Paul Gordon Collier
Malysia Flight MH17 Shoot-Down Remarks- Analyzed
President Obama spoke today in more depth about the Malaysia Flight Shoot-Down over the Ukraine. Here is an analysis of what he said (followed by the full video of the speech).
The President identified only one confirmed American death, Quinn Lucas Schansman. He acknowledged speaking to the leaders of the countries that have lost people in this shoot-down, including the Netherlands and Australia, as well as Malaysia and the Ukraine. It is telling that he did not reveal any dialogue he may or not have had with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, after the full report came in.
Here is what the President had to say about what the US knows about the Malaysian Flight MH17 Shoot-Down:
Evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile that was launched from an area that is controlled by Russian-backed separatists inside of Ukraine. We also know that this is not the first time a plane has been shot down in eastern Ukraine. Over the last several weeks, Russian-backed separatists have shot down a Ukrainian transport plane and a Ukrainian helicopter, and they claimed responsibility for shooting down a Ukrainian fighter jet. Moreover, we know that these separatists have received a steady flow of support from Russia. This includes arms and training. It includes heavy weapons, and it includes anti-aircraft weapons.
The statement that the US knows ‘that this is not the first time a plane has been shot down in Eastern Ukraine” could portend a push by the US, through the UN and/or NATO, to demand investigations be allowed to happen not just at the crash site of Flight MH17, but the other crash sites as well. The call for an international investigation hints at the next move for the U.S, to go to the UN or, given Russia’s veto power in the UN, NATO, for some call for international action.
The President evoked the authority of the UN when he said, “The U.N. Security Council has endorsed this investigation and we will hold all its members – including Russia – to their word.”
The President called for an immediate cease-fire so that international parties can enter the Eastern Ukraine to conduct their investigations into all of the suspect crashes, not just Malaysia Flight MH17. He reiterated the American commitment to aid in conducting the investigation, including providing assistance in the form of FBI and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) experts.
Another very telling comment from the President came when he said, “For months, we’ve supported a pathway to peace, and the Ukrainian government has reached out to all Ukrainians, put forward a peace plan, and lived up to a cease-fire, despite repeated violations by the separatists — violations that took the lives of Ukrainian soldiers and personnel.”
It is very clear that the President and his administration means to continue it’s tough stance in support of the Ukraine and in defiance of Russia.
The President revealed that President Putin was ‘not happy’ with the sanctions when he spoke to him by phone yesterday. It should be noted that the President first learned of the then-reported crash of Flight MH17 from President Putin during that same conversation. This was the only mention of any dialogue between President Obama and President Putin. To date, there have been no statements or press releases from this administration regarding any dialogue that may have taken place AFTER the full reality of the circumstance of the Malaysia Flight MH17 Shoot-down had become clear.
The Freedomist was one of the first news outlets to report that the Russian Separatists were the ones who shot down the flight, mistaking it for a transport jet. We were also one of the first to report that they did so with Russian-made missiles, newly acquired when a base was handed over to them. (Read our initial article)
Our analysis of this speech by the President on this matter is that the US is moving towards an even stronger anti-Russia, pro-Ukraine stance than they had before the Malaysia Flight MH17 shoot-down. So far, Putin has yet to respond. We predict the next step for the President will be to try to push through a resolution condemning the shoot-down through the UN,while also coordinating with NATO members about what actions can be taken to secure the wreckage area in Eastern Ukraine.
It is possible the President could use this incident to call for more direct American military aid for the Ukraine, possibly in the form of money or even supplying the Ukraine with missile-jamming technologies.