Thursday, July 31, 2014




As the death toll in Gaza passes 1,000 Lia Tarachansky and Phyllis Bennis respond to a poll which found 86% of Israelis reject a ceasefire, while a growing number of Americans want the Israeli offensive to stop.
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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Who Bears Responsibility for Civilian Deaths in Gaza?
Israeli scholar and historian Ilan Pappe argues the media's demonization of Hamas provides Israel cover for continuing its siege and occupation of Palestinian territories.
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Action Alert

The response to our video release yesterday has been literally overwhelming - web traffic crashed the site for long periods yesterday after our launch - so if you couldn't see it (or share it) yesterday, please try again now at freedom4palestine.org
You can also watch and share using this direct YouTube link

I can't believe we're still witnessing such unspeakable violence - that there are so many more human lives extinguished by this horrific attack. I am more grateful than ever for all the ways you're helping to protest this nightmare. I know that together we will end it.
-Ari Wohlfeiler

People all over the world are stepping up - many for the first time - to send a clear, urgent message: We Choose Freedom for All.



A message from Desmond Tutu, Tony Kushner, Chuck D, Rigoberta Menchu, Eve Ensler, and many more
Take Action!

Facebook Twitter icon Forward
Stop everything—now— for just 4 minutes.

Sit quietly with this just-released joint Jewish and Palestinian video about Gaza. If you are with loved ones or colleagues—ask them to sit down and watch with you.
And take it in.

For this heartbreaking but necessary video, we asked for help from Jewish Voice for Peace members worldwide, and every hero, every artist, we knew.  And they all said yes. Yes to an end to all bombing. Yes to justice for Palestine.  Yes to freedom for all people.

Gloria Steinem said yes, Chuck D and Brian Eno said yes, Angela Davis and Jonathan Demme said yes. Diana Buttu and Tony Kushner said yes. Alison Bechdel and Eve Ensler said yes. Noura ErakatMaya Wind and Remi Kanazi said yes.


Rigoberta Menchu and Desmond Tutu said yes.

In short, the people in this video represent the human family, standing on the side of freedom— for Palestinians and Israelis alike. And we say No to this unspeakable carnage wrought by one of the world’s most powerful militaries dropping explosives on an imprisoned and defenseless population.


And take in just some of the names and faces and ages of the children, mothers and fathers, and entire families who have been killed in this horrific assault on the captive population of Gaza.

And take in our message, one that truly comes from a place of love for justice: that a lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians will never be possible until we address decades of Palestinian dispossession, statelessness, inequality, exile, occupation and siege.

Then share this video with 10 people:
People who are scared to say publicly what they think privately.
People who hold tightly to their fantasy that Palestinians and Jews are mortal enemies, so they don't feel the horror of what the Israeli government is doing to human beings, just like them.

People who may need to be reminded that injustice will go on long after the bombing stops - unless we make real change.

People who feel isolated and powerless in the face of this ongoing massacre.

I just ask that if you choose to memorialize the name of someone who has died, that you memorize that name, find out everything you can about them, tape their name or image to your wall, and make him or her a part of your story.  And most important, honor their lives by taking to the streets, joining a JVP chapter, starting a divestment campaign, talking to your family and friends.
Sincerely,
Cecilie Surasky
Deputy Director
PS: In Israel, radio spots naming those killed in Gaza have been banned. In the US, media coverage hasn’t been much better.Please, share this video today – we have to take responsibility ourselves for sharing our humanity, our grief, and our hope for the future.
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Contact Info:
Jewish Voice for Peace
1611 Telegraph Ave, Suite 550
Oakland, CA 94612
510.465.1777
info@jewishvoiceforpeace.org
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Who's Profiting from Israel's Offensive in Gaza?
Shir Hever: Israel continues to reject Hamas's offer of a ten-year ceasefire because it would undermine Israeli arms sales, which reached $7 billion in 2012.
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"Lie Down And Die Quietly"
Must Watch - Video Interview (5:49) - By ABC
Posted July 24, 2014
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi on the impact of the Israeli ground offensive and airstrikes on Gaza. 
Israel "is deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians."



Thousands Take the Streets for Gaza Protests Across the World
CONTINUE:
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/gaza-protests-across-ireland-and-the-world-1.1879548


5 Israeli Talking Points on Gaza – Debunked
by Noura Erakat
CONTINUE:  
http://www.thenation.com/article/180783/five-israeli-talking-points-gaza-debunked


Forbidden Book: Douglas Valentine’s “The Phoenix Program: America’s Use of Terror in Vietnam”
Forbidden Books
On June 10, Open Roads publishers announced a new “Forbidden Bookshelf” series. Curated by New York University Professor Mark Crispin Miller, “Forbidden Bookshelf” aims to “fill in the blanks of America’s repressed history by resurrecting books that focused on issues and events that are too often left in the dark.”
One of the first books published in the series is Douglas Valentine’s invaluable, in-depth history of one of America’s most egregious counterinsurgency, torture and assassination programs, as described in his 1990 book The Phoenix Program: America’s Use of Terror in Vietnam.
The book is intricately and densely written, yet reads like a Rashomon-like detective story, as Valentine allows many of the actors involved speak for themselves. Never has such an in-depth look at a major CIA operation been written. You know who did what and when. The larger picture is not lost either, as, for instance, Valentine refers to earlier counter-terror programs that influenced Phoenix, such as the UK’s counterinsurgency-terror program in Malaysia after World War II.
An encyclopedic attention to detail is Valentine’s forte, as those will know who have read his two-volume history on the rise of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and the Drug Enforcement Agency...

CONTINUE:  



Flight M17:
US Intelligence: Russia Didn't Do It

By Paul Craig Roberts


"...Washington's bribes and threats can produce whatever story Washington wants..."


July 24, 2014 "ICH" -  
After days of placing hostile blame for the downing of the Malaysian airliner on Russia, the White House permitted US intelligence officials to tell reporters that there is no evidence of the Russian government’s involvement.

Obviously, the US satellite photos do not support the Obama regime’s lies. If the White House had any evidence of Russian complicity, it would have released it to great fanfare days ago.

We are fortunate that the analytical side of the CIA, in contrast with the black ops side, retains analysts with integrity even after the purge of the agency ordered by Dick Cheney. Incensed that the CIA did not immediately fall in line with all of the Bush regime’s war lies, Cheney had the agency purged. 

The black ops side of the agency is a different story. Many believe that it should be defunded and abolished as this part of the CIA operates in violation of statutory US law.

Don’t hold your breath until Washington abolishes black-ops operations or the Obama regime apologizes to the Russian government for the unfounded accusations and insinuations leveled by the White House at Russia.

Despite this admission by US intelligence officials, the propaganda ministry is already at work to undermine the admission. The intelligence officials themselves claim that Russia is, perhaps, indirectly responsible, because Russia “created the conditions” that caused Kiev to attack the separatists.

In other words, Washington’s coup overseen by US State Department official Victoria Nuland, which overthrew an elected democratic Ukrainian government and brought extreme Russophobes into power in Kiev who attacked dissenting former Russian territories that were attached to Ukraine by Soviet communist party leaders when Russia and Ukraine were part of the same country, has no responsibility for the result.

Washington is innocent. Russia is guilty. End of story...

...I do not think that the United States can recover from the damage inflicted by the neoconservatives who determined the policies of the Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama governments, but whenever we see signs of opposition to the massive lies and deceptions that define the US government in the 21st century, we should cheer and support those who confront the lies.

Our future, and that of the world, depend on it.

CONTINUE:


Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy during Reagan's presidency and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.


Blockading the Truth: Obama's Big Lie About Gaza

By Chris Floyd
FRIDAY, 25 JULY 2014 01:09
1.
It is simply a lie that Israel's slaughter in Gaza is a response to an "unprovoked attack" by Hamas.
Not only is it a lie, it is a transparent, brazen lie, whose falsehood is glaringly apparent to anyone who had given even a cursory look at coverage of the Israeli government's response to the murder of three Israeli teenagers in June.

At that time, we were told in many news reports about an Israeli "crackdown" in Gaza, including mass arrests, military operations and, finally, the killing of six Hamas members. It was after these operations and these killings -- which were clear breaches of a ceasefire which Hamas had been honoring for 19 months -- that Hamas began its retaliation against Israel's unprovoked attacks.

(And no, the murder of the teenagers was not a "provocation" by Hamas, which disclaimed all connection to the crime. It was almost certainly carried out a rogue clan which has often -- conveniently -- staged provocations whenever it seems that some small movement toward peace might be made, and has been a thorn in Hamas' side for a long time. What's more, as Max Blumenthal reported, the Israeli government knew the teenagers had been murdered almost immediately, and who the likely culprits were; but the Netanyahu regime chose to wage a worldwide campaign of mendacity -- and torment the boys' parents -- by claiming they might still be alive, and launching "search" missions for them.)

These are all undisputed facts. The narrative that dominates the Washington media and political discourse -- "plucky Israel attacked without motive by demonic foes" -- is, again, an obvious lie. But that has not stopped it from being repeated endlessly, all across the political spectrum and in every form of media, day after day after day.

It is impossible that Barack Obama does not know these undisputed facts. Standing at the apex of history's most all-pervasive intelligence system -- and receiving daily digests of news reports on volatile areas like the Middle East -- he of all people knows that the Hamas rocket fire was a response to an Israeli military action, an Israeli violation of a long ceasefire.

It is also impossible that a majority, if not all, of the 100 U.S. Senators who voted to endorse the Israeli slaughter in Gaza -- including stalwart "progressives" like Al Franken and "socialist" Bernie Sanders -- did not know the truth when they cast their ballots. It is impossible that the editors and reporters of the nation's leading media organizations do not know these facts -- which they themselves reported only a few weeks ago.

Yet day after day after day, from the commanding heights of our "culture" (if the debased goon show of our public discourse deserves such a word), the Big Lie thunders forth. What's more, Obama is putting his money (or rather, our money) where his mendacious mouth is, tacking $225 million for Israel's "Iron Dome" missile defense system into a bill ostensibly meant to deal with the influx of child immigrants. Obama and the Senate Democrats are making political pawns out of these children -- most of whom are fleeing Central American hellholes created in no small part by decades of bipartisan military and political backing for repressive oligarchs. (Including, of course, Obama's support for an oligarch-militarist "regime change" coup in Honduras early in his presidency.) With the new money for Israel's military, the Democrats hope to sucker the Republicans into voting for the emergency immigration bill (from which they cut $1 billion -- hey, you don't want to coddle those kids!), or else put them in a political bind if the immigrant-hating GOP votes against the bill: "You aren't supporting plucky little Israel!"

A very cynical ploy, yes, but no matter: even if it fails and the children are left to languish, some other way will be found to get the money to Israel and, most importantly, show the world that America fully supports the massacre -- more than 800 Palestinians killed so far, including whole families, refugees at a UN shelter, patients in hospitals and other prime military targets.

Eight hundred dead -- and Obama gives the IDF a $225 million bounty. Maybe when the death count reaches a thousand, he'll buy Netanyahu a pony or something.

2.
James Marc Leas lays out the timeline leading up to the operation in this succinct marshaling of the facts in CounterPunch. You should read the whole thing, but here are a few excerpts:
The July 8 ITIC report also divulged why Hamas launched its first rocket fire at Israel in more than 19 months on July 7: On that night Israeli forces had bombed and killed 6 Hamas members in Gaza. The ITIC report includes a picture of the six Hamas members. Thus, a report from an authoritative Israeli source described the provocation for the resumption of rocket fire: Hamas rocket fire began only after Israeli forces had engaged in nearly a month of military operations in violation of the ceasefire agreement and had killed 6 Hamas members in Gaza. ...

The facts show that Israeli forces had to work quite hard to get Hamas to end its cease-fire. The killing of the six Hamas members was not an isolated event. Israeli forces and settlers had gone wild on the West Bank starting on June 12 after the kidnaping of three Israeli teens. Israeli forces had also attacked 60 targets in Gaza during those three weeks of June. Then, on the night of July 7, 2014, the Israeli Air Force had attacked approximately 50 more “terrorist targets” in the Gaza Strip, as described in the ITIC report.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported on July 3:
Israel’s military operations in the West Bank following the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers have amounted to collective punishment. The military operations included unlawful use of force, arbitrary arrests, and illegal home demolitions. ... Giving more details, several of the weekly reports from the Palestine Center for Human Rights (PCHR) indicate that Israeli forces and settlers killed 11 Palestinians and wounded 51 during 369 incursions into the West Bank between June 12 and July 2 and that Israeli forces raided hundreds of houses on the West Bank each week.
110 bombing raids, a military incursion, 17 killings, mass arrests -- all before Hamas fired a single rocket. This is what Obama -- and every single member of the United States Senate -- call an "unprovoked attack." They say it with a straight face -- nay, with long, somber, pious faces -- but they know it's a lie.

3.
But let us imagine, just for a moment, that their deceitful narrative was true. What if Hamas just woke up one fine, clear peaceful morning and said, "Hey, let's start firing missiles at Israel, fellas! Won't that be a hoot?" The fact is that even in that scenario, it would not be an "unprovoked attack," but a legitimate act of self-defense.


How do we know this? Because one of Israel's most honored statesmen told us so. As Jonathan Schwarz notes, Abba Eban, one of the founding fathers of Israel, used his renowned eloquence to defend Israel in the UN from charges of aggression for striking first in the 1967 Six-Day War. Rising to address the global body -- where he had once served as vice-president of the General Assembly -- Eban put forth his case. The surprise attack was justified, he said, because Egypt had blockaded an Israeli port:
The blockade is by definition an act of war, imposed and enforced through armed violence. Never in history have blockade and peace existed side by side. From May 24 onward, the question who started the war or who fired the first shot became momentously irrelevant. There is no difference in civil law between murdering a man by slow strangulation or killing him by a shot in the bead. From the moment at which the blockade was imposed, active hostilities had commenced and Israel owed Egypt nothing of her Charter rights. If a foreign power sought to close Odessa or Copenhagen or Marseilles or New York harbour by the use of force, what would happen? Would there be any discussion about who had fired the first shot? Would anyone ask whether aggression had begun?
As Schwarz points out -- and which the entirety of the American political-media establishment perpetually fails to point out -- Gaza has been subject to a stringent and ruinous blockade by Israel since 2007. As noted here the other day:
Israel has imprisoned the people of Gaza in a stateless limbo while carefully controlling almost every aspect of their lives, including what medicines they can have, what manufacturing and building materials they are allowed and even, at times, how much food they are allowed to eat to keep the population weakened but just above malnutrition levels. This brutal regimen in daily life is of course punctuated with regular night raids, bombings,  kidnappings, “disappearings” and almost weekly civilians deaths at the hands of Israeli overseers. This has gone on year after year.
Eban said Israel was justified in retaliating with military force when Egypt had blockaded a port for a few weeks. How much more justified would the Palestinians be in retaliating against a total blockade -- by land, sea and air -- that has lasted almost eight years?

I don't agree with lobbing missiles into cities. I believe it's wrong. But I also realize that I have the great luxury of pondering these moral and legal and philosophical questions at my leisure, in comfort and safety. I haven't seen my family half-starved, my children's growth stunted, my friends and relatives blown to bits. I haven't been trapped in stateless limbo, with no passport, no freedom, no opportunity, under threat of violent death or arbitrary arrest every moment of my life. I don't know what I would do if that was my reality. I don't know what I'd do if I saw my loved ones suffer that way, year after year. I might somehow hold on to the ideal of non-violent resistance -- or I very well might not.

But I do know that by the terms of the world's great and good -- who speak portentously of the "laws of war" and analyze in great detail the "justifications" for violent conflict -- the Palestinians have a right to resist the "slow strangulation" of the blockade ... and the "shot in the head" (and the missile in the crib) that they are now being subjected to. By Abba Eban's own reasoning, from the very first day of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, "the question who started the war or who fired the first shot became momentously irrelevant."
Note: Updated 25/7 to reflect increase in the death count.



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Israel, Not Hamas, Orchestrated The Latest Conflict In Gaza

By Musa al-Gharbi 

"...Washington's ironclad support for Israel provides effective shield for war crimes..."

July 23, 2014 "ICH" - "Al Jazeera America'" --

In the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, the dominant discourse is that the Palestinian militants provoked the hostilities — while Israel, as President Barack Obama affirmed last week, is acting in legitimate self-defense...

...the broader narrative remains largely unchallenged: Hamas began firing rockets at Israel first, triggering Israel’s latest military incursion. 

This is not true. 

In fact, far from acting in self-defense, the crisis is the result of deliberate actions by Israel over the last few weeks — first to stir up anti-Arab sentiment among the Israeli population and then to provoke Hamas into open conflict.


Israeli provocations

The current escalation began with the abduction of three Israeli teenagers from settlements in the West Bank. The fact that the three were kidnapped from settlements is an important detail that is often passed over far too quickly or overlooked altogether. The settlements, what they represent and how the settlers interact with the Palestinian population form a critical part of the episode’s context.

After the kidnapping, for more than two weeks Israeli authorities put on a show of looking for the missing teens — the whole time whipping up anti-Arab sentiment, raising hopes of a recovery and marginalizingvoices of dissent. When the abductees were found murdered, the Israeli public was outraged and demanded vengeance. 

Shortly after the funerals for the youths, another group of Israeli settlers beat and burned to death a 16-year-old Palestinian teen, Mohammed Abu Khdeir. This incident was followed by a brutal assault on Tariq Khdeir, a 15-year-old U.S. citizen and cousin of Mohammed’s by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Another fact that is less known — but perhaps more important — is that within hours of the three teens’ disappearance on June 12, Israeli officials knew that they were dead. 

Yet for the next two weeks authorities put on a phony rescue effort, instituted a gag order to prevent the public from knowing the truth and rallied the Jewish domestic and diaspora populations in anticipation of their move against Hamas.

Knowing that the teens were already dead, the Israeli government even sent the mothers of the abductees to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council to raise international awareness and plead for their boys’ safe return. 

Then the IDF launched Operation Brother’s Keeper, the most extensive military operation in the West Bank for more than a decade, under the auspices of saving the missing teens whom, again, they knew to be deceased.

The blame for their abduction immediately went to Hamas, which denied any involvement in the kidnapping. Israel has offered no concrete proof to implicate Hamas — instead identifying as its prime suspects a rogue faction with a history of defying Hamas’ leadership and sabotaging the group’s peace-building efforts. 

They were identified early on, meaning that Israel knew full well that neither Hamas nor its armed wing (al-Qassam Brigades) were behind the boys’ disappearance. Nonetheless, the IDF began a military campaign against them and de facto the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza.


On June 17, Israel rearrested 50 Palestinian prisoners set free in 2011 as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap with Hamas — a bold provocation that violates its armistice with Hamas. 

Without cause, the IDF also rounded up a number of clerics, intellectuals and politicians affiliated with or known to be sympathetic toward Hamas. It also raided hundreds of Palestinian sites, including homes, businesses, universities and clinics — in the process pillaging more than $3 million in cash and property, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. 

Scores of Palestinian civilians were killed in these operations — again, before rockets were fired from Gaza. 

The misery of the civilian population was compounded by IDF checkpoints and curfews that severely restrict the movement of the Palestinian people, during Ramadan, no less.

In mid-June, in preparation for the reprisal attacks from Hamas that the IDF was attempting to provoke, it moved its Iron Dome batteries into southern Israeli cities. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu then called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the unity government with Hamas — reiterating previous threats of punitive measures unless the union is suspended. Meanwhile, the IDF began calling up reserve troops in anticipation of the ground assault.

All these provocations came weeks before Hamas fired the first rockets into Israel. As such, contrary to Obama’s claims and the widely held narrative in Western media, it was in fact Hamas that was acting in self-defense

Israel doggedly sought out this war, and Hamas gave it to them.


Continued deception

All the illegal and immoral actions related to Operation Brother’s Keeper were justified under the premise of finding and saving the missing teens whom the Israeli government knew to be dead — cynically exploiting the tragedy to whip up public outcry in order to provoke and then confront Hamas. 

This pattern of deception continues under the ongoing military offensive in Gaza. 

For example, last week in collaboration with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Abbas, in its efforts to alienate Hamas, Israel announced a bad-faith cease-fire proposal, which Hamas was not consulted on and never agreed to but whose violation supposedly justified Israel’s expansion and intensification of the military campaign into Gaza.

In response to Israel’s faux peace offering, Hamas issued 10 conditions for a 10-year truceincluding the release of Palestinian political prisoners, an easing of the blockade at seaports and airports, allowing Gazans to visit Jerusalem to pray at al-Aqsa Mosque and a commitment from Israel to refrain from meddling in Palestinian politics — particularly on matters related to the unity government. 

Not only are Hamas’ demands reasonable, but they are also aimed at making life in Gaza more bearable. 
But the Israeli government has not even considered the proposal to date. 

Hamas then put forward a smaller deal for a truce with Qatar and Turkey, which was given to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to mediate with Israel. There has been little action on this proposal either.

On July 17, Israel ostensibly accepted the U.N.-brokered humanitarian cease-fire, suspending the shelling of Gaza. During this time, the IDF repositioned its assets to launch its ground invasion, which has brought the Palestinian death toll to more than 500 — again, overwhelmingly civilians. 

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has condemned Israel’s blatant disregard for international rules and norms as counterproductive. 

However, given Washington’s “unwavering and iron-clad” commitment to Israel and the United States’ veto power at the Security Council, there is no enforcement mechanism to hold Israel accountable.

The Israeli incursion, which human rights groups have called a war crime, has destroyed hospitals, schools, places of worship, residential areas and critical infrastructure, which explains why most of the Palestinian casualties have been civilians. 

The same cannot be said of the Israeli fatalities. As of July 21, two Israeli civilians and 25 soldiers have been killed since the latest campaign began. One of those civilians was hit by a mortar while delivering provisions to soldiers at the border with the Gaza Strip. Hence the soldiers and at least one of the civilians were directly involved in a military campaign, making them legitimate targets.

Yet unfortunately for the Palestinians who are trapped in Gaza with no way out, the conflict’s dominant narratives continue to suggest the exact opposite of the realities on the ground.

Musa al-Gharbi is a research fellow at the Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts (SISMEC). He has an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Arizona.


 Continue


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MH17: Liars exposed, yet again!!!        


US: No Evidence of Direct Russia Link to Plane Downing

After Days of Officials Throwing Blame, Intel Officials Concede Facts Not There

by Jason Ditz, July 22, 2014

After days of hysterical accusations against Russia over the downing of flight MH17, and days of promising super secret evidence existed to vindicate those claims, the administration made the decision to allow intelligence officials to release a public assessment to reporters today.

They’re probably rethinking tonight, after the intelligence community conceded, in front of a room of reporter, that there is “no evidence” whatsoever linking Russia to the downing of MH17…




US Story on MH17 Unravels Over Lack of Real Evidence


Case Built Almost Entirely on YouTube Videos, Tweeted Photos

by Jason Ditz, July 22, 2014

The Obama Administration’s narrative of Russian guilt in the Malaysia Airlines MH17 downing is unraveling like a cheap sweater tonight, under the increasing realization that dubious social media-sourced evidence is essentially all there is, and the admission by US intelligence officials that there is no real evidence pointing to Russia at all.

What is now being euphemistically called “major evidentiary and legal obstacles,” but would more correctly be called “completely full of holes,” it is quickly becoming a case study in why random videos you found on YouTube are not a great way to build a case in a major international incident.

Take the photograph released over the weekend on social media, showing the putative 9k37 Buk that shot down the plane just hanging out in the middle of a quiet square in a rebel town. It would be pretty damning, if true, but it also would raise a lot of questions, chiefly why the rebels left the vehicle in such a conspicuous place during an alleged coverup.
The photo, like YouTube videos claiming to be the rebels confessing to the shoot-down but built on content created a day before the plane crashed in the first place, was quickly labeled “unable to be verified,” and with deeper digging seem probable forgeries.

People who have been on social media for more than a few minutes know how much nonsense is presented as absolute truth there, and the Obama Administration’s decision to base its entire case on stuff they read there, going to the extent of arguing with a dubious press, has clearly not served them well.