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Yesterday, 2014.07.17, Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 lost contact with flight controlers over Ukraine because, as we have learned, it was hit by a ground to air missile, exploding in a fireball mid-air before crashing to earth killing 298 civilian passengers abroad.

Passengers and crew included citizens of at least 10 nations, including 2 members of an Australian family that lost other family members in the crash MH370 and up to 100 AIDS researchers on the way to a symposium in Melbourne, Australia.

Around the world, people have reacted in shock to the tragedy and outrage at the prospect that innocent people in a civilian aircraft have become the latest victims of the conflict in Ukraine, whether by design by deliberate targeting or by “misadventure” by mistaking a civilian plane as a military aircraft of an adversary.

Quite rightly, people and governments around the world are calling for accountability for those responsible including whomever provided the weapons used.

Many, it seems, have already decided who is responsible and that the path leads to Vladimir Putin’s door (a strong possibility), some, angrily accusing him of crimes against humanity and demanding he face charges in an international court.

Even here on Daily Kos.

What I find troubling is this: it was not very long ago that some of these same people were calling for the US to supply military aid, weapons and even boots on the ground in this most recent of proxy wars waged between world powers including the Russian Federation and USA, opposite numbers in the New Cold War.

After the fold, I should like to ask some questions.

Which are the nations who promote and benefit from international arms sales and distribution?

Who are the people who support this promotion of militarism, always with a political or even “humanitarian” justification for bringing more tools of destruction into the world?

Who pays these masters of war and votes into office their political client/retainers?

What becomes of the weapons produced by these militaristic nations once they pass to the hands of others, whether they are at peace or at war when they purchase or receive them?

Which of these militaristic nations do NOT have client states with adversaries that are parties to regional or global conflicts?

Which of the world leaders or politicians now calling for accountability have themselves promoted the use of arms and supplied them either to this region or elsewhere?

Who actually believes weapons intended for “combatants” never kill civilians when the statistics of modern warfare suggest civilian casualties are almost universally greater?

How will sending in more weapons in response to this tragedy lower the risk of more civilian casualties?

What is the moral ground any parties to this conflict stand on when they continue to supply or employ the means to the end before our eyes?

Why are we surprised and shocked MH17 was shot down?

As a lifelong pacifist and student of war, I’m still looking for answers.

I appreciate you answering if you can.

Thank you.

Originally posted to koNko on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:09 AM PDT.

Also republished by Group W: Resisting War.

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Comment Preferences

  •  No it is not the end of arms trade and proxy war . (18+ / 0-)

    The killing / murder of these people on the plane ,
    doesn't look like much when compared to the total amount of people killed in wars daily / weekly / yearly . If the day in and day out killing / murder hasn't "done the trick" I doubt this blasted out of the air airplane will do it .
    I wish it would , I wish I could make it happen , I'd support anyone I thought could , etc .

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:22:53 AM PDT

  •  The US is about to participate (22+ / 0-)

    …in a decade of proxy wars in Africa (in nations with mineral wealth that are also doing business with China), so I'd say the proxy war business is booming.

    Is this the end of arms trade and proxy war?
    As for arms trade -- all I know for sure is that American civilians buy 30 percent of the Russian output of civilian murder weapons (including the AK47) so they can kill each other -- so, business booming there, as well, and demand is high. In fact, the American people are Russia's largest customer base.

    For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
                -- Albert Einstein:  far left, emo-prog, socialist.

    by Pluto on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:27:48 AM PDT

  •  Nope, wars make the MIC rich (7+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:28:57 AM PDT

  •  Regarding who benefits. (11+ / 0-)

    Depending on how you looks at it.
    Obviously, military industrial complex in general benefits.
    Nations-wise, by volume:
    Top 5: USA, Russia, Germany, France, China.
    Interestingly, Canada and Switzerland are on that top 20 list.

    Nation-wise, by percent of GDP (which I think is a sort of rough measurement of how much of a country's economy depends on exporting weapons):
    Top 5: Russia, Uzbekistan, Jordan, Israel, Ukraine.
    US drops to 14, ahead of Canada (15) and behind UK (13).

    Nation-wise by per capita:
    Top 5: Israel, Russia, France, Sweden, Malta
    US is at 9, ahead of Canada (10) and behind Switzerland (7).

  •  Unfortunately it is not (18+ / 0-)

    However, there is one country that could contribute significantly to the decrease in arms trade if those running it so wished, the United States.  We are the arms dealer to the world.  Will we cease to do that?  No, because war is a business and is probably our number one export.  Too many people and corporations are profiting from not only arms shipments, but also from the entire business of war.

    Like you, these questions are so troubling to me as well.  I spend every Saturday with a local Peace vigil and yet I feel so hopeless.  We are continuing to see more and more wars all over the world, many of which are due to the United States involvement, both actively and passively via proxy.  I am terrified that we are rushing headlong into World War III.

    "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~ SouthernLiberalinMD

    by gulfgal98 on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:39:47 AM PDT

    •  so agree with you, gulfgal (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, enhydra lutris, koNko
      We are continuing to see more and more wars all over the world, many of which are due to the United States involvement, both actively and passively via proxy.

      _______________The DOD/ War Department, which consumes 22% of the national budget, is the world's largest employer with 3.2 million employees.

      by allenjo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:03:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You want to know who the men in the shadows are? (8+ / 0-)

    You want to hear somebody asking them why
    They can be counted on to tell us who the enemies are
    But they're never the ones to fight or to die?

    An old, old question. No more likely to be answered today than yesterday, I'm afraid.

    -9.0, -8.3 "Remember, a writer writes. Always." --Throw Momma from the Train

    by SensibleShoes on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:57:07 AM PDT

    •  It can sound almost trite, I know (8+ / 0-)

      These very old questions that keep coming back.

      But there is a very interesting feature to modern war; it is more dangerous for civilians than solders.

      And so my patience for speeches today is wearing thin.

    •  "Lives in the Balance" by Jackson Browne (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, Sandino, koNko, allenjo
      I want to know who the men in the shadows are
      I want to hear somebody asking them why
      They can't be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
      But they're never the ones to fight or to die

      from "Lives in the Balance" by Jackson Browne

      I've been waiting for something to happen
      For a week or a month or a year
      With the blood in the ink of the headlines
      And the sound of the crowd in my ear

      You might ask what it takes to remember
      When you know that you've seen it before
      Where a government lies to a people
      And a country is drifting to war

      There's a shadow on the faces
      Of the men who send the guns
      To the wars that are fought in places
      Where their business interests run

      On the radio talk shows and TV
      You hear one thing again and again
      How the USA stands for freedom
      And we come to the aid of a friend
      But who are the ones that we call our friends?
      These governments killing their own?
      Or the people who finally can't take anymore
      And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone

      And there are lives in the balance
      There are people under fire
      There are children at the cannons
      And there is blood on the wire

      There's a shadow on the faces
      Of the men who fan the flames
      Of the wars that are fought in places
      Where we can't even say the names

      They sell us the president the same way
      They sell us our clothes and our cars
      They sell us everything from youth to religion
      The same time they sell us our wars

      I want to know who the men in the shadows are
      I want to hear somebody asking them why
      They can't be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
      But they're never the ones to fight or to die

      And there are lives in the balance
      There are people under fire
      There are children at the cannons
      And there is blood on the wire

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:36:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It may be the end of this particular proxy war. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But not of arm trade and proxy wars in general. Although I would imagine that US will be more careful about arming 'freedom fighters' in the future (assuming it's not run by guys like Bush).

  •  It seems likely to me that a civil airliner (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, cville townie, native, Sandino, koNko

    was not the intended target of whoever fired the missile. If they had hit a military plane that was carrying military personnel, there would not be global outrage about it. War, death and destruction is not something that can be kept within neat and tidy limits.  

    •  If it had been an Iranian civilian airliner (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, koNko

      shot down by a US warship there would not be global outrage about it either, because USA, USA, USA. If it turns out to be a Ukrainian missile intended for a suspected relief mission to those opposing the new government, it will suddenly be a wonderful and glorious thing.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:25:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  there were two previous military passenger/cargo (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, AoT, koNko

      recently there, the ABC news showed some video it claimed showed the untrained field crews claiming they had shot down a military plane, then there was a recording of their angry exclamations when it was revealed to be civilian.

      Now all that certainly could be planted info, this conflict as usual has skinned and eaten the truth before it even started...but still, that was the claim, that the Russians had given these weapons to the militants/proxy warriors, and supposedly not a very complete instruction on how to tell military planes from nearby civilian planes.

      There has got to be at least five websites by now claiming the UNUSUKXYZ Agency corrupted the transponder signals to make it look like a military plane so they'd shoot it down and make Putin look bad/worse...I am assuming that...

      ABC reported it was flying at 33,000 feet, the no-fly limit was 32,000 feet..that would be pretty stupid and makes the carrier look very negligent, especially as this proxy war is fought by morons and not well trained regular soldiers. It would have added 2 minutes to the flight to go around it, the ATC's in the area also seem very negligent as well, aware as they definitely were that:

      A. this conflict was taking place

      B. two military planes had been shot down, and any assumption Russia would not arm their militias with higher reaching AA missiles than shoulder launched now looks pretty callous.

      I have family in the air from every continent this next week, I fear for them after this stupidity and the stupidity evident in the previous malayasian liner loss.

      This machine kills Fascists.

      by KenBee on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:50:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Not to make you worry more, is that there are so many conflicts in the world today and so many arms capable to cause such disasters that it's actually difficult for airlines to negotiate some routes with anything like certainty about passenger safety.

        For example, how do you fly to or through the Mideast without any possible risk? Impossible.

        Unfortunately, I have to flay a lot and occasionally from Hong Kong to Amsterdam or Frankfurt, and so those routes actually cross a lot of disputed turf. When I can I go from Beijing to Helsinki by Arctic route, but those flights are not always available.

        So I occasionally face the question from my wife "What if something happens to you? What about your daughter?"

        This did not make that any easier. I understand your apprehension.

        Well, I guess Ukraine just became a no-fly zone one week too late.

  •  greetings from germany koNko (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, cville townie, koNko

    i wish it would be the end
    humanity could need some peace
    for a change

    •  There will never be peace (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      d3clark, cryonaut, KenBee

      as long as people like Vladimir Putin have power.

      •  Or Dick Cheney. Or too many others to name. n/t (10+ / 0-)
      •  Any others you care to mention? (7+ / 0-)

        Or is this just about Putin?

        Granted the Russian Federation rakes pretty high on sales of military hardware and promoting militarism, but they are hardly alone and did not create the situation alone in a vacuum.

        •  Correction (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, gerald 1969

          ranking, not raking.  Of course, raking Rubles or Dollars to the best of their ability.

        •  Yes, Putin was not completely alone (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But he did decide to go all in trying to take advantage of the situation to gain more territory.

          I think he is likely to lose some support/popularity at home due to this.  And possibly lose a little ground in international sanctions debates, but unfortunately not much else.

          We definitely have our own moments - but this one is really Putin's moment.

          Still trying to figure it all out

          by CindyV on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:55:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Of course there are others (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          there were always be others.  However most of them don't control a military or a weapons arsenal anywhere close to that of Russia.

          •  So you would not include the US? (0+ / 0-)

            Seriously, you are missing a lot of recent history and current events.

            Not that I would equate Putin's Russia to the US, but the US is hardly a stranger wars by proxy or choice, and actually, has the world's largest military and is the second largest arms exporter (after Russia) something Obama and Clinton have promoted.

            However most of them don't control a military or a weapons arsenal anywhere close to that of Russia.
            In fact, the current rankings (by budget) are:

            1. USA
            2. China
            3. Russia
            4. Saudi Arabia
            5. France/UK

            By firepower:

            1. USA
            2. Russia
            3. China
            4. India
            5. UK

            US budget and arsenal is larger by far. Which suggests it's somewhat more responsible in its use than Russia, but we might want to get a second opinion from people in countries recently invaded or targeted by drones, neither of which promoted peace or were without civilian casualties.

            In fact, the list of countries involved in arms trade is long and populated by many major nations as I have noted elsewhere. Including China, my home, I must add.

            Top 5 ranking of weapons exports:

            1. Russia
            2. USA
            3. China
            4. France
            5. Germany

            Over the decade of 2001-2012 the US was first, Russia second, and both approach it as a national priority with political policy promoting arms sales and use weapons access as a political tool. China is also getting in on the game.

            Perhaps you should reconsider the problem I raise in light of these facts.

        •  Victor Bout out on a plea deal yet? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, koNko

          he's just dumb enough to get caught, surely there are many like him, Putin is just the political face of the beast, Cheney now just one of the atrophied tentacles, being drug along til it rots and falls off.

          This machine kills Fascists.

          by KenBee on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:53:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  profit and plausible deniability (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Proxy war is the way nations would logically prefer to fight.  Your own country's defense contractors don't care where the weapons go, who uses them, or what they're used for, just as long as the taxpayer money keeps flowing into their pockets.  Governments would prefer to avoid the international political and economic complications of open warfare with their rivals; war is useful but it's not the only game in town.  Proxy war also has the the added political advantage of not breeding domestic opposition with drafts and other disruptions to everyday civilian life that real war would bring.  

    Also, if the whole goal of war is to smooth and cheapen access to raw materials, then you'd want a lot of low level violence and atrocity in your feeding grounds that prevents effective local control of the resources.  It's easier, cheaper, and more profitable for corporations to bribe roving bands of gunmen than deal with an actual government.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 10:36:00 AM PDT

  •  Given Israel's current display of their wares (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, cville townie, DRo, koNko

    I find the likelihood of the international arms trade stopping to be rather low. That and the massive US sales.

    No War but Class War

    by AoT on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 10:40:35 AM PDT

  •  Who on DK called for "boots on the ground"? (5+ / 0-)
    Many, it seems, have already decided who is responsible and that the path leads to Vladimir Putin’s door (a strong possibility), some, angrily accusing him of crimes against humanity and demanding he face charges in an international court.

    Even here on Daily Kos.

    What I find troubling is this: it was not very long ago that some of these same people were calling for the US to supply military aid, weapons and even boots on the ground in this most recent of proxy wars waged between world powers including the Russian Federation and USA, opposite numbers in the New Cold War.

    And if you're going to agree that the separatists really are just proxies for the Russian Federation, then you've justified military aid to Ukraine.

    But worst of all, the people of the Ukraine disappear.'

    What is the moral ground any parties to this conflict stand on when they continue to supply or employ the means to the end before our eyes?
    Well, the moral ground of self determination of peoples.  No trying to force this conflict into an ideological pigeonhole where the US is one side and Russia  on the other can make Ukrainians disappear. don't have any questions for me after all?

    by Inland on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 10:49:22 AM PDT

    •  The people of Ukraine... but which ones? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, AoT, Sandino, protectspice, koNko

      Obviously they do not all agree about who should be ruling them. If you support self-determination, then what are Kiev's troops doing in the East?

    •  My purpose here (0+ / 0-)

      ... was to raise the subject line topic for discussion, not to call out specific Daily Kos users, which inevitably results in flame wars I'm sure you are no stranger to and would wish to avoid.

      So, regarding the "boots on the ground" you have the choice to:

      1. Take my remark at face value
      2. Question it and do your own research
      3. Reject it if you wish

      Definitely there were diaries here where people advocated that; the issue of military aid and supply of arms was even more common. Perhaps you missed it?

      As for the Ukraine civil war (if I may go off topic to answer you), I consider it a very complex situation that includes:

      A. Some people from various ethnic and national groups that feel they are asserting their rights to self-determination and would claim "moral" imperatives, including some Ukrainians and Russians (and others).

      B. Some people from various ethnic and national groups that, whether by choice or convenience, are acting as proxies for Western (EU, USA) or Russian interests because they think they have something to gain and can get resources including money and arms by doing so. This it how proxy wars typically work.

      C. Outside actors including Russia, the EU and the US, who have their own agendas and interests, including purely political interests in a growing Cold War.

      I have to add that anyone claiming the present area of the Ukraine represents anything close to a historically unified and singular people is either ignorant of history or conveniently ignoring the facts to argue a partisan position.

      I would ask, why all the fighting?

      Proxy wars, by their nature, involve outside actors pursuing goals secondary to the conflict but exploiting it for their own ends (in this case, Russia, EU, USA), and primary actors who become clients for their own reasons, usually to gain tactical advantage, power or resources.

      And that is what makes the process so much messier.

      You seem to be suggesting Russia is mainly to blame, and that my "admission" that they are an actor involved proves a point.

      Wrong. Nothing about this is simple. Surely Russia is one of the protagonists, and even, arguably, has legitimate interests the US and some EU nations such as Germany  do not given the large number or ethnic Russians that inhabit Ukraine, many of whom would like to retain their land and local political control, whether that means independence or a return to Russia.

      And Putin, we can suppose, has his own political priorities. And Merkel. And Obama. And, and, and.

      There you go. Not very simple, is it?

      As long as they all continue to engage in war, they all lose moral ground; war itself is highly demoralizing activity.

      That is my opinion and supported by observing history, current events and seeing the consequences of war first hand, including the aftermath of colonial and proxy wars.

      I assure you, in such situations, morals tend to go out the window in the process.

      And then there are the rather fascistic factions on both Russian and Ukraine sides who's very ethos suggests a basic lack of morality, in the modern sense.

      If you think it's a simple black and white situation, then I suggest you elaborate your thesis in a diary, I'll be glad to read it and comment there.

      But what I'm more interested in at this point, is your opinion on the actual subject of this diary and the questions I raised.

      Any thoughts about the main topic?

  •  US Foreign Military Sales is the only jobs program (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, DRo, koNko

    that Congress passes every year. You might be interested in this web site. It's educational and there's official US Government data available to the public.

    I compare this part of the US economy to the industrial socialism of 1960s-1970s East Germany. The government contracts with companies like General Dynamics to build something that nobody wants or needs anymore - Abrams tanks, for example. If the contract is cancelled, x number of workers at a plant in Ohio will be laid off.  Congress rarely votes for killing these manufacturing jobs.

    Foreign Military Sales is a euphemism. Since production exceeds demand, the US gives these manufactured goods away to an ever-growing list of approved countries. Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are the top three but there are many more.

    These deliveries come with some strings attached. Training programs for the personnel who will operate the machinery and construction projects for the facilities where it will be housed.

    The US also sells its military wares too. Financing is available. Would you like to buy a drone?

  •  What it may end is flying over conflict zones (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, native, koNko

    I can't imagine why commercial airlines (or the people who book those flights) are willing to fly over combat zones in which the combatants have the capability of shooting them down.

    •  It's a good question (0+ / 0-)

      But I'm afraid the answer is that where are so many such conflicts in the world it may be hard to avoid.

      Consider, for example, the fact the Dubai is a main air hub between Europe, the Mideast and Asia, but virtually surrounded by warring factions.

      So, unfortunately, with 20-20 hindsight this region of the Ukraine will probably be avoided for the duration.

      I'd be really interested to see a map of the world with global conflicts plotted and flight patters overlaid, that would probably put me off flying whenever possible.

      •  The FAA already had a no-fly over Crimea (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There was a warning two weeks ago about Russia training the rebels on this missle system and they shot down a military cargo plane just a few days ago. I don't think there is any excuse to have allowed flights over this area.

        •  Malaysia Airlines is facing that criticism now (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And it could kill the company.

          Here in China, given the aftermath of the previous flight that went missing and number of Chinese casualties, there has been an outpouring of sympathy for the families of MH17 victims and renewed criticism of Malaysia Airlines management since they still seem to be flat-footed on managing risk in general.

          People are trying to be fair, but the questions ask themselves.

          I have flown this airline quite a few times to KL. No special comment.

  •  As long as the arms trade is profitable, (7+ / 0-)

    and as long as proxy wars are seen as more productive than other alternatives, they'll keep going one way or another.  So I guess the question is, how does one make the arms trade unprofitable and/or proxy wars unproductive? International law can put up some roadblocks, but even those don't seem particularly effective. I have no idea.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:14:10 AM PDT

  •  is the arms trade still profitable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, koNko

    and the US still the biggest player?

    Some questions really don't need asking.   There is no good reason from a moral point of view to keep selling arms to murderers.   But it makes sense if you look at the money.

  •  Today I read in addition to this tragedy (8+ / 0-)

    that 5,500 Iraqi civilians have been killed in the latest round of civil war.

    and in Gaza the death toll is at 276 and rising as the Israelis  ground offensive continues

    This is just one days headlines of the endless proxy global war on terra. All these wars including the revival of the cold war being heated up are simply naked aggression and power plays for profit and dominion. The US with it's MIC, spooks and powerful interests has it's dirty prints all over a world that seems to be in flames.

    Drones are flying, the spooks and mercenaries are unleashed, kill lists are being assembled. People are dying imprisoned, tortured or homeless. People children included are being blockaded and sanctioned. Nasty ugly puppet governments are installed and the US calls this security or 'national interest'.  Humanitarian interventions my ass    

    Obama called this 'a dangerous world' when he received his peace prize. Axelrod said this is the world as we find it. This is the endless war that the neocons and neoliberals told us was inevitable and would keep us safe. The masters of war are not about to stop the arming and killing of civilians. The great game will continue endlessly as insurgents, militants, extremists, terrorists, separatists, those who mean us harm are being created every day by the super power, the global multinationals and the weapons makers. It's a racket and it's criminal. It makes me sick to hear people cry USA USA and demonize any country or people who dare to resist. Diplomacy my ass.    


  •  Right to Keep and Bear Arms (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino, gerald 1969, koNko

    The US policy is that carrying around weapons is a natural right, one that even trumps other people's right to live - even among people who define themselves as holding the "Right to Life" monopoly.

    Your few hundred dead bystander passengers don't trump their psychopathic commitment to killing machines. God sez.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:30:58 AM PDT

  •  Too many morons (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, tardis10, sunbro, KenBee, Sandino, ER Doc, koNko

    with too much weaponry.

    Charles Pierce on this today:

    Is it better to lose than be lost?

    by Publius2008 on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:43:21 AM PDT

    •  It appears that weaponry (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, koNko

      is a bit more plentiful worldwide than brainpower. (Gee, ya think, Sunbro?)

      -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

      by sunbro on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:12:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  best quote I think: superpower bungling/McCain (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, koNko
      And it is quite plain that the one thing this situation doesn't need is to arm more morons, or to have another superpower come bungling in. Either by accident or by design -- and Josh Marshall is right to point out that, if it's the former, that's infinitely worse -- Vladimir Putin is responsible for a horrendous crime, and one that weakens his international standing. The only thing that would bail him out would be a flood of American arms to our own set of morons. The only thing that would bail him out would be if we all started listening to John McCain again.
      Yes I think Vladinir Putin is responsible for arming these morons.

      Yes I think we in the US and UK are responsible for arming other morons.

      Proxy morons.

      This machine kills Fascists.

      by KenBee on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:01:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Because it was obvious and undeniable? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think we go through our lives with a certain level of expectation for bad things happening.  

    If we were literally concerned over every tragedy on Earth, we could not solve our own problems. It really is a matter of survival.  

    So we obviously have some sort of means of quantifying the harm that is done, and comparing it to our expectations.  

    A whole bunch of cuts drawing a lot of blood over time won't kill you, but taking that much blood at once will.  


    by otto on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:55:40 AM PDT

  •  Republished to Group W (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerald 1969, koNko

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 12:17:16 PM PDT

  •  America is the largest weapons supplies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerald 1969, koNko

    in the world.
       We don't have room to talk.

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 04:12:53 PM PDT

  •  I'm not seeing many answers to your questions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    However, I'd like to ask diarist - are you aware of ANY nation on the planet providing ANY weapons to Ukraine?

    KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

    by fcvaguy on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 08:40:09 AM PDT

    •  There seems to be 2-way traffic, actually. (0+ / 0-)

      Ukraine itself was the No. 4 exporter of arms in 2012, No.10 exporter of arms in 2013 and No. 6 exporter in the decade of 2001-2012.

      And certainly lots of people are accusing Russia of sending arms there. Ironically, Ukraine only stopped exporting arms to Russia in 2014.

      But what I'd offer you is this:

      - Ukraine does not report arms imports so there is little or no sound statistical data on this from reliable sources including from Orkii or SIRPI (usually reliable sources of data), but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, just no data
      - In Feb 2014 the EU first considered imposing an embargo on Ukraine arms imports suggesting they existed (or what make an embargo?)
      - Anecdotally, most large arms producers are both exporters and importers

      I'm pretty sure, as it applies to the present situation, there is not any accurate data to be had on arms trading and movement into Ukraine because it's a war zone and likely to be as porous as any other war zone.

      Arms trading, by it's very nature, is rather secretive and non-transparent particularly where conflicts are involved and financial aid from one source turns into arms from another source.

      So I don't know if anything resembling a reliable answer can be provided to your question.

      But I'm curious:

      - Are you doubtful there are arms going into Ukraine?
      - Or do you think all of the arms being used were produced domestically?

      Can't be both.

      •  I don't follow (0+ / 0-)

        how evidence that Ukraine is an arms exporter is evidence that there is a proxy war going on there. Who is sending weapons/men into Ukraine besides Putin/Russia? The US? Your diary claims a proxy war and I was just wondering if you had something to back that up that up.

        KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

        by fcvaguy on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 11:23:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Neither does Quandl (0+ / 0-)

      They have data for every former Soviet country by Ukraine.

      I doubt you will find any reliable data.

  •  Think of the worst of US warmongers (0+ / 0-)

    Think of someone who is completely in the shed of the US arms industry, who buys and sells bullets and death.

    Now consider the possibly that people exactly like this person exist on the other side of the world... not only exist, but move about without any opposing controls whatsoever.

    However bad we might imagine ourselves there is always someone worse.

    The dead, bloated Dutch bodies waiting for human decency explain all we need to know about Putin.  The stink of the man rests on all who defend him.

    If someone wanted to bring back the Cold War you better believe that the first thing they would do would be to enforce their will on their former satellites.

    People live in those satellites.

    The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

    by tecampbell on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 01:00:30 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for your comment (0+ / 0-)

      Please note/consider

      •  I don't say "US warmongers" anywhere. That is in your head. Please calm down and read more carefully. In fact, if you read through the comments you will find I make an effort to be as factual, neutral and objective as possible because I don't see much difference between warmonger A or B.

      •  The entire point of this diary was to convey the idea that:

      A. Possession of weapons results in use of weapons. Not every weapon every time, but inevitably, they do get used if you have got them and can't if you haven't. Refer to my comment in the tip jar.

      B. The cycle is unending unless we decide to stop it. Weapons lead to violence because they change the mind set of the people who possess them; that power corrupts.

      •  In modern war, civilians are overwhelmingly on the losing end; in this case and most others. For example, in the Iraq war, more than 4x military casualties. Not just in the case of this plane, but every fucking day in every fucking conflict civilians die and are dying. Not to be cold, but more people die around the world in armed conflicts everyday, yet we don't find the world exploding in outrage. Why?

      •  Will this latest misadventure in the use of deadly weapons make people wake up and abandon them? Well, will it? And if not, then?

      •  I pray to control the use of weapons. I strongly advocate against the use and proliferation of weapons. If you doubt it, check my diary and comment history here. Next time I criticize the US for using drones (US is certainly leading on this just as it did with nuclear weapons), which are now proliferating around the world thanks to the fine example set by the US.

      So can I can count on you as a supporter to back up my assertion that this is a very foolish trend and one that can easily spin out of control because of exactly what you say? Imagine those  cheap, plentiful drones in the hands of zealots with no real discipline and control. Not an inviting prospect, is it?  So I hope I can count on you as a backstop because a lot of people here just don't get it.

      •  I'm quite aware Ukrainians (of every ethnicity and "nationality") are humans, and are at risk from the civil war in their country, which is complicated by the geopolitical games involved; it is now the stage of a proxy war, likely to prolong it and making it that much more dangerous.

      I cannot recall making excuses for anyone involved in this conflict, including patriotic Ukrainian fascists who are just as evil as some of their Russian counter-parts. Unlimited bad actors.

      •  I'm also quite aware that the Ukraine has one of the largest weapons industries and is one of the primary suppliers of weapons to conflicts in Africa along with their good buddies in Russia (in fact, Ukraine just recently stopped selling arms to Russia).

      Well, that's a strange coincidence isn't it? Countries that produce arms using them on each other and innocent bystanders. Who would have imagined?

      Perhaps you should think on that a bit. Are you as outraged when Ukrainian weapons are used kill innocent Africans (and they are dying by the thousands)?  I invite you to ask me the same question about Chinese weapons in Africa; it's a fair and important question. And then there are the US weapons pretty much around the world, including the weapons sales the now outraged Mr Obama and Ms. Clinton have promoted all over Asia the past few years. Seriously, the hypocrisy is a bit thick these days for an administration that has been shopping military client states for the past 5 years or so. But, got to keep the MIC running, right?

      ~ ~ ~

      I would like you to take a step back and cool your outrage. It seems you really grasp some of the important issues here, but the "fog of war" is clouding your vision a bit and making you think in very black and white terms, tossing around the word "evil" a little too casually.

      That is something we always find true believers doing.

      Or warmongers trying to justify the next round of atrocities.

      Maybe you can read the language used by both sides of this conflict over the past few days and ask yourself if it is reasonable or helpful to put things in such terms.

      That is way I'm asking people to step back and calm down.

      Wars have started over less. Wars that killed millions. Is that what you want?

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