Study in Contrasts - The Different Way Russia and West Respond to Violence

© Sputnik / Nadim Zuaui / Go to the mediabankMemorial event for victims of Russian A321 crash and Paris terrorist attacks
Memorial event for victims of Russian A321 crash and Paris terrorist attacks - Sputnik International
Confirmation that the Metrojet airliner that crashed in Sinai was brought down by a terrorist bomb will surprise no one.

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The episode however highlights the contrast between the way the Russians and the West going about doing things now.

Following the crash of the Malaysian airliner MH17 over Ukraine last year the West rushed out accusations within hours of the crash. The result was that the investigation was from the outset skewed to fit a theory.

By contrast after the crash of the Metrojet airliner the Russians refused to speculate on the cause until a proper investigation was done.

The result was that the investigation was conducted openly, in contrast to the secrecy that has surrounded the MH17 investigation.

Importantly, the Metrojet investigation consulted the proper experts: the aircraft’s French manufacturers.

By contrast the MH17 investigation excluded the relevant experts — Almaz Antey, manufacturers of the BUK missile the investigation says shot down the aircraft — whose opinions were not heeded or even mentioned in the report.

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Since the investigation into the Metrojet tragedy was conducted in an open and objective way, it has produced a conclusive finding within weeks of the tragedy taking place.

By contrast after more than a year the MH17 investigation has produced an incomplete and in parts contested report.

In the meantime there is an astonishing contrast in the reaction to the two recent terrorist attacks — the Metrojet crash and the Paris attacks — that have recently taken place.

In the case of the Metrojet crash the Western reaction was marked by large scale indifference.

While Russians have rushed to show sympathy and support for the people of France following the Paris attacks, there was no like rush from the Western public to show sympathy and support for the people of Russia following the Metrojet tragedy.

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There have even been some appalling claims — extending apparently to officials of the US government — that by supporting the government of Syria Russia somehow brought the Metrojet tragedy down on itself.

In the case of the Paris attacks, alongside proper and legitimate feelings of grief for the victims, Western officials have responded with blind fury and elements of panic, with talk of war and a stampede to impose ever more draconian restrictions on Western society, but with no coherent plan of what to do.

This contrasts with the calm and purposeful way that — amidst feelings of intense grief — the Russian authorities and people responded to the Metrojet tragedy.

It should be said clearly that it makes no sense to say that by supporting the Syrian government Russia brought the Metrojet tragedy down on itself, any more than it makes sense to say that by opposing the Syrian government France brought the Paris attacks down on itself.

Such rationalisations of terrorism are both wrong and immoral.

It is however legitimate to say — as President Putin said in his recent speech to the UN General Assembly — that attempts to manipulate terrorists to achieve geopolitical objectives are both wrong and immoral — and also extremely dangerous.

If Western governments want to respond properly to the Paris tragedy, then acknowledging that is a good place to start.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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