Das richtige Wort für MH-17

PHILADELPHIA – US-Präsident Barack Obama nannte den Abschuss von Flug 17 der Malaysia Airlines "eine Gewalttat von entsetzlichem Ausmaß", während der russische Präsident Wladimir Putin ihn als einen "Unfall" und eine "schreckliche Tragödie" bezeichnete. Der ukrainische Präsident Petro Poroschenko sprach von einem "Terrorakt", und der malaysische Premierminister Najib Razak von einer "inhumanen, unzivilisierten, gewaltsamen und unverantwortlichen Tat".

All diese Beschreibungen treffen wohl zu, aber jede einzelne hat ein anderes rhetorisches Gewicht und andere rechtliche Konsequenzen. Es ist an der Zeit, dass Regierungen und internationale Organisationen den Angriff auf MH17 als vermutliches Kriegsverbrechen bezeichnen.

Diese rhetorische Verschiebung ist zunächst einmal notwendig, weil eine einheitliche Beschreibung der moralischen Verwerflichkeit dieser abscheulichen Tat dazu beitragen wird, einen Konsens in der öffentliche Wahrnehmung der Tat herzustellen. Zurzeit gehen die Deutungen in Russland und im Westen weit auseinander. Russische Medien und Politiker bezeichnen die Episode im besten Fall als schrecklichen Fehler und im schlimmsten als eine Intrige der Amerikaner, die die Unterstützung für die Rebellen schwächen soll. Amerikaner und Europäer beschuldigen Russland zunehmend, die Aufständischen auszurüsten oder ihnen zu helfen.

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