Iran military weasels in admitting shooting down the Ukrainian plane

Andrea Widburg writes:

Shortly after the Ukrainian jet crashed in Iran, people began to speculate that the plane had not crashed but, instead, that Iran had shot the plane. This was based on eyewitness testimony that the plane was already in flames before it hit the ground.

On Thursday, the Pentagon announced that satellite footage indicated that those who speculated that Iran had shot down the plane were correct. The Pentagon did not assign a motive to Iran’s actions but suggested that Iran, which only four hours before had launched ballistic missiles at American military locations in Iraq, might have thought the passenger plane was an American jet delivering explosive retaliation.

Iran denied this charge, refused to let anyone see the black box, and plowed over the ground where the crash occurred. On Saturday, however, Iran finally broke down and admitted what was, by this point, an irrefutable truth: It had shot the Ukrainian plane, although it had done so inadvertently:

Iran's military says it "unintentionally" shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, Iran's state TV reports.

The statement, released on Saturday morning, said it had done so due to "human error".

Those responsible would be held accountable, the statement read on state TV said.

Iran had previously rejected suggestions that one of its missiles brought down the plane near the capital, Tehran, on Wednesday.

All 176 people on the flight died, including at least 63 Canadian passengers.

Civis Americanus adds:

Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, says Iran may have "unintentionally" destroyed a passenger airliner and killed all 176 passengers and crew members aboard.  Even President Trump appears willing to dismiss the incident as a "mistake."

The only mistake is the premise that somebody can any more "unintentionally" fire a surface-to-air missile at a civilian airliner than he can "unintentionally" shoot an innocent bystander.  The best he can plead is recklessness or criminal negligence.  The only way to shoot somebody is to (1) disengage the safety catch; (2) point a firearm at him, which, in the absence of justification, is a glaring violation of firearm safety practices and quite possibly a crime, such as reckless endangerment (Pa.), aggravated assault (Pa.), or a gross misdemeanor (Nev.); and (3) squeeze the trigger.  It is, in fact, essentially impossible to discharge a firearm (much less hit somebody with the bullet) while obeying Colonel Jeff Cooper's four gun safety rules.  This is why many firearm instructors prefer to use the term "negligent discharge" rather than "accidental discharge."

Holes in hull showed damage from missile explosion

Photo credit: YouTube screen grab.

The only way to shoot down an airplane is similarly to (1) disengage whatever safety mechanisms are in place to prevent unwanted missile launches, (2) aim the missile at the aircraft, and (3) launch the missile.  The bottom line is that weapons, including artillery and rockets as well as small arms, are designed to not fire unless somebody really wants them to fire.

DefenseOne's "How Not to Operate a Surface-to-Air Missile Battery" adds the possibility that the Iranian missile system was allowed to fire autonomously, but this is not an excuse.  It is negligent to allow an anti-aircraft weapon system to shoot everything in sight when commercial aircraft are flying into and out of a nearby international airport.

Firearm-owners know better than to shoot at noises, people, or animals they cannot identify, or even prowlers who have not entered a household.  The handful who violate these commonsense rules by shooting, for example, unexpected family members or other innocent people often find themselves facing lawsuits and even criminal charges.  Iran should have similarly known from the Boeing 737's flight plan that the aircraft that was climbing away from a civilian airport was unarmed and neutral.  DefenseOne elaborates that, as but one example of what should have prevented this incident, civilian aircraft have transponders that identify them clearly.

If Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was indeed destroyed by an Iranian missile, it was neither unintentional nor a mistake (accident).  It was reckless and negligent use of a deadly weapon that resulted in the loss of a defenseless civilian aircraft with 176 innocent people on board.  The Federal Aviation Administration has already banned U.S. airlines from operating in Iranian (and also Iraqi) airspace because of Iranian missile attacks on U.S. personnel and assets.  The rest of the world's civilian airlines should follow the FAA's example.  Nobody should fly in or operate any kind of aircraft near a despotic country that launches missiles at every blip it sees on a radar screen.

Civis Americanus is the pen name of an American Thinker contributor who remembers the lessons of history and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way.

Andrea Widburg writes:

Shortly after the Ukrainian jet crashed in Iran, people began to speculate that the plane had not crashed but, instead, that Iran had shot the plane. This was based on eyewitness testimony that the plane was already in flames before it hit the ground.

On Thursday, the Pentagon announced that satellite footage indicated that those who speculated that Iran had shot down the plane were correct. The Pentagon did not assign a motive to Iran’s actions but suggested that Iran, which only four hours before had launched ballistic missiles at American military locations in Iraq, might have thought the passenger plane was an American jet delivering explosive retaliation.

Iran denied this charge, refused to let anyone see the black box, and plowed over the ground where the crash occurred. On Saturday, however, Iran finally broke down and admitted what was, by this point, an irrefutable truth: It had shot the Ukrainian plane, although it had done so inadvertently:

Iran's military says it "unintentionally" shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, Iran's state TV reports.

The statement, released on Saturday morning, said it had done so due to "human error".

Those responsible would be held accountable, the statement read on state TV said.

Iran had previously rejected suggestions that one of its missiles brought down the plane near the capital, Tehran, on Wednesday.

All 176 people on the flight died, including at least 63 Canadian passengers.

Civis Americanus adds:

Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, says Iran may have "unintentionally" destroyed a passenger airliner and killed all 176 passengers and crew members aboard.  Even President Trump appears willing to dismiss the incident as a "mistake."

The only mistake is the premise that somebody can any more "unintentionally" fire a surface-to-air missile at a civilian airliner than he can "unintentionally" shoot an innocent bystander.  The best he can plead is recklessness or criminal negligence.  The only way to shoot somebody is to (1) disengage the safety catch; (2) point a firearm at him, which, in the absence of justification, is a glaring violation of firearm safety practices and quite possibly a crime, such as reckless endangerment (Pa.), aggravated assault (Pa.), or a gross misdemeanor (Nev.); and (3) squeeze the trigger.  It is, in fact, essentially impossible to discharge a firearm (much less hit somebody with the bullet) while obeying Colonel Jeff Cooper's four gun safety rules.  This is why many firearm instructors prefer to use the term "negligent discharge" rather than "accidental discharge."

Holes in hull showed damage from missile explosion

Photo credit: YouTube screen grab.

The only way to shoot down an airplane is similarly to (1) disengage whatever safety mechanisms are in place to prevent unwanted missile launches, (2) aim the missile at the aircraft, and (3) launch the missile.  The bottom line is that weapons, including artillery and rockets as well as small arms, are designed to not fire unless somebody really wants them to fire.

DefenseOne's "How Not to Operate a Surface-to-Air Missile Battery" adds the possibility that the Iranian missile system was allowed to fire autonomously, but this is not an excuse.  It is negligent to allow an anti-aircraft weapon system to shoot everything in sight when commercial aircraft are flying into and out of a nearby international airport.

Firearm-owners know better than to shoot at noises, people, or animals they cannot identify, or even prowlers who have not entered a household.  The handful who violate these commonsense rules by shooting, for example, unexpected family members or other innocent people often find themselves facing lawsuits and even criminal charges.  Iran should have similarly known from the Boeing 737's flight plan that the aircraft that was climbing away from a civilian airport was unarmed and neutral.  DefenseOne elaborates that, as but one example of what should have prevented this incident, civilian aircraft have transponders that identify them clearly.

If Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was indeed destroyed by an Iranian missile, it was neither unintentional nor a mistake (accident).  It was reckless and negligent use of a deadly weapon that resulted in the loss of a defenseless civilian aircraft with 176 innocent people on board.  The Federal Aviation Administration has already banned U.S. airlines from operating in Iranian (and also Iraqi) airspace because of Iranian missile attacks on U.S. personnel and assets.  The rest of the world's civilian airlines should follow the FAA's example.  Nobody should fly in or operate any kind of aircraft near a despotic country that launches missiles at every blip it sees on a radar screen.

Civis Americanus is the pen name of an American Thinker contributor who remembers the lessons of history and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way.