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Harkin: U.S. Should Not Act Alone in Malaysia Airlines Crash Response

The five-term U.S. Senator was in Cedar Rapids on Friday to tour development after the 2008 Flood

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Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said Friday that the United States should not act alone in the wake of an apparent missile strike that caused the Thursday crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

“When we find all the information out, the United States, I don’t believe, has the responsibility to go unilaterally and do something,” he told The Gazette. “How about all the countries in Europe? How about all the countries that had passengers on that airplane. This is more than just a United States problem, so whatever we do has to be in concert with a lot of other countries.”

Harkin cautioned against assessing blame before a full investigation is complete. But he said that if Russia supplied or aided those who apparently shot the plane down in rebel territory over eastern Ukraine, the Russians need to take responsibility for their actions.

“If comes out that Russia supplied these missiles, they (the rebels) don’t need missiles that go 33,000 feet for crying out loud, if (Russia) supplied the rebels with that kind of high technology and trained them, and if Russians were even involved in this, then it depends on Russia’s response. What’s their response going to be? Are they going to acknowledge that, own up to it, take responsibility and make just compensation for it?”

Harkin, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee as well as a subcommittee that deals with defense appropriations, was in Cedar Rapids Friday to tour the city’s development and use of federal funds after the Flood of 2008.

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