I do not personally know anyone who was on board flight MH17, but chances are I do know at least one person who does (I haven’t done much inquiring yet). When considering the number of fatalities relative to the population, the crash of flight MH17 has a similar impact on the Netherlands as 9/11 had on the United States.
Right now, the most important thing is that the victims’ bodies are repatriated as quickly as possible. It has taken long enough already. Luckily, there finally seems to be some development towards that end.
Which leads to people talking about the next step. Naturally, everyone wants to know exactly what happened and who did it. But you know what? I don’t really care. All the evidence seems to suggest that the aircraft was indeed shot down. But purposefully? I don’t think so. Sure, the ones firing the missile intended to bring down a plane, but nothing seems to indicate they wanted to down a civilian airliner.
Basically, it was just a very unfortunate accident of the kind that is practically bound to happen in what is essentially a civil war zone. Flying high over such an area was deemed safe, now we know better. Lesson learned.
Of course, I can’t speak for those who lost their loved ones, but I see no reason to place blame. Not only because I see the whole thing as an accident, but also because it solves nothing. It won’t bring back the dead and it won’t prevent it from happening again, so what’s the point?
Besides, what are we supposed to do? The Netherlands of the twenty-first century is not like the Netherlands 400 years ago. We’re no longer a particularly trigger-happy country. If we do engage in armed conflict, we do so under NATO umbrella or at the request of a more trigger-happy country (against our better judgement), but never on our own. After all, we’re just a small country with an equally small, not to mention underfunded, military.
As for any political or financial sanctions against whomever, that would probably hurt us more than it would hurt them. Like I said, we’re just a small country.
So I say, let it go. Revenge solves nothing, and it’s not our way. At least, I’d like to think it’s not.