Why not ask John McCain? A Malaysian airliner goes down over disputed Ukraine territory, and 298 are dead, totally innocent victims of war. Why not ask Senator John McCain what he thinks? No one in Washington knows war quite like he does.
And no one else seems so ready, willing, and able to pull triggers. Here's what he told MSNBC yesterday:
This was an airliner headed towards Russian airspace and it has the earmarks — and I'm not concluding — but it has the earmarks of a mistaken identification of an aircraft that they may have believed was Ukrainian. If that's true, this is a horrible tragic event which was certainly unanticipated by anybody no matter who they are. And there will be incredible repercussions if this is the case. If it is the result of either separatist or Russian actions mistakenly believing that this is a Ukrainian warplane, I think there's going to be hell to pay and there should be."Just what "hell to pay" actually means isn't clear, of course. Might it mean American boots on Ukrainian ground? I doubt it. Might it mean American weapons in the hands of the the independent Ukraining forces? Possibly. McCain isn't in a position to determine military ramifications; he's simply indicating to the present administration what he's going to expect once the truth is known--and that's hell to pay.
McCain is a war hero's hero. Few men or women suffered as greatly as he did during the Vietnam War. That he can even stand up is a miracle. That he can continue to lead his Arizona constituency and the American public is a tribute to his desire to serve his country. That he has never stopped serving the U.S. of A., is simply incredible.
But he's always the first to show a fist. Given what he's been through, you might think he'd be last.
Yesterday's news was simply awful all around. Smoldering wreckage strewn over three miles of Ukrainian farmland, and Israel, tired of those needling Hamas rockets, sends ground forces into Gaza, just a day or two after four kids were killed playing on a beach. Yesterday's news was once again dominated by war on two fronts, so much news that there was no time for Afghanistan, Somalia, Egypt, or South Sudan, not to mention the 28,000 to die, just this year, in Syria.
Violence is an equal-opportunity employer, and the propensity for doing it seems universal. If you listen to the Bible's account, the world's first baby boy turned out to be a murderer. Makes you wonder about peace, really, doesn't it? Is it simply a pipe-dream? Remember that one Chinese gentleman standing, front and center, in front of that tank? Remember the hippie girl putting a flower down the barrel of some reservist's rifle? Remember Jesus? Maybe exceptions simply prove the rule.
There's a little of John McCain in all of us, a goodly chunk of easily offended human spirit that wants to fight back, to raise a fist, to smash somebody's head, to take revenge, to watch someone else, some perp, suffer or squirm or sweat.
You want absurdity? Try this line on for size: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Are you kidding? Not on my watch. There'll be hell to pay.