Skip to comments.The KAL Moment of the New Cold War
Posted on 07/18/2014 1:30:32 AM PDT by No One Special
I had been planning to write on the latest round of sanctions, but of course that story has been overtaken by an utterly horrific event: the shooting down, by a surface-to-air missile, of a Malaysian Air 777 flying over Donetsk.
This is an unspeakable crime. Unspeakable.
I can state with near metaphysical certainty that this was the work of Russian-supported and inspired rebels from the Donetsk Peoples Republic, or perhaps even the Russian military itself. The jet was downed in the same area where two Ukrainian military planes were destroyed by SAM fire in the last couple of days. The ex-FSB (or maybe not ex-) creature Girkin (aka Strelkov-the recent event gives new meaning to the word shooter) bragged on V Kontakte about shooting down a Ukrainian transport plane today . . . and then scrubbed the site once it was revealed that a civilian airliner had been destroyed. The rebels had bragged about, and Russian state media had bragged about, the rebels possession of an SA-17 Buk SAM system-which they now deny. Ukraine released transcripts of communications between rebels, and between rebels and one of their freakazoid Cossack contacts in Russia, blaming the shootdown on Cossacks rebels stationed near the border.
I could go on, but its not necessary.
I would hope that this is the KAL 007 moment of the New Cold War. The KAL 007 moment of Putinism. For those old enough to remember-and my memories are extremely vivid-in the aftermath of the KAL atrocity the Soviets denied, denied, denied. Then Jeanne Kirkpatrick made a presentation at the UN Security Council that played intercepted communications between the Soviet pilots that shot down the plane and Soviet air defense commanders that made it clear beyond all possible doubt that the Soviets had shot down the plane.
We certainly have the national technical means to determine who launched the weapon, and from where. We have the means to intercept communications. Satellites will have recorded exactly where the weapon was launched. Depending on the sensors we have deployed, or the Ukrainians may have deployed, we can monitor and record the radar transmissions of any air defense systems in the area. The radar signature of different systems is unique, so this would permit definitive identification of missile type as well as location.
Lets put that all out there in the UNSC, and watch the loathsome Vitaly Churkin squirm.
But that should only be the beginning. The crucial task is to lay out information connecting the rebels to the Russian government, military, and intelligence services. Again, we no doubt have such information, even if (as is likely) that Snowden information revealed weaknesses in Russian communications security that they have closed. But I doubt that things have gone totally dark for us. Whats more, we have the means, motive, and opportunity to track movements of equipment from Russia to the Donbas.
This is the time where the NSA, CIA, DIA, and National Reconnaissance Organization demonstrate their true functions and capabilities. Its not about snooping on Fritzs Amazons purchases: its about uncovering Ivans evil acts.
Moreover, just consider the fact that the Russians would not be so nuts as to allow a SAM battery (or even a single launcher) operate right on the border, in an area where Russian military and civilian aircraft are operating and within range, without coordinating with Russian air defense system controllers and Russian air traffic control. Hell, given what control freaks the Russians are, its highly likely that the Russians have to give permission for that battery to fire.
We have to lay all this out there. Put Putin on the spot. Show the world just what he has done, and what he is doing, in Ukraine. Of course, anyone who is willing to look at the facts objectively already knows, but that category excludes vast swathes of Europeans and many Americans. Maybe 295 dead, innocent Dutch, French Germans, Brits, etc., including 80 children, will be enough to get them to face reality. There are none so blind as those who will not see. Make them see, and shame them mercilessly if they still resist.
Merkel is now on the spot. France too: if it goes ahead with the Mistral sale after this, we should sink the damn things. And then text Hollande pictures of the dead babies strapped in their seats, lying bloodied in the Ukrainian dirt.
The KAL shootdown was a turning point in the Cold War. It revealed the Soviet leadership to be both evil and drastically out of touch. Their handling of the affair was utterly embarrassing. Indeed, it helped usher in the rise of Gorbachev, and had a dramatic effect on European public opinion: after having resisted, Germany approved deployment of Pershing II missiles post-KAL 007, in large part because of what it revealed about the true nature of Soviet leadership. (Think on that one, Angela. Think hard.)
We should hope that out of this horror something positive like that occurs now. Putin is doing his part, blaming the shootdown on Ukraine for failing to capitulate to the Russian proxy invasion. Russian state media has gone one better, claiming that the Ukrainians shot down the plane while they were targeting Putins.
In other words, this event has the potential to be like Napoleons assassination of the Duc dEnghien: as Talleyrand said, it was worse than a crime. It was a blunder.
295 innocent people should not have died: or, to be more accurate, 295 innocent people should not have been murdered. But if their deaths hasten the demise of the criminal Putin regime, at least they will not have died in vain. It is the duty-if they understand the meaning of the word-of people like Obama and Merkel to make sure that the innocents sacrifice was not in vain.
Are they-are we-highly resolved that the dead shall not have died in vain?
I wish I were more sanguine about the answer to that question
Malaysian airlines have become the skeet targets of the World.
“The KAL Moment of the New Cold War”
The only problem is that back then Reagan was president, but today we have the equivalent of someone who is worst than Carter.
It totally sucks. Its pretty obvious that both sides there are amateur, almost beyond comprehension. The rebels thought they were shooting at another Ukrainian transport, and even called it an Antonov right as they did it.
It defies all common sense to route an airliner over the war zone since the Kiev side is flying and attacking, and the defenders on the ground are shooting some of them down.
Its nuts that they flew right into that.
Apparently it was believed that the “rebels” couldn’t hit anything over 10,000 feet up with the weapons they had access to. The plane was at 34,000 feet and thought to be safe. The Russians gave the rebels advanced surface to air missiles that could hit planes at over 70,000 feet and that changed the equation.
Twas a nice touch by the Cheka, er, I mean FSB. Terror is so much more effective if there appears to be a pattern.
I read it was a major air route that was moved norh because it had gone over Crimea.
If it turns out that these Russian-backed rebels did this and it was a case of “mistaken identity,” then I don’t know why anyone here in the U.S. would make such a big deal about it. It’s not as if the U.S. military hasn’t done this sort of thing before.
I don’t the author does any favors by making comparisons to KAL 007 here. That incident was such a debacle — mainly on the part of the pilot/crew of the airliner — that it’s hard to blame the Soviets entirely for it.
I don’t see why the Russians could not have set it up as accidently on purpose. Perhaps we did too with our mistakes. What do you think?
What did they do? Refresh my memory.
“I dont the author does any favors by making comparisons to KAL 007 here. That incident was such a debacle mainly on the part of the pilot/crew of the airliner that its hard to blame the Soviets entirely for it.”
Except that, 12 years later, the Russians admitted they screwed up.
This shows signs of the handiwork of the GRU, not the FSB.