Will MH17 be our 9/11? (9). Dutch propaganda stepped up


These days it was reported that Poland and the Netherlands are planning to jointly launch a propaganda broadcaster aimed at Russia and the neighbouring countries with Russian minorities. The ministers of foreign affairs, Schetyna and Koenders, are hoping that other EU countries will join because there will be a lot of money involved and so it would be nice to turn this into a ‘European’ project. 


It is one of those moments again at which the Netherlands make clear that although the investigation into the MH17 disaster somehow does not seem to proceed very much, we lose no opportunity to keep ‘the guilty’ in the limelight. Earlier this month prime minister Rutte called Putin to try and convince him to agree to a UN tribunal to punish those responsible, but the Russians have not gone along with this.

That is perhaps not so surprising, because from the Russian side there is little confidence in the outcome of ‘the investigation’. As we know, the results of the inquest will only become public if the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and the government in Kiev will consent to its findings (Malaysia has later joined this agreement), so there has to be a consensus among three faithful allies of the US plus the regime that was brought to power by a pro-NATO coup in February 2014.

The tribunal that was created after the PanAm 103 disaster over Lockerbie in 1988 does not warrant being copied either, because it found two Libyans guilty although there exists extensive documentation that this bombing was the responsibility of narcotics dealers from Syria and Iran. However, Britain and the US did not want to risk the then-current negotiations with that network about the release of American hostages in Lebanon. Would things go differently this time?

In the current circumstances the call for a UN tribunal is a manoeuvre to distract attention from the fact that the ‘search’ has been going on for a year now, but the conversations of the air traffic controllers with the pilots have been impounded by the Kiev authorities, de black box somehow cannot yield its content either, etc., etc. Russian investigators have not been granted admission to the investigation, although from the start Moscow has come up with pertinent facts such as radar data revealing the presence of one of more jet fighters in the vicinity of MH17. Requests have also been made to Kiev to give access to the logs of their Buk missile batteries, and other clearly focused questions that suggest there is information that might help the investigation—but we don’t want to hear that.

From the American side there has been a stubborn refusal, for a full year now, to make its satellite data public. Right after the disaster a group of veterans from the American intelligence world called on the government in Washington to do this without delay, because otherwise there was the risk of a confrontation with Russia that might have unforeseen consequences. Instead US government spokespersons repeatedly referred to information from social media (Facebook etc.) from which the involvement of the Donbass rebels would become evident.

That is a response which is hard to take serious in the case of a great power that on the fateful day, besides satellites, also had two Awacs-planes in the air. Hence the intelligence veterans after a year have repeated their demand that the data be published, with a direct appeal to Obama to face the seriousness of the situation and not to allow matters to run out of hand just for a propagandistic advantage.

Yet that is exactly what the Netherlands is aiming for. First the proposal for a tribunal (which, followed by a Russian rejection, to a well-prepared public opinion can only mean that Moscow effectively confesses its guilt); now the propaganda broadcaster, which will probably not win over many Russians but again appears primarily to be to convince the home front in the West first of all. Because current opinion here will again read in the plan to launch a Russian language station that we (our newspapers, TV etc.) speak the truth and the Russians are lying.

But whatever the exact course of events on 17 July 2014 may have been, the quality of the information about MH17 of Russian provenance is beyond the shadow of a doubt much more sophisticated than what the West comes up with. A recent example is a report on the Russia Today website which again, with an abundance of detail, supports the theory of an attack by a jet fighter.

Just compare that to the video of Murdoch’s Newscorp from Australia that came out simultaneously and on which rebels can be heard saying to each other, ‘A Sukhoi [jetfighter] has shot down a passenger plane, we then shot down the Sukhoi’.

I would only be convinced by this if wreckage from such a fighter jet would have been recovered as well, and there are far more credible witness statements that the Sukhoi actually returned to its base, without ammunition and with a distraught pilot. What matters here is that the reporting on the Newscorp video here in the Netherlands suggested that the rebels ‘admit’ to have shot down a plane—without adding that this would have been… the Sukhoi.

Would this really be the quality of information that the Russians are yearning for, and which they will be served with soon if minister Koenders and his Polish colleague have their way—all courtesy of the ‘Free West’ (well known from Assange in London, Snowden in Moscow, etc. etc.)—?

Kees van der Pijl

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