Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Russian Civilian Aircraft Downed In Sinai: Cui Bono?

ISIS hipsters in Egypt (Image source)

The news has been dominated by the mid air explosion of a Russian operated Airbus A321 airliner over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing all 220+ passengers flying home to St. Petersburg after a holiday on the Red Sea. There are certain similarities to the destruction of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over a civil war zone in Ukraine and the usual propaganda wars about who was responsible are now going on.

Islamic fundamentalist as active in Sinai, there is ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine in nearby Gaza and the US vs Russia proxy war in Syria goes on. So how do we make a reasonable guess at what happened?

Marcus Tullius Cicero said, "Always ask "Cui bono?" Who benefits.

So looking at the various claims being made by involved parties such as the governments of Russia and Egypt, the leaders of ISIS and Al Qaeda, and other parties who, on the surface do not appear to be involved, and leaving aside the propaganda mainstream media are passing off as news reporting, let's ask who can gain from this and how, if as some aviation experts are suggesting, the aircraft broke up in mid air because of a bomb planted on board; as ISIS are claiming, they shot it down with a surface to air missile (SAM), a claim dismissed by the Russian aviation controller; or as certain European and US news organisations are trying to suggest that the aircraft crashed because the uncaring Russian regulators could not be bothered maintaining it properly.

The ISIS claim is unlikely. According to flight radar data, confirmed by Egyptian air traffic control, the plane was flying at 30,000 feet when whatever happened occurred. Islamic State guerillas in Sinai have surface-to-air weapons but only of types no effective above altitudes of 10,000 feet.

Another suggestion, that ISIS infiltrated the airport at the Egyptian tourist resort Sharm el-Sheikh where the plane was was coming from and smuggled a bomb on board is more feasible but still unlikely. The usual travel arrangements for Sharm el-Sheikh are groups of tourists on package holidays where anyone not belonging to a group would be suspicious. Security at Sharm el-Sheikh is usually tight, the resort is in the middle of one of the most politically volatile reas on the planet.

There have also been reports that preliminary investigations point to a technical failure, but these have been brought into the public domain by western mainstream media and seem to emanate from sources in Washington.

The fact that Islamic State, the wannabe and IraqCaliphate that wants to dominate from Spain to Shanghai claimed responsibility can and will be used by propagandists, in Russia to justify an escalation of operations in Syria and Iraq. Since the days of Ivan The Terrible, Russia has been paranoid about its vulnerable southern borders and the Islamic fundamentalism preached by ISIS threatens to stir up a lot of trouble in the former Soviet buffer states to the south of Russia and Siberia.

But also the US government and its European allies, whose objective in supporting Ilamic militant groups has been to bring down the Assad regime in Syria could use it to demonstrate that ISIS now poses a threat to western interests and justify firing a salvo of cruise missile from warships in the eastern Mediterranean on "IS targets" in Syria and Iraq? And who would complain if some of those cruise missiles hit targets in areas loyal to Assad?

All this is mere speculation, but with the world drifting inexorably towards a major conflict between east and west and official news channels having shown they cannot be trusted, we have a right to specuilate. Experience tells us we would be foolish to trust the elite.

That IS claims to have taken down an airliner shows that it has intent to do such. That ought to end the stupid arguments of the Obama administration that it will be necessary to equip and work with IS towards middle east peace or to let the caliphate live and prosper. The claim will also the end to any attempt to give serious air defense weapons to "moderate insurgents" in Syria. The weapons could easily (as they already have) end up in Al-Qaeda or IS hands and it is now clear what they would be doing had they access to advanced weapons.


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