On Thursday, July 17, Malaysian Air flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine en route from The Netherlands to Malaysia. All 298 people on board, including 80 children, were killed. It is a horrific and unspeakable tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to the lost and to their grieving friends and families.
I almost never watch cable news, but once I read about the crash on the internet, I turned on the television and tuned in the cable news stations, switching back and forth from MSNBC to Fox and to CNN in an effort to gather information and maybe gain a little insight. Boy, was I wrong. Instead of information I got hyperbole and moral outrage, instead of insight I got propaganda and partisanship. Cable news, be it Fox, MSNBC or CNN, has the remarkable ability to actually make you stupider just by watching.
The one thing I kept hearing over and over was that this MH17 disaster reminded all the talking 'empty' heads of Korean Air flight 007, which was shot down by Soviet fighter planes when it made an unauthorized flight into Soviet airspace in 1983. All 269 people on board died. I remember this event vividly. The US and Soviets were at the height of the cold war and this incident caused many to believe the cold war was about to get hot. I can sort of understand why MH17 reminds the empty heads of KAL 007, there are planes involved, there are Russians involved (to what extant we don't know yet in the case of MH17), and lots of innocent people died. I get it. There are lots of differences too…namely that in the case of KAL 007, the plane either deliberately or by accident, flew into restricted airspace, then was deliberately shot down by Soviet fighters. MH17 was not in restricted airspace, was allegedly shot down by a surface to air missile and not a fighter plane, and was done so allegedly by accident and not deliberately. I can forgive the news networks for comparing the two incidents, what I cannot forgive is their complete silence on another incident that greatly resembles MH17, but which was perpetrated by the US.
Iran Air flight 655 was shot down on July 3, 1988 by the USS Vincennes while flying in Iranian airspace. The flight was going from Tehran to Dubai when it was shot down, all 290 people on board were killed. Do you remember this incident? Most Americans don't. It has been lost down the memory hole. It is seldom, if ever, spoken about. Why do you think that is? Could that incident in anyway give context to Iran's distrust and dislike of the US? Maybe? Because you know who does remember it? Iranians. In fact, Iran has kept the Tehran to Dubai flight numbered as IR655 in tribute to that doomed flight, which is in direct contrast to every other major airline accident, which never uses the same flight number again.
If you don't remember the incident, and why would you, it's not like you'll ever hear about it from the media, here's a brief rundown of it. Flight 655 was in Iranian airspace, properly giving out it's identifying signals as a civilian aircraft, when the USS Vincennes, a US Navy Guided Missile Cruiser, went into Iranian waters and shot the plane down. The Iranians were rightfully incensed. The US also refused to apologize, with then President Bush (George H.W.) saying he would "never apologize for America". In fact, the US gave medals to every sailor who was aboard the Vincennes during the incident, and gave special commendation to the officers involved in the shooting. Eight years later, in 1996, the US agreed to pay $213,103.45 as compensation to the families of each victim. As Ron Burgundy would say…"stay classy America".
One final note, 18 years ago to the day, July 17, another air tragedy occurred that has eery similarities to the MH17 disaster. TWA flight 800 exploded off the coast of Long Island after taking off from JFK airport. All 230 people aboard died. The official cause of the accident is that an electrical spark caused the fuel tanks to exploded. Never before or since, in the history of aviation, has an electrical spark caused a fuel tank explosion. Never. I urge you to go and watch the documentary "TWA: Flight 800". It is available on EPIX and coming soon to Netflix. Here is the link to the film's website. TWA FLIGHT 800. I cannot recommend this film highly enough. The evidence is overwhelming that the plane was not brought down by 'an electrical spark in the fuel tanks'. It is also readily apparent that the US government and it's propaganda media friends, went to great lengths to obfuscate the truth about what really happened to the plane. To any remotely independent person who reviews the evidence, it is very clear that TWA Flight 800 was in fact brought down by a missile, most likely by accident and by the US Navy. Again…please go watch the film, it is very compelling.
In conclusion, I ask that you fight against the idiotic chatter of the media and the propaganda outfits, see through their lies and disinformation. Instead, use your time and energy to remember not only the victims of MH17, but also the victims of IR655, KAL 007 and TWA flight 800. Most importantly keep their grieving families in your thoughts and prayers, and demand that they get the truth, at the very least we owe them that.