Not Our Fight

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Excuse me if I sound insensitive, but the shooting down of a Malaysian passenger plane by Russian separatists in Ukraine is none of our business. It wasn’t our plane, it wasn’t our country, and it isn’t our fight. Moreover, only one passenger was remotely American (I say “remotely” because he held dual citizenship and had lived in the Netherlands since he was five). So we should just keep our noses out of this one. We don’t need to impose sanctions, beef up our military presence, or drive the price of oil down in order to destroy the Russian economy, as some have suggested.

While it is a terrible shame that anyone should be killed in an accident, that’s all this really was: an accident. What seemed to be a Ukranian military jet turned out to be a passenger plane, and the shooter pulled the trigger before making certain of the target. When our troops make that kind of mistake, we call it “friendly fire,” and because it isn’t an intentional act, we hand out some medals to the victims and let the shooter slide.

Am I the first to ask the unspoken but obvious question: Didn’t they know they were flying over a war zone? Didn’t they know that Russian separatists had been shooting down Ukranian military jets for weeks? Hours after the accident, commercial airlines began diverting their flight plans around Ukraine; a map released today shows almost no planes above that country. Seems to me they should have made that adjustment as soon as the fighting broke out in Ukraine. I’m no fan of Putin, but if I were holding anyone responsible for this terrible accident, it would be the air traffic controllers and flight plan originators who allowed commercial jets to fly over a war zone.

Again, if my remarks seem insensitive, I apologize. Not one of the people on that plane deserved to die; the grief of their families is deep, and their deaths are unwarranted. But I would rather cry over 300 people killed in an accident than worry about thousands of additional soldiers sent to police the area. This one simply isn’t our fight.




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Comments

Johnimo

"I’m no fan of Putin, but if I were holding anyone responsible for this terrible accident, it would be the air traffic controllers and flight plan originators who allowed commercial jets to fly over a war zone." Isn't that a little disingenuous?

The Russians have invaded another country, fomented and abetted separatist rebellion, and taken over Crimea. It may not be our fight but it's hardly the fault of air traffic controllers. We fought a very long war in Vietnam and I don't recall any civilian aircraft getting shot down over Hanoi or Saigon. Meanwhile we learn the Russians will reopen their spy base in Cuba, a move they signaled shortly after the Sochi Olympics with a visit to Havana by a Russian spy ship. That visit was surely a test to see our President's reaction, or lack thereof.

Our fight or not, one can react publicly like Neville Chamberlain or John Kennedy. One can't help but wonder what would John Kennedy have done, or at least, what would John Kennedy have said? "It's not our fight," seems more like something Chamberlain would have meekly muttered.

Fred Mangels

We need to remember that the U.S. Navy shot down an Iranian passenger plane back in the 80s(?). I don't recall the "evil" Iranians threatening us over that incident and it was their plane.

Visitor

A mistake, yes. An accident, no.

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