The tragedy of MH17 is heartbreaking, shocking and generally awful. And I hope it is a wake-up call to the world that what is happening in Eastern Ukraine is incredibly serious and dangerous. But there is a large part of me that thinks we shouldn't have needed this tragic accident* to be woken-up. And I want to take an opportunity to point out, while we're all paying attention, that hundreds of people have died on the ground in the war to this point, and thousands have been displaced. At least 270 Ukrainian service-members have been killed and nearly a thousand injured. This does not include deaths during the Euromaidan protests or of separatists and those fighting for/with them.
Yes, the deaths of those innocents aboard MH17 are tragic and were preventable. But so are the deaths of the people living and fighting in this conflict every day of their lives for the past few months. I don't want us , when we've moved on as consumers and producers of media from the plane crash, to forget about this war and the lives it continues to claim.
*I say accident because I have no reason to believe that those who fired the missile were targeting civilians. Everything I have read, heard and seen points to Russian-backed separatists mistaking the flight for a Ukrainian military transport plane. And of course the fact that the war is being fought on the scale of surface to air missiles is horrifying in itself, so it isn't as though I would give a pass to the targeting of military planes.
Edit: "Wake-up call" is not my words, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and US President Obama have both used that phrase in reference to the incident.