Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Lib Dems, Malaysia Airlines 17, Iran Air 655 and Pan Am 103

[I do love a good rant. As a ranter, Hugh Reilly is up there with the best. Here is (part of) what he says in his column in The Scotsman today:]

Nick Clegg’s hand-wringing approach to unwelcome tidings such as the eviscerating of Gazan children by Israeli shells whilst playing on a sandy beach is in stark contrast to his reaction to a pro-Russia rag-tag militia shooting down a Malaysian airliner.

Clegg saved his bubbling ire to snipe at Vladimir Putin for the abhorrent action of a para military group over which he did not/does not have full control. The Lib-Dem leader demands that Russia be stripped of its right to hold the 2018 World Cup (...)

So here we have the man who is a heartbeat away from being PM – well, at least until the Tory party bids adieu to a departed David Cameron and elects a new leader. To be fair, Clegg is hanging on to the coattails of America where Putin is perceived to be the Devil incarnate. Hillary Clinton, a presidential hopeful who makes Sarah Palin seem a Harvard scholar, chipped in with her thoughts on the deplorable surface-to-air missile attack on an airliner that left 300 innocents dead. “Vladimir Putin, certainly indirectly, bears responsibility for what happened.”

It’s something of a pity that in 1988 she and Slick Willy hit the mute button when failing to condemn the shooting down of an Iranian airliner by the USS Vincennes. Flying inside Iranian airspace, the aircraft was blasted out of the sky by the US warship operating inside Iranian territorial water, with a loss of 290 people, 66 of them children. The captain of the ship faced no criminal action; indeed, George H Bush, spawner of Walker Bush, crowed that “the crew acted appropriately”. Just eight years later, Atlanta hosted the Olympic Games.

Unshockingly, the EU did not introduce sanctions against America in an effort to somehow shape its aggressive nature. It was left to the United Nations Security Council to pass Resolution 616 that, in no uncertain terms, expressed “deep distress” and “profound regret” for the callous brutality of the world’s policeman. Oh how the USA quaked on hearing these words.

Back then, of course, Nick Clegg was a callow fellow of some 21 years and an alleged member of the Cambridge University Conservative Association. Menzies Campbell does not have that excuse. He was the recently elected MP for North East Fife, the constituency of his holiday home. I’m certain Ming denounced the USA’s attack on the Iranian airline; after all, it is a matter of public record that this honourable man, like me, shows a keen interest in the deaths of air passengers blown out of the skies. Sir Ming has opined fulsomely on the Lockerbie bombing, declaring that “the decision to release Mr Megrahi was ill-judged”. One but can imagine what his thoughts are on the Iranian dead, or indeed, the decision of the US navy to later award the captain of the USS Vincennes promotion. What is known is that while Pan-Am 103 and MH-17 are forever etched into the consciousness of the Anglo-Saxon axis, the flight number of the equally doomed Iranian aircraft remains a tad anonymous (it was Flight 655, since you ask).

[I look forward with keen anticipation to a comment about Sir Menzies Campbell from Rolfe, who has strong views about the Lib-Dem grandee’s stance on Megrahi and Lockerbie.]

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