"Shot Out of the Sky": 1 American, Multiple Children on Board

Update: Later information shows either 1 American was on board.

Among those on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur which was shot down over the Ukraine, near the town of Grabovo, not far from the Russian border: 9 Britons, 23 Americans (later revised to 1 or 3) and 80 children. All 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers were killed. The passengers were from all over: 154 Dutch, 27 Australians, 38 Malaysians. Also: 11 Indonesians, four Germans, four Belgians, three from the Philippines and one Canadian. Some of those aboard were headed to an AIDS conference in Melbourne.

Here's a reason it's nice to still have print publications: Check out the front page of Friday's Independent, "Shot Out of the Sky." [More...]

I don't know a thing about the fight between Ukranians and pro-Russian separatists. So I hope I have this right:

While Russia and the Ukraine are blaming each other, here's a video of pro-Kremlin separatists driving a "Buk surface-to-air missile system" from Torez to Snischne yesterday. It was uploaded by Official International Euromaidan Public Responsibility (EMPR) Secretariat for HQ of National Resistance of Ukraine.

In June, Russian news reported the self-defence forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic took control over a missile defence army unit equipped with Buk missile defence systems.

The DPR blames the Ukranian armed forces and denied responsibility. Yet, Donetsk commander Strelkov, a longtime Russian agent, claimed credit today for shooting plane he thought was Ukrainian -- and then took his posting down.

Why was Malaysian Airlines flying a commercial aircraft over this conflicted region? Why didn't it take another route, especially since there were warnings?

< Thursday Open Thread: Stop the Amber Alerts | Obama Blames Pro-Russian Separatists, Putin Blames Ukranians >
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    According to the NYT, the Ukraine declared (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:54:30 PM EST
    Eastern Ukraine a no-fly zone after this disaster.

    Jeralyn: "Why was Malaysian Airlines flying a commercial aircraft over this conflicted region? Why didn't it take another route, especially since there were warnings?"

    ... around the world is duly routed through designated air transit corridors at pre-assigned altitudes, to minimize the chances for mid-air collisions. In North America, a typical 24-hour period of air traffic will look something like THIS. You can clearly see how the air corridor system works, from trans-Pacific routes to / from Hawaii and Alaska in the west, to the trans-Atlantic corridors to / from Europe in the east.

    Airlines and their pilots often have very little choice or control over which corridor their aircraft is to be routed on any given day. MH17 was routed over Ukraine by Eurocontrol, which coordinates and controls all the air traffic throughout the entire continent. The only countries that are not members of Eurocontrol are Iceland, Estonia, Russia, Belarus and Azerbaijan. If there were warnings issued by pro-Russian seperatists, the pilots and Malaysia Airlines were likely unaware of any potential risks if they were not informed of such by Eurocontrol.

    In the United States, the air corridor system was adopted following a June 1956 air tragedy, in which a United Airlines DC-7 en route from LAX to Chicago Midway Airport collided over the Grand Canyon with a TWA L-1049 Constellation headed from LAX to Kansas City. Two different air traffic controllers assigned the same altitude and heading to the two aircraft, each unaware of their respective proximity to one another.

    128 passengers and crew died in that collision, which marked the deadliest commercial airline accident in U.S. history. That toll wasn't exceeded until a 1978 crash of a PSA 727 in the North Park area of San Diego, after it collided with a small private aircraft while on final approach to Lindbergh Field, killing 142 persons (135 onboard the aircraft, and 7 on the ground in North Park).

    The Grand Canyon accident exposed the relatively primitive and haphazard nature of air traffic control as it existed at the time, which had heretofore been mostly left to the airlines and individual airports. It led to the an extensive and coordinated overhaul of the air traffic control system throughout the entire United States, which has improved immeasurably over subsequent decades with the advent of increasingly sophisticated ATC technology.

    INTERNET TOY: If you have a friend or relative who is flying today, and would like to track their flight while it is progress, you can do so here at FlightAware.com, simply by entering the airline and the flight number. If you don't know the exact flight number but know the airline and approximate departure / arrival time, you can enter the respective airports of departure and arrival, and then identify the flight from a list provided to you.

    If the plane is en route, the aircraft's GPS will pinpoint on a map exactly where it is, including altitude. If it has yet to depart, it will show the projected route assigned to it by ATC. If it's already landed, it will show the route that it flew. This is a great tool to use if you have to pick someone up at the airport, and want to check if their flight's on time. It sure saves you a lot of aggravation from having to call the airline.


    Airlines can and do avoid that corridor (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by smott on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 03:54:25 PM EST
    See. BritishAir.

    And a bunch of others belatedly following their example.

    Air corridors are not set in stone.


    No Donald (none / 0) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 05:38:48 PM EST
    Airlines and their pilots often have very little choice or control over which corridor their aircraft is to be routed on any given day.

    The pilot and the airline have total control. All they had to do was file another route.. which would have been further and more costly.

    He could have easily filed Amsterdam direct Rome direct Kuala Lumpur or some other combination.

    In the final analysis it is always the pilot and airline who are responsible for the safety of the flight.


    Why didn't it take another route? (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:51:39 PM EST
    This seems to be a big question.  Apparently the FAA just made it's warnings about the area more explicit.

    Time (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:54:10 PM EST
    Yeah, (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:27:43 PM EST
    you have to wonder why the plane was going there.

    But it sounds like other airlines (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:16:44 PM EST
    were flying there before this too. How often does someone shoot down a plane? We fly over the middle east don't we?

    Not trying to be controversial, honest questions :) I don't know if I would have thought of a plane's flight route when going off on vacation . . .


    It was deemed, "safe," but, (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 03:58:55 PM EST
    they did issue advisories pointing out the unrest in the Ukraine area. The aviation authorities generally leave the decision whether to route the planes over questionable territory up to the airlines. Since it was a civilian flight they didn't, outright, ban it.

    Some airlines re-routed, some didn't. Obviously, Malaysian Air wishes they had made another decision.,  


    Normally, it would/should be safe (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 06:05:05 PM EST
    By all accounts that I've read, it was a huge ph.u.ck up. None of the actors in the Ukrainian mess stood to gain anything by shooting down a civilian plane, least of all, Putin.

    An inexperienced, over-eager Separatist jerk pulled the trigger. Putin didn't need this headache, and, you'll see big changes taking place now. He's sending in his "A" Team to handle the tactical end of the advanced weaponry they have there, and, by proxy, he'll be calling the shots from now on.  


    Wait and see (none / 0) (#60)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 06:14:54 PM EST
    for the investigation to unfold.

    One motive may be to economically strangle Eastern Ukraine till they call Uncle and increase their dependence on Russia. No commercial flights over Eastern Ukraine will increase the isolation of the Eastern part of Ukraine from its western part and the rest of Europe.

    But as I said, let us wait and see.


    They are saying (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 06:20:53 PM EST
    Investigators were forced to leave after a short time at the site with no reason given.

    After being shot at.  


    The Daily Beast (none / 0) (#62)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 06:56:38 PM EST
    has another theory. link

    Covert military aid to Ukraine separatists was not getting the job done for Putin and he needed to escalate the war to a level of recklessness to win. Ukraine, like Syria, is not a territory that Putin thinks he can afford to lose at any cost.


    I said before that unless (none / 0) (#63)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 07:04:29 PM EST
    It can be linked directly to his government it was a gift for Putin.  It is being linked to him and it is not a gift.  

    What's not clear is how much he cares.  Or what happens now.


    Okay (none / 0) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 08:22:42 AM EST
    I did not know that.

    Some airlines were not (none / 0) (#45)
    by smott on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 03:51:51 PM EST
    BA has been avoiding that corridor for awhile.

    First you have to have the goods (none / 0) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 05:32:01 PM EST
    To shoot down a jet at such altitude.  It is probably safer right now to fly over Iraq than it is to fly over the Ukraine.

    The shortest, most (none / 0) (#10)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 05:59:38 AM EST
    Fuel efficient route between Europe and the part of Asia to which it was headed.

    Exactly (1.00 / 4) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 08:55:25 AM EST
    And really bad judgment.

    Another example why I wouldn't fly third world airlines.


    Try flying Singapore Airlines, Emirates, (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by vml68 on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 10:16:37 AM EST
    Cathay Pacific, Etihad, etc., and you will never want to step in another United or Delta airline again.

    I hear you and have done some (none / 0) (#51)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 05:12:42 PM EST
    but on the average I'll put up with worse service for better safety.

    Why? (none / 0) (#66)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 08:52:23 PM EST
    "but on the average I'll put up with worse service for better safety"

    Why? Do "first world airlines" have beds instead of seats that you hide under?


    Just like Weird Al (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 05:13:48 PM EST
    Do you have it on good authority (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:58:05 AM EST
    that before yesterday 'first world' airlines were NOT flying that route? Or any other one that could be deemed dangerous AFTER someone shoots them down . . . .?

    Indeed many "first world airlines" ... (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Yman on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 08:40:35 PM EST
    ... were using that route up until yesterday:

    British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa and KLM are among the airlines to have used exactly the same routing over eastern Ukraine in recent days, according to website FlightRadar24.

    But he never lets facts get in the way.


    I didn't say they weren't (none / 0) (#52)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 05:15:08 PM EST
    Delta did announce this AM they weren't.. I don't know if they have been.

    But when you lose two 777's in about 6 months you aren't doing something right.


    You don't know what you're talking about. (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 03:38:43 PM EST
    I've already explained to Jeralyn about how commercial air traffic is controlled around the world, so you can read that yourself.

    As far as airlines themselves are concerned, up until this year anyway, Malaysia Airlines was rated among the twenty best airlines in the world, alongside Emirates Air, Singapore Airlines, Korean Airlines and Lufthansa. Not one single U.S. carrier makes that cut.

    According to Forbes magazine, the ten best-rated U.S. airlines for  2013 in terms of overall performance and customer satisfaction were Virgin America, JetBlue, AirTran, Delta, Hawaiian, Alaska, Frontier, Southwest, U.S. Airways and American. (Hawaiian has the best on-time arrival rate at 94%.)



    HRC statements (none / 0) (#5)
    by Politalkix on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:04:49 PM EST
    Check your link (none / 0) (#6)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:11:49 PM EST
    it leads me to nada :)

    Here (none / 0) (#12)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 06:57:30 AM EST
    CNN International (none / 0) (#8)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:56:50 AM EST
    is not reporting any U.S. deaths right now.

    Only the one Brit paper is apparently reporting that....

    We will see.....

    80 infants? (none / 0) (#9)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:10:46 AM EST
    That sounds very high and very unlikely.

    CNN International just reported that Malaysian Airlines has reported the nationalities of all but 41 passengers.  So far no U.S. and just 3 kids.

    If all the remaining 41 are kids, that would be 44 kids, not 80.

    I think the cited report is bogus.


    Another example of why quick reporting (none / 0) (#11)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 06:13:09 AM EST
    is often bad reporting.

    At the same time reading comprehension is important. All infants are children but not all children are infants.

    That said, The Ukrainian Interior Ministry giving the nationalities for a Malaysian flight from the Netherlands probably wasn't the best source for the article by The Independent.

    Numbers being reported this morning:

    At this point, no Americans have been verified among the passengers. Malaysia officials said that 173 passengers were Dutch. In addition, according to officials at a news conference today, 44 were Malaysian, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, nine British, four Belgians, four Germans, three Filipinos and one Canadian. Nationalities of 20 other passengers remain unknown at this time.

    I just corrected (none / 0) (#30)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:46:42 PM EST
    the figures. I agree, early reporting is often a problem.

    Hillary's (none / 0) (#15)
    by lentinel on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 10:07:50 AM EST
    already out there saying that it "had to be Russian insurgents" to blame.

    And the "equipment" had to have come from Russia".

    Jeez Louise! We have been arming both sides of everywhere for decades. I wonder whether anything anywhere hasn't been done with equipment that we have sold to anybody with a buck.

    Let's have an investigation and find out who was responsible.

    And, you know, what possessed the airline to permit its passenger plane to fly there in the first place. Why take the slightest chance?

    In any case, when Secretary Clinton speaks, she makes me nervous.

    Bedwetting? (none / 0) (#19)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 10:53:03 AM EST
    Her criticism of Putin, the strongest yet from a Wester leader in the wake of the downing of the jet, is a long way from her attempt to "reset" the US relationship with Russia in the early days of the Obama administration.

    Clinton said Europe needed to lead the response to the crisis, as it took place in its territory, and put "Putin on notice that he has gone too far and we are not going to stand idly by."

    Mrs. Clinton spoke the truth. (none / 0) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:14:06 PM EST
    The missile used to shoot down the airliner came from a Buk SAM system, which is a Russian weapon system. It's most certainly not ours.

    Further (none / 0) (#26)
    by christinep on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:35:33 PM EST
    As the President very specifically noted: We know that the missile was fired from inside Ukrainian-separatist-controlled territory.

    While Obama also stated that we should "not get ahead of the facts," he noted evidence that Russia had been providing training to the separatists.

    Bothe the President in his televised statement today and Hillary Clinton in an interview response yesterday carefully delineated what we already know in terms of identifying features, while highlighting that other key facts (such as who actually fired the rocket from rebel-held territory and why) are not yet known.

    The President announced that one American has been officially identified as on board Flight 17.


    My issue with this (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by vicndabx on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:18:47 PM EST
    No one was upset when these same factions were shooting at/down military targets w/these or similar weapons.

    Unless it can proven that whomever shot this plan down did so deliberately knowing it was a civilian plane and not a military target, IMO, we shouldn't do anything more than we've been doing.

    I'm no fan of Putin either, but what we will likely have here is a tragic accident of the type commonly seen in these conflicts.

    The larger issue of the economy of Russia and Europe (as the root cause of the conflict) will remain in spite of any leverage we think we can gain from this.


    Putin (none / 0) (#28)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:28:10 PM EST
    has the backing of the Russian people in whatever he is doing.link. Unless Europe is really upset and pleads with us to "lead" while supporting us vigorously, we should not be doing anymore than we have been doing.

    Issue? (none / 0) (#29)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:40:38 PM EST
    Sounds like you are getting ahead of yourself
    Clinton said Europe needed to lead the response to the crisis, as it took place in its territory, and put "Putin on notice that he has gone too far and we are not going to stand idly by."

    My comments have primarily (none / 0) (#35)
    by christinep on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 02:22:40 PM EST
    been directed toward fact-gathering concerning this international incident.

    As squeaky indicates, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.  It seems that for the military intervention prone in Congress and other halls, we are beginning to hear their familiar go-get-'em (anyone) cry. I suspect that most people will heed the President's reminder that facts are still being gathered, and will be for some undetermined time.  By the same token, any fears that the WH and other administration leaders are going to go "all-WMD" (or--going decades back--"all Gulf of Tonkin") is equally unsubstantiated.  In fact, more often than not, the press and the congress and the polling tell us that this President doesn't take the really strong and/or desired military action that is somehow imagined by them to have a good effect.

    If early indications suggest anything, it is that both President Obama and former Secretary Clinton are pressuring Putin by speaking strongly about the "evidence" already available.  By using tough diplomacy backed by sanctions, they are at once reaching out to assure allies that we will not (and cannot) walk away while also avoiding a make-my-day military trap.  In fact, if anything, early and forceful presentation of facts to the world as soon as available may actually set an expectation "trap" for Russia to prove to Europe and the U.S. (and, especially, Holland & Australia & Malaysia) that Putin is in no way implicated. That would be a pretty tall order (and BP) for Putin to meet ... and, should Putin be isolated on this matter, the effect on the Russian economy and perception of strength would be quite powerful.


    Mayhap you & Squeaky are right (none / 0) (#37)
    by vicndabx on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 02:48:40 PM EST
    I'd prefer to be wrong here.  Whether it's us or Europe, getting involved is a bad idea, IMO.

    I did not suggest military intervention (none / 0) (#38)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 02:59:22 PM EST
    The aircraft was at 32000 feet (none / 0) (#54)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 05:24:59 PM EST
    far too high to be an attack bomber targeting them.

    Plus the transponder was identifying who they were.

    Of course the idiot killers manning the site probably didn't know how to do anything but find-lock on - fire/guide...

    Unless, of course, Russia wanted to stir the water and had well trained people on site.

    I'd give odds that's the case.


    Obama (none / 0) (#40)
    by lentinel on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 03:01:10 PM EST
    says that we shouldn't get ahead of the facts, and then, like his successor presumptive, proceeds to do exactly that.

    The fact is that the President (none / 0) (#43)
    by christinep on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 03:18:30 PM EST
    stated what we know ....  'Not sure where you heard extrapolation beyond tough and solid diplomatic response???

    Of course. (none / 0) (#39)
    by lentinel on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 02:59:42 PM EST
    it's not "ours".

    It's "theirs".


    MSNBC (none / 0) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 10:16:14 AM EST
    Is saying "officials" are saying it could have been fired by Russian military embedded with separatists.  I guess the have sat imagery but it's not clear who pulled the trigger.

    So hard to know what to take seriously.

    Maybe I watch too many detective stories (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by ruffian on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:41:40 AM EST
    But usually the ones shooting at the investigators were involved in the original crime.

    Wow (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:43:38 AM EST
    Today's NYT also reported (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 02:02:18 PM EST
    separitist soldiers werecombing thruough the debris. Looting?  Really despicable.

    Of course (none / 0) (#71)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:05:13 PM EST
    "separitist soldiers were combing thruough the debris."

    The plane was shot down from separatist held territory. And, the debris field is totally within their controlled territory. If, as some highly placed American military/Intelligence experts have reported, the separatists shot down that plane, it's completely logical that they would want to comb through the field to find, and, presumably, remove any inculpatory evidence.


    I honestly think Putin has gone rogue (none / 0) (#33)
    by Slado on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 02:02:27 PM EST
    Or at the very least has created a group of hooligans that he can no longer control and doesn't want to.

    As somebody said right now Russians are backing their mad man president and he is isolated in his own bubble of self importance.

    You can't apply 21 century standards to this guy.  He's a cross between a Western Government and North Korea.   He thinks he's holding the cards and we keep talking about this step isolating him, blah, blah, blah.   He only understands force and so far we haven't pressured him with nearly enough.

    Europe could deal him severe blows if they wanted but it would cost them so he is betting they won't.

    FIFA could take the World Cup away.   Europe could get their gas from someone else.   All sorts of things could be done to really hit Putin personally but so far they haven't wanted to do it.

    We shall see.


    That is usually how it goes (none / 0) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 05:36:20 PM EST
    If it's true (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 10:42:29 AM EST
    As some are saying that because of our satellite imagery our government knows exactly who did this it will be interesting to see what the presidents says in a few minutes.

    In fairness to the president (none / 0) (#20)
    by Slado on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:13:05 AM EST
    we should give him a couple days to compose his thoughts, meet with advisers, call foreign leaders and wait for a full report from our myriad of intelligence agencies.

    The much mentioned Reagan speech from 1983 occurred 5 days after the downing of the Korean flight.

    However I'm still worried that Obama will not want to fully engage and use Europe's and the UN's most likely tepid response as an excuse to avoid "Hard Choices"

    This is an opportunity for him to be a leader on the world stage and make a difference.  I'm worried he's not up to the task.


    Judging from Powers statement (none / 0) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:41:39 AM EST
    At the UN I think the are serious.  The president was more cautious but Power nailed him. If you have t seen the statement google it.

    I did (none / 0) (#31)
    by Slado on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:53:31 PM EST
    Good start but words are simply that.

    Actions are the only thing Putin understands and if we want to hurt Putin it will take Obama dragging the Europeans kicking and screaming into much harder sanctions and backing of the Ukranian military.

    We shall see.   This administration has talked tough before only to back off when presented with equally tough talk or reality.

    That said again it's what we should be saying.   I say give the president through the weekend to see what Putin does as what happened becomes obvious.

    I really think Putin is going to dare us to do something by denying the obvious.

    "We didn't do it".   Now what are you going to do about it?


    I doubt it's the Russians ... (none / 0) (#34)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 02:14:20 PM EST
    everyone but the Russians benefits from the it being the Russians (or Russian backed actors).

    They may offer the argument that the wrong target was hit to get around the lack of motive.  But even that's not terribly convincing.

    Russian involvement just doesn't pass the smell test.

    However, it may take us a generation before most people accept that this wasn't a Russian or Russian backed action.

    Keep your false flags flying.


    Another conspiracy? (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by christinep on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 02:30:38 PM EST
    Or, since you assert that Russian-involvement "doesn't pass the smell test," I sense that (a) your understanding of Russian history is limited and/or (b) that you might want to have your olfactory ability tested.

    Seriously ... your comment is a fabrication based upon nothing.


    ... on -- what, exactly?

    I don't understand how ... (none / 0) (#49)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 05:03:07 PM EST
    the Russians benefit from shooting down a passenger jet.

    I do understand how countless others would benefit from making it look like that's what happened.

    There's currently zero evidence of Russian involvement. But the propaganda mills are working overtime to convince people they are ... evidence be damned. Yet another indication that it's not the Russians.


    Russia may not have pulled the trigger... (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by unitron on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:16:12 PM EST
    ...but it's looking a lot like they loaded the gun and let the rebels hold it, and the rebels violated one of the gun safety rules--Be sure of your target before you fire.

    It's always amazing ... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 10:31:59 PM EST
    how effective propaganda can be.

    The Cold War switch has been in the off position for more than twenty years.

    But since it's been turned back on, everyone has dutifully fallen in line.


    Russia's currently run... (none / 0) (#72)
    by unitron on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 04:25:25 AM EST
    ...by a guy who was a Lt. Col. in the KGB before he turned to the dark side and became a politician, a guy who spent the first half of his adult life as part of an outfit that, on behalf of the state, suppressed religion, and who now champions a state religion that's taken up from the former Communist regime the burden of being intolerant, so I think being a little suspicious of them is not only justified but actually called for.

    Non-responsive (none / 0) (#75)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 08:20:16 AM EST
    Actually (none / 0) (#47)
    by smott on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 03:56:26 PM EST
    Russians benefit from Ukraines economics being hampered by no business travel coming to Ukraine now.

    That tea's so weak ... (none / 0) (#50)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 05:04:35 PM EST
    it tastes like water.

    Are you watching Russian news channels? (none / 0) (#67)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:03:13 PM EST

    Robot Porter, Are you watching Russian news channels?

    Russians awoke on Friday to news reports that bumbling Ukrainian troops had shot down a Malaysia Airlines (MAS:MK) jet after mistaking it for President Vladimir Putin's official plane. Another theory: The Ukrainians intentionally shot down the jet at close range as a "planned provocation." Or maybe there wasn't a crash at all, and the bodies were those of passengers from Malaysia Air flight M370, which disappeared in March.

    Most of these weird news reports aren't coming from tabloids or fringe websites. They're coming from Russia's leading news outlets, which are almost entirely under state control.


    No, I'm just not believing ... (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 10:34:55 PM EST
    the heated propaganda they're spoon-feeding us in our media.

    Who is "they" (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 08:09:07 AM EST
    Really?!? (none / 0) (#74)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 08:14:39 AM EST
    Yes, really (none / 0) (#76)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 08:25:34 AM EST
    This story is being covered by the entire world.  Are "they" all in on it?

    If you are not happy with the coverage you are getting get it someplace else.


    Here's an article from the Guardian (none / 0) (#64)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 07:16:21 PM EST
    about the flight restrictions and decisions to avoid certain areas.