By Kua Kia Soong
It was truly heartwarming to witness Malaysian Parliamentarians unite in their condemnation of those responsible for the dastardly act of shooting down MH17 and for killing so many innocent people. The motion tabled by the Prime Minister correctly called for an international body to undertake a comprehensive investigation into the disaster.
Until this independent investigation has been completed, it is vital that we refrain from jumping to premature conclusions and from making inferences in the way that the US media have been spinning since the tragedy happened.
All the facts have not yet been established yet some of the columnists in our local media seem to have fallen for this US media disinformation without first checking their facts.
Prime Minister Najib wisely did not point the finger of responsibility at any specific side in the Ukrainian conflict nor at any of the superpowers. This is as it should be since all parties are innocent until proven guilty – a simple principle of justice.
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was also circumspect when he “urged the government not to be pressured when facing the world superpowers.”
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, on the other hand, called for a delay in payment for the delivery of Russian-made fighter jets and a cancellation of the Angkasawan Negara programme “if they did not cooperate in the investigations.”
Now, why is there an inference that the Russians may not cooperate? Where is the evidence that they won’t? Why is there not a call for a boycott of US goods if they do not cooperate in producing the satellite images and radar readings of that fateful day?
They have the technology and for sure their satellites have been trained on eastern Ukraine ever since the conflict flared up there. So where is this critical evidence that they have not yet revealed?
US media’s latest war hysteria
The US media began it’s “disinformation” campaign almost immediately after the MH17 crash, by siding with the Kiev regime and pinning blame for the crash on ethnic Russian rebels and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. There was a total absence of professional circumspection, despite the all too recent Bush-Blair disinformation campaign on Weapons of Mass Destruction prior to the invasion of Iraq and elsewhere.
The US has spun the story that Russia supplied sophisticated missile launchers to the separatists in eastern Ukraine and that attempts were made to move them back across the Russian border after MH17 had been shot down. If that is true, the international investigation team should demand that the US produces these satellite photos to reveal what these images disclose.
Since MH17 was shot down in the daytime, the images should reveal who actually shot down the plane – Ukrainian government troops or ethnic Russian separatists.
Just because the missile may have been “Russian-made” does not automatically mean that it was ethnic Russian rebels who fired it since the Ukrainian military also operates these Russian-made military systems, including Buk anti-aircraft missiles. And is there any truth in the Russian allegation that there was a fighter jet in the vicinity of the MH17 trail? Let them proffer their evidence.
Some of the first US media pronouncements that demonise both the rebels and the Russians have been quickly retracted. The early footage of the scene showed one of the black boxes being taken away by a local Ukrainian and the commentary was that this was proof that “the black boxes have been taken away by the rebels”.
Well, the two black boxes have now been handed over to Malaysian officials who have said they are satisfied that these have not been tampered with. Even the laudable efforts by the eastern Ukrainians to prepare and preserve the bodies of the victims in a refrigerated train were subject to aspersions cast by the US media.
We have already seen how the US media war hysteria has led to the invasion of Iraq and the war in Syria. This latest demonisation of Putin will doubtless take us closer to another international crisis to provide grist for the US military-industrial complex and to deflect from the problems facing Western capitalism today.
Thus, until we hear the facts and conclusions of the international investigation into the demise of MH17, we would advise Malaysians to practice professional circumspection and not be suckers to US media disinformation.
MH17 in passing
It is a pity that there has been no special parliamentary session to discuss the MH370 tragedy. But while we urge the US government to produce the satellite images on MH17, they should also be asked to produce the satellite images and radar recordings on MH370.
It is unlikely that the mightiest military power in the world with its sizeable radar installations at Diego Garcia did not track MH370 on its fateful journey. The Singapore military has also kept a conspicuous silence over the fate of MH370. It is unlikely that they too failed to track the last moments of MH370.