The View From Olympus: A Quick Look At The MH17 Shoot-Down

A quick look at the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine raises some interesting questions. On the surface, it appears most likely that Russian separatists shot the plane down after mistaking it for a Ukranian military transport. But if we dig a bit, a different picture starts to emerge.

Of course, it is entirely possible the separatists did it. It makes no strategic sense, but if we understand 4GW we also realize that the separatists are not an army. Even the term “militia” may overstate their degree of organization. By this point, much of what is left of the separatist movement is just gangs. Their discipline is poor if it exists at all. Being Russians, they are also drunk most of the time. Could some inebriajed gang members amuse themselves by taking potshots with SAMs at anything that flies? Easily.

But there is another layer to this incident. Ukraine will benefit strategically from it if it gets blamed on the separatists. That means a pseudo-op makes sense. Would the Ukranian government shoot down a civilian airliner if it were convinced it could blame it on the separatists and thereby increase international pressure on Russia to pull the plug on its Ukranian allies (who are now operating out of control)? Very possibly.

One piece of the puzzle says this may be the case. The speed of Ukraine’s reaction and its highly organized nature suggests foreknowledge. Within less than twenty-four hours, Ukraine had not only blamed the separatists but provided “evidence” they did it. According to the New York Times

“Ukraine’s intelligence service . . . known as the S.B.U., released what it said was audio from intercepted phone calls between separatist rebels and Russian military intelligence officers on Thursday. In the audio, the separatists appeared to acknowlege shooting down a civilian plane.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry sent reporters a link to the edited audio [that word “edited” is important] of the calls, with English subtitles, posted on YouTube by the S.B.U.”

What speed! What efficiency! In just a few hours, all this was put together in a neat and tidy package, despite the fact that the event was totally unexpected.

This smells. The Ukrainian government is not noted for its efficiency. In any government, all these actions, statements etc. have to be approved by many layers of authority. How did all this happen so fast? Perhaps because the event was not unexpected.

Both the E.U. and the U.S. government are likely to get involved in the investigation of this incident. Remember that neither is a disinterested party. Both are strongly pro-Ukrainian government and anti-Russian. They have large axes to grind.

As newspapermen say, this story is likely to have legs. tr favicon