By David Kamioner | January 9, 2020
When the doomed Ukrainian International Airlines flight to Kiev departed Tehran on Wednesday it was full of international students returning to Toronto after the holiday break by way of Ukraine.
They had already attended their last day of class.
A nervous soldier with a finger on a button, an irresponsible commander looking at a radar screen, or a computer that locked onto a target it did not distinguish between a civilian and military aircraft ensured their tragic fate. And as opposed to what is coming out of Tehran today, the responsibility for their murder rests squarely on the tattered cloaks of the frothing Islamist fanatics in power in benighted Iran.
Paranoid regimes and their proxies shooting civilian planes out of the sky is sadly not a new phenomenon, though previously it had been the exclusive preserve of two incarnations of the same state.
In 1983 a Soviet MIG-15 shot down Korean Airlines flight 007. All on board were killed including a U.S. congressman. As today in Tehran, the Soviets stonewalled the initial investigation. In 2014 separatist forces in eastern Ukraine sponsored by former soviet Russia brought down Malaysia Airlines flight 17 bound for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 298 passengers and aircrew were lost in that incident.
The Ukrainian flight on Wednesday was downed by an SA-15 Gauntlet missile, sold to the Iranians by Moscow. Another example of Russian involvement in this kind of savage butchery.
Some may say I’m hypocritically leaving out an Iranian passenger jet mistakenly brought down by the U.S.S. Vincennes in the Persian Gulf in 1988. Because of my then recently previous service in U.S. Army Intel I had contacts in the Intel community at that time. To put it discreetly, the conclusion that the Vincennes shot down an innocent civilian jet full of live passengers is at best problematic.
The motivation for the past Soviets and now the Iranians to commit this act of barbarity are clear to the trained eye. They used terror as a tool of national security and they exported weapons as a force multiplier to accomplish their despicable geopolitical goals.
This engendered in these one-party states a paranoia that conjured up external and internal nemeses that would surface and make them pay for their transgressions. That paranoia exemplified itself in itchy trigger fingers on Soviet pilots, Russian renegades, and Iranian anti-aircraft troops.
Such are the wages of states and groups who live in constant fear of justified vengeance.
This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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