Malaysian Airlines has re-routed its flight MH4 between London and Kuala Lumpur, which used to fly over eastern Ukraine — the new flight path is over Syria.
“Panic in Moscow is hard to spot, but even from 6000 miles away, it’s easy to smell, and the metallic stink of fear is rising off the palace offices of the Russian executive as if from the gurneys in a cancer ward on the morning of an operation.”
Tom Nichols, “Why the Russians Are Panicking Over Flight 17,” The Federalist
“Looters Stole Cash, Credit Cards, and Jewelry from Flight MH17,” Polly Mosendz, The Wire
In case you were wondering how that Ukrainian miner got a Rolex…
“Bob [Bergdahl], 54, had been a cycling champion and would have competed at the 1980 Moscow Olympics had America not boycotted them in protest at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
“The experience prompted disillusionment with the US government….”
Toby Harnden, “Obama’s Bergdahl Fiasco,” The Sunday Times
President Obama will ask Congress for another $1 billion to improve security in Europe against the threat from Putin. I have no problem with this.
What I do have a problem with is how little the Europeans do for themselves. NATO’s members promised in 2006 to spend at least 2% of their GDP on their militaries, but of 28 members, only Britain, Greece, and Estonia, besides of course the U. S., have met that low standard. Everyone talks about the great trains and inexpensive health care in Europe. Well, that’s because they spend next to nothing on defense, relying too much on us, while our infrastructure is falling apart. If they’re so worried about Putin, they need to stop building their houses of straw and sticks, while we get stuck providing the bricks.
I’m especially looking at you, France. While the French can’t be bothered to defend themselves (again), they also won’t cancel their $1.6 billion sale of warships to Putin. So they make our job tougher and more expensive. You know, Mesdames et Messieurs, it’s your damn continent. We just come over now and then (like 70 years ago today, when our soldiers got slaughtered on your Normandy beaches, while you all hung out in cafes in Paris) to save your sorry behinds.
“We are not experts on climate change.”
Charles and David Koch, declining Tom Steyer’s invitation for a debate on the issue.
President Obama has ramped up the sanctions on Russia for its intransigence on Ukraine — he’s added 7 more government officials and 17 companies to the list.
I think he’s right to save the “big guns” of sanctions on entire sectors of the Russian economy for an actual invasion of eastern Ukraine.
Secretary of State John Kerry said today that Russia “has refused to take a single step in the right direction” to defuse the crisis in Ukraine.
Time to forget more talks and apply more sanctions.
“U. S. to Hold Teeny Tiny Military Drills in Poland and Estonia”
Adam Chandler, The Wire
In our defense, I would say that Estonia is a teeny tiny country.
“Certainly, many of the Snowden-fueled disclosures following the original NSA revelation have been gratuitous and harmful; those, and his sheltering in Russia rather than arguing his case in a U.S. court, raise doubts about his motives. But the original NSA leaks were justified because U.S. intelligence officials had misled the public and members of Congress about the program. There’s no value of ‘oversight’ if the overseers are being fed lies.”
Dana Milbank, WaPo