The Malaysian Aeroplane Crash

Though short of time, I feel some obligation to comment on this. Let’s take it as read that it was a horrible thing, and move to the questions of who did it and what it may lead to.

Here are the probable candidates for blame:

1. Moslem suicide bomber;
2. The Americans;
3. The Russians;
4. The Ukrainians;
5. The rebels.

1. We can probably discount the Moslems. I should imagine it’s rather hard to get a suicide bomb through a West European airport, and blowing up this particular aeroplane had little obvious cause for celebration among the usual suspects.

2. Without better evidence than I’ve seen, we can also discount the Americans. The earliest reports said there were American citizens among the dead. If this had been true, it might have been taken as reason by the more crazed neo-cons to start demanding American air strikes against the pro-Russian rebels in the East of Ukraine. But even if something benefits a particular group, that doesn’t mean the group is behind it. I don’t believe the Americans are up to a false flag operation. The truth would leak out within days. Besides, everyone important in America seems thoroughly disinclined to get into more than a shouting war with the Russians.

3. It’s the same with the Russians. They are better at keeping secrets than the Americans. But I fail to see how shooting down a foreign aeroplane, and blaming the Ukrainians, would bring them any benefit they don’t already have. Mr Putin holds all the cards, and he’s the type of man who only acts when he needs to. To get everything he wants in the Ukraine, all he needs to do is sit and wait for the country to fall apart and for the Americans to walk away.

4. It would benefit the Ukrainian State for the rebels to be denounced across the world as international terrorists. But they are even less capable of a false flag operation than the Americans. They can’t trust each other to keep their mouths shut. They are riddled with Russian spies and with opportunists who will turn pro-Russian the moment it suits their interest. A room full of conspirators can easily come up with a wicked idea. It only needs a couple of men to press the relevant button on a rocket launcher. But there are too many others who need to stand in the chain of command between conception and execution.

5. That leaves the rebels. They keep insisting that they haven’t anything capable of shooting down an aeroplane at 32,000 feet. The problem with this claim is that there is no unified rebel army, and no one knows what the various groups have captured from the Ukrainian armed forces or been given by the Russians. I can easily imagine that a gang of drunks with moustaches let a rocket off, and then spent five minutes dancing about with bottles in their hands. Arguing that the rebel movement as a whole had no interest in doing this is beside the point. No one is in control. Even if not drunk, much of the rebel movement is mad.

Oh, I suppose the Ukrainian military might have done it by accident. The main difference between them and the rebels is that they still wear uniforms from time to time. On the whole, though, I suspect it was the rebels.

So what does all this mean? At first, I imagined a rerun of the first July Crisis – the Americans screaming blue murder, the Russians threatening to shoot any NATO war planes above Eastern Ukraine, etc, etc. But this is unlikely to happen. So I’ll turn to what it should mean.

I believe that the Germans should call a conference in Berlin. The Americans should stop handing round bribes and fraudulent promises in Kiev. The Russians should get their annexation of the Crimea ratified, and some kind of autonomy and assured minority status for their people in the Ukraine. The Ukrainians should get their unpaid gas bills written off. The Americans should get all Russian assistance in saving their face in Iraq and in getting a negotiated end to the civil war in Syria.

I say the Germans, because they have influence in Moscow and are not gross puppets of the Americans. As for the Americans, they should be persuaded as firmly as everyone else can manage to give up their ludicrous ambitions of world domination. They are collectively not up to the job of forming a coherent strategy of domination, in terms both of strategy and of implementation. Their effective power in the world is visibly waning. Unless checked, however, they do have the ability to continue turning the world upside down for years to come. They make trouble where none was before. When there is trouble they haven’t made, they make it worse. The sooner they are knocked off their perch – or are assisted in a reasonably graceful departure from it – the better for us all.

34 responses to “The Malaysian Aeroplane Crash

  1. Colin Liddell has come to similar conclusions over on the Counter Currents Blog:

  2. To lose one plane (and all passengers and crew) may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose two in less than half a year looks like carelessness.
    What were they doing flying over eastern Ukraine anyway, where planes are dropping like flies currently. Saving a few dollars worth of fuel instead of circumventing it most likely.

  3. C H Ingoldby

    I eagerly await the flow of useful idiots clamouring about ‘false flag’ operations. It’s always fascinating how many people actually believe this guff.

    • The world runs on small conspiracies. Big ones are almost impossible to hide. Remember how quickly the case of the Iraq War unravelled.

  4. Hugo Miller

    Iraq war a conspiracy? I thought it was just Blair glory-hunting in ‘ridding the world of an evil dictator’, or at least hanging on to Bush’s coat tails to bask in the reflected glory. That was the theory anyway!

    • john in cheshire

      Messrs Bush and Blair thought it would be a self-financing war with lots of reconstruction contracts for their buddies afterwards.

  5. Eventually people are going to learn that meddling in foreign affairs inevitably causes unintended negative consequences. Why this plane was shot down we don’t know, but it doesn’t really matter in detail. American and EU meddling triggered this whole crisis and this is one of the inevitable set of negative consequences of that interference.

    Compared to the usual death toll of such activities, the one in this case remains small; one planeload of people isn’t very many in the grand scheme of things. Compared to the bloodbath our governments have created in the Middle East, this is peanuts. It is still however unfortunate.

  6. By the way, do we actually know it was shot down, or is that just an assumption?

    • Russia Today accepts that it was shot down. All things considered, we should take that as conclusive.

      • No we shouldn’t. I can’t find any evidence that it was shot down, other than each side assuming it was and blaming the other. There seems to be a strange idea in circulation that it must have been because it was over Ukraine, that’s all. Even if one considers these two things- a plane crash and Ukraine- to be a coincidence, coincidences do happen.

        • I agree that we need to wait for the facts to come out. However, these aeroplanes are said to be very safe. This particular aeroplane is agreed to have broken up in mid-air. It broke up over a war zone, where other aeroplanes have been shot down. It’s a fair assumption that it was shot down.

          • It’ll be funny if we have a world war over this, then the black box recorder shows a goose flew into one of the engines.

            I could write a long post here about how circumstancial evidence doesn’t synergise to provide proof, kind of thing. :)

  7. Yes it was the “rebels” – either Russian forces or people born in the Ukraine who are working with them.

    Did Mr Putin personally order the operation – unlikely (why should he?) so agreed there.

    As for Dr Gabb’s policy suggestions – oddly he makes the same mistake that President Bush made, he thinks that Mr Putin can be worked with.

    Mr Putin can not be worked with – not because he is a Marxist (he is NOT a Marxist – indeed the nickname in his KGB for the sort of people who are dancing round statures of Lenin in the Ukraine, was “shit eater”, someone who “eats the shit”, believes the propaganda that everything is the fault of “big business”, and that anyone who opposes Moscow is a “puppet of the Americans”), Mr Putin can not worked with because he has a pathological hatred of the West – as can be seen by even casual watching of his television station “Russia Today” (and this was obvious from the start of this station years ago – it is a widow on Mr Putin’s attitude).

    I do not think there is any ideological reason for his hatred – he just hates us because he hates us. And he will work with anyone (Iranian “hastener” theocrats who want to blow up the world so that the “Hidden One” will return, Marxiod thugs in the Ukraine, or whoever) who shares that hatred.

    Mr Bush was simply wrong to think one could work with Mr Putin – as Mr Bush was wrong about so many things.

    As for the Ukraine…..

    Under the rule of Moscow TENS OF MILLIONS of people were murdered in the Ukraine.

    “But Paul – you have already admitted that Mr Putin does not share the Marxist ideology of those who committed those crimes” – yes but he honours the memory of the Soviet Union (not for its ideology – but for its power) and works with people in the Ukraine who do support that ideology (who wave Marxist flags and honour statures of monsters).

    Therefore Russia (whilst it is under the rule of people such as Mr Putin) will never be on good terms with most ordinary Ukrainians.

    Mr Putin should stop supplying the “People’s Republics” in eastern Ukraine. And if does not then the social democrats in Kiev (although their politics is hardly my cup of tea) will have to be supported in terms of military equipment and so on.

    Europe should end its energy dependence on Russia – via going for nuclear power (on a massive scale).

    As for the armed people in Eastern Ukraine (whether they are Russian regulars or local types) who talk in terms of “People’s Republics” and wave Soviet Marxist banners (when they are not shooting down airliners).

    Well if they love Lenin and co so much they should be sent to join them – in Hell. They have already been given several chances to lay down their arms – I see no point in giving them yet another chance.

    The Crimea?

    Before World War II most of the population there were not Russian (although it had been part of Russia for centuries) – but this has changed (with the mass killings ordered by Stalin).

    The Crimea is lost – and was only legally part of Ukraine since 1954 anyway.

    No Ukrainian politician is going to admit it – but the Crimea is lost and is not going to recovered.

    The future of the Crimea lies with Russia now (that is just the bitter fact of the matter) – although hopefully not a Russia for ever under the rule of criminal thugs such as Mr Putin.

  8. By the way it was not just Mr Bush who thought that they could work with Mr Putin – Tony Blair made exactly the same mistake.

    Indeed Mr Blair still thinks this.

    Mr Putin has a pathological (not ideological) hated of the West – he hates us because he hates us. He always has hated us – and whatever we do or do not do will not change that.

    Mr Bush and Mr Blair are wrong – Mr Putin can not be worked with, only guarded against.

  9. Maybe–but the Ukraine had an elected–if corrupt (but then they are ALL corrupt –just a question of degree) govt. 5 billion agitation money spent by the already-bankrupt EU/US Federal tyranny puts the likely civil war in the Ukraine as a mess that didn’t need to happen without the “regime change” arrogance of the Federal Tyranny and the EU pukes. It isn’t an “own goal” since we are not on their straight-from-the-asylum team but it is an other fine (and lethal) mess we don’t need.

  10. Liam Pickering

    Geese fly at 30,000 feet?!?

  11. Yes, they’re trying to avoid getting shot down, and insufficiently intelligent to realise the vapour trails give them away.

  12. Richard Carey

    As far as I can see, the three main alternatives are (A) a blunder by the Russian-backed separatists or (B) a blunder by the Ukrainian govt forces or (C) a false flag aimed at Russia.

    Given the current paucity of information, the conclusions each of us draw are no different than they would be if the matter was merely hypothetical; i.e. “if a passenger jet got shot down in eastern Ukraine, who would you blame?”

  13. Sean – you missed one possibility out: deliberate sabotage by the pilot or another member of staff. . The fact that two Air Malaysia planes have either disappeared (almost certainly lost with all aboard) or definitely been catastrophically destroyed in flight is a pretty big coincidence in itself. But that coincidence can be added another one: both planes significantly changed their course from filed their flight plan. In the case of this latest plane, they shifted from a route outside the danger zone to one flying straight into the heart of the danger zone.

    • Possible but not probable. That the plane went down over Eastern Ukraine strikes me a more significant than that it was operated by Air Malaysia.

  14. Sean – here is a reason it could have been the Ukrainians.

    One of the constant refrains we hear when it is suggested that the Ukrainians brought down the plane is what would they gain? There is a plausible answer to that, namely, that it was a black ops operation whereby the Ukrainians wished to discredit the rebels – a sure thing with the poodle- like Western media so in love with the illegal regime masquerading as the democratic government of Ukraine – and provide a disincentive for the rebels to use ground to air missiles against Ukrainian military airpower in the future for fear of accidentally hitting a commercial passenger aircraft.

    • Robert – Possible, but far-fetched. Bear in mind that conspiracies of this sort hardly ever work out. Usually, someone can’t keep his mouth shut. Also, the people at the top are often scared to give the necessary orders.

  15. Sean – In a situation like this where there is no ready access to information and those with power are willing to punish breaches of secrecy harshly secrets can be kept. Nor would large numbers of people have had to know about it. The act could simply have been a decision of the Ukrainian leadership informing a small detachment of the military. There is also the possibility that the act was unilaterally perpetrated by a local Ukrainian commander and then opportunistically adopted by the Ukrainian leadership as a propaganda posture.

    It is also a mistake to imagine that secrets come out even when sizeable numbers of people know the secret. For example, think of the large numbers who worked at Bletchley Park in the war and nothing emerged from them until the 1970s.

  16. I repeat the attack was by Putin’s people – with two of the missiles he supplied (one of the missiles missed). The radio chat is clear – although the missile battery has been moved back to Russia.

    Did Mr Putin personally order the operation – unlikely (although possible), his only reason for doing so would be to show he can (he does go in for such gestures from time to time – but normally with a plan in mind, no plan here).

    I was wrong about how well Mr Putin’s people would do in the Ukraine – they have done badly (even though he has sent in Russian Special Forces to command the local Marxist thugs), I thought they would do much better.

    As for the Ukrainian people voluntarily supporting (in a non rigged election) puppets of Moscow – whilst Moscow is under the control of a person (Mr Putin) who honours the memory of those who (from 1917 to the 1980s) murdered tens of millions of Ukrainians……

    I think that is in the “Elvis is alive and has been found on the Moon” league of probability. Although (it should be stressed) that the things changed over time – at one time it was far less clear that the “Party of the Regions” were puppets of Moscow, after all they denied it (repeatedly) and claimed to be filled with horror at the murder of tens of millions of Ukrainians from 1917 onwards. Although they were rather slow to get rid of statues of Lenin, tributes to the KGB (and on and on), only later did become obvious that they were not being “slow” – that they had no intention of breaking with Moscow at all.


    In future there may be good relations between Russia and the Ukraine, it depends on getting rid of the Putin regime and a clean break with the past.

    Future governments of Russia must treat the Soviet period in the same way that the German governments treat the National Socialist period – as a period of shame and disgust (and as period of shame and disgust ONLY).

    Mr Putin can not do this – because he devoted his life to this regime. But after he is overthrown (which, eventually, he will be – with the staff of “Russia Today” running off to Iran or the Islamic Republic of Sudan, or wherever) future Russian governments may be able to make this clean break.

    Under Yeltsin there were moves (real ones) to establishing a free media and local election of Governors (and so on). This progress was reversed under Mr Putin – but Russia should not be written off as a lost cause.

    A civilised Russia is in our interests – for example because the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) as well as the Ukraine would no longer feel “we have to be pro E.U. – or Russia will eat us”.

    For those people (of whom I am one) who are opposed to the existence of the E.U. (I do not just want Britain out – I want the E.U. to cease to exist) the fear the Eastern Europeans have of Moscow is a problem.

    It is NOT a fear of “Russia”, or “Russians” – it is the fear of a particular regime (that of Mr Putin – and his support of the Soviet past, even whilst he does not support the ideology upon which that Soviet past was based), if that regime falls all things (including a truly independent Ukraine – dependent on NEITHER east or west) are possible.

  17. Richard Carey


    You can assert all you like that the Russians shot it down, but you haven’t got any evidence, so it’s just your opinion, based on what seems to be a deep-seated, pre-existing opposition to Putin.

    Personally, I think the correct conservative view of Putin is that which one gets from Peter Hitchens.

  18. Richard no it is not just “my opinion” that the aircraft was shot down by a Russian missile – the facts are plain (if you can find them out if you wish to do so – it is your own choice whether you do or not).

    As for Mr Putin – he is a vicious criminal (if I did not already know that, the nice words that Sean has had for him over the years would do more than hint it to me – Sean enjoys making perverse statements, he regards it as what freedom is about).

    The destruction of freedom in Russia (and there actually was some under Yeltsin – for example a dissenting media, and the election of Governors to various states) is one the tragedies of recent years. Do not bother looking for Sean Gabb articles showing grief over the collapse of freedom in Russia in recent years (and the many murders committed on the orders of the regime) – I do not believe there are any.

    However, this does NOT mean that Mr Putin personally ordered the attack.

    I have never claimed that Mr Putin did personally order the attack – his voice is NOT part of the radio chatter, and missile batteries (whether in the hands of “rebels” or Russian special forces) can be fired WITHOUT the personal order of Mr Putin.

    By the way the Putin regime in Russia is interesting.

    Both the government and organised crime are controlled by members of the Organs (serving or former) – this is unusual.

    Even in the Soviet Union criminals (whether “bitches” in alliance with the state, or “honest thieves” who were not) were not generally led by serving or former members of the Organs.

    It actually reminds me of the situation in a British science fiction series from when I was a boy – “Blake’s Seven”, where the President of the Federation was also the head of organised crime (this was in the early part of the show – before it became concerned in less interesting matters).

    I rather doubt that Mr Putin has deliberately modelled his regime after the “Federation” in “Blake’s Seven” – but who knows?

    I fully accept that it is not unusual for governments to have dealings with criminals (for example the help the Mafia gave to the Americans against Mussolini and his Fascists and their Nazi allies), but it is unusual for the President of a major country to also be the head of organised crime in that country.

    Mussolini taught that nothing should be outside the state (he was a radical – in the same sense that the Jacobins or Rousseau were radical), so unions and employer organisations should be controlled by the state (this is the opposite of the Hollywood view of Fascism, really the deliberately false view spread by the NKVD in the 1920s and 1930s, that under Fascism “business controls government” – it is actually the opposite of the truth), but this (to Mussolini) did NOT mean that the major criminal organisations should be part of the state.

    On the contrary Mussolini held that the major criminal organisations should be smashed leaving only petty criminals (this is why the Mafia hated him).

    Mr Putin seems to think otherwise (although yes he does NOT tell us his private thoughts).

    The cooperation between the KGB and criminal organisations does indeed predate Mr Putin – but it has developed in a very interesting way under him. possibly into a regime of a new type.

  19. Richard Carey


    “Richard no it is not just “my opinion” that the aircraft was shot down by a Russian missile – the facts are plain (if you can find them out if you wish to do so – it is your own choice whether you do or not).”

    The facts are not plain. It seems to be the case that it was shot down by a missile, but it has not been established who did it. The Ukrainians could also have done it (they have Russian missiles too). It may well be that the rebels shot it down by accident. The next question would then be; why was the plane flying through a war zone, especially if the Ukrainian authorities knew the rebels had such weapons? The Ukrainian government immediately blamed the rebels, but have so far only produced a couple of youtube videos as evidence. The US government has also blamed the rebels, but has back-tracked on more robust statements made earlier on.

    As for Putin’s Russia, and to what extent he’s a gangster, that isn’t really relevant to this issue. You must be the only person looking back on Yeltsin’s period in office as a halcyon age. Most people characterise it as a period of massive corruption.

    As for supplying weapons to the rebels, it’s no more moral to support the Ukrainian government. People have the right to self-determination, and the Ukrainian state is not sacrosanct, any more than the Serbian border were when Nato backed the Kosovan rebels, or indeed the Mexican borders when Texas declared independence (following a coup by Santa Anna), or indeed further the borders of the UK, if Scotland votes for independence.

  20. Richard – I repeat what I have already said. You can look into the matter or not (your choice). It is not difficult to find these things out.

    As for Scotland – well if they vote for independence and we send killers in to destabilise an independent Scotland then YES it would be moral for other countries to support them against us.

    However, I suspect that a Scottish “yes” vote would actually lead to (quiet) rejoicing in much of England.

    An independent Texas…….

    If only Richard – if only…….

  21. Richard Carey

    “Richard – I repeat what I have already said. You can look into the matter or not (your choice). It is not difficult to find these things out.”

    The evidence has not been produced. The investigations are still to be concluded. You are blaming Putin, as you did from the moment you saw the headline, because you don’t like him, not because of any evidence.

  22. Errr no RIchard – I actually said that Putin’s voice is not on the radio chatter.

    His people did it – but it is no evidence that he personally ordered them to do so. From my very first comment on the thread I have said it was unlikely that Mr Putin personally ordered the attack.

    He did order the denials (and counter accusations) though.

    The actions of one missile battery are not personally ordered by President of the Russian Federation.

    But the general policy of the Russian news services and so on (and the representatives at the UN and ….) is so ordered.

    So Putin falls into the Nixon trap.

    Not so much the break-in – as the cover up.

    Accept that there are no institutions in Russia that hold Mr Putin to account – because he has undermined all of them (and so can carry on sending killings into the Ukraine – and do whatever else he wants outside Russia or inside it).

    The destruction of Civil Society (which really was starting to emerge under Yeltsin) IS relevant – because it means that there is no way (other than the overthrow of the regime) that Mr Putin can be held to account – not just for this, but for anything-at-all.

    Let us try and put Mr Putin in American terms…..

    Say that Mr Obama had got rid of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal (and all major dissenting media), got rid of the election of State Governors (no more Rick Perry – or any Republican Governors), turned Congress into a rubber stamp (no more Republican House of Representatives), and ended promises of trial by jury (all the courts in Russia are just Putin play things) – indeed destroyed any check on his power (all of them), and then murdered many American opponents and sent the Koch brothers to a prison camp in Alaska.

    Would this concern you?

    Mr Obama might indeed like to do all these things (it is quite probable that this exactly what he would like to do) – but he has not actually been able to do them.

    Because the office of the President of the United States is not all powerful (and thankfully so – considering some of the utter scumbags, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt….. who have held that office).

    Mr Putin has created a different sort of regime – one that is often called “Fascism”, but I believe that there are key differences between the regime of Mr Putin and the Fascist regime of Mr Mussolini.

    These differences (such as Mr Putin’s control of both sides of the law – rather than, as Mussolini did, try to use the power of the state to get rid of large scale organised crime) are worthy of study.

  23. Not “killings into the Ukraine” – killers into the Ukraine.

    My apologies.