By Mathew Maavak
Not a month goes by without the West invoking yet another affront to humanity, another crime against humanity, another wave of sanctions, or yet another UN Security Council resolution. This is what North Korea would be like if it is ever armed with social media.
Occasionally, we were treated to a new Weapons of Mass Destruction allegation with the proof lying not just in the pudding or in yellow cakes attested by Colin Powell at the UN, but in the delectable offerings of Twitter and Facebook as well. Reality is defined by the bold, new ethos of "I imagined it and made it up and therefore it must be true" and the number of "likes" you have pre-emptively readied on Facebook before a counter-narrative i.e. "hard evidence" emerges.
Are we witnessing a new era in Weapons of Mass Information (WMI)? I just made that term up and so can you. This phenomenon is known as Hope and Change.
Yesterday's Hitler is today's nearly-forgotten dictator in Damascus. Chemical weapons charges appeared and magically disappeared. Why should it matter? If you don't like a Linkedin update on your thread, just click "delete."
All that matters is rage, more rage and nothing but rage. It is pure unadulterated Zombie passion with a moral sheen.
The last such outrage was arguably generated by the terrorist downing of MH17. It was supposed to unite the entire world against the forces of "tyranny and oppression" represented by Russia, Russians, and their leader Vladimir Putin. Even Malaysian online portals linked to Malaysian Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim began the carry the tripe and tropes of the Guardian and the Daily Mail. The conclusion was damning. It was "Putin's missile" and there would be "hell to pay." Those poor children were "murdered by Putin" along with 100 leading AIDS researchers - a nice round triple-digit figure that had no parallel in the losses incurred by medicinal science. There were no back-up USB drives back home either to unlock their seminal research findings, and the Independent wondered if the cure for AIDS was lost forever. Maybe, those poor researchers could not afford pen-drives in the first place.
This was the golden chance to regain falling readerships through promissory advertisements and exclusives whispered in taverns strategically infested by media whores and their handlers. This was the modern-day equivalent of a propaganda Blitzkrieg undertaken with Fuhrerprinzip discipline and the genius of State Department Auftragstaktik.
They were at war but the modern-day battleground was different. A selfie was worth its weight in Russia's printed Order of Battle. Hashtag evidences were posted, followed by evidences pre-emptively placed in the social media, which were collective analysed and declared slam-dunk by the US State Department. Well, effectively anyway.
Then something happened. Those pesky Israelis ruined the show with their incessant retaliatory strikes on Gaza and things got delayed, things got distracted, and questions demanding "hard evidence" began to emerge. The Russians counter-attacked in a way worthy of the Battle of Moscow (Oct 1941 to Jan 1942).
Global focus shifted from Eastern Ukraine to Gaza. US allies in the Gulf Arab world and its terrorist allies the Free Syrian Army/ISIS/ISIL/IS or whatever it is going to be called next gladly remained silent but not Muslim communities in the West.
Just about every branding expert inside the beltway must have cursed those J..., uuhh, those... "Israelis" for ruining this chance to unite humanity under a common market of rage. Those airstrikes against Gaza were supposed to be of a limited, token nature but the sheer intensity of attacks and counterattacks probably took Gaza, Israel and the rest of the world by surprise.
Hours, days, nights, and perhaps weeks spent on anticipating this aircrash through the genius of Pre-emptive Foresight (TM) were wasted by the unthinking fecklessness of Israel. The UNRWA, NGOs and members of the "international community" were even given the unusual carte blanc of bandying "war crimes" charges against Israel.
Worst still, Israel's Economy Minister Naftali Bennett began savaging Qatar - a beloved ally of the United States and jihadi sponsor extraordinaire - on live TV. The Israeli media began to publicize terror links between Hamas and Turkey, another beloved ally of the United States and jihadi sponsor extraordinaire.
This was too much. The United States now either had to salvage its handmaiden Benjamin Netanyahu from an internal cabinet coup or continue manufacturing evidences against Russia. It could not do both.
The Incredibly Talented SBU
The Ukrainian security service "SSU" posted slam-dunk admission of guilt by pro-Russian separatists only hours after the crash but somehow the official transcript of communications between MH17 pilots and Air Traffic Control (ATC) Kiev went mysteriously missing.
Wait a minute, shouldn't it be SBU instead of SSU? Shouldn't the official initials be translated from СБУ to SBU? Either some Ukrainian didn't do Google Translate or this was hastily patched up by a non-native speaker. An English speaker would naturally acronymize "Security Service of Ukraine" into "SSU."
Besides, with such formidable electronic interception capability, Ukraine should have overrun Donbast and Luhansk a long time back. Crimea would have never returned to the Russian fold either as all that planning would have been intercepted and pre-emptively foiled.
But what do I know? I can irritate the reader with questions and more questions while irrefutable evidence is just a Tweet away from the US State Department. It lies not - and can wait not - in forensic tests, black box decoding or a simple copy of communications between MH17 and ATC Kiev.
In any controversial air crash, among the first evidence to be publicly released would be the transcript of conversations between pilots of the ill-fated aircraft and the nearest ATC tower. That's what the Malaysians did after the mysterious disappearance of MH370 but the Ukrainians knew a thing or two about disappearing things. MH17's transcript has remained "disappeared" into the fourth week.
Here is a contrast: I was reading the transcript of the communications between the Soviet pilot and his air force command the very day after KAL007 was downed on Sept 1, 1983. That comes with privilege, when you can buy a copy of the New Straits Times and crisps for a few cents at a local store.
Such high ELINT interception technology, however, does not exist among US military and espionage agencies today.
Photos of Grek and Major must have been posted alongside the heart-wrenching photos of children who died in the crash. Children are no strangers to America's propaganda war. They bring tears out of an unsuspecting public, don't they? I mean... even when the entire charade is fraudulently stage-managed by Hill and Knowlton before esteemed US congressmen.
It's not the truth that matters; it's the show. And that must go on.
Days passed into weeks. There is still no transcript of the communications between MH17 and ATC Kiev and the White House is slowly turning to other pressing issues. The moral outrage against Russia and Putin is now perceptibly being relegated to British dailies and a minority of Australians who need to prove they are loyal Americans, led by a persona no less than Tony Abbott who confidently announced MH370's discovery on March 20 before parliament but to-date, he just can't find it.
And what happened to the noble idea of charging Putin for a war crime at the Hague? Word has it that Putin just clicked "delete."