Saturday, July 19, 2014

Today's links

1--Crash as normalization, zero hedge


Let’s examine the term "crash." A crash is nothing more than the economy trying to normalize, however, everyone seems to think the environment created by bubbles (unpayable debt) is normal. This is truly fascinating because accepting unpayable debt as a norm means that prices are irrelevant, and since prices are irrelevant, there is no risk. But just because we think a thought does not make it a fact. Interestingly, each attempt at normalization requires exponentially greater amounts of expropriation of purchasing power.


Exactly, how does one grow one's way out of this? To clarify the term normalize, I mean that the economy shrinks to a level of real and sustainable supply and demand dynamics. Normalize does not mean "desirable" or "politically favorable."


2-- "Credible evidence"??, NYT


 The United States on Friday ramped up its suspicions that pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine felled a Malaysian jetliner, asserting there was “credible evidence” that a Russian-built antiaircraft system in a rebel-held location had fired the missile that destroyed it, killing all 298 people aboard and scattering the wreckage over miles of rolling farmland....


Four rebels in fatigues were wandering through the ruins, looking through people’s belongings and riffling through guidebooks and bags. When asked who was responsible for the crash, they looked incredulous and said that it had of course been the Ukrainian military.
“This wasn’t ours,” said a rebel who identified himself only as Alexei, standing looking at an overhead bin in the grass with a rifle over his shoulder. “Why would we do this? We’re not animals.”
The smell of flesh hung heavily near a broken hulk of metal on the road where a body lay splayed. A foot with part of a leg was lying on the road.
...
“This is direct provocation of the E.U. and the U.S.,” said a rebel, Alexander Nikolaevich, who was walking along the road near the scene. “You see our weapons,” he said pointing to his aging gun. “We started to win the war and the fascists did this to stop us.”

3--Obama Points to Pro-Russia Separatists in Downing of Malaysian Airlines Plane, NYT

President Obama said Friday that the United States believed the Malaysia Airlines jetliner felled over eastern Ukraine was shot down by a surface-to-air missile from an area inside Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
Mr. Obama’s remarks at the White House were the strongest public suggestions yet from the United States over who was responsible for the downing of the jetliner, which exploded, crashed and burned on Thursday on farmland in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard.
Mr. Obama said the loss of life was an “outrage of unspeakable proportions” and a “global tragedy.”

4---10 questions Russia wants Ukraine to answer, RT

1. Immediately after the tragedy, the Ukrainian authorities, naturally, blamed it on the self-defense forces. What are these accusations based on?
2. Can Kiev explain in detail how it uses Buk missile launchers in the conflict zone? And why were these systems deployed there in the first place, seeing as the self-defense forces don’t have any planes?


3. Why are the Ukrainian authorities not doing anything to set up an international commission? When will such a commission begin its work?
4. Would the Ukrainian Armed Forces be willing to let international investigators see the inventory of their air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, including those used in SAM launchers?
5. Will the international commission have access to tracking data from reliable sources regarding the movements of Ukrainian warplanes on the day of the tragedy?


6. Why did Ukrainian air traffic controllers allow the plane to deviate from the regular route to the north, towards “the anti-terrorist operation zone”?
7. Why was airspace over the warzone not closed for civilian flights, especially since the area was not entirely covered by radar navigation systems?
8. How can official Kiev comment on reports in the social media, allegedly by a Spanish air traffic controller who works in Ukraine, that there were two Ukrainian military planes flying alongside the Boeing 777 over Ukrainian territory?


9. Why did Ukraine’s Security Service start working with the recordings of communications between Ukrainian air traffic controllers and the Boeing crew and with the data storage systems from Ukrainian radars without waiting for international investigators?
10. What lessons has Ukraine learned from a similar incident in 2001, when a Russian Tu-154 crashed into the Black Sea? Back then, the Ukrainian authorities denied any involvement on the part of Ukraine’s Armed Forces until irrefutable evidence proved official Kiev to be guilty.


5---Downing of Jet Exposes Defects of Flight Precautions Over Ukraine, NYT


At a news conference here, Liow Tiong Lai, Malaysia’s transport minister, said that the aircraft had been following a safe route that Malaysia Airlines had used for years and, through Thursday, was still used by several Asian and European airlines. “During that period of time, there are also many other aircraft using the same route,” he said....Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia pointed out earlier in the day that the International Civil Aviation Organization had kept the flight corridor open, the International Air Transport Association had not restricted travel in Ukrainian airspace, and European air traffic control officials had continued to direct flights through the area. Malaysia Airlines came up with a flight plan within air traffic control parameters, but air traffic control agencies said they did not play an extensive role in evaluating it...


Another aviation industry official said that restricting the airspace, rather than closing it, implied that the route was safe even when it was not. “Airlines depend on governments and air traffic control authorities to advise which airspace is available for flight, and they plan within those limits,” Tony Tyler, the director general of the International Air Transport Association in Geneva, said in a statement.


He said that airspace restrictions were introduced by Ukraine on July 1, initially restricting flights below 26,000 feet, and did not have much effect on the volume of air traffic over the area, indicating that many carriers considered the route safe. Before June 30, around 400 daily flights passed through the area at all altitudes, he said. After the first set of restrictions, traffic dropped by a few dozen flights per day. When the restriction was extended to 32,000 feet on July 14, the daily traffic decreased only about 50 flights from a month earlier, a reduction of around 12 percent.
The majority of air traffic crossing the area where Flight 17 was struck consists of international overflights that were already at cruising altitude and would not be required to adjust their normal routes to accommodate the new restrictions.

One aviation official said that complacency among dispatchers may have been an issue in the decision to continue the route. “They plot that same route every single day,” he said.
Malaysian officials said an airline could not be expected to have the intelligence information and other resources to make independent determinations to avoid an area where air traffic controllers were still sending planes. But some carriers had already done just that. China Airlines, the flagship carrier of Taiwan, said that it had avoided flying over all of Ukraine since April 4. Both Korean Airlines and Asiana Airlines also confirmed that they had not flown planes through Ukrainian airspace since March 3

6---Nobel Prize winning economist praises $100 bn BRICS bank created to counter Western dominance, RT

7--​Blood for gas: Why Bibi is punishing Gaza, Pepe escobar

8--Flight tracker (flights from Amsterdam to Kuala lampur)

9--Chaos is the goal, counterpunch

By the same token, these proponents view war and convulsion (or, as David Ben-Gurion, one of the key founders of the State of Israel, put it, “revolutionary atmosphere”) as opportunities that are conducive to the expulsion of Palestinians, to the geographic recasting of the region, and to the expansion of Israel’s territory. “What is inconceivable in normal times,” Ben-Gurion pointed out, “is possible in revolutionary times; and if at this time the opportunity is missed and what is possible in such great hours is not carried out—a whole world is lost” [11].


Echoing a similarly evil sentiment that the dissolution and fragmentation of the Arab states into a mosaic of ethnic groupings is possible only under conditions of war and sociopolitical convulsion, the notoriously hawkish Ariel Sharon likewise pointed out on March 24, 1988, “that if the Palestinian uprising continued, Israel would have to make war on her Arab neighbors. The war, he stated, would provide ‘the circumstances’ for the removal of the entire Palestinian population from the West Bank and Gaza and even from inside Israel proper” [12]....


The influential Jewish Institute for the National Security Affairs (JINSA) also occasionally issued statements and policy papers that strongly advocated “regime changes” in the Middle East. Its advisor Michael Ladeen, who also unofficially advised the Bush administration on Middle Eastern issues, openly talked about the coming era of “total war,” indicating that the United States should expand its policy of “regime change” in Iraq to other countries in the region such as Iran and Syria. “In its fervent support for the hardline, pro-settlement, anti-Palestinian Likud-style policies in Israel, JINSA has essentially recommended that ‘regime change’ in Iraq should be just the beginning of a cascade of toppling dominoes in the Middle East” [16].


In brief, the evidence is overwhelming (and irrefutable) that the raging chaos in the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe/Ukraine is not because of the “misguided” policies of the United States and its allies, as many critics and commentators tend to maintain. It is, rather, because of premeditated and carefully-crafted policies that have been pursued by an unholy alliance of the military-security-industrial complex and the Israel lobby in the post-Cold War world.


10--Facts Needed on Malaysian Plane Shoot-Down, Ray McGovern


Reliability of U.S. Intelligence
It was not always this way. There was a time when the U.S. government wouldn’t risk its credibility for a cheap propaganda stunt, knowing that there are moments when it is crucial for the world to believe what U.S. officials say
...
I also have grown more and more suspicious of the official U.S. government account about the crash of TWA-800 on July 17, 1996. Shortly after departing Kennedy Airport in New York, the plane exploded off Long Island with 230 people killed. More than 100 eyewitnesses reported seeing an object they described variously as a “missile,” “flare” or “rocket” rise up into the sky and merge with TWA Flight 800....




11---This conflicts with NYTs report, zero hedge


As reported earlier by RIA, the Russian Defense Ministry says it had intercepted the activity of a Ukrainian radar system on the day the Malaysian plane went down in eastern Ukraine, the ministry’s press service said Friday.


"Throughout the day on July 17, Russian means of radar surveillance intercepted the operation of the Buk-M1 battery’s Kupol radar station located in the region of the populated area of Styla [30 kilometers south of Donetsk]," the press service said in a statement.

On July 8, Ukraine’s State Aviation Service banned all flights over the Donetsk and Luhansk regions aiming to provide “adequate safety and security for all flights of civil aircraft in favor of state aviation.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council took a decision to close the airspace over the area of the so-called anti-terror operation to commercial flights three days ago, Rosaviatsia reported.

This goes back to our post from last night in which we wondered just why and how did it happen that flight MH-17 diverted from its usual trajectory to fly over what was effectively restricted airspace.  This also is the topic of a follow up piece by Bloomberg released overnight in which it was noted that "Malaysian Air Flight Took Route Avoided by Qantas, Asiana:"

Qantas hasn’t used the route for a few months, said Andrew McGinnes, a spokesman for the Australian carrier, while Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific said it has been detouring for “quite some time.” Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc. said in statements they have been avoiding the area since March 3


12---The crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine, wsws


13---Downed Malaysian Jet Intensifies Russia Bashing, WA blog



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