Stand aside, reasonable Americans. The Republicans are here to make hasty judgments impacting the world at large before the evidence is even in, because it’s never too soon for another war.
Republicans are getting twitchy to start another fruitless ten year war on terrorism after the disappearance on Saturday of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, with 239 passengers and crew on board. Rupert Murdoch, Republican TV “news” network owner, announced at 11 AM this morning– sans evidence, “777crash confirms jihadists turning to make trouble for China. Chance for US to make common cause, befriend China while Russia bullies.”
777crash confirms jihadists turning to make trouble for China. Chance for US to make common cause, befriend China while Russia bullies.
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) March 9, 2014
No, not exactly. Yes, there were passengers traveling with stolen passports, and this raises questions, but it’s not Defcon 5 yet. Nothing has been “confirmed” yet.
On NBC’s Meet the Press, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) — a “moderate” Republican who has been called “the Patriot Act’s most fervent fan” (aka, your basic old school neocon type who held hearings over the “radicalization of Muslim Americans”) — clung to the terrorism explanation, saying we can’t rule out terrorism, which is very helpful what with Rupert and his Saudi Prince owned network (Prince Alwaleed bin Talal owns a 7% stake in News Corp) pushing for Obama to band together with China, against Russia.
(So tricky, Rupert. We almost didn’t see where this was going.)
First President Obama’s deputy national security advisor, Tony Blinken, explained, “We’re actively looking into all the questions that this raises. The F.B.I., the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Agency, all of them are heading to the area to help in the investigation. Lots of questions have been raised; we don’t have the answers yet. We’ll get them… We don’t want to get ahead of the facts.”
Oh, no sir, that’s not good enough. TERRORISM please. Code Red. Initiate launch. To wit, watch Rep. Peter King (R-NY) on MTP:
Representative King tried to reach that middle ground between pushing the red button for Murdoch and just doing his usual 9/11 terrorists are everywhere bit, “David, it does. I mean, first of all, we don’t know, but you’re right, this is a real red flag. And there’s a number of other factors: The fact that the plane just has disappeared, that there was no distress call, there was no mayday, there was no signaling at all of any trouble. The fact that it came out of Malaysia, which has been a hub for Al Qaeda activity. Prior to the attack on the U.S.S. Cole, there was a meeting in Malaysia. So many of the 9/11 hijackers went through Malaysia.”
“We cannot make any conclusions, but considering what’s happened in the past and considering where this occurred and considering the stolen passports we have to consider the issue of terrorism and exhaust every possible investigative technique.”
This is not King’s first go at rushing in with judgment sans fact, and he does seem to see “9/11 terrorists” everywhere. He’s old hat at seeing boogeymen under his bed. In 2004, King charged, “80-85 percent of mosques in this country are controlled by Islamic fundamentalists …. This is an enemy living amongst us.” Between his hearings and his rhetoric, King smeared Muslims so much that he was called the “New McCarthy” in 2011. Yet, he’s seen as a “moderate Republican” now, which only reveals just how far crazy they’ve gone.
See how I can say nothing at all and still make my point, Fox News 9/11-Iraq WMD style (insert scary words, mitigate them with fine print, repeat scary words, associate scary words with new target):
HIJACKERS TERRORISM, 9/11 IRAQ OSAMA, SO MANY WENT THROUGH MALAYSIA, MALAYSIA A HUB FOR AL QAEDA, BIN LADEN IN IRAQ, ATTACK AMERICANS, TERRORISTS, AL QAEDA HATE US FOR OUR FREEDOMS, CHINA, TERRORIST MALAYSIA TERRORISTS MEETING IN MALAYSIA, THIS HAS ALL HAPPENED BEFORE A MEETING IN MALAYSIA BEFORE ATTACK ON AMERICANS, 9/11 ATTACKERS WENT THROUGH MALAYSIA … but we can’t reach conclusions yet.
This is dangerously close to their utterly empty justification for attacking Iraq.
Meet the Press explained the situation calmly prior to King’s hyperventilation:
The plane, a Boeing 777 200-series, nearly 12 years old, that’s considered middle age for planes. In August of 2012, that very plane lost a tip of a wing after clipping another plane on the ground in Shanghai. Now, while that wing was repaired, investigators will want to know whether that repair in any way contributed to the crash. Clearly, this is eerily similar to the Air France flight 447 which disappeared over the Atlantic in 2009. While search teams did find pieces of the wreckage, it took two years to find the body of the plane on the ocean floor, but of course was an Airbus A-330. This is a Boeing 777.
Yes, there are things to be concerned about and they are rightfully being investigated. But while we discuss cutting off funds to Putin and his allies (including the folks bankrolling the conservative summit in Moscow this year?), let’s not fall for the neocons’ blatant attempt to use a missing flight to reignite their failed but lucrative “war on terrorism”.
How about we get the facts first, from reputable people who have not already lied to the country in order to justify a war they couldn’t win.
And while we’re on it, Obama is the guy who got Osama; whereas, Republicans seemed to prefer incompetently bumbling about after Osama in order to justify spending more resources on endless war. If it’s terrorists you hate, Obama is your guy. If you’re just looking for lucrative contracts for your buddies and a bunch of scapegoats to get you there, Rupert has you covered.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.