Yesterday, the long-simmering conflict between Russia and Ukraine took a new and horribly deadly turn, causing 23 Americans to lose their lives .
The CBS Affiliate in Washington has details
A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 298 people was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday as it flew over the country, and both the government and the pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region denied any responsibility for downing the plane.
An earlier tally of 295 dead was raised to include three infants in an official list of passengers released by Malaysia Airlines. The bulk of the passengers were from the Netherlands — 154 people. Next highest was 45 from Malaysia and 27 from Australia.
CBS News confirms the Boeing 777 was shot down by a missile as it flew at 33,000 feet over the war zone in Ukraine, but it is not clear where the missile was fired from.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine “bears responsibility” for the crash because the plane was brought down in the country.
“This tragedy would not have happened, if there had been peace on that land, or in any case if military operations in southeastern Ukraine had not been renewed,” Putin said in televised comments, according to Reuters.
Wreckage and bodies are spread over several miles along the flight path, CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports. That would be consistent with the plane being ripped apart by aerodynamic forces after the aircraft was penetrated by a high explosive projectile.
As plumes of black smoke rose up near a rebel-held village of Grabovo, an Associated Press journalist counted at least 22 bodies at the wreckage site 25 miles from the Russian border.
A Russian news report said pro-Russia rebels intend to call a three-day cease-fire to allow for an investigation into the crash and recovery efforts.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the downing an act of terrorism and called for an international investigation into the crash. He insisted that his forces did not shoot down the plane.
The government of Ukraine said in a statement Thursday afternoon that it has evidence that the Russian military was involved in the crash.
And, what did the President of the United States do about this tragedy? Did he come on National Television last night in remembrance of those 23 Americans who lost their lifes and, assure the nation that their deaths would not be in vain?
Are you kidding me?
Politico.com has the whole, sorry story…
President Barack Obama made his first comments Thursday on the Malaysia Airlines crash in Ukraine, saying the incident “looks like it may be a terrible tragedy.”
The president did not confirm any details of the crash and said he has asked his aides to keep in contact with Ukrainian officials. The administration is “working to determine whether there were American citizens on board; that is our first priority.”
Obama’s remarks came at the start of a speech at the Port of Wilmington in Wilmington, Delaware, before he moved on to his planned remarks on boosting infrastructure spending.
…After his speech in Wilmington, Obama is headed to New York for two closed-press fundraisers, one for the Democratic National Committee and another for House Majority PAC.
Evidently, 23 dead Americans are not as important to this President of the United States, as raising money for his fellow Democrats, speaking in front of hand-picked adoring crowds.
On September 5, 1983, President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation, concerning another incident like yesterday’s, which involved Russia. Korean Air Lines Flight 007 was a scheduled Korean Air Lines flight from New York City to Seoul via Anchorage. On September 1, 1983, the airliner serving the flight was shot down by a Soviet Su-15 interceptor near Moneron Island, west of Sakhalin Island, in the Sea of Japan. The interceptor’s pilot was Major Gennadi Osipovich. All 269 passengers and crew aboard were killed, including Lawrence McDonald, representative from Georgia in the United States House of Representatives. The aircraft was en route from Anchorage to Seoul when it flew through prohibited Soviet airspace around the time of a U.S. reconnaissance mission.
Here is an excerpt of President Ronald Reagan’s televised speech to the nation:
My fellow Americans:
I’m coming before you tonight about the Korean airline massacre, the attack by the Soviet Union against 269 innocent men, women, and children aboard an unarmed Korean passenger plane. This crime against humanity must never be forgotten, here or throughout the world.
Our prayers tonight are with the victims and their families in their time of terrible grief. Our hearts go out to them — to brave people like Kathryn McDonald, the wife of a Congressman whose composure and eloquence on the day of her husband’s death moved us all. He will be sorely missed by all of us here in government.
The parents of one slain couple wired me: “Our daughter…and her husband…died on Korean Airline Flight 007. Their deaths were the result of the Soviet Union violating every concept of human rights.” The emotions of these parents — grief, shock, anger — are shared by civilized people everywhere. From around the world press accounts reflect an explosion of condemnation by people everywhere.
Let me state as plainly as I can: There was absolutely no justification, either legal or moral, for what the Soviets did. One newspaper in India said, “If every passenger plane…is fair game for home air forces…it will be the end to civil aviation as we know it.”
This is not the first time the Soviet Union has shot at and hit a civilian airliner when it over flew its territory. In another tragic incident in 1978, the Soviets also shot down an unarmed civilian airliner after having positively identified it as such. In that instance, the Soviet interceptor pilot clearly identified the civilian markings on the side of the aircraft, repeatedly questioned the order to fire on a civilian airliner, and was ordered to shoot it down anyway. The aircraft was hit with a missile and made a crash landing. Several innocent people lost their lives in this attack, killed by shrapnel from the blast of a Soviet missile.
Is this a practice of other countries in the world? The answer is no. Commercial aircraft from the Soviet Union and Cuba on a number of occasions have over flown sensitive United States military facilities. They weren’t shot down. We and other civilized countries believe in the tradition of offering help to mariners and pilots who are lost or in distress on the sea or in the air. We believe in following procedures to prevent a tragedy, not to provoke one.
But despite the savagery of their crime, the universal reaction against it, and the evidence of their complicity, the Soviets still refuse to tell the truth. They have persistently refused to admit that their pilot fired on the Korean aircraft. Indeed, they’ve not even told their own people that a plane was shot down.
They have spun a confused tale of tracking the plane by radar until it just mysteriously disappeared from their radar screens, but no one fired a shot of any kind. But then they coupled this with charges that it was a spy plane sent by us and that their planes fired tracer bullets past the plane as a warning that it was in Soviet airspace.
Let me recap for a moment and present the incontrovertible evidence that we have. The Korean airliner, a Boeing 747, left Anchorage, Alaska, bound for Seoul, Korea, on a course south and west which would take it across Japan. Out over the Pacific, in international waters, it was for a brief time in the vicinity of one of our reconnaissance planes, an RC-135, on a routine mission. At no time was the RC-135 in Soviet airspace. The Korean airliner flew on, and the two planes were soon widely separated.
The 747 is equipped with the most modern computerized navigation facilities, but a computer must respond to input provided by human hands. No one will ever know whether a mistake was made in giving the computer the course or whether there was a malfunction. Whichever, the 747 was flying a course further to the west than it was supposed to fly — a course which took it into Soviet airspace.
The Soviets tracked this plane for 2 1/2 hours while it flew a straight-line course at 30 to 35,000 feet. Only civilian airliners fly in such a manner. At one point, the Korean pilot gave Japanese air control his position as east of Hokkaido, Japan, showing that he was unaware they were off course by as much or more than a hundred miles.
The Soviets scrambled jet interceptors from a base in Sakhalin Island. Japanese ground sites recorded the interceptor planes’ radio transmissions — their conversations with their own ground control. We only have the voices from the pilots; the Soviet ground-to-air transmissions were not recorded. It’s plain, however, from the pilot’s words that he’s responding to orders and queries from his own ground control.
President Reagan went on to play tapes of the conversation between the Soviets on the ground and the Flight Crew, which confirmed that they were targeting the Korean Airliner.
The President concluded his address tp the nation by saying,
I‘ve told you negotiations we’ve suspended as a result of the Korean airline massacre, but we cannot, we must not give up our effort to reduce the arsenals of destructive weapons threatening the world. Ambassador Nitze has returned to Geneva to resume the negotiations on intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe. Equally, we will continue to press for arms reductions in the START talks that resume in October. We are more determined than ever to reduce and, it possible, eliminate the threat hanging over mankind.
We know it will be heard to make a nation that rules its own people through force to cease using force against the rest of the world. But we must try.
This is not a role we sought. We preach no manifest destiny. But like Americans who began this country and brought forth this last, best hope of mankind, history has asked much of the Americans of our own time. Much we have already given; much more we must be prepared to give.
Let us have faith, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “that right makes might, and in that faith let us, to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it.” If we do, if we stand together and move forward with courage, then history will record that some good did come from this monstrous wrong that we will carry with us and remember for the rest of our lives.
Thank you. God bless you, and good night.
Compare and contrast the two reactions by these two totally different individuals, who were elected as our Sovereign Nation’s Protector and Defender of its citizens.
Like me, I believe you, too, will wish we had an American President.
Until He Comes,
One thought on “Malaysian Airlines Flight mh370/Korean Airlines 007…Obama/Reagan…a Fundraiser/an American President”
It just makes you feel so warm and fuzzy doesn’t it. God certainly gives us a challenge to “pray for our leaders”. Fortunately Christ is bigger than all that.