Jim Geraghty on our asleep-at-the-wheel administration:
Russian president Vladimir Putin didn’t order the separatists to shoot down the airliner. But his intelligence agencies and military have provided all kinds of support to these separatists. To borrow P.J. O’Rourke’s metaphor, Putin gave whiskey and car keys – and powerful explosives – to teenage boys. The disastrous consequences were not hard to foresee. You can see it in the absurd, nonsensical, instant justification by one of the speakers that if the plane is labeled, ‘Malaysia Airlines,’ it must be a disguise for a spy plane. Putin didn’t commit murder; just reckless endangerment.
There will be a lot of debates and discussions about what the United States can or should do in response to this reckless, deadly decision. But let’s begin by asking, if we had the opportunity to reach out and strike 23 Russian separatists involved in the decision to launch this missile, would we do it? I’d like to think so. Fighting a war is not inherently evil, nor is stupidity, but the combination of the two is a fertile ground for evil. These guys need to be taught a lesson, and it’s not clear who can teach them.
Commercial airliners fly – usually quite highly – over dangerous or not-so-friendly parts of the world all the time. Right now commercial jets are avoiding Eastern Ukraine. Should they avoid Syria, too? Iran? Iraq? Afghanistan? If so, you’ve just cut off India and a big chunk of Asia from Europe.
These guys need to pay – and Putin needs to see consequences of his reckless support of these dumb, brutal goons.
Moe Lane: “I never thought that I’d see the day that the US government would just shrug off a no-fooling war crime committed against our citizens.”
Well, we know that the State Department has far more important things to do — such as tweeting out fashion tips.
And the president has far more important things to do — such as expressing his love of guacamole.
Perhaps they’re simply waiting for one of the FLOTUS’ talking shopping carts to provide instructions, HAL 9000-style.
Fortunately though, Mr. Obama’s would-be successor is pouncing at the opportunity to set a much more focused example of what she would do if in office. Nahh, just kidding:
No, Obama’s caution is another example of the president refusing to address crises in a timely fashion due to what he probably believes is an attachment to the doctrinal fantasy that the United States is overextended in the world. Hillary Clinton confirmed that when she told Charlie Rose on Thursday night that this whole plane mess is really Europe’s problem.
“As you know, the Europeans have tried to figure out the best way forward,” she said when asked how the United States should respond to clear evidence that pro-Russian separatists using Russian hardware killed nearly 300 foreign civilians. “From my perspective — and I have the benefit of not being in the government — if there is evidence linking Russia to this, that should inspire the Europeans to do much more.”
After noting that the world should put “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin on notice” and not “stand idly by,” Clinton reassured Rose that the United States would stand idly by.
“So Europeans have to be the ones to take the lead on this,” said the former secretary. “It was a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over European territory. There should be outrage in European capitals.”
That sucking sound you hear is the rapid formation of a power vacuum in Europe as the United States signals its noninterest in matters of regional and global security.
Hey, after World War II, Europe was happy to hand over their defense to America, so that they could spend all of their taxpayers’ money on expanding their socialist welfare states. And they loathed America’s past “Cowboy Presidents” and their lack of nuance and politesse.
I guess European leaders never counted on their defense winding up in the hands of wannabe Europeans. But then, to be fair, neither did most Americans.