[The following are excerpts from a long report published today on the World Socialist Web Site:]
The Dutch Safety Board’s (DSB’s) preliminary report into the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) is being portrayed by imperialist governments and their media spokesmen as confirmation that anti-Kiev rebels in eastern Ukraine shot the plane down with a Russian-supplied Buk surface-to-air missile.
While claims of indirect Russian responsibility for the destruction of MH17 are at the heart of the US-NATO propaganda over Ukraine, the report says nothing of the sort. In fact, it does not even state that the aircraft was shot down. MH17 crashed on July 17, in the war zone of eastern Ukraine. All 298 passengers and crew members lost their lives.
The DSB’s report states that, in accordance with the stated “sole objective” of “the prevention of similar accidents and incidents,” it does not “apportion blame or liability in respect of any party”—something that the capitalist media downplays or ignores.
The only basis on which the media can again repeat their assertions that pro-Russian separatists were responsible is the report’s statement that “The damage observed in the forward section of the aircraft appears to indicate that the aircraft was penetrated by a large number of high-energy objects from outside the aircraft” (emphasis added).
But the report never once identifies what it means by “high-energy objects.” It also claims that, even though enough of the wreckage was recovered to confirm that the aircraft appears to have been particularly badly hit above the level of the cockpit floor, DSB investigators supposedly failed to recover or study any of the objects that penetrated the plane.
The report as issued is equally compatible with radar and satellite data presented July 21 by the Russian military, indicating that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet was in the immediate vicinity and ascending towards MH17 as it was shot down. Missiles and machinegun rounds fired by an SU-25 are also “high-energy objects.” This possibility has not been addressed, let alone refuted by Kiev, Washington or anyone else involved in the investigation.
On August 9 [RB: the correct date is August 7], the Malaysian New Straits Times published an article effectively charging the Kiev regime with shooting down MH17. It stated that evidence from the crash site indicated that the plane was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter with a missile followed by heavy machine gun fire. The report was subsequently ignored by the world’s media. (...)
The DSB does not address the absence of any satellite imagery or radar data, or any other evidence supplied by US intelligence agencies, which operate the most powerful global surveillance network. It is implausible, to say the least, to imagine that Washington’s vast apparatus was paying no attention to the war zone of eastern Ukraine, which is also a regular flight path for many commercial airline flights. (...)
In sharp contrast, following the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, photographs of the area taken by a French satellite were delivered to the investigators within hours. The US Department of Defence and NASA also provided the investigation with high-resolution photographs from spy satellites.
Despite Russia continually requesting that the US administration supply the investigation with the images and data it obviously possesses relating to the MH17 crash, it has refused to do so.
[Further posts on this blog about MH17 as compared with, or contrasted to, Pan Am 103 can be found here.]