Atrocity Over Ukraine

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


APTOPIX Ukraine Plane-2Yesterday, the conflict between Russian separatists and the Ukrainian government may have escalated to its most dangerous level to date. A Malaysia Airlines passenger jet carrying 295 people was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over Ukraine, approximately 35 miles from the Russian border. All 280 passengers and 15 crew members on board were killed, and burning wreckage and bodies were scattered over a 10-mile radius near the town of Shakhtars’k. Responsibility for the downing has yet to be determined, but separatist groups who have reportedly blocked Ukrainian officials from the scene claim the plane’s flight data recorder has been sent to Moscow.

The Ukrainian government claims Russia was behind the atrocity. “According to the General Staff of Ukrainian Armed Forces, the airplane was shot down by the Russian Buk missile system as the liner was flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters,” said a statement from the Foreign Ministry in Kiev. “Ukraine has no long-range air defense missile systems in this area. The plane was shot down, because the Russian air defense systems was affording protection to Russian mercenaries and terrorists in this area. Ukraine will present the evidence of Russian military involvement into the Boeing crash.”

Defense Minister Valery Heletey and National Security and Defense Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko reminded the world that this was not an isolated incident. On Monday, Heletey alerted Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that a AN-26 military transport plane had been shot down in the Luhansk region during an anti-terrorist operation. Heletey insisted that the plane’s altitude of 6.5 kilometers put it above the threshold of a man-portable air defense system, meaning “the plane was struck by another, more powerful missile that was probably launched from Russian territory.” Lysenko insisted that Russia was also to blame for a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter plane shot down Wednesday. “A military aircraft of the Russian Armed Forces launched a missile strike against an SU-25 aircraft of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which was performing tasks on Ukrainian territory,” he said.

Those assessments cannot be confirmed. Furthermore, it is being reported a social media site attributed to Ukrainian rebel commander Igor Strelkov that took credit for downing the AN-26 on June 14, killing 49 government soldiers, also claimed to have downed an additional “army transporter” yesterday—at the location where the Malaysia airliner crashed. An earlier post removed from the same site claimed they had seized the Russian-made Buk missile system from the Ukrainian army. The Buk is capable of downing an airline at the altitude at which the Malaysian airliner was flying. The deleted post had also noted that separatist fighters “had warned (the Ukrainian armed forces) not to fly in ‘our sky.’ And here is a video confirming that a ‘bird fell,’” it stated.

American intelligence confirmed that a surface-to-air missile was fired at the plane, but remained divided over its source of origin. Another separatist leader, Alexander Borodai, told Russia’s state-run Rossiya 24 TV that the plane was “truly shot down by the Ukrainian Air Force,’’ but offered no proof in that regard. He was aware of the reports about fellow rebels seizing the Buk missile, but noted that even if they did, no one was capable of operating it.

Educated guesses about what occurred were in plentiful supply. “To bring down an airliner from 33,000 feet you need a good air defense weapon, not just a missile itself and also the radar,” Retired Col. Ken Allard told CNBC. “That says Russian, and that says to me either a separatist element or the Russians themselves.” KT McFarland, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan, blamed the separatists themselves. “I think it’s far more likely it was rebel forces in eastern Ukraine trying to get the Russians back involved,” she contended.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters pointed the finger directly at Russia. “It wasn’t the separatists, although Russia will try to blame them, or blame the Ukrainians,” Peters said. “The Russians have not given the separatists complex, high-altitude air-defense systems. If this airliner was flying at 34,000 feet or any altitude close to that, it was shot down by Russian military air-defense systems perched on the Ukrainian border.”

Complicating the assessments of Allard and Peters is an AP report noting that aviation experts “have questioned whether the stricken transport plane was flying at the altitude Ukrainian officials had claimed.”

However, much like the assertion at the separatist website, Peters also believed the downing was a case of mistaken identity. He also took an indirect shot at the Obama administration in the process. “Russia has a small number of elite forces, but most of the Russian military is ill-trained, sloppy and marginally disciplined,” he explained. “With no Western response to them shooting down Ukrainian aircraft, they just got trigger happy.”

Peters is exaggerating—but only a little bit. The Obama administration initially imposed sanctions on Russia last spring, when Putin annexed Crimea and massed troops along the Ukrainian border. Those sanctions consisted of asset freezes and travel bans. On Wednesday, Obama upped the ante, targeting two major Russian banks, Gazprom Bank and VEB, and two energy companies, Novotek and Rosneft. Four Russian government officials are also on the list, as are eight Russian weapon companies that make small arms, mortars–and surface-to-air missiles. Yet once again, Obama stopped short of imposing sanctions that would completely cut off key sectors of Russia’s oil-dependent economy.

Putin is complaining that the additional targeting will hurt U.S.-Russian relations, as well as businesses in both countries. But if a report by Reuters is accurate, he is not about to abandon his expansionist agenda: Moscow has ostensibly reached an agreement with Cuba to reopen a Soviet-era base once referred to by naval historians as the “most sophisticated Soviet spy base outside the Eastern Bloc.”

Putin and Obama spoke yesterday morning, and the only thing White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest would confirm is that “President Putin near the end of this morning’s phone call with President Obama noted the early reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border.”

Members of Congress also weighed in on the tragedy. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) noted the missile was consistent with Russian technology, but he wasn’t certain “which jerk” shot the plane down. Sen. John McCain warned “there would be hell to pay” if the Russians were involved, but that leaping to that conclusion “could be very embarrassing and really inappropriate until we have more information.”

Senior Intelligence Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) warned that if Russian separatists are responsible, it “represents a tragic and dramatic escalation in this conflict.” Yet Schiff also pointed the finger at Putin. “It’s been clear from the beginning that notwithstanding Putin’s duplicitous statements to the contrary, Russia has continued to stoke the conflict and allow violent separatists in eastern Ukraine access to an array of Russian armaments,” he told Fox News.

It’s not hard to understand why, considering the Obama administration’s Orwellian determination to see the world as they wish to see it, rather than the way it is. Nothing spoke to that reality more forcefully than Press Secretary Earnest’s incredible assertion Monday. When asked by Fox News reporter Ed Henry how the White House reacts to the notion that Obama is a “bystander” with regard to the various crises metastasizing on his watch, Earnest insisted that “there have been a number of situations in which you’ve seen this administration intervene in a meaningful way, that has substantially furthered American interests and substantially improved…the tranquility of the global community.”

Obama himself briefly addressed the “terrible tragedy” while attending a political event in Delaware yesterday afternoon, adding that the administration is working to determine how many of the 23 American citizens contained in the plane’s passenger manifest were actually on board. But in the latest testament to his fundamental unseriousness, the president quickly returned to his latest stump speech, replete with jokes and complaints about Republicans.

That callowness did not sit well with the public. He was excoriated on Twitter by thousands of users, including Obama-phile Piers Morgan. “President Obama massively dropped the ball just now,” Morgan tweeted. “23 Americans killed and he says ‘it looks like a terrible tragedy’ then back to jokes?”

Sadly, the joke is on a rapidly destabilizing world where the murder of 295 innocent people, including at least some Americans, is apparently insufficient to gain the full attention our Commander-in-Chief.

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  • truebearing

    Obama couldn’t care less about the downed plane or the dead Americans. His policies ensure that many more Americans will die because of international conflicts, terrorists running across our non-existant border, a destroyed health care system, etc. etc. etc. that he is directly responsible for. This is yet another consequence of the Obama Doctrine: Do nothing that will in any way benefit America or impede evil.

    • Sam197859

      I bet you believe in fairies.

      • truebearing

        I don’t believe in you.

        • Sam197859

          Whatever float your boat. . I really do not care.

      • iluvisrael

        there’s no need to bring michael jackson into the argument!!

  • Judahlevi

    Obama would only care about these dead Americans if they looked like him or could be his son. This is how small of a person he is.

    If it wasn’t for the guilt and political correctness of leftists, Obama would be in the faculty lounge where he belongs and bashing America on Sundays with Reverend Wright.

    Instead, we have this ongoing comedy of errors. When will Obama learn? “When fowls have no feathers and fish have no fin.”

    • mollysdad

      Remember that Obama isn’t an American. He’s a Kenyan Muslim.

      • Sam197859

        Neocons continues to prove that conservatism is void of a thought. You, people, are comical.

        • JayWye

          the putz-in-chief has a clearly fake birth certificate (in 1961,nobody used “African” to describe “race”),and there’s all sorts of evidence he’s still a muslim. Further,he’s closely associated with the Muslim Brotherhood,has some of them for WH advisors. Most al of his actions have been beneficial to the muslims,while being bad for America. He’s the muslim Manchurian Candidate. There’s a reason why,post-college,Comrade Hussein traveled to Pakistan,of all places. it’s not because he was a Christian. There’s a reason why Comrade Hussein was aided in getting into college by Saudi money and influence.

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          • Sam197859

            You people funny. Are you a comedian?

    • Americana

      Oh, please, what painfully pathetic propaganda!

      • Judahlevi

        Yes, and your comments are completely rational and objective.

        Right.

        For someone who believes Israel and Hamas are morally equivalent, I would be severely disappointed if you agreed with me.

        • Americana

          I don’t believe Israel and Hamas are morally equivalent. What I’ve said is Israel and Hamas both have identical grounds for their actions. The Israelis wanted a nation so they committed terrorism in order to achieve that nation. The Hamas folks have lost a nation and they’re committing terrorism in order to retake that nation. The fact the Hamas terrorist actions have gone on for far longer than the Israeli terrorism actions is merely an historical anomaly. Of course, I’d prefer the Hams and other Palestinian factions had never scaled up their terrorist attacks. Their inhumanity will not reflect well on Palestinian liberation in the history books.

          • Judahlevi

            So where is the moral difference?

          • Americana

            The moral difference is in the scale and choice of the civilian targets. Choosing larger and larger civilian targets and/or civilian targets that are vulnerable like Israeli families killed in their homes or someone disabled like Leon Klinghoffer or choosing to execute young boys because you’ve kidnapped them is not legitimate warfare. However, we both know Jewish terrorists achieved their aim by selecting some civilian targets. But at a certain point, one no longer looks at the individual moral and immoral choices that are the personal successes and failures of war because it’s potentially too shameful. The Palestinians who’ve killed innocents will have them follow them for the rest of their days.

          • Judahlevi

            Morality has nothing to do with “scale.”

            Civilian targets are never justifiable, and if you truly felt that way, you would be condemning Hamas for deliberately targeting civilians in this conflict and also condemning them for their blatant anti-Semitism.

            You are not, therefore you are a hypocrite.

          • kasandra

            You’re delusional. The Palestinian murderers will be honored, likely have squares named for them, popular songs written praising them and will, if caught alive, be lavishly funded by the PA while in an Israeli prison. They probably are now, and will continue to be, quite proud of, and honored for, their despicable acts.

          • truebearing

            The moral scale? You are floundering, to put it mildly. Admit you are wrong and save a vestige of credibility.

          • kasandra

            What nation did Hamas lose? Please provide a name, a map, a chart showing the organization of their government, anything? They’re a terrorist group, a project of the Muslim Brotherhood, that happens to control some territory through brute force and uses that territory to launch attacks against its neighbors Israel and Egypt.

          • Americana

            Enough w/the geographic BS. There have been plenty of instances where indigenous people have been challenged by other cultures that have subsumed their natural rights which is the case w/Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. That doesn’t negate the natural rights of the indigenous people to their land as is the case in Palestine. Some indigenous people have been given national rights on the basis of their location and duration of ownership upon proven provenance. The Palestinian Arabs most certainly can do that or folks like you wouldn’t be so vociferously denying their existence.

            The Palestinians are not the invention of any other Arab nation although they may be supported by other Arab nations. The fact the Palestinians resorted to terrorism when their political efforts failed because of their betrayal by the self-interest of other Arabs is not something that can be held against the Palestinians in their quest for a state. As far as their statehood goes, the United Nations has finally deigned to recognize Palestine as a state entity so Israel — and you — can’t pretend that Palestine is nonexistent for very much longer.

          • Lightbringer

            The indigenous people of the area in question are the Jews. And there is ample evidence going back 3300 years that proves it. The Jews are the only civilization that has survived basically unchanged for this length of time; the Philistines (“Palestinians”), the Canaanites, the Egypt of the Pharos, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the ancient Persians, the Seleucid Greeks, the Romans, all of them are gone. We remain, unchanged. Our DNA is almost identical to that of the Kurds; our progenitors, Abraham and Sarah, came from what is now Iraqi Kurdistan. The laws that we live by and are willing to die for are the ones that you can read in the Bible, which also recounts much of our history. And don’t even bother with the Khazar canard; some Jews have a bit of Turkic DNA that might go back to those converts of 700 AD, but it is quite insignificant.

          • Judahlevi

            I agree that the indigenous people of Israel are the Jewish people. Anyone who argues against this is simpleminded.

            Hamas has never had a ‘nation’, they are a known terrorist organization whose hatred of Jews is no different than that of Hitler. Who defends Hitler? I guess the left is doing that now.

            It is also disingenuous to think of Palestinian Arabs as a separate people – they are not. They are Arabs with the same language, culture and religion.

          • kasandra

            You’re the one who said Gaza had lost a nation. You tell me what nation that is. Gaza represents nothing more than the area to which the Egyptian army had been pushed back in 1948. Since that time it has been used as a launching pad for attacks against Israel and since Hamas was ELECTED by the population of Gaza to govern it, it has launched rockets, kidnapping missions and terrorist missions against Israel. Now they’re being punished for their actions. Too bad for them. And if, as you contend, they are a nation, they cannot attack neighboring nations and complain when they respond. BTW, before making such expansive declarations about who the “Palestianians” are, you might want to do some reading, including Arab sources, as to who they are. A nation they ain’t.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “That doesn’t negate the natural rights of the indigenous people to their land as is the case in Palestine. ”

            Explain that again. Because an educated American would point out that they have a natural right to work towards self-determination. They don’t have any natural right to go and do what they actually do.

          • Lanna

            There is no such thing as a Palestinian state….they never had claim to the land and Israel won a lot of the land in the victories of their wars, ….They won it, plus the title deed to the land from the God of Israel, given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The conditions of the Palestinian people is from their leaders tyranny and refusal to live in peace with their neighbors. Israel stands guard to prevent more suicide bombers and guerilla attacks from killing innocent civilians.

          • Lightbringer

            “The Hamas folks have lost a nation”? Really? What is its history? Can you find me a map or book about it written before 1968? Who were its rulers? What was its currency? Where are its historic monuments and buildings? Tell me one thing that justifies saying that the “Palestinians” are anything more than recent Arab immigrants to the region, attracted by Jewish prosperity and hoping to take it over, and I will be surprised.

          • Americana

            Let’s shed some light on the whole Palestinian nation which you claim was nonexistent because they didn’t exist outside the Turkish Caliphate. They were a community within the Ottoman Empire. Just because the Palestinians didn’t have a state of their own doesn’t mean they didn’t hold title to those lands they’d farmed for hundreds of years. They have proof of provenance based on tax roles and sundry other factual details. Now you’re going to invent new rules for sovereignty like having to have a currency of your own? What about those nations that have given up their currency for the Euro, have they nullified their nationhood?

          • truebearing

            You just admitted Hamas had no nation, therefore lost no nation, and that they were only there because of the Ottoman Empire, which usurped territory and uprooted indigenous people. That is what you just admitted, though I doubt you will admit you admitted it. The “provenance” you keep babbling about came at the expense of someone, since Arabs aren’t indigenous, so their provenance, by your own rule, is illegitimate.

            Define provenance and then tell us how far back indegeity is valid. They are at the crux of your argument and you have never clarified either of them.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            If the Crips or the Bloods pay taxes, some day they can claim to be victims of colonial oppression too.

            “What about those nations that have given up their currency for the Euro, have they nullified their nationhood?”

            Are you really that dumb or is this some kind of pointless sarcasm? They certainly gave away some of their sovereignty, but that’s beside the point.

          • iluvisrael

            finally your comments are getting deleted! besides being ignorant, you’re a crashing bore!

          • Americana

            Comments being deleted are a sign of what to you? That the comments are rude, are wrong, are crass? No, those comments of mine are being deleted because they reflect HISTORICALLY CORRECT FACTS. It’s a shame that the writers here aren’t countering MY FACTS w/THEIR FACTS and, instead, are opting to delete factual comments in the hopes that their lies will never be confronted by true facts.

          • Questions

            There is no nation, in any meaningful sense, known as “Hamas.” It is nothing more than a political Hobson’s Choice, an arrangement of convenience brought about by Arab terror and Israel’s protection of its people from it.

          • truebearing

            “I don’t believe Israel and Hamas are morally equivalent. What I’ve said is Israel and Hamas both have identical grounds for their actions.”

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I would love to hear your long-winded sophistry on that one.”

            I think I’ve personally heard enough of that broken record.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            You’re doing it again.

            A shorter version might be: “I don’t believe Israel and Hamas are morally equivalent. But I do believe Israel and Hamas are morally equivalent.”

      • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

        O.K., let’s settle for this: Obama acts like a Kenyan Muslim. He certainly doesn’t act like an American, or love America, which is why so many good Americans think he’s a foreigner.

        • Americana

          On what exactly do you base your claim he “acts like a Kenyan Muslim?” He was never there in Kenya long enough to even begin to absorb how to “act like a Kenyan Muslim.” He visited there ONCE to meet his father who didn’t give him a particularly warm welcome. His stay in Indonesia also wasn’t long enough to warrant a lifelong interest in Islam since he moved to Hawaii to live w/his material grandparents and go to school.

          As for loving the United States, he’s a U.S. citizen who’s interested enough in our political process to have worked his way up in the political system. I have a cousin who’s worked for various politicians behind the scenes for decades. She finally decided to run for office two years ago and has achieved her first ever political win of her own. Their political trajectories are pretty nearly identical though she didn’t aim as high as he did. I’m not in the least bit worried that our President is a Kenyan or a Muslim. He’s an American whose family history illustrates that humanity in the U.S. is still in the phase of experiencing a melting pot.

          • truebearing

            “He’s an American whose family history illustrates that humanity in the U.S. is still in the phase of experiencing a melting pot.”

            You mean melting down.

            His parents were trash. He’s trash. Anyone who still believes in him is an utter moron or a leftist ideogue, a Muslim, or a complete moron.
            His father was married to two women at the same time. He abandoned Obama when he was too young to remember. His mother was a radical, anti-American and a lousy mother who abandoned her child to follow her radical politics and a whacked out lifestyle. Both were too narcissistic to put Obama’s care ahead of their pleasure. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree, obviously, but who would expect it to when narcissism is an inherited trait.

          • Ellsworth Toohey

            Indeed ! The saddest thing is that the US demographic is changing, more and more trash. They are the one who elected Nobama !

          • Sam197859

            Neocons continues to prove that conservatism is void of a thought. You, people, are comical.

          • Habbgun

            And you continue to be a white punk pretending you’re black. It is not as clever as you think. It is just a left wing white trash little trick.

          • Sam197859

            Nope. When I look in the mirror, I see a black face. It is hard for me to pretend when it is obvious that I am black. You have issues that is unresolved here.

          • Habbgun

            You’re right. I know a lot of intelligent blacks and it is a little disconcerting to hear one sound like Occupier White Trash on a meth binge. Well done!!!

          • Sam197859

            I look at people as people not by race,religion,gender or nationality and have learn that we are all the same but we have a very short attention span. We allow people to exploit are natural fears and ignorance for gain and control over our thoughts. I do not have faith in any, if not most, politicians, who are really bought and paid for regardless of party. I look at everything as a business venture and not about people except for our labor that powers that ventures. In reality, we are just a tool that will be replace later on if needed. It really does not matter who is president because the end game will be the same, wealth controls foreign policies, in which war is use to create business opportunities that is prohibited by the competing country.

          • Judahlevi

            I look at people as individuals and find that we are all not the same, we are all different – everyone of us. True diversity comes from the mind, not the body, because the mind is what makes each of us unique.

            We don’t go to war to create business opportunities, business opportunities are created by war. There is a difference.

          • Sam197859

            What came first, the chicken or the egg? That is what your argument is about and it makes no difference because it is all about business, either way. Everything is about control of something, any way possible. We have similar, if not the same interest, some of the time but it does not change my argument. You are just trying to twist it into something else. War is a tool and business is the end game.

          • Habbgun

            You are a serious moron. Do you think what you just wrote is profound? I am not the media. I am not here to pat the rabble on the head and say you are so smart and deliver you to the advertisers. I am not an art school to tell you your “political” crap is art and take your money.

            You are a moron or at least an ignoramus at best. Do not think your cynicism isn’t seen as the pose that it is. Just like an Occupier (your white trash heroes) we all know what side of the issue you always will come out on. You are a leftist through and through with all the lying and moral equivalence that comes from it.

            People who believe that other people are stupid, all beliefs are fake, all things a lie are simply power hungry slobs looking for an excuse to not have to show a hint of morality when they are in charge.

            The leftist doesn’t really care that there is racism, poverty, etc. etc. To him the real tragedy is he is personally not in charge.

            If you really believed people were simply ignorant tools you wouldn’t be hear commenting. What would be the point. You are trying to make friends with leftists and show your bona fides. If you really are black then you are a sellout just like liberal Jews are sellout. Good Job!!!

          • Sam197859

            Yawn. What else that you got? You are entertaining.

          • iluvisrael

            ‘people as people’? then you whine about ‘neocons’. If you’re as smart as you imagine yourself to be, you’d know that’s a code word for Jews. Kinda blows your ‘people as people’ bull$hit

          • Sam197859

            Code word for Jew? You a funny person.

          • iluvisrael

            enlighten us sammy – tell us about all the great achievements of hussein ozero – can’t wait to hear about how much he’s done for blacks.

          • Sam197859

            What have you done for yourself? If you are waiting for a politician to solve your problem then you are a fool.

          • iluvisrael

            can’t respond to my request, huh sambo?

          • Sam197859

            Cannot respond to a fool. That all you got, name calling? Are you the idiot in your village? Begone, peasant.

          • Sam197859

            What have any politicians have done for you? All I want is the president and the presidents, previously, forward something that the House and the Senate can vote on that will address people’s concerns. You cannot blame any presidents for riders added to bills that have no business being in it. That is why bills do not pass. Why do you not see line item veto measures in place? Again, what have you done for yourself besides “crying like a baby”?

          • viking

            You can’t name a single thing hussein obama has done well can you? You should follow him around when he golfs – he can use a useful idiot lapdog like you to carry his clubs and wash his little balls!

          • Sam197859

            Read my comments again. When I mention presidents that includes Barack Obama. He is no different than the previous ones. Did that go over your head, still?

          • Sam197859

            And you are just sad.

          • iluvisrael

            and you continue to be trailer park trash who can’t write correctly – dropped out of high school sammy?

          • Sam197859

            I cannot help that you were drop on your head when you was born. Keep going because you are,also, entertaining.

          • iluvisrael

            next time, add subtitles for your ebonics or learn English.

          • Sam197859

            Ebonics? Sad,sad person

      • Steve

        Exactly. Really sick. And sad.

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    • Pete Mitchell

      According to the manifest, there were no US citizens on the flight.

      • Judahlevi

        The principle remains the same.

  • Ellsworth Toohey

    Putin and the Russians are not that stupid to be behind this ! The rogue Ukrainian gvt is to one who would benefit from it. As for obama, he better acts against his muslim pals waging war all over the world.

    • Jo

      Liking your own post is like licking…
      Ukraine has a normal government, democratically elected president and not a single rocket launcher able to bring down a plane like that in a region occupied by Putin’s terrorists. Terrorists on the other hand have been recorded having that weapon, talking about it repeatedly and talking about all the planes they shot down so far.
      Go and be a Russian troll somewhere else.

  • RobinClay

    A scheduled passenger airliner shot down?
    It has happened before – twice – and was ignored by “the world”…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Rhodesia_Flight_825

  • the way it is

    On 3. July 1988, Iran Air civilian passenger flight 655 from Teheran to Dubai that was shot down by the USS Vincennes
    on 3 July 1988. The attack took place in Iranian airspace, over Iran’s
    territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, and on the flight’s usual flight
    path. The aircraft, an Airbus A300 B2-203, was destroyed by missiles fired from the USS Vincennes. All 290 on board, including 66 children and 16 crew, died.

    The men of the Vincennes were all awarded Combat Action Ribbons for completion of their tours in a combat zone. Lustig, the air-warfare coordinator, received the Navy Commendation Medal.

    The United States has never admitted responsibility, nor apologized to Iran.

    • Joseph

      Actually an investigation showed the navy ship miss – identified the Iranian aircraft. The US took responsibility for it, they DID apologize, and paid reparations to the Iranian government and the the families of the victims. You should get your facts straight. And what does that gave to do with this event?

      • guest

        copy paste from wikipedia
        “The United States government “expressed regret only for the loss of
        innocent life and did not make a specific apology to the Iranian
        government,In February 1996, the United States agreed to pay Iran US$131.8 million
        in settlement to discontinue a case brought by Iran in 1989 against the
        U.S. in the International Court of Justice relating to this incident” .so they us gov did not apologize as you say, and you stand exposed.

      • WhiteHunter

        As you see, the trolls are jumping on this one with their usual strategy: ‘Well, we shot down a civilian airliner, so who are we to blame anyone else for doing it?’ Or maybe it’s the one they used to defend Bill Clinton when he assaulted Kathleen Willey in the Oval Office: ‘Well, he should be entitled to one free grope’/’The Russians should be entitled to one free shoot-down.’

        The Vincennes incident was a tragic mistake, but understandable and unavoidable under the circumstances, which were these: There was a hot battle in progress, and U.S.S. Vincennes was in the vicinity, observing but not participating. Insanely, the Iranian airliner flew directly into the middle of the battle in progress and toward Vincennes.

        The ship’s radar picked up the aircraft but was not able to identify it as merely a harmless noncombatant doing something suicidally stupid in the middle of an aerial battlefield.

        In this age when an anti-ship missile such as the Exocet can reach its target in a matter of seconds (as happened to U.S.S. Stark in the Gulf, and H.M.S. Sheffield during the Falklands War), the captain of Vincennes could not risk the destruction of his ship by giving the unidentified aircraft the benefit of the doubt and waiting to be certain of its intentions. Vincennes fired a missile which brought down the Iranian and neutralized the perceived threat. It was exactly the proper action to take.

        The crew of Vincennes were devastated when the identity of the target was later established and the mistake recognized (has anyone EVER seen any remorse from a Communist or a terrorist?).

        The U.S. immediately disclosed all of the facts, did pay what by any standard was a very generous settlement, and apologized. Nothing further was, could, or should have been done. To sit as a defendant in a lawsuit by the Iranians–the IRANIANS, of all ‘people’–would have been insane, and an outrage.

        BTW, the wife of the captain of Vincennes was later nearly murdered when a bomb blew up the family SUV. But maybe that was ‘just a coincidence’ or ‘in retaliation for a video’–yuh think?

        None of these extenuating circumstances applied in the shoot-down of the Malaysian airliner. It does seem to have been most likely a case of mistaken identity, and it’s hard to understand why any airline would allow its planes to fly anywhere near the entire region; but the similarities end there.

        Let’s see if the missile crew feels any remorse at all, or makes any apology whatsoever, and whether Russia pays a single ruble in compensation. But let’s not hold our breath waiting.

        • Americana

          It’s a shame the world aviation community isn’t able to shift air routes in times of war but that might produce too much chaos. International air routes are observed because they ARE predictable and make identification of civilian aircraft easier. The Russians should be ashamed for giving those fighters such a weapon without either Russian supervisory personnel or adequate training to use the weapon without causing such a tragedy. I thought all civilian aircraft nowadays had a civilian radar signature so they couldn’t be mistaken for military aircraft.

          • CDM

            Radar, by itself, cannot distinguish civilian and military air traffic. There are other systems needed. One is to detect whether or not the plane is broadcasting a civilian transponder. Now, it is not unheard of for a military aircraft transponders to spoof civilian codes, as was done often during the Iran-Iraq war.

            There is secondary information that could be used to determine if an aircraft is civilian: Flight schedules, air route, flight characteristics. But, it all depends if the radar operators bother to check.

            It is up to individual countries and airlines to decide whether or not to allow their to fly through a particular area where there may be some risk. The FAA banned US airlines from flying over eastern Ukraine a month ago.

          • Americana

            I thought the transponder thing had been figured out because of past shoot downs. It’s STILL an issue? Sheesh, in that case, you’d think the world aviation community wouldn’t allow jetliners to fly over ANY war zones. Thanx for filling us in!

          • WhiteHunter

            I admittedly have no knowledge (none at all) of weapons systems like these, but it seems plausible that they probably don’t worry much about checking to see if it’s a civilian airliner emitting an identifying transponder signal (they might not even be equipped to receive those signals), but instead are only good at shooting down whatever it’s aimed at.

            The “separatists” evidently consider this a “free fire zone” with their only rule of engagement “if it’s up there, shoot it down!”

            Again, I’m just speculating, from a position of technical ignorance.

        • CDM

          Exactly. Compare the US response to IA655 to the Soviet response to KAL007 (i.e. “Plane? What plane? We don’t know anything about a plane.”) and that tells you all you need to know.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            There’s not a lot to compare. Passenger jets and innocent lives were lost. All of the other details are very different.

      • the way it is

        Apparently “collateral” damage in both cases. So why is this now suddenly a “Atrocity” the US case a “mistake”??

        • WhiteHunter

          Because that’s exactly what they both, respectively, were.

        • kasandra

          Perhaps because the Iran Air’s transponder was not broadcasting and there was not response to the U.S.S. Vincennes’ voice queries leading to the misidentification in that case while there is, as of yet, no indication of any such misidentification or attempt to communicate with the Malaysian aircraft in this instance.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            IIRC the transponder was broadcasting a number that indicated it was possibly a military jet. They thought it was an F14. I don’t remember the details.

          • JayWye

            part of the SETUP by Iran.

          • JayWye

            At that time,the USN was engaged in a naval action from Iran,it’s plausible that Iran was making a 2-pronged attack on the USN ships,by deliberately flying a civil AC right over the battlezone while their ships were attacking the US ships. IOW,a setup.

            OTOH,MH17 was flying at a high altitude and speed,constant course and speed,totally uncharacteristic of any Ukrainian military deployment. WITH a functioning transponder squawking a civil code.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          It might have been a mistake. We don’t have the answers yet.

      • FrankTalk14

        No the US never apologized, though they did pledge to pay out what international court of settlements stipulated. The shoot-down of flight 655 demonstrated the murderous and maniacal nature of the US military and the military-industrial complex that it serves. And what was US military doing in Persian Gulf in the first place?

        • American Patriot

          Yes they did, you Stalinist/Maoist. Anyway, did the Cuban dictatorship ever apologize for shooting down two unarmed, humanitarian planes from the human rights group, Brothers to the Rescue, over international airspace above the Florida Straits? They never have apologized. Yet, you don’t condemn the actions of the Communist dictatorship in Cuba.

          • FrankTalk14

            I was not aware of those incidents, but if Cuban military shot down civilian planes then I condemn that also.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Yeah, that’s not usually included in the talking points memos.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            They pursued and shot down at least one of them with jet fighters.

        • Gee

          The USS Vincesses was protecting US flagged tankers from Iran gunboat attacks

      • objectivefactsmatter

        Comparative negligence and deep pocket theory is in play here. Iran was at fault for its aggressive behavior. Certainly the passengers were not at fault.

    • CDM

      Ah, the “Blame America First” contingent has arrived.

  • Conniption Fitz
  • Lanna

    The Russian rebels bragged about it until they found out it was a Commercial Airliner, then took it off Facebook. Talk about a blunder of humongous proportions!
    Chalk up 2 planes for Malaysian airlines…what the heck do they say about this….that’s over 600 passengers they have lost.

  • Gasserino

    The real question is ,”If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear, is it still Obama’s fault?”

    • Al Pratt

      He would blame it on Bush, Republicans and global warming, and then have the EPA fine the Tea Party.

      Trolltard.

  • rbla

    This horrible act was perpetrated by Ukrainian pro-Russian separatists. Russia is responsible for providing them with the means to do so. Now let’s look at some other foolish actions which led up to this. Instead of entering into negotiations the extreme right-wing dominated regime in Kiev has engaged in a war against the civilian population of the east which has included aerial warfare. Before that officials of the EU and Obama administration as well as a Senator suffering from incipient dementia went to Ukraine stirring up trouble and encouraging the overthrow of the legitimate government.
    Now let’s go back to the beginning of post-cold war Russian animosity toward
    the US. The Clinton administration threw away the opportunity to improve
    US-Russian relations. Instead he sent a cadre of addle-brained Harvard economic advisors to ruin the Russian economy, engaged in a criminal war against Russia’s traditional civilizational ally Serbia and tilted toward Chechen Muslim separatists.

    Congratulations to all of the knee-jerk cold-warriors and to the left-wing
    globalists who could not abide the fact that Putin would not cave in to the
    agenda of abolishing western nations. You now have your new cold war along with its inevitable collateral damage.

    • JayWye

      it’s now coming out that Russia INSTIGATED the Ukrainian separatist rebellion,that the Ukrainian Russians did NOT want to fight,and Putin had to send in Russian Special Forces. also that the Buk launcher was taped heading back into Russia,missing two SAMs.

  • Hard Little Machine

    This kind of thing used to happen fairly frequently in Africa. In Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Algeria, Congo and elsewhere. No one got too too bent out of shape about it.

    In fact didn’t a charter Russian airliner traveling from Israel to Siberia get shot down by ‘accident’ a few years ago by a Ukrainian missile?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberia_Airlines_Flight_1812

  • TaterSalad

    What does it “take” [ http://weaselzippers.us/193624-compare-obama-and-reagan-responses-to-shooting-down-of-a-plane/ ] for the President to cancel a fund raiser?

    Barack on being “Flexible”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsFR8DbSRQE
    Hillary Clinton and her “Re-Set button with Russia”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GdLClHAMB0

    Is there a screw loose the? – http://therealrevo.com/blog/?p=119584

  • DaveGinOly

    A UK Daily Mail article convincingly fingers Ukrainian separatists using advanced Russian missiles:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2696975/Putin-blames-Ukraine-loss-Flight-MH17-298-innocent-souls-DOESNT-deny-Russian-separatists-shot-missile-McCain-warns-Hell-pay.html

    Can’t say that I’m all in arms about punishing those who did this. It seems to have been a case of mistaken identity – they thought they were shooting at a military transport over a war zone. The US Navy made a similar mistake with an Iranian passenger jet. Tragic, but a mistake nevertheless. Both were situations in which the crews conducting the firing had reason to believe that they were shooting at legitimate targets – in the Ukraine, the aircraft was over an active war zone, over the Persian Gulf, Iran had been threatening US naval assets with attack.

    This is not at all like the Soviet shoot-down of the the KAL fight. That aircraft had been tracked, intercepted, and shot down when it was known to be a civilian flight. The Soviets said they thought the aircraft was on a spy mission. If that had been the case, then the proper thing to do would have been to protest at the UN, where evidence in support of the claim could have been presented.

    • Jo

      Americans never tried to put the blame on someone else, like Putin and his men do. They also send black boxes and bodies to Moscow to thwart any efforts to figure out what happened, just like they did when Polish president died in a plane crash in Russia.
      Yes, it was a mistake, they were shooting down Ukrainian planes, but it doesn’t change the fact that they behave like total psychopaths about it.

  • Gee

    So the US has armed ISIL with thousands of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. Does that mean Odumba is responsible for their use too? Seems similar to me

  • Ellman48

    “Sadly, the joke is on a rapidly destabilizing world where the murder of
    295 innocent people, including at least some Americans, is apparently
    insufficient to gain the full attention our Commander-in-Chief.”

    The Fund Raiser in Chief is focused on recovering a majority in the House in the 2014 elections so that he can avoid being a lame duck and to obviate the need to assume the role of dictator. For Leftists the end always justifies the means and the lives of humans means no more than breaking eggs to make omelets.

  • bettyjwidner

    my Aunty
    Allison recently got a nice 6 month old Jaguar by working from a macbook.this website C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • Jo

    People of the world, do not allow Russians to take black boxes, bodies and the wreckage to Moscow, because in that case nobody will see it again! The world was silent when Russians were destroying or burying in Moscow all the evidence in a Smolensk plane crash, where Polish president died. It went down easily, don’t allow it to happen again!

  • Meir Cohen

    The proof is in the Putin.

    • iluvisrael

      funny!

  • Dyer’s Eve

    I’ll stick to the subject here. Twenty eight of my countrymen (Australia) were murdered. They did nothing wrong, just like all the other people on MH17. All the people on that plane were going about their lives. En route to their destination, they had hopes and dreams. Some of the people on that plane were on their way to an AIDS conference in Melbourne. They were not ‘combatants’, they were not ‘at war’, they were talented and caring people trying to make a difference in a difficult world. Not to forget the other good people who also perished. And the flight crew! And they were shot out of the sky by some uneducated feral with a big gun. And that is what really sh!ts me.

  • RMThoughts

    please.

    • Kruton

      #escaped lunatic

  • FedUpWithWelfareStates

    I am going to hoist the B/S Flag early into this incident. Why was the Malaysian airliner even flying through a war zone in the first place? If anything, it is a case of mistaken identity of an aircraft by trigger happy ???, after aircraft had already been shot down in that area, so if anyone is at fault, it would have to be Malaysian airlines…quite honestly, the conflict between Russia & the Ukraine is exactly that…between them…NOT the U.S. who seems to want to get involved with everyone’s affairs…

    • Gamal

      Maybe the Russians thought the Malaysian airliner was spying.

  • meanpeoplesuck

    Pretty obvious what happened. Putin hates LGBT, RepubliNaziTards think their imaginary friends god and Jesus also hate LGBT, so they colluded to down the plane since it was carrying so many important AIDs researchers.

    TeaBangers are really Communists. Who knew?

    • JayWye

      your moronic post doesn’t jive with your assumed moniker. there’s far more hate and meanness in your post than you seem to realize.

      it’s kinda ironic and funny;you’re literally saying that YOU “suck”.

      • meanpeoplesuck

        All the meanness is on the right. On Breittard, they were whining when Michelle Obama was fighting for nutritional justice in our schools, calling her Chewbakka and making crude comments about her butt. So I posted about how useless Laura Bush was and that she was a pasty-faced cow. They deleted that and let all the racist obnoxious comments about the First Lady stand.

        And don’t get me started on how you all think because you have imaginary friends named jesus and god that you have the right to hate on LGBT. You get off on being so self righteous by not selling them cake. Yeah, that’s what your little imaginary friends really want!

    • American Patriot

      DemoCommunisTards think their imaginary friend Allah and Muhammad love the LGBT communities, but they are wrong. It was the exact opposite. “Occupy” losers are really conservatives? Who knew?

    • UCSPanther

      I wager you are just some stupid college kid…

    • Kruton

      #stop low info voters

  • JayWye

    some FACTS;
    AN-26 MAXIMUM altitude is 24,600 ft,max speed is 335 mph. they generally fly slower and lower than that maximum.
    MH17 was at 33,000 ft and 400+ mph,constant course and speed. Not any military deployment posture. NO military drops paratroops from that speed and altitude. the windblast alone would kill them.

    Buk SAM system;mobile,tracked SAM system built on T-72 tank chassis. able to read civilian transponder codes and block them from being a target,unless the SAM operator turns off or overrides the system. Buk needs skilled operators,not any homegrown “rebel”,you can’t run Buk from reading a manual. I doubt Spetsnaz could operate them. IMO,it had to be Russians operating the SAM systems. We already know Russia has armed and WELL-equipped the “rebels”,and sent in large convoys of material.

  • RMThoughts

    The narrative is broken.While the US/EU managed to violently remove the elected government of Viktor Yanukovych, the proxies it chose to replace it with were immediately as incompetent and unpopular as the predecessor. Disorganized, underfunded, and ill-equipped, the Ukrainian army fought a brutal punitive campaign in eastern Ukraine that as of July began unraveling in spectacular disarray.

    With Russia and the separatists in eastern Ukraine standing at the threshold of inevitable victory and thus standing high in global public opinion, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed near the Ukrainian-Russian border in territory controlled by eastern Ukrainian separatists. Again, answering the question of “cui bono?” is simple. NATO – and the West made no secret of this.

    We read in our media that this is the “game changer” we were needing. “Jet
    downing a ‘game-changer’ in world relations with Russia”. We are presented
    with absolutely no real evidence for serious public scrutiny – the public is simply being told that it “exists,” For now, all that is certain is that there’s a
    plane wreck in eastern Ukraine. That is all the evidence that exists. Clearly
    fabricated propaganda emanating from Kiev hints to criminal conspiracy aimed at blaming Russia, or Ukrainian federalist, but the particulars of how MH17 crashed and who may be responsible have yet to come to light.

    Immediately a he psychological campaign on the part of the US liberal and conservative media, as well as political elites is attempting to build against Russia. The irresponsible preying on emotions and skewing of reality endangers the search for truth – constituting an international obstruction of justice

    We have to ask: what sort of “world leader” or agenda would celebrate the downing of a commercial airliner as a “game changer” and immediately mobilize, not to seek the truth, but exploit fully baseless accusations and intentional distortions to score political points in the immediate aftermath?

    • Kruton

      Putin,s thugs are being crushed you idiot! If they weren’t hiding behind old woman the war would be over,glory to Ukraine!

  • Lanna

    Reports and some scenes coming in of the stench from body parts decaying on the ground due to lack of a ground force to put them in storage, this is one of the worst atrocities of the Decade, lay it at Putin’s feet!

  • http://frontlineofdefense.com j.veritas

    This could happen to America in a heart beat. With all the illegals we are letting into the country, how many of them could be Middle Eastern terrorists? And what if I told you that there’s a place 40 miles from Ground Zero, where if they struck with a missile, similar to the one that hit the Malaysian Airliner, it could kill 20 million people and cost us a trillion dollars in economic damages. Well, it exists,and it’s called Indian Point. See this amazing video (that nobody is talking about)

    http://www.frontlineofdefense.com/semper-paratus

    • Ellsworth Toohey

      Indeed, I bet more Americans are murdered by illegal immigrants, dies from their drugs, their gangs than the 300 deaths of this plane mistakenly shot down.

      obama should better spend his spare time solving US problems than to try to play smart with Putin. He is no match. Putin and the Chinese elite and gvt despise obama. They see him as an African, nothing else !

  • Kruton

    Putin had that plane shot down to force a ceasefire.It won’t work because the Ukrainian young boys are bent on destroying their tormentors. No power on earth can stop them now!

  • Lanna

    The Word used to describe this event is Evil. The way the remains of bodies and parts have been neglected and not allowed to be removed by Ukrainians, while bodies were decomposing, is never going to be forgotten….Putin’s soul rots with them!

  • Katya

    So who gains from this terrorist event? Russia had no reason to be involved; the Ukraine government had every motivation. Russia only loses. The Russian-speaking rebels would only hurt their cause for independence through such a barbaric act. The US coup-installed government in Kiev benefits greatly
    for many obvious reasons.
    Moreover, Obama needed further justification for sanctions against Russia. As a result, a large-scale propaganda campaign to discredit Russia has started.