After weeks of protests and growing suspicion, Dutch authorities overseeing the investigation of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 have finally included Malaysia as a member of its Joint Investigation Team (JIT).
Malaysia had made it clear it was immensely displeased with its inexplicable exclusion from JIT formed after the downing of MH17 over eastern Ukraine. Including NATO members (Belgium and the Netherlands), a defacto NATO collaborator (Australia) and a potential culprit in the air disaster (Ukraine), Malaysia’s exclusion looked to be a part of an ongoing cover-up amid a larger attempt to use the disaster to frame Russia and advance NATO’s agenda in Eastern Europe.
The conflict amid which MH17 was shot down is perceived to be a proxy conflict between NATO and Russia. That the investigation includes exclusively pro-NATO members or NATO members themselves, both the conduct of the investigation and any conceivable outcome would be highly suspect. Malaysia, the only nation directly effected by the disaster and perceived of being beyond the direct influence of NATO, would have provided a much needed counterbalance.
Now that it has become a member of JIT, analysts must vigilantly watch to ensure it is allowed full access to evidence and equal participatory standings. While Malaysia’s inclusion provides hope that JIT will now be unable to pursue a political agenda with impunity, the possibility is high that NATO will simply cite Malaysia’s inclusion in JIT to legitimize its actions, no matter how biased the conduct of JIT’s investigation may be or how skewed its outcome, even if Malaysia raises protests over both,
Alternative Media’s Role in JIT Reversal
The diminishing primacy of the West’s powerful global media monopoly may be partially why Malaysia was finally included in JIT. Had there been no alternatives to this monopoly, including networks rising up in developing nations and among BRICS, as well as the more decentralized alternative media of “citizen journalists,” Malaysia’s protests simply would have been tuned out and other issues put forward to cover up the glaringly compromised nature of JIT’s original members and their methodology.
It was also revealed that JIT had arranged agreements among members to bar the release of certain information when deemed necessary. With Malaysia excluded from JIT, any number of relevant or incriminating pieces of evidence could have already been purged from the investigation while other pieces of evidence fabricated to take their place. The alternative media played a crucial role in bringing this suspicious arrangement to the public’s attention.
In all, large and growing outrage over what was clearly a politically motivated investigation was given a platform by the alternative media to reach a wider general public. Unable to ignore obvious misconduct in the investigation and a glaring lack of objectivity and impartiality because of this fact, may have forced NATO to include Malaysia despite the obvious restraints it would put on its attempt to whitewash the investigation.
What Malaysia Must Do Now
Malaysia must ask the questions and demand the evidence required to determine whether or not evidence was destroyed or switched during its absence in JIT, then ensure an impartial, objective investigation is pursued to determine the cause of MH17’s fateful crash and who was responsible. It must ensure it is included in all matters of the investigation and that pro-NATO members are unable to pursue avenues unilaterally without Malaysia’s knowledge and input.
If the alternative media did indeed play a role in helping Malaysia obtain a position within JIT, the truest test will be for the same media platform to now ensure NATO does not simply use Malaysia’s inclusion in JIT to force through foregone, biased and deceitful conclusions. The alternative media must help Malaysia bring any grievances it may have with JIT’s other members and their methods during the investigation to the forefront of public attention.
Inconsistencies and findings Malaysia may publish that run contradictory to NATO’s conclusions and innuendos must also be brought to the public’s attention via the alternative media, considering much of MH17’s investigation has either been spun or covered up entirely by the West’s media monopolies.
What the Drawn Out, Suspicious Investigation Already Tells Us
Had NATO truly been sure of Russia’s culpability in MH17’s downing, carrying out a quick, transparent, and inclusive investigation none could question would have been at the forefront of NATO’s agenda. Instead, a shadowy investigation carried out by a stacked Joint Investigation Team, excluding a nation effected directly by the disaster for no apparent reason besides its residing beyond NATO’s direct sphere of influence reeks of a cover up or at best, an attempt to spin an uncertain chain of events into a politically and strategically favorable outcome.
For JIT’s original members not to have vocally protested this suspicious behavior and multiple conflicts of interest, illustrate that much of JIT’s work regardless of Malaysia’s inclusion in the process lacks the legitimacy of a truly objective and impartial process.
That NATO cannot conduct the investigation in a transparent manner and has resorted to multiple attempts to imply Russian culpability before presenting concrete evidence suggests there is either no evidence to implicate Russia at this time, or there exists evidence that directly contradict NATO’s claims.
Regardless, it will be up to the alternative media to provide the necessary checks and balances the Western media should, but won’t provide itself. Independent analysts must continue examining the ongoing investigation and reporting inconsistencies in both methods and outcomes. By stopping NATO from exploiting tragedy to advance its own agenda amid the MH17 case, future disasters may see a speedy, objective investigation and perhaps, may not occur at all.
Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.