Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ukraine, Gaza, and The Political Uses of Selective Outrage

The reaction of the power structures of the U.S. bloc to the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine contrasts nicely to their complete silence- indeed ignoring- of the deliberate murder of four Palestinian boys playing soccer on a Gaza beach by an Israeli gunboat the day before. Or for that matter the killing of around 700 Palestinians in the past few weeks in what NPR calls an Israeli “incursion” (there’s euphemism for invasion for you) or “fighting between Hamas and Israel.”

There is an overriding FACT that must be stressed in the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner- that IT WAS AN ACCIDENT! This is proven by the intercepted communications released by the Kiev regime that they have been waving like a bloody flag that they say are between the Ukrainian rebels and one of the rebel commanders, and with a Russian intelligence Colonel. It is clear from the recordings that the rebels thought they were shooting down a Kiev regime military transport, and were surprised to find Malaysian airliner markings on the wreckage when they got to the scene. The BBC played excerpts, with translations, of these recordings. (The details are below.) A New York Times reporter interviewed on the BBC said there were “very many bombings in the area” by the Kiev regime’s air force. Given that the area is under aerial attack, and the rebels shot down a Kiev military transport just a week earlier over the same area, it is not surprising that such an accident would occur. Other airlines previously rerouted their planes to avoid overflying the area, two of them having done so months ago (CBS reported), and others within the last few weeks. Malaysian Airlines, obviously incompetent and cheap, to save money on fuel probably, refused to do so. Now the Malaysians are saying they had every right to fly over the area, it’s perfectly normal to do so. [1]

The FAA issued a warning on April 3rd prohibiting U.S. carriers from overflying parts of eastern Ukraine. The European Aviation Safety Agency also issued a warning to airlines. Yet Malaysian Airline System flew right over an area that has been under aerial bombardment for months and over which a military transport jet had been shot down by a missile just three days earlier on July 14th. [2]
Even their own evidence that it was an accident didn’t stop the Western stooges installed in power in Kiev from screaming “terrorism!” “atrocity!” and “crime!”

Western media are wringing their hands in grief over the 300 or so people killed on the Malaysian jet. They’ve barely uttered a peep about the hundreds of eastern Ukrainian civilians killed by aerial and artillery bombardments of their towns and villages by the Kiev regime.

And here’s an irony that apparently escaped Ukraine kingpin, “president” Petro. O. “I’m a Billionaire From Selling Candy!” Poroshenko: in 2001, Ukraine shot down a civilian airliner and lied, denying it did, until soon forced to fess up. [3] So accidents DO happen, contrary to his immediate insistence that the downing of the plane was a deliberate act of “terrorism.” For good measure, right-wing Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, who was elected on a platform of making global warming worse, demonstrated his bona fides as a U.S. stooge and political handmaiden by attacking the shoot-down as a “crime.” His Malaysian counterpart ran cover for the irresponsible, inept, penny-pinching state airline company by insinuating criminality and vowing to get to the bottom of it. (I say penny-pinching because flying over the war zone was a shorter path to the plane’s destination.)

It’s germane to mention some deliberate downings of civilian jetliners at this point. The Israeli air force chased and shot down a Libyan airliner over the Sinai desert (Egypt). The U.S. Navy shot down an Iranian airliner which was flying in a civilian commercial air corridor over the Persian Gulf. Both of these acts were deliberate. [4]

In the last couple of days we have been fed a new propaganda theme, such as by the BBC: the awful disrespect towards the bodies of those killed in the Malaysian plane. This “disrespect” apparently consists of the fact that all the corpses weren’t IMMEDIATELY scooped up and delivered to the Netherlands. The BBC (and U.S. corporate establishment media) hasn’t even whispered about the fact that ambulances can’t even go to villages in Gaza under Israeli bombardment because the Israelis deliberately shoot at the ambulances to drive them back. Or that patients are being killed in hospitals by Israeli bombardment. 46 schools and 7 hospitals in Gaza have been bombed, and as usual, Israel is targeting UN facilities for attack.

But the failure of a ragtag militia to immediately collect hundreds of bodies strewn over a wide area- as if there are mortuary workers and facilities there to handle it- that’s an outrage.

Contrast all this with an actual deliberate crime that Israel committed a day earlier, July 16th, in Gaza, when using one of their gunboats they deliberately killed four young boys playing football. (Called soccer in the U.S.) It was a broad daylight attack witnesses by numerous journalists in a hotel on the beach. A first shot missed them, and the boys started running. A second shell finished them off. The journalists said the boys were clearly recognizable to the naked eye as children from hundreds of yards away, on a big empty beach. Obviously the crew of the gunboat would have binoculars, not to mention sophisticated surveillance equipment, plus aerial surveillance. Israel has been issuing blanket statements blaming all civilian deaths in Gaza on Hamas, since Hamas won’t surrender. The U.S. agrees and calls the bombings of 7 hospitals, 46 schools, numerous mosques, hundreds of homes, ambulances and the power plant “self-defense.”

So how did the Western media handle this? Well, it wasn’t uniform- except in the U.S. The pretense that it must have been unintentional was maintained, despite numerous journalist eyewitnesses. NBC wouldn’t allow its own reporter, who saw the attack, to report it, and immediately yanked him out of Gaza, obviously to put him on ice. (NBC was forced to reverse the decision thanks to the empowering nature of the Internet, which provides an alternative means of communicating news outside the monopoly corporate propaganda system.)

BBC didn’t use words like “horrifying” and “awful” for this incident. No imputations of criminal intent were made by it or the other organs of Western propaganda. There hasn’t been a weeklong propaganda campaign beating the drums and rallying “the world” to oppose Israel in righteous outrage, as they’re trying to do against the Ukrainian separatists and Russia.

So we have, on the one hand, a tragic accident in a war zone that has been under attack from months by a regime that calls the people it is killing “terrorists.” That accident is branded as “terrorism” and a “crime.” On the other hand, a powerful nation is attacking an already-besieged people, has killed as of this writing about 800 (75-80% of whom were civilians, according to the UN), has wounded over 3,000, is bombing the hospitals, schools, and UN facilities, and the reaction of the U.S. and its stooge nations and their media is- gee, isn’t Hamas awful! They’re firing rockets at Israel.

Selective outrage and selective indifference. And the explanation lies in cynical power politics.

1] The BBC aired long descriptions of wreckage and bodies, personal items on the ground, from Sabrina Tavernise of the New York Times. “There’ve been many bombings by Ukrainian jets in the area recently” she says, apropos of saying locals thought the explosion was “just another bombing.” “It’s a very confused situation on the ground.” Tavernise describes the plane “crashing practically on top of their village, I mean it was very close.” [Tavernise’s emphases.] BBC, July 18, 2014, the day after the shoot-down.

The Kiev regime put forth three tapes of what they said were intercepted calls between the rebels and Russia. The Kiev regime is pretending the tape prove the downing was a deliberate act of terrorism. Assuming the tapes are genuine, in fact they prove the shoot-down was an accident. (BBC played excerpts showing that- a fact BBC then ignored.) The rebels thought they’d shot down a military transport plane, then discovered when they went to the wreckage site that it was a civilian plane, resulting in cursing, not jubilation. There was mystification as to why a civilian plane was flying over a war zone.

One call is between a rebel commander and a Russian intelligence Colonel 30 minutes after the shoot-down. The rebel reports that they shot down “a plane,” and men have been dispatched to investigate. No mention of a civilian jetliner. The Russian asks about “Pilots? Where are the pilots?” clearly thinking it was a military plane and the pilots may have bailed out.

Another call, allegedly between “a rebel commander and one of his officers” was played with translation by the BBC: “What was it doing in the Ukraine’s territory?” “That means they were carrying spies. They shouldn’t be flying. There’s a war going on!” Then BBC “News editor” Dina Newman in the BBC studio comments on the tapes: “There seems to be genuine surprise when they realize that a civilian plane was shot down and they cannot understand why the civilian plane was flying over an area where there was war going on.” [Her emphases.] She mentions “a lot of swear words” that BBC didn’t translate.

The fact that this key “evidence” of “guilt” put forth by the Kiev regime proves the shoot-down was an accident is deftly elided by U.S. media. Meanwhile Western political rulers from Obama on down are waxing wroth and fulminating over the “outrage” and “crime.” Tragedy would be the correct, that is, accurate and honest, word. But politicians deal in cynical manipulation, thus speak propaganda, not accurate and honest words.

2] Obama’s immediate response to the shoot-down of the Antonov military transport, an act of self-defense by the separatists fighting for their self-determination and their own nation- they declared themselves a new Republic, not part of Russia- was to heap harsh new sanctions on Russia. OBAMA: “Given its continued provocations in Ukraine, today I have approved a new set of sanctions on some of Russia’s largest companies and financial institutions.”

3] On October 4, 2001, Ukraine shot down a Siberian Airlines Tupolev TU-154 civilian airliner on its way to Tel Aviv, using an S-200 missile to do the deed. The Ukrainian regime at the time lied about it and denied it, before eventually ‘fessing up and saying it was an “accident.” But you didn’t know this
because you’re relying on the “news” media to keep you informed. Big mistake. You have to spent thousands of hours of your own time, unpaid, reading all kinds of esoteric sources, to keep up on things. Or rely on others who do. This interesting incident was in Aviation Week & Space Technology, a U.S. trade journal for military and civilian aircraft manufacturers. It ran in the July 21, 2014 issue, “Malaysian 777 Shoot-Down Another Big Blow,” p. 12.

4] For the U.S. Navy crime, see “Vincennes: A Case Study,” Proceedings Magazine, U.S. Naval Institute, August, 1993. Also see “U.S. Forces Down Plane of Bolivian President in Attempt to Kidnap NSA Whistleblower,” July 5th, 2013, for more on air piracy by the U.S. and the U.S. Navy shoot-down of TWA Flight 800.

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