It seems the launcher had at least two radars and the one that interrogates the transponder on the airliner may not have been switched on. This is the unit that would have told them they were seeing a civilian airliner. So the ignoramuses operating the launcher had only altitude, direction and mass of the aircraft. I suppose they were expecting a Ukrainian transport plane, so they launched.
Our government knows the location from which the missile was launched. It's within the area ruled by the pro-Russian rebels. Not much mystery there. Those rebels are handling the crash scene about as badly as slavic yokels with access to alcohol and firearms are likely to. The Russians let these idiots play with dangerous toys and now have egg on their faces.
None of this changes the fact that a dispute between these related peoples is none of our business. We have no vital interest in the area. We made the mistake of backing one side in the endless ruritanian farrago that is Ukrainian politics. Victoria Nuland of our Sate Department was caught red handed in this, without it seems, any career consequences. The Russians who were already playing this game, doubled down. And so here we are, blundering about in a matter clearly more in the orbit of the EU than our own.
Let's not dignify this tragedy with the term crisis. Let's just back up our European allies in getting compensation for the families, curb the recklessness of the Russians and in seeking a future not dependent on the east for their energy needs.