Before Americans cry “bloody murder” over the downed Malaysian airliner

Remember the USS Maine.

Oh, and the British propaganda during World War I claiming that German soldiers were tossing Belgium infants around with bayonets . And FDR’s claim that Hitler planned to invade Central America when he couldn’t even get across the English channel. And how U.S. government officials intentionally goaded Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor to justify entering the war in Europe.

And the Gulf of Tonkin. And Operation Northwoods. And the claim that Iraqi troops threw babies out of incubators during the Gulf War when they invaded Kuwait, a claim made by a woman who turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador.

Maybe the Russians downed the Malaysian airliner. Maybe it was done by separatists. Maybe it was the Ukrainians, as one U.S. intelligence source is claiming.

I won’t speculate. But as Butler Shaffer writes, the cui bono principle is “always a good place to start in the search for culprits in any wrongdoing.”

In view of the historical events I’ve just listed, perhaps the best reaction is to not believe anything from anyone until the smoke has cleared, especially those who are always eager to get us involved in the next war.

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