I have held off posting anything about the events of last week, mainly because the entire incident was too fluid to discuss. Of course, I’m talking about the MH 17 shootdown. Daily, we would learn of more details, and daily my perceptions and opinion only hardened. It appears to be exactly what I suspected, almost from first hearing the news, and now I can only marvel at the various responses of the “players.” I will say that at this juncture, my only feelings are of disgust. The event was heinous by any standard, and cannot be justified regardless of your position on the Ukraine. Sadly, within minutes the scrambling began to cover up any trace of real evidence, fortunately, there are enough video and still images, along with radar telemetry, to tell us pretty much what happened. Moreover, this discussion about black boxes is a pointless exercise. There will be very little on a cockpit recording, since that particular weapon system would have destroyed the aircraft within 10 to 11 seconds from firing to detonation. Without a radar/missile warning system, the flight crew simply wouldn’t have a clue it was coming, and most assuredly, nobody in the back would have known what was about to happen. Yes, I’m disgusted and more than a little outraged. Shooting at combatant aircraft is one thing, but an unarmed civilian jetliner at 33,000 feet, flying in an ICAO approved corridor, is another entirely. In my view, this was a war crime, and the players should be dealt with accordingly. ~ Michael S. Pauley
Michael S. Pauley is a Navy brat and an old soldier who served in all three components of the United States Army. Living in Lexington, South Carolina, Michael is now a practicing attorney and member of the United States Naval Institute and the American Legion, Post 154, Tybee Island, Georgia.