If They Were Shot Down Deliberately or Accidentally, Then Someone South of the Border has Blood on his Hands
A Commentary by Doug Draper
Posted January 9th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
There may be at least a few out there who look at this and ask why is he commenting on this mess in Iran again, when he should be focusing on issues closer to home.
Yet when I was out and about in Niagara this January 8th, stopping off at a few stores, one of our public libraries and at an auto-care centre, getting a minor repair done to my car, just about everyone I crossed paths with had what has been going down with the U.S. Trump administration and Iran on the top of their minds.
Many went out of their way to express their concern and even some of the anger they were feeling about circumstances that a number of experts on foreign affairs fear could lead to a catastrophic war.
And one part of this whole affair people I crossed paths with mentioned the most was the crash of the Ukrainian jetliner in the early morning hours (Middle East time) inside the borders of Iran that ended the lives of all 176 people aboard, including 63 Canadian men, women and children.
This crash happened around the same time Iran fired some ballistic missiles that landed right at the foot of sites where members of the American military are based in neighbouring Iraq, and already, there are aviation experts looking at video of the jet falling from the sky and other available evidence (the jet’s Black Box has yet to be examined) and wondering if it wasn’t deliberately or accidentally brought down with a bomb or missile.
“There was no way for Iran to know it was engine failure,” Mary Schiavo, a former U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general and a pilot, told the newspaper USA Today of initial reports that engine failure may have been the reason for a crash that left burning pieces of the plane strewn over a large area of the landscape . “That is the wreckage of an explosion in the air,” she said. “Something happened to blow that plane out of the air. Statistically speaking, that’s a missile or a bomb.”
In a January 8th report in the Washington Post, Jeff Guzzetti, a former Federal Aviation Administration accident investigation chief, said it appeared the plane was “not intact” before it hit the ground. The crash carried “all the earmarks of an intentional act,” he said.” “I just know airplanes don’t come apart like that.”
This crash and all of the lives lost was tragic enough, but what makes it even more disturbing is the possibility that the suspicions of these aviation experts and others may be right – that this disaster was somehow one of the outcomes of military actions and hostilities triggered in the wake of the Trump administration’s decision to “take out” Iran’s top general this past January 3rd.
After Iran struck back this January 7th with a missile attack, Trump fired out one of his tweets on an assumption at the time that at least no Americans had been killed that read, in part; “All is well!! … So far, so good. We have the most powerful and well-equipped military in the world, by far! I will be making a statement in the morning.”
Shortly after Trump’s “all is well” tweet came out, those of us watching what was unfolding on cable networks, got the “breaking news” that a Ukrainian jetliner, carrying people anxious to leave the Middle East region after the hostilities broke out, fell out of the skies over Iran.
Then, when Trump delivered his statement the following morning, he began with the words; “As long as I am President of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon,” before launching into one of his strong-man rants, seemingly to stoke the anger thirst to strike out in those who make up his so-called political base.
Not one word in his bellicose statement about that ill-fated Ukrainian jetliner, let alone any words of sympathy for the families and friends of those who lost their lives on that jet.
And then, a few hours after Trump got through with that performance, Pompeo and some of his other slavish followers, met with a bi-partisan gathering of U.S. senators for what was supposed to be a closed-door security briefing, detailing why Trump decided to take out the Iranian general in the first place. Except that even some Republican senators who have been die-hard supporters of Trump, left the briefing calling it an “insult” and “joke” that offered no justification for the take out that triggered the past four or five days of war-like hostility in the first place.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement of his own earlier this January 8th saying, in part; “This morning, I join Canadians across the country who are shocked and saddened to see reports that a plane crash outside of Tehran, Iran, has claimed the lives of 176 people, including 63 Canadians.”
Let’s hope that Trudeau and his government also demand access to the downed jet’s Black Box and all other evidence in an effort to determine what really happened here.
Let’s also hope that Canada’s prime minister also refused to allow our country to get sucked in to what could be a very costly and deadly quagmire of a war with Iran and possibly other Middle East states that is looking very much like a mess made by an individual who is too erratic, dangerous and ignorant of facts to hold the most powerful office in the world.
Trump is also an individual who has gone out of his way to insult Canada and its leader since the time he took office, treating our country like some kind of an adversary or enemy rather than an old friend, and one that opened its doors to thousands of stranded Americans after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001.
And now, he is an individual who may, as a result of his short-sighted, self-absorbed reckless behaviour, triggered a crisis that, among other things, has cost the lives of 176 people aboard a commercial jetliner, including 63 Canadian men, women and children.
I have many friends who are Americans and I know that many of them are just as disturbed by the conduct and temperament of this individual who now occupies the White House.
Many of you may also have friends who live in the United States.
We should all beg them to please, for their sake and for the sake of their neighbours in Canada and the rest of the world, exercise their democratic rights to do everything possible to make sure that Trump does not win a second term of office.
If he does win a second term, I think we are all screwed.
Here is the full text of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement this January 8th about the deaths of those aboard the downed jetliner –
January 8, 2020, Ottawa, Ontario
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the fatal plane crash in Iran:
“This morning, I join Canadians across the country who are shocked and saddened to see reports that a plane crash outside of Tehran, Iran, has claimed the lives of 176 people, including 63 Canadians.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to those who have lost family, friends, and loved ones in this tragedy. Our government will continue to work closely with its international partners to ensure that this crash is thoroughly investigated, and that Canadians’ questions are answered. Today, I assure all Canadians that their safety and security is our top priority. We also join with the other countries who are mourning the loss of citizens.
“Minister Champagne has been in touch with the government of Ukraine, and is speaking to relevant authorities and to international partners. Minister Garneau is also working with officials from Transport Canada, and is reaching out to his international counterparts.
“Friends and relatives of Canadian citizens believed to be on board can contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre by calling 613-996-8885 or 1-800-387-3124, or by sending an email to –
Canadian citizens in Iran requiring consular assistance should contact the Canadian Embassy in Ankara at +90 (312) 409 2700 or call Global Affairs Canada’s Emergency Watch and Response Centre at +1 613-996-8885.”
To read Trump’s full January 8th statement on the Iran crisis, click on – https://www.stripes.com/news/full-text-of-president-trump-s-remarks-on-iran-jan-8-2019-1.613949
For a CBC report on the loss of this commercial jet and all aboard, click on – https://www.cbc.ca/news/iran-flight752-crash-timeline-1.5419572
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