Ukrainian Plane

By now you’ve probably heard that Ukrainian Flight 752 which went down in Iran, killing all passengers on board, was most likely hit by surface-to-air missiles fired by Iran. The US is being uncharacteristically gracious about the disaster, saying it was likely a mistake.  In the words of President Trump “It was flying in a pretty rough neighborhood, and somebody could have made a mistake. Some people say it was mechanical. I personally don’t think that’s even a question.”

For those who died on board, it makes no differences whether the missiles that killed them were a mistake – or intentionally fired.  It didn’t matter to the 298 souls on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 that went down after leaving Amsterdam on its way to Kuala Lumur. The Malaysian fight went down over another rough neighborhood, eastern Ukraine, where an arm conflicted was ongoing.  ThIn June, 2019 four men were charged for bringing the missile that brought down the Malaysian plan into the region from where it was fired. They are scheduled to stand trial in the Netherlands on March 9, 2020 and international arrest warrants have been issued for them..

When Flight 752 that went down outside Tehran, with 176 people on board, it had probably been hit by an anti-aircraft defense system activated as Iran was launching missiles at US forces in nearby Iraq in a  retaliatory strike. In Iran, Soleimani  is seen by many as a soldier  who was doing his job and as the man who had kept ISIL (ISIS) out of Iran. The story that Iranians are hearing is that Soleimani was on a diplomatic mission to improve the nation’s relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said 138 passengers on board were headed to Toronto, Canada. The film Argo is about how the Canadian ambassador sheltered six US Embassy staff members who finally escaped Iran on Canadian passports, using the cover story they were in Iran working on a science fiction movie. Canada closed its embassy in 2012, the same year the movie came out.  There is a memorable scene in the film of the plane leaving the Tehran airport.

Hopefully history will not reveal the plane was intentionally targeted as this would make a difference, to those of us who have survived. It would be an even more dangerous world if nation states intentionally targeted commercial airliners.