The Cost of Human Errors


Iffat Farooq

IT was an ordinary day of 8th December 2019; Ukrainian flight with 176 passengers took off from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport towards Kyiv Boryspil International Airport was shot down by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps two minutes after taking off.
Out of 176 people on board, 82 were Iranian, 63 were Canadian and 11 were Ukrainian (including nine crewmembers), along with 10 Swedish, seven Afghan and three German nationals. None survived. It was later attributed to a human error. Iranian President Hassan Rohani described the accident as “un-forgettable mistake”.
A cloud of rumors surrounded the scene and some aspects of systematic secrecy were revealed afterwards. The absence and dearth of exact information about the deceased hanged many families in delusions till the upper echelon of the Iranian Government cleared it. This is a classic case wherein human error costed hundreds of lives of innocent travelers who didn’t think it would end this way for them. This mix of adventurism and human error was chanted till the protestors in the country started demonstration of anger and the people on the helm of affairs deeply regretted this disastrous mistake. Can this unintentional killing of people be attributed only to the violation of traffic safety rules, the operational failure of air traffic or simply a human error? Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth, sooner or later that debt has to be paid off.
The Death of a three-year-old Syrian child ‘Alan Kurdi’ in 2015 in the Mediterranean Sea during the Syrian refugee exodus has a dramatic upturn for the international media and world’s responsibility regarding the most unfortified segment of society. The body of ‘Alan Kurdi’ has coffined the Nobel spirit of humanity and is the highest point of human catastrophe in last few years. ‘Alan Kurdi’ would keep on asking to the consciousness of this world if was his determine fate, a failure of human judgment or the absence of apathy of this society overall. Alan’s father’s voice echoes, “I lost my family, I lost my life, I lost everything, so let them say whatever they want.”
The pre war intelligence on Iraq was wrong on hype by the international agencies with the cost of thousands of casualties of soldiers, civilians and collapse of the infrastructure and services and the death toll is still murky. The Bush Iraq war was not only a mistake, it was an expensive calamity that changed the world and unsubstantiated information about WMDS has caused atrocities to more than 20 million people with an unaccountable cost of poor judgement. Collin Powell has called his 2003 speech to the United Nations, laying out Iraq war was a “great intelligence failure”. This speech would continue to haunt, not just for what it got wrong, but what an unintended consequence it may have set in motion. Once,Napoléon lost the Patriotic War in Russia with towering human losses and later on his confession that “this invasion as a fetal mistake. Thus; this major turning point by Napoleon obscured the annals of European history and time had witnessed that glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
Five years Syrian child, ‘Omran Daqneesh’ pulled from eloped rubble has shocked the world with the image where he was hit by an air strike. The startling image shows him covered head to toe with dust and so disoriented that he seems barely aware of an opened wound on his forehead and the cost of this wound is so high that ‘we are losing a whole generation of children’. This is the remarked horror on the wakefulness of human civilization and this little boy back in the ambulance had dazed at the clear image of the wars along with the political and social resolution conflicts. The horror generated by the image of ‘Omran Daqneesh’ echoes the anguished global response to pictures of ‘Alan Kurdi’ the drowned Syrian Boy whose body was found on a beach and this has encapsulated the horrific toll of civil wars, the costliest human mistakes and catastrophe of human civilization.
The Wasteland of 21st century cannot even guess about; what the man bears are merely broken images in the unreal cities, which are no more than the leftover of old civilization and this man is made-up of mere images. The images of two little boys tweeted thousand times on social media, are like the dead trees that stop the blazing of the rays of the sun. They bear no such protection and have no relish for the sound of water and shade of faith. Jane Austin had never thought of ;while writing “Emma” narrated the human errors and its obscurity with such an intensity that “seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguise or a little mistaken” but she must have had realized the existential obscurity crisis being faced by the generations to come.
What is the cost of lies?
It’s not that we’ll mistake them for the truth,
The real danger is that we hear enough lies,
Then we no longer recognize the truth at all.
(Valery Legasov)
—(The writer is a freelance columnist; with a keen interest in the global socio-political arena)