Text: | Print|

Dangers from the MH17 catastrophe

2014-07-23 08:41 China Daily Web Editor: Wang Fan

Dangers from the MH17 catastrophe

The crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine looks most likely to be the result of a catastrophic bungle. Such things happen in wars, civil and otherwise, and more details are awaited before the guilty can be identified. But irrespective of further revelations, the disaster looks certain to worsen US-Russia ties.

The Western media say the most likely direct cause of the disaster that killed all 298 people on board MH17 was the launching of a BUK surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile by secessionist forces in eastern Ukraine. According to Western media outlets, such missiles, apparently supplied by Russia, were used to shoot down at least three Ukrainian Air Force aircraft, including an Antonov An-22 military transport plane.

But the related parties should refrain from making conjectures and prejudgment and, more importantly, avoid politicizing the issue.

Malaysia Airlines is certainly at fault for continuing to route its flights through what is widely recognized as an increasingly dangerous war zone. Other more responsible Asian airlines had months ago taken the decision to steer clear of the disturbed region.

There is a common factor between the MH17 crash and the disappearance of another Malaysian airliner, Flight MH370, with 239 people on board after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8. And that common factor appears to be complacency and sloppiness in the way Malaysia Airlines was run, and continued to be run even after the first tragedy. If the Malaysia Airlines management had followed the example of other major Asian air carriers and steered clear of the eastern Ukraine combat zone, it could have avoided the MH17 tragedy on July 17.

The outrage in Europe and the United States against Russia over the downing of MH17 smells of selective amnesia, myopia and even hypocrisy. The eastern Ukrainian rebel groups craved the anti-aircraft missiles to defend their civilian populations from air-strikes that, combined with ground artillery and multiple rocket mortar bombardments, have already killed nearly 1,000 Ukrainian civilians - more than three times the death toll in the MH17.

Those air strikes had been complacently supported by the US and Western Europe. They did so to prop up a Ukrainian government that was brought to power by an unconstitutional, bloody, terror-filled coup in Kiev in February.

Comments (0)
Most popular in 24h
  Archived Content
Media partners:

Copyright ©1999-2018 Chinanews.com. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.