Illinois political leaders demand action after Malaysia Airline crash

Illinois political leaders are demanding action to the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner.

"This was absolutely the top of the line Russian air defense system used to kill this airplane," said Sen. Mark Kirk, a recently retired naval air reserve intelligence officer.

Sen. Kirk says the Russian "buk" air defense vehicle needs highly trained personnel to fire its missiles as high as 30,000 feet. So if the culprit is a buk, Kirk says Russian soldiers were likely to have been directly involved.

"A bunch of Ukrainian hillbillies cannot run that system," he said. "This suggests that the active duty Russian was directly involved in this shoot down."

President Obama has already blamed the Russians directly or indirectly.

"There has to be a credible international investigation into what happened," he said during a press conference Friday.

Illinois congressman Adam Kinzinger wants European nations to follow the US lead and use sanctions to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"This is the equivalent of a 1930's Europe," Kinzinger said. "You have somebody that's showing a lot of bad intentions. Does the West stand up to him and see where that leads?"

"Bully is a bully and you gotta stand up to bullies," said Rep. Bobby Rush.

With Russian-supplied arms, Ukrainian separatists control the country's east border where the Malaysian jet's wreckage is strewn. Chicago congressman Mike Quigley visited Ukraine in May and met with some of the rebels.

"I found them to be wholly unreasonable," Quigley said. "Belligerent, militant and looking for a fight.

Sen. Kirk wants another step: passenger jets fitted with anti-missile systems to protect the flying public from rogue nations and terrorists.

"There is a system that's built right here in Illinois in Rolling Meadows, it's called Dirkum by Northrup Grumman, it would defeat a heat-seeking missile," Kirk said.

Sen. Kirk estimates that it would take about $2 million to outfit one passenger jet with the system, which he says is not so much money when you count the number of lives lost in Thursday's attack.
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