In July 1988 an Iranian civilian jet IR755 was shot down by trigger happy American warship: Vincennes. An internal USA inquiry attributed it to “scenario fulfillment”. The USA reached a financial settlement with Iran for the 290 passengers and crew most of whom if not Iranian were from the immediate region although without admitting liability. Such can be the twisted outcome of deals.

Some would argue that this incident was the trigger for the Lockerbie bombing five month later. I believe so, and that Gaddafi was but a smokescreen. My opinion is based on reports from Syrian and German security services of the time whose evidence did not match the desired target to blame as well as the largely circumstantial and paid for information used for a show trial.

My concern at the moment is that we may have another silly accident that may trigger a conflict. Hot heads and the recognition that war can be fought from afar with missiles are too much of a temptation. The West should not seek to escalate this matter without the involvement of Russia and China. Any action should be from the United Nations and not another concoction of western self interest.