On Thursday, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed near the Ukrainian/Russian border killing all 295 people on board. American intelligence authorities believe the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile as it flew over eastern Ukraine at some 30,000 feet. According to the flight manifest, it appears as though 23 American citizens were on board.
President Obama was on a stump speech, fundraising jaunt on Thursday, and the 38-second long remarks he delivered in response to the tragedy just after 2pm ET have drawn international outrage. On radio this morning, Glenn expressed his disgust with the President’s handling of the situation.
“Well, it's always good last night to pick up the morning papers… from the UK and be able to see how much our President has brought the world together,” Glenn deadpanned on radio this morning. “As they mock and ridicule and ask who this guy even is and how Americans don't see what's happening to us.”
The Daily Mail is one such British new source condemning Obama’s reaction. On their website, one headline reads: ‘It looks like it may be a terrible tragedy': Obama makes only a 40-second mention of Malaysian plane crash feared to have killed Americans before his jokey 16-minute transport speech. The corresponding article features photos and videos of the President’s world wind day and criticizes his priorities – or lack thereof.
Below is a video of Obama’s comments courtesy of the Daily Mail:
There was a lot of speculation and misleading reports in the immediate aftermath of the crash, but, at the very least, Obama knew 295 people perished and there were more than likely several Americans on the aircraft. Forgetting about the terrorism component, forgetting about the Russian component, the President should have at least known to strike a more respectful tone.
“He knows that speculation is… that the Russians shot it down,” Glenn said. “It's at least terror. We know that it had been shot out of the sky… [and] you don't shoot a plane 35,000 feet out of the air with a shoulder rocket-fired missile. So it has to be state-sponsored terrorism… The news is reporting there are Americans on board – at least 20.”
“We know that there are body parts on the ground at this point. The video is out… Forget about Russia for a second. Forget about that,” he continued. “I just want you to remember how the world reacted to us when we had planes drop out of the sky [on September 11]. Do you remember how much it meant to us to have the world leaders say, ‘This is an act of terror’?”
Even worse? The President chose to say his ‘top priority’ is to find out if there are any Americans on board.
“That's our first priority,” Glenn asked exasperatedly. “What [arrogance]. That's what I'm thinking, if I'm listening to this. You want to talk about the height of arrogance? Well, we're looking into it. ‘It might be a tragedy.’ ‘We're looking to see if there's any Americans on board.’ That's our first priority? What? It's unbelievable.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP