‘US already casting judgment on crash of Russian flight 7K9268'

An Egyptian man puts flowers near debris at the crash site of a Russian airliner in al-Hasanah area at El Arish city, north Egypt, November 1, 2015. © Mohamed Abd El Ghany
The Western press is looking for the worst possible scenario for the Russians: something negative, someone to blame, or something to put Putin in a bad light, says Daniel Patrick Welch, writer and political analyst.

RT: The CIA says they don't have any evidence the plane was downed by terrorists yet. Are they suggesting they're expecting some? What do you make of the wording of the phrase?

Daniel Patrick Welch: The first thing is that the kind of point of coverage of Russia in the West and specifically in the US is to find something negative or something blaming, or something to cast Putin and Russia in a bad light. It is just like the DNA of how the Western press works. So whether or not they are expecting this or not, they are looking for the worst possible scenario for the Russians and it is kind of mean-spirited.

READ MORE: Russian jet crash in Egypt: First bodies brought to St. Petersburg

RT: Western media is also actively speculating over the terror cause of the crash, admitting though that most experts think this is not the case. What's the point in speculating then?

DPW: That is an easy thing to sell, if you’re floating a story and you don’t really have any proof then you can say: “We don’t know yet.” Or, “some sources say,” which is what Fox News uses all the time, or “some people say” or “we’ve heard rumors,” which isn’t really journalism.  It’s a fraud; it’s kind of based on this Russia bashing.

First of all it is a horrific tragedy for the hundreds of families that have lost a loved one. The first thing [John Kerry] had to do was to say: “Well, our thoughts and prayers are with the people who lost their family members, and our condolences go out to the Russian people,” etc.

But you can see that there is a secondary sort of glee that if it was brought down by IS then it is going to draw [Vladimir] Putin in even deeper. And the whole thing is also a sort of projected envy that he – meaning the Russian security council and the Russian armed forces - got involved in Syria at the request and with the cooperation of the Syrian government and have had enormous success in doing what the US has claimed to have been doing for 15-16 months and hasn’t been able to make any progress at all. So one of the things that also shows through in this very transparent coverage: If [the crash] is about the Islamic State then it has to be payback and [Russia’s Syrian campaign] isn’t as big a success as everyone is trying to say it is. It’s kind of sour grapes no matter how you cut it.  

RT: Why wouldn't they wait till the flight recorders are decoded?

DPW: They drew conclusions about MH17 for 16 months before any proof came out on this, and they still don’t have any proof. They are never looking to follow up a series of evidentiary lines with a conclusion that is based on scientific evidence – that is not what they want to do; that is not what they ever do. What they have is the tease of a potential story that can make Russia look bad and then they go with it to suggest that it might be. One thing I will add is that if it does turn out to have been shot down I have no doubt at all that the CIA or the US government would have had some hand in it because it’s those kind of fingerprints that you see on attacks like this like MH-17.  

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RT: The general understanding among the expert community is that terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula don't have the capabilities to bring down a jet flying at 10,000 meters. Do you personally think they could've downed it?

DPW: That is not really a complicated question, but first of all the Western media works like that - ‘sensationalism’ - something that sells to a pre-story that is already settled in the minds of the viewers. That is: “America good, Russia bad, how can we frame this to sell more newspapers, more airtime?”

The second thing is that on the state level the American government is trying to do the same thing. They cannot help but attach a geopolitical analysis to this before the time is ready because they need and want to push back against what they see as resistance from Russia, as well as from China, and they are very nervous about any independent actors in the geopolitical sphere.


© Lucy Nicholson

What they have said is: “We’re not going to wait before making this judgment” , but then they say: “We’re not sure yet!” The question is: There are recorders - they are on the ground, they will be found unlike in these other tragedies where no black boxes are found.  They will be found and we will have a detailed and reasonable explanation of what happened. We just have to wait and see and share our thoughts and prayers with the hundreds of families who lost people in this tragedy.

RT: An international investigation into the cause of the crash is underway. Are there any reasons to doubt it will answer all the questions?

DPW: I suppose it depends if the Russians and the Egyptians are in charge of it or are listened to, then it may very well answer those questions. I don’t see why it wouldn’t; it is very different from the Dutch safety board or some of these other investigations that have gone on.

I think there is a level of it that is in the realm of international intrigue that if it was either by accident or if it was a shoot down, nobody really wants that to become a huge international incident, because it would be an enormous escalation and a huge mistake. So everyone would have an interest in not having that be too prominent a conclusion. But for now we have to wait and see what the investigation shows.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.