So its confirmed. A Russian-made BUK missile was used to shoot down Malaysian Airlines MH17 over the Ukraine last year. Forget the snarling and gnashing of teeth by conspiracy theorists, its very clear from the evidence presented at the time and journalists who watched that the BUK was used by Russian-backed rebels. Now Dutch investigators have confirmed what we already knew but couldn’t say so until the inquiry ruled.
If you don’t believe it, take a look here.
But its no time to point fingers, is it? The dead, all 298 of them, have loved ones who’re still trying to come to terms with this event.
The big question is why didn’t Malaysian Airlines order its pilots to fly around the Ukraine? The region has been gripped by a violent separatist-inspired war. Most other airlines had deviated or were flying higher than 28 000 feet to avoid being struck by stray missiles.
The pilots had asked for permission to climb for specifically that reason and were denied their request. It’s easy to sit here and use 20:20 vision in the classic display of hind-sight-ism and says stuff like “why didn’t the pilots turn back immediately”. This had fatal consequences for all on board, though.
As the apologists of Moscow and Nato used the event to grandstand – bodies littered the fields below and rained down on a village. No amount of waxing lyrical about who’s to blame will bring them back.
After the horror event, Russian-backed rebels moved their BUK launcher away rapidly after it became clear that they’d shot down an airliner. The great weight of evidence proves without a shadow of a doubt that the rebels thought they were shooting down a Ukraine military aircraft. Only later was that official rebel line altered to include Western Fighter jets, Ukraine fighter jets and ground-to-air missiles fired by the Ukrainian military.
The families won’t get their closure.
Moscow will ensure that the narrative is all about some Ukraine military jet nearby that fired a missile, while the NATO alliance will talk up the dangers of the Russian bear and its minions.
Russia was at pains at the to either deny or then defend the “donation” of the 70’s era BUK system to the rebels – but they’ve got a large stash available for use/purchase by friends and friends of friends.
I just think that those really culpable here aren’t the soldiers who fired the missile, nor the rebels, nor Russia/NATO.
It’s the Malaysian Airlines executive and board. And that’s clear from the dismal business and aviation record notched up by the airline. The terrible reality for the Dutch, Australian, Malaysian and other relatives of the victims is that MH has no money. It’s skint. So there’s little chance that any form of financial compensation will be paid by anyone.
So look out for the usual suspects on their hind legs shouting at each other about culpability. Russia TV will broadcast its nightly melange of reality tripe and mash. Dutch investigators will be calmly explaining that they’re not apportioning blame while Ukraine nationalists will spew their usual hatred back towards their eastern peers.
Back home, the families will listen enraged, frustrated.
If I was those involved I would be a little worried about a lone wolf from one of these countries pitching up and taking direct and violent action against Malaysian Airlines, Russia, or representatives of the Separatists.