Well, that depends.
On July 3, 1988, in an unprovoked move, US carrier USS Vincennes fired two missiles at an Iranian passenger plane, Iran Air flight 655 that was on route to Dubai.
All 290 innocent civilians perished. The passenger airliner, so recognizable even from the ground was “mistaken” for a jet fighter (jetfighter is two-thirds smaller than a passenger plane).
The United States called its own act of terrorism “a regrettable accident”.
In short, the Malaysian airliner is easily recognizable from the ground, according to reports, but the Iran Air plane was ‘mistaken’ for a much smaller jetfighter.
Listening to the media news surrounding the MH 17 incident, one cannot help but conclude that the USS Vincennes captain, Will Rogers III was too dumb and blind not to see the easily recognizable passenger plane, or else, he was/is a terrorist.
In spite of this stark reality, in 1990, President Bush Sr. awarded Capt. Rogers the Legion of Merit decoration “for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer … from April 1987 to May 1989.”