Why did President Obama look so lost Monday while trying to make a case against Russia in the downing of the Malaysian Boeing in Ukraine? And how come the US journalists seem to know more than experts and intelligence agencies investigating the case? The Burning Point is discussing it with Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the US Treasury, currently the chairman of The Institute for Political Economy.
— Mr. Roberts, the shooting down of the Boeing passenger airplane in Ukraine is really making headlines. But sometimes it seems that many media outlets already know everything about what appears to be still a mystery to experts.
— This is Washington’s propaganda show. They have seized on the opportunity to demonize Russia, especially President Putin. Washington is disturbed by a number of things – one is the rise of Russia and China as powers. This is inconsistent with the Wolfowitz doctrine, which is the basis of American foreign policy. The Wolfowitz doctrine requires that the US prevent the rise of other powers. So, that is the big backdrop, the big background of it. And what Washington is doing, they have seized on this airliner catastrophe, whoever is responsible, whatever is the cause, in order to blame Russia. And so instantly as soon as the world learned that the Malaysian airliner had gone down, Washington was controlling the explanation. It was out with the story that Russia did it, or the Russian government helped the ‘separatists’ in Eastern Ukraine do it. And that it seemed to be orchestrated. And such an orchestration requires advanced effort, advanced timing and that almost implies that the US was involved in the catastrophe. So, what we have heard is accusations and insinuations from the US government, the American media and as far as I can tell much of the European media. There is no evidence, but the accusation and insinuations are repeated over and over, and this is a propaganda trick to establish the truth by repetition. There has been no evidence presented by Washington and no response from Washington to the Russian government’s pleas to look at evidence, to have a non-politicized expert international investigation. It’s only the Russian government that has released any evidence; they have released the satellite photos of the Ukrainian missile batteries in place; they have released the flight path of Ukrainian jet, which approached the Malaysian airliner prior to its demise. And they repeatedly asked for evidence and Washington provides not.
— If Russia has released satellite images, why wouldn’t the US do so?
— Because the images don’t support Washington’s propaganda!
— But, the mere fact is that Robert Perry actually published his point of view and his material on that - does that imply that perhaps people are getting to question the official US version of events?
— Well, not everyone in the US government is corrupt. And there are some people, who still have some respect for facts and truth. And there are some people, who realize that it’s very dangerous to provoke for propaganda purposes a conflict with another powerful country. It’s the risk of that is high and it’s not worth the risk to the rest of the world. And so some people try to prevent these kinds of conflicts from developing along the lines that Washington is pushing it. So, I think that we do know for a fact, because the Russian government has announced it, there is no doubt, whatsoever that there was an American satellite over the area at that time. And so we know that Washington has photos. And so, if these photos supported Washington’s case, clearly they would have released them. So, the fact that they don’t release them, they don’t even mention them, is an indication that the photos don’t support Washington. Now, what I understood, what I read in between the lines of Robert Parry’s article was that the CIA’s assessments, the initial assessment doesn’t support Washington’s case. So, I’m sure, there is now pressure on the analysts within the agency that to change the story. I’m certain, there is. And it remains to be seen, whether this pressure will succeed. So, you know, Washington now is so far out on the limb with their insinuations and accusations that is hard for them to climb down. It’s easier for them to pressure the analysts, the CIA to give different interpretation. And, of course, Washington will never release the photos for other experts to examine, to check the interpretation. So, and I think, what a real problem that Russia and Putin face, is that English is the World language, Russian is not the World language. And so Washington with its enormous media resources, the media is very well trained, they can control the explanation regardless of the facts. So, what we are faced with is a situation, where the facts may play no role. This is not unusual. Remember the alleged weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein had, the UN weapon inspectors on the ground in Iraq, Hans Blix, was the leader of that. They reported that there were no weapons. And yet, Washington said, the Secretary of State to the UN with all of these fabricated evidence, all of these lies about these weapons that did not exist, that Washington knew, it didn’t exist and the rest of world accepted this claims. And we’ve had the disaster of the Iraq war and we can see the disaster is continuing. Washington did the same thing with Assad’s use of chemical weapons. There was no use of chemical weapons by Assad. And Washington didn’t have the same success, primarily because of Russia. But we also saw the same sort of lies used against Libya. We see the same lies against Iran, the Iranian nukes, which the International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly said do not exist and which all 16 American intelligence agencies have said do not exist. And yet the President of the US continues to speak about the threat of Iranian nukes. So the difficulty is that Washington doesn’t need the truth to be on its side. It controls the explanation regardless of the facts. And so, even if the facts come out from the investigation of the Malaysian airliner catastrophe there’s no guarantee that Washington will acknowledge the facts.
— Remember the article in the New Republic, which somehow described every bit of information as conspiracy theory. Is it also a way to fight facts?
— You know, the disaster of the Malaysian aircraft that could have been a mistake. It could have been a conspiracy. We may never know, but what the American media uses conspiracy theory for is to shut up the evidence that is contrary to the official line. For example, in the US, there are a large number of high-rise architects, structure engineers, physicists, chemists, first respondents, airline pilots, who challenge the government’s explanation of 9/11. All of these experts are dismissed by journalists, who have no understanding of any of these principles, as conspiracy theories. It’s a way to shut up other information, other interpretations. And I notice that in the New Republic recently Professor Steven Cohen, who is one of the American experts, who gives Russia fair treatment. He was accused by the New Republic of being Putin’s poodle, a man, who apologizes for the criminal Putin. So, here we have probably one of the most knowledgeable of the Russia experts. And he is being dismissed by a magazine that has no expertise about anything. It’s just a few journalists. And they are writing off a very well informed and reasonable man. So, this is the way it works – you’re either on the pay of Putin or you are a conspiracy theorist. Anyone, who has an alternative explanation, or who just raises questions, obvious questions that are inconvenient for Washington’s explanation, these people are dismissed. They can’t possibly be right, only Washington is right and everyone else is wrong. We don’t even need to listen to the questions. In fact, just yesterday I think it was, some of the American journalists, who are beginning to catch on that this is some kind of a fake explanation, were questioning the State Department’s spokesman and they got a little bit insistent in their questions and the State Department’s spokesperson said – I’m not even going to acknowledge this question. In other words – you believe us, or you don’t count. No one else has a role in this. So, to come back to my point, I think that is a trouble that Russia and Putin faces. You see, the US uses this to demonize Russia, because the US wants to break up the Russian economic relationships with Europe. The US is very concerned that it will eventually lose its European Empire, because of the growing economic and political relations with Russia. And Washington is very upset that the EU didn’t back Washington’s unilateral sanctions against Russia, that Europe took a different path. So, Washington right now is in panic and that is why it is so determined to use the Malaysian airliner to demonize Russia, because it becomes a pressure point that Washington can apply to Europe to force Europe follow the Washington’s line. And that is mainly, what this is about. So, for the US there is no real interest in, what happened to people. The interest is – to prevent the sort of growing economic and political relationships between Russian and Europe and that is, what this incident is being used for by Washington.
— Mr. Obama, when he was making a statement on the Boeing catastrophe really looked quite disappointed. I mean, he was not as self-assured as he used to be not so long ago. But he had this kind of a lost look in his eyes. Does that imply that something just doesn’t work out?
— Well that implies that he was told of the CIA’s assessment of the American satellite photos. That ‘the photos do not support the lies, you’re telling Mr. President! Stop telling these lies! Your own CIA has come to a conclusion that the Russians and the separatists have nothing to do with it’. He was just told that and that’s what was reflecting in his eyes. Of course, there will be a huge, as I’ve already said, there will be a huge pressure on the agency to change the story. You know, Washington tried to get the agency, to change its story about the Iranian nukes…..failed! They were unable to force the agency and so, they simply quit mentioning it. So, in this case, I think that this is what has happened to Obama. He has been told – Look, the CIA report says, what the Russians say. What are we gonna do?