I’ve heard this “who benefits” argument several times, and I’m astounded by its popularity. The argument should have been dead on arrival.
If you can imagine a world in which:
– The incident took place deep in Ukrainian-controlled territory.
– The Ukrainian military celebrated shooting down a Russian plane before realizing it was MH17.
– Ukrainian television celebrated shooting down a Russian plane before realizing it was MH17.
– The Ukrainian military dispatched forces to capture the pilots.
– Intercepted recordings emerged of local Ukrainian forces declaring to shocked commanders that it was a civilian plane.
– Ukrainian military forces refused access to the site and even fired warning shots to keep inspectors away.
Then Russia would benefit. Russia would benefit hugely. Their seventy-year-old propaganda of slandering all opposition as Nazi/fascist would finally have some solid evidence.
But in fact it was the Russians / mercenaries / separatists who did all these things.
The counter-theories being spun by the Kremlin certainly deserve close consideration, but one by one they can be found to be smoke and mirrors. Grasping at straws. Something to fuel to libertarians who function on intuition instead of logic.
You can also take it in the context of Russia’s persistent and absurd lies regarding this conflict. There is no equivalence, despite Ron Paul’s lazy, obscurantist, hand-waving claim that “everybody is spreading propaganda.”
After arguing against empire since 2004 (or longer), and against the EU since 1993 (or longer), it satisfies the intuitive impulses of libertarians to doubt the main stream accounts of the crash, which in this case happen to be supported by a vast preponderance of the evidence.
From within the confines of the United States, it can be hard to even imagine why a society would be begging to join the west. But they are. For all it’s decline and fiscal bankruptcy, the west remains vastly superior to Russian kleptocracy, and if you don’t believe me, just look where all of Russia’s elite, including Putin himself, send their children to live.