The downing of the Ukrainian airliner and the slaughter of 176 souls was no accident, it was a deliberate war crime by the Iranian regime, a war crime, which is now pinned on the one guy who chose peace: Donald J. Trump
So what has actually transpired over the last few days? First, Iranian-inspired and Iranian-led Iraqi Shia militias attacked sovereign American territory – the American embassy in Baghdad. Subsequently, America killed several of its highest ranking and deadliest enemies, Iranian arch-terrorist Soleimani chief among them. These were people who had already killed many Americans and who were about to kill many more. They were all combatants. Their killing by America was justified by any measure.
Following the successful American operation, Iran decided to avenge itself and “save face” by setting an elaborate trap for the American military. It attacked an American base in Iraq with ballistic missiles. This attack was not designed to cause casualties or severe damage. In fact, it was likely designed to avoid them. What it was designed to do was provoke a “disproportionate” American response such as the bombing of Iranian installations by cruise missiles or aircraft, both manned and unmanned.
Such a response would have resulted in major Iranian casualties and damage to Iranian installations, both of which could be used by Iran to play the victim card and turn world opinion and specifically the public opinion on the so-called “Arab street” against America. Had this been successful, it would have made the American strategy of uniting the Sunni Arab world against Iran and its proxies that much more difficult. The low-impact Iranian strike was not designed to “save American lives” in order to limit American retaliation, it was designed to be contrasted with the American response and give Iran a propaganda victory.
But there was another component to Iranian strategy, another more deadly aspect to the trap it had set. Expecting massed American response via the air, Iran put all of its anti-aircraft (AA) and anti-missile defenses on the highest alert, hoping to shoot down at least one American asset. Shooting down a cruise missile and parading the wreckage would be great. A drone would be better. But the highest reward, the absolute pinnacle of Iranian fantasies would be the downing of a manned American warplane with the subsequent capture of one or more members of the crew. Should such a scenario had come to pass, God forbid, there would be no telling how things would escalate, but from the Iranian perspective it would have been the best possible outcome as it would put them on a pedestal few if any have scaled since the Vietnam war – the pedestal of the plucky, fiercely independent small country that could stand up to the Great Satan.
AA defenses work in layers. These layers are defined by the altitude and range of the weaponry deployed and they trade readiness for the risk of downing something that you didn’t want downed. The most immediate layer are rapid fire small caliber cannon and shoulder-fired heat-seeking missiles. Both are fired on the decision of a single operator who has only fractions of a second to decide whether to push the button or not.
The second layer are short-range, low-altitude missiles like the Russian Tor M-1 or S-15 that shot down the Ukrainian airliner. They have limited radar capabilities that give them threat analysis only for a limited azimuth and elevation sectors. While they are typically in communication with some sort of central control and command unit, they operate independently and without a full picture of their theater of operations. Furthermore, these types of weapons typically have only a single radar for target discovery, acquisition, and lock, further limiting the data they have on the type of threat that they may be facing.
The next layer of defense are medium to long range missiles such as the Russian S-300 and S-400 and the American Patriot. These systems have a variety of discovery, acquisition, and tracking radar technologies giving their operators a full picture of the aircraft operating in their theater and allowing them to differentiate among various types of targets. Additionally, these systems are of strategic rather than simply tactical import, which is why they are normally plugged into the theater control and command center and do not fire unless cleared by it.
To summarize, short-range tactical layers trade off increased risk of target misidentification for increased probability of target destruction in the exceedingly short time that it takes a modern aircraft to cover the few kilometers that their missiles or other projectiles can cover. Long-range strategic layers of defense have more time at their disposal to analyze the targets in their theater and make better decisions as to the threat level that they present.
I have no doubt that just such multi layered defense approach was deployed by the Iranians in the ambush they had prepared for the American aircraft they were sure would come flying when the American bases in Iraq were hit. All layers were placed on hair trigger alert so as not to miss any opportunity. Furthermore, Iranians have no familiarity with the radar signatures, if any, of American stealth bombers and fighters, a fact that must have made their anti-aircraft unit commanders that much more jittery and unsure of themselves.
Now we have to consider that Iran is at peace. There are no known threats against that country other than threats to act against it if it should take offensive operations against other countries. Even assuming that Iran, like many Muslim countries, placed strategic military assets inside of its largest civilian airport, there was no reason for them to place their air defenses on high alert.
Except of course, there was. The Iranians knew full well that they were about to attack the military bases of another country, bases that were located hundreds of miles from their own borders. They also knew, in fact they were counting on this happening, that there would be a likely retaliation against the bases from which their missiles were fired as well as other military installations on their own soil.
This knowledge meant that the Iranians had an obligation to close their airspace to civilian air traffic BEFORE their attack on American bases and BEFORE they placed their air defenses on high alert, an action that would make target misidentification not only possible, but highly likely.
They did not do that. In order to preserve the element of surprise, Iran did not close its airspace to civilian traffic before their attack on American bases in Iraq. However, they still had time to do it immediately thereafter. It was required of them to immediately suspend all civilian aircraft operations in all Iranian airports the moment their ballistic missiles were in flight. They did not do that either.
Displaying unbelievable, criminal disregard for human life including the lives of their own citizens, Iran allowed normal operations from the Tehran airport to proceed while short-range tactical AA systems on hair trigger readiness were operating within the airport itself. There was almost no chance, under these conditions, that Iranian actions would not result in the tragedy that has indeed transpired. Iranian generals knew this with certainty, and yet they gave the orders to proceed. Iranian civilian leadership should have been and likely was aware of the risk of civilian casualties, but the trap they had set for America was paramount and superior to all other considerations.
This is why the downing of the Iranian airliner and the slaughter of all souls on board were not an “accident”. These were premeditated war crimes committed, and not for the first time, by the homicidal mullahs who control Iran.
How can a country’s leadership, depraved as they may be, choose to commit war crimes? Are they not afraid of the consequences? Of public opinion? Of UN condemnations? Of International Criminal Court investigations? That, apparently, depends. If you are Jewish or Christian, Israeli, Boer, or Serb, you had better be very afraid. If you are Muslim, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You have a free pass, a carte blanche to murder as many innocent civilians as your heart desires and in fact the more the better.
Trump and his advisors won a clear military and moral victory when they declined the Iranian invitation to step into their carefully laid trap. Iran was at peace, Tehran was not under any sort of attack or even hint of an attack when its overzealous AA forces killed 176 innocent civilians. Iran lost.
But did it? As almost often happens, the insane logic of progressive globalist West allowed Iran to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and let mass murderers gain (yet again) the high moral ground. President Trump, representing all patriotic Americans, called a “no harm no foul” on Iranian action. He had every right to retaliate in force against a country from whose territory dozens of lethal weapons were fired at American bases legally present on Iraqi soil. He did not. And yet progressive globalists from Canada to America to Europe and elsewhere are blaming the Iranian war crime on us, president Trump’s supporters, and on him personally.
There can be no better demonstration of the moral depravity of progressive globalists than this incident and their response to it. In every way imaginable, it mirrors that of the supporters of the murderous Nazi regimes of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. It mirrors them in its hysteria, its self-righteousness in the face of irrefutable proof to the contrary, and its deadliness.
We know from bitter experience what happens when these kinds of people are appeased. Hundreds of innocent victims become thousands and thousands become millions. The liberal progressive globalist agenda and its supporters pose a threat to every free human being on our planet, be they in Tehran or in Washington DC, a threat the likes of which we have not seen for three quarters of a century. They must be stopped and the time is now before more bodies pile up in every corner of the world.
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Pletner lays out everything necessary to make a claim of a ‘war crime’ having been committed by Iran EXCEPT for what’s called mens rea (criminal intent) in most American criminal law circles. There is no evidence in the facts as laid out by Pletner justifying any assumptions more than common negligence in the context of a classic case of ‘fog of war’. Further, what happened as a result of the environment that the US created (extreme anxiety due to what everybody in Iran had to assume was forthcoming) wasn’t reasonably foreseeable at least from my perspective. In the end, Pletner’s op-ed piece makes a weak case for American neocons to copy and amplify while blaming Iran for an act of war initiated and committed by America. But without direct or strong circumstantial evidence of the mens rea of Iranian military leadership in not closing civilian air corridors, that’s all it is, rank speculation; which fits nicely only with the American neocon mindset that America is never responsible for the consequences of it’s actions.
Iran shot down the plane. Maybe they kept the airport open as a human shield to prevent American aircraft from attacking it, but whatever the reason, they shot it down themselves.
When the Americans did shoot down an Iranian aircraft, they paid compensation, this was back a number of years ago when a navy ship fired an anti-aircraft missile thinking the target was an Iranian warcraft.
There’s no way the US is going to pay compensation for the shoot down of the Ukrainian aircraft over the Iranian airport, I think at Tehran.
I believe the Iranian government has in fact arrested the people responsible for shooting down the aircraft.
Likely they will be prosecuted.