Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Malaysian Airlines Flight 17

Vladimir Putin
Dear Vladimir Putin, you are being tested.  What will you now do with the power that you have accumulated?  You have already shown signs of going the way of Russian dictators in the past.  They also cared more about their domestic power than their international role and cooperation.  I hope that you will do the right thing regarding the Ukraine and stop arming the separatists.  Encourage the separatists to stop fighting and killing.  In other words, put a lid on it, sir.

The news here in America is full of people killing people, whether it is the worst violence in Chicago in years or the Israelis invading Gaza or separatists in the Ukraine shooting down a civilian airplane.  People killing people.  Humans have become quite adept at it.  They have developed amazing weapons, airplanes with stealth technology that can sneak up on an "enemy," and sophisticated technology for surveillance.  What's lost in all of this is humanity.

MH17 Wreckage (Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky/AP)

Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 reminds us that we stand on the brink of a terrible abyss.  That plane was full of human beings, civilians -- no spies, no soldiers, no threats to the Ukraine, Russia, or the separatists in eastern Ukraine.  The passengers included 80 children and 3 infants.  Each of the human beings that died -- that were murdered by the separatists who shot a surface-to-air missile at them -- deserves our utmost respect.  Their bodies and belongings deserve the highest respect in how they are handled.

Armed Separatists at crash site (Photo: Igor Kovalenko/European Pressphoto Agency)
Dear Vladimir Putin, by pointing the finger at everyone but who's truly responsible, by working hard to create confusion about what happened, and by even dragging in countries who had nothing to do with it, you disrespect those who died on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.  You do not care about your fellow human beings.  I believe it was the Ukrainian President who called the shoot down a "terrorist act."  I think you need to listen to him.  It is no secret that Russia has been arming and training the separatists in eastern Ukraine.  They need your blessing to do that, right?  So, ultimately the buck stops at your desk in the Kremlin.  You are responsible.  You can obfuscate all you want, disrespect the civilians that were killed, and strut around like the dictator you are, it won't change the evidence.

The news this morning was heartening.  The separatists handed over the flight's black boxes to Malaysian officials.  They have allowed the refrigerated train cars to leave the area for a Ukrainian-controlled area.  They have allowed investigators to examine the plane's remains and begin their investigation.  Finally.  Is it too late for an unadulterated investigation, though?  Has this crime scene been contaminated and changed?  Now the separatists need to admit their culpability and take even more steps toward making amends to Malaysian Airlines and the countries from which the passengers came.  It's the mature thing to do.

I have no illusions.  One voice does not penetrate the international cacophony surrounding this event.  The finger-pointing, obfuscation, and posturing will continue.  The families of the victims only care about the return of their loved ones.  But I wonder if, a year from now, anyone would have learned from this tragedy or if anyone would have taken responsibility. 


George (Jake) Jaquith said...

I always appreciate your wide range in topics and the ability to present them. You did a marvelous job on Orchestra lock out issues. The one on governance deserves continued attention, though it may be a dry subject to some. I see the need to create a publicly owned, transparent MOA with membership open to all for a very nominal contribution. Living in Mexico it is hard to participate, so those on the home front are vital.
Thanks again, George Jaquith

Gina said...

Thanks, George, for your comment. There's been a lot of behind the scenes work going on at the MOA but nothing about governance. I sent all my governance writings to the fellow at SOSMN who is spearheading that topic but haven't heard back. I know the interim president, Kevin Smith, began weeks ago to reconnect with musicians and staff, and he's been talking even to people who left, for whatever reason, during the lockout.

Gina said...
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