Hey, folks. Sorry for the absence here, I’ve been playing nursemaid for my wife following her surgery. All went well, she’s recovering great, and got the last of her stitches removed a couple days ago. She’s gone shopping and driving solo, so she should be back to work in about a week. Then I can start dropping wonderful posts on y’all about the upcoming World War One Centenary, coming up on the 28th!
In far sadder news, you may have heard about the loss of another – yes, ANOTHER – Malaysian Airlines plane, flight MH-17. The plane fell out of the sky over Ukraine, and all sorts os supposition is flying about it being shot down (granted, the most likely possibility). I thought I’d share a few quick points for the less militarily inclined folks out there.
First, this is HIGHLY unlikely to be a simple “oops” of pushing a wrong button. The anti-air missiles being used require multiple radars (spread across multiple tank-like vehicles) to track, lock on, and intercept. Whoever launched the missile (if that IS the case) did it very much on purpose. It COULD be a mis-identification, as the radars would simply class the target in general terms – large twin-engine jet – rather than knowing that it was specifically a Boeing 777 or Ilyushin IL-76 cargo plane. There is NO way the plane could have been knocked down by a man-portable missile like a Stinger shoulder-launched unit. To get up to 32,000 feet, you need a BIG missile – vehicle carried, as the suspected system is. Unfortunately, both Russian and Ukrainian armed forces have this system, as most of Ukraine’s military hardware is Russian- or Soviet-produced. There are unconfirmed reports that the Ukrainian separatists also have at least one of the “units”, a unit being three or four vehicles for carrying missiles, radar, and control functions. Perhaps the best news – if you can call anything related to this tragedy good – is that the size of the warhead on the missile would have killed most of the passengers and crew either on detonation or seconds afterward, so at least the victims didn’t suffer TOO much.
I hope this helps some of you out, with the mass of raw information just pouring out of the talking heads on TV. We should know more with the evening news programs in about 2 hours. I might write more then. Otherwise, I’ll see y’all here more in the next couple weeks.