Vladimir Putin’s Excellent Syrian Adventure was all fun and games so long as he was hitting Bashar al-Assad’s enemies (which rarely meant Daesh until that group downed a Russian airliner) and those enemies couldn’t fire back.
However, Russian pilots had the unfortunate habit of straying into Turkish airspace. This was understandable, as the air space in the war zone was rather tight. But the Turks warned Russia after the last incident that another violation of their airspace would bring about a response.
Today, a Russian jet again strayed into Turkish airspace. According to Turkey and the coalition command in Baghdad, Turkey warned the Russian plane ten times to leave its airspace. The Russians either didn’t hear the warnings, or ignored them, at which point Turkey downed the Russian jet. The pilots ejected, but didn’t survive. (The details of their deaths are still sketchy, but it seems that Syrian rebels shot them down.)
On This Day: The President and First Lady wait for Indian Prime Minister Singh’s motorcade to depart the White House at the conclusion of the first official state dinner for the Obama administration. Nov. 24, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
11:30: President Obama and President Hollande hold a joint news conference
5:0: The President awards 17 Presidential Medals of Freedom (see list of recipients here)
President Obama meets a 16-year-old refugee girl from Myanmar who was subjected to human trafficking and will now be moving to the United States, following a tour of the Dignity for Children Foundation in Kuala Lumpur.
This young lady here is 16 years old, fled Myanmar on her own when she was eight, and was subject to human trafficking until the United Nations was able to help her resettle. She’s now 16, and intends to be an advocate on behalf of fellow refugees in the future after she gets an education in the United States.
This is who we want to help. This is the face of people all around the world who still look to the United States as a beacon of hope. When we talk about American leadership, American leadership is us caring about people who have been forgotten, or who have been discriminated against, or who have been tortured, or who have been subject to unspeakable violence, or have been separated from families at very young ages. That’s American leadership. That’s when we’re the shining light on the hill. Not when we respond on the basis of fear.