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Too many passenger planes get shot down

Re: "Only one civilian plane shot down by USSR/Russia", Letters, August 17.

Even though it was one plane that does not exonerate Soviet/Russia from guilt especially as it was revealed later in 1996 by the pilot who shot down KAL 007, Gennady Osipovich, that he fired multiple bursts from his cannon prior to releasing the two missiles. He admitted that he knew KAL 007 was a Boeing: "I saw two rows of windows and knew that this was a Boeing. I knew this was a civilian plane. But for me this meant nothing. It is easy to turn a civilian type of plane into one for military use." (New York Times interview, September 9, 1996). There went 269 lives.

Per Google, two passenger planes belonging to Transair Georgia were shot down in 1993 by Abkhazian rebels. The rebels were then supported by Russian Armed Forces. In 2001, another passenger plane was shot down accidentally by Ukraine with the Russian-made Buk missile system.

Like KAL 007, the shooting down of the Iranian passenger plane by the United States is a despicable act. But which is more despicable? One was caused by the extreme action of a Russian pilot while the commander of the US warship Vincennes was in a war zone area with perceptual bias when he mistook the passenger plane for a fighter plane. The aftermath is irrelevant when answering the question. I know my answer.

Songdej Praditsmanont


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