April 29
A helicopter and a U.S. ship search for the airplane. (Reuters)
A helicopter and a U.S. ship search for the airplane. (Reuters)

It is time for others to follow or get out of the way. The Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 investigation has been floundering for too long.  Republicans should urge the president to inform the world that the United States is assuming the lead role in the investigation, search, recovery and final report. Of course, he should do so diplomatically and encourage others to help, but it is time for the U.S. Navy to step up and take charge. At the end of it all, we should send Malaysia the bill. If they don’t pay, we can impose trade sanctions until we are made whole. This not just another foreign tragedy anymore; it is time for certainty.

The president said yesterday, in response to a broader question about his foreign policy, that “if there are occasions where targeted, clear actions can be taken that would make a difference, then we should take them.”  Well, this would be one of those occasions when American action would make a big difference.  And if the president thinks he cannot take action because he is bound by some law, treaty or other international protocol, Congress should write a new law ASAP so the president can proceed.

Of course, American resources are already being used to search for the wreckage, and a lot of people are working hard.  But I think the world is confused about who is really in charge and who they should look to for the truth. And given what has happened so far, how can we expect Malaysia to tell the world the truth?  If today’s reports are correct, and a private company found evidence of the plane wreckage over a month ago, this only proves my point.  Somebody needs to be in charge, and that somebody needs to be America. There is a lot at stake here. The truth matters.

An American takeover is not without risk, and it is inconsistent with the president’s desire to dismiss the idea of American exceptionalism – or even American leadership in the Obama era.  No doubt the president is sympathetic to the idea of Malaysian exceptionalism.  Well, they have had enough time to prove themselves, and they haven’t come through.

Who knows, it may take us awhile to find the plane and that could be embarrassing. But eventually, we will find it – even if the president has to put a bounty on the aircraft and unleash the innovative power of creative entrepreneurs to make that happen.

The bottom line is that there are too many big, unanswered questions surrounding the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that need reliable answers. The world should now count on America to solve this problem and answer those questions.  After all, this is why the world has an America.

 

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