Two mistakes

By ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, former U. S. senator


JULY 21, 2014 -- Ukraine, a Russian country thousands of miles away from the United States, has been undergoing a contest between the U.S. and European Union on one side to join the European Union and Russia on the other side to join the Russian Eurasian Federation.

Ever hear of the National Endowment for Democracy? It's not a private endowment, but funded by Congress to spread democracy - to stir internal dissent; to cause trouble. Google Ukraine and you'll find 49 entities of NED working in Ukraine for years. Senators have been trying to get rid of NED for years.

Months ago, when President Putin offered a $15 billion economic package to Ukraine in the contest, the President of Ukraine opted for Russia. This caused the democratically elected President to be overthrown. The President, though corrupt, was reelected in 2012 by a majority of over one million votes. No doubt U.S. minions participated in the overthrow. Now we are caught overthrowing a democratically elected government in order to spread democracy.

Crimea, the base of Russia's Naval Fleet, voted to rejoin Russia, now making Russian voters in Eastern Ukraine a minority vote. What we are calling "militants" and "thugs" are just as Ukrainian as the Ukrainians running the newly elected government in Kiev. The now minority of Ukrainian voters in Eastern Ukraine, who saw their democratically elected government overthrown and Crimea join Russia, revolt to join Russia just like Crimea. Kiev has been bombing cities in Eastern Ukraine and with Russian missiles, the Ukrainian militants as John Kerry said in his 12:00 interview (CNN 7/20/14): "knocked down twelve planes in the last month or so." This made Eastern Ukraine a war zone.

In a warzone, if you don't have an Air Force, the first rule to defend yourself is that if you see something flying "you better shoot it down before it shoots you down". No doubt the shooting down of Flight 17 was a mistake. The Ukrainian militants who shot it down first bragged about shooting it down and when learning their mistake, tried to cover it up. It makes no difference who pulled the trigger or whether Russian trainers helped.

The U.S. has 200,000 G.I.'s deployed, helping or training in some country. We're not responsible for what that country does. We know the missile came from Eastern Ukraine. We know that Putin is clever - not stupid. He could easily engineer the downing of a plane without an investigation pointing to him. The effort to make Putin responsible is for naught.

The first mistake was flying a civilian flight into a warzone. The Malaysian Flight ought to have known from its government or flight line that the Ukrainian militants had been shooting down planes for a month; that Eastern Ukraine was a warzone. It was a deadly mistake to fly a civilian flight into a warzone.

The second mistake was of course the Ukrainian militants shooting down a civilian flight. I spent three years in an anti-aircraft unit in World War II from North Africa to be in Fussen, Austria on VE Day, May 8, 1945. In a warzone, if your side is not flying, the first rule of defense is not study it. If you see it flying, "you better shoot it down before it shoots you down".

© 2014, Ernest F. Hollings. All rights reserved. Contact us for republication permission.

About Fritz Hollings

Ernest F. Hollings served the public for 56 years -- 38 years in the United States Senate and as South Carolina's governor, lieutenant governor and a member of the S.C. House of Representatives.

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