The immediate response to the shooting down of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 shows that when an adversarial nation shoots down an unarmed passenger jet, the rhetoric is that there is absolutely no excuse for such barbarism and that it proves beyond a doubt the moral depravity of the attacking nation.
The response to the shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 shows that when the US itself shoots down an unarmed passenger jet, the rhetoric is that even the finest militaries in the world sometimes make mistakes, therefore such things regrettably sometimes happen, and they cannot be construed to say much about the character of the nation which did the attacking.
The response to the terrorist attack against Cubana Flight 455 shows that attacks by non-state actors against civilian aircraft, too, aren’t a super-big deal if the aircraft is owned by the national airline of an adversarial nation, and certainly aren’t reason enough to deny political asylum to anyone responsible if you agree with their political aims.
Of course, if it’s a hostile terrorist organization, then it just shows what a menace terrorism is and why it must be stamped out.
Keep those in mind in the next few days as the news of the most recent tragedy evolves.