The world burns while Obama contemplates, reviews, deliberates, plays golf, and fiddles. But as we focus on Iraq, there’s scant attention to the growing conflagration in Ukraine.As reported by Foxnews.com, “Ukraine’s new president declared Sunday a day of mourning and vowed to punish those responsible after pro-Russia separatists shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane, killing all 49 crew and troops aboard. It was a bitter setback for the Ukrainian forces — the deadliest single incident yet in their escalating battle against an armed insurgency that the government, backed by the U.S., insists is supported by Russia.”
I suppose Obama will learn about this from the newspapers as well — in between rounds of golf.
Fox News said nine crew and 40 troops were aboard the Il-76 troop transport when it went down early Saturday as it approached the airport at Luhansk. An Associated Press reporter saw a dozen or more armed separatists inspecting the crash site. Defense Ministry spokesman Bohdan Senyk said the rebels used anti-aircraft guns and a heavy machine gun to down the plane, while the prosecutor general’s office said rebels used an anti-aircraft missile.
The report said the downing of the plane drew condemnation and concern from the White House, European leaders and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon. Analysts said it could bring a renewed emphasis on increasing sanctions against Russia.“We condemn the shooting down of the Ukrainian military plane and continue to be deeply concerned about the situation in eastern Ukraine, including by the fact that militant and separatist groups have received heavy weapons from Russia, including tanks, which is a significant escalation,” said White House spokeswoman Laura Lucas Magnuson. Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel jointly called Russian President Vladimir Putin to express their “dismay” over the downing of the plane and said the incident makes clear how urgent a cease-fire is, German government spokesman Georg Streiter said.
I just have to laugh. I thought we had imposed VERY tough sanctions against the Russians to influence their actions — oops, guess that didn’t work.
And so the Kabuki dance of words and empty threats will continue. I remember Sean Connery’s exchange from the 1987 movie “The Untouchables” with Kevin Costner, who was portraying Eliot Ness:
Malone: You said you wanted to get Capone. Do you really wanna get him? You see what I’m saying is, what are you prepared to do?
Ness: Anything within the law.
Malone: And then what are you prepared to do? If you open the can on these worms you must be prepared to go all the way. Because they’re not gonna give up the fight, until one of you is dead.
Ness: I want to get Capone! I don’t know how to do it.
Malone: You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way! And that’s how you get Capone. Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I’m offering you a deal. Do you want this deal?
Ness: I have sworn to capture this man with all legal powers at my disposal and I will do so.
Malone: Well, the Lord hates a coward.