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This week we took take a closer look at the chaos unfolding in Ukraine and Gaza, placing both conflicts in the wider political context of the modern history of both the Middle East and Russia.

To help us do that, we were joined by Finian Cunningham, an Irish journalist who has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. For nearly 20 years, Finian worked as an editor and writer for major news media organisations, including The Daily Mirror, The Irish Times and The Independent.

Deported from Bahrain in June 2011 because of his critical journalism, in which he highlighted systematic human rights violations by the Bahraini regime forces, Finian is now a columnist on international politics for Press TV and Strategic Culture Foundation.

Running Time: 02:26:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript:

Niall: Hi and welcome back to SOTT Talk Radio. This is Niall Bradley. With me tonight is Joe Quinn.

Joe: Hi there.

Niall: And this week we're discussing the two big issues out there at the moment: what's going on in the Middle East, of course, and in Ukraine; how they're both related. It's hard not to see what's going on in one place is completely reflected in what's going on in the other place. With us today is: Finian Cunningham. Finian is a journalist and he has written extensively for such publications as: the Daily Mirror in the UK, the Irish Times and The Independent. He's travelled widely and he's currently writing regular columns for: Press TV, Strategic Cultural Foundation and other websites online. He's joining us this evening, so a big welcome to you Finian.

Finian: Thanks Joe. Glad to be on your show and thanks very much for inviting me. I much appreciate it.

Joe: No problem. It's good to have you.

Niall: It's been on our mind to invite you on because your articles pop up now and again and they're always right to the point, heart of the matter and short, easy to understand.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: If you're ever in doubt about what really happened there, Finian's articles are...

Joe: Cuts through the bullshit.

Niall: Yeah.

Finian: Well thank you.

Niall: And you write very frequently as well. Just in the last few days you've written a couple of things.

Joe: Finian, Niall just mentioned your background. You used to work for the Irish media, the Irish press in a former life?

Finian: I did. Sorry guys. I'm just getting you mixed up. I'm talking to who?

Joe: That's Niall. I have a more northern accent than Niall, he's southern.

Finian: Right. Yeah, Joe I used to work for all the newspapers here in Ireland. I started out at the very local papers, like the Down Democrat and the Newry Democrat and then as journalists do, you kind of work up and I ended up working for the national papers like the Irish Mirror and did a bit of work for The Irish Times and laterally the Irish Independent. But that's why I left all that because I just got so disillusioned with their coverage. It was so miniscule and narrow, their focus. And that's not just the condition of the Irish newspapers. I think that's the western media in general. And they were dealing with issues in a very compartmentalised and totally awry way of looking at things.

Say Iraq, when I was working at the Irish Independent, that was around 2006 and just recently the American military occupation force were bombarding Fallujah and it was being reported in the Irish Independent, and western media in general, as a sort of: "Well this is a kind of an occupation and it's not going too well and we're trying to pacify this country and bring democracy". And to me it was just appalling. This was full-on illegal occupation of a country, full scale war crimes going on. And the complete mismatch in reporting of the reality just completely disaffected me from working in that kind of media and that's why I resigned from it. I just walked away from it, literally.

Joe: That's a good reason to walk away from it for sure, but did you ever figure out why the media, as you said, across the board no matter where it is, particularly in the west, why they tend to present the truth, the data, in such a biased way? Did you ever see any examples of orders coming down to suppress stories? How does it work? Who decides on that? Is that just the consensus reality amongst ordinary people or is there some kind of a manipulation going on?

Finian: Well, I guess a lot of your listeners are aware of Noam Chomsky and his colleague Ed Herman. They've done great analysis and theorising of the manufacturing of consent.

Niall: Yeah.

Finian: Certainly that's all part of it. I think a lot of it too Niall, it's even more mundane than that. It's lazy journalism. The Irish News, the Irish Times, the Irish Independent, they'll turn the televisions on that day, "Okay, what's CNN saying, what's BBC saying?" And they just go along with that flow. "So that's what's making the headlines today, that's the narrative. Well we'll just kind of report in that sort of way." In my experience anyway, it wasn't as if somebody was going into the Irish newspapers with talking points and saying "Okay, this is how you've got to cover it. This is what you've got to do." It wouldn't be as blatant as that.

Niall: Yeah, it's something at once interesting and yet mundane. There are no orders handed down... well, there are in the States. You get talking points and it's pretty easy to see who's taking cues from the White House or from the Department of Defence. But in other countries, in the west, it's laziness, substantially, that sees an Irish publication pick up and run with a story... "Well I presume Associated Press over in the States verified this before they ran with it. If AP is saying it, it's the gospel truth, so we'll just run with it."

Joe: Yeah, absolutely. And of course to a large extent the official narrative and the story can be, especially in war time, it's defined by the office of war time propaganda or office of military information, or whatever they call it. And they will certain have a lot of control over what comes out of conflict zones. Think about all the western journalists 'embedded' with troops during the Iraq war.

Niall: Yeah, it was very explicit there. They set up a command centre. The journalists went to this place every day in 2003 and got the feed directly.

Joe: Yeah, but at the same time, the more insidious part of it is the way that - we're talking here specifically about the western media, but it has extended globally to a large extent, very particularly in the west, the media is just ordinary people; Journalists, etc, are the product of western society and western civilisation and its exceptional nature essentially, on the heels of the British empire spreading "civilisation" around the world and then the American spreading "freedom and democracy". There's very much a sense among the majority of western citizens that they are the epitome of civilisation, of freedom and democracy, they're the best in the world basically. So it's very difficult for ordinary people to face the possible reality, of a possible different narrative, about who they are and what they represent as a civilisation and what their leaders are doing.

So it's basically long-term mind programming of an exceptionalist, egotistical kind of nature that makes it very difficult for anybody to think that we might actually be committing war crimes, or they might be committing war crimes in our name, all that kind of stuff. So it's much easier to twist and distort the facts to a more comfortable truth that keeps that idea intact, in people's minds.

Niall: Yeah. As for the journalists themselves, do you remember that Diana documentary we watched, the one that got banned?

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: I'll never forget the filmmaker going to some hearing or other that took place a few years back. It was in some court in London and was going on for a period of about two or three weeks. The journalists would gather in a kind of dedicated press marquee to watch the live proceedings during the day. And the filmmaker got a press pass and he was sitting in with them and he commented during the documentary that he was amazed by how the journalists were sitting in there - okay, the proceedings were largely boring, but now and then something really, really dynamite was said - and they were twiddling their thumbs, looking at their watch, going on Facebook, not interested at all. It wasn't so much that they were 'in on it', they just didn't care.

Joe: Yeah, again, it's people who are not exactly in the job for the truth. They're in there to simply report the facts and they're going to report "the truth", and it's obviously biased or swayed by their own prejudices, their own narratives and the society of which they're a part; their nationalistic feelings, their national pride, etc. It can get into authoritarianism here as well. The real problem here and that applies to everybody, including journalists, is that people tend to be authoritarian, that is: they look towards authority for protection and for guidance. And they hold authority figures in high esteem and think that they're essentially better than them and that's why they are the authorities. As Bob Altemeyer has shown in his books, they even allow for authorities to commit certain crimes, let's say, or be less moral than the average person. Because they're the authorities they're allowed to get away with certain transgressions, etc. and be excused. As with many things in this world, when you really look into the problem, you just see how engrained it is in the population. The problems on this planet today are largely, let's say entirely, caused by the state of humanity, therefore the problem is that's the level that it's at, the level of human beings or psychology and how it operates. It's very difficult to just come up with a simple solution to it. That's why we often say "Bring on the comets!" type of thing, wipe it all out!

Niall: Yeah!

Joe: Start again type of thing, because you realise just how insoluble the problem is, when you really look at it, that people are the problem and changing people is the solution but then you see how difficult it is to change people.

Niall: Yeah. Having said all that, we've got two conflicts going on right now. Are they any different from anything else? Well not really, and yet it seems so egregious in the way they're being conducted and the lies that have to be reported in order to hold up the illusion of what's actually happening. I'm thinking of Ukraine and in Gaza. And you wonder if people are just not buying it. I think in some cases it's so brazen, at least the situation in Gaza, people are questioning it in greater numbers. This situation has gone on for a month now with protests being held across the world. Today the British Prime Minister again said Israel must stop. He sure waited long enough to actually say it but you do get the impression that it's so in your face, that even if we give the state of humanity being shot through with lies and layers or programming, there is an opportunity here for people to be upset about it because it's so different from the reality. It's almost like they're being pulled apart; the presentation of the facts and the facts on the ground.

Joe: Two situations that are front and centre in the media and being shoved down people's throats over the past few months, or past few weeks: Israel's attack on Gaza and the situation in Ukraine, which appear to be very similar, in the sense that you have innocent civilians having bombs dropped on their heads. What's your take on that? Is there any connection?

Finian: Oh, very much so Joe and Niall. Very much so. Huge connections. Let's try to deal with the other issue of journalism or the lack of journalism. In the eastern Ukraine we've got at least 1,100 or more casualties from the last three months or so, of what the Kiev regime, this government that was put in place back in February, which I call a regime and I think that's quite factual and objective to call it a regime. It was a western installed new government. They threw out the elected government of Viktor Yanukovych on the 23rd of February. So that's a regime; it's a coup.

Now this regime in Kiev, that the west backs, has launched what they call an anti-terrorist operation in the east of Ukraine which is largely Russian ethnic population. They don't support this new government in Kiev that the west has installed and yet the Kiev regime, or the authorities that the west has installed in Kiev, have been launching this crackdown on the population in the east of Ukraine. And it's resulted in 1,100, perhaps more, civilian deaths through indiscriminate bombing and the use of grad missiles, unguided missiles and ballistic missiles. It's a horrendous kind of crackdown; a merciless military operation against a civilian population.

In my point of view, there's no difference between that and what's going on in Gaza at the minute, where the western-backed Israeli forces are also totting up a huge death toll among civilians. But the western media is not covering what's going on in Ukraine to a fraction. They're not covering the death toll, the violence that's going on in eastern Ukraine. Now they are of course covering it in Gaza. You turn on the TV every day and the BBC or CNN have got lots of reportage or images from Gaza. But that's really not doing the violence justice, what's really actually happening in Gaza.

Joe: Finian, you've just said that they're not reporting maybe 1,100 - 1,200 civilians killed by bombs and grad missiles fired by the Kiev government's shock troops in the past few months; over that period of time over 1,200 - 1,300 civilians killed. Why is the media not reporting on that?

Finian: Well Niall and Joe, we began this interview on the appropriate subject but we got cut off. The western media in my view, is really just a propaganda system; it follows the government narrative. Whatever their governments deem to be the narrative, the perspective on what's to be reported, the western media fulfil that. They just reciprocate with that narrative and we see that in Ukraine. The western government, in particular Washington and some Europeans governments, want to have a regime change in Ukraine for bigger geopolitical objectives of destabilising Russia. What they did in Ukraine, what the western governments did was completely illegitimate and in violation of international law. They usurped the democratically elected government to install a regime that's got very unsavoury politics, to say the least.. They're Nazi; they're fascist; they very much adulate the second world war collaborators with Nazi Germany, that where in Ukraine at that time; people like Stepan Bandera, the Ukrainian nationalist who collaborated with the Third Reich.

You cannot possibly associate with these people. But the western governments have for their own geopolitical interests, which is to destabilise Russia. - I think if you were trying to be an objective journalist, you would look at Ukraine and you would ask a lot of questions about the nature of the regime that came into power in Kiev at the end of February, what they have been doing against their own people, particularly in the east of Ukraine, the kind of violations they've been carrying out; the terrorism that they've been carrying out.

If you were a journalist you should ask about these issues, but the western media is not asking those questions. They're not looking into it. They're carrying out the propaganda objectives of their government, which is to apologise for the regime change operation that happened in Kiev and then to obfuscate the nature of the regime as it has operated ever since, when it's carrying out the so-called 'anti-terror operation' which is an Orwellian phrase. Really, they are carrying out a full-scale terror operation against the people in the east of Ukraine who do not want to subscribe to this new regime. And they are very much cracking down on these people. They are carrying out massive crimes against the population of the east of Ukraine.

But the western media turn reality on its head. They accuse Russia of subverting Ukraine instead of the reality which is that the Kiev regime, with the western governments subverting Ukraine and carrying out massive violations. So the western media is very much an adjunct, a propaganda arm of the western governments geopolitical interests. And let's move on to Gaza.

So really, if you look at Gaza, any rational, normal, moral and indeed many years before that, you would just say: "Look, this is a genocide. It's an awful, awful abomination of international law, of normal human morality, that's being perpetrated in Gaza", today, where people are being massacred every day. But the western media obfuscate. They twist and they distort what should be the normal perception of what's going on. So it turned into kind of a war against Hamas' terrorism or 'self-defence' and all these euphemisms.

Niall: Yeah.

Finian: In western media, in Gaza or Ukraine, it's the same approach used to convey these two scenarios. On one hand, in Gaza, it's self-defence; it's kind of a war against terrorism and then in Ukraine, where it is against terrorism, against a civilian population. The western media tends toward that approach, changing facts into some government subverting or causing trouble. So what we have got here is the western public's perception is being totally twisted by the machine for the western governments, for whatever their geopolitical interests are; whether it's Gaza, whether it's Ukraine or whether it's Syria or Libya or you name it, the western media, so-called, intended obfusctaton thinking it's journalism, is really a propaganda machine of the western governments and their geopolitical interests.

Niall: Indeed. Those few times I have heard some fairly objective description of what's going on in east Ukraine, has only ever been in the western media; to say that that is propaganda coming from the Kremlin, that this stuff about the new 'democratically elected government of Ukraine' is tarnished as being a nasty regime and that's Russia's fault. What do you think of that?

Finian: Niall, they were saying who is a Nazi regime?

Niall: Well, there have been some commentaries in the west about what's actually going on in Ukraine but they will always obfuscate these "claims", the Kiev junta having nasty ties and in fact behaving like Nazis, and turn that on Russia saying that that is propaganda coming from the Kremlin in an effort to tarnish them.

Finian: Well Niall, the evidence to verify the allegation or the depiction of the Kiev regime as neo-Nazis is out there, incontrovertible and it's self-declared. The people in this Kiev regime, the Svoboda party, adulates the Nazis and their collaborators; in Ukraine during the second world war, when Nazi Germany embarked on their invasion of the Soviet Union, in June 1941, Operation Barbarossa, when they attacked into those peripheral regions of the Soviet Union, like the Ukraine, they immediately had collaboration with elements within these countries. In western Ukraine there were huge numbers of people that collaborated with the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, and Stepan Bandera and many other Ukrainian nationalists very much subscribed to Nazi Germany's ideology of trying to wipe out sub-human populations. The 'untermenschen'; the Jews, the Slavs; they very much collaborated with that.

It's quite factual and out there that the people in this regime in Kiev are out-and-out, self-declared subscribers to the Nazi ideology. This Svoboda party, the Freedom party, have got several ministers in the Kiev junta that came into power in February with the CIA support. This is not a controversial accusation. They themselves declared their profession of the Nazi collaborationist party in the past in Ukraine. Some of the western media say "Oh that's all just Soviet propaganda." Look, it's what they say themselves. The Svoboda party, the Freedom party, the Fatherland party; various other very rightwing nationalist parties that are in power now in Kiev, very much adulate the collaborators of the Third Reich during the second world war and they collaborated in the program of mass extermination of the Slav population, the Jewish population, and various other people.

So to say that it's Soviet propaganda or Russian propaganda is really ludicrous because that's what those people themselves very much profess, and they have done it publicly and do it without any shame.

Joe: You just talked about Nazi ideology among this gang that was shunted into power in Ukraine, by the west essentially. You mentioned 'untermenschen' with its corollary of the master race type of thing. If you have untermenschen you have to have a master race to look down on the untermenschen. So do you see a similar ideology in Israel towards the Palestinians?

Finian: Well...

Joe: That might be a bit risque, you know?!

Finian: No, no, it's a very good point and so apposite. Yeah, to answer your question in short, yes, very much so. All down through history it's a question of power and subjugation where the powers that be or the powers that want to conquest or subjugate, will always try to de-humanise the other to justify their imperialist project, if you want to call it, their project of conquest.

We've had this in Ireland where the Irish were projected as being somehow stupid and sub-human or not coming up to the mark of modernity and therefore justified the conquest of Ireland. When the Europeans were conquering North America they projected or presented the Native Americans as being somehow not worthy of their natural resources, that they weren't making the most of these natural resources, so they had to be pushed aside so that the more knowing people, the Europeans, would make better use of the natural resources. And it was justified in that way.

So yes, there's always this kind of project of dehumanising other people as untermenschen. The Nazis weren't unique in that kind of way. And it's being played out today in Palestine. The Israeli regime, the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv, is just invoking the very same kind of pretext and justifications that have gone on down through history. There is a very deep irony because they were apparently subject to the same kind of ideology under Nazi Germany. But there's a lot of twists in this history Niall and Joe. One of my dear colleagues and comrades is a guy called Ralph Schoenman. He's the author of The Hidden History of Zionism. Ralph is based over in Berkeley in California. He's been a long-time champion of justice and human rights and I hope he's listening in to this show. But Ralph Schoenman did a great piece of historical work and it was The Hidden History of Zionism.

Now Ralph dug up a lot of historical records that showed that the Zionists, the protagonists of Zionism in the 1930s, actually collaborated with the Nazis in Germany because they wanted to create this so-called homeland in Palestine, for what we've come to know as Israel. And, from Ralph Schoenman's historical discovery, the Nazis actually collaborated with these Zionists to create this dumping ground for European Jews. So the idea that the Zionist regime, the Israeli regime, could be perpetrating genocide and Nazi-like barbarism on the Palestinians is not actually a contradiction or an anomaly, because the founders of that Zionist state, according to Ralph Schoenman and various historians, were very much at ease with the Nazi regime in Germany, even though that went on to kill millions of Jews and millions of other people. But in a very expedient way they collaborated with the Nazi regime to fulfil their subjective fantasy about Israel.

So that this regime would be doing that against the Palestinians today is not at all anomalous or contradictory. It's quite consistent actually with how they collaborated with the Nazi regime back in the 1930 and 40s.

Niall: That is very, very interesting.

Joe: Yeah. You referred to this fantasy that the Zionists have of a Zionist state or even a state of Israel. Obviously the state of Israel is not fantasy anymore, it's a reality. But one thing that occurred to me about the whole narrative behind that of the Jews needing to have a state of their own: it just never made sense to me in any kind of logical way because if you look at what Judaism is, it's a minority religion, and there are many minority religions in the world and there are people who adhere to that religion and they live in different countries around the world.

But the Jews seem to translate that idea of them being members of a minority religion into them needing, by definition almost, to have a state of their own. There are many other examples of other minority religions that don't have a state of their own, that live within a country of their choosing or where they were born and people come and go to the religion and that's the way it works for everybody else. But not for the Jews. Just the idea that they would need a state of their own simply because they have their own religion never made sense to me. And I think that's at the basis of it all.

Finian: Well there's a lot of Jewish people and even Jewish people within Israel, as far as I can tell and from what I have learned, they don't subscribe to this notion of a state of Israel. They would actually explicitly say that there should be just Palestine, a land where Jews, Muslims, Christians and non-believers can co-exist. The idea of a state of Israel is really just a manufactured concept. Okay, apart from vague biblical references, there is no precedent to a state of Israel. In many ways, and in fact you could say most ways, it's just a fabricated construct to suit very expedient political interests or requirements. There's no historical precedent to Israel as a state. There's far more historical precedent to Palestine as a state or Judea or a vague nebulous regional kind of identity. The idea of Israel as a state is really quite a bizarre construct. And it is.

It was only because of the Zionist movement, which began at the end of the 19th century and then followed through at the beginning of the 20th century and then you had the Balfour Declaration, where the British Foreign Minister Balfour, whatever he was called, James Balfour, began the idea, or helped promote the idea, of a state of Israel. The Balfour Declaration in 1916 or 1917 or so. And he was only responding to a lot of Zionist lobbying and financial inducements. And that's where the notion came about. But prior to that really there was no historical precedent to it. It really just was a contrivance of political expedience.

And then after the second world war, with lots of shame and embarrassment about what happened, the European Jewish population under Hitler, there was a lot of pressure then to give these Zionists their state of Israel. And so on the 14th of May 1948, the UN sort of declared this state of Israel. And really when you look into it, it's just an expedient contrivance. There's no real cultural, historical foundation to this state that just came into being. And it came into being at the cost of hundreds of thousands of native people being displaced from their homeland. Okay, we equate the Palestinian people with being mostly Muslim, but there are probably a lot of Christians and Jewish people mixed up in that Palestinian population, all that territory, that became displaced, dispossessed and actually murdered in massive numbers at the inception of this Israeli state in 1948. And from there, for the last 66 years, it's just been like a cancer that continually grows and multiplies and displaces the Palestinian people.

We have to look at the foundations of this state and to recognise that it was an injustice that was done against the native people of Palestine, whether they be Jew, Christian or Muslim. It was a violation of the natural justice or cultural, territorial norms of the day in that region of Palestine and it's continuing to this day. So when we see people being massacred in Gaza today and in the West Bank - it's not just Gaza but in the West Bank as well - that's just a continuation of this project of colonialism that the western governments, the British in particular, and the Americans, have totally fuelled and perpetuated to this day.

Joe: Yeah, it strikes me that there is something particular about the Zionists, and the people who lobbied for the creation of the state of Israel and arrived there and organised the creation and immigration of the state of Israel. There's something different about them, in the sense that they haven't been able to live peaceably as supposedly was their original intent, with the local population in some form or other.
If you look at Lebanon, for example; Lebanon and Syria and Jordan were under the same British mandate and those countries were created in the aftermath of the first world war. Even internally with Lebanon, leaving aside Israel as kind of like a thorn in the side of the Lebanese Muslims to some extent, or certainly to a much better extent than in Israel/Palestine; Lebanon has functioned relatively well with a multi-religious society, multi-ethnic even, society compared to Israel. So I tend to put that down to the ideology behind the creation of the state of Israel, where the people behind it and who have led it since then, never intended to allow the local population to live there peaceably. They wanted all of the land for itself. What other explanation is there? Because people do ultimately...

Niall: They ultimately integrate.

Joe: ...ultimately integrate and get on with life and just live peaceably. And that has happened around the world in many places that were colonised, etc., but not in Israel. Do you know what I'm saying?

Finian: Oh very much so Joe. We're kind of thinking and talking off the tops of our head here...

Joe: Yeah.

Finian: Whenever you've got a people that are transplanted into a region to fulfil a function, to uphold power; that inevitably will lead to the misconception that they are special people. There's an analogy I think with Ireland and Palestine. The British colonised Ireland by transplanting plantations. They brought huge numbers of people over from Britain and they totally deformed the demographics of all Ireland; to plant a pro-British population, especially in the north of Ireland, that would give them a mandate, give them a reason to be, a raison d'être to be in Ireland. And over generations people get inculcated with that sense of privilege, with that sense of exceptionalism, superiority, supremacy. And it's very hard then to reverse that once that idea gets inculcated in people, it becomes internalised and normalised in their thinking.

And I've grown up with that in the north of Ireland. It's certainly dissipated over the years but it's amazing the similarity with the diehard unionist politicians and loyalist population in the north of Ireland. It's very similar their way of thinking with the likes of the Israelis, the diehard Zionists. They see the "other" as being sub-human, not equal. The dominant population is justified to do anything they want in the name of whatever they declare. If they want to declare self-defence or protection of their very conceited notion of democracy or whatever, they can do whatever they want and they will be able to inflict any kind of violence, any kind of repression on the "other", because they're inculcated with a very supremacist notion about themselves to fulfil the imperialist project.

The British did it with the unionist population in Ireland. And I think the Zionist dominant political faction in Israel do that because they have been bankrolled and indulged over decades by, in particular, the American government, but also the Europeans but primarily the American government. Now why the American government would do that is all to do with their then hegemonic ambitions. They want to have a place in the Middle East; that they can have a base; that they can project power from; that they can use to divide and rule Arab nations with. It gives them a wedge to push in there into a vital part of the world, the oil-rich Middle East. And the state of Israel has been an imperialist garrison for the Americans and their allies; the British and the rest of the Europeans.

So the Israelis have been totally indulged by this imperialist power structure and they have over the decades, in my view, become inculcated with this sense of absolute conceit and arrogance as to what they can do in that part of the world, where if they want to massacre Palestinians every day of the week, they can do so because they've been so indulged and inculcated. I think they've lost any kind of way of seeing what they're doing. They're so inculcated with their own sense of this conceited, indulgent view of themselves and what they are because of the decades of pandering by their imperialist sponsors, they become completely impervious to any kind of objective rationale.

Niall: Yeah, absolutely. We watched an Al Jazeera report recently that was snuck out from Gaza. It was horrifying. It was filmed in the aftermath of the bombing of the district of Shujayea. Somewhere in Gaza.

Joe: North of Gaza.

Niall: Oh my god! So the bombs were coming down still as the guy was going around filming. Anyway, it was aired and there were a few times where they'd hold a microphone up to some of the people fleeing the bombing and all of them said, first and foremost, they were cursing the Arab states. They didn't mention Israel. I was struck by that. They weren't like "To hell with you Israel!" They were saying "To hell with you! Where are all the Arab leaders? What are they doing?" You've got some pretty close-up experience of how the other Arab states view this conflict. What are they doing?!?

Finian: Well, it is just disgraceful, the lack of action by the so-called Arab leaders. But in a way it's not surprising. They are all just satraps and proxies of the west. They're all just western imperialist place men; Egypt and the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates. They're all just place people of the western imperialist hegemony. So they don't protest or do anything practical for the Palestinian people and they haven't done for decades. They've just been sitting idly by as this genocide has been happening in slow motion.
It's not at all surprising because they are just quislings of the western imperialist hegemony. And that's why there is repression in these countries. The people on the streets, the people in these hovels of homes are not happy with their rulers, but they have never really enjoyed democracy or been able to attain democracy because the western governments, in particular Washington, make sure that these Arab elites repress any call or movement towards democracy. So it's not at all surprising that whenever the people of Palestine are being slaughtered in their hundreds, and let's say it Joe and Niall, this is genocide. This is not hyperbole to say that it's genocide. It is legally, factually. You can define it as genocide.

And yet with all this daily slaughter, what are the Arab countries doing? They're doing nothing; absolutely nothing.

Niall: Yeah.

Finian: And that's a reflection of not being representatives of the Arab people, but they are just satraps, they are just minions of the western hegemonic arrangement; the power structure in the Middle East. So they're not going to make any protests or help any kind of resistance because they're very, very much part and parcel of the entire problem.

Niall: Indeed. Now, a quick aside. Do you think Morsi, the former president of Egypt was ousted because he was possibly not going to be playing ball?

Finian: Hm. I think that's a fair point. I wasn't too enamoured with Mohamed Morsi. His Islamist affiliations and proclivities were certainly not progressive and some of his policies or his statements were reprehensible in my view. But I do think that Morsi was elected president, as much as you could get an elective process in Egypt after 30 years of the western backed puppet of Mubarak. Morsi was elected. As far as we can tell he was elected by legitimate process. He was deposed, but if you want to have some standards, I think you have to object to that. This was a coup d'êtat. He was kicked out of his elected seat by the military, by el-Sisi, the now so-called President of Egypt which the west seems to be very happy with or has come to terms with.

And one could say that Mohamed Morsi, while he had some unsavoury proclivities towards the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamicism that was quite objectionable, nevertheless he was elected, kicked out, which should be held to account or should be investigated or queried at the very least, but it's not. And then he was kicked out by the military people of el-Sisi.

Niall: Okay. I only asked because I've been wondering what might not have happened, i.e. with this operation in Gaza being launched, if Israel wasn't so sure they had a reliable partner blockading the southern end of the Gaza strip. But I don't think it would have changed much. Morsi himself would have been inviting all kinds of trouble on his head if he had been cooperative with refugees fleeing Gaza for example, because that would be an obvious sign to the world that somebody is doing something about it.

Finian: Well, just to try to build on what you're saying there Niall, I think el-Sisi is definitely much more in line with the American/Israeli policy and therefore would be preferable from their point of view than Morsi. El-Sisi has blocked off the Rafah crossing; has in effect facilitated the Israeli onslaught on Gaza and Morsi, I would guess, wouldn't have been quite so conducive to this horrible onslaught, this genocide on Gaza because of his...

Niall: Yeah, his connections with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Finian: ...connections with Hamas. So it's a big one. But the thing is that Morsi was elected as far as we can establish. It was a legitimate election. Now we could go into various nuances about that; the people that didn't turn out for his election and different things. But if we accept certain standards, the guy was elected. He had a mandate to become president. Now the thing is, he was kicked out. It was a coup d'êtat and the American government and the British and other Europeans have just turned a blind eye to that - and that points to their own culpability in this. They have just relented and acquiesced to what is a coup d'êtat. And where is Morsi? He was taken away a year ago or more and nobody's heard any more about him. And it's quite bizarre that an elected leader is just kind of disposed of in such a bizarre kind of way. And the usurpers of his office el-Sisi, whatever he's called, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, he's just suddenly given the imprimatur of Washington and the Europeans governments, but where's his mandate? He just kicked the elected president out of office.

That really illustrates in such a graphic way, and it's so graphic and so under-reported or under-remarked on; it is really remarkable that this can happen and yet western media, the western governments, just sort of get along with it. It's not an issue. But it should be a huge controversy that an elected president - you mightn't like his particular politics and I'm not into his Muslim Brotherhood affiliations but that's besides the point. This guy was elected and yet suddenly he's kicked out of office and he's secretly put somewhere that we haven't even heard of this guy. And then this self-appointed president, this military guy, is now accepted all around the western world. That's points up a huge anomaly, to say the least, about western standards.

But as you were saying, sort of your point, this el-Sisi guy, he very much suits the western agenda; accommodating to Israel and its Zionist regime and accommodating to western, American in particular, geopolitical interests across the region.

Niall: Yeah. People are being sentenced to death by the hundreds apparently. At the same time I read a puff piece about Morsi in the Guardian newspaper which celebrates the fact that he had some 'no-car-day' in Cairo, where he went out with a few hundred of his followers around the city on a bicycle.

Joe: You mean Sisi. (laughter)

Niall: Yeah. 'Look at him, he's so good. He cares about the environment.' They just glossed over the fact that people are being shot, journalists even, in Egypt, for conspiring against the regime. It's so totalitarian.

Finian: Yes.

Niall: Anyway, I want to get back to something you wrote recently actually that struck me as really so obvious - maybe others have and I was just the last one to figure it out - you've suggested that the reason why Israel - I think they've done it again today or a couple of days ago - is periodically declaring "humanitarian cease-fires", is so that they can reload and resupply and tease the Gazans out of their homes, because they have to go and find where their dead cousin is, and therefore they're in the open and they're an easier target.

Finian: Yes.

Niall: That is just horrific, but it makes so much sense when you think about the way these people think about it.

Finian: Yeah. Well I didn't write that with any kind of ease. It's a horrible way to look at things but when you get down to the barbaric nature of totalitarian violence, that's the way I think these people think.

Niall: Yeah.

Finian: They're continually just trying to improve or make more efficient their killing machine. And when you look at the evidence, that certainly suggests what's happening. These truces and cease-fires that they're calling, they're really nonsensical and I think it's quite obvious that it's a public relations manoeuvre, "We called a humanitarian cease-fire.", It looks good. And of course the servile western media report it. It does look kind of good, 'We'll just report it on face value. Yes, it's a humanitarian cease-fire.' But when you look at the sequence of events, it can only be that the Israeli regime are just partly buying a bit of PR kudos in calling these so-called 'truces', but they are just expediently using them as opportunities to refresh the killing machine.

There's a lot of incidents that would tend to show that. During the week there was the horrible massacre in Sajiya Market. This followed an hour or so after one of these 'humanitarian truces' declared by the Tel Aviv regime. Naturally people go to these places to stock up, to try to get a few basic human needs, food, water and whatever. And then there was this horrible attack on that Sajiya Market. There was at least three major strikes on that market vicinity and it resulted in mass murder; at least 15 people, if not more.

Now how many times do we give the benefit of the doubt to this regime. "Oh well that was just an accident." I think we've got to be a lot more accusatory and just say "Look, this is an out-and-out pre-meditated clinical murder"; a way to murder more people.

Niall: Absolutely.

Finian: I think we should stop indulging this horrible regime. We say that when they strike UN schools and hospitals, "Well there was fire coming from the vicinity. We responded with fire"; or "We believe there's munitions being stored secretly in this hospital". To hell with your Israeli regime's pretext and what they say. That's what totally frustrates me and infuriates me and I'm sure a lot of ordinary people out there; is that we should stop indulging this horrible genocidal regime and its horrible, cynical pretext and excuses. What they get away with is just really so despicable. And what's really despicable is the way the western media like the BBC and CNN and all these other media, totally indulge this regime in what they do, the horrible crimes that they carry out and the apologetics that they use or invoke to whitewash what they're doing. Look, it's just mass murder. It's genocide. It's mass murder. I'm not going to indulge in your apologetics, your excuses, your pretexts. It's just mass murder and don't give me - I'm sorry to say this now - but don't give me your bullshit. Don't give me your lame sordid excuses. It's mass murder! It's genocide!

Niall: It can't be said enough. Good for you.

Joe: Very well said Finian. It's pretty obvious that that's the case because you cited some examples; the UN school. In their first attack on the UN shelter, the UN itself said that it told the Israelis 17 times - 17 times - the location of the UN school shelter and then the Israelis bombed it. Now that sounds a lot like the Israelis, if they needed it, they used UN information of where the school was to bomb it, right? That can't be excused. Like you just said, how often are you going to give them the benefit of the doubt before you realise that they're just deliberately targeting civilians here. But that brings up ...

Finian: Sorry to cut in on you Joe, but I was just having a little imaginary thought the other day when I saw the BBC getting on some spokesperson for the Israeli regime and they were giving him total free rein to just spin the propaganda. And I was just thinking, can you imagine during the Warsaw ghetto crackdown by the Third Reich Nazi war machine on the Warsaw ghetto, I think it was April/May 1943. Now can you imagine the BBC go to Joseph Goebbels and just say, "Okay Herr Goebbels, so what do you say about this?" And no doubt there'd be this very eloquent and articulate spiel about what they're doing. And that's just what the BBC are doing. They're just giving complete carte blanche and free reign to a genocidal regime; a horrible, criminal regime that totally violates every international norm and legal precept, and mass murders innocent people, and they just indulge them and they give them total free reign to spout all their lies and twisted fabrications, without a challenge; hardly a challenge. They are never really challenged.

That's what they're doing right now. But my imaginary digression is that I'm just trying to put it in perspective. People might think, well that would be really hard to conceive. If Joseph Goebbels was allowed on BBC during 1943 to justify and whitewash what they were doing in the Warsaw ghetto in 1943, or in Ukraine in 1943 also when they were carrying out mass murder; if such a character was allowed on BBC to spout their propaganda it would seem completely unbelievable. But yet that is what's happening.

Joe: Absolutely. The problem with that is that Goebbels at the time - and he probably was doing what you describe, not to the BBC but to the German media at the time - Goebbels didn't realise at the time or think about himself at the time as a Goebbels. So the Israeli spokesman today doesn't think of himself as a Goebbels but history shows that that's what these people are. It's only in retrospect that we look back and we say this person was a war criminal and a genocidal maniac. Just to follow on with what I was saying in the same vein; the Israelis are killing Palestinians, quite clearly. You don't need to have a lot of brain cells firing to realise that they are clearly targeting civilians; women, children, everybody. And they've killed 1,600 to 1,700 at this stage, most of them civilians. In fact I would just call all of them civilians.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: Because in Gaza, that's a cage essentially; just shooting and bombing people.

Niall: There is no Gazan military.

Joe: No, it's just mass murder as you say Finian. But the question is, what's the point? Do they have a point or is it just that they enjoy killing civilians?

Finian: Well, it's well-documented that the Zionist founders see their territorial objective is to clear the whole territory from the Nile to the Euphrates. That's the founding ideology of Zionism, from Theodore Hertzl, various people like that. That's how they outline their final solution, so to speak, or to coin a phrase ironically. But that's what they want. They want the whole territory from the Nile to the Euphrates, taking in all that swathe of territory: Iraq, Syria, as the outer limits of their frontier. It's well documented. Much better people than me have written lots on that. That's the Zionist ideology.

The thing is, this is luckily for them, or fortunately for the Zionists, it is very much in synch with the western, and Washington in particular, the American imperialist hegemonic interests. That's why it's such a powerful project because it very neatly ties in with the most powerful military state in the world and the centre of capitalism. America and Washington underpins the whole capitalist west and their need to impose their political power and interests over the vital, oil-rich Middle East; is in synch with how these Zionist dreamers think. That's why I think it's such a difficult problem to unravel and to eradicate because we're not just talking about crazy Jewish fanatics that have a biblical dream to fulfil. It's very much integrated with the whole western imperialist division of the world, and in particular Washington's division of the world. And until we address the whole capitalist/imperialist division and subjugation of the world, and hegemony, I think the Palestinian problem will not be properly addressed because it's integrated into how Washington sees its hegemonic desire on the world being implemented.

Niall: Yeah, it's also intertwined. It's hard to unravel one from the other. You mentioned in passing that one objective of these hegemonic interests is to destabilise Russia. Now you've also written explicitly about the blatant politicisation of the shooting down, or blowing up, whichever, of MH17 in Ukraine. It's been incredible how they have blamed this on Putin. It's entirely predictable. I wonder if you could tell us about that. For example, this whole thing about the black box; Have you heard anything about the flight recorders? They made a big show of saying that the rebels in the east of Ukraine were holding the boxes, or they'd lost them. But then they were handed over and the Malaysian government thanked the rebels and then it ends up in the hands of the British. And since then...

Finian: Well one interesting little bit of news, Joe and Niall, is that there was an interesting article published by Global Research a few days ago: a German pilot - can't find his name now - this guy Peter Haisenko, a German pilot, aviation expert, wrote about the downing the Malaysian airliner MH17. His article was published on Global Research, as I said. He was looking at a couple of photographs of the remains of the aircraft as it came to rest in the eastern Ukraine fields near Donetsk. Very cogently, the guy pointed out photographs, presented them, for the reader to assess them for themselves. And he was pointing out that the cockpit of the airplane showed very cogently - believable and credible - that the cockpit of the airliner was strafed with what looked to be heavy machine gun fire. Did you see that?

Niall: Yes. We've read his analysis.

Finian: Okay.

Niall: Go on.

Finian: So it seems the whole incident is very suspicious. It very much points to sabotage, perhaps not an anti-aircraft missile, maybe the strafing of the airliner. The Russian defence ministry presented some very credible information there last week, where they showed from a variety of satellites and also air traffic control data which could be verified; unlike the American information that was to be the predicate for their accusations. The Russian defence ministry presented their information and they were providing information that showed that there was at least one military aircraft in the vicinity of this airliner. Now, that would tally with what the German pilot was saying, that the airliners cockpit showed evidence of being attacked by heavy machine gun fire, obviously from a military aircraft. The Russian information presented - they didn't say if the military aircraft attacked the civilian airliner, but their information showed that a military fighter jet was three kilometres from the airliner, within shooting range, and they were just leaving it at that; saying what was a military fighter jet doing in that fight path, very irregularly with civilian aircraft.

So I think the west and Washington in particular has presented no information.

Niall: No.

Finian: No credible information to support whatever they're saying. They're trying to imply that Russia, or the independent militia in eastern Ukraine, who certainly are aligned with Russia in that they're Russian people, but that doesn't mean to say that Moscow is actually supporting them materially. But you can say 'pro-Russian' or 'Russian aligned'. So Washington is claiming that it's these people, and that by extension that it's Moscow that shot down this civilian airliner. But there is no information, no evidence to support that whatsoever; only the assertion of it and the claim that "We've got evidence". But when the Americans are actually challenged, "Okay, well where is your evidence?" they're not presenting it. And whatever they have presented so far is really toilet paper value. There's no credibility in their information. Their satellite images were low resolution and there's nothing so that you could actually say, "Yeah, that was that location at that time".

So Russians have got the verifiable information that is all consistent with various parts of the jigsaw puzzle, which would point to that it was the Kiev regime people that were involved in taking down this airliner, and the west are complicit in giving that political cover, and there's a lot of good political reasons or motives why they would do that.

Niall: Yeah. Absolutely. It's such a gift for the Kiev regime and for Washington, for this effort to drive up sanctions. As you've written, Europe is kind of like, "Oh, I'm not sure we want to take these sanctions any further." MH17 happens and voilá! It's a gift for them.

Finian: Yeah. Obama called it 'a wake-up call'. I think it was about two days after, maybe even the day after the 17th of July, that horrible incident of the airliner coming down and 298 people being killed. The next day Obama said "This is a wake up call for Europe." It's all too neatly choreographed.

Niall: Yeah.

Finian: You know sometimes these people think they're very clever but very often they're not clever, because they rush ahead with their choreography and that in itself incriminates; the way everything falls into place very neatly. It's all very punctual; one step after another. And that in itself, whether you've got the actual evidence, which the Russians have about this military aircraft and other things in the area and they've got a lot of satellite information that implicates. But without going into that even, if you just look at the way the west, Washington in particular and its little minion the British government, have reacted to that horrible disaster, that in itself is incriminating because they're just following a script.

Niall: Yeah, Indeed. And we can just hope that enough other governments around the world can see that. That remains to be seen. Finian, thank you so much for coming on today. It's been a pleasure.

Finian: Thank you.

Niall: Thank you. We're going to wrap it up here. You can find Finian Cunningham's articles which he writes regularly on:, and on Press TV.

Joe: Yes. Thanks a million for being with us Finian. It's been great and more power to you.

Niall: Yeah!

Joe: Keep going because it needs to be done. It needs to be said.

Niall: A real journalist. Have you got a book lined up Finian?

Finian: I haven't got time Joe or Niall. I'm just kind of keeping my head above water with just the news events. I was trying to write a book about Bahrain and the whole regional turmoil there a few years back, but that's kind of put on the back burner because there's so much going on I can't get the time to sit down for three months and write.

Niall: Yeah, we know.

Finian: I'm not worried about that. Maybe like a good wine it'll mature.

Joe: Yeah, exactly. Alright Finian, we're going to let you go. Thanks a million and thanks again for being on. It's been very informative.

Niall: Okay.

Finian: Okay guys. All the best Niall and Joe and enjoy your Sunday.

Niall: Okay you too. Bye-bye.

Finian: Bye-bye.

Joe: We're sorry about the quality of the line there, the Skype connection. Skype is never - well it's all about your connections. Our connection is pretty good here but it just depends on who we're calling, whether or not they've got a decent enough connection to keep it going. But we hope that most of it was intelligible.

Just to expand a bit on MH17. There's a few little details in terms of what actually happened to the plane. Finian was talking about them there. Maybe a lot of people listening have seen the pieces of the aircraft that have been most analysed which show what appear to be large calibre bullet holes both coming in and out of what apparently has been identified as part of the cockpit. So you have many holes that are relatively small showing the metal bent outwards and also ones that are more consistent with something hitting it and going in.
So, that does argue for something having strafed the cockpit of the plane. Just in terms of our analysis of it and what we think went on, as Finian was saying, this was immediately blamed on Russia; set up in advance therefore the people who have their narrative and their story and their accusations ready to go the moment the plane comes down, you look at those people as likely culprits or accomplices let's say, in the attack and downing of MH17.

So in that scenario, our theory about it ties in with the evidence that is available is that there was a plane supposedly seen, a Ukrainian or an SU25. The rebels don't have these planes. Russia has them, but the Ukrainian government has them. But also, that kind of a plane, an older fighter jet from the Soviet era wouldn't be too hard to come by, by anybody with enough resources and power. And so pointing at the Ukrainian government, the Kiev regime that was shunted into power, isn't necessarily what's going on here. There can be another element; a black, deep-cover operation.

Niall: Ukraine doesn't really have a government.

Joe: Exactly.

Niall: It's a wide-open Mafioso territory. Come in, come out, make deals.

Joe: Exactly. So that's my problem. When people in the alternative media are analysing this situation and are starting from the right basis that obviously it wasn't Russia, it wasn't Russian-sponsored rebels or anything like that, it was more likely to be the other side, the west and its puppet regime in Kiev, good. That's on the right track. But then to blame Kiev deliberately for consciously having a part in this or an active role in this, is kind of unbelievable in the sense that these people have only just appeared in government, the actual Yatsenyuk, the Prime Minister, and turkey-nose - sorry - Turchynov, the former President, and now the new President Poroshenko. Those guys are all just puppets and they're very recent, the newbies, they're wet behind the ears; to suggest that they had some part in this, and their histories are fairly well known, they're not exactly high level international diplomats. They're kind of nobodies, essentially, from Ukraine.

So if you're going to go with there being a fighter jet involved in the shooting down of a plane, I would suggest that it's something along the lines of the kind of organisations, or operations or groups, that are very murky; in the background, black operations, that are above and beyond any kind of oversight of conventional overt government. For example on 9/11, Flight 93 was obviously shot down rather than steered into the ground by struggling passengers shouting "let's roll", fighting with the terrorists in the cockpit and then run it into the ground; obviously that narrative is just a fairie story; it's a Hollywood movie version of it. The reality of it seems to be that it was shot down because there was a white jet seen in the area at the time. And even Donald Rumsfeld, I think it was, who let slip that it was shot down. In an interview I think it was Rumsfeld or Cheney, one or the other, but they let it slip that "We shot - oh, not shot down, crashed in Pennsylvania".
And there's even a plausible official narrative that makes sense for that shooting down of Flight 93, that they could have admitted to, which was that when a plane has been hijacked and they can't do anything about it, to save potential massive casualties on the ground if it's flown into some building or into a populated area, they would shoot it down over an unpopulated area. So they could have even said that, but they wanted to go with the Hollywood, "Let's roll" heroes, Flight 93, all that kind of stuff.

But anyway the point is there was an unmarked white jet in the area. So it's suggestive of there being groups or factions of certain intel agencies or something, whatever you want to call it. We have no names for these kind of things - the secret government, the shadow government - having access to lots of military equipment including aircraft and they, being some way involved in 9/11, went and shot this down because they didn't want to have it officially recorded anywhere by any official air force plane or pilot being involved in it.
So somebody else, unknown - no name, white plane - shot it down.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: So for me, that's the corollary here between that with Ukraine, in that this jet was seen, and I don't think it was ordered up by Poroshenko into the skies to shoot down that plane. Someone else did it.

Niall: No. You don't rely on these people to get things done.

Joe: No, exactly.

Niall: Something's going to go wrong if you want to fire a missile up at it.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: But if you know that plane's coming down, for example, you put a bomb in it.

Joe: Exactly. You put a bomb in it. So there's evidence that the plane came apart in the air because a certain number of the passengers were found with no clothes on. This is usually evidence in plane crashes at high altitude or plane disasters where they crash, that the plane came apart at a high altitude and then people fell out of the plane and their clothes were ripped off them by the fall, the wind, etc.; as opposed to a plane crashing into the ground intact where people don't get their clothes ripped off. They're found burned, etc., but they don't find naked bodies, as in unburned.

So they found people at the crash site without clothes on which suggests the plane broke up in mid air. And they also have this evidence of it being strafed with a machine gun mounted on this aircraft that was seen in the area. So that could have been a plausible scenario, that the fighter jet was there to create the impression of a kind of shrapnel effect on the body of the plane ,which they could then blame on a BUK missile because it fragments a few hundred yards from the plane and creates that kind of damage.

So they're interested in at least covering their asses a little bit, that when the plane falls to the ground, any investigation can plausibly be explained by the official narrative that they have prepared for it, beforehand. But in terms of actually making sure it goes down and not leaving any trace, or leaving as little trace as possible, you put a bomb on the plane that no one knows about. So no missile was fired. You don't actually have to deal with evidence and the hearing of that kind of an explosion.

Niall: I find that plausible because I think the whole movement of Kiev, well Ukrainian forces, we know now that the Russians have shown that they have BUK systems and that they were moving them. The Russians could actually say: "Look, they were moved from this place in Donetsk. Here it is traveling down the road, July 16, and voilá, it's in the area on the day itself." That would suggest to me that that was another layer of the decoy that went into it. And when you're at that level of operation where you can ensure...

Joe: Plan it well in advance.

Niall: Plan it well enough to do that, that's people with a lot of experience. And Kiev doesn't have experience with doing this kind of thing.

Joe: No. Absolutely not. I don't know enough about ballistics and stuff to explain this piece of cockpit that apparently shows a lot of exit holes, but some apparent entry holes as well. So that would be consistent if it was entry and exit consistent with the cockpit itself being shot with machine guns, essentially mounted on a fighter jet, maybe even killing the pilots, so that that's it. The pilots are dead, they can't radio anything and the cockpit's locked. So the plane starts to go out of control and at that point shortly afterwards you detonate a bomb. It's all nice and neat. Because unless you have control of the radio communications, and they obviously did have some control over the radio communications with the air traffic control in Kiev where someone in air traffic control, in Kiev, told the plane to fly lower and apparently on a slightly different course, over Donetsk and Lugansk, so that it would crash in that area.

Now, to what extent they had complete control over those communications but as always, these are problems that if you were thinking about doing something like this, you've got to control the problem before the plane crashes and burns, this plane's got very good communications back to air traffic control. How do you stop the pilots from spilling the beans on what's going on? Saying anything? We've talked about that about 9/11 and stuff and how they dealt with that on 9/11, including faking phone calls from different people to establish a narrative, but these are the kind of things that seem to happen over and over again when we deal with these kinds of issues that are designed to affect large numbers of people, and manipulate the emotions of large numbers of people. You always end up with very little to go on because the people behind it have planned it very well. You have to speculate and you never have a smoking gun, ever.

Niall: There'll be no "busted wide open" on this one. The evidence the Russians presented, have responded to accusations, but there's no 'well actually we have satellite video showing exactly how it happened'. I think there's a part of a game there, where if Russia for example, by this time knows pretty much exactly how it happened and has some clues as to who or what entities were behind it, it's still not as simple as for them to just publish it.

Joe: No. It would also explain our question of: if a bomb took this plane down, why were the Russians going with the jet, highlighting the fact that there was a jet seen; what was that jet doing trailing the aircraft; why they went with the idea that it was shot down by a missile or a missile from a plane.

Niall: They didn't specifically say that. The reason they brought up that jet, that they said was on the radar, was because Kiev had specifically said "We had no military jets in the area that day". So it was to expose that lie. It wasn't to say "This is our theory".

Joe: Well also to implicate it. The implication is 'you say you had no jets in the area, but there's one of your jets following'...

Niall: The implication is, somebody's lying and therefore they're hiding.

Joe: Yeah, and also what was that jet essentially doing? Everybody's wondering about how the plane came down. You had a jet following it. First of all you said there was no jet following it, so you're lying on that one. Since we have evidence that there was a jet following it, if you could admit to that, then we can proceed to the next question which is: what did that jet do to the plane? Did it do anything to the plane? So establish it in that sense. For me there's an implication there, going forward, that the Russians are suggesting that that jet had something to do with the downing, without saying it explicitly.

And that theory that I came up with there, might tie in with why the Russians are going with that, because the jet did in some way compromise the integrity of MH17, i.e., it shot at it. And that might explain the damage to the cockpit, etc. But there was also - obviously you've got to make sure in that sense - there was also a bomb on the plane. So yeah, that's a problem.

Niall: But in the meantime Washington is saying: "Well, maybe it wasn't Russia, but still it shouldn't have happened. It was a terrible accident." They have a fall-back. The reason they're doing that is not so much that it's a reason. They haven't reasoned this out. They backed down because they know full well the Russians can say "Well here's our evidence", and it shows their fingerprints all over it. They backed down because the job is done. It's served its purpose. It's an emotional operation; short-term, flash-in-the-pan; Russia is now more evil than it was three weeks ago; move on, next.

Joe: Yeah. In terms of the media, like we keep saying, this isn't a war in the sense of - well I personally don't think there's going to be a war as many people are fearing or suggesting, that there's going to be some kind of a full scale war between Russia and the west. Because the war that's being waged, and that's happening and apparently a lot of people aren't aware of, is it's a propaganda war, an information war, and it's a war for people's minds. It's much more effective to subvert the thinking and the belief systems of millions of people than simply killing them all. What do you achieve by killing them all? From the point of view of the powers that be, it's much better to take control of these "resources", essentially, these "human resources" that they use, take control of them, maybe not exactly body but certainly mind and soul, maybe the body will come later, but mind and soul is happening right now. That's what the war is for.

It's a war for your mind via the information war and in particular in regard to Gaza and Israel, it's attempting to subvert the humanity within millions of people by getting them to condone the murder of children and say that the murder of children is good. People who would never in their lives as normal human beings, would never have condoned such a thing, instinctively; would be disgusted and repelled by the idea of killing children for no particular reason, for any reason, are being pushed in the direction of sanctioning, agreeing, that it is okay to do that. And for me that has a very direct effect on people's own humanity, in whatever way that manifests or whatever reality that has with a sense of humanity, your soul. That's just been subverted and that's the war that's going on.

And also in Ukraine and Russia, because that's more of a kind of truth versus lies battle going on, as opposed to a direct attack on people's humanity. It's the same ballpark essentially as getting people to believe lies as truth. And that has a direct effect on people as well, from a psychological point of view. And it may even have an effect physically on people's brains when they believe lies. There's some kind of cutting edge research into psychology, that when people believe lies it actually has a degenerative effect on their brain which leads them to be more susceptible to believing more lies. So you infect them with the big lie in the first place; get them onside; get them to believe something that's completely not true and is unjust, and that then causes a degeneration in their thinking process and it's much easier the next time to sell them the next lie, and further on down the line until they become idiots, village idiots, kind of moronic, kind of "Duhhh" and just looking for the next McDonalds or something.

Niall: Well step by step.

Joe: They're still alive at that point. They don't want to kill them all in a nuclear war. They want them pliable, easily manipulated, compliant consumers of crap. They want them to keep going.

Niall: And they've been very successful. Really what we're seeing in terms of Russia saying no is kind of resistant to that, but most of the planet is clearly behind the lie.

Joe: It's kind of amazing; just recently on CNN there was a panel discussion back and forth, I think it was on Crossfire and on other shows on CNN, they were talking about the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, who supposedly might be running for President at some point, and he made reference to the occupation, because they're asked all these questions. "You might be running for President. What's your policy on this that and the other?" And he mentioned Israel so he had to say something about Israel. And he just made mention of the occupied territories. And the CNN anchors and pundits and stuff, all discussed this in the sense that he made a really big mistake there. It was ridiculous.

And the other thing was not just him, but also Clinton. A woman on Crossfire was bringing up Hilary Clinton's book, that she released recently, where she makes mention of the occupation of Palestine, the occupied Palestinian territory. And this woman on CNN, this anchor, this talking head, was challenging Clinton's agent for her book saying: "Is she going to retract that or is she going to stand by that statement? It's ridiculous her talking about 'occupied territories' in Israel. Israel is not occupying any Palestinian territories. That's complete lies." And they were going on and on and on, as if this was actually a reality. This is the level of discourse amongst the journalists and the talking heads on CNN that are feeding it to the population. And these people themselves, it's not that their lying. Here's how bad it's got. It's not that they're actually just lying to people knowingly, twisting the truth and trying to screw people over in that way. Those idiot anchors themselves actually believe that there is no occupation of Palestinian territory by Israel. That's the only conclusion you can come to watching this person talk. She actually fully believed, and other people as well, talking about the guy Chris Christie when he mentioned it, they all are convinced that the idea that Israel is occupying Palestinian territory is completely false. What do you do? What do you do in that situation?

Niall: Yeah. I know. Talking heads in the media, their standards have fallen to the pits; we know that. But here's the level of discourse from General Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff. Actually Finian pulled this up a couple of days ago in an article. He said recently to a kind of Aspen security summit. It's a regular DOD (department of defence) conference held in Colorado. He told his audience, when asked about the Russian situation:
"You've got a Russian government that has made the conscious decision to use its military force inside of another sovereign nation to achieve its objectives. First time I think, since 1939."
Joe: The first time that the Russians...

Niall: "the first time that any nation has..."

Joe: Any nation? Not just the Russians.

Niall: "has made a conscious decision to use military force inside of another sovereign nation to achieve its objectives".

Joe: He said that's the first time any nation's ever done that.

Niall: Since 1939. The implication being Putin's a Hitler and we're so white and good.

Joe: So they throw out these bullshit lies that are provably false.

Niall: That is pure projection.

Joe: Well yeah.

Niall: Because that's precisely what he, as the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, has made his career doing; using military force to achieve political objectives in several hundred countries several times over.

Joe: But how do they get away with actually saying that, when just a few years ago, not even a few years ago, the US military was in Iraq? How can he expect to...

Niall: I don't know.

Joe: To have that fly as a plausible scenario, that no one, since 1939, has invaded or put their military into a foreign country. Has everybody in America forgotten about the Iraq war?

Niall: I think they have gotten stupider...

Joe: It was just a while ago.

Niall: ...since this blew up in Ukraine, the last eight months. They have gotten markedly worse.

Joe: Yeah, it's like hysteria that just winds them up.

Niall: The rate is actually much faster.

Joe: Because there's no other way to explain that. It's bizarre. Maybe it's the whole reality creating thing taken almost to its really full extreme...

Niall: Where you reinvent the past.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: But who does that? Who's the supreme example of that?

Joe: Everybody.

Niall: Zionist Israel.

Joe: Well yeah.

Niall: Reinventing your past.

Joe: Yeah, complete break...

Niall: To justify the most extreme use of military force to achieve political objectives.

Joe: Yeah, well it's one thing to reinvent your past, your mythical past going way back when, but to reinvent your past from a few years ago and to have a complete break with that and pretend it didn't happen and state it publicly, you would think you would be the laughingstock of the inter-webs and the whole world and anybody who looked at it would just go, "what the hell's he talking about? Is he on some kind of drug or something?". But no, apparently people go "uh-huh, uh-huh. Okay. Right. Yeah. So nobody's invaded another country since..." Really? I don't know. This world is - pfffff yeah, whatever. And stuff.

Niall: (laughing) And stuff.

Joe: Because it just leaves me speechless. It basically leaves you completely speechless.

Niall: I tell you, last month with MH17, with those two other planes that crashed within five days, with the launch of Protective Edge in Gaza, riots in the West Bank, protests all over the world, ramping up the chaos in Ukraine - by the way, all that stuff about: "Oh, we need to have an impartial investigation of what happened to MH17 but we can't do it because the rebels are in the way". The international team of investigators have only just arrived because the Kiev junta has been firing at them.

Joe: Yeah. Kiev had to be forced to stop their ragtag bunch of military people from lobbing GRAD missiles into the area and say, "Listen, can you please stop that because we'd like to get in". But according to the media, of course it's all Russia's fault and the separatists' fault; they're the one's doing it. It gets very hard to actually comment on this kind of stuff when it has almost no basis in reality whatsoever because it feels a bit redundant to actually say anything about something that you would think is so patently a lie and divorced from reality. It's like someone comes along and says "The sky is green and the grass is blue." Are you going to argue with someone like that? No. You're just going to have a knowing look between you and your other sane people, saying, "god love him. He's a bit crazy." You're not going to say, "How dare you suggest the sky is green and the grass is blue! That's not true! Let's have an investigation." You're not going to do that. You're just going to throw your eyes up and say, "Well some people, they just...".

But that's not what happens because the 'sky is green and the grass is blue people' are the people in power and they have the media behind them and the media is churning out, 'sky is green and grass is blue' and we're meant to comment on it?!?!? We're meant to argue with them?!?!? And point out the fact that, no. Is it just us? Are we crazy? What's going on?

Niall: What I was going to say was last month being so mental, I've been keeping a close eye on seismic events, weather events; fireballs have increased again. It was just crazy what happened last month.

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: Hailstones the size of baseballs hitting all over the world, even India in July; Spain, July; tornadoes everywhere. It's seems like there's this chaos that seems to match what's going on.

Joe: Well, it's craziness, insanity. If people want to be insane, the natural world is going to match their insanity and say, "Y'all want to be crazy? Here, I'll be crazy too!" And go bonkers and wreck the place basically. And that seems to be what's happening from what you're saying. It gets to the point you feel like you're - it feels kind of pointless to actually engage in it, because you don't need to comment on it. You think you don't need to comment on it. Okay, in some cases I need to comment on stuff because it's a bit twisted and it's subtle. The lies are a little bit manipulative and quite subtle and stuff, so I need to clarify that, but more and more I don't even say anything to that because any sane person would have immediately laughed at it and say "That's ridiculous".

Niall: And if no one's laughing, there's no sane people left. Game over.

Joe: Just the other day and that supposed kidnapped soldier in Gaza, as Israel was continuing to massacre dozens and dozens and sometimes hundreds of people, civilians, a day; that one Israeli soldier was supposedly kidnapped in Gaza and that was the title on the front page of the Times of London, almost half a page at the top of their main page of the newspaper on that day, when dozens of Palestinians were killed, it was "Kidnapped in Gaza" and it was the whole story about this guy being kidnapped and how horrible it was. He's a soldier in a supposed war using your narrative. Soldiers don't get kidnapped, they get captured. It's not a big deal. It's when the civilians are being slaughtered, that's what you should talk about, not the soldiers who aren't really dying in any great numbers anyway, but you don't pick one.

Niall: You see that headline and you say how am I supposed to react to that?

Joe: Yeah. Big deal. He's a soldier. He went in there, with a gun, to try and kill people and he got captured. He's lucky he didn't get killed. But anyway, the Israelis have this Hannibal option and they've used it before, because when they don't want any of their soldiers to get captured and bargained with for the release of Palestinian prisoners, they have a Hannibal option, as they call it, where they take them out and...

Niall: They shoot their soldier.

Joe: Yeah. He gets killed. Because it's better that he's dead. Better a dead soldier than a captured one is their policy. Of course, this the psychopathic state of Israel, so what do you expect. They're following the dictates of Yahweh; who just bellows and blood and guts and loves to kill people and slaughter everybody. What do you expect? This is who these people are. So it was just a few days ago that they launched this massive bombardment on Rafah, in the southern Gaza strip, right on the border of Rafahs refugee camp in Gaza, on the border with Egypt. They just bombed the crap out of it because that's where he was captured, supposedly. And they killed him. And Hamas are like: "Yeah, we don't know much about him. We lost contact with our people there and we assume they've all been martyred and we assume that the Israeli soldier was killed along with them by Israel." And then a couple of days later, just yesterday or the day before, Israel says "Yeah we figure he was killed." But in the few days between that it was: "Poor soldier captured in Palestine! Let's bomb the crap out of the Palestinians even more!" And so they used that as political capital to supposedly sanction, with the connivance of the western media who were all up in arms about an Israeli soldier being captured, and so they killed a few hundred more hundred Palestinians on the basis of that, justified by that, and then turned around and said "Oh yeah, well he wasn't actually captured. He was killed by us."

Niall: God!!

Joe: Does it get any worse?

Niall: Well apparently it can Joe. What next? They've used every possible ploy and more probably. Cast lead ended at about 1,200 deaths. We're over that now. There's no end in sight here.

Joe: No, this is like the worst in the recent 10 years run.

Niall: Since the '80s. It tops Lebanon even; the Lebanese that were slaughtered by Israel. That topped out at about 1,600 or something. It's passed that at this point. But there's some sign that the Israelis are now saying "Okay, we're going to back away slowly, on our terms, not giving anything to Hamas or the Palestinians", just having killed a couple of thousand and then they'll back out now. There may be some signs that it may be going in that direction. Of course you can never tell but it still remains to be seen what they're going to do, with the idea that they've created a no-go zone around the border on three sides of the Gaza strip, apart from the seaside. On three sides they have a three kilometre no-man's land where they were focusing their bombardment and destroying houses and buildings and lives. They established this supposed no-go zone three kilometres in. But three kilometres in all the way around on three sides of Gaza, is about 40 percent of the actual Gaza area. So the question is are they going to keep that and maybe down the line they'll incorporate it into Israel, but essentially have that as a demilitarised zone as in no one lives there so the 1.8 million people in Gaza, 25 miles long by 6 miles wide, have had that area of 25 miles long by 6 miles wide, reduced by about 44 percent.

Niall: So they're just going to squeeze them harder.

Joe: Well it'll push Gaza up to the most densely populated place on the planet. It's now 6th or something like that, but take away 44 percent of the land and it's number one. I don't know. There's all sorts of theories about gas fields under Gaza and Israel wants control of the gas fields. And that may be true. It may be just a bonus type thing. But I kind of tend to think those kind of explanations are trying desperately to find a rationale, something that you can latch onto to in some way, even though it's horrible and totally unjustifiable, some way for normal people in their minds to say: "Well there's some reason that they're doing this, even though I would never ever condone it and think it's gruesome and totally inhuman", some way I can latch onto a rationale in their minds.

Niall: People can understand greed. You had a lot of anti-war protestors when the US invaded Iraq. They could understand it, as horrific as it got, because, "Oh, it's blood for oil. We're in there for the oil". But it really wasn't just that. And how do you justify killing two million people with that?

Joe: Yeah, and in Gaza you can go 'okay, let's dismiss the gas and stuff'. They're not too concerned about that. They'll get it anyway. They control all of Gaza. Gaza's effectively occupied. All of the West Bank is occupied. It's all occupied territory. People don't realise that all of what's left of Palestine is occupied. It's under civil and military control, despite the few areas that are under Palestinian control, it's all effectively under civil and military control of Israel, i.e. Palestinians and their authorities have no say really, whatsoever, in anything important about what happens to all of Palestine.

And not only that, dotted all across Palestine are Jewish villages, Jewish towns that have been set up, settlements which are illegal because this is Palestine. So the occupation is illegal and the building of settlements is even more illegal because it really creates facts on the ground that establish the Israeli occupation, in terms of long-term, and deny Palestinians the right to their own land. And there's 300,000 Israelis plus more, 3-400,000 in these settlements inside Palestine, on Palestinian land. Do you think Israel's ever going to get rid of that? They're never going to get rid of it. They got rid of a few settlements out of Gaza, a few thousand people and there was hell to pay over that, but they were able to do it.

There's no way they're ever going to remove the well-established Israeli settlements inside Palestine. There are 400,000 mostly rightwing orthodox Jews in those settlements. That's too many people. They'll all take up arms if the Israeli military tried to come and get rid of them. There'd be a blood bath among Israelis. They're never going to leave.

So it seems to me that in terms of the whole one-state or two-state solution, Israel has made it very, very clear that they are going for a one-state solution. But the idea of a two-state solution, if you look at what is left of Palestinian land, it's not possible. Because of those settlements, that is all effectively de facto a part of Israel, as far as the Israelis are concerned. So the only question remains is: what are Israel's plans for the Palestinians. And if you look at what's going on in Gaza, you get a good idea of what their plans are for the Palestinians. It's bomb them, kill them, slaughter them, massacre them; that maybe if we do that enough they might all leave; if not we'll just keep doing it until there's none left.

Niall: Whether or not they strategically think about: "Ooo, is now the time? Let's see if we can change it, do it now. Oh, okay do it now!" Whether or not the Israelis think like that, I think there comes a time when the world conscience has been sufficiently dulled that they will move in and liquidate everyone.

Joe: Yeah, the Israelis.

Niall: They'll simply bomb them or some other means. It's in a parallel with Ukraine. Finian mentioned it in passing. I thought "it's dodgy". The Russians were saying that Kiev has used ballistic missiles. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but ballistic missiles are big-ass missiles right?

Joe: Yeah.

Niall: I don't think the US used ballistic missiles in Iraq.

Joe: No.

Niall: These are the things that you fire to another continent with a nuclear warhead on it. They're the kind of things that the US and Russia and others test fire, but I don't think any of them have actually launched an inter-continental ballistic missile. Kiev has access to them and is using them. They have such a carte blanche because they have complete media back-up behind them. Kiev's going to do the same thing. Two hundred thousand people have already fled across the borders. They will liquidate all of eastern Ukraine and repopulate it.

Joe: Well sure. That's their plan.

Niall: With crazies from the west.

Joe: There's no point in trying to whitewash it in any way or to make it sound a bit better. Obviously what's happening in Ukraine and in Gaza, in Palestine, is a war by psychopaths in power on freedom, as expressed by civilian populations. The civilian population of east Ukraine wanted freedom essentially; wanted to chart their own course; wanted independence from Kiev. They didn't want to do what the powers that be in Kiev and their masters in the west wanted. They said no, we want to do our own thing; we don't want to play your game; we want freedom and independence. And that was responded to, and is being responded to, by bombing those civilians, because the will in east Ukraine was from the ordinary people.

A very small number of them took up arms, but the vast majority of people in east Ukraine are civilians who have not fired any guns, and don't know how to fire guns, but they are the people who are expressing the will to be independent. And they are the ones are being bombed. When you look at the videos, the Kiev troops are firing Grad missiles, which are unguided rockets, with 40 pounds of explosives in the head and they create a very large explosion and shrapnel and debris goes everywhere and cuts legs and heads and arms off. And they fire dozens of these at towns and parts of cities in east Ukraine. And they're completely unguided except in a very vague general area. "We're going to hit that area. That's one mile by two miles" type thing, or whatever the actual scope of it is, it cannot be used for pinpointing a group of separatists hiding in some trees somewhere. You can't use a grad to hit them because it could land 100 yards or 200 yards away from them. But they launch dozens of them at a time supposedly trying to do that. So obviously they're not stupid, right? They know that when they fire those kind of missiles into populated areas, they know they're going to kill civilians.

In that scenario, it's the same in Gaza, it's not that they're saying "Let's kill some civilians so that we can at least" - they're trying to kill the terrorists as they call them, but they're willing to accept collateral damage of civilians. That's not the correct way to look at it because they know that when they fire those rockets they are going to kill civilians, and most likely only civilians. Therefore the intent is to kill civilians. And that ties in with their understanding, that the problem in east Ukraine and the problem in Gaza is not Hamas or pro-Russian separatists, it's the local civilian population. And that's who's being attacked very consciously, very deliberately, and based on the correct understanding of what the powers that be in those countries problem is, which is the civilian population. So kill them.

Niall: We have forum members who can vouch for reports in Russian media that young men are being abducted in various parts of eastern Ukraine and given a choice: you fight for us or else. And the situation there is bad. It's really bad. But amongst that chaos, they don't just fire and know full well they're going to hit people, they also hit the train tracks that prevented the bodies from leaving the nearest big town. That's part of the delay. They blew that up deliberately.

Joe: Yeah, it's to terrorise the local population. Kill them and terrorise the rest into submission.

Niall: In fact in addition to that, yesterday they bombed a small village right where the plane landed, Hrabove or something. It's just pure insanity. We've got people hoping that Putin will step in. I don't think he will unless Kiev is unleashed on the Crimea. But at that point you're back to Washington doing that deliberately. But in the context of not actually creating a situation where nukes are launched, will they actually go to that extent? No, I think they'll just keep killing people, ordinary people. They won't make a point of drawing Russia into a war yet they're doing everything they can to make Russia - they're firing into Russia proper.

Joe: Well, Russia won't engage in hostilities directly or officially unless it absolutely has to. And in that situation, Russia will attack only other military forces. Russia has shown a lot of restraint, which is indicative of a government that does not want to kill civilians. It could just launch a bunch of rockets back over the border into Ukraine and try and take out the Kiev forces, but they realise that those people are occupying many towns and if they are going to attack the forces they would be risking civilian lives, so they don't want to do that. But the west wants to bate them into doing that. So the west gets away with doing that itself and it's whitewashed. Nobody talks about it, as Finian was saying. But you can bet your ass that the moment that the Russians did something similar there would be "civilians slaughtered!" You'd be hearing all the things about civilians being killed that you're not hearing right now.

Niall: And that narrative they laid about Putin being Hitler would be cemented. Voilá! Facts on the ground.

Joe: And I reckon if we can come up with that kind of an analysis of the situation...

Niall: The Russkies can.

Joe: Yeah. An understanding of the way that the west operates, you can bet your ass that the Russians, and Putin, understands that that's what's going on and they're not so stupid. But it puts them in a very difficult position in terms of how they're going to respond and how they have to manoeuvre. So it's a waiting game. And nobody can blame Putin for not coming in and riding in on a horse or a bear or a shark (laughter), or whatever animal he rides into Ukraine, and saving everybody. You've got to be realistic about it. It's not so easy. He's not up against a push-over, stupid kind of enemy here. This is an enemy although extremely pathological and that believes their own kind of reality type thing, they're also very shrewd and very manipulative in a psychopathic way.

Niall: Enormously powerful. Maybe the Russkies are aware of what the climate change really means, or they have a far better idea of it. Again, if we're aware of it...

Joe: Well, there's some things we're aware of that very few people are aware of, but I'd say the Russians do have a better understanding of it because they tend to be more open-minded in that sense and not quite so much up their own backsides, if I can use that phrase, in terms of creating their own reality. They do tend to take stock of actual objective reality more and in that sense they probably do have a better handle on the environmental stuff going on as well. But to put it in the proper context or in the context that we put it into, I don't think anybody really does that. It's too far out there.

Niall: Bring on the comets and please hit Washington first.

Joe: Yeah. And Tel Aviv.

Niall: And Tel Aviv.

Joe: Anyway, so we're going to leave it there. We've kind of rambled on here long enough. Just want to thank Finian again. He does a good job. Sorry again about that connection speed. Very dodgy, but we will be back next week with another show. Thanks to our chatters and to our listeners and to everybody else, whatever you were doing. We hope you enjoyed the show. We'll be back next week with another show as yet to be announced. Until then, have a good one.

Niall: Thanks all. Take care.