The family and friends of the 298 passengers and crew who lost their lives when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crashed in Eastern Ukraine will have to wait some time for an objective investigation to discover the truth of what happened.
Not so the British press. Within hours of the crash the British media dutifully delivered their unanimous verdict: ‘Putin the Terrorist’shrieked the Daily Mail, ‘Putin’s Rebels Blew Up Plane’ thundered the Express. ‘Putin’s Missile’ echoed The Sun and, not to be outdone, the Daily Mirror splashed ‘Putin’s Victims’ across their front page.
The total certainty and totalitarian unanimity in the absence of facts is a speciality of the ‘free’ British press. It is a grotesque parody culled straight out of the training manuals of the ‘Ministry of Truth’ described in Orwell’s 1984.
Printing pictures and stories of hundreds of innocent victims is perfectly justified. And yet…
On 15 July a bombardment by the Ukrainian air force destroyed an apartment block in the town of Snizhne and at least 11 civilians were killed. According to the government of Lugansk, the toll of the Ukrainian army’s indiscriminate shelling of the city has left 250 civilians dead and hundreds more wounded. 46 apartment buildings have been destroyed along with 195 houses. Three schools and 12 kindergartens have been damaged or destroyed.
These are the statistics for just one of the dozens of towns and cities in Eastern Ukraine subjected to almost daily terror bombing since April.
Where are the headlines, the moving stories, the graphic pictures, the outrage for these innocent victims? Where, again, are the words and images of the families of the hundreds of the hundreds of civilians killed in Gaza in the last 14 days?
In neither case is there the slightest doubt about who killed and continues to kill these civilians. And in both cases ‘our’ media knows exactly whose side it is on – the side of the murderers. The justification is simple: those who have been murdered might be civilians, but they are nevertheless ‘rebels’, ‘separatists’, ‘pro-Russian’. Those who defend them are the ‘terrorists’.
As for the cynical demagogy of US Secretary of State John Kerry when he dares to raise the 1983 shooting down of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 by Russia, for this we can reserve our deepest contempt. It is not necessary to engage in this hypocritical tit-for-tat by mentioning the shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 in July 1989, a calculated act of murder that killed 290 people. The Iranian airliner was destroyed by two surface-to-air missiles fired from the USS Vincennes. Then president Ronald Reagan defended this as “a proper defensive action.” The victims’ families got neither apology nor compensation – the commander of the Vincennes got a medal. The world’s policeman, judge, jury and executioner does not do sorry and is in no position to demand the ‘justice’ it has denied everyone else.
There is no reason to believe a single word of the accusations promoted by the US and Ukrainian regimes – baseless accusations loyally parroted by the British media. And to those who not only swallow, but regurgitate them, and claim to be “leftists” – we say shame.
The beginning of wisdom for socialists and workers in Britain and the United States is to treat with utter skepticism the propaganda of our own ruling class. The Ukraine crisis, largely provoked by the aggression of the Nato and EU axis, has provided the pretext for an escalation of the United States’ anti-Putin agenda. It was not so long ago that the United States, Britain and Russia were apparently unshakeable allies in the ‘War on Terror’ – an alliance which allowed Putin to butcher the resistance in Chechnya using much the same methods used by the USA and its allies in Afghanistan.
It is entirely possible that Flight MH17 could have been downed by an anti-aircraft battery operated by the Donetsk and Lugansk self-defence forces. Their cities have been under aerial bombardment for months and they have no aircraft to defend themselves. If so, it would be a tragic error and not a deliberate act of punitive savagery like those perpetrated by the Kiev regime, or by Israel in Gaza – none of which have drawn a single word of protest from the British or US governments.
As yet we do not know with any certainty the “facts” cited by our media beyond the fact that the plane crashed, that it was apparently hit by a missile and that missile launchers capable of doing this were in the vicinity of the crash – one perhaps in the hands of the self-defence forces, the other three in the hands of the Ukrainian armed forces.
The accusations of the Ukrainian government whose aircraft have been regularly bombing and strafing the forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic for weeks, are those of a criminal regime already stained with the blood of hundreds of its own citizens. It is they who have demanded access to the crash site – access which the Donetsk forces have rightly and rightfully denied them.
The accusations that members of the self-defence forces were looting the dead bodies have already been exposed as a despicable lie. Contrary to the lies put about by those with a direct interest in slandering the self-defence forces, the site was not tampered with, the black boxes were not ‘spirited away’ to Russia, and the Dutch forensic experts were not denied access to the crash site – according to the heads of the Dutch investigative team and the OSCE monitors.
The speed with which such accusations were put into circulation should make all honest observers realise that it is in the direct interest of Kiev and Washington to have this believed. Conversely, they should also realise that it is in no way in the interests of the defenders of Lugansk and Donetsk to have shot down a passenger airplane.
Without conceding to conspiracy theories, it should be noted that the Kiev forces have their own missile launchers and aircraft in the area, and that their armed forces are heavily penetrated by fascist elements perfectly capable of frame ups and false flag operations – and the massacre in Odessa where between 42 and 116 civilians perished – is the incontrovertible evidence of their willingness to carry out such actions.
These malevolent forces apparently continue to suffer serious reverses in their attempts to take Lugansk, and repeat the atrocities they already committed when they occupied Slavyansk. To take Lugansk and Donetsk they will have to resort to even more bloody and barbarous methods.
Convincing the world that the defenders of the Donbas region are savage terrorists would be a priceless propaganda coup – just as the United States’ portrayal of the defenders of Fallujah as ‘Al-Qaeda terrorists’ enabled them to carry out a bloody massacre without a murmur of protest from the ‘international community’.
The media has engaged in a vile propaganda offensive which aims at manipulating people’s emotional response to the tragedy of Flight MH17 – transforming it into hatred of the defenders of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Far from silencing those who defend the antifascist resistance in Ukraine, it must spur us into redoubling our efforts to expose the lies of our rulers and to mobilise the working class movement in solidarity with the legitimate resistance of the Donbas miners and other workers.
The Kiev regime has used the tragedy of Flight MH17 as a cynical pretext to esacalate its brutal war against the civilians of East Ukraine.
The main enemy of the working class in Ukraine is the Kiev regime, backed by its Nato and EU allies.
The main criminals, the principal inciters of countless massacres and atrocities are on our doorsteps in Downing Street and the White House.