The train has pulled away from the siding in eastern Ukraine. That would be the one holding the bodies of most of the victims from Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17. Where it will end up is still a tad fuzzy.
According to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, he cut a deal with pro-Russian separatists for both the return of the bodies, which, in theory, will go to the the Netherlands, and the plane's two black boxes which he says will be turned over to Malaysian authorities.
That is all fine and good, however it remains unclear how the nearly 300 casualties will reach their destination and who might want to get their hands on them before they do. In addition, Razak didn't announce a time table for the recovery of either the cockpit recorders or the dead.
Dutch experts who were allowed to see the bodies stored in refrigerated rail cars complimented the separatist for their work in recovering them. Of course those kind words might be motivated more by the close proximity of heavily armed rebels than actual gratitude. As we've learned tunes sometimes change once people get out of the range of automatic weapons.
Take for example Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. There were 27 of his countrymen aboard the doomed flight and nearly a third of the passengers were headed down under for a conference on AIDS. He wasn't standing next to some dude with AK-47 when he was quoted by Reuters as saying of the recovery effort, "Its more like a garden clean up than a forensic investigation. This is completely unacceptable."
Dutch PM, Mark Rutte told Reuters, "If, in the coming days, access to the disaster area remains inadequate then all political, economic, and financial options are on the table against those who are directly, or indirectly responsible for that."
His statement likely explains why Reuters is also reporting access to the crash site has magically improved today. Well, that and the separatists have had four days to find and dispose of any damning evidence.
Secretary of State John Kerry is claiming U.S. and Ukrainian intelligence sources have mounting evidence pointing right at the rebels, who have been armed and trained by the Russians. This includes U.S. knowledge of a missile launch at the time of the downing and taped conversations between separatist commanders and people who are possibly Russian officers immediately after the plane slammed into the ground.
The Russian Defense Ministry is claiming it has never supplied rebel forces with the SA-11 BUK anti aircraft missile system thought to have been used to bring the Boeing 777 down. While also denying the separatists were involved in any way, a spokesperson hinted it was actually Ukrainian fighter planes who blew MH-17 out of the sky.
Meanwhile Vlad Putin was indignant over what he called the "exploitation" of the tragedy by people like the Ukrainians and Americans. The United Nations Security Council was supposed to meet today in order to vote on a resolution to condemn the shoot down and demand that those who are responsible be held accountable.The foreign ministers of the European Union are also ready to sit down tomorrow and discuss sanctions against the Russians.
It is safe to say no one in eastern Ukraine gives a rat's ass about U.N. resolutions, or some E.U. sanctions against the Ruskies, which were in the works before the plane was shot down in the first place.
The Dutch can convene a war crimes trial if they want, but the chances of getting their hands on whoever did this ranks right up there with Nigeria's prospects of putting the collar on Abubakar Shekau, the head of Boko Haram.
Let's face it, even if Malaysia gets the recorders untampered with the information revealed won't point to who fired the fatal shot. You know the rebels aren't going to give up any of their people. As for the Russians, hell, they found the remains of Adolf Hitler 69 years ago and still haven't told anyone what they did with them. Does anybody seriously think they'll admit to a single thing regarding MH-17?
Indeed, there might be scads of circumstantial evidence, but there will always be a valid argument every shred of it is tainted, because of the aims of those who gathered the information. And, without a smoking gun, or, in this case, a missile launcher, no one can definitively prove a thing.
Yes, many will rage, but the terrible truth is no one is going down for this foul act.
Tragically, in the end, it is a perfect crime.