Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 10, 2020

Update On The Ukrainian Plane Incident Near Tehran

Reuters asks: "Who Ya Gonna Believe Me Or Your Lying Eyes?"

The trustworthy (not) news agency tweeted this yesterday:


The crashed South African plane is pretty obviously a total loss but Reuters says that there is "no sign of major damage".

Reuters is a British agency and Brits do have a special kind of humor: "Tis but a scratch" and "Just a flesh wound" says the black knight (vid).

The Reuters tweet was not a mistake. The story on Reuters' website (screenshot) carries the same picture and headline.

The capture under the picture says:

Congolese aviation workers stand next to the wreckage of C-130 Hercules South African military plane that crash-landed at the Goma airport in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo January 9, 2020 REUTERS/Djaffer Al Katanty

The text of the article says:

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - A South African military plane crash-landed on Thursday at the Goma airport in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a U.N. spokesman said.

Videos on social media showed smoke rising from the airplane but two sources at the airport, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there did not appear to be major damage to the plane.

Reporting by Fiston Mahamba and Hereward Holland; Writing by Aaron Ross; editing by John Stonestreet

At least five Reuters people contributed to the story. The claim by the two sources it cites is obviously false. It still made it into the story and even into the headline. Twenty four hours later, even after it was mocked on Twitter, the story is still up.

Consider the above when you read reports in which anonymous officials allege that Iran shot down the Ukrainian flight PS 752 over Tehran.

That may have happened. But that is only one possible explanation for the accident. The crash may have been caused by technical or other issues. Rumors and assertion from anonymous official are not evidence. Neither are videos of unknown provenance. The U.S. is waging an economic war on Iran and it has the will and the ways and means to fabricate such allegations. We will only know for sure what happened when the real evidence has been investigated by the designated authorities.

Some of the comments to yesterday's piece on the accident disagreed with my warning that the purported evidence of a shoot down is yet insufficient and that other causes are very well possible. They should consider the warning from the top of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO):

ICAO is in contact with the States involved and will assist them if called upon. Its leadership is stressing the importance of avoiding speculation into the cause of the tragedy pending the outcomes of the investigation in accordance with Annex 13 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention).

The warning was repeated yesterday:

ICAO continues to call for diminished speculation on the possible causes of the accident until the Annex 13 investigation is permitted to be concluded and its official results are confirmed.

Meanwhile the bodies have been removed from the crash site and the debris has been been collected and sorted by type.

This morning the head of the Iranian Civil Aviation Administration gave a press conference (vid) based on what the officials currently know. My impression is that he is a serious and reasonable person. The Aljazeerah English live translation was not good. None of the questions were translated but some of official's points were understandable:

  • As far as it is known the plane was not hit by a missile.
  • Judgment must be held back until all the technical information is available.
  • After the take off the pilot contacted the airport control tower for permission to climb to 26,000 feet. The permission was given.
  • Two minutes later a fire broke out on the plane.
  • There was no communication after that but the pilots may have been too busy. The cockpit voice recorder will give more answers.
  • Twelve groups have been formed to investigate the accident and the accident site.
  • U.S. officials have asserted to have documents or other evidence that shows a missile incident. If they have such they are required to step forward and present it to the investigation.
  • Video shows that the burning aircraft flew for 60-70 seconds. If the aircraft had been hit by a missile it would have dropped immediately and there would be a very large debris field as it happened with flight MH17 in Ukraine.
  • All countries affected by the accident can name a liaison person or take part in the investigation.

Then followed an explanation for the delayed departure of the plane:

  • The plane arrived the night before the flight.
  • Both pilots went to the hotel for rest but only for three hours.
  • The passengers were mostly holiday guests who carried a lot of luggage.
  • The boarding process took a long time.
  • The weather condition at that time were also not suitable.
  • The pilot requested extra fuel.
  • The number of passengers, the luggage and the extra fuel added up to more than the plane can carry.
  • The pilot ordered the ground crew to off-load some luggage.
  • All this was a normal process that can happen on any flight.

It is then said that the investigation may extend a long time, even longer than the usual one year. Depending on their condition the extraction of data from the blackboxes may also take a month or two. The press conference ends with a request for calm and for support of the investigation.

Footage of the unopened blackboxes was aired on Iran TV. They seem to have minor outer damage but I am confident that the permanent memory within them is intact.

Investigators and observers from several countries and from Boeing have joined their Iranian colleagues and will help to find the causes of the accident.

Ukrainian investigators have arrived and have been at the crash site. There are complains (ukr) from anonymous Ukrainian officials that the Iranians "bulldozed" the debris:

"Debris is being raked by bulldozers; is Iran interested in a quality investigation?" - source in the interdepartmental commission of Ukraine.

The Iranians used a wheeled front loader to help collect the heavy parts of the debris. That is hardly bulldozing.


The Ukrainian also complains that the collection process is too fast and may damage some parts. Well, the plane crashed and there was a large fuel explosion. There will hardly be any undamaged parts.

The crash site of the Ethiopian MAX that came down last years was also cleaned within three days. Sorting the parts into big heaps (structure, engines, electronics) before driving them off for storage and analysis is unlikely to cause additional damage. Meanwhile in the Ukraine one can still find parts of flight MH17 at the very place where that plane came down.


Posted by b on January 10, 2020 at 17:33 UTC | Permalink


There were also clear sightings of a missile to bring down TWA 800. Except it didn't.

There are also clear Navy videos of UFO's. Except they aren't.

So what are you gonna believe, the people who gave you WMD and the Iraq War, or the people who want to stop another Forever War?

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Jan 10 2020 17:36 utc | 1

As an Navy Pilot , flight instructor and 737 captain this does not at 1st or 2nd glance appear to be a missile strike. Catastropic engine failure is my bet. They made most of the turn back to the airport before losing integrity or loss of thrust.

Good analysis.

Posted by: Rob | Jan 10 2020 17:46 utc | 2

US Claim of Ukrainian Boeing 737 Plane Being Hit by Missile Aims to Manipulate Stock Markets

On Wednesday, Boeing's shares plummeted by 2.3 percent ($3.4bn) after the Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 aircraft crashed in Tehran due to encountering a technical glitch.

On Thursday, the stock rose by 3 percent after unnamed Pentagon officials claimed that the Ukrainian passenger plane was most likely brought down by anti-aircraft missiles, and US President Donald Trump implicitly supported the claim. This has been read by analysists as an attempt to manipulate the stock market; a measure that would both overshadow Trump’s failure in Iraq and save Boeing from bankruptcy.

Russia says no grounds to blame Iran for Ukrainian plane crash: TASS

I didn't find the article on TASS. Maybe it was in its Russian version, or in its TV/Radio/Podcast version.

I don't discard a terrorist attack from the inside, or sabotage of the plane by the Ukrainian government. What I think is missile attack can be pretty much discarded: the evidence the Iranians already have through their air control data discard any possibility, by sheer logic alone, that that was the case.

Unless, of course, the Iranians are lying. But then there isn't any cui bono for Iran to lie about it (if it was a mistake they wanted to cover, they could blame a random independent militia so as to give plausible deniability) with the technical malfunction argument, and now Russia's foreign minister Ryabkov is on the boat with it - so I don't see the cui bono for Russia either.

Posted by: vk | Jan 10 2020 17:52 utc | 3

A little guide to Iran's modern history.,_July_1999

Perseus wore a magic cap so that the monsters he hunted down might not see him. Some of you choose to draw the magic cap down over your eyes and ears so as to make-believe that there are no monsters in Iran.

Posted by: ninel | Jan 10 2020 17:58 utc | 4

Posted by: ninel | Jan 10 2020 17:58 utc | 4

"Some of you choose to draw the magic cap down over your eyes and ears so as to make-believe that there are no monsters in Iran."

No, it is a lot easier than that.
Most of us dont get paid to post bs about the imperial enemies like you, and most off us still know how to use our brain.
That is it, nothing more nothing less.

Posted by: Per/Norway | Jan 10 2020 18:03 utc | 5

Rob@2 - What do you make of the loss of ADS-B? Could a catastrophic engine failure take out both power buses? The ADS-B transceiver? I know a the turbine blades turn into little missile blades when they decide to leave the engine, but I have no idea of the way power is transferred when either bus or the standby goes down. I assume automatic? Are the transfer switches anywhere near the engines? Does the APU automatically fire up? I assume the ADS-B box is in the electronics bay, but where is the antenna?

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 10 2020 18:10 utc | 6

I have been wargaming in the case of an all-out war between Iran + PMU vs US, so if I were the Iranian Chieff of Staff I would impose the following strategy (script), for the best possible use of resources and forces at hand:

1) The absolutely first priority of Allies (Iran & PMU) should be the US air bases, specifically to deny US the use of their air bases in the Middle East for their jets as much as possible, making them depending of long range bombers (which they have in much less numbers) and cruise missiles (long range bomber and cruise missiles fired from far away cannot give close air support to the surrounded bases and troops).
2) Other critical strategy for the Allies(I&PMU) is to maintain far away the Carrier Strikes Groups, using some shots of long range ballistics and cruise missiles (Soumar&others) to maintain them far enough from the Iranian shores. If the CSG’s are more than 2.000Km away from Iran in the Indian Ocean, the distances between the CSG’s and the west part of Iran, where the main Allied Missile Forces are allocated, will be around 3.600Km or more, so out of range of the Tomahawks missiles (1.700 Km), so only the US subs could fire them approaching the Iranian coast, but may be the Allies could have some surprises for them (in the form of mines or destroyers). The US could try to put the CSG’s in the Mediterranean Sea to strike the West of Iran, but they could be targeted also by the Allies, and the ruskies in Syria will not be glad to have some hundreds Tomahawks flying above their heads. Not easy
3) To deny the use of the air bases with the better use of resources the Allies have to make a division of labour:
a. The air bases in Iraq will be attacked almost exclusively by the PMU using a hell or MLRS and mortars. The first step is to cut all road supplies to the bases (gasoline is the most fundamental material to be cut).
b. In Iraq the first priorities of the barrages of rockets and mortars should be the fuel storages, second the airstrips (to prevent jets from landing and taking-off), third the ammo storages, and fourth the command and communication areas.
c. The barrages must be “Hezbollah style”, massive and almost non-stop, to prevent them repairing of the airstrips to be used again by the jets. The PMU have to assume they will have many casualties, but it is a war. The commander in the US bases have to choice if the maintenance teams will be exposed to the barrages to repair the airstrips, or remain in the shelters but then the jets cannot use the base. If the PMU are resolute, any jet will land or take-off.
d. To combat the helicopters the Allied need to have in Iraq many thousands on MANPAD, and to prevent the rescue teams of the US to rescue some “Blackhawk Down”, they will use the Hezbollah tactics: modern tandem warhead ATGM’s, modern tandem warhead RPG, modern anti-material rifles and modern MANPAD, they should have now in the thousands in Iraq. After some good ambushes the US bases will not recue anybody and remain locked in their bases trying to survive under the barrages and asking to be airlifted from the hell in helicopters, of course under the fire (by rockets, mortar and MANPAD when in air).
e. Just in case the rockets of the PMU are not enough, Iran could lob in to the more close US base the heavy unguided rockets they have: Fajr-3, Fajr-5, Zelzal 1-2-3 (600mm diameter)
4) For the air base in Kuwait (Ali Al Salem), the distance to Iraq is 62Km and to Iran 117Km, so is close enough to be targeted again by heavy MLRS (not by mortar or small rockets) to repeat the same strategy than the case of Iraq, in this case the Allied cannot cut the road supplies and they have to shot from longer distances, so the degrading process will take much longer to put the base out of service, in this case the heavy Zelzal 2 and 3 MLRS will be the weapons of choice to destroy the airstrips and fuel storages, probably some help for more accurate missiles will be required (they have thousands of un-guided missiles but much less guided, so the priority will be to use the un-guided, the war could last longtime)
5) For the US air bases in the Southern shores of the Persian Gulf the task to KO them will be exclusively for Iran, and they have to use the Zelzal-3 MLRS to smash the airstrips and above all the guided missiles, again to strike in the first priority the fuel storages, second command and control centers, third ammo storages, fourth hangar and spare parts storage. The distances of the US bases are in the range of the heavy MLRS of Iran (Zelzal-3 and Fajr-5C): Al Udeid is at 265Km from Iran, Saikh Isa at 240Km and Al Dhafra at 245Km, somebody did not thought some 50 years ago that these bases could be used to confront Iran, which is just in front of them all along the coast. All of them will burn.
6) For the air bases in Jordan a Turkey, the long range missiles should be used, but the distance, again, matter a lot, the airplanes cannot be too much time in the Iraqi and much less in the Iranian airspace (to refuel) and they need, before attack the Iranian soil, to take down the Iranian air defenses, but probably they not have enough fire power to do that, and also the political resistances from Turkey and in less degree Jordan could be quit hard to avoid. Erdogan could decide to not allow more attacks to the Allies from Incirlik, and them the war is over for the US (at least the conventional war…)
7) Secondary targets will be the ships in the Persian Gulf, above all that armed with Tomahawks (frigate and destroyers) that can shot to Iran, but it is expected they will run out of them quickly and without re-supply they cannot continue fighting, but if you cannot land a single big transport plane, because all the airstrips are damaged, and you cannot have a ship passing the Strait of Hormuz, how in the hell could you re-supply your troops and maintain them fighting to a more numerous and close to his land enemy?

In this strategy is very important the Allies focus in the air bases, and not deviate to attack other perceived as “good” targets (“normal” military bases, naval bases, oil refineries, oil platforms, Israel, etc…) even if US destroy the oil refineries of Iran. The Allied should avoid the error of Hitler in the Battle of England when after Churchill ordered the RAF to bomb Hamburg, the Lufwaffe started to bomb the English cities when they were wining attacking only the British air bases. The Lufwaffe lost the Battle of England because they forget the strategic priority targets and focus in other political and tactic targets.

Could this strategy works? and what can US do to avoid it works?(in this game the use of ICBM and nukes are forbidden)

Posted by: DFC | Jan 10 2020 18:16 utc | 7

I assume that the people who control Iranian air defense are able to distinguish whether a flying object is approaching or distancing. The 737 NG was moving away...

Posted by: Pnyx | Jan 10 2020 18:16 utc | 8

@4 ninel: "

"Perseus wore a magic cap so that the monsters he hunted down might not see him. Some of you choose to draw the magic cap down over your eyes and ears so as to make-believe that there are no monsters in Iran."

Why not also show a "guide to modern" US History towards Iran as well. Unfortunately, if you did that, you'd have to include a hell of alot more links than you've provided in your post above.

Folks like you don't even need to don a "magic cap". A magic brain, or even a brain that minimally functions is all that would be required in your case..

Nice bit of trolling there.....

Posted by: time2wakeup | Jan 10 2020 18:31 utc | 9

Unless intentional , it would mean someone with the lower IQ then Forest Gump would have to be manning the missile battery and couldn't distinguish a slow moving 737 climbing from an incoming missile.

Posted by: Tobi | Jan 10 2020 18:34 utc | 10

@nine1, #4: remarkable you only show Wikipedia links. It is a known fact any articles relating to Occupied Palestine directly or indirectly on Wikipedia are controlled by .... yep, the Zionists/Occupied Palestine.
Here is some evidence:
Haaretz: Zionist editing on Wikipedia
The Guardian: Wikipedia editing courses launched by Zionist groups
Wayne Madsen Report: Wuikipedia troll editing funded by Israeli government

Alas, your hasbara nonsense and anti-Iran racism are so transparent, you'll have to ask Gilad Erdad to give you an update.

Posted by: Ernesto Che | Jan 10 2020 18:35 utc | 11

Thanks b! As I commented towards the end of the previous thread on this topic, the mundane evidence has already been shown. IMO, if a missile or bomb was employed, the Iranians would be yelling louder than anyone and the denials would be coming from BigLie Media instead of accusations. And as I answered psychohistorian, the massive coverage by BigLie media serves as narrative distraction from what's being obfuscated--casualties taken by Outlaw US Empire troops and the BDA presented by Iranian Military. In that regard, The Saker's update sticks to the important facts of the now escalated ongoing war between Iran and the Evil Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 10 2020 18:37 utc | 12

Maybe the only Boeings that don't fall out of the sky are the ones that conduct chemical spraying over my town all the time...

Posted by: Josh | Jan 10 2020 18:38 utc | 13

ninel@ #4

So what if there are monsters in Iran?

Are you suggesting that the west is concerned for the common Iranian?

Posted by: arby | Jan 10 2020 18:51 utc | 14

"Reuters is a British agency.."
Or is it Canadian? Or is it both? It probably doesn't matter.

as b says it is economic warfare-maximum pressure- designed to impoverish and isolate Iranians.
Lord Salisbury was credited with having said that the problem with those British strategists who saw Russia as a menace to India was that they were using maps of such small scale that the enormous distances and formidable physical barriers that lay between Moscow of Delhi were neglected.
In this case the problem the US has is that it seems to look at Iran only from the west, forgetting that overland access from the east and north- the New Silk Road- is equally possible. Sometimes it looks as if the strategy of the US is to do all it can to advance China's BRI and to tighten the bonds between Eurasia's vast populations.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 10 2020 18:52 utc | 15

Thank you for some good analysis. I expect a "blizzard of BS" emanating from the Boeing Corp.

Posted by: Gregory | Jan 10 2020 18:56 utc | 16

Sorry, but there’s good reasons to suspect foul play - as I and others have explained on the last thread.

1) Occurs as Iran is on brink of war with USA?; 2) Indications of USA using info war tactics; 3) airliner owner by Kolomoisky? 4) No communication with tower? 5) USA and Israel history of duplicity and narrative management (example: MH-17).

<> <> <> <>

Also: IMO it’s dangerous for Iran to invite experts from a group of Western countries. What is likely to happen is that all the Western experts will be pressure to disagree with Iran’s findings. CIA knows that people will believe the “group of experts!” over Iran.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 10 2020 19:11 utc | 17

I don't know how anal Iran is about keeping track of ordinance but they must be pretty certain as to whether they downed the plane or not! Looks like they are being transparent and open. If they come out of this proving engine failure or something else then this could be a great pr coup.
There would be a lot of egg on many faces trying to explain how the intelligence is wrong yet again. I look forward to watching trudeau walk that back. Hopefully!

Posted by: pleasebeleafme | Jan 10 2020 19:12 utc | 18

One explanation is the Boeing was used as a human shield, a military plane hides behind a slow moving plane when detected. The ukrainians did it with the MH17 and the israeli with the russian plane and tried it with the attack on damascus. In both cases there was a lot of dis-info and blaming right away. But the iranian would have known what the target was, and mentioned it, so very unlikely.
Another question is the possibility a smaller missile only damaged the plane, also very unlikely.
Head of Iran Civil Aviation Organization Ali Abedzadeh exaggerates: "From a scientific viewpoint, it is impossible that a missile hit the Ukrainian plane."
“We can say that the airplane, considering the kind of the crash and the pilot’s efforts to return it to Imam Khomeini airport, didn’t explode in the air. So, the allegation that it was hit by missiles is totally ruled out,” the official noted.

Posted by: Gary | Jan 10 2020 19:17 utc | 19

Dude, when you're in Wyoming and see critter tracks down by the creek, you would assume it was Martians rather than antelope? Get real. The Ukie blew a crappy GE engine...they have this characteristic...

Stay real, use Occam's Razor + physical evidence. Otherwise it's distraction and TBS...

Posted by: Walter | Jan 10 2020 19:25 utc | 20

@11 Ernesto Che

Craig Murray has been tracking a propagandist Wikipedia editor called "Philip Cross", here is the main article, but there are others on his site The Philip Cross Affair

Posted by: TJ | Jan 10 2020 19:26 utc | 21


I'm a distinguished professor. I wore my cap a long time ago during my graduation ceremony.

I don't side with any capitalist country, government or military. I am on the side of people. As I have mentioned in my previous posts, it is possible to side with populations, without supporting their ruling elites (who act on behalf of their economic elites). The IRI does not genuinely care about the plight of its people, neither does the USA care about its own. That is the nature of capitalist governments.

Why do you automatically jump to the conclusion that by criticising Iran's government, one is siding with the USA's which has had the power to oppress far more people in the world than the Iranian government.

I suggest disabusing yourself of an International Relations framework which fails to account for and capture conflicts within countries between classes and groups over resources. In fact most of the posts I have read on this site seem to ignore the economic and focus merely on the political.

At the very least, visit the country, talk to the people. I would recommend speaking to Iranians outside of the country but you seem to think they are all 'anti revolutionaries' (as if the IRI is anti capitalism! Ha!).

I hope Montazeri's son releases the second tape (context provided in the link below in case you don't know what I am talking about. Yes the source is anti-IRI, but the content holds valuable insights).

I am associated with various Iranian communist groups overseas. They are no pro-monarchy. They spear headed the revolution, before it was hijacked by the conservative muslim factions, who in turn, eliminated their allies, while adopting their revolutionary ideology for their own purposes.

Posted by: ninel | Jan 10 2020 19:28 utc | 22

Ayatollah Montazeri was one the side of the Iranian people. He spoke out, and even though Khomeini had designated him to succeed him, he was forcefully removed and placed under house arrest for the remainder of his life.
They did the same thing to Shariatmadari who had promoted Khomeini to Grand Ayatollah so that the Shah could not execute him.

Taleqani was another cleric who was on the side of people. He spent over two decades in the prisons of the Shah. His sons claim he was murdered by the IRI shortly before the revolution. Taleqani was more known and respected than arguably Khomeini.

Posted by: ninel | Jan 10 2020 19:36 utc | 23

ninel@ #4

here is a little reminder of Murica's recent history:

From 1945 until today - 20 to 30 million people killed by the USA

so, when you talk about monsters are you talking about yourself? ;)

Posted by: karlitozulu | Jan 10 2020 19:38 utc | 24

ICAO is in contact with the States involved and will assist them if called upon. Its leadership is stressing the importance of avoiding speculation into the cause of the tragedy pending the outcomes of the investigation ...

ICAO may be a worthy organization (some staff changes seem to be warranted), but isn't it a bit too much?! If this is a sincere wish of democratically elected heads of democratic nations that they want to form a harmonious chorus and speculate, then no mundane power can stop them. BTW, what is wrong with Zelensky that he did not join? PTSD after the brutal telephonies calls? I would add it to the list of proven damages to the security of those several states that will be debated in the Senate. [end of snark, "several states" is the entity named in the so-called Constitution of The United States of America].

Posted by: Piotr | Jan 10 2020 19:39 utc | 25

The flight originated in Teheran, bound for Kiev, but where was it before it arrived in Iran? It could have been sabotaged anywhere; then easy, right, to set off an onboard bomb by remote control from the ground? I'm sure Iran is crawling with Mosssad/MI6/CIA spooks.

Posted by: journey80 | Jan 10 2020 19:50 utc | 26


So you turn a blind eye to atrocities committed by other countries or peoples because the US government is responsible for the most? Did you even complete your high school education with that sort of reasoning? I never absolved the US or any other country. Simpletons like you seem to live in a black and white world in which one side must be chosen over the other. I feel unfortunate for b or anyone else who frequents this blog who does not view the world in such a profoundly problematic way.

I am far more informed about Iranian politics, history, culture and religion than most people here. Please don't allow your hate for the USA, well justified, to cloud your judgment.

Posted by: ninel | Jan 10 2020 19:51 utc | 27

NATO has weaponized aircraft accident investigations. Lawfare in combination with state terrorism.

It's time for new rules and regulations. ICAO Annex 13 was drafted in different times. A rule based order is ancient history.

People should be able to chose their destination, route and carrier based on personal preferences like price and comfort, not on factors like the latest or next conflict zone, corruption in the countries along the route, military and political adventurism, etc.

The world has gone crazy.

Posted by: Symen Danziger | Jan 10 2020 19:53 utc | 28

I searched TASS in Russian, it does not seem to be there. But there was a news item linked to Washington Post:

On the day U.S. forces killed Soleimani, they launched another operation targeting Iranian official in Yemen

U.S. officials say the secret operation in Yemen targeting a senior Quds Force commander did not succeed. But the attempted strike may indicate that the killing of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani was part of a broader operation to deal a serious blow to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
By John Hudson, Missy Ryan and Josh Dawsey1 hour ago

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 10 2020 19:55 utc | 29

Nobel. Pretends to be Communist, spreads imperialist propaganda.

Posted by: wj2 | Jan 10 2020 19:56 utc | 30

@30: I meant “ninel”

Posted by: wj2 | Jan 10 2020 19:57 utc | 31

@ ninel

I am associated with various Iranian communist groups overseas.

Yes, I had already noticed that you are a MeK troll, as opposed to the handful of visitors from Tel Aviv in the other thread where you also "contributed".

Since you claim to be a "distinguished professor", would you please validate your claims? If not consider yourself outed as an impostor.

BTW, if you do not side with the USA, as you claim, then why do you come here and troll around in this particular topic? That does not serve any purpose in changing Iranian society for the better. All it does is to reinforce imperial lies and bullying. MeK is known to be a soulless mercenary cult, employing boiler rooms full of trolls, paid for by the CIA.

Posted by: Lurk | Jan 10 2020 19:57 utc | 32

- As said before: I didn't believe for one second that that ukrainian plane was shot down. It would have given the US simply another stick to beat up the iranian government. I assume the iranians are smart enough to know that. They simply don't want to escalate the situation more. Although Iran has now the "moral high ground" it is still (very) vulnerable in a number of ways.
- I think the ukrainian tourists were small traders. I.e. buy stuff e.g. clothing and other "merchandise" in Teheran, bring it into the Ukraine and then sell that "merchandise" in Ukraine with a (big) profit.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 10 2020 20:01 utc | 33

@22 ninel "I'm a distinguished professor. I wore my cap a long time ago during my graduation ceremony. "

Perchance, was it possibly a "magic" cap that you donned "a long time ago"?

Because, just like your example of Perseus, you only appear to see and speak of things that conveniently agrees with your obvious one-way mirror of perception regarding the ancient county of Persia.

Again, perhaps think with your "magic" university cap a bit harder about exactly what were the origins of the Iranian governance that eventually came into being. Because if the US/Western ME designs still held sway in Iran, they'd likely have some form of a Neo-monarcaristic military junta - whose security and support would still be provided by the CIA and Mossad - as was the case with Zavak prior to 1979.

And is you really do know a diverse cross-section of Iranian people, as you posit, then ask them this simple question: do they truly desire or believe that the US or Israel actually cares one whit about their "freedoms" and overall well being any more than their current government does?

Posted by: time2wakeup | Jan 10 2020 20:03 utc | 34

We have a distinguished professor in our midst! Quite unlike the lowly regular professors or inconsequential adjunct instructors that normally grace these pages. Let me kick back and get a tan from the brilliance pouring out of this one! Us high latitude types have to get our Vitamin D wherever we can.

As for my lack of criticism of Iran's government, that's the business of the Iranian people and none of my own. The Evil Empire attacking Iran? That, unfortunately, is everyone's business whether they want it to be or not.

Why is it that these wise guys from the West (Americans mostly) feel it is their duty to criticize everyone else's governments and cultures when the examples they are setting themselves are so appallingly bad? Maybe these distinguished critics of other peoples' ways of life feel that it is easier to fix those other peoples' societies than it is to fix their own. After all, they apparently feel that fixing other countries just requires some number of bombs, while fixing their own country... where do they even start? How do you fix perfection?

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 10 2020 20:05 utc | 35

I'd be curious to know whether the flight crew on board Flight PS752 had had sufficient rest. Three hours of resting do not seem like sufficient time but that depends on the journey the plane made to Tehran, the duration of that journey and where it started. Was the plane also checked for signs of wear and tear during the three-hour-plus pause?

Are UIA's owners (among them Ihor Kolomoisky) working their employees and hardware assets too hard and too cheaply as well?

Posted by: Jen | Jan 10 2020 20:06 utc | 36

You should look up the definition of cult and pay a little more attention to the kind of blogging culture that exists on this website.

No, I am not a member of the MEK nor do I associate myself with them, although I am well informed about the early history of the MEK (before the mullahs forced them out of the country and executed thousands of their members in prisons after they had served their sentences). I was referring to Tudeh, Workers Communist Part of Iran and Communist Party of Kurdistan.

You should find and print out a picture of this gentleman, though and place it on your wall.

Do listen to Montazeri's tape, which I posted a link to. He was designated by Khomeini to succeed him. Surely he is not a pro-monarchist, or MEK member or imperialist? It is amazing how many of you stoop to idiotic comments, without even confronting the facts that are thrown your way. Typical dodging behaviour.

Posted by: ninel | Jan 10 2020 20:06 utc | 37

@ ninel | Jan 10 2020 19:51 utc | 27

I am far more informed about Iranian politics, history, culture and religion than most people here.

Of course you are. You are a professional MeK troll, spending all your time in a tightly controlled agitprop boiker room.

You claim to be a communist working for the common good, but in reality you are a MeK serf, working for their paymasters. I bet most Iranians would rather suffer from the mullahs than from your cult leaders.

Posted by: Lurk | Jan 10 2020 20:07 utc | 38

So, mr nineinchnail, Saudi Arabia is a theocratic dictatorship which is the leading funder of terrorism in the world and has an abysmal record on human rights. When do the the USA freedom bombs start falling on Riyadh?

Posted by: nemo | Jan 10 2020 20:09 utc | 39

Dude the monsters are in the usa. Pull your cap up to your scalp so that your eyes can see ... that you can see rather than trying to lead the world of sight doesn’t need your kind of leadership via blind lying eyes.

Posted by: Thom Prentice | Jan 10 2020 20:15 utc | 40

I see from Ninel's comments that just by reading a few selected Wikipedia articles and associated disinformation websites affiliated with Radio Liberty / Radio Free Europe, and having contacts with a bunch of ageing acolytes of a crazed widow holed up somewhere in Albania who spend their time in call-centre cubicles trolling sites like MoA, I too can wear a magic Perseus cap and know more about Iranian politics, history, culture and religion than most MoA commenters.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 10 2020 20:16 utc | 41

Being critical of the IRI, because one has sufficient knowledge of its history, does not mean being supportive of the USA or Saudi Arabia or MEK or what have you. It seems most of you have a difficult time accepting this.

Some real gems you got following your blog b.

If some of the links I posted are actually 'news' to you, and some of the names I shared with you were unknown to you before, you really have no knowledge of the country, other than b's critiques of misinformation campaigns waged by the US and its allies on this site.

Do you all readily make up your opinion on other matters, unrelated to Iran, without first doing your 'homework'? That is quite disturbing.

This platform, nor any of you, are actually worth a troll's time. Their time is better spent on social media pages, not an obscure website which relatively few people know about, and whose comment section is filled with pro-Iran, Russia and China and anti-USA and its allies followers.

The world is a bit more nuanced than the 'us versus them' mentality that seems to be so pervasive among comment posters here.

Posted by: ninel | Jan 10 2020 20:23 utc | 42

@ Rob | Jan 10 2020 17:46 utc | 2

Yes. I think so too. Looks like the engine ran at reduced thrust as they turned, and then failed entirely at below minimum control speed, with the expected result, asymmetrical stall, yaw, roll, bang.

There are pictures of severe erosion of what looks like compressor wheel from, presumably, ingestion of foreign material. Crap on the runway probably, and pencil-whipped maintenance, I should imagine.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 10 2020 20:33 utc | 43

bevin | Jan 10 2020 18:52 utc | 15

Reuters was bought by Rothschild some years ago.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jan 10 2020 20:36 utc | 44

Thank you Lurk 38
I am so tired of the incessant trolls sucking up the oxygen. I wish b would install an ignore button.

Posted by: Linda Jean Doucett | Jan 10 2020 20:37 utc | 45

@42 ninel:
"This platform, nor any of you, are actually worth a troll's time. Their time is better spent on social media pages, not an obscure website which relatively few people know about, and whose comment section is filled with pro-Iran, Russia and China and anti-USA and its allies followers."

Ok Processor! So why are you hanging out on this "obscure web site" that nobody knows about? Showing off your shiny "magic" thinking cap, or could it be just some good old fashion....TROLLING?

And what's wrong with being "pro-Iran"? I thought that's why you came here edumucating the rest of us MOA bumpkins on how to be more properly pro-Iranian, if only we'd understand that they must give up the countries sovereignty to the west.

Posted by: time2wakeup | Jan 10 2020 20:40 utc | 46

OT (apologies, this belongs to another topic, alas.)

Voltaire / org has an essay on the Libyan affair. "There will come a time when the jihadist armies will cross the Mediterranean, the Italian islands (notably Lampedusa) and Malta being about 500 nautical miles away. The US 6th Fleet will intervene immediately to repel them under the North Atlantic and Maastricht Treaties, but chaos will inevitably spread to Western Europe. The Europeans who overthrew the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya will then only be left with their eyes to cry."

That's a fragment. Comforting, eh? And against a background of war between Empire and Iran, and one supposes Iraq...what can go wrong?

Posted by: Walter | Jan 10 2020 20:44 utc | 47

Ninel tries to paint the US's insane aggression against Iran in moral terms. There is nothing moral about it, just geopolitics. The US never got over Iran leaving their geopolitical orbit 40 years ago. It is a vendetta. America ignores the cruel and evil nature of compliant assets (allies) like Saudi Arabia for the simple fact that America cares nothing for human rights unless it can be used as a club to further it's own interests. So take your crocodile tears and shove off.

Posted by: nemo | Jan 10 2020 20:59 utc | 48

journey80@26 - Kiev is Ukrainian Airlines main hub. The 737 arrived from Kiev earlier that morning and was returning there.

Jen@36 - No reason to do anything but a cursory safety check at Tehran. The airline's mechanics are in Kiev - anything beyond a normal pre-flight check involving maintenance would be done there, not Tehran. I doubt the crew was rested. That's not how UAI rolls on it's hub round-trips.

UAI is also bleeding money like crazy. They're nearly bankrupt and stole the money they collect from passengers for the Ukraine Civil Aviation Authority fees. Tens of millions USD. The new CEO promises to fix everything somehow. I guess by overworking crews, skipping maintenance and crappy service. Those are always money-savers for cheap, poorly-run airlines (prior to bankruptcy). Too bad. Supposedly it wasn't that bad of an airline when they first added passenger service to their existing cargo ops a decade ago, but has been going downhill ever since.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 10 2020 21:01 utc | 49

Hi folks. I am quite certain that Ninel is who he says he is. I was once involved with an Iranian woman originally from Canada who was active in Tudeh. Her comrades had to smuggle her out of the country through the desert at night on the back of a mule. She said a lot of her comrades were murdered by the IRI. He's right. They did hijack a revolution that was originally spearheaded in part by Communist and other secular Leftists.

I know he is real because I know exactly how these people talk. He's spouting their line all the way. I'm not against the Iranian Communists. But I wish that at this painful hour, they would rally to the support of the regime on a nationalist basis as some former members of the Shah's regime have. There comes a time when you need to support your country.

The Iranian Communists are very angry. The IRI out and out murdered a lot of their people and did the same to a lot of early MEK (who may have been more sane at the time) also. The secular left have not done well under the IRI. I disagree with Ninel. I think the IRI is socialist, very socialist, one of the most socialist regimes on Earth. One could hope that the secular Left could reach some sort of a loyal opposition agreement with the IRI on the basis that the regime is pro-people, pro-poor, and socialist to the core.

The IRI has a poor human rights record. Let's get real. It's hard to justify putting a young woman in prison for four years for recording a song singing and dancing. The regime needs to lighten up. A loyal but critical opposition would be a great thing to have.

He's not MEK and he's not a Zionist troll. This is how these guys think. A lot of Western Communists also hate the IRI, by the way. They also hate Russia, China, and well, everyone, I guess. They're basically Trots with a history of being more or less unwitting contras.

I wish Ninel would stick around so we can have a debate about what should and especially could be done about the political situation inside of Iran.

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Jan 10 2020 21:01 utc | 50

Walter @47

Maybe the situation in Libya is not so hopeless as that? Someone here (wish I could remember in order to give proper credit) recently posted video of residents welcoming the LNA by waving the green flag of the Jamahiriya. That's a more comforting fragment. If the Libyan people recognize the value of what they have lost, maybe they will work towards rebuilding the Jamahiriya, or something like it.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 10 2020 21:04 utc | 51

The odd part about this Ukraine airline is that it started flights to Iran shortly after the US takeover of Ukraine. When the CIA where flying the US flag alongside the Ukraine flag at SBU headquarters. Seems to me they (CIA) were getting a foot in the door for future operations against Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2020 21:10 utc | 52

imo "focusing on the political situation inside iran" is a distraction meant to justify assassinating one of its most popular leaders. focus on the u.s. wars and regime changes in the middle east (and asia, and south and central america) instead.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 10 2020 21:22 utc | 53

@ vk, #3

I didn't find the article on TASS. Maybe it was in its Russian version, or in its TV/Radio/Podcast version.

Here's the source, an article in Russian:

Posted by: alaff | Jan 10 2020 21:34 utc | 54

What does Ninel mean?
The name Ninel is of Russian origin.
The meaning of Ninel is "modern invented name".
Ninel is generally used as a girl's name.
It consists of 5 letters and 2 syllables and is pronounced Ni-nel.
Meaning of Ninel
"modern invented name"

"Some real gems you got following your blog b."
So why are you here?

Posted by: Curtis | Jan 10 2020 21:38 utc | 55

Ocams razor... bookies odds... planes fall out o the sky from time to time for all sorts of reasons not related to malicious activity. What are the odds of this occurring in Iran shortly after an Iran strike on a US base.
The US has and does use terrorist tactics such as shooting down passenger jets. Trump threatened Iran with retribution against cultural sites and so forth (terrorist actions). Fifty two targets of fifty two ways of getting back at Iran.
What are the odds US would down a passenger jet in Iran within hours of Iran's strike against their base.

I have to go with US terrorist actions for that one. Similar to the protests in Iraq. The people had genuine grievances as do all good color revolutions but the were just too advantageous for the US for it not to be a made in the US color revolution style protest. We now know from the Iraq PM that is exactly what it was.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2020 21:39 utc | 56

The odds are unrelated unless there's agency. No agency has been credibly proposed. You know this is so, as the probability maths in se have been discussed previously @ MoA.

But of course, the US does murder all over the place, so if there is agency, then I tend to agree with the idea that "they" or their cohort in zionishland may be causative. What are the "odds" that the engine shown has severe blade erosion? Again 100% . Engine swallows scrap off the tarmac...a dependent relation, drop junk in engine, blades damaged, run at 100%, 100% "chance" of engine failure.

Repeating the essence of the matter of odds>

"Two events are independent, statistically independent, or stochastically independent if the occurrence of one does not affect the probability of occurrence of the other (equivalently, does not affect the odds). Similarly, two random variables are independent if the realization of one does not affect the probability distribution of the other."

ie without a dependent relationship the odds are whatever the odds are for engine failure and crash. And the other odds don't exist, because those events, the shooting, was not random or accidental. The odds of Iran firing rockets in reprisal was dependent on the US attacks, ie 100%

But if you're building engines at GE, or obsolete defective airplanes in Seattle, then of course the odds are that you devoutly wish it was a rocket up the tailpipe... Pay-day's come Friday, and all of that...

Posted by: Walter | Jan 10 2020 22:05 utc | 57


The APU will auto-shutdown for the following reasons:

Low oil pressure
High oil temperature / Fault

Posted by: dave | Jan 10 2020 22:29 utc | 58

Robert Lindsay | Jan 10 2020 21:01 utc | 50

"I wish Ninel would stick around so we can have a debate about what should and especially could be done about the political situation inside of Iran."

Why not invite Pompeo and Lindsey Graham. If not professors they are world leaders and are filled with ways to fix the political situation in Iran.

Wouldn’t that be helpful Robert?

Posted by: diveshopingoa | Jan 10 2020 22:31 utc | 59

Would like to see debunk the NYT video:

Have checked it myself (google earth etc) after being skeptical and the landmarks and sounds do indeed seem to match.

Posted by: t | Jan 10 2020 22:38 utc | 60

A question for the bar: If a person no longer resides in the nation of their birth and has acquired citizenship in another nation, is that person still seen as a member of its previous polity? Do they become hyphenated as with Mexican-American or African-American, a distinction usually not self-ascribed. How is that done elsewhere; does one become a German-Turk or Aussie-Indonesian? The naturalized citizenship oath of the Outlaw US Empire that demands all who pass the test must swear allegiance to is very clear and specific:

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

And in relation to the bolded text above, how can one have dual citizenship when one is to "absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure" any such additional ties?

So, former Iranians residing in Panama are now Panamanians, not Iranians, and so forth. Perhaps in the modern globalized world there's no longer room for the nation-state construct if people are to be free to choose the polity they want to align with regardless of where they reside. Unfortunately as the above oath shows quite well, that concept has yet to become established. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, people are deemed to have the right to transit borders unrestricted so they may reside within the nation of their choice; but once you settle, you have the responsibility to become involved in the polity you chose and to relinquish the political ties to your former nation. Yet, some nations allow their overseas nationals to vote in their elections even if they've acquired citizenship in their new nation thus further complicating the situation. And then there's the UN Charter to contend with when it comes to meddling in the affairs of another nation not your own.

For me, the answer's easy, yet when fully spelled out is lengthy. The short version is similar to the oath above, which is akin to my military oath of service. What the Nuremburg Principles and its Responsibilities of the Citizen add is my duty to try and prevent harm being done to other nations and people by my nation--something known by only a select few who study that event.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 10 2020 22:44 utc | 61

To the MeK trolls and their apologists:

Nobody here at MoA is actually defending or pleading in favor of the theocratic aspects of the Iranian government. So why do you come here and try to change the subject to that? Your insinuations are false and your attempted derailments are foul.

Many here are trying to cut through the fog of government and media lies in the west. Your attempts to divert this focus makes you appear as agents of these liars. MeK is an obvious example of CIA paid propagandists and there are plenty more of such groups. Some are even openly state-operated, such as UK's Integrity Initiative. If there is any sincerity to you and your claims, then stop acting like agents of evil. Or suffer being called out as a troll.

Posted by: Lurk | Jan 10 2020 22:50 utc | 62

This link is worth reading. I can't play the video on my computer, but we will see if this theory gains traction during the next few days.

Posted by: Bigben | Jan 10 2020 22:51 utc | 63

@ ninel... you have been around moa for a while but post very infrequently.. i remember you from the past..

posting propaganda sites like wikpedia @4 or radiofarda @22 - both funded by the usa, do you no benefit... as for your comment "I'm a distinguished professor." i don't doubt that, but your field of distinction is clearly not in usa foreign policy agenda or iran culture.. that is obvious... i have known more then a few university profs.. i can say with authority that some of them are very knowledgeable in their area of expertise, and can be quite ignorant in a host of other areas.. you clearly fall into this category.. i also hope you stick around as @50 robert lindsey says too, but please don't try to lay any bullshite about you being some bright person on the topic at hand, as clearly you are not..

Posted by: james | Jan 10 2020 22:55 utc | 64

Not content with murder by robot flyers and threats of atomic war, the Superpower navy still has trouble with rules-based navigation... The COLLREGS...these do not apply for "superpowers" attempting to start a war.

MoF ru twitter> "US destroyer blatantly violated international rules for preventing collisions at sea by making a manoeuvre to cross the Russian ship's course in the North Arabian Sea"

No doubt they were distracted by a Russian rocket fired by Iranian submarine...

Posted by: Walter | Jan 10 2020 23:00 utc | 65


I know NYT is a sham, and believe me I held my intellectual nose as I went into its site. It's not somewhere I frequent at all.

I did think about the point you made too, but there are 2 issues:

1) In the other 2 videos we see the plane as it's already burning, we don't see it in its "before" state. For me it's reasonable to imagine the hit on the impact caused some initial burning which was extinguished due to wind, and then started back up again a few moments after the NYT video ended and before the other 2 videos began.

2) If the NYT video is indeed doctored (and for me it would be a pretty convincing doctor), why wouldn't the creator simply keep the light going until the end of the vid?

Posted by: t | Jan 10 2020 23:02 utc | 66

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 10 2020 18:10 utc | 6

After the engine failure, was there another falure that wasn't
noticed or did the crew simply shutdown the wrong engine.

A search for "shut down of wrong engine after engine failure"
gives lots of results.


Posted by: kjhaze | Jan 10 2020 23:17 utc | 67

Syrian Girl @Partisangirl just tweeted that the video sent to the NYT was edited - Jump Cut. I am in no position to comment on this - maybe some MoA barflies can though.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 10 2020 23:24 utc | 68

I have always considered it a sign that a discussion is on the right track when a troll shows up followed closely by a ditto-head or two.

Professor J-Dogg

Posted by: J-Dogg | Jan 10 2020 23:29 utc | 69

Iran to Announce Cause of Ukraine Jet Crash Tomorrow - Reports

Iran will announce the cause of the Ukrainian Boeing 737 crash after the accident investigation commission meeting on Saturday, the Fars News agency reported on Thursday, citing a source familiar with the matter.

"Tomorrow, after the meeting of the civil aviation accident investigation commission, the cause of the crash of the Ukrainian passenger plane will be announced", the source said.

Domestic and foreign parties, whose citizens died in the crash, will take part in the Saturday meeting, the outlet added. They will announce the reason for the accident after reviewing the preliminary report.

Ukraine says Iran cooperating with Boeing crash probe, calls to reduce media speculation

[.]Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko asked that the media not spread “unconfirmed” information on Friday, pleading with reporters to “reduce the level of speculation” while the probe continues. The experts are still analyzing evidence, looking at the bodies of the victims and the wreckage in hope of gaining insight into what took down Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, killing all 176 people on board.[,]

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 10 2020 23:39 utc | 70

@ Ninel 4, the brainless professor

Please get off our lawn.!!!!. Go pound sand elsewhere.

Distinguished fellow regulars and guests at the bar, it is a waste of precious bandwidth and energies to engage the stupid from Nettiyahoo's den.

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 10 2020 23:46 utc | 71

@ james | Jan 10 2020 22:55 utc | 67

A cursory search learns that ninel/Ninel visits topics related to Iran almost exclusively. Barflies complain about misdirection and links to radio farda not only in this topic. It certainly fits the MeK troll narrative.

About the claimed professorate I would not assume anything. It could be "professor at an elementary school". It could even be "professor" at some phony diy mailbox institute. Making claims and then not responding when called out does not convince me at all and your professed credulity changes none of that.

Posted by: Lurk | Jan 11 2020 0:43 utc | 72

If no one had engaged with nine-drongos the thread would not have been disrupted and perhaps a useful dialog about the plane crash could have ensued. Those who did swallow the hook are just as guilty the original whatabouter of making this thread useless - good job. I would say exercise some discipline but that would be a waste of breath given the insecurities about their beliefs too many here apparently have. Letting some arsehole spout uninterrupted is a better indication of your point of view than anger, hysteria or ad hominem. Your stupidity has caused a thread to fail.

Posted by: A User | Jan 11 2020 1:27 utc | 73

@ 77 lurk.. i went and did a search.. ninel has been here since jan 2018.. almost all the links he comments on are directly iran related.. i have to conclude like you - fits the mek troll narrative.. people can say a lot of things, but it is usually very selective and the important info is left missing.. the info that is given is used to manipulate.. ''i'm a distinguished professor'' seems like really poor manipulation skills on his part as they are so transparent..

Posted by: james | Jan 11 2020 1:32 utc | 74

I'm sure I read somewhere (possibly Syrian Civil War reddit, unless it was actually here in an old thread) that the video was edited when published by some Western media, but that there was also the original one on Twitter - most probably on the account of the guy who filmed it? From what I remember, there wasn't much lost. As said above, the most important part is that there's a hit and then basically nothing. So if there were damages to the plane, it took some time before it became a real fire. This would make me wonder if it was really a big air defense missile or something lighter - like a manpad. The fact the "missile" is the only thing clearly visible in the sky before the hit rules out a drone - we see the exhaust fire.

Now about Ninel, she shouldn't be stupid and take us for idiots. It's well-known that there were 2 major components in the Iranian revolution: leftist/communist rebels and Islamist ones. Some Western powers didn't mind that much the overthrow of the Shah, but pretty much all were openly supporting Khomeini and his buddies after the Shah left and were quite glad when they purged the communists, jailing and killing them by the thousands (basically a smaller version of the Indonesian purges of the early 60s). It's only once the communists had been betrayed both by the West and by Iranian islamists and once the Islamic Republic was firmly established and in control of the country that the West saw how problematic it would be for its own interests - then they went to see Saddam and convinced him to attack.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 11 2020 1:32 utc | 75

The Ukies know how to obliterate a debris field. MH-17—They used artillery for months to keep OSCE and Dutch officials away, and despite the locals working to protect the deceased and the debris, body parts have been found years later.

Patience, folks. The truth will come out.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 11 2020 1:34 utc | 76

The Ukies know how to obliterate a debris field. MH-17—They used artillery for months to keep OSCE and Dutch officials away, and despite the locals working to protect the deceased and the debris, body parts have been found years later.

Patience, folks. The truth will come out.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 11 2020 1:34 utc | 77

#57 posted by Poor Ramin Mazaheri who works for Press TV and has had many articles published on The Saker. He would describe the Iranian economy as socialist with Iranian charters. The link to the article below is an excellent source for information on Iran's economy.

What comes as a surprise to me is ICAO seems to have some integrity. It seems the US and friends haven't completely taken it over.

You can judge someone by their friends. NATO and the terrorists in Idlib have backed the killing of Soleimani. Who seems to enjoy killing civilians? The US just droned killed 60 civilians in Afghanistan. Information provided by the Iraqi prime minister showed the US is willing to use snipers and paid protesters to tear Iraq apart. They utterly destroyed Mosul and Raqqa without regard for civilians. The Syrian government has tried to avoid civilian deaths, which is why those who want to cause chaos in the region always accuses them of targeting civilians. So the US would have no problem getting MEK to or some other group to shoot the plane down but I'm leaning against that scenario.

The US has been planning to control oil for a long time. In 1975 a feasibility study was prepared for the Special Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on International Relations on "Oil fields as military objectives", better described as bringing Democracy to the Middle East. Well, they did that sorta in Iraq, and now the Iraq government has politely asked the US to leave and the Iranians have demonstrated to them why they should leave. I'm not sure if the Ukrainian plane crashing is the next move the US has made in this great game, but I would put my money on shoddy management of the Ukrainian plane. Why not, the country is barely functioning. I doubt the plane was hit with a missle. More likely the US can't pass up an opportunity for stirring trouble and the MSM has no problem memory holing another lie.

Posted by: Tom | Jan 11 2020 2:03 utc | 78

Maybe relevant info for an investigation why Iranian air defense mistook a big passenger jet taking off from Tehran airport for a fighter jet coming from another country?
US launched cyber attack on Iranian rockets and missiles – reports

Targeted strike on computer-controlled weapons of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard had been planned over weeks

Reports say Donald Trump approved a cyber attack on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that disabled computer systems controlling rocket and missiles launchers. Photograph: EPA

The US military launched a cyber-attack on Iranian weapons systems on Thursday, according to sources, as President Donald Trump backed away from plans for a more conventional strike in response to Iran’s downing of a US surveillance drone.

The hack disabled Iranian computer systems that controlled its rocket and missile launchers, two officials told the Associated Press, and were conducted with approval from Trump. A third official confirmed the broad outlines of the strike. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly about the operation.

Posted by: Koen | Jan 11 2020 2:22 utc | 79

re: james | Jan 11 2020 1:32 utc | 79
Are you certain that jan 2018 was the first post?
I seem to remember that nym goes back much longer - always about Iran tho. I also seem to remember it was that whatabouter who caused us to challenge the hereforto underappreciated fact that expats or descendants of expats, tended to have a worse reputation for truth/objectivity than the proverbial 'person in the street', as they had a set of biases reinforced beyond the point of reality by the echo-chamber effect of a bitter & frustrated expat community which was often seeded by amerikan agents of influence.

I understand that Iranian leftists feel frustrated and although they joined in the revolution, the bulk of their membership tended to be urban & bourgeois where Kohemeni deliberately went the opposite way by cultivating rural communities who were staunchly religious if illiterate - hence propagandising via tape cassette.

We can never know if Iran's socialists would have treated the islamic revolutionaries the same way as they got treated, history would suggest so, but the reality was that the Islamic Revolution had the numbers and the interim government installed after the Pahlavi mob scuttled away in January 1979, did invite Kohemeni into government. Most likely in the mistaken belief that they (the local elite plus amerika) could control him.

The socialists had little outside support as a disconnected and probably senile Leonid Brezhnev had elected to keep the Stalin undertaking to Roosevelt & Truman, that Iran was to be amerika's bailiwick. Even if they regret it now, cos political islam has been a much bigger pain in the arse for Russia than it has been for amerika, there was little they could have done at the time, in that moment, as the USSR had deliberately refused assistance to local lefties over the decades, only amusing themselves by cranking up ethnic disturbances in Kurdestan and Azerbaijan, that finished post 1946 probably in the forlorn hope that the amerikan empire would quit interfering in Soviet business.

Of course Khomeini was wrong to kill the lefties, but the fact that the executions didn't really kick off until 10 years after the revolution suggests to me that the initial desire to let bygones be bygones had been subsumed by a need to protect a fragile, first of its kind revolution from destruction by types who lacked popular support so would have been wise to give those who did have popular support a fair go.
Remember that Khomeini called a national referendum to decide if Iran should become an islamic republic, and the new constitution was also affirmed by referendum.

IMO all this is irrelevant since most of the former Iranians I have talked to after the attacks on the Popular Mobilization Forces, then the murders of Qasim Soleimani and the others are strongly, fiercely, I would say, supportive of Iran. The former Iranians I know in Aotearoa and Oz range from types connected to the Pahlavi mob who have been here since 1979, to gay men who say they find being gay in Iran too restrictive & oppressive.

These are not people one would normally find supporting the government of the Islamic State of Iran, yet they do, because over the years they have seen that amerika is motivated solely by greed, a greed so extreme no type of excess or violence is considered "off the table" by amerika and its close allies, chiefly Occupied Palestine & england as fine a crew of cruel hypocrites as it is possible to find on this planet.

Posted by: A User | Jan 11 2020 3:59 utc | 80

Breaking news says that Iranian TV reports that Iran "unintentionally" shot down the Ukrainian airliner.

Posted by: Carson | Jan 11 2020 4:07 utc | 81


The news via New Zealand:

Iran says it 'unintentionally' shot down Ukrainian plane - NZ Herald

Iran has announced its military 'unintentionally' shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 aboard.

The statement came Saturday morning local time and blamed "human error" for the shootdown.

The jetliner, a Boeing 737 operated by Ukrainian International Airlines...

The official statement in Farsi is here.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jan 11 2020 4:12 utc | 82

Iran has admitted it shot it down by accident. That's what I expected since the evidence was mounting in favor of that view. However USA still shoulders most of the responsibility.

Posted by: Doryphore | Jan 11 2020 4:18 utc | 83

And IRAN just held a news conference saying it was human error and that they did shoot it down by mistake.
I'm very curious as to how they arrived at that conclusion.

Posted by: Annie | Jan 11 2020 4:23 utc | 84

Lindsey @ 50

Correct, the Ninel character sure sounds like pretty familiar with the Tudeh circles. Also correct, the human rights record of the IRI is of course hair-raising.
But so what? Regrettable as it may be to many people, it's Iran's internal problem. We are concerned here about empire and opposing it and any murderous, tyrannical dictatorship is welcome as long as it helps against the Empire. That simple. And the few Tudeh types that imitate the Trotskysts by prioritizing their private vengeance over the anti-imperialist fight are American agents anyway, no need to prove conscious collaboration.

Posted by: joe | Jan 11 2020 4:35 utc | 85

I see the thread was hijacked by a certain professor ninel.

Not to encourage this individual, but I wonder what he thinks of Hezbollah? I would equate ninel with the kurd mentality, disloyal to the resistance and selfish.

Zionism is the grotesque mutation that morphed from being stateless and ungrateful to getting a state and then wanting much more i.e. to control the region and basically the world and therein lies the problem. This control has brought chaos and destruction and consequently gave rise to RESISTANCE by those who reject its oppressive fascist-like expansionist imperial domination. I see the latter simply as modern supremacist fascism.

Resistance is slow-burn warfare waged by the less powerful to wear down the financially and militarily powerful enemy.

When you are part of the resistance there is the enemy and then there are collaborators who wittingly or unwittingly help the enemy. Ninel may be the unwitting collaborator, or maybe the willing type. Unfortunately, while the goal of collaborators seems reasonable it does not foment strength or unity, and collaborators will do anything to achieve their goal even aligning themselves with the AngloZionist enemy and, naturally, betraying the resistance. The AngloZionist Empire is a formidable, totally corrupt enemy responsible for great suffering, oppression and destruction that preys upon the slightest weakness therefore collaborators who put their narrow interests above the higher purpose of resistance cannot be trusted or tolerated. Collaborators are a serious moral catch-22 for the resistance. Therefore they are easily lured by sympathy and humanitarian psyops used by the enemy as a trap against the resistance. I don't agree with killing collaborators, however, I cannot tolerate their self-righteousness or sympathize with their selish narrow interests that again either wittingly or unwittingly weaken the resistance and surrender the moral high ground to the Anglo/Zionist Empire.

The IRI is a powerful resistance that must prevail and ninel imo is the witting or unwitting collaborator much like the Kurds. Reasoning with them is a waste of time.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 11 2020 5:30 utc | 86

@TJ, #21: many thanks for the link.

Posted by: Ernesto Che | Jan 11 2020 6:23 utc | 87

iran has come clean.. it's most unfortunate, but the fact they have said they were responsible is the best way forward.. of course they would have been on edge, but they messed up and have accepted responsibility for the accident..

@80 koen.. i wonder if that is any factor here? the article is from 6 months ago.. i suspect human error...

@ 81 a user... i thought it was further back too.. unless the search engine feature doesn't let one see past a certain point, that was what i found via the search feature..

Posted by: james | Jan 11 2020 7:18 utc | 88

There will be the search for the guilty and then the punishment of the innocent but most problems are inherent in the system ' W.E Deming'

As at work, a problem is often silos. Everybody is in one.
The true root of the cause is still not known but all are now speculating wildly.
Also, anyone notice that the more egregious the event, the more all call for immediate announcement of who is guilty. . Cause, especially root cause goes out of the window. Now, a few days after the event the fact that the cause was not blasted from the roof tops is immediately is attacked viciously. Wait for investigators to sift through the evidence and write their report. The dead will not be affected by any delay - Only the lynch mob.

Posted by: intp1 | Jan 11 2020 7:49 utc | 89

Yep. Britrs talk funny. That is probably why the colonies took off on their own.

Any aircraft that goes nose-in at speed will be a mess. The plane in the Congo however, didn't have all them little holes that suggest a close encounter with anti-aircraft warhead fragments. We can see that aspect of the "crash" even if the media person knew what he meant. Engine failure is a common situation that pilots practice for. Engine failure, even when a fan dis-associates itself, is survivable, unless you are the passenger who catches one of the larger fan chunks. The engines are mounted forward of the wing for a reason (several, actually).

The Iowa L-1011 years ago, suffered a fan failure and looked "normal" on the exterior. None of that "fire in the sky" that the Ukrainian aircraft showed. Even before the missile seaker nose section was found among the bodies, a missile of some kind was likely.

How does one say "Ooops" in Farsi/Persian?

Posted by: Mike-SMO | Jan 11 2020 14:59 utc | 90


Care to update your expert analysis Rob?

Posted by: C | Jan 11 2020 17:35 utc | 91

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