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23 Jul, 2014

MH17 & MH370: Can you spot the difference?

The campaign of vilification against Russian President Vladimir Putin over the fatal downing of MH17 has the same ring-tone as that against former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the lead-up to the 2003 attack on Iraq. That attack, based on the totally fraudulent claim that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, triggered a conflict that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives — with no end in sight.

For months, the primary advocates of the Iraq attack, former U.S. President George W Bush and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, thundered away at various forums about the global threat posed by Hussein’s supposed WMD. Their cohorts produced “proof” in the United Nations. A former CIA director said it was a “slam-dunk” that the WMD would be found after an invasion.

Not a thimble-full of WMDs were found. All those claims were proven to be blatant lies. Neither Bush nor Blair have ever faced any accountability, leave aside a war crimes tribunal.

The downing of MH71 has been globally condemned. Along with the UN Security Council, every major international aviation & tourism organisation, such as the International Federation of Airline Pilots Association, the International Air Transport Association and the UN World Tourism Organisation, has called for independent, impartial investigations. IFALPA has specifically called for an end to speculation. It defies belief that anyone could pre-judge the outcome, given the extensive complexity of aviation accidents. Yet, even before the probe teams reached the crash site, the United States claimed to know all about it. The crescendo of finger-pointing against Putin has hit the same high notes as that against Hussein.

Rather than Putin, however, it is the U.S. that owes the world some answers.

If the U.S. knows so much about the downing of MH17, how come it claims to know nothing about the disappearance of MH370? Could it be true that the U.S. is responsible for MH370 which, one investigative report has alleged, was brought down by accident during war games being conducted in the Gulf of Thailand at the time? It is also highly suspicious that Malaysian Airlines was targeted in both instances. Coincidence? Or is someone is trying to kill off this airline, someone for whom human life is secondary to the pursuit of financial and geopolitical interests?

Geopolitically, the anti-Putin vilification campaign is driven by the same regime-change agenda as that against numerous leaders, past and present, who have opposed U.S. policies. In addition to Saddam Hussein, these include Fidel Castro of Cuba, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Hafez Assad of Syria, Mahathir Mohammad of Malaysia, Mohammed Morsi of Egypt, the theocratic rulers of Iran, and more. The goal is to uproot Putin and install a pliant leader who will hand the country’s economy over to the oligarchs and the country’s foreign policy over to the Israelis. Putin’s global demonization began almost immediately after Russia gave temporary shelter to U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden and released the Jewish oligarch Mikhail Khodorovosky. Personal attacks on him have raged across the West and Australia. All the other countries, showing more sense, have distanced themselves from this agenda and refrained from joining the chorus.

Indeed, for Russia to have anything to do with the MH17 disaster makes no sense. What would it gain? Putin has just participated in a highly successful BRICS summit in Brazil. His local popularity is far higher than Barack Obama’s in the U.S. The situation in Ukraine itself is fluid, with two completely different narratives about what is going on, and who is responsible. This is totally in line with the saying: “In times of war, the first casualty is truth.” Given the vast influence of Western media on global communications, especially the Murdoch-owned ones, it is the Western view that is getting more traction. As the Saddam-has-weapons-of-mass-destruction lie proved, that does not necessarily make it true.

Purely from the angle of motive, the U.S. has far more to gain. Aside from the anti-Putin propaganda, it also helps dilute global attention on the massacre under way in Gaza. Clearly above the law, the almighty Israelis are killing the equivalent of one Boeing 777 worth of passengers every three days. Instead of holding Israel responsible for its decades-long occupation, abetted by America’s dishonest brokerage of the so-called “peace process”, the U.S. is backing Israel. Both the Senate and House of Representatives have passed unanimous resolutions backing the Jewish state’s genocide. President Obama has called the downing of MH17 a “despicable act”. In Gaza, the deaths of so many hundred innocent women, children, hospital patients and handicapped people by a military supported heavily by U.S. tax money, is not considered “despicable” enough to draw a single condemnation leave aside retaliation or sanctions.

The U.S. is a fading power, struggling to defy the certainty that when you are number one, the only place you can go next is down. It is working hard to derail or delay the rise of other competing powers such as Russia or China, or even worse, a combination of powers such as the BRICS. In his many lofty speeches as part of the “war on terror”, George W. Bush proclaimed that terrorists hate America for its freedom and democracy. If that is true, why are whistle-blowers such as Snowden and Assange having to flee the wrath of the U.S. government, just as Andrei Sakharov and Alexander Solzhenitsyn had to do against the wrath of Soviet totalitarianism?

Like the John F Kennedy assassination, the MH17 and MH 370 disasters will be the subject of prolonged speculation, inquiries and investigations. What must not be repeated is the campaign to take advantage of MH17 to advance global geopolitical agendas. Instead, the fingers should be reverse-pointed at the accusers. Disinformation’s golden rule is to repeat a lie so often that it becomes the truth. As the travelling public has literally become the primary victim of both disasters, it should be the first to ensure that such lies do not prevail – yet again.