Across the Netherlands, sadness is beginning to turn to anger as the nation seeks answers to what lay behind the worst aviation disaster to hit the country since more than 200 Dutch tourists died in a collision in Gran Canaria in 1977. As the country’s red, white and blue flag flew at half-mast around Amsterdam’s canals, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said today he’ll leave no stone unturned to catch the culprits.
“If this proves to be an attack, then I will personally see the perpetrators will be tracked down and get the punishment they deserve,”Rutte told reporters. “We owe that to the innocent victims and their relatives.” (Bloomberg.com)
You won't hear Barack Obama say anything like that and even if he did, no one would believe him. A stern comment at a fund raiser, perhaps a stern letter, will be the extent of this.
Thursday, President Obama said the crash "looks like it may be a terrible tragedy,"... After being ridiculed for such a stupid remark yesterday, today he changed his tune, calling the downing of the plane by a Russian missile an "outrage of unspeakable proportions" and called for an immediate cease-fire to allow for a "credible" unfettered investigation.
A little late for that, even with FBI and NTSB officials are on their way to Ukraine, since the crash site has been looted, black boxes removed, documents removed, and who knows what else done to hinder any credible investigation.
While it remains unclear who is responsible, with Russia and Ukraine blaming each other for the downing of the jet yesterday, Dutch anger is focusing on President Vladimir Putin. Ukraine’s state security service said it intercepted phone conversations among pro-Russian militants discussing a missile strike.
“Hopefully Putin will fall down from his throne and the world can get a better place!” Irene Hoofs, who says she lives in Singapore and was born in Amsterdam, posted on her Twitter feed. “Angry that these people make our world so dangerous.”
My associates in Ukraine have been sending me photos of Russian missile hardware accompanied WITH Russian soldiers in Eastern Ukraine for months...
According to reports, 298 people died, 189 were from the Netherlands, 2 soccer fans from North-East of England, an Australian nun. According to original reports the flight manifest listed 23 Americans. However, Barack Obama is only acknowledging one dead American so far. I'll give Obama the benefit of the doubt, perhaps families have not yet been notified.
Efforts were continuing to verify the nationalities of the last 41 of the 283 passengers, he said.
Earlier, the airline listed the nationalities of the others: 154 Dutch citizens, 28 Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, nine Brits, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos and one Canadian.
Asked for the reason for the delay on information about the remaining 41, the spokesperson said most had transferred at Amsterdam from other airlines and other flights, and some of the passenger details were not immediately available to Malaysia Airlines. (CNS today)
Why was the Malaysian flight 17 even flying over the dangerous area?
... Flight 17 was at about 33,000 feet (10,000 meters), taking a route over eastern Ukraine when it came down. While several other carriers avoided that path, the flight was at an altitude cleared for commercial traffic, according to navigation agency Eurocontrol.
Malaysian Flight 370 is still missing, gone without a trace, and conspiracy theories abound.
We will be following news reports on flight 17 and responses from nation leaders, including Barack Obama.