Pressure Mounts on Putin
The Obama administration has officially accused the Russians of supplying Ukrainian pro-Russia separatists with the rockets to execute last week's attack which took down Malaysian Airlines flight 17. Obama spoke this morning on the issue of Ukraine.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “U.S. officials said intelligence also showed the missile batteries used in the attack were returned to Russian soil shortly after the jetliner crashed, suggesting an attempted coverup.” Secretary of State John Kerry also told one of the Sunday shows, “We know with confidence – with confidence – that the Ukrainians did not have such a system anywhere near the vicinity at that point in time.”
Then there has been the subsequent handling of the crash investigations, including allegations of the haphazard way in which these separatists are treating the bodies of the victims.
This has finally pushed Europe toward agreeing with the United States that more pressure is needed on Russia. If you will recall, Europe did not go along with the latest round of economic sanctions imposed by the United States. It is important that Russia be forced to disarm these rebels in Eastern Ukraine, in order to establish stability in the region. The President of France is quoted as saying, “"If Russia does not immediately take the necessary measures, consequences will be decided by the European Union when its foreign-affairs council meets on Tuesday.” (continue reading…)
Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Egypt to try and push for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. This comes after he was caught on a hot mic criticizing Israel's level of force it has used in defending itself.
Kerry was confronted with his comments by “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace. While outfitted with a mic, talking to an aide on his cellphone, Kerry said in a sarcastic tone, “Hell of a pinpoint operation,” referencing Israel's actions in Gaza. If thousands of missiles had been launched at America, how would you want our government to respond and defend us? While Kerry insists that Israel has a right to defend itself, apparently that defense only goes so far and must be on America's terms.
The State Department issued a statement in response to Kerry's comment, which reads in part: “Israel has the right to defend itself including against recent tunnel attacks, but [Kerry] has encouraged them to not only take steps to prevent civilian casualties, but to take steps to de-escalate and we're working together to achieve a ceasefire.” Israel has been issuing warnings in Gaza, telling people to leave before they launch a strike. Netanyahu explained to ABC that they've been trying to avoid killing innocent civilians by making phone calls, sending text messages and dropping leaflets in communities warning them to leave or take cover…(continue reading)