Am naturally outraged and over-the-top angry over the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner from the skies over the Ukraine and the murder of the almost 300 people on it, and it is clear that Russia and Vladimir Putin bear responsibility for the travesty.
However, rationally reflecting on the horrific event has led me to recognize that governments, including our own, murder people.
Although the number of lives lost was two-thirds of one percent of those in the Ukraine disaster, the horrific event brought to mind the 2001 murders of an American missionary woman, Veronica Bowers, and her seven-month old daughter, Charity, by our government, which had the small plane in which they were heading home shot down in South America. Mrs. Bowers’ husband, their six-year-son, and their wounded pilot survived both the crash and their subsequent strafing by the Peruvian Air Force jet that our CIA (through outsourced private contractors) directed to attack them. A pretty good account of that travesty can be found by clicking here.
Despite the difference in the number of resulting deaths, the moral quality of the act was no different. Furthermore our Congress previously had formally recognized and approved such grotesque actions by enacting a law absolving the government and its contractors from any liability for shooting down planes like the one that carried the missionary family (as well as some stuffed animal toys like those so poignantly scattered about on Ukrainian soil).
The sad fact is that governments kill people . . . historically their own people more often than not. They do so both accidentally and intentionally. How many innocent American victims like Donald Scott, whose name you can Google for just one example, have been killed in mindless no-knock SWAT team drug raids? What about Wounded Knee, Waco, and Ruby Ridge? There probably will be many more such incidents as Officer Friendly is being replaced by our increasingly militarized law enforcement agencies . . . real jack-booted thugs. So we hardly can feel superior, smug, or self-righteous even about such things as the shocking propensity of Putin’s journalistic critics for tumbling from high roof tops in Russia.
Large, powerful, and unaccountable organizations like governments will always do evil things as long as those in charge of them have no reason to fear any meaningful personal retribution.