|Quoting antskip (Reply 101):|
On the other hand, the opposite case is possible - that they [the Ukranians] knew exactly what plane it was, and the likely makeup of its crew and passengers. The destroyed plane was not SU, SQ or AI. There were no Russian passengers, and only one American (dual Dutch citizen). This is not a conspiracy theory - just pointing out that the actual plane and its occupants - and their respective governments - were not so likely to solicit an effective response - not significantly from the USA; and above all, not Russian. The shooters could have been reckless / ignorant or they could also been highly focused, well-trained, informed, and clever....and the downing of MH7 was a not mistake at all.
The US western media and US have ample opportunity to point the finger at the separatists, so I have developed an alternative narrative that presents the opposite view.
Alternative Narrative Explaining why Ukranians may have Shot Down MH17
The Ukranians could have gradually developed this plan over a few months. Firstly, the Ukranians fly some of their own A/C over the conflict zone, drawing fire, getting shot down at higher and higher altitudes. Why are they doing this when they know there are ManPads and possibly Buk's in the area? There is no reason except to study the reactions, and to establish a pattern. This is the core of the Ukranian gambit, they lose some A/C for a greater gain. And yet, all this time the Ukranians leave their airspace open so that hundreds of civilian airliners and tens of thousands of passengers are flying over an extremely dangerous war zone where an accidental shoot down is possible, even likely. However, the US & UK airlines are not exposed to this risk because the US government issued a special "strong warning" to US and UK airlines not to fly over the war zone. The US government does not pass this "strong warning" on to their Europeans or anyone else. But the separatists don't oblige, they do not shoot down a civilian airline, and so the Ukranians decide they need to do it themselves. US advisors on the ground in Ukraine know about the plan and give it a green light on the condition, that no US citizens are killed. To meet this requirement, the US provides information to the Ukranians regarding the distribution of citizenships on A/C passing over Ukraine. After detailed planning, a Ukranian Buk is positioned in the contested area. Then the Ukranians select a suitable A/C that will minimize US & Russian citizens killed. The plan could backfire if Russian citizens are killed, because then Russian could play the victim card, and there would be no advantage to Ukraine. Unfortunately for this plan, there is a mistake, and among all the passengers there is one dual Dutch/US citizen (likely) traveling on his Dutch passport. The choice of MH17 has people looking for a connection with MH370, where there is none, but it leaves the media hungry for details.
A plan like this would be a big risk, but the return could be winning a previously unwinnable war. With the western media behind them, the Ukranians just might pull it off. The Russians on the other have been caught completely by surprise, this is not something they could have anticipated.
However the Ukranians were not caught by surprise at all, in fact they seemed supremely efficient in feeding a media what they wanted. The media have eaten up the taped calls, apparently between one of the separatists and a controller. I don't know about the veracity of this call but there are couple of things to say about it. If indeed it is real, I can see why a commander in the field might jump the gun and claim responsibility, trying to claim credit for any perceived victory. As far as the separatists knew they were the only ones likely to be shooting down A/C in that area. They would not be anticipating the Ukranians shooting down an A/C, even less so an airliner. The thing is, even if the taped call and social media evidence is real, it does not mean the separatists actually shot down MH17. Actually, it is clear from the tape that they were surprised and shocked when it turned out to be a civilian airliner. It is also obviously not in their interests to shoot down an airliner. To operate a Buk requires some technical chops, anyone expert enough to operate it properly is unlikely to make that mistake. Even so, if Ukranian military A/C were shadowing civilian airliners it is possible the separatist fired on a Ukranian military A/C but the missile lost that target and chose a secondary target MH
Summary of Reasons why the Ukranians May Have Shot Down MH17.
1. After the Ukrainian coup the new government have found themselves in a desperate situation. Desperate situations call for desperate measures.
2. The Ukranian plan grows naturally out of the circumstances they faced. i.e. Unable to make full use of their air power, but with airlines transiting the conflict area every day.
3. The unnecessary flight path of Ukranian military A/C into the conflict area where they could be, and were shot down, to establish a pattern and study the results. (The gambit lose some small pieces for a larger gain.)
4. Ukraine who are responsible for determining the risks did not close the airspace but kept it open even after their own A/C were shot down at 20,000 feet. At the same time Ukraine now "claim" knowledge that the separatists had Buks.
4. The "strong warning" from the US government to US and UK airlines shows the US were well aware that there was a risk of an airline being shot down.
5. The US did not pass this information on to their European "friends" or indeed any other airline, thus exposing tens of thousands of passengers from Europe Asia and indeed the US, to the danger of being shot down.
6. The distribution of passenger citizenships on MH17 is unusual. Of the hundreds of A/C that traveled that dangerous route how many would have shown ZERO "documented" US citizens (it is a good assumption that the dual Dutch/US citizen was traveling using his Dutch passport.) How many would also have ZERO Russians. Was this how MH17 was SELECTED?
This entire incident is sickening tragedy, and I give my condolences to all those families who lost loved ones on MH17. I regret if my somewhat clinical discussion of this event has upset anyone. However, learning from this involves getting to the facts, and developing alternative narratives and lines of investigation while trying to remain impartial.
For the record, I am not pro/anti any of the countries involved. I just stated a list of facts and draw some alternative conclusions. By all means agree or disagree, and discuss why. Finally, I simply noted the unusually low number of US citizens on MH17, which seemed a bit odd, and asked some questions about what this might mean. As it turns out there were also no Russians.
It is now really up the Europeans, to investigate. For example finding out who had access to the pax manifests for all A/C transiting this region. That means checking system logs, etc. Then investigate the detail of surrounding the special "strong warning" from the US given only to US & UK airlines. It might be worth investigating the locations of Ukranian Buks, and trying to interview as many of their operators as possible. This includes investigating the veracity and details of reports that a Ukranian Buk was taken by separatists. Although an investigation on the ground might at least be able to determine whether it was in fact a missile (likely) that brought down the A/C. The reality is that, despite the US playing on peoples emotions about how the crash site has been disturbed, this is not an ordinary plane crash where a detailed investigation is carried out in order to determine a complicated mechanical cause, and take actions to prevent the same thing happening again.
[Edited 2014-07-21 00:40:16]