May 18, 2016

Here's your wakeup call

Just in time to remind everyone that the war isn't over, an EgyptAir A320 flying from Paris to Cairo has dropped off of radar and didn't arrive in Cairo. Odds are it crashed in the eastern Med, and of course we all know the most likely reason why, don't we? 69 people on board.

I do hope I'm wrong, of course.

UPDATE: It takes two to make a peace, but only one to make a war.

UPDATE: How long before someone in a position of authority assures us that terrorism was not involved? I say even money it happens within the next 12 hours.

UPDATE: Here's a surprise: a French official says, "It's too soon to rule anything out." Of course, these days the French government is no longer so concerned with anti-Muslim backlash.

UPDATE next morning: Much to my surprise the consensus now is that it probably was terrorism. My guess: it was a bomb smuggled on board, not one set off by a passenger. I don't think this one will be "crazy pilot".

But it definitely crashed. They've already found a bit of debris, though the search is only beginning. (It takes a while for ships to reach the area.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 08:49 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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No, it turned out the debris wasn't from the plane.

I think the most amazing thing is that no one has claimed responsibility. Usually in things like this someone claims proudly to have done it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 19, 2016 02:43 PM (+rSRq)

2 I don't know what's up with that responsibility thing. In Russia they never claim responsibility, because if you do, you'll die much sooner than your might otherwise.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at May 19, 2016 02:52 PM (XOPVE)

3 In Russia they didn't really need to, because everyone always knew it was Chechens.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 19, 2016 04:49 PM (+rSRq)


In the Levant, though, it might be ISIS, or the Muslim Brotherhood, or the PLO, or Hamas, or Hezbollah, or some new group trying to make a name for itself. So since one purpose of terrorist attacks for groups like this is to gain prestige, recruits, and contributions, they always want to make sure people know who did it. Sometimes it has led to multiple groups pretending they were responsible even when they were not.

No one is taking credit for this one, which makes me wonder: is it a political shakedown? The Muslim Brotherhood, in particular, may be trying to get concessions from the Egyptian government in secret. Their threat would be to destroy the country's economy by chasing all the tourists away, and maybe this bombing was to prove that they can do it.

Tourism is about half the economy and a major source of foreign currency but it's very fragile. If tourists believe they'll die if they try to visit, there are lots of other places they could go instead which are far safer, like Greece. The economy of Greece may be a basket case, but no one is blowing up tourists there.

Once Egypt has a reputation as being a dangerous place, it'll be really hard to get the tourists to come back.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 19, 2016 05:44 PM (+rSRq)

5 Egypt's tourism hasn't recovered from the coup.
The interesting question is the passenger manifest.  There's a lot of "good" reasons for a terrorist group to assassinate someone by blowing up an airplane.  It's sad that it's happened, but it's the nature of the world right now.

Posted by: sqa at May 19, 2016 08:33 PM (If+FS)

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