With more information about Malayasia Airlines Flight 370, more horrifying possibilities occur

Retired airplaneSo we finally know something with some certainty:  Malayasia Airlines Flight 370 didn’t spontaneously combust at the moment it lost contact with the world.  Instead, it flew on for another 7 hours, after making a horrifying 40,000 foot descent within a single minute.  It was flown in the direction of places that aren’t nice:  Afghanistan or Pakistan or one of the equally Muslim, menacing “stans” in that region.  And last I heard, that’s all we know.

We don’t know if the passengers are alive or dead.  We don’t know if the crew is alive or dead, and if alive, if the crew members (some or all) were complicit with the hijacking or if they’re innocent.  Heck, we don’t even know if the whole thing was carried out long distance, in much the same way enthusiasts use radio’s to control their model airplanes.

Not only don’t we know what did happen, we also don’t know what will happen.  Was this the cheapest, easiest way to obtain an airplane for another 9/11 or for a nuclear bomb dropping?  If you drive through America’s deserts, you’ll see hundreds of retired planes basking in the dry air.  Was it really simpler to steal an operational plane than to steal one of those?

There are really three scenarios now:  The plane eventually crashed and is gone; the plane survived and will be turned into a weapon (a bomb itself, a la 9/11, or a bomb carrier); or the plane will be turned into theater.  Regarding the last, I can see the terrorists (for terrorists it must be) outfitting the plane with cameras inside filming passengers being flown around endlessly and, while being flown, having select numbers of them tortured and killed for the cameras.  There will, of course, be some demand:  Nuke Israel, release all prisoners from Gitmo, have the US withdraw entirely (every military person, every oil company, and every individual) from the Middle East, have Russia withdraw from all Muslim “stan” countries, get China out of Uyghur territory, etc.

I think I’ll quote jj here, since he is painfully, but absolutely, correct:

If the plane was landed somewhere, and got down in one piece, then the passengers are doubtless alive and well, because again: what would be the point of killing them?  If you take 240 hostages you don’t kill them, you use them.  They’re negotiating chips.  You call up Jug-ears and say: “immediately release Abdul and Selim from Guantanamo or we kill one hostage every hour for the next ten days” or something.  There’s zero to be gained by killing them.  If the plane got down safely the passengers are alive.

My father, who knew something about the harsh realities of this kind of stuff – and for whom incidentally I have passports, all with the same picture, from five different countries, all issued within 36 months of each other – recognized that the world was changing when Carter was in the white house and the embassy in Teheran was overrun.  His first reaction was the reaction of his rather hard-nosed generation: it’s sad but write them off.  You don’t hold up and skew the destinies of 270 million people for the sake of 44 people.  They’re gone.  They’ve become soldiers, and they’re KIA.  You accept the loss, move on, and exact revenge.  But we didn’t do that.  We twisted in the wind for over a year, looking like fools, being pissed on by a bunch of desert sand fleas, and let them get away with it.  And they learned that my father’s nation, which was a well-armored tank, has become a bunch of maiden aunts, nannies, and pantywaists – at least when democrats are in charge –  and can be manipulated.  So if it was terrorists the passengers are alive and stashed for later use.

Incidentally, like jj’s father, mine too knew something about the harsh realities of fighting fundamentalists, both Nazi and Islamic.  He too said back in 1979 that Carter shouldn’t have negotiated, but should have written the hostages off and then made Iran suffer.

If the Malaysia Airlines plane becomes a flying torture chamber and slaughterhouse, the best and kindest thing we can do for the passengers, and for the entire world, is to shoot that plane down.  Otherwise, it’s not just the passengers who are hostages to twisted (presumably Islamic until proven otherwise) psychopaths, but the rest of the world is too.

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  • Matt_SE

    “There’s zero to be gained by killing them.”
    But he/you’re leaving out the other side of the equation: are there any losses to be avoided by killing them?
    Hosting, hiding and feeding 240 people is quite an undertaking. It would cost many thousands/tens-of-thousands of dollars. Depending on the financial circumstances of the terrorists, they may not be able to afford that. If they want the plane alone, why incur the cost of keeping hostages?

    • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

      Thousands of dollars? What do you think they are being hosted at, the 5 star motel?

  • TREGONSEE

    Try this scenario.  The Bad Guys have publicly stated that it is loaded with biologicals or a dirty bomb.  It is inbound to a major city, panicked passengers visible through the windows.   Someone will need to authorize its destruction, and someone will need to do so.  Oh yes, and what if it is all a bluff?

  • sabawa

    Perhaps this is a naive question but I’ll ask just the same.  How do you keep 240 innocent passengers, flying to their assumed demise, from overtaking their captors?   The plane flew for hrs., apparently.  Was everyone gassed in flight except ppl with masks?  

  • jj

    It’s a two-fer.  Because hostages, the way the world is currently constituted, buy you stuff.  A pile of bodies buys you nothing more than a lot of flies.  Hostages, well-fed or otherwise, offer the opportunity for gains.  There are plenty of places in the world, particularly in some of those areas the plane could have reached, where you can keep people adequately (which is different from ‘well,’ or ‘cheerfully,’ or ‘in the manner to which they’re accustomed’) fed, watered, and alive for less than a buck or so a day.  And if you can hide the plane, which they’ve now had a week to do, (if that’s what happened), you can certainly hide the people on it, if by no other expedient than leaving them on it.
     
    And you still have the plane, if you envision another use for it.  But – the plane is logistically a much bigger pain the ass than the people.  It’s going to require a runway more than a mile in length to get off the ground – a 777 can get down and stopped in about 5,000′ but getting up again is a different matter.  It has to be somewhere with an eight or nine thousand foot strip.  I imagine a number of countries are currently scouring the area inside the plane’s endurance map for such runways.  (It won’t be a nice level field, either: you can land on that, but you aren’t real likely to get up again: they need a hard level surface.  This isn’t a C-117, it’s a civilian luxury-liner.)  Then, along with that requirement, the beast drinks fuel.  If you want to fly anywhere again you better have a least a couple of tanker trucks standing by.  Transferring the fuel is relatively easy, you can do that with hand pumps, so the equipment to get the thing refueled isn’t real complex.  Not nearly as complex as getting the fuel there and storing it, both of which operations have to be concealed.  If the plane is hiding under a million banana leaves, so are the fuel trucks, and the strip.  (If an SU-30 from the Indian Air Force zips over a clearing in the middle of nowhere on an island somewhere, it would be better for the terrorists if they didn’t have five tankers parked out there in plain sight, so they have to be hidden as well as the 777 itself.)
     
    And, as has been noted, everybody’s now on alert.  If you want to use the plane as a bomb, as in 9/11, good luck.  The entire planet will be looking out for a non-responsive big jet.  The odds are quite good they won’t get too far.  Yes, there are plenty of places they can surface and not be seen for a couple of hours, but any population center they might consider a target is pretty well guarded airspace.  It’s a big planet, there are a lot of blank spaces, but if you want to do any damage you’ll  have to become visible.
     
    So getting further mileage from the plane is tricky as hell at best.  Getting something for the hostages is a far simpler play.  My only reservation on that is what I already said: it’s been a week.  We should have heard by now.

  • Caped Crusader

    One thing I can see uniting Russia, China, USA, and all of industrial society is the increasing problem that a once docile Islam is causing all of the world. The combined wrath of all these nations could very quickly put these people back in the 7th Century where they seem to want to be. When you play with fire long enough and break the “big kid’s toys” long enough, you get neutralized with  a giant smackdown you won’t forget.. We might have some reservations, but believe me China and Russia would enjoy the exercise.

  • Charles Martel

    Caped, leave the USA out of this. Our president is a gelding, and historically, geldings have not done so well against Islam.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Russia and Islam have a shared interest in keeping the price of oil high. Their economies and, likely, their countries will collapse otherwise. This is one reason why Obama is doing everything he can to slow the development of fracking.