Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Plane Crash: After Effects: Conspiracy Theories

Today the First Lady of Poland's body returned to Warsaw to lay next to her husband at the Presidential Palace.

But, let's get on to fingering someone to blame for this giant fiasco. The victims are not even in the ground yet and the idiot-mills have been churning out the most ludicrous ideas about the whole plane crash. Some say the Russians did it, the Germans, Civic Platform, or even Law and Justice themselves. All of these people get too far ahead of themselves to really ask the question: Cui bono? Who benefits?
When looking at the case: no one. The Russians don't really benefit: their air control system and airplanes come out looking like junk, and it brings Katyn to full media attention, which Russia must then address. OK, the Polish archivist and the last president of the Polish Government in Exile are killed, but that really isn't a boon for Russia. The world already knew of Katyn and the Government in Exile was dissolved twenty years ago. It's not like the situation with Kremlin critic, Alexander Litvinenko, who was causing all sorts of problems for the Kremlin. I don't really understand how the Germans would benefit at all (there was something like PO was getting cozy with them or something.) As for the political parties, ugh, it's just too stupid to contemplate.
Why listen to facts and reasoning when it is easier to pull something straight out of your ass? It's like those moronic 9/11 Truthers and the even lamer 'Birthers'. People are not necessarily interested in the truth, which is often incomplete, they care more about a convenient 'complete' version of events. In fact, arguing with such people is an exercise in futility, since they can always revert to calling everything a coverup.
What conspiracy theorists fail to do is a benefit-risk analysis. As in, what are the potential rewards to be reaped, and what are the risks if the whole thing goes sour? What would the problems for Russia be if it came to be known that Russia had killed a foreign head of state and the head of the military? Well, probably not something the Kremlin could afford just yet. Certainly a great deal of foreign investment (which Russia is needing and craving) would be pulled out of the country, as happened in the 2008 Georgian War. (In fact, the whole war rather hurt Russia because of the economic warfare that the West did, i.e. pulling out investment.) There's no party or entity that would be able to risk this much for what little benefit there is to be reaped. Plus, I'm sure that whatever aim someone had to have all these people killed could have been reached by a far simpler, less lethal method (one that would be less titillating, but more effective.)
Sikorski! Everyone yells back to Sikorski (who died in a plane crash near Gibraltar.) Sikorski was also a potential threat to the Soviet Union with his aims of Polish nationalism (so were all the leaders of the Warsaw Uprising, who were also murdered by the Soviets.) Kaczynski was not exactly enemy number one for the Russians or a real threat (if he was Ukrainian, I'd give this scenario a little more weight.)
Even the deaths of those who were in the military (notably, all the heads) is no great win for a foreign power. Poland is still backed by NATO and all the generals' deputies have now stepped into their shoes. Poland learned its lesson with a 2008 plane crash that killed a lot of generals from the air force.

The investigation is far from being concluded, and the contents of the plane's data and voice recorders have not been released. Still, international aerospace experts have weighed in on the matter and proposed several reasonable causes (or mix thereof): pilot error, plane malfunction, weather factors, ground control error. The fact is that I do not know why that plane crashed; no one does just yet. We can all surmise and make guesses, but most people know nothing of airplanes and piloting, but they have seen a film or two with some convoluted plot with a sinister enemy pulling all the strings.


Jackson said...

One possible cause I had heard in an NPR piece (I forget who exactly said it) was there could have been pressure on the pilot (maybe from the President's staff, who knows) to get the plane on the ground so the Katyn ceremonies could proceed without delay. So basically pilot error, but possibly because the pilot was pressured to land even though it was very foggy.

PolishMeKnob said...

I heard that too. Kaczynski apparently tried something like while landing in Georgia, but was diverted to Azerbaijan.
I guess when they release the cockpit voice recorder we'll all know.