We The people: More is needed, and deserved

We deserve and must insist on more from our federal, state and local leadership. Governor Cuomo intervened, at the 11th hour, to broker a settlement which averted the impending LIRR strike. A strike would have cost the economy more than $150 million a day. Mr. Cuomo announced the deal: workers receive a 17 percent increase while management receives health insurance contributions and other concessions.

Councilmember Vincent Gentile and State Senator Marty Golden are calling for action on our conversion-of-homes-into-illegal-multiple-dwellings problem. Community Board 10 has already hosted two meetings to gather information and develop a plan of action on the problem. This is how leaders deliver what the people need.

A Malaysia Airlines jet carrying 298 souls including 100 children was shot down by a Surface to Air (SAM) missile as it cruised at 33,000 feet over the Ukraine on its way to the Far East.

President Vladimir Putin who supplies and supports Russian separatist insurgents there blamed the Ukrainian government but did not deny that insurgents probably used a Russian SAM to shoot down the passenger jet. A White House statement called for a full fact-finding and more sanctions on Russia if the evidence pointed to the insurgents. The insurgents are puppets and pawns of Russia. Can sanctions on Russia be an appropriate response for an indefensible crime?

There is a moral imperative for the U.S. to take action and not allow the crime to go unpunished. The perpetrators will be identified and the Russian government must turn over the persons responsible to the nations aggrieved by the attack. If Russia cannot fully control the insurgents then it must take away weapons like these or the nations that believe in the rule of law must do it.

This situation calls for action because to do nothing would be wrong. No Americans have been confirmed to be victims but that should not matter. The next attack could kill Americans. We don’t need to commit troops to the Ukraine to respond but we can supply and train the Ukrainian army like Russia supplies and trains the rebel forces in Syria. This is justified, especially, if Mr. Putin does nothing.

An NTSB investigation is not needed. The insurgents quickly recovered the jet’s black box and dutifully sent it to Moscow. The world should expect Mr. Putin will use his KGB experience to cover up any trace of Russia’s involvement in the attack.

We can supply the Ukrainian army with weapons and intelligence to pinpoint and eliminate these missiles. We can supply and train the army of the legitimate government of the Ukraine so it can quell the insurgency. If ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine want to have portions of the Ukraine returned to Russia then let them petition for a plebiscite, but the world cannot stand by when lawless brigands supplied with sophisticated weaponry attack innocent noncombatants.

Hillary Clinton said the U.S. cannot “stand idly by” if Russia continues to support the insurgents in the Ukraine. At the very least, there should be consequences for this cowardly and criminal act.

We need action. If the world will not act, then we should unilaterally counter Russia’s puppet forces in the Ukraine and Syria.

Such action may have prevented the full blown ISIS war raging in Iraq. It is time for President Obama to formulate a forceful plan and to follow it. The person who pushed the button on the control panel of that missile battery must be brought to civilian justice.

If he and his comrades are not punished by the nations aggrieved, then they have a right to take action, not just to support the legitimate government of the Ukraine but to take out the terrorists hiding amongst the forces of the insurgency. We need action more than we need sanctions to deal with this matter.

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