The crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 has been used to enforce sanctions against Russia and is fundamental to Washington’s efforts to break the Russia-Europe relationship, Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the US Treasury, tells RT.
RT: It's been a year since the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, which claimed the lives of all 298 people onboard. Eastern Ukraine was a war zone at the time - yet the Ukrainian authorities haven't closed the airspace, allowing civil flights over the area. What was behind their inaction?
Paul Craig Roberts: I think they intended for the airliner to be shot down. The latest evidence is that it was shot down by air, by a Ukrainian jet fighter using a missile. This is the best evidence we have at this time. What is suspicious about this is that the instant that the airliner was reported to have been shot down, the entirety of the Western media was already programmed to blame Russia. Before there was any evidence, before there was any explanation, we had all of the Western media blaming Russia - even the BBC, which used to be a respectable news organization. So this suggests the whole thing was preplanned.
And if you look at the development of this we see that Ukraine has not released any information about its contacts with the airliner. And we see that Washington, which had a spy satellite directly over the area at the time, refuses to release its information. So the only information we have comes from the Russians, and the Russians say that if this had happened on a ground-to-air missile, this Buk system, that their radar in Rostov would have picked it up and yet it shows no such happening.
So I think the reason that we can’t get to the bottom of this is that it’s been used against Russia by Washington in order to break off Russia’s relationships with Europe. It’s the foundation of the sanctions and it’s part of Washington trying to break up the political and economic relationships between Russia and Europe. In my opinion, all the evidence we have, as of this time, supports no other conclusion.
RT: A year on after the tragedy, there is still no conclusive proof as to what brought down the plane. However the US continues to point the finger at anti-government forces. Why is that?
PCR: The US is based on the Wolfowitz Doctrine, and this doctrine says that with the collapse of the Soviet Union there are no longer any constraints on Washington’s ability to act unilaterally anywhere in the world. And yet Putin has brought Russia back as a formidable country, a country with economic and military power and so Russia can now be an obstacle to - for example - Obama’s planned invasion of Syria, or Washington’s planned attack on Iran over alleged nuclear weapon that doesn’t exist. And it was Russia’s ability to prevent war from Washington to Syria, to Iran that caused Washington to say “Hey look, we’ve got to do something about the Russians” and moreover “Look, for heaven’s sake, Europe is now dependent on Russian energy, the Russian gas. We are going to lose our vassal states and if we lose our vassal states in Europe we lose NATO and we lose the ability to bring conflict to Russia and we can’t have Russia rising as a power, so what can we do? Oh, we’ll overthrow Ukraine! And if we overthrow Ukraine we can use this in many ways to cause problems for Russia; it can cause problems with Russian national security, with Russia’s relations to Europe, and so on.”
So that’s really what it’s all about and shooting down an airliner for Washington this doesn’t mean anything; they kill more people than that while we are talking in Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq, in wherever. For 14 years the US has been killing people all over the Middle East and Africa and why are they so worried about a couple of hundred on an airliner, they kill that many every hour.
So the whole thing is directed to demonize Russia in order to force Europe to comply with Washington’s will, which is: “We have to stop the rise of Russia, we can’t have another independent power, we are the uni-power, we have hegemony over the world, we must not permit other countries to be able to block us in any way.” That’s what it’s all about.
RT: Just a couple of days ago, CNN broadcast the leaked results of the report, putting the blame on separatists. However the Dutch investigators say there are not ready to make any conclusions. How much do such accusations influence public opinion?
PCR: Very much, because there is no longer a Western media. In the US, in the last years of the Clinton administration, what had been an independent and dispersed media was concentrated in six mega-companies. So the US media now consists of six big companies whose broadcast licenses are dependent on Washington and whose revenues are dependent on corporate advertising, primarily the military-security complex. So the media in the US no longer exists, it’s a propaganda ministry. And in Europe we have the former editor of [Frankfurter Allgemeine] Zeitung, the big German newspaper, who said there is no journalist anywhere in Europe of any significance who is not on the CIA payroll. This book is published in Germany, it’s a bestseller, it’s called ‘Bought Journalists’. You see, they follow whatever line the CIA gives them. That’s how you can see what Russia is up against – a massive propaganda machine and facts don’t matter.
Why is it that the US hasn’t released its satellite photos? The satellite was right over the incident of the Malaysian airliner when it happened. They won’t release it. Why doesn’t Kiev release its communications with the airliner? They won’t release them. It’s because they don’t support the argument that Russia was responsible, or Russian-supported separatists are responsible. This is the situation. The Russian people, media, government have to understand that this is not a question of fact, it’s a question of demonization, and the problem with Russia from the stand point of the US, is that it has come back, it’s again a powerful country, it can constrain what Washington does just as could the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union could tell the US “No,” that’s what Russia did in Syria, in Iraq: it said “No.” Washington will not accept “No,” that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about facts or evidence. Russia, China and Iran are in Washington’s way. Washington’s committed to world hegemony, this is what the issue is, there is no other issue.