News that a commercial airliner had been shot down in Ukraine did not really surprise me. I was mildly surprised that any commercial airliner would willingly fly over a war zone, actually: don’t these people realize that traveling through war zones is dangerous? Why were the pilots flying through that area anyway? What, you think that because you’re in a civilian aircraft thousands of feet in the air, that you’re safe?
Would you drive a car through a war zone? Of course not!
Look, for hundreds of years, people have known that traveling across terrain currently hosting armed conflict is inherently dangerous, and to do so without taking proper precautions (like arming yourself to the teeth and preferably packing your army, or at least a battalion or two) is essentially signing yourself up for a shot at the Darwin Awards.
Like the women “journalists” who ended up victims of violence during the Arab Spring, I want to ask these morons, “Just what makes you think that people who are engaging in lethal violence aren’t going to kill you? You might think you’re different and special from their other victims, but do you really think they see you as anything more than a bit of fun to be had?”
Not all cultures recognize civilian as a noncombatant status, idiots. And flying in a defenseless sardine tin over a place where a major power and who knows what kind of nasty rebel terrorist groups and/or competing domestic factions are having a “little spat” strikes me as a spectacularly bad plan. War is not civilized and armed conflict involves this thing called collateral damage.
Of course, humanity is rather good at soaking up collateral damage as necessary for efficient travel – otherwise, cars would be illegal and we’d all be riding horses again. Now that it’s been conclusively proven that Ukrainian airspace is actually dangerous outside of just the Crimea region, I expect very few airlines will be cutting time and costs by flying through that particular country’s airspace.
I am mildly surprised that this was news and caused such a fuss, though. Slow news day, I guess. “War kills people” could fill an entire newspaper with stories from around the world every day, after all. Or maybe somebody in the mainstream media will make a lot of money if the Malaysian airlines stock crashes… hmmm.