Q Syndicate✒Jul 24, 2014
One of the more outlandish stories circulating on the Russian side is that MH 370, the Malaysian jet that disappeared somewhere in the Indian Ocean, was actually captured by the United States, and all its passengers and crew killed and drained of their blood, so that the U.S. could secretly have the plane full of corpses and explosives take off from the Netherlands with a crew that parachuted to safety while the plane continued on autopilot to be detonated over Donetsk. (Reported by Julia Ioffe of the New Republic.) This apparently springs from the claims of a separatist leader, Igor Girkin, quoted by the website Russkaya Vesna.
So far, Putin has tried to deflect blame onto the Ukrainian government, not teh gayz. But it's not such a stretch to imagine that he could cast aspersions our way if it suited his purposes. He previously claimed that the protesters who brought down the previous Ukraine regime are "gay nazis," and his government has done much over that past few years to criminalize gays.
On another point in this cartoon, the fog of war made it difficult to nail down a number of what I chose to call "health experts" who died on their way to the HIV/AIDS conference in Austrailia. I hoped that "health experts" was general enough to include medical professionals, activists, and reporters who may only have intended to observe the conference. The initial number I heard reported was 100-- over a third of MH 17's passengers.
Subsequent reports used the vague term "dozens"; after I had sent the cartoon to my editors, I saw a report that said there were six. So I apologize for my part in perpetuating what is almost certainly an example of hyperbole borne of the heat of the moment.