Georgia Congressman: Anti-Putin Hysteria Used to Stoke Fears of Russia
July 27, 2014 • 9:34AM

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) told RIA Novosti in an interview on July 24, that some "decision makers" are hyping up the hysteria around the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 disaster in eastern Ukraine to stoke Americans' fear of Russia and increase US military power, rather than forge an understanding of the disaster. He said that the disaster "will give folks who want to live in the doomsday scenario fodder to stoke the fears of people," regarding the threat of Russia. "I think the first thing we should do is try to understand what could be going through [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's mind, what actually happened in this catastrophe that occurred, how does Ukraine fit into the overall security environment within which Russia sits," he said. "What are we doing to foster those suspicions, or in some way to help diffuse those?"

Johnson said he thought that the MH17 incident is probably just a mistake of war, an accident of war with catastrophic consequences. He cited other such incidents, in the past, such as Iran Air Flight 655, shot down by a US destroyer in the Persian Gulf in 1988 and the shooting down of Korean Air flight 007 in 1983 by a Soviet fighter pilot. "Those things have happened in the past," he said. Johnson warned, however, that the US should avoid the tendency to construe the facts of the incident through its own eyes. "If we do that, we will continue to just go tit for tat in an arms race, which we know will lead to the bankruptcy of one or both countries," he said.