wreckage. The slowness, the delays and the unwillingness to make contact and negotiate has seriously delayed a proper investigation and caused a lot of resentment .

    Yep. The escape hatch is ready and waiting for you to pop into at a moment’s notice. Dirty politics over MH17? Oooo, spooky.

    Anyone can see for themselves that information coming out of NATO, Kiev and the USA is garbage.

    Sure. Anyone can see that. Sure.
    Only the investigation is going to be released and they’re not going to “see it” that way at all.
    There’s no mechanism, Ken. There never was. You’ve been led up the garden path.

    “Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial.”

    Like

  11. You are ranting and still diverting, Cedric.

    Reread my last comment.

    >

    Like

  12. Reread my last comment.

    It hasn’t magically improved since the last time I read it, Ken.
    If it makes you feel better to say that I’m ranting then so much the worse for you.
    What you are doing is following a predictable pattern.
    Conspiracy theoriests use the resources they do because they have nowhere else to go. You have RT, some guy in his mother’s basement making daft statements about combine harvesters, kook websites that will peddle any conspiracy they can get hold of and….Dutch newspaper articles.(??)

    Quick question (again): How exactly did this Dutch newspaper article come to your attention? I don’t read many Dutch newspapers myself. Were you “helpfully” guided there by any chance?

    Do you read Dutch? More power to you if you do, but seriously, by what means did this come to your attention? It’s not exactly something that happens every day around here. Never seen you mention Dutch media articles before.

    Anyone can see for themselves that information coming out of NATO, Kiev and the USA is garbage.

    Sure, Ken. Sure.
    Is Obama in on this?

    Like

  13. It seems, Cedric, that neither has you comprehension or ability to remove your blinkers and rose-tinted glasses changed.

    Yes, I have used Dutch and Malaysian sources before – extremely logical on this specific topic. You should try it some time as the NATO, US and Kiev regime sources you rely on are becoming rather a joke in your hands. Be a bit adventurous. Get out of your comfort zone.

    >

    Like

  14. If it makes you feel better to say that I’m ranting or that I’m blinkered or wearing rose-tinted glasses then go with that, Ken. It says nothing about me and simply reflects bady back on you.

    Yes, I have used Dutch and Malaysian sources before…

    English comprehension fail.
    Focus.

    Quick question (for the third time now): >>>>>How<<<<< exactly did this Dutch newspaper article come to your attention? I don’t read many Dutch newspapers myself. Were you “helpfully” guided there by any chance?

    Seriously, do you even read Dutch?

    The investigation report is going to be released. We both know how you are going to react to it. There's no other option for you. You've got no choice except to follow the conspiracy theorist playbook.

    You should try it some time as the NATO, US and Kiev regime sources you rely on are becoming rather a joke in your hands.

    Sure, Ken. Sure.
    Is Obama in on this?

    Like

  15. I don’t read any newspapers myself in the old-fashioned sense. But as a result of what I pick up on the internet I regularly access articles from newspapers around the world. No, I don’t wear blinkers.

    It is perfectly logical on the MH17 issue that one would read particularly Dutch and Malaysian sources if one is following the investigation and events around that. In fact, many news reports in other sources are duplicating the Dutch and Malaysian reports.

    As you apparently restrict your reading to the “official” NATO and US sources you are unaware that even Dutch newspapers often have English language versions of their news. On top of that I find Google translate very useful although it does appear to mangle Ukrainian.

    >

    Like

  16. As you apparently restrict your reading to the “official” NATO and US sources you are unaware that even…

    That’s not what is happening.
    Why you have this twisted need to misrepresent me all the time?
    I never do it to you.

    I don’t watch RT.
    I don’t pay attention to some guy in his mother’s basement squinting and military satellite photos in the Ukraine.
    I don’t link to kook websites.

    It’s not just for MH17.
    It’s for any topic.

    I don’t watch Fox.
    I don’t pay attention to some guy in his mother’s basement squinting at NASA satellite photos of the Arctic.
    I don’t link to Prison Planet or Whatsupwithmybutt.

    Newspapers? I’ve seen anti-flouride nutters use newspaper articles too many times. I’d think long and hard about ever linking to one. I might do it for something trivial and light-hearted though. Maybe.

    I have a minimum standard about where I get my information from. I don’t just get it from any Tom, Dick or Harry. I have no desire to scrape the bottom of the barrel…on any topic. It’s just basic common sense.

    I could declare open season and just trawl through absolutely everything available on the internet. Only then, what am I really doing? What’s the filter that protects me from myself swallowing some crap or other? Sure, I’m a smart guy. I have supreme confidence that I know how to spot a sneaky story. I wasn’t born yesterday. Only, the kooks have that mentality too.
    Out of stubborn habit borne of bitter experience, I use a methodology that has a clear and simple mechanical difference….just in case I might have managed to fool myself.
    I’m only human, after all.
    Getting sucked in by a narrative on the internet can happen to anybody.

    (Not to you, of course. You’re superhuman and have some special power that guarantees that you can’t be fooled because you are so very smart.)

    I, sadly, don’t have your special gift. And naturally, you’d never expect me to just meekly trust you on an issue. Which leaves me with my modest, humdrum methodology of…not…scraping the bottom of the barrel. I have no interest in breaking Scopie’s Law

    …you are unaware that even Dutch newspapers often have English language versions of their news.

    You didn’t link to an English language version. You linked to the Dutch.
    If you actually used the English language version, then…..link.
    (shrug)

    On top of that I find Google translate very useful although it does appear to mangle Ukrainian….

    It mangles a lot. I’d never rely on that. Way too much room for error. It doesn’t meet my minimum standard.

    So….can I get some simple, direct answers now?
    How exactly did this Dutch newspaper article come to your attention? I don’t read many Dutch newspapers myself. Were you “helpfully” guided there by any chance?

    Like

  17. “Getting sucked in by a narrative on the internet can happen to anybody.

    So true.

    And isn’t this what happens a lot in politics? Many people seem to have been fooled by a “narrative” about the MH17 tragedy which is nothing more than an politically motivated rumour, without any evidential support but with all the confidence that political true believers have.

    Such “narratives” are outright dangerous – and in this case it is being actively promoted by political leaders. In this case the person in the street ends up being a victim because they are being manipulated for political ends.

    Frankly I think it is disgusting when people have been so fooled they will actually attack anyone who doesn’t go along with their delusion. They will resent anyone who is open-minded enough to actually not commit to an officially endorsed conspiracy theory. Anyone who is more interested in evidence than satisfying prejudice.

    Cedric, you talk about “minimum standards” – yet you you are upset because I refuse to accept a conspiracy theory of yours which has no standards and no evidence. bugger the evidence, that is your last consideration in this case.

    So, let”s put it back on you:

    How exactly did your confident scenario for the shooting down of MH17 come to your attention? Were you “helpfully” guided to it by any chance? Because it certainly is not based on evidence (hell, we don’t yet have proper evidence) and careful consideration. Only political bias. And there is a lot of that around.

    Like

  18. And isn’t this what happens a lot in politics?

    Isn’t this what can happen to anybody on the internet?

    Many people seem to have been fooled by a “narrative” about the MH17 tragedy…

    Scare quotes. Useful things.
    Andy does the same thing.

    There’s narrative but, on the other hand there a “narrative”.
    There’s official sources but, on the other hand, there’s “official” sources.

    ….about the MH17 tragedy which is nothing more than an politically motivated rumour…..

    You, of course, could not made such a terrible mistake. There is something mysterious and special about you. Weaving and dancing in and out of every single Tom, Dick and Harry blog out there with never a concern that you’ve simply got it wrong. Somehow, you can’t be fooled. So ,naturally, you can just go to whatever information source you fancy.
    Minimum standards?
    Pshaw.
    Some basic mechanic that acts as a really, low bar to filter whatever sites you come across so as not to imitate Andy inadvertently?
    Na.
    You’re special.

    “Cedric, you talk about “minimum standards” –”

    Yes, I do. Sadly, you don’t.
    You’re quite shy about your methodology. You never speak of it in any real detail.

    The intelligent person has ways of exerting their own “quality control.”

    Yes, mysterious ways. Not that people who have been completely conned wouldn’t say the same thing.

    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.

    They most certainly are not. They fearlessly check out Prisonplant and bravely link to 9/11TruthOut. They refuse to be censored.

    An intelligent purpose does not hand their quality control over to others.

    Never. No, never.

    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.

    Of course you do. Plenty of crap on RT but…it’s ok. You are a special snowflake. You can glean the good stuff. It’s those other people that get suckered in by those other RT stories.
    Not you.

    I have no trouble sifting out the rubbish (and there is a lot of it) from the useful.

    Perish the thought. You do your own research, right? You don’t need no minimum standard. The internet is your oyster.

    I refuse to accept a conspiracy theory of yours which has no standards and no evidence. bugger the evidence, that is your last consideration in this case.

    I’m not the one linking to conspiracy websites and RT, Ken.
    That’s you.
    I don’t need to put scare quotes around the word “official” any more than I need to put scare quotes around “NASA”.

    So, let”s put it back on you…

    You haven’t put it on yourself yet.
    Still waiting here.

    Why is this so horribly difficult for you?
    (…for the fifth time….)
    How exactly did this Dutch newspaper article come to your attention? I don’t read many Dutch newspapers myself. Were you “helpfully” guided there by any chance?

    Alex Jones: Attacked by Fox

    Like

  19. Cedric, your comments are a waste of time and space. They are not getting anywhere.

    Like

  20. You don’t have a viable methodology. You simply refuse to use any kind of objective filter at all. That should be a big, red flag to you and to any other casual observer.

    You’d never behave this way with something else.
    You’ve changed and not for the better.
    RT and it’s ilk are not your friends.
    They’re not anybody’s friends.
    It’s bad when Andy uses them. It doesn’t smell any better when you do the same thing.

    I never do that. I have minimum standards.
    Nobody can accuse me of being sucked in by RT because I treat them as a joke. As filters go, it’s airtight. If less people paid attention to RT, people like Orly Taitz would be starved of oxygen.

    I feel no queasy need to build an escape hatch.
    I look forward to the investigation report and comparing it to the sources I mentioned at the very beginning.

    You? You’re going to have to follow the same ol’ traditional pattern that conspiracy theorists always do.

    In March of 2011, Anthony Watts appeared to stake his entire stance on the reliability of surface temperature data on a single upcoming study: the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study (BEST), an independent temperature record to be constructed using over 39,000 unique stations. On March 6th, Watts said on his blog:

    “… I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong. I’m taking this bold step because the method has promise. So let’s not pay attention to the little yippers who want to tear it down before they even see the results.”

    However, when BEST’s results confirmed the reliability of preexisting surface temperature records, Watts backpedaled. Apparently, he was only willing to stake his claims on an independent study if it came to the conclusion he wanted.

    This is where Judith Curry comes in. She was the only climatologist who worked on the BEST project and has a long history of making statements against mainstream AGW science – which she proceeded to do again after BEST finished its results. She said that BEST’s results were “way oversimplistic and not at all convincing in my opinion.” (Why she accepted the results beforehand, don’t ask us.) When PBS did a show about physicist Richard Muller being, as he has put it himself, a “converted skeptic” on the basis of BEST, she said, “Centering this show on the faux conversion of Richard Muller set this story down a certain path that turned out to be unfortunate.” This essay was endorsed by WUWT.

    Lately Watts has degenerated into boringness, repeating the same tired arguments and making Al Gore jokes on LOLWUWT.”

    Like

  21. No better, still a fail, Cedric.

    Try to be specific to MH17.

    >

    Like

  22. It is specific, Ken.
    You are following a shop-worn pattern. You are a conspiracy theorist. You are doing the same thing as all the others. The sources you use are the same. The way you justify the use of those sources is the same too.

    It’s not your conclusions that matter; it’s your methodology.

    ‘There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.’ Soren Kierkegaard

    Like

  23. Labels without content are meaningless, Cedric.

    I have advanced no theory, let alone a conspiracy theory. My crime from your perspective is to keep an open mind, wait for the evidence instead of thoughtlessly adopting the conspiracy theory advanced by NATO, the USA and the Kiev regime as you have.

    Oh, and not wearing blinkers, being able to handle the different news sources and assess the information intelligently.

    >

    Like

  24. “Labels without content are meaningless, Cedric.

    I have advanced no theory, let alone a conspiracy theory. My crime from your perspective is to keep an open mind, wait for the evidence instead of thoughtlessly adopting the conspiracy theory advanced by the Bush administration and the New York Port Authority as you have.

    Oh, and not wearing blinkers, being able to handle the different news sources and assess the information intelligently.”

    Like

  25. David Fierstien

    Ken, from your post, this quote from you jumped out at me: “Many wild accusation have been made against Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation, over this incident. But he at least retained the moral high ground when he warned governments and politicians not to use this tragedy for political purposes.”

    However, before I can take issue with your contention that Vladimir Putin holds a “moral high ground,” it is necessary for me to have a clear understanding of what your definition of morality is. This is because if you and I hold opposite understandings of that concept, we could be saying exactly the same thing and talking past each other.

    For example, Vladimir Putin believes that his invasion, occupation, and eventual territorial annexation of Crimea was a moral act. He has said this. I, on the other hand, believe it was immoral and that territorial expansion by force through the invasion of another sovereign country has no place in this century. It appears that he and I hold conflicting definitions of the concept of morality. That being the case, if he were to say to me that he holds the “moral high ground” in Crimea, I would have no idea what he meant and we would talk past each other.

    Therefore, before we can proceed, it is necessary for me to have a clear understanding of what your idea of morality is before I can take issue with your comment. To help me toward this end, please allow me to ask you this question: Do you believe that the Russian invasion of Crimea was a moral act?

    Like

  26. David Fierstien, while we are doing definitions, what is your definition of “invasion”?

    Like

  27. David, my comment was clear. On this specific issue of the MH17 tragedy Putin has warned against governments and politicians using it for their own political purposes. I believe those doing so are showing a complete disregard for the victims and their families and they should be condemned. Their actions are basically immoral on this specific issue.

    So, yes, on this issue Putin stands out as occupying the moral high ground when compared with Tony Abbott, Obama, Cameron, etc.

    Of course my statement was specific and clearly indicated to be. It has nothing to do with Crimea and its annexation. That is just a diversion. I have not raised that issue – you have. I have not commented on that, you have. I have not said Putin holds the moral high ground on Crimea (nor have I said he doesn’t). It just has nothing to do with the MH17 tragedy or his statement on that.

    So really I must ask you – are we talking past each other on the MH17 tragedy. Do you not agree that cynically using that tragedy for political purposes is immoral?

    You ask me if I think “the Russian invasion of Crimea was a moral act?” I have to ask – what Russian invasion of Crimea? I am not aware of any invasion. The recent annexation did not involve an invasion as the armed forces of the Russian Federation were already there under a long standing agreement in place since the independence of Ukraine. The existing RF forces clearly provided some sort of guarantee against the spread of the Maidan occupations behind the coup to the Crimea but that was not an invasion.

    I think any discussion of the annexation would require clarification of these sorts of terms (eg “invasion”) and also a discussion of the historical and political context – eg the illegal transfer of territory by Nikita Krushchev, the composition and wishes of the Crimean population, the political changes occurring in Ukraine, the expansion of NATO forces since the end of the USSR and the importance of the Crimean naval and other military bases to the strategic interests of the Russian Federation (and the importance of their losses to the strategic interests of the USA and NATO).

    When countries act on their political and strategic interests one does not usual think in terms of morality. However, I have not discussed this topic, which is very wide, on my blog which is not political. My comments in Ukraine have really been restricted to the humanitarian aspects such as the senseless bombing and murder of innocent civilians in the Dombass region and support for a peaceful resolution of the underlying problems.

    Like

  28. David Fierstien

    Q: “So really I must ask you – are we talking past each other on the MH17 tragedy. ”
    A: No we weren’t, since our discussion on the MH17 tragedy hadn’t yet begun. I was going for small steps here, Ken.

    Q: “David Fierstien, while we are doing definitions, what is your definition of “invasion”?”
    A: In the example given, Crimea, invasion would be defined by the use of armed force in the annexation of territory from an area recognized by the world as a separate and sovereign nation, in this case Ukraine. Was not armed force used? Is not Ukraine a separate sovereign country independent of Russia?

    The use of uninvited force within a host country, by a separate country, has no place in the 21st Century. I am critical of this behavior when my country does it and I am critical when other countries do it.

    Your answer, as I understand it is Yes. The invasion of Crimea was a moral act. You and I hold separate definitions in the use of this basic human concept. It is not likely that that we could reach any sort of consensus through a discussion of this topic.

    Like

  29. David, you put words I did not use into my mouth. I specifically said when countries act on ther political and strategic interests one does not usually use the word moral. In fact their considerations are often completely selfish and cynical. Clearly in this case the RF support for the changes in Crimea (which after all were overwhelmingly supported by the residents) had strong motivations connected to the military security of the RF and to their strategic interests in an ongoing geopolitical conflict. A conflict where their interests had been violated during the 90s by US and NATO inroads (in violation of agreements made before the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Europe).

    Both sides had completely cynical interests in Crimea. In this case NATO and USA lost out and the RF prevented another unfriendly advance of armed forces right up to their border. That is a cynical geopolitical view but at least in this case it also was supported by the locals who were opposed to the illegal coup in Kiev and the takeover of local regional buildings by he Maidan forces (which includes some very unsavoury political groups).

    It was very unsavoury and very complex – and “moral” is hardly the word for it on either side. Personally I hope in future Ukraine and RF can settle this specific conflict legally. Unfortunately, though, the whole situation in Ukraine is so bad economically and politically and the place so corrupt this may not happen for a while. The U.S. and NATO also has not given up their geopolitical interests and action on the Ukrainian mainland,

    Personally I see the use of words like “invasion” as completely inappropriate (at this stage anyway) in the Ukrainian situation. The RF was obviously prepared to send in their own military forces (as shown by the Duma resolution) but has not considered it necessary (beyond the limited role of their forces legally on their Crimean bases) and the Duma resolution has since been withdrawn.

    The involvement of the RF in Ukraine is probably similar to the U.S. involvement in Syria – I would not use the word “invasion” in either case. That word is more correctly applied to what happens when the U.S. went into Vietnam and Iraq, or the USSR went into Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

    However, all this is a diversion from the real source of your disagreement with my article. The concept that on the MH17 tragedy, at least, Putin was occupyng the moral high ground by asking that governments and politicians not use the tragedy for their own political interests. Those that have done so have shown a cynical and inhumane disregard for the innocent victims of the tragedy. Their actions have actually been offensive and immoral.

    Like

  30. David, it might help you to understand where Ken is coming from. His previous statements and rationalisations on what is “really” happening is interesting, to say the least.
    Recommended reading.
    (That Obama person, he’s a tricksy one.)

    The information war – The NZ Listener takes up arms

    Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 – what really happened?

    Like

  31. Thanks for those links, Cedric.

    David, if your are interested you can find all I have written on the Ukriane issue here https://openparachute.wordpress.com/?s=Ukraine

    As you can see, about 15 articles mainly concentrated on the humanitarian issues with a few articles on the MH17 tragedy. I don’t think I had written anything specifically on Crimea. As I said, it is a complex issue.

    Like

  32. Crimea belongs to the Greeks, oops, I mean the Romans.

    Dang, make that anyone of the Ostrogoths or Alans or Huns or the Avars.
    What? Oh, OK, they were just passing through.

    So then…, the Greeks it was, the Byzantine variety not those argumentative Hellenistic types of earlier times.

    But no. It was the Khazars, yet they had their butts kicked by the Polovsky.

    Ah, then were the Russians, the so called Kievan Russian state. Briefly. In the context of this discussion who do they represent? Ukraine or Russia?

    Who cares, like spit on a hot plate they were sent off in 1242 by the Mongols (of various flavours) anyway. The Golden Horde. Then followed 200 glorious years under the Tartar Khans.

    In 1475 Mehemmed II captured Caffa in the Crimea from the Genoese (the Genoese – wtf??! ) ushering in Ottoman control.

    In 1642 the Crimea found itself within shouting distance of the expanding boarders of Lithuania. Phew, close call that.

    Back to the Russians (Muscovy variety for sure this time), Sevastopol established in 1783.

    But the true owners of everything turned up in 1854 and Sevastopol passed into British hands. Rule Britannia! (for 18 months).

    In the Soviet union Crimea found itself firstly an autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic then an oblast (provence) of the Russian SFSR and after 1954, the Ukrainian SSR. Finally an autonomous republic in 1991, within, but distinct from the Ukraine, an historical blink of an eye.

    Perhaps David would like to inform as to who has the ‘moral’ authority, political and ethnically, over the area.

    Like

  33. David Fierstien

    To be completely honest with you both, I am not well versed on this issue. Most of my knowledge of this comes from American media, CNN & MSNBC. I will take a closer look at this question. I am lost on this comment of yours: “The involvement of the RF in Ukraine is probably similar to the U.S. involvement in Syria . .” since the U.S. has no intention of annexing a portion of Syria your comparison has little merit. The U.S. may be assisting in an overthrow of that regime, but to my knowledge it is not for territorial gain. And this, the original sticking point: “Putin was occupying the moral high ground by asking that governments and politicians not use the tragedy for their own political interests.” Another interpretation is that Putin made the statement because a global condemnation of the situation which he helped to create, (i.e., a war zone over which MH17 flew and was inadvertently shot down) would have put his territorial expansion in a brighter global spotlight. Nobody wants this when committing immoral acts. (Regarding the question of the “morality” of the invasion of Crimea, it would have been acceptable to say it was not immoral.)
    Regarding Obama, he may shoot from the hip sometimes, occasionally he gets it wrong, but I would never call him weak. He knew he was in for the fight of his life to get Universal Health Care passed in this country. Hillary Clinton tried in the ’90s and failed miserably. He showed a great deal of stamina and resolution.

    Like

  34. David Fierstien

    “Perhaps David would like to inform as to who has the ‘moral’ authority, political and ethnically, over the area.” In the 21st Century, the authority within the borders of a sovereign nation lies with the political authority of that nation, unless other rules apply to Ukraine. Did you not know this Richard?

    Like

  35. In the 21st Century, the authority within the borders of a sovereign nation lies with the political authority of that nation, unless other rules apply to Ukraine. Did you not know this Richard?

    Translation: Whoever wields power within the boarders has authority.

    Glad that’s been cleared up for us.

    Like

  36. David, I should explain my comparison of the RF involvement in Ukraine with that of the USA in Syria.

    This was reference to Ukraine proper not Crimea.

    The RF has not got an official presence of its armed forces in Ukraine except for those that are there as part of the Minsk agreement and have the task, together with the official Officers of the Kiev government’s armed forces in trying to get withdrawal of heavy equipment from the front line. The OSCE helps in this.

    There are plenty of Russian nationals of the RF fighting as volunteers or mercenaries on both sides in eastern Ukraine in the pro-autonomy militia and the volunteer pro Kiev brigades or National Guard, together with local Ukrainians. There are also nationals from other countries – even the USA, France, Spain fighting on both sides. Officially the RF does not have its own forces in Ukraine (except Crimea) although I imagine it may have some in advisory or technical roles. In that respect I imagine the USA may unofficially have some of its own specialists in Syria in the same role as they have a declared aim if regime change in that country and are known to be supplying arms.

    The RF government does not officially supply arms to the eastern Ukraine militia although I would not be surprised if some equipment unofficially gets across the border with the full knowledge of the RF government. Some of this may be supplied by the RF government. Most of it is probably supplied by other political and nationalist forces within the RF. There are huge arm dumps across the former USSR (including Ukraine) which is probably the source of most weapons used in the area. Given the huge corruption in both countries I imagine that there is plenty of money diverted into such arm trade. In fact I have seen reports that the RF is concerned about rogue elements in East Ukraine who are gun running back into Russia proper.

    The supply of arms by the US to rebels in Syria is a more or less open secret. Interesting (I think) the US has often diverted arms from the ex-Soviet arms dumps in Eastern Europe into such hot spots so as to provide some sense of deniability. U.S. support for rebel and terrorist groups in the Middle East has often backfired as their arms and training has often been turned around and used against the U.S. Itself.

    So hence the similarities of Syria and Ukraine.

    Yes, the U.S. does not wish to annex part of Syria, but nor does the RF wish to annex part of Ukraine mainland (although some of the nationalist fighters and civilians in the Eastern area would like this to happen). The RF has cancelled its original legislation giving the government permission for military intervention. Again and again the RF government has stressed they support a unitary state in Ukraine while at the same time supporting constitutional reform and satisfaction of the language and local government demands on the people in localities. (This is a concern for other ethnic minorities besides Russians – for example Hungarians).

    There is a huge problem with propaganda deriving from the geopolitical struggle when discussing this area. I personally think that many people when the hear the words “Russia” or “Putin” just can’t think straight. They climb out of their trees and repeat the party line they have drummed in them. Thus words like “invasion” and “territorial gain” get used inappropriately. I often think this knee jerk reaction is a bit like a racist response.

    The Ukrainian people in the Donbass region are really suffering at the moment and our political and media leaders try to ignore that. They claim the humanitarian assistance coming from the RF is illegal and even an invasion. Seriously, claims are made that these convoys are carrying arms, etc. Meanwhile innocent people suffer.

    Their plight concerns me, just as the plight of the innocent victims of the MH17 tragedy and their families concern me. That is why I say that a political leader who advises other politicians and governments not to make political capital at the expense of these victims is occupying the moral high ground – however you spell their name or however deplorable there other actions may be.

    I tink I would put the Malaysian PM in this moral have go ground too becuase he has refused, so far, to go along with the lynching mentality over the MH17 tragedy.

    Like

  37. Regarding the statement “In the 21st Century, the authority within the borders of a sovereign nation lies with the political authority of that nation.” That sounds great but it is not the practice, unfortunately. The leaders of the RF have pointed out how hypocritical it is of their critics to say this when they had interfered in the former Yugoslavia and even created a new nation there.

    The same people also welcomed the overthrow of a constitutionally elected government in Kiev and the illegal installation of an unelected junta. Even overnight discarding the agreement on early elections and consitutional reform they had helped achieve. If that agreement had been put into effect Ukraine today may have the same corrupt leaders they currently have but 5000 deaths would have been avoided – and Crimea would not have been lost. That cynical behaviour on the part of the US and the EU achieved nothing but misery.

    Like

  38. David Fierstien

    Ken, your comment: “The RF has cancelled its original legislation giving the government permission for military intervention.”

    And again: “Seriously, claims are made that these convoys are carrying arms, etc.”

    My replies: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/10/satellite-images-russian-military-ukraine-border

    And again: “http://theweek.com/speedreads/index/258069/speedreads-russias-troop-buildup-near-the-ukraine-border-is-making-everyone-nervous

    Like

  39. David Fierstien

    Try this again without the quotation mark. Even so, this stuff is not hard to find.
    http://theweek.com/speedreads/index/258069/speedreads-russias-troop-buildup-near-the-ukraine-border-is-making-everyone-nervous

    Like

  40. David, I cannot understand the relevance of your links. They refer to movement of armed forces of the RF – within the RF!

    They are not evidence of an invasion or of intention to grab territory. More evidence of the tension in Europe and military activity within eastern Ukraine.. That coincide with the movement and stationing of armed forces and equipment from the U.S. and NATO alongside the borders of the RF. Why are people who think this way not linking to reports of NATO armed force movement toward and along the RF border as evidence of a “NATO invasion!”

    The military movement and exercises within the RF are what one would expect from a country which has faced the unilateral expansion of NATO right up to its borders in violation of international agreements when the former USSR withdrew forces from Europe.

    Unfortunately this is the sort of thing that gets used to support chants of a “Russian invasion” and leads me to think that when the words “Russia” and “Putin” are uttered it causes people to lose the ability to think rationally.

    Like

  41. David Fierstien

    Ken, forgive me for jumping from issue to issue, but this is essentially the same subject, Russian aggression against the Ukraine. (And this situation, in my view, is ultimately responsible for the downing of MH17.) I wanted to speak to an error of fact that you had previously made. Your quote: “You ask me if I think “the Russian invasion of Crimea was a moral act?” I have to ask – what Russian invasion of Crimea? I am not aware of any invasion. The recent annexation did not involve an invasion as the armed forces of the Russian Federation were already there under a long standing agreement in place since the independence of Ukraine.” My response to that quote is that actually, under the terms of a 1997 agreement with Ukraine, Russia was allowed to have up to 25,000 troops in Crimea. However, during the events of February, 2014 those numbers exceeded 25,000. This was a violation of the Ukrainian-Russian treaty agreements. This was, therefore, by any definition of the word, an invasion.

    Like

  42. David, I am aware of the agreement and the numbers allowed. Everything I read on this at the time reported the limit was not exceed. Some extra troops were sent but the current numbers were well under the limit so it wasn’t exceeded. RF government spokespersons specifically addressed that question at the time.

    Do you have any authoritave links that says otherwise?

    Like

  43. David Fierstien

    I hope you’re not one of those people who has a problem with al Jazeera. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2014/03/ukraine-offers-talks-with-russia-over-crimea-20143713572524931.html

    Like

  44. No, I think Al Jazeera is one of the better news sources, although not so good on Ukraine unless they have their own reporters in place on the ground. However, all news sources must be approaxhed intelligently and critically. There is a lot of crap reporting of Ukraine, and elsewhere.

    David, I do not consider an unnamed “Ukranian border guard official meanwhile reported on Friday, that there were an estimated 30,000 Russian troops” as at all authorative. The numbers quoted by the Crimean authorities sound more like the figures I remember of about 12,000 troops with another 6000 arriving during the crisis. Hence remaining under the agreed limit. No, I do not have links to that handy. But this does not look at all like an “invasion.”

    Like

  45. David Fierstien

    Ok, you don’t accept an unnamed Ukranian border guard official who was keeping track. Just so we can move on, I will, begrudgingly, allow you to reject this as an invalid source. However, Russia was in violation of the Russian-Ukrainian Treaty on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet which did allow for those 25,000 troops to remain on their bases. Leaving the bases was a violation of the treaty.

    http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/what-parts-of-the-black-sea-fleet-agreement-is-russia-violating-338358.html

    Moreover, Russia was clearly in violation of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, signed by Russia, the U.S., and the U.K. in which they agreed to:

    1. Respect Ukrainian independence and sovereignty within its existing borders.

    2. Refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine.

    3. Refrain from using economic pressure on Ukraine in order to influence its politics.

    4. Seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, “if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used”.

    5. Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Ukraine. (whatever “refrain” means)

    6. Consult with one another if questions arise regarding these commitments.

    Again, violation of these treaties, particularly troops leaving assigned bases to carry out aggressive military action against the host country constitutes an invasion.

    Like

  46. Just so we can move on,

    How gracious

    I will, begrudgingly, allow you to reject this as an invalid source.

    How begrudgingly gracious.

    PS your link is spectacularly uninformative. Are the bulleted points above your opinion or Iryna Yeroshko’s opinion?.

    Like

  47. David Fierstien

    ” . . bulleted points above . .”? Are you referring to the terms of the treaty? If so, they are no one’s opinion. They are agreed upon terms of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, signed by Russia, the U.S., and the U.K. Please forgive me if that wasn’t clear enough. And yeah, I am a gracious guy, but my magnanimous modesty usually prevents me from making a show of it.

    Like

  48. David, I know I use the word “clearly” myself too much. But I think Daniel Dennett warned about its use as it often an indication that things are far from clear.

    I can’t for the life of me see how the RF was in violation of the Crimean bases treaty. Perhaps you could point me to the specific clauses. I am sure the military personnel based there would often travel throughout the country let alone the peninsula. Christ, many – if not a majority – probably lived off their bases with their families. It’s hard to find anything aggressive in the actions of the RF personnel because they played such a background role. One example from my memory that might qualify is their helicopter action to protect a power plant in a village just outside the Crimea region.

    The context must be examined. At the time a coup had taken place in Kiev. This was part of illegal and violent occupations occurring throughout the country where local administrations were being threatened and replaced. In February elements of the Maidan demonstrators had captured arms. This action was occurring in he South and the East and was being threatened in Crimea Local anti-Maidan forces took direct action to prevent it.

    The Ukrainian armed forces in their Crimean bases were effectively leaderless and complained bitterly about Kiev ignoring them and refusing to give them orders. Many defected to the Russian forces and Crimea – after all many of them were Russian and Crimean. Ukrainian and Russian armed forces trained alongside each other, they were not enemies (until 1992 they effectively belonged to the same country). To be confronted with a situation of an illegal government in Kiev, no orders from the centre, etc., you can understand what an impossible situation it was for them. To cap it all off the local population wanted them to defect and wanted to leave a Ukraine. Even for completely cynical reasons the defectors got an immediate pay rise, better pensions and a higher standard of living with the possibility of a little bit less corruption in their lives.

    Perhaps we should be saying that the RF forces acted very responsibly. The outcome was very peaceful – what would have happened if the Maidan units has managed to seize power in Crimea as well? I suspect a bloodbath.

    As for the Budapest Memorandum – I think this is straw clutching despite your use of the the word “clearly” again. This agreement itself could have been cited by the Russian Federation if they had in fact intervened militarily. Let’s face it. When nuclear weapons were withdrawn from Byelorussia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine this was done as part of a policy of non-proliferation and in a way that the state to which the weapons were withdrawn to, the Russian Federation, would provide guarantees against the actions of hostile States and alliances of the time – the US and NATO.

    An interventionist Russia could have justified their actions using the agreement and cite the illegal overthrow of an elected government as a result of the intervention of US and European governments and money. They could have cited the attempts at imposition of a unilateral EU association agreement on a government who insisted on trilateral negotiations to produce a fairer agreement.

    And so on.

    The fact remains there has been no invasion. The annexation of Crimea took place with the declared support of its residents along the same international law used by NATO in the former Yugoslavia. I agree the procedure was inadequate but the situation was dangerous and proper negotiations were impossible as the government had been illegally overthrown. As I have said before, I hope that the two countries can come to a mutually satisfactory agreement on the situation of the Crimea in future without interference from the US and NATO who have been trying to achieve a strategic advantage in the area in the mistaken belief that the RF was too weak to prevent them.

    Like

  49. David Fierstien

    Ken, before I proceed I want you to understand why I feel the issue of Crimea should be on the table when discussing the downing of MH17. That flight was shot down over a war zone in which pro-Russian rebels are in conflict with the central government of Ukraine. If I am wrong on this basic fact, let’s correct it now. I am fairly certain that the pro-Russian rebels are supported by Moscow. Actually you have implied this also: “The RF government does not officially supply arms to the eastern Ukraine militia although I would not be surprised if some equipment unofficially gets across the border with the full knowledge of the RF government.” (This page – time-stamp | December 22, 2014 at 11:12 am |). Therefore, since MH17 came down over a conflict zone in which Moscow was probably involved, it would make sense to look at the larger picture of a Ukrainian – Russian conflict in order to put this tragedy into context. That is why I feel that the events of early 2014 in Crimea are a valid issue of discussion.

    So, I have contended that what happened in Crimea was a “Russian Invasion.” And you have contended – and I don’t want to put words in your mouth – that the Russian Troops restored order. So I must ask, if Russia had completely altruistic motives wouldn’t they have handed the territory back to Ukraine after all issues had been settled in Kiev?

    I have supported my contention that this was an invasion by pointing out that Russia violated the BSF Treaty that it held with Ukraine.

    You have asked: “I can’t for the life of me see how the RF was in violation of the Crimean bases treaty. Perhaps you could point me to the specific clauses.”

    My response is that according to paragraph 1, Article 6 of the Agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on the Status and Conditions of Presence of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in the Territory of Ukraine “Military units shall conduct their operations in the areas of disposition in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, obey its legislation and refrain from interference with Ukraine’s domestic affairs”.

    According to paragraph 2, Article 8 of the same Agreement, “Military units shall conduct exercise and other combat and operative training within the limits of training centers, training areas, positioning and dispersal areas, firing ranges, and, except forbidden zones, within the designated airspace as agreed with Ukraine’s competent authorities”.

    Now, I have been on U.S. Military Bases in foreign countries, and I can tell you for certain that once you leave that base, you are on foreign soil. If you leave that base armed you had better have permission from the host country. And that is what paragraph 2, Article 8 says: “. . . as agreed with Ukraine’s competent authorities”.

    If you could, Ken, could you tell me which authority in Ukraine gave these Russian troops permission to leave their bases while armed? The fact is that the moment they left their bases they walked onto foreign soil (correct?), armed (correct?), in violation of Treaty (yes, correct), and they did in fact invade the country.

    I know you won’t like it if I say this was a “clear” violation of the Treaty, but I will say that you will have to put an enormous amount of spin on this to tell me it wasn’t a treaty violation.

    You have said: “Ukrainian and Russian armed forces trained alongside each other, they were not enemies.”

    This is a great opportunity to bring up a joke making the rounds at the final accord’s signing ceremonies in Sevastopol which illustrates the suspicion, wounded pride, and confused allegiances wrought from Ukraine’s separation from its Slavic big brother Russia six years earlier: A Russian and a Ukrainian find $1,000 on the street. The Russian turns to his buddy and says, “Let’s split it like brothers!” The Ukrainian shakes his head and responds, “No thanks. Let’s split it 50-50.”

    You have also said, “To cap it all off the local population wanted them to defect and wanted to leave a Ukraine.”

    This is reminiscent of an occurrence that happened in my country. I have a dear friend in South Carolina who still calls that occurrence The War of Northern Aggression, evidence of the bitter feelings that remain a century & a half later. Of course I call it the Civil War. (And rest assured, negative feelings from the South toward Lincoln were probably stronger than Crimean feelings toward Kiev.) In that war, England supported the South. Only a few decades earlier, in 1812, England tried to invade the United States. I bring this up because there are some similarities.

    In justifying your denial of the existence of the Russian Invasion of Crimea, you say, “The annexation of Crimea took place with the declared support of its residents. . .” This is irrelevant to Russia’s involvement which was a clear treaty violation and an invasion.

    Like

  50. David Fierstien

    Regarding my previous discussion on Russia’s treaty violation, I should also note that Paragraph 5, Article 15 of the same Agreement reads: “Movements related to activities of military units outside of their areas of disposition shall take place following an approval by Ukraine’s competent authorities”. This would speak more directly to the position that Russia violated the treaty BSF Treaty.

    Like

  51. David, you are unwilling to consider the morality of politicians who cynically make political capital out of the MH17 tragedy and say that can only happen after placing the Crimean issue “on the table.” I think that is a diversion because whatever the rights and wrongs of the Crimean issue or the wider issue of the conflict one can easily see the immorality involved in using the plight of the victims and their families in this way. It is completely disrespectful.

    But as you insist on demanding consideration of Crimea one could, for example, point out (as I have tried to), that to consider the issue of Crimea in any sensible way, that one must also put on the table the whole political crisis in Ukraine at the time. You avoid that. But you talk about “Ukraine’s competent authorities.” Could you tell me who these were? Are you suggesting that the RF should have considered leaders of an illegal coup “competent” and ignore the legally elected leaders and government? That the competent authorities in Crimea should have been ignored?

    The EU and US did exactly that. Overnight they gave “competence” to an illegal junta – despite the EU having been centrally involved in achieving an agreement for early presidential elections and constitutional reform. That in itself probably results from their involvement in formenting and feeding that political crisis.

    I actually feel that regarding the February 21st agreement the RF leadership, particularly Lavrov, also occupy the moral high ground whereas the U.S. and EU definitely acted immorally. If that agreement had been allowed to take place Ukraine would still have been a chaotic and corrupt country. But they would have been economically and financially much sounder. There would not have been over 5 thousand deaths of innocent civilians. There would not have been the shelling and bombing of cities, towns and villages in the east. And the MH17 tragedy would not have occurred.

    But that tragedy did occur in the real world and the reaction of political leaders and governments to it is a moral issue. I certainly cannot respect any leader who lies about the event and makes political capital out of that tragedy.

    Like

  52. David, when you quote from treaties etc., it would help to provide a link. I don’t think the minutia of such treaties are important in this discussion as it is straw itching to use them to define such a obvious thing as an “invasion,” but I personally like to check such things out – as you are probably aware with my approach to the scientific studies are quoted.

    My partner would say it is because I am a Virgo but that is just rubbish.🙂

    >

    Like

  53. Thanks for that link soundhill1. I notice there are a couple of reports presenting evidence supporting the different scenarios circulating at the moment. I also saw a report in a Russian source that the Dutch investigators will produce another interim report by the end of this month but can’t find confirmation at the official site.

    The video of the interview is also circulating – this one has English subtitles.

    Like

  54. David Fierstien

    Ken, in your comment above you say, “David, you are unwilling to consider the morality of politicians who cynically make political capital out of the MH17 tragedy and say that can only happen after placing the Crimean issue “on the table.””

    Actually I didn’t say I wouldn’t consider the morality of certain politicians unless the Crimean issue was on the table. I said, “I feel that the events of early 2014 in Crimea are a valid issue of discussion,” and I also explained why. I hope you don’t think I was issuing an ultimatum or holding any other topic hostage.

    Ok, you want to talk about the morality of politicians. Who holds the moral high ground? Morality . . . ethics . . . Tell you what, let me present an exercise in ethics.

    The following is purely hypothetical. Any similarity to any person living or dead is purely coincidental:

    Mr. X lives in a small neighborhood. His neighbor hates him. They never got along. One day, Mr. X killed his wife. Her body was found in his front yard, mangled, cut up . . . it was horrible. The police came, removed the body. Of course, as any fan of the ID Network can tell you, the spouse is always the first suspect. As far as the police were concerned, Mr. X was the primary suspect; however, this was confidential information because an investigation had not yet taken place. Now Mr. X’s neighbor, who really did not like Mr. X, began to publicly accuse Mr. X of being the murderer. And since they lived in a small neighborhood (and since Mr. X was known to have abused his former wife, whose name was Georgia) the rumors were rampant.

    Now here is the ethical dilemma: Which of these two men held the higher moral ground? Was it Mr. X who murdered his wife, or was it Mr. X’s neighbor who accused him of it, although there was no proof of it yet?

    Tough question. Got an answer?

    Like

  55. It looks like Mr X was insane. Insane people can be hated by their neighbour. Or if the neighbour were suffering from early dementia he may be showing the characteristic suspicion, and be a stressor on Mr X.

    Early reports of the MH17 downing were that it was by mistake. Now we have been told again, “wrong plane”.

    Here we do not just have neighbours but other “interested parties” getting in on the spoils.

    Like

  56. Again, David, that is a diversion. Your hypothetical situation is completely irrelevant.

    What we have here is a plane shot down killing almost 300 innocent civilians. At this stage we do not know who or what caused the destruction (tell me if you know something I don’t). We have possible scenarios and, as I have said, the three groups most likely to have accidently or intentionally been responsible are the armed forces, or elements of the armed forces, in the separatist eastern regions of Ukraine, the Kiev regime (including the voluntary batallions) and the Russian Federation. We could spread the net wider as the US and NATO had ongoing exercises in the Black Sea at the time and we know some of the Ukrainian planes attacking civilians in the east have taken off from Romanian airports. But I think the three parties I mention are the most likely.

    We could speculate – for example considering which forces had which weapons and what weapon appears most likely to have caused the damage we see in the on-line photos of the wreckage. We could also listen to testimony of witnesses. I suggest the last people to listen to are the governments and leaders of countries who have irons in the fire – Ukraine government, leadersip of seperatists, the RF government and the US government. Some of these have advanced hypotheses which can only be described as wild and dishonest because they supply absolutely no evidence (and I point my finger at Obama and the US here).

    In this situation, having no irons of my own in the fire, I am happy to say “I don’t know. I won’t seriously speculate (although I am of course interesting to some extent with the ideas that are advanced). Let’s proceed to investigate rapidly and transparently.” In my consideration of the available information I think that is the wisest approach and anyone lumping firmly for one scenario or another demonstrates, to me, unwarranted political bias. Even worse, when those people refuse to allow consideration of anything not fitting their bias I cannot see that bias as innocent.

    Now, two leaders (among many others – for instance the majority of the G20) have refused to support either of the touted scenarios – The RF president and the Malaysian PM. Putin went one step further by warning other leaders not to make political capital out of the tragedy. To me that means on this question he is occcupying the moral high ground – irrespective of anything else he has said or done in his life.

    My simple statement about what seems to be an obvious fact in no way can be considered an endorsement of any other postion or action of Mr Putin or the Malysian PM. Just as my statement that Obama’s behaviour over this issue was disgusting and disrespectful, should not be considered as a condemnation of anything else that man has said or done in his life.

    Just a small footnote – my assessment of Putin has varied over the years. I was disgusted with the evident constitutiuonal manipulation to get his a 3rd and 4th presidential term. Having since read more about the disastorous situation Russia was in during the 90s I am perhaps less critical. I have recently been searching for something objective about his life and history to read and you know what – it just isn’t there! This guy is so demonised it seems impossible to find anything which isn’t hysterical. As I said, the word “Russia” and “Putin” seem to cause most people’s blood pressure to rise and destroy their ability to think straight. I think that is why some people are upset with my observation about the moral high ground but can’t explain why.

    Like

  57. David Fierstien

    Before I begin, please allow me to wish you a very Merry Christmas. I hope you do the holidays up right and have a great time enjoying the people in your life.

    It won’t surprise you to know that my assessment of Putin is quite the opposite yours. What you may find surprising is that I actually thought he was pretty cool at first – he invited McCartney to perform in Red Square after all. That’s why it was so disappointing to see what an asshole he is. (Of course Obama had to outdo Putin and invite him to the White House where he presented McCartney with the Gershwin Award.)

    You are correct, I brought up the issue of Crimea, and there is a reason for that. (Bear with me, I’ll get to that.) And you have said, “When countries act on their political and strategic interests one does not usual think in terms of morality.“ (Time-stamp: December 21, 2014 at 7:39 pm ) So if Putin annexed Crimea for strategic reasons, he is an idiot as well as an asshole. I mean look at the suffering of his people. In the 21st Century, when you behave like an international prick, your people suffer. Are you learning, nations of Planet Earth?

    I don’t know how things are in New Zealand right now, but in the U.S. things couldn’t be better. Gas prices haven’t been this low for over a decade. Russia, on the other hand, in all its aggressiveness, is no friend to oil rich Azerbaijan as evidenced by its vote in U.N. General Assembly resolution 68/262 which affirmed the United Nations commitment to recognize Crimea within Ukraine’s international borders and underscored the invalidity of the 2014 Crimean referendum. Great strategy, Putin. And he’s had his military into Georgia. This guy is definitely not a progressive thinker. (I knew a very nice man from Georgia who absolutely hated Putin for what he had done there.)

    So what does this have to do with the downing of MH17? Here’s my point. You are focused on who pulled the trigger. I would like to address the situation in which this tragedy took place. You are focused on asking from which branch a particular ember in a great forest fire came. I would like to look at the cause of the fire. You are looking at one symptom. I would like to look at the cause of the disease. And I maintain (using the forest-fire analogy) that Putin has fanned the flames of that fire; therefore, he holds no high moral ground in any of it.

    Now, I agree with you that we should hold off judgment as to who exactly pulled the trigger. Let the Dutch investigate and find out. Maybe they will tell us, maybe they won’t. I’m not obsessed with exactly who pulled that trigger. (I’m not the one putting up videos with actors accusing Ukraine.) I’m concerned about why the trigger was pulled in the first place.

    And let’s get real here. When Putin said we should hold off judgment until we know for sure who did this, he probably didn’t know who did it. But he probably did suspect that his own people may have been responsible. It is impossible for me to believe that he wanted the world to withhold blame because he holds a higher moral ground. That is a highly naïve interpretation, Ken. (Actually it’s hard for me to believe that you are that naive. But I do know there are people who find it difficult to admit when they were wrong.) The fact is, Putin wanted everyone to hold off judgment because he didn’t want to get blamed for it. It’s that simple. He’s not a saint in this.

    One more thing, this Holiday, drink one for me & I’ll drink one for you. Cheers!!

    Like

  58. Thanks fòr the Christmas  greetings  David. The same to you.

    We will obviously disagree about politicians like the Malaysian PM and RF president. No problem. However,  that should not stop us agreeing  on what us acceptable  behaviour  in the way the MH17 victims are respected. That’s  just a matter of human decency.

    Regarding the context for the Ukrainuan problems it is interesting you refuse to even acknowledge the illegal coup and role of Svoboda, Pravi Sector, etc. In the terror . Why is that? To me that seems vitally significant.

    Like

  59. David Fierstien

    This was your comment with which I originally took issue: ” . . . Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation, . . . But he at least retained the moral high ground when he warned governments and politicians not to use this tragedy for political purposes.”

    i have contended that your interpretation of his comment is naive. From your comment above I gather that you disagree with my assessment. Ok, that’s where we stand. You refuse to budge.

    I don’t recall making any comments regarding the Malaysian Prime Minister.

    Regarding the internal political problems of Ukraine: These difficulties had little to do with your original comment with which I took issue.

    However, I have acknowledged that there have been political problems in Ukraine. My acknowledgement of Ukraine’s problems supports my position that Putin holds no high moral ground in his dealings with Ukraine.

    When Kiev was in chaos, Putin annexed Crimea. Russian military assisting in that annexation was a clear violation of paragraph 1, Article 6 of the Agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on the Status and Conditions of Presence of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in the Territory of Ukraine which states: “Military units shall conduct their operations in the areas of disposition in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, obey its legislation and refrain from interference with Ukraine’s domestic affairs”.

    Russian military interfered with Ukraine’s domestic affairs. Putin violated the Treaty. The disorder in Kiev was irrelevant to the terms of the Treaty. Putin does not hold any high moral ground in its dealings with Ukraine.

    Like

  60. David, what do you say about Yanukovych’s election in Ukraine, his ousting by armed uprising and his invitation to Russia to protect him in Crimea? https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9F9pQcqPdKo#t=6005

    Like

  61. Perhaps this discussion should be seen as just another example of the attitude that I am criticising so i will try to present it in its essence.

    I empathise with the innocent victims of the MH17 tragedy and their families. It is important to me that we determine what actually happened and do our best to prevent future events like this. We should also bring to justice anyone responsible for  crminal events leading to the tragedy.

    So i am critical of actions aimed at inhibiting an objective, full and  transparent investigation. I am critical of a lynching mentallity based on a pre determination of the results of this investigation – an ignoring of the investigation or even the need for one.

    That disgusting and cynical use of the victims for political purpise is not only inhumane, it is dangerous as it promotes a cold war mentallity.

    That is my argument in essence. So, David, can you respond to that? Do you support cynical poltical use if these victims or do you support their righrs to a proper investigation and bringing to justice anyone criminally involved?

    Like

  62. Now a separate issue – my presentation of the argument.

    I could  make the argument more specific by naming names – politicians and media who have adopted  this lynching approach for cynical political ends. But i think we know who they are.

    I could also give examples of leaders who have refused to do this. Leaders who i would describe as occupying the high moral ground – on this specific issue. You might be surprised at the length of that list.

    And i could try reinforcing my argument by pointing out that at least one of those politicians is a person my readers   love to hate. A person who is demonised  by our media. Rightly or wrongly. If “even he” can accept and demonstrate, even promote, the empathetic and humane approach i advocate does this not put to shame those who don’t. 

    I guess , though, the brainwashing is so strong that some people dò not see that irony. The word itself sends them off at a tangent which unfortunately provides support for a inhumane and cynical usung of innocent victims for political purposes.

    Like

  63. David Fierstien

    Ken, you have asked the question: “That is my argument in essence. So, David, can you respond to that?” I will do my best to answer your comment.

    1.) “I empathise with the innocent victims of the MH17 tragedy and their families. It is important to me that we determine what actually happened and do our best to prevent future events like this. We should also bring to justice anyone responsible for crminal events leading to the tragedy.”

    Answer: I don’t disagree with this statement and I don’t recall saying anything to the contrary.

    2.) “So i am critical of actions aimed at inhibiting an objective, full and transparent investigation. I am critical of a lynching mentallity based on a pre determination of the results of this investigation – an ignoring of the investigation or even the need for one.”

    Answer: I don’t disagree with this either. However, while I have been critical of, as you say “a person who is demonised by our media” based on his pattern of past behavior behavior (which includes among other things, Treaty violation, aggression in other countries including Georgia, and I didn’t even get to his treatment of local Russians living in the area of the the XXII Olympic Winter Games), I don’t believe I named him or any of his minions as being the actual “trigger-pullers” in the MH17 tragedy. I did accuse him of helping to set the stage in which the tragedy occurred. It’s only my opinion, but it would be hard to deny that there is some truth to it.

    3.) “That disgusting and cynical use of the victims for political purpise is not only inhumane, it is dangerous as it promotes a cold war mentallity.”

    Answer: While I don’t disagree with the essence of what you are saying, the emotionally charged way in which you say it (words like cynical, inhumane, and earlier, lynch mentality) can get in the way. I remind you of something you said to me on another website: “OK, David, I can see you have strong political views and feelings about this. However, these in themselves don’t provide grounds for making decisions of such magnitude. In fact they obstruct your ability . . .” In my opinion, your language here is a bit over the top.

    4.) In your second comment, this statement is where I have the problem: “If “even he” can accept and demonstrate, even promote, the empathetic and humane approach i advocate does this not put to shame those who don’t.”

    Answer: Again, I don’t think we are going to agree on this. His statement was neither empathetic nor humane, but it’s nice that you see it that way. His request to hold off on the judgement of exactly who was directly responsible for shooting down that plane was self-serving in that he knew he would be blamed for it, or was being blamed for it, and he was being critical of those blaming him. He was defending himself.

    Like

  64. David Fierstien wrote of Putin: “based on his pattern of past behavior behavior (which includes among other things, Treaty violation, aggression in other countries including Georgia,”
    Guardian reported:
    “Russia only sent troops and tanks to drive Georgian forces out of South Ossetia after President George Bush failed to put pressure on Georgia’s president to stop his attacks on the breakaway territory, Vladimir Putin said” “Putin made clear that Russia could easily have occupied Georgia and toppled its president, Mikheil Saakashvili. “Our forces were 15 kilometres [nine miles] from Tbilisi. It would have taken four hours to capture Tbilisi. We didn’t have that goal.”‘
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/sep/12/putin.georgia

    Like

  65. David Fierstien wrote: “his treatment of local Russians living in the area of the the XXII Olympic Winter Games”

    London, Beijing and Rio also did forced relocations for their Olympics. It’s not nice.
    But here it is being used for the current political capital.

    33 USA States do not allow homosexual marriage. 75% of Russians do not believe in it. I can’t help feeling the issue was being used as a political tool focused on Putin’s winter Olympics.

    Like

  66. David, you have now  actually ageed with my comment – even if a little reluctantly.  I think some things should flow from that agreeement. Such as criticism of politicians and governments  who make political capital out of the tragedy (eg Obama, Cameron  and Abbott). Condemnation of forces who inhibit the investigation  (Eg those shelling the area and preventing recovery of bodies and wreckage ).  Expressing concern at secret agreements possibly limiting publication of information. And urging more speed in the investigation and response to families.

    One should not allow one’s specific political beliefs or hangups prevent that.

    Divergence  of discussion into the diversity of political beliefs and hangups should not prevent this.

    Like

  67. David Fierstien

    Soundhill1, I watched about 45 minutes of Mr. Putin’s speech but couldn’t find the time to watch it all. I found it interesting. I’ll try to set aside a few hours tomorrow to watch it all.

    Your comment: “But here it is being used for the current political capital.” What you call political capital I would call criticism of an injustice. Nothing wrong with that.

    And I would be the first to admit that there are a lot of horrible things in U.S. history that are indefensible.

    Like

  68. David: Your comment: “But here it is being used for the current political capital.” What you call political capital I would call criticism of an injustice. Nothing wrong with that.”

    People in the way of Olympic developments in Sochi, London, Beijing, Rio were relocated. But more is being made of it in Sochi seemingly as part of an orchestrated attack. The orchestrated attack seems to be including the seeming attempt to make Sochi a venue to promote normality of and participation in homosexuality, not just about legalising marriage. If some enterprise was promoting come to Socchi games because of sex interest in general I think it would be right to stop that, too. Would that be classed as intolerance? Sex tourism in the world is a fact and may frequently be exploitive of youth.

    Like

  69. David Fierstien

    I wasn’t really aware of a Sochi Olympic / homosexual connection. Either it wasn’t broadcast here or I missed it.

    Like

  70. David Fierstien

    Ken, from your comment above regarding items we can agree on: “Condemnation of forces who inhibit the investigation (Eg those shelling the area and preventing recovery of bodies and wreckage ).”

    My response is that according to international monitors, that would be the pro-Russian rebels: “Borodai insisted that rebels had not interfered with the crash investigation, despite reports to the contrary by international monitors and journalists at the crash site.”
    http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/7/20/mh17-crash-site-bodies.html

    Like

  71. David Fierstien

    It is good to see that you finally agree with me in my condemnation of the pro-Russian separatists.

    Like

  72. If rebels were guarding the area why would they put their own soldiers at risk by shooting into the area as farmers reported was happening?

    Your AlJazeera article is also reporting the discredited phone taps.

    Much of the USA story has been manufactured, pictures of BUK.

    Note also The Ukrainian farms have have had explosive mines laid. There will be starvation.

    Like

  73. David, of course I condemn both sides for any inhibition they were each responsible for.

    At the time both sides agreed to a ceasefire in the area and the UN Security Council demanded it. In practice it did not hold – one can speculate why.

    You seem to rely on a vague sentence in an Al Jazeera report. I suggest you look more deeply. I personally don’t attempt to to deny both sides may have contributed to the failure of the ceasefire but I do not accept the unattributed claims made by much of the mass media at the time blaming only the rebels. I believed this was largely hysterical and false. At the time I wrote this post –
    Some answers to the confusion about the #MH17 crash site – which includes a video of a press conference from the local authorities which I think provided a much needed balance.

    The international monitors, the OSCE, produce their own reports and I suggest you read this rather than rely on vague newspaper reports which often distort or completely misrepresent the OSCE official statements. The OSCE were the first international group to get to the crash site very quickly, as they were on the ground and had good contact with the local authorities. Other international groups who tried to get access via the Kiev government found things extremely difficult and were inhibited from access for a long time. The usual trick that Kiev uses is to deny access because they “cannot guarantee safety.” (The same argument the used with the early humanitarian convoys). But the Malaysian MP, for example, must have seen through that trick because he negotiated with the local authorities and managed to get access quickly and get the black boxes.

    I have seen a private report from one OSCE observer describe the difficulties encountered by groups attempting to travel from Donetsk to the crash site. This involved going through quite a few checkpoints controlled by the local militia, the Ukrainian army and the Ukrainian National Guard units. This report described how the national guard check points often turned the observers back and knew of attacks underway when the Ukrainian army did not. In that situation it is easy for the Ukrainian army to claim they were inactive while the national guard was actively shelling the area. These national guard units are usually controlled and financed by the local oligarch and the pro-fascist parties like Svoboda, the Radical Party and the Pravi Sektor.

    The crash site has evidence of craters from bombardment by the Ukrainian side.

    On balance I see the Ukrainian side has been the most obstructive both regarding access and in providing information to the joint investigation team. Despite Poroshenko’s claim in Australia that they have satellite photos and other evidence “proving” a ground attack by the local militia cooperating with the RF forces and equipment they have not provided this information to the investigation team – at least publicly. They do not appear to have providing the traffic control radar readings. They have refused to respond to questions from the Russian investigators.

    I have seen a news report attributed to the Ukrainian UN ambassador that the Dutch Investigators will produce a new interim report by the end of this month. Their last report mentioned the material supplied by the Russian Federation but nothing from the U.S. or Ukraine. If the new report does not mention anything submitted by them people will be asking why

    Like

  74. “Creating Famine Conditions

    Beginning in the late spring the Ukrainian army set landmines across the grain fields needed to support the area for human and livestock consumption. The landmines set in grain fields aren’t in contested areas. They are not marked and the locals weren’t told to stay away by the Ukrainian army.

    These are the fields where farmers make their living and produce the grain needed for bread. One of my neighbors hit a mine trying to harvest his wheat. It destroyed his tractor and he was lucky to be thrown clear. He woke to see his tractor burning. In early summer another neighbor on his tractor was used for sniper practice.

    The Ukrainian army burnt grain and corn fields that were under their control. This continued throughout most of the summer as noted across many articles.

    The scorched earth policy was geared at creating the current situation which will soon be mass starvation and the sicknesses associated with it. Tens of thousands of acres could not be harvested.

    To make the point a few short weeks ago Kiev’s appointed Governor in the occupied Lugansk region stated bluntly that Kiev’s humanitarian blockade of Lugansk and Donetsk was geared to reproduce the effects of the Soviet Union’s 1932-33 famine in which millions across central and southeast Ukraine perished from starvation and sickness.”

    http://www.ukrainewar.info/kiev-forcing-death-starvation-relocation-donbass/

    And Amnesty International’s response to the current attempts to relieve this illegal situation:
    http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/eastern-ukraine-humanitarian-disaster-looms-food-aid-blocked-2014-12-23

    Like

  75. David Fierstien

    Soundhill1, regarding your sources: The first source you cite, this http://www.ukrainewar.info/kiev-forcing-death-starvation-relocation-donbass/ also has on its front page the bogus story of “the actual pilot” who shot down the aircraft, although I didn’t see the video with the actors who performed brilliantly as interviewers and witness. My point is that your first source lacks unbiased credibility.

    I have never known Amnesty International to have a political ax to grind. I consider AI to be both a reliable and a respected organization and I greatly admire the work they do. However, the point of this article is the blockade of humanitarian food and supplies, from the Ukraine side, to people who need it in pro-Russian controlled areas. I assume the point of this article is to point a finger of blame at the Ukrainian side, for what happens in a war, and demonstrate what horrible people they are.

    I don’t blame the Ukrainians for the blockades. You may recall U.S. efforts to send humanitarian aid to starving Somalians in the 1990s. Much of that food went to local war lords, and in the end the U.S. effort was counter productive. And from the webpage you provided, this is exactly the reason given by the Ukraine side:

    “After stopping one of the convoys Vladimir Manko, deputy commander of the Dnipro-1 battalion, told the Ukrainian media:

    “We don’t have any control on the other side. It turns out that we’re at war with them and we’re spilling our blood, but in the same time we’re feeding them.” ”

    You may not agree with it, but the Ukrainians are right to blockade. I don’t like it either. On the other hand, if Vladimir Putin occupies this lofty moral high ground, as Mr. Perrott contends, one would have to believe that he would be the first in line to offer humanitarian assistance to either side.

    Like

  76. They used actors to protect the source.
    I’m looking at the “mistake” shooting concept. This originated very soon after the event. That the wrong plane had been shot. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2696975/Putin-blames-Ukraine-loss-Flight-MH17-298-innocent-souls-DOESNT-deny-Russian-separatists-shot-missile-McCain-warns-Hell-pay.html
    And now we have the “mistake” concept appearing again, though no mention of Putin’s plane this time.
    Here are the comparison pictures of Putin’s plane and the off-course MH17 which could have been mistaken at the several KMs the pilot talked about.

    http://reasoningconspiracy.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/coincidence-theory-mh17/

    The Ukrainian Army and their “volunteers” which AI speaks of. Burning the crops, laying mines, blockading relief food. All with the same objective. An excuse given for the blockading that relief was being diverted. We don’t hear to where or in detail by whom. Could even be the “volunteers”.

    Like

  77. “After stopping one of the convoys Vladimir Manko, deputy commander of the Dnipro-1 battalion, told the Ukrainian media:

    “We don’t have any control on the other side. It turns out that we’re at war with them and we’re spilling our blood, but in the same time we’re feeding them.” ”

    AlJazeera reported that housing blocks were being bombed and military barracks untouched. This is an attack on the people, not the military. “We’re feeding them”. Definitely not. Where is the evidence?

    Like

  78. David Fierstien

    do you have the al Jazeera link?

    Like

  79. Here is a link to a Telegraph article and video on that particular aid convoy http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/11308143/Ukraine-football-stadium-acts-as-aid-centre-as-humanitarian-crisis-looms.html This source may be more ideologically desirable for David🙂

    The NF brigades or volunteer brigades who are stopping the convoys are pro-fascist – surely David doesn’t want to accept them as reliable?🙂

    I think the issue of humanitarian aid is another question which decides people morally, not politically. Whatever one’s politics it is surely immoral to prevent aid to the people in the east who are really suffering at the moment – a fact recognised by international human rights and aid bodies and the UN. Whatever David thinks ideologically of the Ukrainian oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, or of the Russian Emergency Ministry and public bodies involved, the humanitarian aid missions are surely extremely important and it is immoral to prevent them.

    >

    Like

  80. David Fierstien

    Regarding the downing of MH17, I think we know where we all are at this point. It might be best to wait for the next Dutch report.

    Like

  81. David Fierstien

    Ken’s quote: “This source may be more ideologically desirable for David” as a reference to the UK Telegraph. Why would you think the Telegraph would be more in line with my ideology than al Jazeera? I hope you aren’t generalizing in any way, which sometimes happens when emotions are stirred.

    Like

  82. David, I did use an emoticon to indicate it was a dig, not a serious claim. Just a response to your reference to “source lacks unbiased credibility” in another comment.

    Personally I find The Telegraph often posts information which other similar sources suppress, even though it is considered as quite an extreme source. I wouldn’t use it as a reliable primary source – but I do regularly check it out. I personally see rejection of information because of them soce can be a knee jerk cop out.

    I agree we should await the next official report from the joint investigation team – that is certainly occupying the high moral ground compared with those like Obama and Abbott who claim knowledge they do not have for their own politcal ends.

    But there are concerns about the tardiness of this investigation and the possible veto right that the Kiev regime appears to have (which is the point of this post). I personally see their next interim report (if it occurs) as a bit of a test as surely they can not ignore the primary radar data any more and their conclusions about this will either reject that evidence or, in effect, reject the reliability of information from Kiev. They after all claim they had no military planes in the air that day but the radar data submitted to the investigation by the RF show there were such planes in the voncinitynat the time.

    Meanwhile, it is perfectly understandable that the news media will report, or should report, any new information that comes to hand – especially in the absence of official information. Provided governments do not seize on such unverified information for political purposes as happened in the US, Europe and Australia immediately after the tragedy.

    Like

  83. David Fierstien

    Ken, your quote: “David, I did use an emoticon to indicate it was a dig, not a serious claim. Just a response to your reference to “source lacks unbiased credibility” in another comment.”

    This is my comment to which you are referring: “. .the bogus story of “the actual pilot” who shot down the aircraft, although I didn’t see the video with the actors who performed brilliantly as interviewers and witness. My point is that your first source lacks unbiased credibility.”

    I stand by that statement. I seriously doubt the unbiased credibility of any news organization that would carry the story to which I was referring. Now, this video is out there in the public domain. It’s there for everyone to see. And it is MAJOR news if it is true. You once commented that al Jazeera is one of the better news sources. We agree on that. Show me the al Jazeera, CNN, anybody reputable who is willing to carry this story. It simply lacks credibility. Let’s be honest here. You know that.

    And I’ll be honest. Frankly, I am disappointed in the American Press. If they had done their jobs correctly, the Iraq War never would have happened. But they didn’t, for fear of looking “unpatriotic” in the face of an extreme right-wing media that labeled any questioning mind the “liberal biased media.” The American “Free Press,” as it was during the Bush Administration, makes me want to puke.

    Now, on the other hand we have Tass, only now, after all these months, putting out satellite images of a Ukrainian Jet shooting down MH17; this on the heels of Putin’s statement, the one on which you and I lock horns, the one in which he asks the world to hold off judgment as to who exactly pulled the trigger.

    Ken, I agree with much of what you have said. No problem. But it is your unwavering commitment to the idea that Putin holds a moral high ground by asking the world to hold off judgment that I find so offensive. Either you said it in haste and are now unwilling to admit that you made a mistake, or you actually believe it. In either case it is not a scientific approach.

    You are a scientist. The genius of science is that it NEVER claims to be in possession of an absolute truth. And yet you claim, in the face of common sense, that Putin made this statement because he is a morally superior human being. Ken, I said this to Paul Connett, and I will say it to you: This is not how science works. His admission (and he’s got you beat there) that he “has a tendency to overstate” the facts is the other side of the coin to your denial that you may have made a misstatement. It’s ok. Let it go. The truth will set you free.

    The only qualm that I had in your original post was this idea that Putin held a higher moral ground because he wanted the world to hold off judgment as to who was responsible for this tragedy. That statement was nonsense and you won’t admit it.

    Then we got into Putin’s treaty violation with Ukraine. You said, “I can’t for the life of me see how the RF was in violation of the Crimean bases treaty. Perhaps you could point me to the specific clauses.” So I showed you exactly how Russia was in violation of the BSF Treaty with Ukraine, and you failed to acknowledge that.

    The problem here, as I see it, and as any objective reader would see it, is your inability to admit any misstatement, which stems from an unwavering commitment to your own words, and an unwillingness to acknowledge truth from a divergent point of view. Nothing can be gained from a dialogue when this mindset exists.

    As I have said before, let’s wait until the Dutch report surfaces and then we can go from there.

    Like

  84. Yes, David, I thought you were biased at the time, about that video. You asserted it was a “bogus” story, that the interviewers and interviewee were “actors.” You had not seen the video interview but declared the source lacked credibility! And now you stand by your statement! And “seriously doubt the unbiased credibility of any news organization that would carry the story!”

    Now, I don’t know specifically the news organisation or TV programme you specifically refer to. I saw the article and video on RT (which I find a very useful and generally accurate news source) and an article on The Telegraph (I think). I don’t recall seeing it on Al Jazeera.

    However, it is biased to either reject a news item out of hand and make such derogatory claims about an interview which you did not watch, or to accept news items as gospel in themselves just because they confirm your biases. As I have continually said we must apply some critical thinking and intelligence to any news item – whatever its source.

    As for this news item in particular – the Ukrainian soldier giving the evidence has moved to Russia as he doesn’t feel safe in Ukraine with his story. The Russian Investigation Team has recorded his evidence, checked with a lie detector, and asked Kiev if they could follow up by interviewing members of the Ukrainian military still in Kiev, including the alleged pilot (who incidentally was decorated by Poroshenko 2 days after the crash).

    I don’t know if Al Jazeera or CNN reported this news but have found they, and similar agencies, often do not report important news about Ukraine – unless they actually have their own reporters on the spot they will often report the version from Kiev instead. For example the attack on civilians in Lugansk I mentioned in my article Inna Kukuruza – “her eyes spoke to the whole world” was reported accurately by the CNN because they had a reporter and cameras on the ground, but Al Jazeera reported the Kiev version that the explosion was caused by rebel weapons! One has to be open-minded and critical in reading any news source.

    Of course the information regarding Voloshin may be worthless in the end, but the Russian and International Joint Investigation Teams are surely obliged to seriously consider this evidence, together with all other witness statements.

    You refer to Tass,“only now, after all these months, putting out satellite images of a Ukrainian Jet shooting down MH17.” I think I know the specific item you refer to – it was quite widely reported, but gererally accepted as probably fake. It originated from someone in the US who had sent it to an engineer in Russia who had put up his own theory and was then picked up by a Russian news service. The timelien was presumably dictated by the US citizen who had the “evidence,” and the Russian engineer it was sent to. I am sure the government of the Russian Federation and Mr Putin had nothing to do with it.

    It was never promoted by the governement of the Russian Federation who have acted very responsibly by providing the evidence they had quickly and openly to the Dutch investigation but have never claimed support for one theory or another. This constrasts sharply with the irresponsible behaviour of leaders like Obama, Cameron and Abbott who do not seem to have handed over the evidence they claim they have, have certianly not made it public, but are claiming final knowledge of a complicated theory. They might change the details from time to time but they are consistent in blaiming Putin!

    Like

  85. Now, David, regarding my statment about “moral high ground” which seems to have caused you to climb out of your tree.

    I: I have not said that Putin “is a morally superior human being.” I have not claimed that so could you please withdraw and apologise for asserting I have?

    2: I have not claimed to be in possession of an “absolute truth” – far from it. In fact I am criticising those who do claim they know something for a fact when the obviously don’t. I have refused to blame any particular party for this tragdy and condemned those who do without caring about evidence. These people show by their behaviour to have sacrificed morality for politicals. They occupy the moral low ground on this issue.

    3: My specific statement regarding includingt reference to Putin was:

    “Many wild accusation have been made against Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation, over this incident. But he at least retained the moral high ground when he warned governments and politicians not to use this tragedy for political purposes.”

    4: I think your knee jerk reaction to the word “Putin” prevented you from reading and understanding this statement. It says nothing about Putin’s values in general or about any of his actions beside his warning not to make political capital out of the tragedy. Whatever one thinks of him on other matters a rational perosn should be able to see the point I made and, I believe, accept it.

    5: The point I made was not a mistatement. I stand by it and believe that as you have not been able to show it wrong (in fact you accepted the essence of this statement), perhaps you should be the one to let the issue go.

    Like

  86. Finally, David, your reference to the Crimean bases treaty. I think we in the end agreed the annexation was not the result of an invasion. You now seem to want to consider the minutia of the treaty to see if any of the text was violated. I have not failed to acknowledge your quotes from the treaty – just raised 2 aspects:

    1: I asked for a link to the treaty so I could read it for myself. Presumably as you quote from it you can provide a link? This would help if you wnat a specific discussion.

    2: I asked who you considered to be the competent athorities for the purposes of the clauses you quote. You did not reply. But the problem is that an illegal coup had taken place in Kiev (something you continually avoid). Even Ukrainian personel on their own bases were not receiving communications from Kiev. The region was alert to similar illegal occupations from the Maidan forces and local authorities were acting to prevent this. I also asked if you would consider the local Crimean authorities competent for the purposes of the clauses you quoted.

    I am quite happy to acknowledge I am mistaken on this David, but it requires more justification from you than you have been willing to provide. I do not see the Junta which took power in violation of the February 21 agreement as competent. I have yet to see the specifics of the bases agreement for myself because you have not porovided the link you used. And I personally think that Obama, Abbott and Cameron (and similar politicians) have acted immorally by adopting a lynching mentallity, claiming a party guilty without evidence, and using the tragedy, and the plight of victims and their familes, for their own selfish political purposes. In contrast the leaders of Malaysia and the Russian Federation (and probably most other political leaders internationally) have refused to blindly follow the lynching party and I think that is morally commendable.

    Like

  87. Journalists have a difficult time. The current AlJazeera Inside Story program has a guest who went to prison in Ethiopia where it is a crime to look at both sides, to talk to the opposition. In USA 6 journalists have espionage cases against them. Journalists are a threat to political agendas. A lot of “news” may be manufactured. What about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=km5CJo9JkDI

    Like

  88. Regarding journalist’s difficulties:

    In Ukraine half a dozen have been shot.

    Hundreds of Russian journalists have been prevented from entering Ukraine or have been expelled.

    One freelance journalist working in the east of Ukraine, Graham Philips, has been expelled from the country twice, banned for 3 years from re-entry but has now returned via the Donetsk border crossing which the Kiev forces no longer control. He has reported from the Donbass region, often from the front line, and was recently injured.

    >

    Like

  89. David Fierstien

    In The Godfather III, Al Pacino’s famous quote is, “Just when I thought I was out . . . They pull me back in.” Wow, I know what that’s like. I was seriously hoping to hold off on further comment until the Dutch report was made public . . . or wasn’t made public. And now this, your comments, which cannot be left unanswered.

    The first three paragraphs of your first comment appear to be a misunderstanding. You say, “You had not seen the video interview but declared the source lacked credibility! And now you stand by your statement!” Of course I saw the video, Ken. Looking back on my original quote I see where you got the idea that I didn’t see it. (My quote: “The first source you cite . . . also has on its front page the bogus story of “the actual pilot” who shot down the aircraft, although I didn’t see the video with the actors . . .”) I am afraid I will have to apologize for not being clearer. I meant that I didn’t see the video on the link that Soundhill1 provided. I was commenting on his link, and the video isn’t on that link. I wouldn’t have commented on the video if I hadn’t seen it (just as I would have believed that you wouldn’t have commented on a Treaty that you never read – more on that later).

    The next issue you raise really is my major disagreement with your Post: “Now, David, regarding my statment about “moral high ground” which seems to have caused you to climb out of your tree. (By the way, I love that phrase.)
    I: I have not said that Putin “is a morally superior human being.” I have not claimed that so could you please withdraw and apologise for asserting I have?”

    Ok, this is what you said: “Many wild accusation have been made against Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation, over this incident. But he at least retained the moral high ground when he warned governments and politicians not to use this tragedy for political purposes.”
    And this is what it means: “Moral High Ground: If people have/take/claim/seize, etc, the moral high ground, they claim that their arguments, beliefs, etc, are morally superior to those being put forward by other people.” http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/moral+high+ground.html And I contend that a people’s beliefs, arguments, values, etc, make them “who they are” as people, whether that be superior or inferior. So if someone has superior beliefs and values, they are morally superior.

    Now, I don’t know what you think I meant when I said it was your contention that Putin is a morally superior human being, but I said it in the context of this Post; in fact I said it on this Post, and I said it in reference to your quote. You were comparing him to other political leaders. In that context and by the definition of “moral high ground” you were saying he is a morally superior human being when compared to other political leaders (Obama, etc.) on this issue. That’s what I meant and that’s how a normal reader would have understood it – in the context of this post where my statement actually exists. I didn’t mean that you were saying he is morally superior to every other person on Earth, I meant it the way you meant it. Therefore, I don’t think I will withdraw and apologize for asserting that you said Putin is a morally superior human being, because, as demonstrated, that is certainly what you meant. It seems that your knee jerk reaction to anyone even remotely appearing to attack Putin has prevented you from understanding my statement. Why is that?

    Your next point: “2: I have not claimed to be in possession of an “absolute truth” – far from it.” So I looked at what I said, and while I didn’t exactly say that you are in possession of an absolute truth, I can see where it may have been implied. So I’ll tell you what, I will step onto the moral high ground here and retract the statement. My bad.

    Now, regarding the treaty violations perpetrated against Ukraine by the Russian Federation. Your quote here: “ I think we in the end agreed the annexation was not the result of an invasion.” No we did not agree on that. You are not correct. The last thing I remember saying on this issue is that when armed Russians left their bases and stepped onto Ukrainian soil in violation of the BSF Treaty, they invaded the country.

    Your next sentence reads: “You now seem to want to consider the minutia of the treaty to see if any of the text was violated.” I don’t know how much you know about international law, but the minutia of any treaty IS the treaty.

    Then this: “1: I asked for a link to the treaty so I could read it for myself. Presumably as you quote from it you can provide a link? This would help if you wnat a specific discussion.” My response to your request is that when you asked for a link to the Treaty, I thought you were joking. Prior to that request you said, “I can’t for the life of me see how the RF was in violation of the Crimean bases treaty.” (Time-stamp: December 23, 2014 at 3:34 pm )

    How on earth can you possibly comment on whether a treaty has been violated when you’ve never actually read the Treaty? Would you please answer that?

    Your next point: “2: I asked who you considered to be the competent athorities for the purposes of the clauses you quote. You did not reply. But the problem is that an illegal coup had taken place in Kiev (something you continually avoid). Even Ukrainian personel on their own bases were not receiving communications from Kiev. The region was alert to similar illegal occupations from the Maidan forces and local authorities were acting to prevent this. I also asked if you would consider the local Crimean authorities competent for the purposes of the clauses you quoted.”
    Here you are referring to Paragraph 5, Article 15 of the BSF Agreement which reads: “Movements related to activities of military units outside of their areas of disposition shall take place following an approval by Ukraine’s competent authorities”.

    Your point here, I believe, is that since there were no competent (legal, acceptable) authorities in Kiev to consult, there was no violation of the Treaty.

    In the First place, whether a competent authority existed or not, it is irrelevant to the fact RF military proceeded without necessary approval. Approval was required for movement of RF troops and it was not given.

    In the Second place, the fact that a competent authority may or may not have been available is still irrelevant to violation of Paragraph 1, Article 6 which reads: “Military units shall conduct their operations in the areas of disposition in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, obey its legislation and refrain from interference with Ukraine’s domestic affairs.”

    You will note the last seven words of the Article, “. . refrain from interference with Ukraine’s domestic affairs.” Without a doubt, RF military assistance in the annexation of Crimea, which existed within the sovereign borders of Ukraine, was an interference with its domestic affairs, and was therefore a Treaty violation. I don’t know how you can spin that any other way.

    And finally, in the Third place your quote: “But the problem is that an illegal coup had taken place in Kiev (something you continually avoid).” Not only is this irrelevant to my problem with your contention that Putin is a morally superior human being, but I don’t know how you define what an illegal coup is. In my country, for example, if the Colonists had lost the Revolutionary war, the attempt of the First Continental Congress at independence would have been called an attempted illegal coup by history. George Washington would have been labeled a terrorist against the British Empire. I will not presume to debate the rightness or wrongness of a coup that took place in Ukraine.

    Like

  90. In the First place, whether a competent authority existed or not, it is irrelevant to the fact RF military proceeded without necessary approval. Approval was required for movement of RF troops and it was not given.

    David, you are beginning to look ridiculous, here is what you are missing:

    If one party to an agreement is illegally usurped then the other party to the agreement has no obligation to the usurper, certainly no obligation to seek seek approval from them.

    I will not presume to debate the rightness or wrongness of a coup that took place in Ukraine.

    No, but you are only too happy to debate morality of Putin’s or Russia’s actions. I never fail to be surprised at how selectively many in the USA apply their moral judgement in matters of international politics.

    Like

  91. David Fierstien

    Thank you for your comment, Richard. Your quote: “David, you are beginning to look ridiculous, here is what you are missing:

    If one party to an agreement is illegally usurped then the other party to the agreement has no obligation to the usurper, certainly no obligation to seek seek approval from them.”

    Please show me where in the BSF Agreement does it specify that the agreement is null and void if a change of authority occurs. To my reading it speaks of Ukraine, a sovereign and independent nation, as being one of the parties in whose domestic affairs the Russian Federation agreed to refrain from interfering. Can you show me something different?

    Like

  92. Was the overthrow of Yanukovich not supported by any non-Ukraine entities? Say a branch of ISIS mobilised forces in NZ to overthrow our government. Would the existing govt be able to expect USA help?

    Like

  93. David, there seems to have been confusion regarding the interview and testimony of the Ukrainian witness. My real point was that one should not reject the witness out of hand. The investigation teams have a responsibility to hear the testimony of all witnesses. The Russian IT at least finds the witness credible in this case and hopefully the Dutch team will listen to that evidence. I would like to think that Kiev would cooperate and allow Voloshin to provide testimony but suspect they won’t.

    Regarding the moral high ground. I suppose a simple interpretation is to believe, as you say, that on this specific issue Putin, and most other leaders, are morally superior to Obama, Cameron and Abbott. But to be clear, my comment really has nothing to say about Putin although I recognised the mere mention of his name is, sadly, a provocation to some readers. No, I was simply saying the moral “high ground,” the morally correct approach the MH17 tragedy, was to refrain from insulting the victims and their families by promoting a lynching mentality and making political capital out of the tragedy. In that respect the Malaysian PM, Putin and probably most political leaders, occupied the moral high ground. Obama, Cameron and Abbott did not. And still don’t. Their behaviour on this specific issue has been disgusting.

    Putin is a separate subject, an interesting one considering his demonisation, but a separate one.

    Regarding the Crimean military bases – no I have not seen the text of that treaty. I have asked you to link to the version you are using twice – with no response. Yes, I could hunt it down myself but really am not interested enough in the minutia. I thought we had agreed that no invasion took place because you withdrew your original claim that troops from the RF in excess of the agreed ceiling had been brought in.

    However, you now seem to justify your claim of an invasion by reference to violation of minor details in the treaty. Given the situation in the country, no competent authority in Kiev and the attitude of the Crimean authorities, who the RF troops passively supported by preventing invasion of the Maidan groups, that is something which should be argued out in a court of law, perhaps. But it certainly doesn’t look like an “invasion” to me.

    In this crisis the word “invasion” has been used continuously in very inappropriate ways. Each of the 10 humanitarian convoys from the Russian Emergency Ministry have been called “an invasion” by spokespersons in Kiev and some NATO and US spokespersons. That is just laughable – have they not heard of the boy who cried wolf? But of course the motivation is to cover up the real nature of the problem in Ukraine.

    Regarding the coup in Kiev – it was clearly illegal according to the constitution, and not just its minutiae. There were clear clauses relating to the authority of the president, the grounds and procedure for any impeachment, etc. that were violated. Force was used, politicians and law enforcement officials were beaten and hospitalised. Even the speaker of the Rada was forced to resign – his resignation came from his bed in hospital where he had been placed by the beatings of fascist groups. Forced resignations by Svoboda, Pravi Sector and Radical Party thugs were common.

    You simply cannot talk about competent authorities without considering this context.

    Interference in domestic affairs is, sadly, a reality of international relations. I am afraid people using this terms are usually in the position of those who throw stones but live in glass houses. One picture I have is that if the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine directing traffic in Kiev during violent demonstration in that city. Or the participation of US and EU policies in those demonstrations.

    There has been a fierce geopolitical struggle in Eastern Europe – one that the RF has until recently been losing.

    >

    Like

  94. David, Ken has twice asked you to link to the Treaty with no response from you. You raised the content of the Treaty in order to justify your argument, the onus remains with you to support your own assertions.

    Have you read it?, or only relied upon the filtered interpretations of others as to its content and obligations?

    Like

  95. David Fierstien

    Thanks, Ken. I think I will withhold further comment until we see what happens with the Dutch investigation.

    I would like to, however, address one comment you made twice above. “In that respect the Malaysian PM, Putin and probably most political leaders, occupied the moral high ground. Obama, Cameron and Abbott did not.”

    The idea here, the speculation on your part, that you believe “most of the world’s leaders” side with Putin. Now I realize you are speaking about the MH17 tragedy, specifically. However, you also brought up the Crimean issue above, and you said, “But it certainly doesn’t look like an “invasion” to me.” I think you will find you are in a small minority here. And I think your idea of a moral high ground on this one is not in line with yours.

    Take a look at how the world’s leaders feel about the Crimean Invasion by the RF. Take a look at the voting in UN Resolution 68/262 and compare the number of votes approving to the number of votes rejecting.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_General_Assembly_Resolution_68/262

    Like

  96. However, you also brought up the Crimean issue above, and you said, “But it certainly doesn’t look like an “invasion” to me.”

    David, rewriting history doesn’t work on the internet, leave that trick to Fox News.
    You brought up the Crimean annexation, not Ken.

    Like

  97. David, I agree most of the world leaders by far have condemned the Crimean annexation.

    However, my comments of the morality of positions refers specifically and only to the MH17 tragedy where I believe that most world leaders have refused to join the lynching hysteria promoted by Obama, Cameron and Abbott.

    Like

  98. David Fierstien

    Speaking at a press conference in the Dutch city of Nieuwegein, Wilbert Paulissen, the head of the Dutch National Detective Force, said there was conclusive evidence that a missile from the Russian-made Buk 9M38 missile system downed the passenger flight on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board.

    The Buk was returned to Russian territory the next day, said Paulissen, presenting the findings of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), a Dutch-led group of prosecutors gathering evidence for a potential criminal trial into the downing of MH17.
    “We have no doubt whatsoever that conclusions we are presenting today are accurate,” he said.

    If you have been sincere in your condemnation of this act, and after waiting for a conclusive report, I hope you will no longer defend the Russian Federation, for whatever bizarre reasons you may have, and accept & acknowledge the guilt of Russian backed separatists for their part in this terrible tragedy.

    Like

  99. David, I am currently reading this presentation (it outlines preliminary results so cannot be seen as conclusive – although this scenario appears to be the one the JIT criminal investigators had latched on to from early on. Whether it will stand up in a court of law is another matter.)

    I am also watching the technical presentation from the manufacturers of the Buk missile system and a Radar expert (I think from the same company or an affiliated on). These technical experts also feel their data is conclusive – even citing statistical significance.

    As I have often said on should approach these matters intelligently and critically. To do otherwise, to use the tragedy for political purposes, is surely insulting to the victims of this terrible tragedy.

    I plan to post brief comments on both of these later today – and will post links to these in my article.

    At this stage I cannot make a sensible comment on either of these bits of evidence – you should know, David, that I do not make up my mind or come to conclusions on the basis of brief press releases. That would simply be confirmation bias, wouldn’t it?

    But I look forward to a fruitful discussion with you of these two reports later today.

    Like

  100. David I just had the feeling those presenters looked like they were putting on their masks before the start. Then that long screed about how great they were. I didn’t get any further.

    Like

  101. I found some of the responses to questions intriguing. Their statement, for example, that they were placing the technical information from Almaz-Antey “on file” but had to balance it against the thousands of other pieces of information they had.

    So technical information (which the experts claimed could be definitive and certainly should be analysed critically) is worth nothing against the thousands of (possibly manipulated) wire taps and interpreted conversations provided by a secret service with an incredibly low reputation. Oh, of course, then there is the assurance from the US on their satellite information which won’t be released because it is classified!

    No wonder the spokesperson looked shifty and uncomfortable when he answered Paula Slier’s question.

    I think the basic problem is in the composition of the JIT – including a party (Ukraine) which should rightfully be considered a suspect (and giving them veto power).

    I think the alternative joint investigation by Russian and Malaysian experts may be out this month. That could be interesting.

    Anyway, the investigations are far from over – and there may never be a resolution. Although another coup overthrowing the current extremely unpopular Ukrainian government may free things up.

    Like

Leave a Reply: please be polite to other commenters & no ad hominems.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s