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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17 667

Posted by samzenpus
from the writing-history dept.
An anonymous reader writes A political battle has broken out on Wikipedia over an entry relating to the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, with the Russian government reportedly removing sections which accuse it of providing 'terrorists' with missiles that were used to down the civilian airliner. A Twitter bot which monitors edits made to the online encyclopedia from Russian government IP addresses spotted that changes are being made to a page relating to the crash. All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) changed a Russian language version of a page listing civil aviation accidents to say that "The plane was shot down by Ukrainian soldiers." That edit replaced text – written just an hour earlier – which said MH17 had been shot down "by terrorists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic with Buk system missiles, which the terrorists received from the Russian Federation."
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 20, 2014 @06:55PM (#47496689)

    One biased side is fighting edits from an even more biased side.

    The first casualty of war is the truth. In this case both sides are trying to pummel truth's dead body into a hamburger.

  • Re:lol (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bloodhawk (813939) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @07:08PM (#47496761)

    I don't think Russian state media should be editing Wikipedia entries especially not on matters of current affairs.

    But still, interpreted literally the new statement is far more factually correct and unbiased than what it replaced. Whoever shot down the plane, they were "soldiers" or fighters of some variety and almost certainly can be described as Ukrainian, given that everyone seems to agree that the fighters are actually eastern Ukrainians and at most Russia is supplying weapons to them.

    The original text, on the other hand, more or less exactly sums up western/west Ukrainian line despite the obvious abuse of the word terrorist to mean "rebel fighter" and the [citation needed] assertion about who did it and the source of the weapons.

    I don't think Wikipedia should be used as a political tool fullstop. posting accusations that Russia was involved is for news sites not for supposedly unbiased material. If it proves to be a fact then it can be put there. The original text is more like a fox news story than an encyclopaedia reference.

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @07:19PM (#47496821)
    I like how you wrote all these things with a straight face. Perfect deadpan!
  • Protip: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DMJC (682799) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @07:22PM (#47496829)
    The crash scene is a crime scene and all the bodies and bits should be left in place. Russia lost all credibility the second they started moving bits around.
  • by linearz69 (3473163) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @07:29PM (#47496851)

    Are those 'objectively' known? If not, then what am I doing here?

    Btw. does anyone here remember the USS Vincennes?

    I don't remember the US government editing the Wiki page on Iran Air Flight 655. Rather, the US government admitted to the mistake rather quickly, without attempting to blame Iran.

    This MH17 thing is different. Russia has a huge role in this, no matter who shot down the plane. At the very least, the Russians armed an ethnic population in a foreign nation to create a war. And it is this war that got that plane shot down. I think, objectively, everyone can agree on this... It does cast suspicion on any Russian attempt to shape the Wiki truth.

  • Water is wet (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oldhack (1037484) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @07:31PM (#47496857)
    Putin is a murderous goon. He and his cronies will get what's coming to them.
  • by sinij (911942) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @07:40PM (#47496903) Journal

    False equivalence.
     
    Sides are not equally wrong, and truth is not somewhere in the middle. There is a very clear wrong side - Russian equipment operated by Russian-sponsored terrorists and/or Russian military misidentifying civilian aircraft and shooting it down. Anything else is intentional misinformation.

  • by SvnLyrBrto (62138) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @07:43PM (#47496917)

    > Btw. does anyone here remember the USS Vincennes?

    Actually yes, I do. There were various discussions about at what point the crew knew they'd just shot down an airliner, or at what point they should have known that they were targeting one. There've even been various conspiracy theories that they knew it was an airliner all along and shot it down intentionally to kill someone or another who was onboard. But the US has always admitted that it was the one who shot down that airliner.

    At no point has the US government tried to re-write history and disavow the blame by claiming that it not the US who pulled the trigger; but some bunch of locals who somehow managed to capture (and figure out how to operate) the Vincennes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 20, 2014 @07:48PM (#47496949)

    A ha ha ha ha ha !!!

    And the United State / England have never armed foreign groups to mount wars by proxy? Then you know nothing of South America, the Middle East or Africa.

    Get. Off. Your. High. Horse.

    I shouldn't be so harsh on you ... you probably derive all your "news" from Western media (Fox / BBC / Reuters / ...)

  • by linearz69 (3473163) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @07:49PM (#47496955)

    The US government never admitted it's mistake, or apologised.

    Certainly it admitted a mistake. The US government admitted shooting the plane down rather immediately, called it a mistake, and has since used it as a training case in the military for what not to do. You either weren't alive back then, or you have a twisted view of history...

    Apologized is a different story. The idea of an apology became a bit of a political football during an election year, with Dukakis stating that the US should apologize and then Bush beating the crap out of Dukakis by saying we should never apologize for American troops. Bush won, and the apology never came. But Bush could be a bit of a douche. He did run the CIA.

  • by bossk538 (1682744) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @07:53PM (#47496979)

    It's pretty easy to determine if the Russian government is sharing knowledge as a primary source or knowingly disseminating false information. The edits implicate the government and military of Kiev, replacing statements that implicate the rebels as well as Moscow. So if the Russian side was in fact the truth, you would expect rebels and Moscow bending over backwards to assist with the investigation, and if the Russian side was a Big Lie, you would expect rebels and Moscow doing every to impede the investigation. It seems pretty clear the extent of assistance the investigation is getting.

  • Re:lol (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @07:53PM (#47496983)

    But still, interpreted literally the new statement is far more factually correct and unbiased than what it replaced. Whoever shot down the plane, they were "soldiers" or fighters of some variety and almost certainly can be described as Ukrainian, given that everyone seems to agree that the fighters are actually eastern Ukrainians and at most Russia is supplying weapons to them.

    Not exactly. There is a distinct difference between a soldier and a combatant. A soldier is trained and is a member of a standing military. The separatists can at best be described as "irregulars", or insurgents or rebels if you want to go with slightly more charged terminology. And who exactly is this "everyone" who are agreeing that they are all Eastern Ukranians? I have yet to see any reputable source make that claim. And Russia is not just supplying small arms to these groups. They are giving them tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery, and anti-air systems (both MANPADS and tracked systems). You don't just pick these systesms up and start using them. They are recieving training, either in Russia or locally from trainers that Russia has moved into Ukraine. And given the fact that the missiles were launched from inside territory controlled by the rebelsis a very important detail. Why would the Ukrainians have anti-air equipment deployed in an area they do not control, against an enemy with no air power? All evidence points to the missiles being fired by the separatists, which means Russia had a hand in at the very least training them on how to use the equipment if not providing that equipment as well as continuing to use their influence to keep the conflict going.

  • by linearz69 (3473163) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @08:14PM (#47497145)

    Actually the US "STILL" hasn't admitted fault in that incident. They blamed it on the hostilities in Iran and then proceeded to cover up the whole incident as best they could, like the location of the ship, breach of orders, no court marshal despite blatant crew failings etc.

    There is a big difference between admitting fault and admitting a fact. The US never denied shooting down the plane.

    Claiming that an incident where nobody is even raising their hand as to who shot it down is the same as the Iran Air incident makes you sound like the kind of person that wants the vilify the US wherever they can.

  • by ToasterMonkey (467067) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @08:26PM (#47497215) Homepage

    False equivalence.

    Sides are not equally wrong, and truth is not somewhere in the middle. There is a very clear wrong side - Russian equipment operated by Russian-sponsored terrorists and/or Russian military misidentifying civilian aircraft and shooting it down. Anything else is intentional misinformation.

    "Terrorist" is the wrong word, it's obvious from the intercepts this was a tactical error on someone's part.

    Terrorism isn't defined by actions so much as the reason. For the love of Jebus, it has a well understood meaning folks, look it up.

  • by Scott Ragen (3378093) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @08:26PM (#47497217)

    Terrorists? I've seen them called both separatists and I think Militia. I haven't heard them called terrorists until now, and whilst I'm not fully educated on their movement, treatment of civilians in the area and other matters, I don't know if they should morally be classified as terrorists by the international community, that is unless they shot the airliner down on purpose or performed other heinous acts of terror.
    The looting of MH17 on the other hand is a terrible and those doing it should be held accountable

    The way Israel has been behaving lately looks more like a terrorist organisation than the Ukrainian separatists.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 20, 2014 @08:40PM (#47497297)

    Actually I suspect that the launch of the missile was monitored by one or more of the many satellite/radar systems eyeing the region, its trajectory was known, the position of the plane and all other air traffic was known, the type of missile and launcher used and their origins are known, conversations between the "rebels" and their handlers in Moscow were intercepted, and I further suspect that follow-up conversations regarding the cleanup/coverup of the site were recorded. This all tracks with what was already known: the "rebels" are supported by Russia and include covert agents and/or troops. They are not an organic/grassroots response to Ukrainian actions, they are the direct result of Russian influence, because Putin has less control over Ukraine than he did in the past.

    There's little confusion about what happened. What's confusing is what to do next. The EU may finally be spurred to approve more sanctions on Russia, but Russia can sell gas to China and other partners instead. The "BRICS" movement is a strategy to reduce American and European influence on world affairs, reduce reliance on the U.S. dollar and the World Bank, IMF, and other Western dominated institutions, and it has picked up steam in recent years as China and Russia grow more weary of being told what to do. Influencing Putin on Ukraine requires giving him a way to save grace and not appear weak to his sheeple back home, which may be impossible. Best case scenario, Putin will back off slowly and broker a peace deal between his cronies and Ukraine, while the Russian government-dominated media continue to lie about MH17, claim that Ukraine shot at Putin's plane, etc.

  • by danheskett (178529) <{danheskett} {at} {gmail.com}> on Sunday July 20, 2014 @09:01PM (#47497395)

    A terrorist's goal is to frighten people into submission by causing fear of harm or death into civilians and attacking civilian's (like 9/11).

    A freedom fighter makes statements to the people by attacking appropriate military or government sites

    What is the definition of a government site?

    The CIA waged war on the Taliban for a decade, and before that, in Afghanistan, throughout the 80's. They also radicalized the latent radicals in many Mid-Eastern countries, and then turned them loose with weapons, as a proxy against Russians and even democratic self-government movements.

    Those same people then attacked the US, on US soil, hitting the Pentagon, apparently attempting to hit the US Capitol, and hitting the World Trade Center. The WTC, which by the way, contained offices of the CIA, and DOD, and the NYC government.

    I just don't think your definitions are that accurate. The 9/11 terrorists attempted to attack the US seat of political, military, and economic power. Yes, a lot of very innocent civilians died. Is that the definition for terrorism? That's a tough one, it has a lot of very difficult implications behind it.

  • by currently_awake (1248758) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @09:34PM (#47497545)
    There have been Ukrainian military aircraft overflying the Russian separatists. Even if all those flights are for is mapping rebel positions for attack, those aircraft are still a valid military target. I doubt the rebels have IFF systems (means to avoid shooting at civilian aircraft) and they probably expected civilian aircraft to avoid their airspace (a reasonable airliner would have avoided overflying them) so their accidental shooting down of a civilian airliner is perfectly reasonable. The Russians and the Ukrainians taking turns slandering each other on Wikipedia is just damage control, and expected.
  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @09:34PM (#47497557)

    It's not an anti Red agenda, but an anti-Putin agenda perhaps, as he's the one demanding total subservience from Ukraine and other former USSR republics. Russia is the country that took over Crimea while denying loudly that it wasn't them, then after the fact admitted that, yes, it really was them all along. So this time when they say it is not them advising and leading rebels, how do you know they're not again lying?

  • by currently_awake (1248758) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @09:41PM (#47497591)
    They have a defined country, wear military uniforms, and have a chain of command. That makes them soldiers just as clearly as Union soldiers in the American civil war were soldiers.
  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @09:44PM (#47497603)

    Actually, I suspect that neither side knows the truth. Or at least neither government does. This strikes me as an act of somebody or some organization that was acting entirely independently of government authority or sanction (and most likely used illegally purchased munitions to achieve it).

    It was a russian missile battery. They gave it to them for the purpose of shooting down planes. I don't think they intended for them to use it on civilian craft, but that's what you get when you give a bunch of drunken thugs a multi million dollar surface to air missile system.

  • by Nyder (754090) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @10:39PM (#47497807) Journal

    There's also question of motivation. Why would soldiers waste expensive missiles for some irrelevant passenger plane?

    To shoot down Ukrainian military aircraft. They had already shot down a Ukrainian transport plane and a Ukrainian fighter within the previous week. They were on a roll.

    Why would be there a plane over a warzone in the first place? That just doesn't make sense.

    It was a major air route. There were over 50 civilian airliners over eastern Ukraine at the time MH-17 was shot down. And about 24 aircraft flew through the precise area MH-17 was hit, over the previous day. There was a Singapore Airlines jet close enough to MH-17 at the time for the pilots to see it explode.

    Aircraft are currently flying over northern Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel...

    Sure, even if common sense tells you that flying over a warzone is stupid as all fuck, it's okay because other people do it all the time!!!!

    No wonder I don't fly.

  • by Scott Ragen (3378093) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @11:07PM (#47497919)
    Ohh one detail I neglected is they used civilian airplanes (with civilians in it) to do it, so what I posted above is inaccurate.
  • by linearz69 (3473163) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @11:25PM (#47498013)

    Where are the headlines about Ukrainians having already done the same thing? Where is the balance?

    The Russians are sending arms and support into Ukraine and have created a war there. If there appears to be bias against the Russians, then the Russians have brought it on themselves.

    If the Russians hadn't been in Eastern Ukraine, where they don't belong, then nobody would be complaining about Russians. Instead, Putin and his buddies have been acting like jerks, which kind of makes the Russians look like suspect #1.

  • by Tough Love (215404) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @11:28PM (#47498029)

    I doubt the rebels have IFF systems (means to avoid shooting at civilian aircraft) and they probably expected civilian aircraft to avoid their airspace ... so their accidental shooting down of a civilian airliner is perfectly reasonable.

    I don't know about that. But I do know It would be reasonable for the Russian mercenaries to return to their own country and let the Ukrainians have their democracy.

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @11:39PM (#47498089) Homepage Journal

    it doesn't really take cia classified intel to realize where the rebels military equipment is coming from, just a few pictures is enough. furthermore hey, it's just a few months after they did the same shit in Crimea with the little green men from mars(who weren't russian but used Russian military equipmen and spoke Russian and came from Russia..).

    and the cossack leader is insane.. last he tried to pass off was that the plane was loaded with dead bodies and that its a pr operation by the ukrainean government.

    basically, the fucks don't understand anything about the world beyond 50 kilometers from their home, which pretty much explains why they so much want to be part of russia(since they're speaking russian) and not the EU, even if they're likely to receive bigger economical benefits from the EU and buy stuff then with more money from Russia if they so desire Russian things. Maybe Russia now has to change the cossack leader to someone else and think a little bit about who it lets press the big red buttons.

  • by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Monday July 21, 2014 @12:00AM (#47498171)
    The layers of disinformation and conspiracy run deep with you.
  • by Tough Love (215404) on Monday July 21, 2014 @12:04AM (#47498195)

    The EU may finally be spurred to approve more sanctions on Russia, but Russia can sell gas to China and other partners instead.

    The Chinese will drive a very hard bargain for that gas. Delivering it will be time consuming and expensive. Volume will be limited by facilities for some time to come, and even after the initial scramble it can never be as efficient as delivering to Europe.

  • by schnell (163007) <me&schnell,net> on Monday July 21, 2014 @12:39AM (#47498291) Homepage

    When you perform a terrorist act you tell that YOU did it in order to intimidate.

    Al Qaida never formally accepted responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. Some things you do as a ragbag organization with grandiloquent revolutionary blather, but then realize, "Oh shit, that actually happened. Yay us and all, but I really don't want to deal with the ensuing sh*tstorm of admitting it was us."

  • by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Monday July 21, 2014 @03:30AM (#47498683)

    No. I'm pointing how how empty it is today, compared to the airspace around it. Obviously keeping such a big chunk of airspace empty is something that the whole airline industry would want to avoid like the plague.

    If Nyder had his way, all of Ukraine, plus Russian and European airspace near Ukraine, plus Iran, Iraq, Syria , Israel, Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, the Pakistan/Indian border, Kashmir, the Strait of Hormuz, Sea of Japan, South China Sea, etc etc, would all be kept clear of civilian air traffic at all times.

    And then he'd complain about the density of air traffic in the remaining few routes, and the inherent safety risk.

  • by c6gunner (950153) on Monday July 21, 2014 @04:35AM (#47498829)

    Yes it is sad how people always have to die before lessons are learned

    Not always, but you know how it is with bureaucracies ... nothing gets them motivated quite as well as a good disaster.

    I always figured the Flight 007 was a similar case, after seeing documentaries about both incidents I see them in a similar light.

    Naw, man. I mean, sure, there are some superficial similarities, but the things which actually caused the incidents are COMPLETELY different.

    The Soviet shootdown is a simple case of browbeaten lackeys under a tyrannical regime making what they figured was the best choice to cover their asses. There was no threat to them. The aircraft was nowhere near the people who made the call, and was on it's way out of Soviet airspace. The pilot involved even told them he believed it was a civilian airliner. Yet they decided to shoot it down anyway.

    The Vincennes incident was the exact opposite. It involved personnel under serious threat from Iranian forces, in hostile territory, faced with an aircraft they couldn't identify which seemed to be on an attack vector. They were scared for their lives, and under an immense amount of stress. I'm not sure how to explain that to someone who works a 9-5 job in an office. Lots of people talk about "stress" in their day-to-day jobs, and I'm sure there's some truth to their complaints, but unless you're a first responder, an air traffic controller, or a soldier in a combat zone, you really don't know what stress is, or how badly it can skew your normal behaviour. We train our people to recognize it, avoid it, or deal with it ... and we put measures in place to try and minimize it ... but when you're engaged in combat and feel that your life is on the line, even the best preparations can only do so much. It only gets worse when you're the one responsible for a multi-million dollar vessel, and several hundred lives on board it.

    The difference may be easier to visualize if you relate it to something you're more familiar with. The Soviet shootdown of 007 was the equivalent of a couple police supervisors sitting at headquarters, ordering a patrolman to shoot an unarmed man running away from a property he trespassed on. The American shootdown of the Iranian flight was the equivalent of a couple SWAT guys under heavy fire panicking and shooting a civilian who was running towards them. Both are horrible incidents which should never have happened. But other than that, they have absolutely nothing in common.

  • by erikkemperman (252014) on Monday July 21, 2014 @04:40AM (#47498847)

    I am from the Netherlands, where most of the casualties are from: can we PLEASE stop our uninformed finger pointing until at least some evidence turns up?

    None of us know what happened.

    Russia or the separatists in Eastern Ukraine might have done this -- although no-one is sure what they would stand to gain from it. Ukraine's own military might have done it (they've done it before and denied it vehemently until it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt).

    For the moment though, we are doing the victims' families a shameful disservice by pretending to know what happened. Their loved ones are currently being cynically used, by both sides, as pawns in a game they had no part in.

  • by erikkemperman (252014) on Monday July 21, 2014 @05:25AM (#47498961)

    You're full of shit erik.

    And why is that Pino (*)?

    Unlike you, I don't go around insulting people for disagreeing with me. In short one-line posts with no further references or links or even hints at an argument. Just conclusions and accusations out of thin air.

    I haven't actually said anything remarkable here: just throwing out there that, in my opinion, the current mud slinging back and forth only adds to the hurt of the people who've lost friends and family in this catastrophe. I know, because I live among those people.

    And yet that gets modded Troll, and you're cheap shot is somehow deemed Insightful.

    Sad.

    (*) Not that you should care, but Pino is the dutch name for Big Bird.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Monday July 21, 2014 @06:09AM (#47499059)

    Second, given amount of hate western media spewing against Russians and China right now, I see the great war coming.

    Dunno what China has to do with any of this, but if you fear a war is coming, maybe you should tell Putin to stop? Because he's the one hell-bent on conquering his neighbours, which is what this is about.

  • by erikkemperman (252014) on Monday July 21, 2014 @06:54AM (#47499155)

    I'm not insulted, though you are of course right not to care. One-line posts like "you're full of shit" don't exactly make you seem a reasonable commentator, which is why I don't care what you call me.

    I'm not saying I'm Mr Reasonable either. But it is rather telling that you go around accusing people of being tools or "useful idiots" when those people aren't even stating any controversial opinion, but merely refuse to be drawn into a propaganda fest before any facts are in.

    While, I might add, at the same time making various claims -- which may or may not turn out to be accurate -- but at any rate currently without a shred of evidence either way.

    I despise Putin, but only slightly more than I despise the West's handling of this whole sordid affair. And that was even before this latest tragedy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2014 @07:03AM (#47499185)

    So who profits? The key question remains, of course, cui bono? Only the terminally brain dead believe shooting a passenger jet benefits the federalists in eastern Ukraine, not to mention the Kremlin.

    You have made a very basic logic error.

    The realization of, or failure to realize, a profit is *not* the key question. The key question is who *expected* a profit when the action was committed, whether they were successful or not is an entirely different matter. Its the expectation that motivates action.

    The simple fact is that the Russian backed separatists *believed* they were firing at a Ukrainian military transport. Shooting down such a military transport would benefit the Russian backed separatists. The Russian backed separatists initially took credit for shooting down a Ukrainian military transport, until they discovered they had actually shot down a commercial aircraft not a military transport. The shoot down of a commercial aircraft was not intentional, a commercial aircraft was mistaken for a military aircraft. That said, being unintentional in no way relieves the Russian backed separatists from responsibility, legal or moral. They fired the missile at a mistaken target, it was their negligence and incompetence that killed hundreds of innocents.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday July 21, 2014 @07:53AM (#47499371) Journal

    Russia or the separatists in Eastern Ukraine might have done this

    That's a distinction without a difference.

    although no-one is sure what they would stand to gain from it.

    It looks like they thought it was a Ukraine military plane and were a bit too trigger happy, not realising it was a civilian aircraft until too late.

    Ukraine's own military might have done it (they've done it before and denied it vehemently until it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt).

    Here's the thing: if the Ukraine were responsible, then Russia would have a vested interest in a visibly transparent investigation and be in a position to ensure that it happened. If they could convincingly portray the Ukraine as having shot down a civilian aircraft then that would significantly alter the political sympathies in the current conflict. Instead, they have done everything in their power to block it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2014 @08:19AM (#47499503)

    That goes both ways, though, doesn't it? I don't think anybody has convincingly made any argument about what the separatists, much less Russia, has to gain from this tragic event.

    If the separatists had shot down the An-26 that they thought they did, they would gain a minor military victory. They would gain increased reluctance of Ukraine to fly military aircraft over the disputed territory. They would gain dead Ukrainian military forces.

    The likelihood is that they misidentified their target and this is, in reality, a horrible accident of mistaken identity. As happens occasionally, even among professional military. As so often happens in this kind of circumstance, it's the cover-up that's going to be the real problem.

    Even Syria, when it looked like they used chemical weapons, accepted actions that defused the situation. They may not have actually admitted wrongdoing, but they at least gave up the chemical stockpiles.

  • by conquistadorst (2759585) on Monday July 21, 2014 @09:41AM (#47500013)

    They use this science to incite wars in Libya, Syria, Palestine, now Ukraine. And if US burns through all Ukrainians, they'll continue ther wars with Poles, Estonians and others. I'm a Pole - that's why I'm freaking out. I want no part in this madness.

    You can't be a Pole, if you were you'd already be suspicious what Russia's intentions from the very beginning. The truth is, there is close to zero appetite for war from any of the western nations of any kind, with any kind of involvement. Especially the United States. All everyone wants is Russia to leave Ukraine. If Putin is so *desperate* to avoid conflict in Ukraine then then please explain why he's even there to begin with? Oh, he only wanted Crimea, I forgot. But nothing else, he has promised! Don't worry! Anyway, if you were truly a Pole you'd be taking note of Putin's actions, not his words. Nobody wants a war, not even Russia, not the West, nobody. In fact Russia would much, much prefer to do this quietly via political maneuvering and flexing its military muscle rather than actually starting a conflict. However if everyone did as you suggest and stood aside, it'll be a few years and Putin will do it again with yet another country. Just wait and see.

    You're right on WW1, you're right on Iraq, but you're wrong on this one and you're also conveniently ignoring WW2. History doesn't repeat itself but it does rhyme. Stick with the facts, Russia unequivocally annexed Crimea. I'm sorry but taking land from another country is sort of considered a "big deal" if you know what I mean.

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