Sarah Palin and other GOP Obama obstructionists once praised Putin’s “manliness” and “toughness”
A flight en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was blown to bits early Thursday. This was a crime against humanity.
As I write this Op-Ed column, it’s Friday night here – and Saturday morning in Ukraine. In a debris field which extends over six miles, there is charred wreckage. There are suitcases on the ground filled with clothes which will never be worn again. There are the remnants of stuffed animals which will never be held again by the children who owned them. There are the remains of the 298 innocent men, women, and children who happened to be on the wrong plane at the wrong time.
Let me speak plainly. These human beings – who were murdered – have not only been denied the decency of having their bodies covered or gently placed into body bags or taken to a nearby coroner’s office for storage so they can be returned to their families for proper burial. These people have thus far been denied a proper investigation into the events which led directly to their deaths. And most despicably of all, these victims are reportedly being looted of their possessions even as they lie in smoldering fields and in the backyards of Ukrainian citizens. There is silence in Donetsk, Ukraine for the third consecutive day as justice is denied and heinous behavior reigns.
What have you heard from Sarah Palin? Silence. What have you heard from John McCain? Silence. What have you heard from Ted Cruz and the smorgasbord of Republican Senators and Congressmen who have professed their admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the last several months? Silence.
These American leaders were previously full of verbal praise for Mr. Putin. They liked that he usually took want he wanted. You remember, right? Various GOP leaders called him a “true leader.” They cheered on Mr. Putin’s thuggish actions during his unlawful invasion and annexation of Crimea because in their own ultra-partisan opinions, Putin made President Obama look “weak by comparison.” Former Vice President Dick Cheney respects Mr. Putin – and has said so publicly. To him, any enemy to President Obama is his dear friend. On Thursday, the GOP’s fascination with Mr. Putin went totally toxic.
The opinion of world leaders is clear on two things: Vladimir Putin has innocent blood on his hands; and he is either directly or indirectly responsible for Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17 being blown out of the sky.
Here is what President Obama said at a press conference on Friday: “Evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile that was launched from an area that is controlled by Russian-backed separatists inside of Ukraine. Over the last several weeks Russian-backed separatists have shot down a Ukrainian transport plane and a Ukrainian helicopter, and they claimed responsibility for shooting down a Ukrainian fighter jet. Moreover, we know that these separatists have received a steady flow of support from Russia. This includes arms and training. It includes heavy weapons. And it includes anti-aircraft weapons. This was a global tragedy. An Asian airliner was destroyed in European skies, filled with citizens from many countries. So there has to be a credible international investigation into what happened.”
Quinn Lucas Schansman was also killed in the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17. He was an American citizen. Officials are still working to confirm whether any other U.S. citizens were on board.
History is prologue. In September of 1983, Russia shot down Korea Airlines flight 007 en route to Seoul from New York City for violating its airspace. The debris of that plane landed in the Sea of Japan. All 269 people aboard – including US Congressman Lawrence McDonald (D-GA) – were killed. For nine days afterwards, the Russians repeatedly denied any involvement whatsoever. On the tenth day, NBC News interviewed the Russian pilot who fired the missiles which brought KAL flight 007 down. Russia finally admitted destroying the plane – but claimed it was a spy plane instead of a commercial airliner. Flash forward. Mr. Putin first claimed Russia had no role whatsoever in Thursday’s plane crash; then blamed Ukraine. Coincidence? Think again.
Meanwhile, pro-Russia separatist forces loyal to him have reportedly stolen the downed Malaysian jet’s black box recorders. These same separatists are currently preventing any investigators or observers from approaching the crash site.
35 other commercial flights flew the exact same flight path Thursday. Why was this plane shot down?
The Dutch want justice. Australians wants justice. Americans wants justice. Europeans want justice. These nations will not be silent.
Have any Republican leaders condemned this tragedy? The answer is no. Perhaps they still prefer the Russian peace taker to the American peacemaker. I suppose the sound of silence is an appropriate soundtrack for shame.