Belarus has forced down a Ryanair plane flying from Athens to Vilnius in order to arrest a Belarusian journalist aboard.
Lukashenko has been holding on to the presidency after an election in which his opponent clearly won since last August. Protests have continued.
And speaking of thuggery, Juliette Kayyem has a good thread about MAGA thuggery and stochastic violence. Selections:
Gabby Giffords and Sarah Palin say hi.
I’d like to see Putin get tagged on this one. He wants great-power status? Force Lukashenko to give up the journalist.
Back to G&T’s post, I’m assuming ATC is air traffic control. Isn’t there some sort of international body overseeing the individual countries’ ATCs?
Gin & Tonic
As one of those tweets says, a lot of unknowns about the RyanAir incident, but I hope there are serious consequences from the international air traffic community. This is a hijacking by a nation-state.
Someone on Twitter pointed out that this journalist faces the death penalty in Belarus.
Gin & Tonic
@debbie: The International Civil Aviation Organization, but it’s a rule-making body, not an enforcement body. But since this flight was between two EU countries, I’d suspect the EU as well as the UN have some degree of control.
At this point, even if Lukashenko does give up the journalist, the damage is done. Those that criticize or honestly report his regime will know he is willing to go to any effort to silence them if he so chooses.
RT is, of course, the Russian government’s news outlet.
@Cheryl Rofer: In that case, we can expect Ted Cruz to issue a statement supporting Belarus any minute now. The GQP “Fourth of July in Moscow” caucus will chime in shortly after.
Fred Clark‘s been talking about this for years: if you can paint your adversaries as sufficiently evil and dangerous – or even better, less than human – any response to them, no matter how extreme, is then justified.
And doing this seems to be the core of Trumpism, with or without TFG himself.
Human rights aren’t just for other people anymore. ?
Not even the fact that it’s awful, awful, Ryanair can make ex-President Lukashenko’s thug-move any less bonkers. They’ll try to sidestep any consequences by pretending the KGB agents on board who started a fight with the aircrew/insisted there was a bomb on board were just concerned private citizens, but there’s no way they should be allowed to get away with what’s basically piracy. A no-fly zone over Belarus until the journalist is freed and those responsible surrender to Interpol sounds about right, however deafening the noise of lip smackin’ fapping coming from the international coalition of Far-Right gobshites gets.
Might be an idea for the House to pass a motion censuring members who engage in routine threats of violence against fellow Congresspersons. That or clear the centre of the House Chamber and toss in a broken bottle, I’d put money on AOC being able to peel that lunatic’s facial hide off in less than 60 seconds.
@lowtechcyclist: Just like the Hutus did to the Tutsis over Radio Rwanda.
Are there any actions we can take to pressure Belarus? Sanctions?
Gin & Tonic
@Cheryl Rofer: Note that “Батька” in that tweet means “Father.”
James E Powell
I suspect the “Rep. Greene slammed for . . .” headlines make her even more popular and important among the right-wingers. Also seems to make her more attractive to the press/media.
Not sure what to do about that.
Gin & Tonic
@Suzanne: Lukashenko has demonstrated he doesn’t give a shit.
But I’d suggest cancelling all EU flights to and from Belarus and deny their national airline landing rights everywhere.
@Suzanne: Every EU nation should be asking themselves this right now.
Some events involve the US less than others. The EU must step up here first, IMO, otherwise US involvement will become the story.
@Cheryl Rofer: Amazing. But not really different than something Hannity might say about our Dear (ex)Leader and his great and powerful prowess.
@Gin & Tonic: It’s a start. And since he’s done this to a plane load of people, he’ll do it to trains and buses, so…
@Gin & Tonic: Sometimes money, and the threat or reality of losing it, forces people to give a shit.
But it’s a solid point…. impacting international travel is a good step.
Does the phrase “2nd Amendment solutions” ring any bells? The long predates trump.
Kind of reminds me of when the U.S. forced down the Bolivian President’s plane because they thought Snowden was on it.
Anything from Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin?
This could have turned into more than air piracy & kidnapping (for a likely murder) of a specific individual. Maybe my mind is running wild, but what if passengers on the plane had done a United Flight 93 response to the kerfuffle?
More on Snowden and Evo Morales’ plane.
@Gin & Tonic: Here’s Belavia’s route map. Click on the pin in Minsk to see almost all their out-and-back routes (the also fly out of one other city to Ankara – vacation flights one presumes).
They have 28 aircraft in service including 14 B737s, and have two Boeing MAXs on order. I’d suggest the Biden Admin halt any and all spare parts shipments as well as embargo any new MAX deliveries to Belavia. There have been several recent airworthiness directives about B737s, so Belavia might actually have current maintenance and technical support needs for their fleet. Hit ’em there.
Going out with the kitties now. I see there’s enough interest in the Lukashenka piracy that I’ll do a thread on Kayyem’s comments later. I haz thoughts.
@Tony Jay: Avoiding the airspace is one thing, a no-fly zone is basically a military occupation of airspace and an act of war. I mean yeah, Belarus deserves it, but I imagine escalation would start with smaller steps, flight and landing bans probably.
Santorum making outrageous othering statements that justifies violence against LGBTQ and the murder of abortion doctors pre-dates TFG (and his hiring at CNN) too. MTG statements equating mask mandates to the Holocaust are typical anti-semitic dog whistles that justify violence against Jews and simultaneously deny any such violence ever occurred. They want to eat their cake and have it too.
Is there some more credible confirmation of US involvement?
@Baud: not that I found. I think patrick II’s comment is at best inaccurate.
There hasn’t been any mention yet in these threads of the eruption of Mt. Nyirangongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo. None that I’ve noticed, anyway.
You’re ascribing a much greater depth and subtlety to MTG’s thinking than is likely the case: she’s an attention-seeking drama queen and the mask = Holocaust analogy popped into her head as the most easily obvious thing she could think of to make an attention-grabbing extremely dramatic statement, not because she was trying to convey any dog-whistle double meanings. The fact that she probably chose the analogy in rather slapdash fashion is not any defense of the vileness of the remark, but nonetheless my bet is on simple-minded vileness at work rather than sophisticated multi-layered vileness.
Incorrectly comparing things to the Holocaust is probably as old as the Holocaust.
I’d been hearing it from others long before she ever uttered the words.
Via Salem, Oregon outdoor writer Zach Urness a map website that offers outlines of fires over the last 20 years of so. Oh My! A lot of the west has burned up.
Suppose they can be grateful they didn’t just shoot the airliner down with a “rogue” BUK surface-to-air missile. Fabulous criminality on full display. Now, everybody be like Trump!
yes, she’s engaging in a simple-minded response that has been part of the GOP Whataboutism playbook for decades. I’ve been hearing anti-semites in my family use this worse-than-the-Holocaust dog-whistle for decades. It wasn’t thought up by MTG. But just because she’s too stupid to understand the multi-layered doublespeak underlying this particular Big Lie doesn’t mean it isn’t racist propaganda. And she understands perfectly well that she can use it to justify the violence of anti-maskers.
But they’re our criminals.
@Amir Khalid: It was mentioned in one last night. Also that this particular volcano’s lava moves very fast.
@cmorenc: Some Holocaust analogies are worthy of outrage but ones like this are best met with derision or just laughter. People wear masks ALL THE TIME to protect against dust or chemicals or germs. When someone forcibly tapes her mouth shut maybe then I’ll start listening to arguments about repression.
@Baud: RFK Jr. compared vaccines to the Holocaust in an appearance in our berg, and while he was coerced into retracting his statement later it’s clear he meant it.
@Just Chuck: My understanding is that a no-fly zone is enforced. Western airlines canceling all flights in and out of Belarus would be something different. And appropriate. The airline industry is trying to get people back into the air after Covid, all they need is rogue states committing unpunished piracy.
There was nothing slapdash about it. The “yellow star” analogy has been on twitter for weeks.
They literally hijacked a plane to kidnap a journalist. EU has been pretty weak on Balarus but I hope they get their mojo back now that US is engaged in world affairs and not kowtowing to Moscow. Something has to be done or every other repressive regime is going to think they’re Israel and international rules doesn’t apply to them.
And I will cheer!
@Amir Khalid: That’s scary. As if people of Congo needed more tragedy. In a city of 2 million inhabitants, the death toll is probably high but the damage to the homes and loss is so great.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@zhena gogolia: yup, it’s been going on in England for months, and apparently in Germany and other places in Europe. Seems like a year ago some anti-mask whiner in Germany compared herself to a legendary resistance martyr– whom I had never heard of, but I gather she’s a household name in Germany, a very young woman was caught and executed in the mid-30s
ETA: and the idea that American conservatives are as persecuted as anyone in history is not new. Think of the Tea Party pictures, never-trumper Jonah Goldbert wrote some silly book-like thing that he originally wanted to market with a Hitler-moustached smiley face, something about Democrats being the new Nazis.
@Barbara: I regret my first impulse was to fix that for you.
Fair point. We’ll go with your plan.
I’ll be too busy laughing.
@Kirk Spencer: So was mine ?
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Sophie Scholl of the White Rose.
@Barbara: “How awful, ” I thought. Then I found myself wondering whether some kind of airgun could be used to zap a piece of duck tape where it should go, from a distance.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@zhena gogolia: thank you– couldn’t think of how to start a google search with such vague terms
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Performing anti-fash resistance while supporting actual contemporary fash is one of my least favorite things these days. At least Goldberg wasn’t a Trumpy.
Gin & Tonic
@Amir Khalid: One of my son’s former classmates is a French diplomat in DRC. Sent him a video last night, looks pretty scary.
@germy: I was wondering why Hamas rockets only took out single apartments while “precision” Israeli bombing destroyed whole buildings. Good thing those boys got it out of their system. //
It made the local news here, not that that means much more than it was a slow news day.
I think you’re in or near NYC? I remember the furor in NYC when the word Holocaust was used to describe what had just happened in Rawanda. One mediating soul suggested using a lower case “h,” while a more litigious soul demanded the word be trademarked so no one else could use it.
We were screwed even back then. Both sides are wrong and stupid.
Me too! She is loathsome.
Having deceived Princess Diana into giving him a controversial TV interview 25 years ago, veteran BBC journalist Martin Bashir now claims he never wanted to harm her, and that he doesn’t believe he did. In my book, that makes Bashir a callous. lying shit.
@Cheryl Rofer: Sounds like Israel to me.
It’s probably beneath royals, but they should sue him and the BBC to hell and back.
Sometimes the edit comment box disappears and I can’t fix a typo, and I think to myself, this must have been how the Holocaust was.
What really ticks me off is that he doesn’t admit that deceiving an innocent person is in itself harmful.
@Amir Khalid: I no longer know why, though come to think of it might be that very interview, but I formed that opinion of him long ago and applied my version of a pie filter. It was the time during which the Murdoch approach was taking over ABC News.
Here’s the EU Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Max Factor sat at the top of a rouge regime.
He started something that ended up killing her. He also modeled devious and deceptive tactics for the journalists who came after him.
I never would have thought him capable of this, especially since he wore the mantle of respectability of the BBC. So much for that.
Off and on I read up on the failures of personal memory. It started with a hard look at eyewitness validity and has moved on from there.
As a result, I’ll offer the possibility he really believes what he’s saying, and if confronted with the truth would believe it falsely edited and cherry picked.
It makes him no less reprehensible for what he did. And yet it makes me cautious in condemning what he says now about what he did. (Not blindly defending him, mind. Just cautious in my interpretations.)
Mike in NC
Surprising that the Orange Clown never compared the various investigations into his criminality to the Holocaust. But he was also ignorant of the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 according to “A Very Stable Genius”.
@trollhattan: The interesting thing to me about antivaxxers is the way their arguments have gotten more and more outlandish as they double down. I remember when he was capable of saying things that sounded plausible enough that they got printed in mainstream publications. Now it’s just total lunacy.
Mike S (Now with a Democratic Congressperson!)
@Amir Khalid: Video of This latest eruption of Nyiragongo Volcano
Bruce K in ATH-GR
Greece is already officially pissed off, on general principles plus on account of the flight having left from Athens:
Prime Minister GR @PrimeministerGR 1h
The forced landing of a commercial plane to detain a journalist is an unprecedented, shocking act. We demand all passengers’ immediate release. Tomorrow’s #EUCO must address the need to step up pressure on Belarus. Enough is enough.
Also, I don’t know how to properly put a tweet into a comment.
@germy: Here’s how that will go, based on how it went in 2014. The razing of the tower will be reviewed by the most sympathetic court possible (forgot the name but it exists for this purpose), within Israel. They will nonetheless be forced to conclude that there really wasn’t any legitimate military advantage to be gained. Then they’ll still do absolutely nothing about it. Nobody will be punished. There will be no public admission of error, let alone an apology. Note that proportionality between military advantage and threat to civilians is the standard defined by international humanitarian law, so by admitting it was unjustified but doing nothing about it they’re very deliberately thumbing their nose at that law. Then in another few years they’ll do it all over again.
I believe you’re right.
Liverpool have salvaged a difficult Premier League season by qualifying for the Champions League on the last day, which will gladden the hearts of a few jackals, such as myself, who support Gerry and The Pacemakers’ hometown club. YNWA.
@Kirk Spencer: Our brains are remaking our memories all the time. Our eyes aren’t cameras, our memories aren’t reality. Our brains map reality into a mental picture that is stuck on our biology.
We occasionally see clear manifestations of this – e.g. GHWB, who served as a pilot in the Pacific in WWII, misremembering when Pearl Harbor Day was.
No excuse for Bashir, but your caution is a good one.
NPR ran a report this morning on a Palestinian family who has lost 22 extended family members in the apartment bombings. The few survivors said there was no warning; Israel’s response was that they were bombing tunnels and the building may have been close to a tunnel.
The pilots may feel no regret, but they followed orders. It was the criminal Bibi who issued those orders. This family’s and all other families’ blood is on Netanyahu hands.
Bashir’s motivation was greed. Maybe he wants to forget ornot acknowledge what he did. Or maybe he doesn’t want to allow his reputation to be tarnished.
@Bruce K in ATH-GR: To “embed” a Tweet (with text only – only front-pagers can embed graphics), use the “Text” mode of the B-J editor.
In the tweet of interest, click on the “3-dot” menu on the upper right (or equivalent in your browser), select “Embed”, click on the Ok button, then return to B-J and paste everything in the clipboard into the Text editor window.
(You generally don’t need to change anything in the clipboard HTML.)
Click the “Post Comment” button in the B-J editor, and you’re done.
Gin & Tonic
@Bruce K in ATH-GR: I fearlessly predict that tomorrow the EUCO will issue a strongly-worded statement, to which Lukashenko will laugh. That will be that.
The Ryanair flight has left Minsk, according to an EU official.
@Chief Oshkosh: Belarus uses the Russian broad-gauge train tracks, so unless you’re traveling to or from Russia or Ukraine, there’s no reason to cross it. You would have to transfer at the border.
Speaking of terrible MAGA horde actions, a friend wrote on Facebook about a group of boys waving Trump-Pence signs who harassed girls leaving a pre-graduation event at their high school. In addition to waving the signs, they called the graduating girls all the kinds of names you might imagine.
Pretty awful all around.
The entire abortion rights extremist have been threats of violence and dehumanizing liberals for decades. Trumpism seems familiar. In fact the tea party nuts were pretty bad too.
@cmorenc: re: MTG, recently fired NPR host of On The Media Bob Garfield was, uhhh, blunt by fair today.
@randy khan: Some of those MAGA people are getting to like the Westboro Baptist Church people.
Gin & Tonic
@tom: Great news for almost everyone. I bet Roman Protasevich doesn’t think it’s so great.
@RaflW: Oof. I don’t usually catch OTM, but have always been impressed by their work in pressing for the plain truth in reporting by the media.
Here’s hoping that he lands on his feet and does well.
@Anya: It’s not hard to imagine China some day figuring out that a regime critic is on a flight from Japan to a European capital and they force a 777 to land. It’ll be totally bonkers unless there are swift and strong consequences for Lukashenko.
@Gin & Tonic:
I was struck by that too.
@tom: The European Commissioner for Transport may regret using the term “everyone”.
J R in WV
Hard to imagine young boys wanting to join the incel community like that, isn’t it? But that’s what they did, at least in that community.
Join the Army, maybe, to get away. Not that they could graduate from bootcamp successfully.
@Gin & Tonic: yeah, she forgot about him.
@RaflW: she’s getting dragged unmercifully on twitter for that remark, as she should.
Gin & Tonic
@tom: For those who wish to follow the EU’s actions.
@Cheryl Rofer: at least put it in english, FFS.
Gin & Tonic
@brantl: It’s posted by an official of the French government, why should it be in English? Google Translate is two clicks away if you’re interested
ETA: Here’s what Google Translate says: “Belarusian authorities’ hijacking of @Ryanair flight is unacceptable. A firm and united response from the Europeans is essential. All passengers on this flight, including any Belarusian opponents, must be allowed to leave #Belorussia without delay.”
You could have done that too.
@Gin & Tonic: heh. Must be related to Susan Collins.
Bashir also claimed that the documentary he did on Michael Jackson wasn’t intended to damage him either. You remember, the one which painted him as a child molester and permanently torpedoed his reputation? But Martin Bashir would never hurt a fly.
@Gin & Tonic: at least they didn’t shoot it down, as Putin’s Ukrainian proxies did to that Malaysian Air flight.
@OzarkHillbilly: i like your angell on this.
@artem1s: marjo isn’t stupid from birth.
she just got TEH DUMB forked into her at UGA by the usual GARbage.
@Geminid: nah, westboro baptist church is more like gg allin.
maga is straight up skrewdriver.
Gin & Tonic
@MontyTheClipArtMongoose: Um, they were Russians, nym-I’ve-never-seen-before.
Some reading material for you.