Ukraine, Crimea and missing plane MH370

LIFE in a critical airplane incident and a country’s rights and borders both no longer seem to have the value they once did.

You’d have thought that if anyone was going to stand up for a country or state’s independence then it would be the United Nations.

And you’d actually be right, but for a long time now the UN has been a guard dog without any teeth.

That situation was starkly revealed by the crisis in the Ukraine, the UN Security Council being overwhelmingly resolved to censure the Crimea independence referendum.

But just one problem. It had to be a unanimous censure, Russia is a member of the Security Council and, what a surprise, it used its veto to torpedo the whole process.

The secession referendum for the Crimea to leave Ukraine, an independent state since 1991, had rightly been deemed unconstitutional by Ukraine.

Forces deemed “pro-Russian” took control of Crimea in February after Ukraine’s pro-Moscow president was overthrown in February.

Ethnic Russians make up 58 percent of the region’s population and they called for  a referendum to vote on joining the Big Bear.

But Russia, far from accepting it had no business interfering in the affairs of an independent state, claimed its military presence was merely support for those ethnic Russians.

A few little things like having no right to be there and firing over the heads of independent observers was apparently scarcely worth mentioning…..and so it goes on.

The UN continues to give its famous impression of a malfunctioning geyser – lots of spluttering but no action – allowing Russian might to get the Crimea it wants and possibly a lot more besides.

That military might takes me neatly on to the missing MH370 flight and a scandal of international proportions.

Confusion reigns over the whole incident with the plane first being lost, remaining missing despite a huge search and wreckage being found which turned out not to be wreckage.

In the latest twist it seems person or persons on the flight may have switched off various pieces of equipment to confuse detection of the aircraft while you can take your pick with theories from a crash in the sea thousands of miles off course to a touch-down on land so passengers can be ransomed.

But one thing looms horribly in the background of this terrible incident.

There is a very real possibility that countries involved in using their hardware to try and track the course of the plane may have delayed the release of information or withheld it altogether in order to conceal just how powerful their military capability might be.

Just the thought of doing that when potentially lives were at stake doesn’t bear thinking about.

A Chinese satellite image on plane wreckage eventually turned out not to be plane wreckage but, even so, that image was not released until four days after it was recorded.

What if it had been aircraft wreckage and, because of its size, a potential life raft for survivors?

 In those circumstances those survivors would have been condemned to four days exposure in waters where there are considerably more menacing things than sardines.

Crash investigation experts know what they are talking about and one didn’t mince his words by openly exploring the scarcely credible fact that every country in the area had just missed seeing the plane.

Far more likely, he suggested, was a scenario where sophisticated equipment had not only spotted MH370 but could considerably narrow the search area if not pinpoint pretty closely where it was.

But therein hangs the dilemma for the country with that equipment or satellite savvy. If it releases those facts then it reveals crucial information about its capability.

Far more likely, the expert suggested, was that the country or countries in question held off, hoping to be baled out by the international rescue operation finally finding the plane….only it didn’t happen.

I believe that if the plane is ever found then any inquiry into what happened will raise huge questions about the availability of satellite data, who potentially had it and why it wasn’t disseminated.

At the end of the day, neither the Ukraine situation or the misery surrounding flight MH370 does much to show military might in a favourable situation.

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