The Propaganda of Death 155

The terrible loss of life in the Malaysian air crash is tragic.  But the attempt to ramp up a terrorism scare is ghoulish.  We even had both the BBC and Sky speculating that it was the Uighurs.  Now the suppression of Uighur culture and religion by the Chinese had been a great and long-term evil, and the West has been only too eager to shoehorn their story into the “Islamic terrorism” story.  There is of course an enormous security industry, both government and private, which makes a very fat living out of “combating Islamic terrorism”, and a media  which make a fat living out of helping to ramp it.  Their spreading of fear has been extraordinarily successful given that Islamic terrorism is an extraordinarily low level threat and people throughout the Western world are vastly more likely to drown in their own bath than be killed by an Islamic terrorist.  Indeed you are about 1,000 times more likely to be killed by a member of your own family than by an Islamic terrorist, though the risk of either is extremely slim.

The media uncritically trotted out the story that it was Uighur terrorists who were responsible for the dreadful knife attack at a Chinese railway station – with no evidence except that the Chinese government say so.  Only when they impugn the Uighurs does the western media drop its wary disbelief of statements from the Chinese government.

There is no evidence at all that the Malaysian plane was brought down by terrorists.  The Air France plane crash in 2009, for example, was caused by ice crystals in the pitot tubes giving incorrect air speed readings to the autopilot – this was because the plane had been incorrectly cleaned with a pressure hose rather than damp cloths.  Most air crashes are caused by faulty maintenance procedures. [A number of people have since commented that pilot error is a more frequent cause.  They may be right – but Uighur terrorists it ain’t].

The two people on board with false passports were routed on to Amsterdam, and the obvious explanation is that they were illegal immigrants who had bought stolen passports.  This is very common indeed.  I know from my own diplomatic experience that passports frequently have to be replaced by tourists who no longer have them.  I also know (and I do not refer to the specific individuals referred here) that very frequently indeed the person who has “lost” the passport has sold it.  At tourist hotspots likely people are often approached to sell their passport, (about US$600 is the going rate for an EU passport) and then declare it stolen and apply for a new one.  It is a scam you encounter frequently in backpacking destinations, Thailand being a key example.

It is a peculiar kind of terrorism which does not seek to claim “credit” or publicise what has been done..  No suicide videos have emerged.  That the Uighurs would attack a plane from a state of their fellow Muslims is a ludicrous claim.  Do not be taken in by the Ministry of Fear and its media lackeys.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

155 thoughts on “The Propaganda of Death

1 2 3 4 6
  • Ba'al Zevul ( Il burattino!)

    ‘Aircraft flown by high quality international carriers like MAS do not disintegrate at 35,000ft from mechanical error in perfect weather and with a highly experienced aircrew.’

    OTOH it remains to be demonstrated that the aircraft disintegrated at altitude – which would certainly imply an explosion as one possible cause, and no more than that. Too many theories, not enough data.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Well, ELSO, I have had about 30 articles published in referred journals like History, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, Government & Opposition, Political Studies, Irish Historical Studies, Studia Hibernica,,Eire-Ireland, Durham University Journal, Comparative Politics, Studies, etc. about the plots surrounding the careers of Henry Brougham, A, V Dicey, and others. plus biographies of the two men.

    Who are you, and what have you done?

  • Ba'al Zevul ( Il burattino!)

    The Durham University Journal – for historians – closed in 1995. Studia Hibernica is the Irish studies journal issued annually by St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. Neither the college nor the journal, nor any other listed here, has any connection with aviation issues.


  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Beg to differ as the articles had a lot to do with plotting and plots – what these conspiracies pertain to.

    I research what men do with machines, weapons, and words.

  • Herbie

    “Stolen passports used to board missing Malaysian flight were in Interpol database, but no one checked”

    Interpol however say that very few airlines consistently use its database.

    Any significance in two non-Asian passengers travelling together on stolen passports, buying tickets at same time and place but with differing final destinations, Copenhagen and Frankfurt?

    “At least two of the passengers were travelling using false identities. An Austrian listed in the manifest had reported his passport stolen in 2012 and an Italian listed in the manifest had reported his passport stolen in August 2013; both were stolen in Thailand. This came to light when attempts were made to locate their next of kin; both men have been confirmed safe.[1][77] The tickets bought by the holders of those stolen passports were sold by China Southern Airlines.[78] The two tickets were bought at the same time and issued by a travel agent in Pattaya, Thailand, two days before the flight. The two itineraries begin in Kuala Lumpur and continue via Beijing to Amsterdam. Then the itinerary for the Italian passport holder continues to Copenhagen while the other itinerary for the Austrian passport holder continues to Frankfurt.[79] Malaysian immigration officials failed to question the passengers travelling on the stolen European passports. Interpol confirmed that only very few countries consistently use its stolen passport data base”

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The failure of the aviation experts, the media and most posters here to deal with what is an unprecedented crash is quite pathetic as it shows their inability to deal with reality – they are like the relatives of those killed, hanging around the airports, hoping that they will be told that it isn’t so.

    Instead of being like even the DM this time where the lack of signals and wreckage is treated as if there are no clues, they should be talking about how a scheduled plane with 239 passengers on board could possibly have disappeared.

    The obvious answer is that it and they were essentially vaporized, and then the question is how can this happen, when the Pentagon says that there was no explosion. .

    The answer must be that the plane was sabotaged in such a way that this could happen: a bolt of lightning was manufactured on the cruising plane, causing it to become so unstable that it soon disintegrated.

    Only a bolt which followed a beam back into the plane, especially its cabin, could have done this, as fuselages are protected against such bolts hitting them naturally.

    Just concentrate on finding the cockpit voice recorder as it contains the only information now about what really happened.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!


    You make several good points, but the rather vehement tone of your post is only justified if the UK media have really been seeking to present this as an instance of (Islamic) terrorism.

    Now I don’t know if that’s the case, but the little British Sunday press I’ve seen certainly didn’t seem to be doing that: my impression was that they were putting it forward as only one of a number of hypotheses and without any particular emphasis. That is certainly how the continental European press is commenting today.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    I’ve now started reading the comments.

    The very first one – from Tovarish Goss – immediately diverts into (1) Lockerbie and (2) Ukraine.

    Of course.

    I’d naively thought that the theme of Craig’s post was the way in which “Islamic terrorism” is ramped up by the press whenever and wherever possible.

    I’ll obviously have to read Craig’s article again.

  • old mark

    Herbie @2.18

    The link to the info on Wikipedia (if reliable) concerning the 2 guys on false passports makes the illegal immigration connection Craig floated, and I endorsed a while back, most unlikely.

    However Pattaya heaves with dodgy ex Pats from Europe, ex Air America retirees, and shady characters from all over the Mid East (Israel, Iran, & the Gulf states) so if the trail of the false passports leads back there it could mean anything – or nothing.

  • Giovanni

    The plane seems to have crashed and nobody knows where.
    This is understandable and not as mysterious as everyone is trying to say.

    AF447 was the same but fortunately as we had ACARS data showing the technical problems of the aircraft (47 signals) we were able to have immediately an idea of what went wrong and where about the aircraft is.

    And yes, the main reason of the AF447 crash was technical problems. The inability of the pilots to handle the situation was a consequence of these problems (contradictory airspeed data, automatic pilot turning off, stall…) not the source of the crash. Whatever the company and the manufacturer say.

  • Sofia Kibo Noh

    Could these Uighur terrorists who don’t communicate with the world be a conenvient wedge between Russia and China? Just when China seems unconvinced with the quaint “You just don’t invade another country on a completely trumped up pretext” ruse.

    Here’s the BBC, bless them…

    …Putin and Obama are such different characters…

    …One is a small, strutting hard man with a passion to re-create an old empire, the other the professorial president – concerned not to repeat the mistakes that happen when America behaves like an empire – ever-hesitant to use the massive brute force his country can muster...” Mark Mardell

    Really worth a click to see some masterful Medialens observation. (Sorry I have to use theat word but ‘mistressful’ just doesn’t do the job.)

  • Patrick Haseldine

    Many thanks John for the list of (American) politicians killed in crashes ( As you might expect, neither UN Sec-Gen Dag Hammarskjöld nor UN Asst Sec-Gen Bernt Carlsson appears on the list because they were Swedish rather than US citizens.

    Amazingly, however, there is currently an e-petition calling for a UN Inquiry into the deaths of Hammarskjöld and Carlsson:

    “Support a United Nations Inquiry into the deaths of UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and UN Assistant Secretary-General Bernt Carlsson”

    The e-petition is open for signature by UK citizens and residents until 13 May 2014, and can be signed here:

  • Herbie

    Fair enough, Old Mark.

    I now see that there are reports of the stolen passport holders being of Asian appearance, so not sure now what the official account is on that. There are images of them from where they bought their tickets, but I’m not sure how much value there is in European passports with Germanic names for those of Asian appearance.

    I don’t see any great emphasis or insistence upon the Uighur angle in Brit media.

    My cheapo Lexis Nexus doesn’t show it either.

  • ESLO

    “Just concentrate on finding the cockpit voice recorder as it contains the only information now about what really happened.”

    Sensible advice – pity the rest of the post didn’t follow it.

  • Ba'al Zevul ( I'll get back To You)

    ‘I research what men do with machines, weapons, and words.’


  • craig Post author

    Old Mark

    The BBC report you link to where the official says the two men were not of Asian appearance, the same official goes on to say illegal migration may have been the goal. Reading between the lines, I think we’ll find they were not of Asian appearance but not of European appearance either.

    Oh I see I am behind the times – it is confirmed they were of African appearance. Most likely explanation remains illegal immigrants.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    If you think this thread is lost, just look at the Professional Pilots Rumour Network where they have gotten nowhere after 72 pages gossip and other irrelevancies.

  • Ben

    It could be related to counterfeit parts and their role will increase in such things.

    I cannot understand how no media outlet reported that the planes navigational course took it almost completely over land. Catastrophic mechanical failure may have resulted in extreme measures for course correction, taking them over water.

  • Sofia Kibo Noh


    Was it you who posted a while back comparing the likelihood of politicians and celebs dying in plane crashes compared to ordinary mortals? If it was, could you dig that one up and post it again.


  • Ben

    As to the passports, what good is INTERPOL when the massive surveillance we live under doesn’t serve the purpose it claims?

  • Ben

    It would seem commercial aircraft are also vulnerable.

    “Chinese companies were identified as the “primary source” of the counterfeit goods and the Chinese government was criticized for its alleged disinterest in cracking down on counterfeiting there. The report said that Chinese companies take discarded electronic parts from all over the world, remove any identifying marks, wash and refurbish them, and then resell them as brand-new – a practice that poses a “significant risk” to the performance of U.S. military systems.”

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    “Was it you who posted a while back comparing the likelihood of politicians and celebs dying in plane crashes compared to ordinary mortals? If it was, could you dig that one up and post it again.”

    Oh Heavens, not again.

    Could it just possibly be that politicians and celebs might do more air travelling than “ordinary mortals” (strange expression that – are we not all mortal?)?

    Anyway, no answer, please — just stay on the topic of Craig’s thread. Thank you.

  • ESLO


    Was it you who posted a while back comparing the likelihood of politicians and celebs dying in plane crashes compared to ordinary mortals? If it was, could you dig that one up and post it again. ”

    Habba has already pointed to one of the glaring statistical fallacies in that particular effort – but there others.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    “As to the passports, what good is INTERPOL when the massive surveillance we live under doesn’t serve the purpose it claims?”

    Firstly, what you call “mass surveillance” isn’t relevant here. Interpol collates info on stolen (or lost) travel and identity documents. And that info is not obtained by states using mass surveillance – loss and theft of such documents are reported to states by the individuals affected.

    Secondly, as to what “good” INTERPOL is : it is hardly Interpol’s fault if airport and other immigration/emigration control authorities don’t check identity documents against its data base, is it?

    Your comment is just gratuitously silly.

  • Ben

    Well, it’s not conclusive, but time will tell.

    “The inescapable conclusion from what we know so far is that Flight 370 seems to have utterly and inexplicably vanished. It clearly was not hijacked (unless there is a cover-up regarding the radar data), and we can all be increasingly confident by the hour that this was not a mid-air explosion (unless debris suddenly turns up that they’ve somehow missed all along).

    The inescapable conclusion is that Flight 370 simply vanished in some way that we do not yet understand. This is what is currently giving rise to all sorts of bizarre-sounding theories across the ‘net, including discussions of possible secret military weapons tests, Bermuda Triangle-like ripples in the fabric of spacetime, and even conjecture that non-terrestrial (alien) technology may have teleported the plane away.

    Learn more:

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!


    ““Just concentrate on finding the cockpit voice recorder as it contains the only information now about what really happened.”

    Sensible advice –”

    Far too sensible for most of this mob, ESLO. Following it would (1) prevent people from diverting (cf Tovarish Goss’s very first post on this thread) and (2) jumping up and down excitedly with pet theories, speculation and accusations.
    In effect, the thread would become unbearably dull for Eminences.

1 2 3 4 6

Comments are closed.