Many of us remember a scary day in 1983 — the height of the Cold War — when the Soviets shot down a 747 passenger plane in cold blood, killing all 269 aboard.
Korean Airlines flight 007 strayed off its course and into Russian airspace and a military fighter jet fired a missile at the defenseless aircraft, causing it to crash and kill everyone.
My internet search for stories on the incident returned an amazing article written about a year ago — long before the current Russian surface-to-air missile destruction of another passenger aircraft, this time in Ukraine. It was written by Thom Patterson of CNN, and it starts like this:
(CNN) — The idea that Soviet fighter jets would shoot down a Boeing 747 airliner seems shockingly unbelievable. Two-hundred sixty-nine innocent people died in a largely forgotten Cold War attack that took place exactly 30 years ago this weekend. <CNN, link>
Remember, Patterson was writing these words last year, before the current infamy.
This comment of his mirrors my own feelings at the time: he lists a series of events that demonstrated the escalating tensions between the USSR and USA in 1983, and then says the following:
But it was the downing of KAL 007 that opened many eyes to the Cold War’s widening wave of darkness, its increasing uncertainty and its growing threat to peace.
Exactly — it was a feeling that if the Soviets could order a military fighter jet to down a 747 full of civilians, then they were capable of any atrocity, and who knew what they might do next.
The Soviet pilot who took the fatal shot had this to say in 1998:
“I could see two rows of windows, which were lit up,” Soviet pilot told CNN in 1998, describing the 747’s telltale double-deck configuration. “I wondered if it was a civilian aircraft. Military cargo planes don’t have such windows.”
He was ordered to shoot it down anyway.
But as we all know, we and the rest of the free world had Ronald Wilson Reagan in the White House, a man who had spent much of his adult life fighting Communism and its evils and who, as President, was facing down our violent enemy in a direct and fierce manner.
Patterson goes on to say the following, and it made me laugh:
Then, something amazing happened: The Cold War ended. Somehow, the world had made it through.
YES, Thom, something “amazing” happened — Ronald Reagan.
And NO, Thom, the world didn’t make it through “somehow”; it made it through on Ronald Reagan’s iron back and spine.
His bold American defense buildup, opposed by many Americans who had become accustomed to living in fear and without belief in our moral superiority as a nation, and his posturing that we would build a missile defense shield that would tip the scales of mutually-assured-destruction in our favor, caused the USSR and its leadership to crumble from within as its economy failed to keep pace with our own.
And so here we are in 2014.
Ronald Reagan is long gone, may he rest in peace, and today we have Barack Hussein Obama hurriedly digging America’s grave. Commentators are lately saying that mr. Obama is disengaged and mentally “checked out”, but look a little closer and you can easily see the truth: he is as busy as ever smashing the foundations of our nation, including our role in the world, our military, our economy, our national balance of accounts, our sovereignty, the rule of law, and the Constitution itself.
As shocking as it was that Reagan could actually end the Cold War, liberate all of eastern Europe, and bring about the physical collapse of the Berlin Wall, it is equally shocking that a man such as Barack Obama could ascend to the presidency without any qualifications and then do such terrible things that the Cold War would actually come back to haunt us and the world.
How do we know the Cold War is back?
The Russians just shot down another civilian airliner:
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that the evidence indicates that a Russian missile was used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 <Yahoo News, link>
And so here we are in 2014: the Russians just killed 298 innocent people and are being led by Vladimir Putin, a man with no fear of the likes of Barack Obama, what with his toothless “red line” in Syria and his “leading from behind”.
If you voted for Barack Obama, the destroyer, in 2008 and / or in 2012, I ask you now whether you honestly believe the world would be falling apart the way it is had Mitt Romney been elected president.
As for 2016, we must dare to dream that the American electorate will recover its sanity and elect a candidate who loves his country, at least.