World View: Dutch Report Confirms that Russian Missile Shot Down Airliner over Ukraine

The Associated Press

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Dutch report confirms that Russian missile shot down airliner over Ukraine
  • Russia launches its massive disinformation campaign
  • ‘Lone wolf’ violence by ‘Oslo generation’ of Palestinians grows
  • Android apps: Xenakis MathGame and Professional Debt Calculator

Dutch report confirms that Russian missile shot down airliner over Ukraine

Reconstructed wreckage of the MH17 airplane from the report by the Dutch Safety Board (Reuters)
Reconstructed wreckage of the MH17 airplane from the report by the Dutch Safety Board (Reuters)

We actually already know that Russians in East Ukraine shot down Malaysian Airlines flight 17 when it was flying overhead last year in July 2014. The way we know is that immediately after the MH17 airliner was shot down last year, Igor Strelkov, the commander of the Russian invasion forces in east Ukraine, tweeted the following to brag about the kill:

We shot down AN-26 [military transport] near the city Torez, Donetsk People’s Republic … We warned, don’t fly in our sky.

Later, when Strelkov learned that he had shot down a passenger plane, not a military plane, the tweet was taken down, but by then it was too late. Strelkov had already admitted about shooting down the plane — actually bragged about it.

Tuesday’s report by the Dutch Safety Board did not assign blame to the Russians because they were not allowed to do so. However, the current report concludes that the MH17 was shot down by a Russian-built Buk surface-to-air missile system launched from the region of East Ukraine occupied by Russian separatists.

The destruction of flight MH17 is one of the worst air disasters in decades. The plane was flying at 33,000 feet, well above the range of any ordinary ground-to-air missiles. An extremely sophisticated missile like the Buk was required to strike a plane flying at that altitude. The Safety Board researchers firmly identified the Buk missile from painted missile fragments embedded in the bodies of the passengers and crew. There were 298 mostly Dutch passengers and crew on board, including many women and children, when MH17 was shot out of the sky.

There is a further forensic investigation in progress by Dutch prosecutors to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice — something that the Russians will certainly not permit. That report is due early next year. Reuters and NBC News

Russia launches its massive disinformation campaign

In the months after flight MH17 was shot out of the sky, the Russians issued one alternative explanation after another, including the following:

  • The airplane was not shot down at all, but fell out of the sky by itself;
  • A bomb exploded aboard the airplane;
  • The airplane was struck by a meteor;
  • The airplane was hit by a Ukrainian missile fired from the ground;
  • A Ukrainian air force fighter pursued and then attacked the plane;
  • The U.S. shot down the plane in order to damage Russia’s reputation;
  • The U.S. shot down the plane in order to embarrass Putin;
  • No living people were aboard the plane as it flew on autopilot from Amsterdam, where it had been pre-loaded with “rotting corpses.”

The investigation by the Dutch Safety Board has determined that MH17 was shot down by a Russian-built Buk missile, eliminating all the above explanations.

So recently the Russians have been offering a brand-new excuse: Yes, it was a Buk missile, but it was an old style Buk missile that Russia does not use any more, but which Ukraine has in its inventory.

Whether this brand new excuse will stand up to further investigation remains to be seen, but what we can be sure of is that the Russians will revive their massive disinformation campaign, led by Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.

Let’s recall what happened last year with the Russian invasion of Ukraine:

  • Putin said that there were no Russian troops in Crimea, as Russian troops were invading Crimea, torturing, shooting and jailing the Tatars and any opposition figures in Crimea. Russia held a referendum, but anyone opposing the referendum could be tortured and jailed. Putin “won” the referendum.
  • Later, Putin announced that Russia would not annex Crimea. A few days later, Russia annexed Crimea.
  • Putin gave a television interview earlier this year in which he bragged about fooling the West by lying about Russia’s invasion of Crimea, saying that he ordered the invasion and annexation of Crimea weeks before it occurred, during a period of time when he repeatedly lied about the presence of Russian troops and about his intentions.
  • Putin changed his story about no Russian troops in East Ukraine by saying that they were “volunteers.” This is another deceit. America has an “all-volunteer army,” so any American troops overseas are “volunteers.” The same is true for Russian “volunteers,” who are regular army troops ordered to Ukraine.

In addition to all that, we can expect a major resurgence of Putin’s army of paid Russian internet trolls, whose job was to harass people like me who describe what was really going on. I’ve had the honor of being targeted by no less than three of the trolls on different web sites in one week, and I’ve had frequent attacks by Russian trolls since then.

As the Roman lawyers would say, “Falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus” (false in one thing, false in everything).

So whatever excuse or explanation the Russians supply for why a Russian-built Buk missile blew a passenger airplane out of the sky, you can be sure that it’s a lie, particularly since we already know from Igor Strelkov’s first tweet bragging about the strike: “We warned, don’t fly in our sky.” Russia Today and BBC

‘Lone wolf’ violence by ‘Oslo generation’ of Palestinians grows

We have been reporting deadly violence by Palestinian youth targeting Israelis in Jerusalem, and it continues to grow, with Tuesday being the worst day of violence since the start of the current escalation in tensions.

Two Palestinians armed with a knife and a gun killed two Israelis and injuring three more on a Jerusalem bus. Almost simultaneously, an assailant rammed a car at speed into a bus stop before stabbing bystanders, killing one and injuring two others.

These are being referred to as “lone wolf attacks” (as opposed to a “third intifada”), because there is no support from Palestinian Authority officials or organized militias.

The lone wolf attacks are being perpetrated by youth in their teens or early twenties, the so-called “Oslo generation,” because they grew up after the 1993 Oslo accords, and saw that nothing had changed.

There were violent clashes in Bethlehem. Some 20,000 Israeli Arabs protested against the policies of Israel’s government in the northern city of Sakhnin. Some rocks were thrown at Israeli soldiers, but the protests were otherwise peaceful. Guardian (London) and Arab News (Riyadh) and Middle East Eye

Android apps: Xenakis MathGame and Professional Debt Calculator

If you have an Android phone or tablet, then try out the two apps that I developed:

“Xenakis Professional Debt Calculator,” a sophisticated financial application. The app implements the Federal Reserve Truth in Lending Law (Regulation Z) to analyze complex debt transactions. This app is not fully implemented yet.

“Xenakis MathGame,” which tests math skills by presenting graded math problems. Warning: If you like math then you’ll like this game, but if you don’t like math then you’ll hate this game.

These apps are free, no ads, no problems. I developed them for fun, and to learn new skills. Let me know how you like them, and to suggest improvements.

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Ukraine, Malaysia Airlines flight 17, MH17, Russia, Igor Strelkov, Vladimir Putin, Dutch Safety Board, Crimea, Tatars, Russian trolls, Falsus in unum – falsus in omnibus, Palestinian Authority, Israel, Oslo generation, Xenakis MathGame, Xenakis Professional Debt Calculator
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