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Obama's reaction to Malaysian air disaster leaves the free world speechless

Where has American leadership gone?
Where has American leadership gone?
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The human tragedy of yesterday’s downing of a Malaysian airliner goes beyond the realm of barbarism at its worst. Not only was it immediately obvious Russian President Vladimir Putin, former KGB operative, is responsible for this incident, but the aftermath of this president's pathetic response must be addressed.

The media was quick to draw comparisons of President Barack Obama’s reaction to the tragedy yesterday and the 1983 downing of a Korean airliner by Russian warplane, when Ronald Reagan was in his first term as president.

The comparison should not be a partisan one, but rather one that asks the question, “Who are we as a country in 2014?” President Reagan, upon receiving the news of the Korean airliner disaster, summoned Air Force One to immediately be ready for takeoff from his West Coast White House in the Santa Ynez mountains near Santa Barbara, CA.

In contrast, President Obama was attending a photo op in Delaware to announce transportation policy. He could not help where he was when the news was carried to him at the podium, but it was what he did afterwards that will be long remembered.

The President of the United States and leader of the free world was prematurely told that as many as 23 Americans had been aboard the ill-fated civilian airliner shot down by a missile over eastern Ukraine. From the very first communication with our intelligence services, Obama was told it was apparently rogue Russian “separatists” masquerading as Ukrainian dissidents that were to blame.

Obama had to instantly know the only way these people could have shot down an airliner at 33,000 feet would be with sophisticated weapons supplied by Russia itself. What did he do next having that obvious information at his fingertips? Did he immediately return to the White House to be briefed? It was only a few miles away from where he was. Did he cancel the rest of his minor speech that was merely a publicity stop? What did the President of the United States do?

The President of the United States of America finished his speech, after interrupting it to provide 40 seconds of commentary on the news flash of the crash. After that stunning piece of news, he returned to joking with the press before heading for a New York fund-raiser for the Democratic Party that night.

President Barack Obama should have gone on national television that very night, called Russian President Vladimir Putin a killer, much like President Ronald Reagan did in 1983 when Russians shot down a Korean airliner, and shown the American people he was leading our nation and there to protect our way of life.

None of that happened as ground crews in Ukraine tried to make sense out of 295 innocent people literally being shot out of the sky by a Napoleonic maniac bent on reestablishing the old Soviet empire.

What was our president doing instead? He was glad-handing wealthy Democratic contributors with the energy of a used car salesman. Yes, our president, Barack Obama.

Reagan called the downing of the Korean plane "an act of barbarism, born of a society which wantonly disregards individual rights and the value of human life and seeks constantly to expand and dominate other nations."

President Obama was complimenting donors on their dresses, fine jewelry and the roast beef dinner.

What has happened in the last six years? How did we get to a moment like what all Americans witnessed from their leader yesterday? American officials have told journalists they believe Russian-backed separatists were responsible for the attack. Gee, really? A fourth-grader could have figured that one out.

Meanwhile, “separatist forces,” a fancy term for Putin’s private army, say they have recovered the plane's black boxes and sent them to Moscow. President Obama could do nothing about that happening, but who wants to bet he either sheepishly “demands” the evidence be returned or simply does what he has been best at doing since his inauguration in 2009? Change the subject, rely on his enabling media to stick his w\eak reply on page 17 and find a golf course to hide on.

The word “astonishing” is the only English word that comes to mind. How has this defining moment of a failed presidency ever come to this?

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*** Read “Redistribution of Common Sense” – Selected commentaries on the Obama administration 2009 – 2014, available on, Barnes & Noble and many other book outlets nationwide.

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