What A World!!
The other day, my wife and I were minding our own business taking down wallpaper in our kitchen when we heard on Fox News that a Malaysian Airlines 777 had just been shot down in the Ukraine. A couple of hours later we heard of the Israeli ground offensive into Gaza. What a day! Days like this are exactly why our pastor reminded us last week that if we dwell on the world news instead of looking to God as our source, one can go mad through depression, worry and anger.
MALAYSIA FLIGHT 17
Didn't we just go through this four months ago? Back on 8 March, Malaysia Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing but as everybody knows, did not make it. On that flight, 239 people and one beautiful Boeing 777-200ER went missing. Now, 298 people and another beautiful Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER are part of an international scandal. This time, however, the end results are known; twisted wreckage and broken bodies litter the Ukrainian countryside.
"Whodunit," is the operative word these days and the requisite finger pointing has begun in earnest. Did the Ukrainian military down the passenger jet? Was it the pro-Russian separatist operating inside Ukraine? Was it intentional? Did Russia, i.e. Vladimir Putin, give the orders to down the airliner? For what it is worth, I do not believe Putin had anything directly to do with the downing. Granted his regime has equipped the separatist with weapons, including surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), but I cannot see anything he would have to gain from such a huge international debacle. This kind of publicity is exactly what he doesn't need while he attempts to take over the Ukraine.
I heard one pundit on television say that maybe the Ukrainian military shot it down in the hopes of gaining international support for their cause and possibly bringing the US and NATO into the conflict. Although this tactic is not completely unheard of, in this case I do not see it. Remember in WWI, the US was steadfastly isolationist and wanted nothing to do with the war in Europe. All attempts to bring us into the war had failed miserably and the Allies desperately needed our intervention. Enter the passenger ship Lusitania. In the book, Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy, author Diana Preston, expertly and convincingly constructs the lead up to the sacrificial sinking of the ship and the eventual loss of 1,198 lives to include 128 Americans. I am not saying this tactic will never be used again but I do not believe it is the case here in the Ukraine.
This leaves us with the Russian separatists. Within 30 minutes of the downing, intercepted telephone calls clearly had two separatists officers discussing the shoot down and being surprised that it was not a Ukrainian transport plane. Likewise, the self-proclaimed minister of defense, Igor Girkin, a.k.a. Strelkov, similarly posted on VKontakte, a Russian social media site, "In the vicinity of Torez, we just downed a plane, an AN-26. It is lying somewhere in the Progress Mine. We have issued warnings not to fly in our airspace. We have video confirming. The bird fell on a waste heap. Residential areas were not hit. Civilians were not injured." This post was quickly removed. Pretty damning stuff.
Regardless, almost 300 people are dead, needlessly, and as of today, the world community is no closer to getting any real answers or restitution. It is a sad situation all around that in 2014, Russians (even if separatists under the protective hand of Moscow) still think it is acceptable to shoot down airliners, pitch the blame elsewhere and go about their business. I remember back when they shot down Korean Air Flight 007 and basically got away with it. By the way, at the crash site, independent investigators, at the time I am writing this, are being kept out of the area, bodies have been lying in fields for over 48 hours, widespread looting of the wreckage has been reported and the separatists are reportedly removing and destroying evidence that may point to them. More to come. . . .
ISRAEL AND GAZA
Israel has finally had enough. Who can blame them? Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, terrorists have fired more than 11,000 rockets into Israel; 1,600 since 8 July alone. Really? Let's say that some 11,000 rockets had been fired into the US from Mexico over the same period of time, do you think we have shown as much restraint? I would hope not. But after the murder of the three Jewish teenagers, the ridiculous surge in rocket attacks within the past two weeks and the increased use of tunnels leading from Gaza into Israel where Hamas fighters bring weapons and base their attacks, Israel has finally said enough is enough. And now true to form, most of the world is outraged at the "evil" Israelis.
I always find it interesting how people are always so fast to condemn Israel in terms of loss of life. "Hey, you killed 200 of our people and we only got to kill 2 of yours." This mentality is not only stupid but flies in the face of military strategies, objectives, effects based operations and the like. Israel's stated objectives in this conflict are to close the tunnels leading into Israel and stop the rocket attacks; simple. Hamas meanwhile is placing civilians around legitimate military targets in the hopes that Israel will not attack and if they do, enough civilians will die that world opinion will turn against Israel. In other words, Israel tries to minimize civilian casualties by using smart weapons to attack specific military targets (fully understanding that collateral damage may be inevitable) while Hamas, by lobbing rockets indiscriminately into Israel clearly hopes to do nothing but kill Jewish civilians and increase terror. If one cannot see the difference between the two, I cannot help you.
Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, opinion against Israel is growing although I believe many of the anti-Israel protests are just an excuse for Jew haters to exercise their pathetic anti-Semitic sentiments. Cries from pro-Palestinian protestors in the streets of Berlin of, "Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come on out and fight," and slogans of "Hitler was right" and "Death to Jews" in Paris are clear indications of this.
Look, Hamas can stop this anytime they want: Just quit lobbing rockets into Israel. Duh!! "Hello, McFly." And stop being mad at the fact that Israel is better at war than you are. Don't you think if Hamas had Israel's capabilities, they would exploit them offensively against the Jewish state? Sure they would. It reminds me of WWII when the US Strategic Air Forces and RAF Bomber Command took it hard to German cities and factories. So efficient were Allied bombing attacks that by the end of February 1945, after Dresden, even we were shocked at what we could do. But the reality is that had the Germans possessed similar capabilities, they would have done the same thing to all British cities like they had done to Coventry in November 1940. And certainly, if they had developed a nuclear device, and they were working on it, they would have used it. Don't hate me because I am a better, more efficient and strategically sound killer than you. The same is true with Hamas. They are angry because Israel is able to do what they wish they could do.
In the end, this ground offensive will end, there will be a period of peace and in a couple of months or years the rockets will begin to fall again and Israel, after again showing much restraint, will once again be forced to put the thump on Hamas. Sad but true. I love science fiction and shows like Star Trek. It is so sad that at a time in human history where we collectively should be trying to expand our horizons and starting to explore the depths of our universe, there are those whose only goals in life is to kill as many people as they can. Because those crazies do exist, it is up to all others to do what is necessary to prevent them from achieving their goals and Israel has EVERY RIGHT to defend themselves. What a world we live in.