Referring to the tragic downing of a Malaysian Airlines plane over eastern Ukraine, former Texas congressman Ron Paul warned against jumping to conclusions over the culprits.
Drawing parallels between the potential for a Russian-made missile system’s connection to the attack of the passenger jet on Thursday over the restive Donetsk region of Ukraine and the capture of US-made weapons by Islamist insurgents in Iraq, Paul pointed out that the missile’s potential source of manufacture was largely immaterial.
“That may well be true, but guess what, ISIS has a lot of American weapons," said Paul. "We sent weapons into Syria to help the rebels and al-Qaida ends up getting it — it doesn't mean that our American government and Obama deliberately wanted ISIS to get American weapons."
"So who gets the weapons is a big difference between how they got them and what happened and what the motivations were," Paul added. "So even if it was a Russian weapon — doesn't mean a lot."
Speculation of direct involvement by the Kremlin, whether directly or through “proxies” in the form of pro-Russian militia in Ukraine, in particular seems propagandized, Paul told NewsMax on Friday.
Unverified video footage has been circulated as proof of involvement by Ukrainian militia members, though the aircraft's black boxes have yet to be retrieved, and there remain many questions unanswered as investigators have trickled into the crash site.
"Under these circumstances, it's very difficult to get the real information so everybody's angling to propagandize and make their position known," said Paul.
"It'd be unwise to say, well, the Russians did it, or the Ukrainian government did it, or the rebels did it."
The ‘Buk’ anti-aircraft system in question has been the source of wide speculation in Western media. In use since the 1970s, the weapons system was designed and produced by the former Soviet Union and have been present in Ukraine since its dissolution, and has seen deployment in a number of countries including Finland, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Belarus.