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Issue #1667      December 3, 2014

Culture & Life

The search for truth?

Despite the intervention of President Obama himself, the people of the US city of Ferguson were justifiably angered last week when the Grand Jury ruled that no charges should be laid against the white cop who shot dead an unarmed black youth, Michael Brown, although an autopsy had revealed that the teenager had been shot five or six times. That’s a cop emptying his gun in a shooting frenzy. The white prosecutor heaped praise on the jury for their verdict, as did the police union. But people concerned by the appalling level of violence in America were horrified.

Americans are 20 times more likely to be killed by a firearm than a person in any other developed country.

Americans are 20 times more likely to be killed by a firearm than a person in any other developed country. In fact, over 30,000 Americans are shot dead every year.

The family of the murdered black youth, while calling for calm, also called on Americans to “change the system!”

They didn’t mean the system of capitalism, precisely, although that’s what it will take. They meant the system of institutionalised racism that is the USA. Where racist “profiling” identifies blacks in a car as probable criminals, because of their race. Where a relatively small racial minority makes up the great majority of the prison population thanks to the combined effects of racism and poverty.

The people of the USA have long since lost faith in their judicial system. And why not? From 1969 to 2005, the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of corporations 50 percent of the time. Since 2011, the Court has sided with corporations 88 percent of the time.

In many parts of the country, police chiefs like mayors are elected, currying favour with voters by being “tough on crime” and establishing and using heavily armed paramilitary SWAT teams to wage the “war on drugs” not because it is effective (it isn’t) but because it receives federal funding.

In Ferguson, the Grand Jury was presented with the testimony of no less than 60 witnesses. Inevitably, some of them contradicted each other, and these contradictions were used to discredit the validity of all the evidence. As so often in high-profile US court cases, court-room theatrics prevailed over the search for truth.

The search for truth has taken a back seat in the case of the shooting down of Malaysian airliner MH17 too. Obama, Abbott, Merkel, Cameron and others of their ilk have all publicly blamed Russia without producing one scrap of evidence to support such an accusation.

Along with their protégés in Kiev they claim the plane was shot by a BUK defence missile system brought from Russia, but no evidence has ever been presented, except for questionable photos floating online which claim to show the system.

Outside Australia, news media in the last couple of weeks have been giving considerable attention to satellite and radar evidence confirming that the Malaysian plane was accompanied by fighter jets that could only be Ukrainian, lending considerable weight to the contention that the plane was shot down not by ground fire but by an air-to-air missile. This is also supported by the physical evidence at the crash site, which is why the shelling of the site by the Ukrainian army and the consequent withdrawal of the Australian and other investigators is so suspicious. But oh, so convenient for Abbott, Obama and co as they can blame Russia without having to bother about the small matter of evidence.

However, Sergei Melnichenko, CEO of Russian firm Aviation Safety has provided evidence from an air traffic control centre in Rostov near the Ukrainian border that there were one or two warplanes in the air close to the Malaysian airliner. “The data clearly shows that at the moment of the crash and after it there were planes moving north of the Boeing course. Most likely, they were military, because … they didn’t respond to being scanned,” Melnichenko said. Civilian planes always reply to signals from radar, while military aircraft usually don’t.

Aviation Safety consultancy and analysis agency provides information, advice, and analytical services in the field of aviation safety for the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a collective of former Soviet republics. Melnichenko pointed out that it would have been impossible for a Russian warplane to make it over the border without being detected by Ukrainian and NATO radar. The presence of military planes north of the Boeing would put them in a position to the left of the plane. Some photos from the crash site showed damage to the cockpit’s left side, consistent with a scenario of an attack by those planes.

In late October, the chief investigator with the Dutch National Prosecutors’ Office, Fred Westerbeke, told Der Spiegel magazine that his team is open to the theory that another plane shot down the Malaysian airliner.

None of this carries any weight with Obama or his faithful sidekick Abbott, of course. They are not concerned with uncovering the truth as to why 298 people died when MH17 went down. Their concern is with making political capital. Along with all the Australian capitalist mass media, and in the finest tradition of the Cold War, they dismissed the new evidence as “Russian propaganda”. The following day it had already disappeared from the news.

As well-known commentator Amador Eshtrak wrote on November 20: “It should be evident from the complete dearth of evidence that the US-led hostility toward Russia [over MH17] has other ulterior motives.

“The expansion of NATO as an instrument of American global hegemony in a post Cold War world, the encirclement and attempted enfeebling of Russia as a global economic rival, the thwarting of a multipolar world that threatens to undermine American power and its declining dollar supremacy are all part of this agenda.” It is an agenda that is disturbingly reminiscent of the imperialist drive towards war that marked the build-up to WWI. However, make no mistake: a war against Russia (and China) driven by Christian religious fanatics who believe they are doing God’s work will make the Great War look like a tea party.

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