Archive | May 2015

A puzzling new report on the downing of flight MH17

Puzzling indeed …

Hans de Vreij's blog

On Tuesday 5 May the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta published a hitherto unknown report about the downing of flight MH17. It was reportedly drafted by (anonymous) engineers working in Russia’s military-industrial complex. Novaya Gazeta itself did not draw conclusions from the report, other than the headline ‘It was a Buk M1’, and by writing that the report raised ‘new questions’. That it certainly does.

The official line in the Russian Federation is that flight MH17 was downed by an Ukrainian Su-25 ground attack fighter plane. But the new report rejects that conclusion. Its authors have studied pictures of the wreckage, their distribution over a relatively wide area, and for example the picture of shrapnel published earlier this year by Dutch RTL correspondent Jeroen Akkermans.

The conclusion of the new inquiry: flight MH17 was downed by a Buk M1 surface-to-air missile. The engineers also calculated the probable location from which the missile was…

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If Charlie Hebdo is racist, then so am I — Zineb el-Rhazoui responds to Olivier Cyran

The Charnel-House

Once more on the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Since it happened more than a week ago, various commentators have explored the issue of the magazine’s alleged Islamophobia. A quality that, if I might say so myself, is quite often in evidence. Nevertheless, the matter is more complex and opaque than a few unambiguously racist images lifted from their original context would suggest.

For starters, I’d recommend checking out the Olivier Cyranarticlefrom 2013, translated by Daphne Lawless, to get a sense of some of the internal dissent that existed within their editorial team since 2001. But I’ve done some looking around and learned that even this article probably isn’t definitive, since it’s pretty clear Cyran had a messy falling out with some of the staff at Charlie Hebdo. Still, I don’t think Cyran can be entirely discredited even if he did have an axe to grind with some…

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