"...when these awful incidents happen from time to time what we do not need is for the political temperature to be increased by the likes of [UK Prime Minister] David Cameron, one of those rare politicians who seems to have immatured [sic] in office".
Shirt-front Diplomacy Down Under
Given our own PM Tony Abbott's response here in Australia, we could say much the same about him. With almost thirty Australians on the flight, it was hard to escape the conclusion Mr Abbott was milking the tragedy of the event for local political advantage. This is something that contemporary politicians are becoming ever more adept at, with even the leader of the Aussie opposition Labor Party Bill Shorten throwing his hat into the "let's trash Putin" ring. This despite there being no clear indications that a majority of Australians had themselves bought the 'official' narrative or jumped to the same conclusions.
That both PMs were simply towing the Washington line is also self-evident, so no news there then. This attitude was nowhere more evident than at the Brisbane G20 meeting in November. It was here that G20 host Mr Abbott -- who had earlier threatened to "shirt-front" Mr Putin when they next met for his presumed "responsibility" for MH17 -- along with several other world leaders including Cameron, [Canadian PM] Stephen Harper and Barack Obama, spent most of the conference b*tch-slapping the Russian leader in an unseemly display of diplomatic mobbing.
Not surprisingly, towards the 'fagend' of the Brisbane soiree, Putin suddenly remembered he had a previous engagement, pulled the pin and left the 'lynch-mob' to their own devices, which doubtless included pitchforks, torches, and ample righteous 'tude. He must have departed wondering why on earth he even bothered to attend. (N.B.: Readers looking for a more nuanced assessment of the Russian leader may find the link herein of interest.)
As with the larger situation in the Ukraine -- itself becoming more portentous by the day -- what was most striking about this disaster was the preparedness from the off of numerous world leaders and their court stenographers in the MSM to automatically assume Russia's complicity. It seems as if the West stopped only a tad short of accusing Moscow of actually planning and carrying out the attack; or in the absence of evidence to the contrary, at the very least it would've been -- and still is -- perfectly happy for that perception to prevail.
Unsurprisingly, most of this carping response has come from Washington, with cheerful backup from Canada, Australia and Britain. In these kinds of situations, the U.S. invariably does a 'fine line' in righteous bombast, with the reality that the Ukraine crisis is wholly of the West's own making only serving to underscore the attendant sanctimony of said "bombast". Interestingly, the Netherlands -- having lost the most citizens -- was the most dignified in its response, which possibly says something about the Dutch that cannot be said about the rest of us.
Now let's assume that indeed the Russian separatists in the Ukraine were responsible for accidentally shooting down this plane, and they had done it using Russian supplied materiel and weapons. In this case we might speculate on our PM's reaction -- and those of other Western leaders and politicians -- had it involved a bunch of 'separatists' in another time and place who had been armed, supplied, trained and supported by the Americans. One imagines the reaction might have been marginally more circumspect and equivocal.
The point here is simple. The fact that such a situation hasn't happened insofar as we know could hardly be attributed to responsible global citizenship or even cautious risk management or upon the part of the U.S. This is after all the country that more or less 'invented' both plausible deniability and the Law of Unintended Consequences (aka 'blowback').
Yet America has arguably been the country least impacted by -- and most impervious to the lessons that might be learnt from -- said 'blowback'. It has also by a Texas country mile the most 'enviable' record in invoking "plausible deniability". Not to mention interfering in the affairs of other countries, as the West is accusing Moscow of doing in the Ukraine.
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