View 816 Sunday, March 16, 2014
“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”
President Barack Obama, January 31, 2009
If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.
Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983
As expected, the Crimea plebiscite went overwhelmingly for secession from Ukraine and joining Russia. The President of the United States has his view. “President Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday afternoon, telling him the Crimean referendum would never be recognized by the United States and the international community.” I have not heard President Putin’s answer, but it may be that he has not comment at all.
The President has words about sanctions, and even about assistance to Ukraine.
President Putin, meanwhile, needs Russians. Crimea is an easy source of Russians, and he has them. East Ukraine is another, and we have yet to see what he will do to incorporate them into the new Russian empire, but we may be sure he has plans.
Machiavelli cautioned his readers never to do one’s enemy a small injury.
The Cossacks have had many relationships with the government of Russia. Most joined the White Army in the civil war following the Bolshevik revolution, and Stalin tried to eliminate them, as he used starvation to reduce the Ukraine to servitude. (See Harvest of Sorrow). Some joined the German Army after the German move against Russia. Some have bided their time since the dissolution of the USSR, and are now moving to resume their old role as Imperial Guards. The Cossacks have been moving into the Crimea for decades. For more on the Cossacks see http://time.com/22125/ukraine-crimea-cossacks-russia/
If all this seems to lead to no conclusions, what conclusions would you like? We don’t really know the divisions within the Mainland Ukraine, but we can be very sure that a good 2/3 of the people of the Crimea would prefer to be part of the USSR rather than Ukraine, particularly if Ukraine actually tries to join NATO. That latter is not assured under any circumstances; think of the USSR inviting Nicaragua to join the Warsaw Treaty Organization at any point during the Cold War.
I wonder if I ought to be refurbishing my fallout shelter?
As to the Malaysian 777, it is now the consensus that it was taken in an act of piracy; as to what has happened to it, we can only speculate.
So, it looks like the captain did it.
The Malaysians lied and stalled because of the loss of face of having this aircraft doubling over their airspace, showing up on military radar, and then the military doing nothing – not even noticing, apparently. And there’s also the loss of face of having a Malaysian airplane captain do this.
If this is the explanation then we know that the aircraft was piloted by an experienced and competent person; which translates to saying that the maximum range of the aircraft just got larger, particularly if he had help. If the passengers, killed or rendered unconscious by a period of cabin pressure or 30,000 feet or so, were thrown overboard the flight range is increased even more. Even with all passengers intact the range is far enough to have reached Pakistan and Iran; and, of course, China.
Pakistan is a leaky operation, and whether a Malaysian airplane could be landed at a Pakistani airfield without word getting out is problematic. An intelligent planner – and this was well planned – probably would not assume that was possible. Iran is another matter. Of course it would be possible in China, but I can conceive of no rational reason for the Chinese to hijack their own airplane and conceal it.
And of course the notion that the airplane has landed safely in Iran or anywhere else it pure speculation based only on its possibility; there’s no evidence for anything like that; still, as the search of the seas continues without anything whatever being found raises the probability that it is successfully on the ground. Understand that doubling a small probability is still a small probability.
And the following asks the right questions which perplex many:
Question about missing Malaysia Airlines plane
To me, the most shocking thing about this story is that it appears that the US intelligence community does not know the location of the plane. It would be a surprise to learn that we do not have a satellite with radar or another sensor that can track airplanes at any location globally.
If the US does have this information, its existence might be classified at a high level. If the plane crashed at sea, the US government could find a way to point out suitable locations to search, much like what happened during WWII with deciphered Enigma traffic and submarines and other ships. What about the scenario of the plane flying to Pakistan or another country?
I would be very interested to read a discussion on the subject with you and your other readers. This story is better than fiction.
I have little to contribute to the discussion. I would be astonished if the Company doesn’t know more than it is saying, and protecting sources is important. I really don’t want to say much else on that subject. Perhaps someone will have more? I cannot believe that anyone would think that Pakistan could keep that big a secret: a lot of people would have to know. Iran seems more probable to me.
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.