Since it seems like somebody's Russian-equipped proxy has either upped the ante big time or committed the biggest aircraft identification blunders since the USS Vincennes "incident in 1988, does anyone want to weigh in on the festering mess? I've seen contradictory reporting, allegations of foul-ups by the Malaysian government, allegations of concealment from the Ukrainians, the Russians, the "separatists", and the US government, a bit of lion roaring from the Brits, and silence from the Malaysians.
And on this site, the crickets are deafening.
Anybody care to weigh in?
I would like to add on the situation that the United States has been involved in similar acts and have made actions similar(not the same, would like to avoid misinterpretation) to the Russia/Crimea one and because it is in the name of "democracy" no one bats an eye and clearly the USA is doing it for the good of us all but when Russia justifiably commits similar actions(their help was requested by the rebels) and no proof exists of actual Russian involvement suddenly Russia is the root of all evil and they are one step away from attacking Europe and committing such acts breaks international law.(I am not saying Russia is the good guy but in this situation they are the lesser of two evils, however I think any outcome that helps the people without loss of life should be a priority).
In relation to the plane who knows, the only evidence that it was separatists comes from Ukrainian intelligence so it very easily could be a set up to give justification to an attack, similar to that whole WMD's in Iraq situation.
I do not believe Mr. Obama will do anything about this. I do not believe any other part of the American gov't will do anything about this. I do not believe the Dutch or the Germans, standing in for the EU, will do anything. This will do a little, I believe, to make people angry with the Russians, but far more to make anyone with a spine loath being civilized. It is always remarkable that we choose to be reasonable--not to jump to conclusions, to wait for the evidence, to be thorough & skeptical of any assumption. The lack of indignation in civilized people is either proof that finally they have attained enlightenment, or that they have lost political morality.
I don't think it's quite as grand and existentialist as you make it out to be. Nobody wants to instigate a fight with Russia unless they absolutely have to because they are aware of all the potential consequences; consequences that did not apply in quick and dirty situations like Libya or Somalia, etc.
I think we need to specify more seriously our situation & our predicament. I fear, & suspect, that most of the people you call 'nobody' do not want to pick a fight with Russia at all--in your terms, they do not believe there is any kind of 'they absolutely have to' situation. Start with almost all European countries...
Or think about it this way: Not picking a fight until you absolutely have to means forcing yourself to fight only in the worst possible case. That could be seen as insane, from the standpoint of strategy or prudence...
Consider also the psychological, not merely the strategic implications: People who avoid fighting for the longest time & have no experience of it are likely to corrode whatever backbone they might have...
Although a follower of Poli-Sci I don't think you really understand the situation either politically or in reality. I'm going to bring up something that has been brought up before for much, much smaller and much much less powerful countries. WMD and if you don't think that Russia has such items then you're not as savy as you seem to think. Now, knowing about WMDs even the lower level WMDs such as biological do you think anyone wants to open that particular bottled beast? Do you not think that Russia would simply refuse to use a weapon in its arsenal should it be attacked?
On the lighter side of the world situation it is not as bad as some make it out to be, we are no more in the 'dark ages of war' than we have been at other times in our history. There have always been wars, there have always been countries invading or taking over other countries, internal strifes, etc. and now is no different than then except for the fact we have news agencies and televisions and Internet sites to bring it to our attention.
The Cold War shows ways of waging war & threatening it that allow statesmen to deal with tyrannies more terrifying than the current Russian tyranny without without leading to any small or large version of the end of the world.
Why you say recalls to my mind the sort of stuff that liberals used to say about fighting the Cold War. This was also brought out by liberals in re Mr. Bush, Jr.'s Iraq war--before, 'Bush lied (about WMDs), kids died'--Hussein had WMDs, so why risk fighting him?
"why risk fighting him?"
Small country, quick attack to get him to run and hide. I don't think the Russians would respond quite the same way as Hussein and his 'army' did. They're a bit more trained, advanced training on weapons systems and tactics/strategy, totally different mindset, educated populace, and well-oiled manufacturing system capable of introducing new and improved weapons systems. So the corrallary between the two countries is not there. Oh, and the Russian weapons industry (WMD wise) makes Iraq look like a kid with a chemistry set who has a cold.
Hussein had much more reason to use his WMDs than Putin, because the former had a much smaller chance to survive a war with the US. The liberal argument that desperate men with horrible weaponry would do horrible things is much stronger in his case.
You get so many basic things wrong, I'm thinking you're not all here. Corrollary? The countries--who was talking about the 'countries'? Is the opportunity or industrial capability really the thing to think about when it comes to use?
The cold War was "fought" by by diplomats and warriors who had actually been exposed to the horrors of chemical and nuclear warfare. Those fellows also were around in the pre-antibiotic era when anthrax and cholera were scourges that depopulated areas with ruthless efficiency.
The danger we now face in any sort of cold-war stand off is not only do some exceedingly nasty folks have at least the biological and chemical stuff, but they don't think beyond deploying them against thiei particular brand of infidels.
I agree with you about the different situation. I believe, indeed, not all America's enemies will be reasonable enough, in the sense of the art of war, to prefer their own lives to what they might hope is the end of the world.
But there is no reason to believe Putin is some crazy guy about to blow up the world. There is no reason to believe, either, that what some in America, mostly liberals, think is sofisticated analysis is anything except cowardice--nor is there reason to believe that anyone outside America is fooled, with the possible exception of even more obviously cowardly Europeans.
So you want war with Putin(Russia)? Did you not learn anything from the last two Great Wars?
"There is no reason to believe Putin is some crazy guy..."
Show me proof that he is not some nut-job wanting to build his own empire. Proof enough exists to prove the opposite.
Not thinking that sophisticated analysis is the answer, it never really is but we, the US that is, are hesitant to enter into yet another conflict where we have to drum up support from supposed allies. It's not on our door step and if the owners of the house can't or don't want to see the problem then why should we bother?
Putin has run a country for about 15 years in strange, difficult circumstances. We would have known if he was crazy by his actions. I do not mean crazy in the sense in which a man who wants an empire is crazy.
I fully agree that this is not another occasion for Americans to weaken their allies by their own strength, to say nothing of earning the hatred of people whose lives & dignity they save. This has long been the effect of American foreign policy, almost regardless of the policies.
You will know if you have a foreign policy in the coming decades by the way your allies react. If they learn what America wants them to do & why they should really not say no, then that will be it. The fiction that is foreign policy in Europe cannot long last. Nor can the fiction that rules in America, that somehow Americans have managed to overturn the order of the ages & there will never again be a serious war. The influence of America on world history is obviously this, that Americans delude everyone who is susceptible to this delusion, that world peace is coming or has arrived. This must in the course of human events pass...