It seems as though even the latest human tragedy, the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17,is not immune to the political grandstanding and divisiveness that dominates Washington politics these days. The plane, which was apparently shot down Thursday approximately 30 miles from the Russia-Ukraine border, was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members, all presumed dead.
President Barack Obama called the incident a "terrible tragedy" and spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. President Obama also said our first priority would be to determine if any Americans were on board the plane. He pledged American support in the ensuing investigation as to whom is responsible for the attack and the details surrounding it.
However, within hours of the attack, Senator John McCain (R.,Arizona), voiced an untimely and inappropriate response to the situation. Stating that, should Russia be found responsible for the attack, Sen. McCain announced that there "would be hell to pay". This is not the first time the Senator has advocated a "shoot from the hip " policy toward another nation. As the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, he joked that his response to possible nuclear negotiations with the Iranian government would be to "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran". And so, again today, Sen. McCain felt the urgency to put the Russian government on notice, while continuing to criticize President Obama's policy in the region, believing him to not be aggressive enough in his actions.
Perhaps Sen. McCain should either keep quiet on the subject for now, or choose his words more carefully. If Sen. McCain truly wishes to be of service, he could offer his support to the President and those conducting the investigation by understanding the need and importance of diplomacy and discretion at this time. Incinerary words and vague threats are not appropriate responses to the tragedy, particularly at this time. They will do nothing to help solve this crime, or to enhance our relations with the countries in the region.