What Happened to the Malaysian Airliner?
Paul Craig Roberts
Washington’s propaganda machine is in such high gear that we are in danger of losing
the facts that we do have.
One fact is that the separatists do not have the expensive Buk anti-aircraft missile system or the trained personnel to operate it.
Another fact is that the separatists have no incentive to shoot down an airliner and neither does Russia. Anyone can tell the difference between low-flying attack aircraft and an airliner at 33,000 feet.
The Ukrainians do have Buk anti-aircraft missile systems, and a Buk battery was operational in the region and deployed at a site from which it could have fired a missile at the airliner.
Just as the separatists and the Russian government have no incentive to shoot down an airliner, neither does the Ukrainian government nor, one would think, even the crazed extreme Ukrainian nationalists who have formed militias to take the fight against the separatists that the Ukrainian army is not keen to undertake–unless there was a plan to frame Russia.
One Russian general familiar with the weapon system offered his opinion that it was a mistake made by the Ukrainian military untrained in the weapon’s use. The general said that although Ukraine has a few of the weapons, Ukrainians have had no training in their use in the 23 years since Ukraine separated from Russia. The general thinks it was an accident due to incompetence.
This explanation makes a certain amount of sense and far more sense than Washington’s propaganda. The problem with the general’s explanation is that it does not explain why the Buk anti-aircraft missile system was deployed near or in a separatist territory. The separatists have no aircraft. It seems odd for Ukraine to have an expensive missile system in an area in which it is of no military use and where the position could be overrun and captured by separatists.
OSCE observers say they have access to Malaysian Boeing crash site in eastern Ukraine
July 20, 17:11 UTC+4
KIEV, July 20, /ITAR-TASS/. Representatives of the special mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Ukraine do have access to the crash site of a Malaysian Boeing-777 in eastern Ukraine, a representative of the mission, Michael Bochurkiv, said on Sunday.
Earlier, the U.S. Department of State spokeswoman Jen Psaki expressed concern over the alleged failure of OSCE observers to reach the crash site.
Bochurkiv however said that the OSCE observers were accompanied by armed guards to the town of Torez located in the vicinity of the crash site. While in the town, they visited a railway station where there were 3-4 refrigerator railroad cars used to keep the bodies of the crash victims. He added however that due to objective reasons it was impossible to say accurately how many dead bodied had been found.
Earlier Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Borodai denied some media reports that observers from the OSCE were not permitted to come to the crash site of the Malaysian Boeing passenger airliner.
“This is an element of information war against us,” he said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio station, noting that “Fourteen OSCE observers have been working at the airliner’s crash site already for three days. In fact, on the first day they faced some restrictions in their movement. But we explained this by a very simple fact: we are responsible for their security, just for relative guarantees of security.”
First Detroit, Now Flint Warns Bankruptcy "Train Is Headed For The Cliff"
Tyler Durden on 07/19/2014 21:18 -0400
Flint may be Michigan’s second city to plunge into bankruptcy unless retirees accept cuts in health benefits that threaten to unravel a balanced budget. As Crain’s Detroit reports, Emergency Manager Darnell Earley (Flint’s third emergency leader since it was placed under state control in 2011) warned "If we have no ability to mitigate the cost of retiree health care, that’s going to make it very difficult for the city to remain financially stable over the next few years." As Eric Scorsone notes, "Flint’s at the forefront, but a lot of cities are on the same train, and that train is headed for the cliff."
As Crains Detroit reports,
As Detroit draws worldwide attention for its record $18 billion bankruptcy, Flint demonstrates the plight of U.S. cities where unfunded post-retirement costs rival or exceed pension liabilities. In Michigan alone in 2011, municipalities had nearly $13 billion in health-care liabilities for retirees, compared with about $3 billion for pensions. Flint is among 17 cities and school districts under some form of state control.
More than 80,000 Flint-area residents were employed by GM in 1978. Now, that number is about 7,500, according to a 2011 report by Michigan State University. In the past two years, the municipal workforce has been cut 20 percent and employees have taken a 20 percent pay cut.
Emergency Manager Earley warns…
Like Detroit, which a year ago this week filed the largest U.S. municipal bankruptcy, Flint has struggled with loss of population, jobs and revenue. The birthplace of General Motors Co. has only half its population of 1960.
The dollar’s 70-year dominance is coming to an end
Within a decade, greenback’s could be replaced as the world’s reserve currency
By Liam Halligan
5:30PM BST 19 Jul 2014
In early July 1944, delegates from 44 countries gathered at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. A three-week summit took place, at which a new system was agreed to regulate the international monetary and financial order after the Second World War.
The US was already the world’s commercial powerhouse, having eclipsed the British Empire several decades earlier. America was also on course to be among the victors of “Europe’s conflict”, even though its economy was largely unscathed by war. As such, Bretton Woods was US-dominated and produced a settlement largely on US terms.
Seventy years ago this week, that fateful summit ended. Its close marked the moment the dollar’s unquestionable supremacy was secured. Since then, global commerce has been conducted largely in dollars and leading economies have held the greenback as their primary reserve currency.
The same system remains intact today, with the lion’s share of commercial settlements worldwide still clearing the US banking system – even if the parties involved have nothing to do with the States.
The dollar’s hegemony continues to be cemented, meanwhile, by the operations of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Founded at Bretton Woods, they’re both Washington based, of course, and controlled by America, despite some Francophone window-dressing.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Geopolitics go from hot to scalding.
Israel Ramps Up Gaza Offensive After 13 IDF Soldiers Killed
By Ben Plesser, James Novogrod and Elisha Fieldstadt
Thirteen Israeli troops were killed overnight Sunday in Gaza, according to the Israeli Army, sparking the declaration that Israel was sending additional forces to the ground to "combat terror."
An armored troop carrier which was moving into the neighborhood of Shejaia took a direct hit from a shoulder-launched anti-tank missile, leaving seven Israeli soldiers dead, an Israeli security source told NBC News. Six more Israeli soldiers were killed in the fighting that followed, the source said. Fifty-two Israelis were injured in the missile launch and fighting, and eleven of the injuries were serious.
The Israeli military announced a two-hour "humanitarian hiatus" on Sunday afternoon local time but the window of peace did not last long. Both sides blamed the other for violating it. Israeli shelling on Sunday left more than 70 Palestinians dead, including women and children.
The double-digit death toll on both sides marked the deadliest day in the conflict since Israel started an air offensive on July 8.
The increased presence of Israeli troops were sent to Gaza to "establish a reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety and security," according to an Israel Defense Forces statement.
Recovery Of Malaysian Airlines Black Box Caught On Tape: Separatists To Hand Over To International Delegation
Tyler Durden on 07/20/2014 10:20 -0400
With the rabbit hole of conspiracies getting deeper by the hour, video has emerged showing what appears to be the "black box" flight data recorder from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 being taken from the crash scene. As NBC reports, the men in the video are wearing Ukrainian Emergency Ministry uniforms, but a senior Ukrainian official told a news conference Sunday that rebels had taken the black boxes. This fits with reports from The Hill that pro-Russian separatists have located the black boxes for the downed Malaysia Airlines passenger jet and will hand them over to international authorities, according to separatist leader Alexander Borodai. With the US having offered more "proof" that Russia was involved, perhaps some facts from the Black Box will help clarify details in this dreadful situation… though we are not confident.
As NBC reports – recorded on Friday, the footage shows rescue workers carrying the distinctive bright orange device through a wheat field in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region. The voice of a man who is not shown in the video can be heard saying "flight recorder" in Russian.
Serious Fraud Office set to launch criminal probe into forex rigging
The SFO is expected to announce a criminal inquiry into traders’ alleged manipulation of the £3 trillion-a-day currency markets as early as this week
By Harriet Dennys, City Diary Editor
12:22PM BST 20 Jul 2014
The Serious Fraud Office is poised to launch the first criminal investigation into alleged rigging of the £3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange markets at leading City banks.
The financial watchdog is expected to announce the move as early as this week, according to reports, raising the spectre of further multimillion-pound fines for Britain’s biggest banks over their behaviour during and after the financial crisis.
Investigators are expected to examine whether individual traders personally benefited by manipulating benchmark forex prices. It is claimed that traders colluded via online chatrooms in groups with names such as the Bandits’ Club, the Dream Team and the Cartel.
The SFO’s criminal inquiry into alleged currency markets rigging in London, home to more than 40pc of the world’s foreign exchange trading, will join global investigations into forex market abuse by watchdogs across Europe, Asia, and the US.
The UK’s principal financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, launched an investigation into global currency markets last October.
Malaysian jet tragedy propagandized – Ron Paul
Published time: July 19, 2014 03:38
Referring to the tragic downing of a Malaysian Airlines plane over eastern Ukraine, former Texas congressman Ron Paul warned against jumping to conclusions over the culprits.
Drawing parallels between the potential for a Russian-made missile system’s connection to the attack of the passenger jet on Thursday over the restive Donetsk region of Ukraine and the capture of US-made weapons by Islamist insurgents in Iraq, Paul pointed out that the missile’s potential source of manufacture was largely immaterial.
“That may well be true, but guess what, ISIS has a lot of American weapons," said Paul. "We sent weapons into Syria to help the rebels and al-Qaida ends up getting it — it doesn’t mean that our American government and Obama deliberately wanted ISIS to get American weapons."
"So who gets the weapons is a big difference between how they got them and what happened and what the motivations were," Paul added. "So even if it was a Russian weapon — doesn’t mean a lot."
Speculation of direct involvement by the Kremlin, whether directly or through “proxies” in the form of pro-Russian militia in Ukraine, in particular seems propagandized, Paul told NewsMax on Friday.
Unverified video footage has been circulated as proof of involvement by Ukrainian militia members, though the aircraft’s black boxes have yet to be retrieved, and there remain many questions unanswered as investigators have trickled into the crash site.
Xi expects more interactions between NPC, Argentine parliament
2014-07-20 09:05 Xinhua Web Editor: Wang Yuxia
Chinese President Xi Jinping said Saturday he hoped the legislative bodies of China and Argentina could enhance exchanges and mutual learning so as to help promote bilateral ties.
The visiting Chinese leader expressed his hope when meeting Amado Boudou, Argentina’s vice president and head of the Senate, or the upper house of the Argentine National Congress, and Julian Dominguez, president of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house.
The Argentine National Congress embodies the country’s public opinion, and its support to developing the China-Argentina ties has cemented China’s determination for friendly cooperation, Xi said.
He spoke highly of the exchanges between China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Argentine National Congress, which helped enrich the content of bilateral relations.
According to Xi, he has had resultful talks with his Argentine counterpart Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on Friday, when they decided to upgrade the two countries’ relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
"The China-Argentina relations now stand at a new starting point in history," he stressed.
The two sides should see each other as development opportunities and partners, boost mutually beneficial cooperation in an effort to promote common development, Xi said.