Monday, 14 December 2015

Tinfoil Hats ON (Dutch Painting Affair)

A Dutch view of Ukraine?
This is another piece of mythologising from Arthur Brand: 
@PortantIssues Paul, I will block you a few days. You are only trolling with your 'Putin and aliens are behind this' 
[By 'aliens' I guess he means people with Russian language email accounts]. What is behind this is that there has been presented not a scrap of real evidence for the anti-Ukrainian story about a government involvement in the ransoming of the stolen paintings which the Dutch are promoting. It emerges that what evidence there is suggests (as I have been pointing out) that their 'investigators' have been looking in the wrong place. Reacting to the social media reports and trying to point out a wider context and some holes in the "one-real-truth" version preferred by the Dutch in true metal detector style is however labelled "trolling". So much for the spirit of intellectual enquiry, sharing opinions  and free exchange of alternative views via social media, eh? Meanwhile this seems to be the rush-to-judgement mood over there:
Comment by dynd   2015-12-09 02:52:58 "First they shoot our passenger planes and then they steal our golden age art. Ukraine must really hate the Dutch for some reason".
I hope my non-Dutch readers can see there really is no need for any comment here. I think more than one person needs to take a step back here and re-examine their Orientalist preconceptions.

UPDATE 14th Dec 2015:  In which I now learn I am not alone in thinking Mr Brand's rush to judgement may have led him into mistaken thinking:

4 godz.4 godziny temu
I'm going to block some trolls who keep repeating that the Russians are behind this.
If the photos which were sent to the embassy were dispatched from a Russian email account, it certainly would suggest that it is not a Ukrainian unit which has the originals and who took the pictures. This is what the main informant (Mr Humaniuk) was saying. If Mr Brand refuses to accept that there is a serious hole in his story, and when challenged refuses to look again at what he considers to be "evidence", then in my subjective opinion, he is showing just how much his 'stolen art investigations' are worth. The trouble is, his reputation is not the only casualty here.

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