We can learn much from the tragedy of Flight MH17 – about ourselves

Summary: Yesterday’s post showed how little we know about MH17. It provoked many emails of outrage. That shows its importance, and futility. The world has always been, and remains, a dangerous place. Yet the existence of dangers provides fuel for our elites to exaggerate dangers in order to manipulate us. Our gullibility and fearfulness has become our greatest weaknesses. It’s the ultimate “enemy within”.

“Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper.”

— George Orwell, “Looking Back on the Spanish War“, New Road, 1943 (exact issue unknown)

“… every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defence against a homicidal maniac … The essential job is to get people to recognise war propaganda when they see it …”

— George Orwell, book review in New Statesman and Nation, 28 August 1937

Fear Wolf

After 3 days, even the British Leftist press was certain what happened. The evidence they cite was slight.

  1. MH17: the evidence against Russia“, The Guardian, 19 July 2014 — “In the hours after the Malaysia Airlines crash in Ukraine, evidence assembled from various sources appeared to point the blame at militants armed with Russian missiles”
  2. MH17: missile launcher was in towns near crash site, videos suggest“, The Guardian, 20 July 2014 — “Videos and photographs appear to show a mobile anti-aircraft missile launcher in neighbouring towns of Torez and Snizhne”

They were understandably ready to convict Russia, since they knew this was coming: “United States Assessment of the Downing of Flight MH17 and its Aftermath“, 19 July 2014 — Opening line:

“We assess that Flight MH17 was likely downed by a SA-11 surface-to-air missile from separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine. We base this judgment on several factors.”

A powerful opening, followed by specific confident assertions. Accepted like gospel by most journalists, geopolitical experts, and Americans. Perhaps this case was correct. Or perhaps it contains lies like those the US government has given so often before, like those listed in yesterday’s post. Our own history should have taught us to beware of premature judgements; but as usual in our generation we don’t learn from our experiences.


Jesus with shades and gun
This is how we see ourselves

This leads to questions more important for America than who shot down MH17.  Why do we so eagerly believe US government officials, despite their long history of frequent lies? Why are we so eager to deal ourselves into other people’s fights — regional conflicts with little role for the US, where our allies in the region remain uninterested?

Most importantly, when did the American become so belligerent? Even Democratic Party officials feel they must pose as warriors. As Obama did in 2008, described in part one and part 2 of All Presidents today are War Presidents. As Hillary Clinton does today, as we see in her interview by Jeffrey Goldbert in The Atlantic.

What does history show as the common fate of belligerent nations? Especially those that bulk up on arms, building military forces far larger than their peers’, and who go “abroad in search of monsters to destroy” (contrary to John Quincy Adams’ advice)? We’re on a path that probably leads us to a bad end.

There’s still time to turn and take another path, one that leads to a better future for us and the world.

Other posts in this series

  1. A warning from Germany about our new cold war: “The West on the wrong path”, 9 August 2014
  2. Let’s stop the 2-minute hate on Putin & think before we reignite the Cold War, 11 August 2014
  3. Look at past airliner shootings so we can learn about government lies, 13 August 2014

For More Information

An assortment of relevant posts:

  1. We live in an age of ignorance, but can decide to fix this – today, 15 April 2014
  2. The Ukraine anti-semitic flyer: a case study in propaganda, 21 April 2014
  3. Choose to follow those who were right about our wars, or those who were wrong, 17 June 2014
  4. Finding insights in the seas of information & misinformation, 24 June 2014



2 thoughts on “We can learn much from the tragedy of Flight MH17 – about ourselves”

  1. America seems to have become hyperaggressive following the collapse of the Soviet Union. After WW II, an average of about 15 years separated each major deployment of U.S. troops overseas. Korea 1950, Viet Nam 1965, Panama 1989 and Kuwait 1991, Afghanistan 2001 and Iraq 2003. But since 9/11 America has deployed troops in major conflicts every couple of years.

    Two reasons for this perpetual rage (reminiscent of monkeys in brain experiments with their amygdala constantly electrically stimulated) come to mind: [1] a global power vacuum after the collapse of the USSR; [2] Madeleine Albright’s memorable remark “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”

    Less well known but wiser: Secretary of State Albright’s other quote: “Hate, emotionalism, and frustration are not policies.”

  2. During the Cold War, we talked tough but we (and the world) knew that MAD maintained a chasm we would not cross. So we did our dance with the Soviets.

    Our post-coldwar dominance allowed us to move with ease beyond tough talk into the belligerence described by FM and Thomas More. All the post-coldwar presidents have engaged in military actions. And with numbing regularity. So that all presidents today are not only war presidents but neocons in the execution of foreign policy. In good neocon tradition, they promote “democracy”, which translates into “we do it because we can”.

    Take a look at GW Bush’s second inaugural address for the height of neocon chest thumping. Beware of American leaders preaching the theology of American Exceptionalism.

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