Everyone has ‘theories’ about who shot down MH17 (Malaysian flight 17). But, how do I decide which theory to believe?
Would you like to read through my decision making process about the shooting down of MH17?
When the airliner was shot down, I originally thought like this:
“Do Ukrainian forces have the assets (anti-aircraft missiles) in the area to shoot an airliner down?” I did not know, but I knew, Ukraine had not shot down any enemy aircraft.
But, I did know the rebels claimed they had shot down 7 Ukrainian aircraft over their territory.
As the story developed, reports surfaced of rebel leaders taking credit for the airliner. Then there were reports of rebel forces calling back to Russia.
And then TELS were moved back to Russia. (it has been awhile, but I think TELS stands for transporter, erector, launcher, system).
Then after a long pause, a pause of several days, Russia came out and claimed Ukraine shot down the airliner. Then Russia claimed they had intelligence. Russian sources began to deny previous reports one by one.
But, I noticed that the Russian reports all seemed to be in response to previous reports. Few Russian news stories seemed to be in response to the airliner being shot down, the reports seemed to be in response to ‘western sources.’
How do I analyze what I have read and heard?
If Ukraine had shot down the Malaysian airliner, I would have expected:
(1) Russian sources to release audio (voice intercept) of rebels being surprised that the Ukrainians had mistakenly, or intentionally, shot down an airliner. Even now, I do not think Russian sources have released audio showing the rebels were surprised by a Ukrainian missile launch.
(2) Ukrainian forces would have immediately secured the site and destroyed evidence. Rebel forces seized the site and destroyed evidence. That reads like rebels were responsible, not Ukrainian forces.
(3) Russian sources would have released satellite imagery of the shoot down. Instead Western sources (US) released the first imagery. Again, this points to the rebels not to the Ukrainians.
(4) Had the Ukrainians shot down the airliner, I would have expected the rebel forces to co-operate with western media, and Russian media. They co-operated with very few media. Very strange to pass up such a great media event if it is your favor.
(5) Had Ukraine been responsible, I would have expected a Russian incursion into the area to ‘rightfully’ secure the site.
That last point is a smoking gun. A big smoking gun. Russia seemed to pull back for a couple of days, not the actions of someone righteously angry.
All things considered, I believe rebels accidentally shot down the airliner. I think they used the ‘Buk’ Surface to Air system. And I think Russia pulled those systems back into Russia for at least a few weeks.
Will Russia invade? That is a different question for a different blog post.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. I hope you do not enjoy what happened to civilians in this incident, and I hope you do not enjoy what is happening in Ukraine.
And I hope you will ask me good questions.