One disaster breaks hearts. A second one scares the world over the growing hazards to international travel. Not long ago, a Malaysian Airlines flight went missing without a trace. And now the shooting down of flight MH 17 raises an entirely different set of questions. One is pretty certain that a missile attack brought down the aircraft on the Russia-Ukraine border. As many as 298 lives have been lost. The calamity, for that is what it is, has left a whole world reeling in shock and pain.
The blame game that has already begun about who brought the plane down must swiftly turn into a meaningful and impartial inquiry into what actually happened. The United States and Ukraine have pointed the finger at Russia. For his part, President Vladimir Putin has made it clear that the country in which the plane came down, in this instance Ukraine, bears responsibility. The clear feeling is one of global politics being brought into play.
Obviously, the international community must now zero in on those who fired the missile or missiles at the jetliner. Given that pro-Russian Ukrainian rebels dominate the region where the plane was brought down, emphasis on what kind and number of missiles they have and how they came by them is a necessity. At the same time, focus should also be on both the Russian and Ukrainian governments in order to see if elements on either side were involved. Unless this question is speedily answered, there is every likelihood of such a tragedy being repeated.
The tragedy goes to highlight the imperative of securing international air travel against newer dangers. Our hearts go out in sympathy for the bereaved families.