A baby’s body lies in a Ukrainian field, fallen from the sky. The world mourns her death, and that of the other 297 people killed when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over East Ukraine. They were killed by pro-Russian separatists, or their allies. We know all this, despite the attempts of Russian chauvinists and apologists to suggest otherwise. Those liars deserve to be damned, along with the murderers. Their crime is gruesome, despicable, outrageous. They spread death and destruction, and then blame others for the consequences of their own actions. Let us ask a few questions we know the answers to, instead of allowing Russian nationalists to throw sand in our eyes.
Did the pro-Russian separatists brag about having the kind of anti-aircraft missile system needed to shoot down a plane like this? Yes.
Did the pro-Russian separatists brag about shooting down an aircraft, just after MH17 was shot down? Yes.
In the area Torrez just downed plane An-26…
Also warned – do not fly in “our sky”…
Bird fell on to a waste heap, the residential sector was not touched. Civilians are not injured.
Of course, this boast contained two errors. The plane was a Boeing 777, not a Ukrainian An-26 military transport plane. The result was the murder of 298 civilians. But it is understandable that the incompetent killers would be confused. The rebels used similar surface-to-air missiles to shoot down an An-26 just a few days before.
Are the pro-Russian separatists in the habit of shooting down aircraft? Yes, yes and yes.
The Russian separatists are fighting a war. Their Ukrainian enemy has aircraft, whilst they have none. This puts them at an enormous disadvantage. Hence, they have to turn that asymmetry in their favour, using surface-to-air missiles, just like the Egyptians in the 1973 war against Israel and the Mujahideen in the 1980’s war against the Soviet Union. Shooting down aircraft is a key component of the separatist’s military strategy.
Is Ukraine’s military in the habit of shooting down aircraft? No. There have been no reports of Ukraine’s military shooting down rebel aircraft. That is because the rebels have no aircraft. Why would the Ukrainians take aim at aircraft, when they are fighting insurgent forces that only exist at ground level?
What are the alternative theories, that do not blame the pro-Russian separatists?
Putin said that as the disaster happened in Ukrainian airspace, then the responsibility for MH17 must lie with the Ukrainians. If that were true, then Ukraine’s authorities should also take the blame for every military plane shot down by the separatists. What an extraordinary conclusion that would be: separatists who want to control the land, sea and air of Eastern Ukraine successfully fire lethal weapons at aircraft flying above the territory they occupy, but supposedly have no responsibility for the consequences!
There are also outlandish theories that claim the Ukrainians shot down MH17. This is despite the fact that they are winning the war against the separatists. These theories, invariably from Russians and other sympathizers, are presented without a shred of evidence – physical, circumstantial, or otherwise. They just feel certain that Ukraine killed 298 innocent people as part of a reckless gamble to gain international sympathy. But if that were true, then why are the Ukrainians demanding the crash site be left untouched so it can be investigated properly, whilst the rebels are deliberately preventing international investigators from inspecting the debris?
The Russians cannot be trusted to tell the truth. That much is clear, and anyone who says otherwise must either be a Russian nationalist, a fool, a liar, or all three. As ever, international hotheads and gobshites have rushed to condemn the British press for, errrrr… being honest. Instead of giving so much attention to what foreign idiots say about the British press, I wish they would report that this British citizen, and many others, are increasingly proud of the vital role played by our free press, amidst this world of dishonesty. Anyone outside of Britain should recognize I say this not out of some childish sentiment for my country and its people, but that everybody, everywhere, should be glad of any free press, of any freedom of speech, and of every person with the guts to speak the truth, whoever and wherever they may be.
The same British press was damned by Uruguayans for writing that a footballer deliberately bit someone, instead of believing that the footballer accidentally ran into his opponent teeth-first. The same British press was damned by FIFA ubercrook Sepp Blatter as ‘racist’ because they noticed how the award of the World Cup to a tiny desert country which is killing hundreds of people in order to build the necessary stadiums seems linked to the proven corruption of the chief football administrator from that tiny desert country. Meanwhile, The Times of Israel reports that “UK media leads world trend to criticize Israel“. This is a sign that criticism is deserved when military force leads to the death of civilians, not a sign that criticism should be ignored because British journalists are voicing it. A free press has many enemies. The British press should be judged by its enemies, and be proud of the conclusion that inevitably follows.
At the same time, the Russian press is telling lies, to the point where its employees are sick of having their journalistic principles compromised by Russian political objectives. There is a reason British journalism delivers the stories it does: it is because they are good at doing their job, and encouraged to do it. All over the world there are boneheads, bigots and bullies who get upset at what the British press are writing. That proves our free press is doing a good job, and must keep on doing it.
The Russians are lying, and lies can have terrible consequences. They start with the pretence that ordinary people have the freedom to learn the truth, although the truth is suppressed and the people are manipulated. Before too long, an aggressive war of invasion can start, under the pretext of ‘defending’ the people from ‘fascism’. A terrible mistake is made during that war, killing hundreds of innocent civilians, but now the lies have run so far that there are no consequences for the killers. Instead, other innocents must be demonized to desperately shift blame from the guilty parties. The Russians are liars, but we must tell the truth, or we also become responsible for the consequences of lies. Telling the truth means being clear about how the Russians deceive others, and deceive themselves.
There is a war taking place in this world, which extends beyond the pettiness of belligerents in Eastern Ukraine. It is a war for the soul of humanity, and it is fought every day between ordinary people who speak the truth and work to make this a better world, and powerful people who create and spread lies to further their selfish interests. The passengers and crew of MH17 were casualties of that escalating war. We must honour them, by demanding truth, and tolerating nothing less.
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