As you know, a Malaysian Air passenger jet was brought down in separatist Ukraine by a SAM battery today. Apparently 295 souls were lost.
Those lost to the initial impact were, of course, the most fortunate of the condemned. The horror of consciously experiencing an aircraft disintegrate about you is almost more than this writer can bear to imagine. The screams, the implacable violence of rending metal amidst 500mph wind, and that terrible blossoming realization: I am going to die. The latter being the worst as a result of gravity’s languid draw from that height. And throughout the plummet, that sickly sweet taste of desperate hope. I know I would feel it. Hope that somehow the pilots would regain control, that I could land non-fatally, that some miracle would spare what I was too frightened to accept. And as land approached in hope’s departing wake, there would only be the teeth-gritting question of what. What will I feel? Pain? Heat? Impact? Or will my thoughts just cease from one moment to the next?
Perhaps many were more admirably composed than that. Coolly taking inventory of lives, collating memories, and offering silent farewells to distant loved ones. However each brought themselves to depart, I hope they are in peace now. Because those they left behind will likely not be.
We can only yearn for the absence of portent in that this event occurred less than three weeks after the 100th anniversary of the Archduke’s assassination. In considering the ongoing Game of Bones in that region, I find the timing not one that offers a peaceful, easy feeling. And as I just started to pen the thought that at least John McCain has not yet begun braying for war, a quick news check revealed to my spared embarrassment that, of course…he has.
Sen. John McCain said Thursday that he is withholding judgment on the Malaysia Airlines crash, but vowed that there would be “hell to pay” if the plane was shot down by the Russian military or separatists.
The notion of another fratricidal Western war would seem almost beyond conception to sober minds. Though those are not what proposition-Americans elect to represent them. And if nothing else, this event should alleviate sufficient media coverage to quietly relocate the remaining population of Honduras into a neighborhood near you. Invasion here as we invade there: what pleasant symmetry. The most important thing in the world is drawing arrows on maps.
As a p.s., I must wonder, as I am naive about commercial aviation, why flights were occurring over an acknowledged war zone where other aircraft had already being downed. Do you think the families of the dead will also wonder? Do you think their legal counsel will wonder? Do you think class action judges and juries will wonder? Malaysian Air now flies into the history books.