Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Major developments in Ukraine and Israel.

As most of you will already know, a civilian airliner was shot down several days ago over Ukraine by Russian supported Ukrainian separatists using a Russian made "Buk" anti-aircraft system firing the powerful SA-11 missile. All 298 people on board were killed, including at least one American citizen. It's my professional opinion that the separatists using this system were trained by Russian GRU agents. Vladimir Putin is fighting a proxy war, very similar to the small proxy wars fought during the Cold War. The difference between what's happening now and what happened during the Cold War is that the US now has a President that has no idea what he is doing when it comes to foreign policy.

The conflict in Ukraine continues to deepen while the US and the UN sit back and ask for a cease-fire. Former SECSTATE Clinton says it's time for "tough rhetoric". Current SECSTATE Kerry says he is "warning" Putin for the last time. President Obama is saying very little. He is obviously reluctant to place the blame for what's happening squarely on Vladimir Putin.

The destruction of a civilian airliner is probably one of the worst things that could happen to Putin's cause, but only if the leaders of the US can be aggressive in their actions against Putin. As of right now, nothing significant has been done by anyone against Russia, and the conflict rages on.

In the Middle East, the conflict between Hamas and Israel has kicked off again. Several weeks ago, Hamas began firing Iranian made rockets into Israel from Gaza. These rockets have become more advanced and are now capable of reaching Tel Aviv. Israel responded with artillery and airstrikes on Hamas targets, resulting in some Palestinian "civilians" being killed. This is not surprising, since Hamas stores it's weapons and houses it's fighters in civilian homes and neighborhoods. Israel has been broadcasting in advance the locations they plan to strike in order to allow civilians time to evacuate. Strategically speaking, that is insane, but Israel is attempting to minimize the success of Hamas efforts to make Israelis appear to be targeting civilians. Unfortunately, many in the mainstream media are all too happy to fall for the tricks of Hamas.

A few days ago, Israel launched a large ground invasion of Gaza. After at least one cease-fire attempt by Israel was ignored by Hamas, and after many attempts at invasion of Israel by Hamas via amphibious landings and underground tunnels, Israeli infantry, armored personnel carriers and tanks rolled into Gaza. Dozens of Israeli soldiers and dozens more Hamas terrorists have been killed in the fighting.

What is the response of the White House? Ambivalence. They continue to make statements calling for a cease-fire and restraint by Israel. Every statement condemning Hamas attacks is tempered by an immediately caveat implying that Israel should exercise restraint. What they should be doing is throwing their full support behind Israel in destroying the Hamas terrorist organization. Unfortunately, firm foreign policy stances are not something that the administration is capable of.

For now, the conflict moves forward with Israel seeking out and destroying Hamas strongpoints. Meanwhile, Obama continues with his fundraising parties.

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