The news of the this week had to be the missile strike in Poland on 15 November, hitting a grain dryer and killing two people. It feels like the world could be hovering on the edge of a much larger conflict than Russia vs Ukraine. Thank goodness the NATO forces took a bite of their hamburger before acting (a great First Aid instructor told us his rule is to take a bite of his hamburger before stepping into an accident scene). Thank goodness that Biden, rather than Trump, is President of the USA at present. It is easy to imagine Trump pushing for a much more immediate and spectacular reaction.
What did you think when you heard the news? I found it pretty hard not to think, that must have been a Russian missile. I thought it unlikely that Russia had fired a missile into Polish countryside – there is very little apparent gain from such an action. However, given the missile strike aligned with a major missile campaign on Ukraine from Russia, it seemed highly likely that the direct fault was Russia’s and one of their missiles had overshot the Ukraine to fall in Poland.
Both Putin and Zelensky denied that the missile was theirs. Typical Putin, I thought (did you?), lying about something again. Trying once again make out Russia as a victim, by saying that the West is unfairly blaming Russia for something that Russia didn’t do. After all, Russia only started a illegal war!
Piece by piece the news eked out … it was a Russian missile. There you go, I thought, a Russian missile. However … next we heard that both Russia and the Ukraine have and use Russian-made missiles. It could be from either country.
Finally, a statement from NATO and Warsaw on 16 November saying that the missile did not originate in Russia. The Polish president said that, from the information Warsaw has, the missile was “an S-300 rocket made in the Soviet Union, an old rocket, and there is no evidence it was launched by the Russian side”. The thinking is now that the rocket was part of the Ukraine missile defence system, activated when Russia launched a massive missile attack. However, the Polish President, and NATO, have been at pains to point out the ultimate fault remains with Russia because Russia started an illegal war in Ukraine.
Something that puzzles me in all this is, isn’t anyone tracking missiles? You’d think there would be lots of missile tracking going on when one country is lobbing missiles at another country that has borders with many third parties. Is this like when the Malaysian airlines plane disappeared in 2014 and we found out that planes didn’t have active tracking devices relaying their whereabouts. They do now, of course. Is no one is tracking missiles but they will soon?
Despite the evidence gathered so far (with more investigations to come), Volodymyr Zelensky continues to state that he has “no doubt” the missile is not from the Ukraine. This is hard to fathom. It seems like a child with a hand stuck in the cookie jar (a most inappropriate simile for a president running a stricken country fighting against a massive and unreasonable opponent in an illegal war). “NO, I did NOT steal a cookie. ” The unfortunate result of this denial, in the face of apparent evidence to the contrary, is one’s loss of sympathy for Ukraine. How can Zelensky be telling the truth? And if he is lying about this, what else might he be lying about? However, I can similarly question my own assumptions – if I was wrong in my initial assumption about the missile in Poland being from Russia in the first instance, why might I not also be wrong about it being from the Ukraine?
Which leads me to think, I don’t believe countries aren’t tracking missiles. Why wouldn’t they be? They can and do if they’re defending themselves against missiles. So why can’t they or wouldn’t they in other circumstances, to watch what is going on in the globe? Is there some global military accord that means no country will admit to tracking another country’s missiles if they aren’t under direct threat? That seems a whole lot more likely than no tracking taking place. Great, I’ve started with the possibility of WWIII and ended with a worldwide military conspiracy. Next blog I’ll see if I can include alien spaceships abducting humans too.