Reality gave Barack Obama a double smack in the mouth yesterday. Just when he thought that it was safe to go to Martha’s Vineyard with the rest of the glitterati for an extended vacation the real world intervened.
The double dose of reality started with the shootdown of Malaysian flight 17 over the eastern Ukraine presumably by Ukrainian separatists. The separatists used a high-altitude Russian missile system and again were presumably assisted by embedded Russian intelligence agents.
Other experts point to the Russians as the culprits. Retired Army Lt. Col Ralph Peters said it is unlikely the Russian military would have put missile batteries capable of knocking a plane out of the sky at such an altitude in the hands of rebels.
Among the 298 dead were 23 Americans according to Malaysian authorities. The International AIDS Society (IAS) issued a statement saying “a number of colleagues and friends” were aboard the plane en route to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.
The second dose of reality was the Israeli ground invasion of Gaza that Benjamin Netanyahu had been threatening for days. The Israeli Air Force has pounding Hamas terrorist targets for more than a week but has offered a cease fire through the Egyptian government.
When Hamas rejected the offer with yet more missile launches the Israelis struck with a vengeance. After the first wave of assaults they announced that they had neutralized 14 terrorists, destroyed 20 rocket launchers, carried out 9 strikes on tunnels and hit a total of 103 terror targets.
Netanyahu on Friday ordered the military to prepare for a “significant expansion” of its ground operation against Gaza militants.
The White House’s response was indicative of the entire Obama foreign policy. Obama came to the White House Press Room and in a 38-second announcement said in part: ‘It looks like it may be a terrible tragedy’.
The White House later issued this statement for a “full, credible, and unimpeded international investigation,” adding that it was “vital” that no evidence be tampered with at the crash scene.
“The United States is shocked by the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, and we offer our deep condolences to all those who lost loved ones on board,” the statement said.
Don’t expect any of those conditions to be met. As I write this I expect Russian intelligence agents to be sanitizing the crash site and removing any evidence of Russian involvement.
Contrast the innocuous White House statement with their statement on the Israeli offensive into Gaza. The State Department accused Israel of failing to do all it can to prevent civilian casualties in Gaza during cross-border attacks.
Focusing on the deaths of four Palestinian boys who were killed in an airstrike, Jen Psaki, State Department spokeswoman said:
The tragic event makes clear that Israel must take every possible step to meet its standards for protecting civilians from being killed. We will continue to underscore that point to Israel.
She also criticized Hamas militants in Gaza who continue to fire rockets and mortars into Israel:
I don’t think we’ve made any secret about our strong concern about the actions of Hamas, the indiscriminate rocket attacks, the targeting of civilians, And that concern remains.
Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated U.S. concerns about civilian casualties in a phone call to Benjamin Netanyahu. Meanwhile, Hamas continues to fire rockets at civilian population centers in Israel.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama, leader of the free world, went to a $30,000-a-plate in the Hamptons last night while the eastern world exploded, keeping things in proper perspective. So much for leadership.