Putin Morally Responsible For The Downing Of A Malaysia Airlines Aircraft Over Eastern Ukraine No matter who pulled the trigger, this conflict in Eastern Ukraine exists only because Moscow inspired it and funded it

WASHINGTON – Make no mistake, whoever shot down the Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Eastern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is morally responsible.

Rebels shot down the airplane?

At this stage we do not know all the facts. Most critically, we do not know who pulled the trigger. Early information (and this could be wrong) would indicate that pro-Russian Ukraine separatists had gained control over a Russian made Buk Surface to Air, (SAM), missile system. The Associated Press acquired this information and published pictures of the missile launcher in the hands of the separatists. Furthermore, a separatist group bragged on its website about shooting down what it believed to be a Ukrainian aircraft right at the time in which the Malaysia Airlines flight went down, crashing in Eastern Ukraine, on territory controlled by the rebels.

Regrettable accident?

Again, these are preliminary reports. And experience tells us that they may be totally wrong, or at least incomplete.

Be that as it may, in my judgement, it does not matter who exactly “pulled the trigger”.

I would also stipulate that no one intentionally sent up a surface to air missile aimed at shooting down a civilian airliner just passing through that had nothing to do with the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. So, we can all agree that this is a terrible accident.

Moscow created this conflict

Still, this type of accident is possible only because there is a conflict in Eastern Ukraine. And why is there a conflict? Because Russian President Vladimir Putin –out of nothing– has created, supported, funded and enabled a separatist movement in Eastern Ukraine.

These Moscow -supported rebels have already shot down several airplanes. It is quite possible that, having seized a Buk SAM battery, they have used it to shoot down the Malaysian Airlines airplane, probably assuming that it was a Ukrainian aircraft.

Still, even if this is not the case and someone else did it, quite frankly it does not matter. The conflict in Eastern Ukraine is a fabricated insurrection, planned, staged funded and kept alive by Moscow.

Without Moscow’s decisive help there would be no civil war in Eastern Ukraine, and therefore no planes shot down, military or civilian.

It is a real tragedy that almost 300 passenger and crew of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, guilty only of passing through, lost their lives because some trigger happy idiot on the ground thought that he had acquired a fat target.

These are the sad realities of collateral damage during conflicts. Accidents do happen.

Putin is morally responsible

But while it is appropriate to try to find out exactly what happened, and who did what, we should not lose sight of this fundamental reality: this is Putin’s war. And therefore Putin is morally responsible for what goes on, including this terrible accident.


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