Another Malaysian Airliner down. I think somebody up there doesn’t like Malaysian Airlines, or Malaysians, maybe. Or perhaps, as one blogger suggested, it was another crazed Moslem pilot taking his passengers to Paradise. I feel sad about all those who died but I wish more attention were focused on them and less on the effort to somehow make Russia the guilty party a priori. Accusing the Russians of perfidy is the main chore in the USG these days and while some of it is true, a lot is hyperbole and hysterics.
Let us review the play: the Ukrainian civil war began with a violent putsch by pro-western elements, many from the far right, against an elected president. The US and the EU fell over their own feet to recognize the junta that took over when Yanukovych and company fled for their lives to Russia. Why the rush? Why support the use of illegal means to power if you are so keen on the observation of the rule of law? I’ll tell you why. The US and EU both wanted Ukraine to sign an association agreement with the EU which would be a prelude to NATO membership. The departure of Yanukovych was highly desirable for the US and EU. Netting Ukraine would pretty much close the noose around Russia, which remains the dream of the Russophobes.
Mr. Yanukovych has now been replaced by a government that many in the east find unacceptable. They wanted negotiations for new autonomy arrangements. Kiev rejected their demands and were backed in this new-found respect for international sovereignty and territorial integrity by NATO and the EU. Yet the new president Petro Poroshenko made his first order of business signing the EU association agreement that triggered the confrontation to begin with and his next goal is to get Ukraine into NATO. Those steps have further fed discontent in the east. He doesn’t seem all that interested in patching things up with the malcontents. He’s answering to another master now.
This is a civil war begun by serious miscalculations and now the killing has reached a point at which going backwards to the status quo ante is not going to be possible. Poroshenko is trying for a quick military victory so he can get rid of the one insuperable impediment to NATO membership, the existence of unresolved territorial disputes. This urgent need to settle the issue of eastern Ukrainian separatism is what drives the brutality of the Ukrainian government effort to squelch the separatists once and for all. It also drives Russia’s steps to thwart the effort.
The US is actively involved in Poroshenko’s military adventures. Putin has supported negotiations that include the main combatants in the east and the question of greater autonomy for the eastern regions. How extreme a demand! Or is it? The US has not only supported the inclusion of all warring parties including terrorists and guerrilla fighters throughout Latin America in negotiations, it has forced such negotiations on wary governments throughout the western hemisphere.
Here’s the problem. The Colossus has feet of clay. The US is crumbling from within and by design from its current left-wing president. To our south, our president and his party leaders around the country have conspired against the people by allowing in floods of illegal aliens to be used as future party soldiers. The American people are actually rising against these endless violations of our freedoms. The Colossus shakes.
Even as we weaken within, we try to project our power in the most futile places and useless ways. The Ukrainians on one side or the other brought the plane down, but it was the UN civil aviation authority that failed to close Ukrainian airspace to civilian aircraft. They did not close it despite all the aircraft brought down of late and the inevitable has happened. The rush is on to place blame, and the initial suspicions may or may not be accurate. But listen up: Kiev had its own BUK system in the area and according to Russian military that emplacement was active throughout the day of the downing, tracking the air space while Russia tracked the trackers. The Russian military suggests the radar was being relayed to a missile unit. The Ukrainian government has accused the Russians of actually bringing down the various military craft that have been destroyed in past weeks and hence the Ukrainian delivery to eastern Ukraine of at least one BUK unit – on the alert for intruders. I don’t know anything other than the reporting. It is certainly possible the separatists brought down the craft assuming it was a Ukrainian government plane. They don’t have the kind of tracking equipment that allows them to identify aircraft, I assume, and so they just shoot when they hear something coming. I’d guess they couldn’t imagine any country would let its citizens fly through such a danger zone.
The chances are equally good that the Ukrainian Army mistook the Malaysian plane for a Russian aircraft with its red, white and blue logo and wanted to bring it down to prove Russian intervention in Ukraine. I don’t think anybody brought down a civilian passenger craft deliberately with knowledge that it was carrying innocent non-combatants. It was all “the fog of war,” as our leaders love to say. Or collateral damage, another American favorite.
What does not help is the hysteria from the Americans. First we were told 43 Americans were on board, thus justifying Biden buzzing off to Ukraine to get to the bottom of things. The latest is, there is at least ONE American victim. Now it seems that person was a dual citizen of Netherlands and US. Still, America apparently is appointed from on high to get to the bottom of things, regardless of who is nominally in charge. US politicians are promising to punish Russia severely (I’m waiting) if there is any proof it provided the weapon that brought down the plane. Of course the chief proponent of this tough approach is John McCain, who is simultaneously furious we haven’t sent such weapons (yet, but we’re considering it) to the Syrian “good guys.”
Every kind of insult is hurled at Russia by elected officials and US government hacks. Our government is going to try really hard to strangle Russia economically to get rid of the pest. Is this the way a superpower acts? Maybe not. Maybe it is a has-been superpower thwarted in its will who calls names and demands and screams. And what is scariest is that US behavior has become so bellicose and we are carrying it right to the doorstep of our chosen enemies – and it all looks like it is becoming a road to a much larger war than anybody is planning on. These are slippery slopes. I’d rather the US button its lip and use diplomacy rather than the threat of force for a change. I’d rather we concentrate on overthrowing our own government, at the ballot box hopefully, and not on how we can unseat other governments.