The utter tragedy of the downing of Flight MH17 draws a stunned civilised world to look critically at Russia's position and more specifically its leader, Vladimir Putin, and his actions in this affair.
It also demands scrutiny of those countries, notably and most obviously China, that seem unable and unwilling to see the simple facts in this case.
Putin’s initial denials beggar belief and seem calculated to deliberately rub salt into an open wound as he says Ukraine must accept responsibility since this event happened over its territory. The utter absurdity of this statement shows the clear, callous, calculating nature of this man. Having bolstered Assad in Syria when he used chemical weapons against his own people, Putin has now been caught red-handed supplying anti-aircraft systems to the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, with tragic consequences. If this man is not punished severely and made an international pariah for complicity in this vile event, he, and others like him, will be emboldened and the world will simply spiral into brutal thuggery, where bullies like Putin can act with impunity.
The civilised world needs to lay down clear markers as to what is and is not acceptable behaviour.
With a hapless lame-duck Obama endlessly dithering with calamitous consequences, responsibility for taking action must now fall to the EU, most likely led by the German Chancellor, who, unlike Obama, has a sense of purpose and an understanding of the sacrifices that leadership requires.
Daniel W Delaware