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Collateral damage

The following material was posted in a Yahoo! Comment thread on 29 July, 2014, by someone with the handle ‘Satan’s Lawyer’. It’s an impressive list I felt ought to be preserved, not an act of plagiarism: I do not claim to have written it myself, I acknowledge another’s authorship; it merely seems to fit in spirit with the kind of things I write on this, my bogl.

The point of course that it does not make, is to include civilian flights destroyed in the air or on the ground by terrorist actions, or by operatives acting either overtly or covertly on behalf of governments (such as the Lockerbie disaster); or attacks on smaller civil aircraft, such as the flight on which UN Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjold, was assassinated in Africa, presumably by South African intelligence agents, in 1961.

“Perhaps this will put everything into context. A history of military downing of commercial airliners over the past 40 years:

“February 1973 – Libyan Arab Airlines 114 was shot down by an Israeli F-4 jet fighters after refusing to land in Israel when intercepted in Israeli airspace.

“April 1978 – Korean Air 902 made a forced landing in a frozen lake after being shot down by Soviet Su-15 jet fighters when they violated Soviet airspace.

“September 1978 – Air Rhodesia 825 was shot down by Zimbabwean rebels using a MANPAD.

“February 1979 – Air Rhodesia 827 was shot down by Zimbabwean rebels using a MANPAD.

“June 1980 – Aerolinee 870 was shot down over the Mediterranean Sea by unknown forces. Investigations conducted by Italy indicate it was shot down by french NATO jet fighters.

“September 1983 – Korean Air 007 was shot down by a Soviet Su-15 jet fighter after violating Soviet airspace.

“December 1988 – Iran Air 655 was shot down by SAMs launched from the USS Vincennes when it was mis-identified as an Iranian F-14.

“September 1993 – Three Transair Georgia flights were shot down by missiles and gunfire during the Georgian Civil War.

“March 1994 – An Iranian Air Force C-130 returning from a diplomatic mission in Russia was shot down after being mis-identified by Armenian military forces during their civil war.

“September 1998 – Lionair 602 was shot down with a MANPAD by the Tamal Tigers while departing Sri Lanka.

“October 2001 – Siberian Airlines 1812 was shot down over the Black Sea by a Ukrainian S-200 SAM that was fired as part of a series of Ukrainian military exercises.

“November 2003 – A DHL cargo plane made a forced landing in Baghdad after being shot down by militants armed with MANPADs while departing Baghdad Airport.

“July 2014 – Malaysia Airlines 17 was shot down by a SAM while during the Ukrainian Civil War. Most likely the aircraft was mis-identified by rebels.”

It’s a dispiriting thought, but we live in two parallel universes: ours, and theirs. Occasionally they collide with disastrous results, but the world moves on – until the next awful outrage reminds us of the Great Game, that is still going on, and the capacity of the military-industrial complex to create bloody mayhem in the name of profit.

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