Below is the rush transcript of "This Week" on July 20th, 2014. It may contain errors.
ANNOUNCER: On a special edition of This Week Crisis Point, a passenger plane shot down. 298 innocent lives lost.
In the heart of the Middle East, Israel begins its ground assault in Gaza. Civilians caught in the middle.
Here at home, warnings of new terror threats.
Uncertainty across the globe. What's next? Who can we trust? How will the U.S. respond? This morning, breaking details, insight and analysis from our team around the world and Secretary of State John Kerry plus Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
From the global resources of ABC News, a special edition of This Week Crisis Point.
Here now, chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST: Good morning, we're tracking breaking news overnight from Gaza and Ukraine. And we begin with new outrage over Malaysia flight 17. Relief workers being forced to hand over the bodies of victims to armed rebels as the U.S. government pins more blame on Russia for the downing of the aircraft.
ABC's chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran is on the scene. Good morning, Terry.
TERRY MORAN, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, George.
There is confusion and chaos surrounding this scene, the evidence, much of it still unguarded in these fields and the bodies who are now being recovered slowly. No one knows where they're going to go.
Nevertheless, the U.S. and others are beginning to build a case.
MORAN: From U.S. officials this morning, powerful new accusations that a surface to air missile from rebel controlled territory brought down a plane and more evidence, they say, of a Russian connection to the shoot down.
The statement from the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, it asserts a missile launch was detected from eastern Ukraine at the time the plane vanished from radar. Russian backed rebels bragged about taking down a plane on social media, then deleted their posts and that Russia has been training rebels on using air defense systems.
They also point to video of a missile launcher crossing the border back into Russia 12 hours after the crash with at least one of its missiles missing.
Meanwhile, back at the crash site, bodies of nearly 200 MH17 victims have been removed, emergency workers forced to turn them over to rebels. Some, put in refrigerated Soviet era train cars, their destination unknown.
When we visited the site earlier, people had just begun to collect the bodies. Not a single professional air crash investigator was present.
Even though this crash site remains unsecured, and there are no professional air crash investigators on the scene right now, they have begun collecting the bodies out of these fields and stacking them like cord wood in these trucks.
And there were reports drunk rebels had intimidated international monitors who were only given partial access.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a lot of security, people with heavy arms. We're being watched very carefully.
MORAN: So now three days after that jet was shot out of the sky, still no one know when the bereaved will be able to bring their loved ones home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have not been able to gain any guarantees from the authorities in Ukraine that there would be safe passage allowed for family members.
MORAN: And so the anguish of the families is deepening. We are also hearing that their anger is rising, quite understandably.
MORAN: The bottom line here, there are going to be no investigators who are going to get on this site until there is a ceasefire. And neither the Ukrainian government nor the rebels in control here have agreed on that -- George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, thanks Terry.
Now to the crisis in the Middle East, and that dramatic escalation of the ground war in Gaza. 60 Palestinians reported dead just this morning. Tens of thousands are now seeking refuge with the UN and more Israeli soldiers also reported killed.
ABC's Alex Marquardt is in Gaza. Good morning, Alex.
ALEX MARQUARDT, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, George.
Today is the deadliest day yet and it's still early. The shelling by Israeli forces in eastern Gaza so bloody that Israel and Hamas agreed to a two hour ceasefire to evacuate the dead and wounded. But in under an hour it was broken and now the fighting continues.
MARQUARDT: The booms of Israeli artillery raining down this morning on eastern Gaza.
Tank shells are now landing every few seconds. People are streaming out of this neighborhood. You can see the looks of terror on their faces. They don't have anywhere to go. They're getting in any car they can to get out of here.
"I don't know where I'm going," this woman told me. "All we have is this white flag."
Fleeing on foot with his family, this young man said they left the dead and wounded behind. Inside, scenes of carnage, mangled bodies lying in the streets, at least 60 killed.
Gaza's death toll now over 400, around 100 are children.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By this morning, there's nothing short of a massacre, a deliberate massacre, war crimes committed daily. But now there's a deliberate shelling and bombing and destruction of whole areas.
MARQUARDT: Hamas has continued to fire rockets into Israel from residential areas, warning sirens going off across the country, people running for shelter. Two Israeli civilians have been killed so far, many of those rockets intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile shield.
And as Palestinian militants have stepped up their assault now against ground troops, a number of Israeli soldiers have also been killed and wounded, including new reports of several this morning.
Israel said the offense's main goal is to take out the vast network of Hamas tunnels that militants have used repeatedly in recent days to infiltrate Israel.
The Israeli plan is not to occupy Gaza or destroy Hamas, but to weaken them significantly. And as the civilian death toll grows here, the big question is at what cost?
MARQUARDT: International pressure is growing on both sides to end this now 13 day conflict. Israel and Hamas have been talking through intermediaries, but so far neither side showing any sign of backing down -- George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks, Alex.
We are joined now by the Secretary of State John Kerry. Mr. Secretary, thanks for your time this morning. We just heard in Alex Marquardt's piece the Palestinians are calling this morning's operation in Gaza a massacre and a war crime. What's your response.
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: That's rhetoric that we've heard many, many times. What they need to do is stop rocketing Israel and accept the ceasefire. It's very, very clear that they've tunneled under Israel. They've tried to come out of those tunnels with people, with handcuffs and tranquilizer drugs to capture Israeli citizens and hold them for ransom, or worse they've been rocketing Israel with thousands of rockets.
They've been offered a ceasefire, and they've refused to take the ceasefire, even though Egypt and others have called for that ceasefire, they've just stubbornly invited further efforts to try to diffuse the ability to be able to rocket Israel.
So, you know, it's ugly, obviously. War is ugly. And bad thing are going to happen. But they need to recognize their own responsibility. We have offered to have a ceasefire and then negotiate the issues. We've obviously shown our bonafides in the United States. And the president has put his presidency behind the effort to try to find peace in the region. So they need to join up and be responsible and accept the unilateral -- not a unilateral, but a multilateral ceasefire without conditions and then we pledge to discuss all the underlying issues, which we've been trying to do for the last year-and-a-half.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You pin the blame -- you seem to pin the blame most squarely on Hamas. Is there any dealing with Hamas or must they be removed from power?
KERRY: Well, that's a -- you know, that's a -- well we don't deal with Hamas, but there are people in the region who obviously do and Israel has to find a way to communicate through Egyptians or others in order to get Private Shalit back or other kinds of things historically.
But there are plenty of people talking to Hamas in the region. And they're all telling Hamas that they need to try to have a ceasefire. And what we need to do is get that ceasefire rapidly. I've been in touch with every foreign minister involved in this discussion, talked yesterday with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. President Obama talked on Friday evening with Prime Minister Netanyahu. I talked to him yesterday. The president will talk to him again today.
We are trying to get a ceasefire in place and then be able to move on and get back to the discussions that really are underlying this conflict.
STEPHANOPOULOS: In the meantime...
KERRY: But in the immediacy, when three young Israeli kids are taken and murdered and Hamas applauds it and celebrates the fact that they were kidnapped and supported the kidnapping, and then starts rocketing Israel when they're looking for the people who did it, you know, that's out of balance by any standard, George.
And I think it's important for people to remember the facts that led to this. Hamas needs to join up, be part of a solution not the problem.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The U.S. and the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, you just mentioned, have also called on Israel to do more to stop civilian casualties. What exactly would you like to see from Prime Minister Netanyahu?
KERRY: Well, Prime Minister Netanyahu has indicated that he is not trying to go in and create you know some sort of massive counter civilian retakeover. What he's trying to do is make it clear to Hamas that he's prepared to do what he needs to do to protect the citizens of his country.
I mean, just yesterday when I was -- or the day before when I was talking to the prime minister, in the middle of our conversation the air raid sirens go off and the prime minister of the country has to tell me I have to interrupt the conversation we have to go to the shelter. 20 minutes later we can pick up a conversation.
The same thing happened with the president of the United States.
This is happening to families all across Israel. Every day they have to seek shelter.
Hamas has to understand you can't just sit there and claim a moral rectitude or the higher ground while you're busy rocketing people and capturing people and digging tunnels to attack them.
And this has to stop.
Now, we've indicated our willingness to be, you know, a -- a fair mediator, arbiter, to try to come in, together with others, in order to negotiate the key issues.
But you can't reward this terrorism with a bunch of preconditions up front. There has to be a humanitarian or some kind of cease-fire in order to stop the violence.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to move on...
KERRY: And we all want to see that happen.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to move on to the situation in Ukraine.
Our embassy in Kiev has laid out a string of evidence tying the shoot down to Russia.
In your view, is Russia responsible for these deaths?
KERRY: Well, the question of responsibility is going to be adjudicated, obviously, in an investigation, providing we can get that full and fair investigation.
But there are an enormous array of facts that point at Russia's support for and involvement in this effort.
Russia -- there are -- I mean some of the separatist leaders, George, are Russian. Russia has armed the separatists. Russia has supported the separatists. Russia has trained the separatists. Russia continues to refuse to call publicly for the separatists to engage in behavior that would lend itself to a resolution of this issue.
And the fact is that only a few weeks ago, a convoy of 150 vehicles of artillery, armored personnel carriers, multiple rocket launchers, tanks, crossed over from Russia into this area and these items were all turned over to the separatists.
We tracked -- we ourselves tracked the imagery of the launch of this surface-to-air misshile -- missile, of the disappearance of the aircraft from the radar at that time. We know that this comports with an SA11 system, because it hit an aircraft at the altitude of 33,000 feet.
We know to a fact that the separatists bragged on the social media immediately afterwards about the shoot down. And then later, when one of the leaders of the social -- of the, uh, movement, Igor Strelkov, who is the self-proclaimed defense minister of The People's Republic of Donetsk, he posted a -- on social media bragging about the take-down of a military transport. And when it turned out to be civilian, he then quickly removed it from the social media.
Now, drunken separatists are stacking bodies into the back of trucks, removing materials from the site. On Friday, we had 75 minutes of access to the site. On Saturday, three hours of access.
This is an insult to everybody.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So given all that, Mr. Secretary...
KERRY: This is the moment of truth for -- it's really a moment of truth for Russia to step up and be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So given all that, what exactly should President Putin do right now?
KERRY: President Putin should publicly call on the separatists. He should engage in a public support for the cease-fire. He should engage with the separatists directly in order to release the hostages that they've taken. And he should encourage them immediately to take part in a political process that can bring peace to the region.
He needs to stop arming them. He could help prevent people crossing the border. He could silence -- you know, he could stop the supplies from coming in. He could engage in the kind of constructive effort that Russia engaged in with us in order to remove 100 percent of the declared chemical weapons from Syria.
He could do those things...
STEPHANOPOULOS: There's no indication yet, Mr. Secretary...
KERRY: -- all of those things.
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- that he's prepared to do that.
So if he doesn't, what's going to be the United States' response?
And do you believe Europe is now prepared to go along with greater sanctions?
KERRY: Well, we hope Europe will be, obviously. We -- we think this is a wake up call for countries in Europe.
President Obama, however, took the lead and put additional sanctions in place on energy, on arms manufacturing companies and on banking. And those are the toughest sanctions that have been put in place to date.
He did it the day before this incident took place and he is absolutely prepared to consider further. But we need to consult with our allies in Europe. And equally importantly, we -- we'd like to take a stab at seeing if we can find a way for Russia to join in taking actions that actually back up the words that we have been hearing.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, Mr. Secretary, you're juggling so many different crises right now. Your -- your friend and former colleague, Senator John McCain, has said that the world is in greater turmoil than any time in his lifetime. And he and many of your other critics say that the president bears some responsibility for that, he hasn't been forceful enough.
Do you agree with his analysis of the world right now?
And how do you respond to the criticism?
KERRY: Well, I agree with the analysis, to the degree that it says that the world is in turmoil right now. And the world is, because enormous numbers of forces have been unleashed with globalization, with the Arab Spring, with the radical religious extremism, none of which are the fault of President Obama.
And there's a nice narrative politically if all you want to do is play politics. But the fact is that the United States of America, George, is more engaged in more places in the world, and, frankly, I think, to greater effect, than at any time in recent memory. And I -- I can't think of a time when the United States has been engaged in more places, where people are worried not about our -- our -- our staying, but they don't want us to leave and they recognize that American leadership is critical.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. Secretary, thanks very much for your time this morning.
KERRY: Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Up next on this special edition of the weapons inspectors, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Plus, more on the Flight 17 investigation and the missile threat to jets worldwide.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We're back now on our special edition of the weapons inspectors with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He joins us from Tel Aviv.
Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for joining us.
This is -- we've seen the heaviest fighting yet today.
The Palestinians are calling the latest operation a massacre.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Well, we regret any civilian deaths, but those lay entirely at Hamas' door. Hamas is deliberately targeting our civilians. They have fired 2,000 rockets -- 2,000 rockets -- at Israel's cities. Seventy-five percent of our population has to be in bomb shelter alert of 60 seconds or 90 seconds.
They're digging these terror tunnels from Gaza, from he must in Gaza, to penetrate and infiltrate Israeli territory. They've emerged there and killed Israelis and run back, or tried to run back into their territory.
So we've had to take action.
What Hamas is doing, very cynically, is embedding its rocketeers, its rocket caches, its tunnels, these terror tunnels, in homes, in hospitals, in schools. And when we take action, as targeted as we can, they then use their civilians as human shields.
So Hamas is both targeting civilians and Hamas is hiding behind conventions. That's a double war crime.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That -- that may be...
NETANYAHU: They're for all civilian deaths.
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- that may be, sir, but...
NETANYAHU: All civilian deaths, as regrettable as they are, fall on their -- on their shoulders.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But as the civilian casualties climb, are you worried that this will be seen by many in the world as an exercise in collective punishment and that world opinion will turn against Israel?
NETANYAHU: Well, they'll always look at the last reel of the movie. They won't see the fact that our forces are coming in there, trying to ferret out the rocketeers, trying to shut the tunnels at their source. And, of course, they get hit from the -- the houses there by Hamas and Islamic Jihad fire.
The interesting thing is this, we've asked the civilian population, the -- the people in Gaza, who are not our enemy, they're hostages of Hamas. We've asked them, please leave. We text messages to them. We -- we call them with cell phones. We drop leaflets.
And Hamas says, no, don't leave, stay.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, but sir...
NETANYAHU: And Hamas actually wants...
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- how can they leave right now when Israel is hitting from all sides, from the north, the east and the west?
Where can they go?
NETANYAHU: Oh, no, they -- they have paths to leave. That's not an issue. They have plenty of exit points and they -- they know it. But Hamas is saying don't use them. Hamas wants to kill civilians on the Israeli side and the amazing grotesque and gruesome fact is they want to have as many civilians killed on the Palestinian side, because it gets you to ask me these questions.
And, of course, our goal is not to hurt a single individual, not to hurt a single civilian. What they're doing is a -- is a double war crime and should be -- it should be condemned with the most forceful action, because these people are like ISIS, they're like al Qaeda, they're like, uh, Hezbollah, and the other Iranian proxies. They don't give a whit about the Palestinian people.
STEPHANOPOULOS: If -- if that's the case...
NETANYAHU: And all they want is more and more civilian deaths.
STEPHANOPOULOS: If that's the case, sir, is -- are you going to have to expand your goals and reoccupy Gaza?
Your economics minister is saying now that you may have to topple the Hamas regime.
NETANYAHU: Well, I think our goal is to restore a sustainable quiet. And I think if we get that, we'll have to use that quiet to recruit, George, the international community to demilitarize Gaza.
Gaza -- we handed over Gaza to the Palestinians. We said -- we did what the international community has always been telling us, take out the settlements, go back to the '67 lines, hand over the key to the PA. We did -- to the Palestinian Authority.
They promptly were booted out by Hamas, Hamas, with Iran at its back as Iran has been financing, equipping them, training them, giving them thousands and thousands of rockets. They've turned Gaza into a terror fortes.
And I think the goal will be, after we achieve a sustainable quiet, to work with the international community to demilitarize Gaza from the rockets and to shut down these terror attack tunnels.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Demilitarize would -- would presumably mean that Hamas could no longer be there. Hamas still has not accepted a cease-fire. Israel accepted a cease-fire proposal earlier in the week.
But that would only return to the status quo.
Is -- is Israel prepared to talk about the other demands, the release of prisoners, an end to the blockade and a loosening of the border crossings?
NETANYAHU: Oh, Hamas has a -- a list of demands from here to Vladivostok. And I think if they -- if we took that seriously, what would happen is that this terror organization that has criminally bombarded our cities -- just think about that, somebody bombarding 80 percent of the American population with thousands and thousands of rockets and then it comes out winning.
I think the -- this will deal a devastating blow to the Palestinian Authority, to President Abbas. I think it will be a devastating blow to the region, where other terror groups will see that this kind of criminal behavior is rewarded.
But you're right about one thing. I accepted it. I called for a cease-fire right away. And then I accepted the Egyptian cease-fire, backed up by the Arab League. Then I accepted a U.N. humanitarian cease-fire, which Hamas rejected, as well.
Then we did now a humanitarian cease-fire and Hamas has violated that, too.
Hamas doesn't care. I think the last thing you want to do is reward them.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So a final question here...
NETANYAHU: Let's get a sustainable quiet and then let's work at demilitarizing Gaza.
STEPHANOPOULOS: A final question, then.
How and when does this end?
Israel has gone in before. It didn't solve the problem.
NETANYAHU: Well, you're right that this is a serious problem. I think that, you know, they were surprised by the fact that we developed this Iron Dome defense system, which is amazing. And I'm very grateful to President Obama, the U.S. Congress and the American people for helping to fund this -- this missile defense.
But that is a temporary means.
You're quite right, there is a problem in the Middle East. The problem is that we have these made Islamists. I say the last thing we want to do is have them have missiles, drones, chemical weapons, or, in the case of Iran, nuclear weapons. That would really change history.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. Prime Minister, thanks very much for your time this morning.
NETANYAHU: Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We also invited the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas today. We hope he'll be able to join us soon.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
STEPHANOPOULOS: And we are back now with more on the downing of Flight 17 and the threat to passenger jets worldwide with our chief investigative correspondent, Brian Ross, and our aviation consultant, Steve Ganyard -- and, Brian, let me get -- begin with you.
We heard Secretary Kerry there laying out the string of evidence, tying this downing, indirectly, to Russia.
The Ukrainians have gone even farther. In a statement put out by their embassy yesterday, they say, "The crew comprised Russian militaries who immediately committed the terrorist act."
We can't go that far.
BRIAN ROSS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. has not gone that far. They've demonstrated, they say, through intelligence, that the Russian military delivered the SA11 and then tried to sneak it out of the country after the crash.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you've shown those photos, as well.
ROSS: Because we've shown those photos with two of the missiles apparently missing. They have not identified exactly who pulled the trigger.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Steve Ganyard, at some level, that almost doesn't matter, although it would be significant information, because this is such a sophisticated missile system, it would require Russian training.
STEVE GANYARD, ABC NEWS AVIATION CONSULTANT: It would. It's not like you can pull somebody out of the field, a farmer tending his field, or even bring rebels in from -- from Russia to say here, operate it. It's a very, very sophisticated surface-to-air missile system.
It's -- it's going to require training. You can't just hook it up, pull the trigger and bring an airplane down.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We're also getting new reports this morning from the rebel leaders that they may have -- again, may have gotten the black box from the airliners.
You don't think that's going to make much of a difference.
GANYARD: I don't, George. I think we're really in a recovery operation right now. The black box probably will tell us nothing more than that this airplane was a perfectly good airplane right in -- up to the moment that that missile hit it.
So I think right now, we know that a missile brought this airplane down. It's not a conventional crash.
We need to go into the intelligence forensics and figure out who did it and why.
STEPHANOPOULOS: There's so many questions about what the plane was doing flying over that area in the first place.
I want to put up this map right now that shows the FAA flight restrictions right now, places where it is now prohibited, and potentially hostile regions.
You see, Brian Ross, so much of the globe right now.
ROSS: Absolutely. And it's -- it's interesting to note that over Ukraine, most major European airlines and United Airlines were actually flying over that same location in the week before the shoot-down. United and other American airlines have now stopped flying there.
But some questions are, if the U.S. knew about the intelligence indicating there were these long range missiles and Ukraine knew about it, why was that air space still open?
STEPHANOPOULOS: And the answer?
GANYARD: Hard to determine, George.
We also had NATO, three weeks ago, saying we were seeing training by the Russians on these very sophisticated tactical SAMs.
Who determined that 32,000 feet was safe after we've had four shoot-downs in the past two weeks?
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- these missiles can go far higher than that.
GANYARD: They can. I mean it -- the -- what we call MANPADS, these shoulder-fired missiles, there are -- there are tens of thousands of them around the world. They keep the intelligence agencies up at night worrying about a commercial shoot down.
But the SA11 is a very sophisticated, radar-guided, surface-to-air missile system that is -- is just -- it -- it's a total escalation in capability and it goes up as far as any airliner could ever fly, so...
STEPHANOPOULOS: And that gets the question, though, would the -- it's hard to imagine that anyone would want to deliberately shoot down a civilian aircraft. Can't this missile system distinguish between a civilian and a military aircraft?
GANYARD: The FA11 can determine whether it's a Russian airplane or not a Russian airplane. It can't say that's a Ukrainian military or that's a commercial airplane.
So they saw a blip up there. They locked onto it. They said it's not Russian, pull the trigger. And then what we're hearing from the intercepts is this joy -- hey, we brought down a military airplane. And they said, oh, no it's a commercial. So they really -- it probably was not done deliberately. I mean, why would they want the world opinion against them? So it probably was a mistake, but it was a terribly bad one.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Meanwhile, Brian it brought out this threat also of the shoulder fired missiles which can go only about 10,000 or 12,000 feet, which had been a particular threat to passenger aircraft going on takeoff and landing. And now they're held by rebels and different groups in 47 different countries.
ROSS: And absolutely -- and George those are people who do want to shoot down commercial aircraft, that's their goal is to bring down commercial aircraft. And they're in a large areas throughout the Mideast and Africa. It's a serious concern.
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. Brian Ross, Steve Ganyard thanks very much. Let's get more on all this now from the chair of the house intelligence committee Mike Rogers.
Mr. Rogers, thank you for joining us this morning. Any doubt in your mind that Russia is behind this?
REP. MIKE ROGERS, (R) MICHIGAN: Well, I think this certainly eliminates Putin's plausible deniability. And he's been operating that way in Ukraine since the beginning of this conflict and him taking Crimea.
So, you know that this is so sophisticated you're not even going to hand this weapon system off without having trainers present, maintenance personnel. These things are delicate, sophisticated and highly lethal as we've seen.
So, the evidence is mounting that this had at least Russian hands at least at some point on this piece of equipment that led to the massacre of those individuals on that airplane.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So if Putin has no plausible deniability what should the United States do right now, and the world?
ROGERS: Well, I'm hoping that this is an opportunity to get our European allies really engaged. Phone calls with Putin, that's all wonderful. This is as series as it gets. They just massacred 290 some civilians. It's time to end Putin's gamesmanship in Ukraine. It means that the United States needs to end its tepid response to this whole operation by increasing intelligence cooperation, logistics, training opportunities. And we need our European allies to step up its opportunity to put really tough sanctions.
If you're going to get his attention, you've got to increase these sanctions on...
STEPHANOPOULOS: You call the United States response tepid, but it was President Obama who was out ahead of the Europeans on Wednesday even before this aircraft went down.
ROGERS: Yeah, but here's the problem, for months now they've been -- they, the Ukrainians have been saying hey we need some help. We need logistics, food, we need the ability to move fuel and other things -- ammunition of which has not been coming.
The only thing the United States really did is they said well we're going to give you these MREs, meals ready to eat, and that's just not enough.
If we wanted to be aggressive to try to push back and take control so you don't have rebels playing around with sophisticated very lethal missile systems, you need to be aggressive in our help for the Ukrainian military -- again, not boots on the ground, but training, intelligence, logistics, food and other things that could have been very, very helpful in this case and at the same time we need to continue to ramp up sanctions.
It worries me that the president hasn't rallied the Europeans to his -- at least to his level of sanctions that he applied earlier this week. He needs to engage in that relationship. And he needs to start pushing a little bit so that we don't have another incident like this.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We've heard from both the British prime minister and the Dutch prime minister that they're prepared to do that this morning.
How about this broader threat of missiles? How worried should air passengers be?
ROGERS: Well, obviously this is something that keeps the intelligence community up at night. And when you look at what our manpads, which is the shoulder fired, that is -- you know, through intelligence, aggressive intelligence, good posturing, working with liaison partners, intelligence services around the world, you can at least suppress their ability to get in position to fire one.
Obviously, when you're at 32,000 feet these are ineffective. But when you look across northern Africa and the concerns there -- certainly Libya and its proliferation of weapons in the region -- Egypt, other places, it's starting to get concerning that we don't have a good handle on all of those weapons systems.
We have programs to go after these weapon systems that they're called manpads, find them, either destroy them or take them into custody. You're never going to be 100 percent in that effort. And so that's the concern. And that's why aggressive intelligence operations around the world are so critically important.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Chairman Rogers, thanks very much for your time this morning.
Up next, so many hotspots all over the globe, an arch of crises challenging President Obama sparking comparisons to the start of World War I. Our experts break it all down on this special edition of This Week.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And when we come back, John McCain says he's never seen the world in more turmoil. We just heard secretary agree. So are they right? How should America respond? Our panel of experts debate that next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We live in a complex world and at a challenging time, and none of these challenges lend themselves to quick or easy solutions, but all of them require American leadership. And as commander in chief, I'm confident that if we stay patient and determined that we will in fact meet these challenges.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: There's President Obama speaking out on the challenges of dealing with so many hotspots all over the world and that was on Wednesday even before the shooting down of flight 17 and the dramatic escalation of the ground war in Gaza.
Our experts are here to put those crises in context, debate America's response after this from ABC's chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl.
ANNOUNCER: Breaking news.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A Malaysian Airlines flight has crashed, we are told.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The ground phase of that war in Gaza has indeed begun.
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It looked a little like the week the world came undone. Just think, those two huge stories, the Israeli incursion into Gaza, a passenger brought down by a Russian made missile, came after the front page story in the Wall Street Journal saying a raft of foreign policy crises has brought global instability not seen since 1979.
That was the year Islamic revolutionaries overthrew the Shah of Iran and took the U.S. embassy hostage, that Russians invaded Afghanistan and the Chinese invaded North Vietnam.
ANNOUNCER: This is an ABC News special.
KARL: And the United States seemed unable to do anything about any of it.
ANNOUNCER: Or foreign failure?
KARL: Looking around the world today, a former CIA director went even further, saying 2014 looks a lot like 1914, the year the assassination of an Archduke is Sarajevo touched off the war to end all wars.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very difficult for the U.S. government at that level to deal with more than two, three, four crises at a time. And the problem, if you look around the world now is there are fires burning everywhere.
KARL: Fires burning not just in Russia, Ukraine and Israel/Gaza, but also in the South China Sea with concerns about Chinese aggression. And in Afghanistan and Pakistan where weak governments are battling Taliban insurgencies with less help from the U.S.
And perhaps most alarmingly, in Syria and Iraq, where a terrorist group linked to al Qaeda has taken control of major cities.
It's the flow of western Jihadists into Syria that brought the stark warning we heard here last Sunday from Attorney General Eric Holder.
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: In some ways it's more frightening than anything I think I've seen as attorney general.
KARL: It was five years ago that President Obama, after less than a year in office, received the Nobel Peace Prize and envisioned a different kind of world.
OBAMA: For if we want a lasting peace, then the words of the international community must mean something.
KARL: Today, the words of the international community don't seem to mean all that much, and a lasting peace is as elusive as ever.
For This Week, Jonathan Karl, ABC News, the White House.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, let's dig into this now with our chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz, Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal who wrote that front page piece this week, sparked so much debate, Richard Haas, the president of the Council of Foreign Relations, and New Republic senior editor Julia Ioffe who has been on the ground in Ukraine.
Welcome to you all.
And, Martha, you've been living this firsthand, ping ponging between all these crises spots.
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I sure have.
About three weeks ago, I was in Iraq. I was in Israel this last week. And then I returned to the shoot down of the Malaysian Airliner.
This is an astonishingly bad time for the world. I mean, we can't say enough. We heard Jonathan Karl say that. You looked at the map of places airplanes can't fly, and you've got an administration trying to deal with them all.
I think one of the things you have to do is go back and look to see where they were focused over these past years. John Kerry was completely focused on Israel, and look at it today.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Look at it today.
And Richard Haas, we heard John McLaughlin the former acting director of the CIA in that piece say it's difficult for any administration to deal with two or three or four crises at the same time. You served in the Pentagon, the State Department, National Security Council are Secretary Kerry and John McCain correct when they say the world is in greater turmoil than any time before?
RICHARD HAAS, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Any time is a big phrase.
The bottom line is, it's in enormous turmoil, but very different kinds of turmoil.
What's going on in the Asia-Pacific is reminiscent of Europe 100 years ago where medium and great-sized powers are jockeying, growing nationalism, real friction that could lead to incidents or even conflict.
In the Middle East, though, it's just the opposite. We have weak states. We have states that can't control what is going on inside their own borders and the parallel to 100 years ago is that the post-World War I settlement in the Middle East is now unraveling. The border, say, between Syria and Iraq is irrelevant.
So we have got very different kinds of crises. Not to mention Ukraine, where you have got Russia trying to restore a certain position on the periphery of Europe.
But the administrations don't have the luxury of narrow casting. They have to basically deal with all of these things.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the things we heard from Secretary Kerry, Carol Lee, is that in all of these places, that people are clamoring for more United States involvement, some of the critics of the president say he's not doing enough.
CAROL LEE, WALL STREET JOURNAL: That's exactly -- that's the tension that you see the president having to deal with. I mean, one of the things that's happening is all these issues are blowing up at the same time. And the president is looking to pull back on U.S. presence militarily in particular. And so that is, by his critics would say, is fueling some of this. And, the president would argue he's doing what the American public wants to be done.
But either way, it's having this effect where, he -- the U.S. winds up looking a little bit feckless on the world stage.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Julie Ioffe, I was struck by a piece you wrote this week, where you said it was somewhat egotistical, I think it was our word, for us to focus on how great the turmoil is in the world right now. We have to put it in context.
JULIE IOFFE, NEW REPUBLIC: That's right. You know, I talked to a bunch of historians. Every generation has this moment that they believe that they're the ones able to identify a moment of great change and great turmoil that is unique and different and worse than all other moments of turmoil and change that came before.
I mean, just look at what happened in 2001, you had the second intifada in Israel-Palestine, you had the September 11 attacks, had the invasion of Afghanistan, that was a pretty bad year, too. And we're still alive. We're still here. We're still kicking.
RADDATZ: You have all these safe havens now. I mean, I think that is a real fear and a real difference. Look at Yemen. Look at Pakistan. Look at what Afghanistan could become. And look at Iraq. The safe havens there for terrorists are unbelievable.
So, I do think you have to look at the threat to the United States and it's a very unique time.
HAAS: Also, some of the things that are going on in the world are structural -- the rise of powers, the breakdowns of states, but some of the things we have actually had a lot to do with.
In some ways we have gone from an administration -- the previous administration that tried to do too much. And I think Iraq is a good example of that and we weakened state authority and now we have a failed state in Iraq -- into an administration that arguably trying to do too little. We see that above all in Syria. We see that in putting calendars on how long we're going to stay in places, such as Afghanistan, which is potentially then a crisis to come.
So, yes, some of the things we can say this is a very difficult, turbulent world. But to some extent, we are responsible, because we are still, by far, the most consequential and powerful country in the world.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Richard brings up a good point, Carol Lee. But I think one of things that the White House would say is that President Obama was brought in to office to end the wars in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan and there's no way we're going back in.
LEE: Except we're sort of back in, particularly in Iraq.
I think what you've seen is the president having to -- wanting to set a proactive foreign policy agenda and then being forced to constantly react to things.
He doesn't want -- Ukraine was not on his agenda. Russia was, I mean, on his agenda in an entirely different way. He wants to get out of Afghanistan. He wanted to get out of Iraq. And now we're back in there in a way he didn't expect or desire to do. And so I think you're seeing him trying to run a foreign policy agenda in a way that is proactive and constantly getting forced to be reactive and at the same time raising questions among our allies on whether or not the United States will be there if they come in conflict.
And some of that, the president has exacerbated on his own. If you look at what he decided to do last year in Syria in terms of military strikes -- his decision to step back on that really was much more impactful than I think the White House realized at the time and is still having reverberations.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you brought up, Martha Raddatz, Secretary of State Kerry's efforts to broker a Middle East peace. It failed. I thing it's going too far for critics to say it's caused what's going on right now. But it certainly came to nothing.
And what we're seeing now, is you have covered these intifadas in the past, this one does seem to be different, particularly on the Israeli side.
RADDATZ: It sure does.
And I'll tell you what is different. I covered the intifada in 1988. The Palestinians were throwing stones, the Israelis had rubber bullets. Today, when I go back, and over the years I have kept in touch with a lot of people I talked to then. Today, we have long-range rockets that Hamas has and we have the Israelis going in with fighter jets and artillery and missiles from ships, anything they can do.
But the people, when I talk to the people, the same people who were so idealistic in 1988, we can all live together, today they cannot stand each other. They never see each other. There's a wall between the West Bank and Israel. We are losing the moderates on both sides. We're losing Palestinian moderates. We're losing Israeli moderates. And everyone is begging for leadership.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We can't even broker a cease-fire.
HAASS: We can't broker cease-fire. And that's part of the problem with the Israeli policy right now, which is Israel will succeed in weakening Hamas, but then what? Towards what end? If you only weaken Hamas, it's then simply a matter of months or years before Hamas rearms.
So the Israelis have a real choice, either you try to destroy it, which is impossible. You try to co-opt it, which has not worked. Or you try to marginalize it. But the only way you can do that is with a serious diplomatic initiative to the moderates in the West Bank.
And you basically try to separate Hamas from the people of Gaza, who right now paying an enormous price for Hamas's radicalism. But Israel can't have only a military strategy. It needs to have a political or diplomatic complement.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to turn on the situation in Ukraine. And, Julia, you spent time on the ground in May back then. It certainly does seem right now that President Putin has unleashed a battle that he simply can't control anymore.
IOFFE: I have been saying it for years. Vladimir Putin, for all the praise he gets in some corners of Washington for being brilliant and outmaneuvering the U.S. at every turn. In fact, he's a really good tactician but a terrible strategist.
So he stoked this fire in eastern Ukraine. And it got completely out ahead of him. I don't think in his wildest dreams did he intend -- or I don't think he ever intended to down a civilian jet.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He can't have.
IOFFE: No, he can't have. And the Netherlands is a major trading partner. They're often standing up for Russia when all this talk is -- of sanctions is happening. And now the Netherlands are furious at him. They're calling the behavior of the rebels disgusting. He has alienated a lot of people with this.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Richard Haass, does Putin take the opportunity now to de-escalate? If he was, indeed, losing this battle, is this an opening for him?
HAASS: It should be an opening for us, George. So while on one hand, we try to create the narrative of what happened with the crash. Secondly we press the Europeans to put more pressure.
There has got to be quietly put forward to Putin an off-ramp, basically, a way to de-escalate. And that should be right now the priority of the White House. It's not enough for our senior officials just to come out and excoriate Putin.
Privately, quietly, we have got to send out a lifeline and say, under certain terms, it's in your interests and our interests to de-escalate. Let's see if we can come up with those terms.
STEPHANOPOULOS: President Obama has been on the phone with President Putin at least twice I think in the last four days.
LEE: He has. And they aren't having those -- they are looking for a -- privately looking for a way to de-escalate this. I think the one thing the White House hopes is that this does wind up being a game-changing event.
And that nothing they have done so far has really had any substantial impact on this crisis. And that now, you know, you have seen the president try to pressure the Europeans and try to very publicly pressure Vladimir Putin. And those things are kind of taking care of themselves at the moment.
And so what you're going to see the president do is try and guide this into the conclusion that he wants, which is ultimately a de-escalation.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Up until now, though, Martha Raddatz, President Putin still blaming the Ukrainians.
RADDATZ: Still blaming the Ukrainians, and probably will for a long time. I'm not sure he'll ever take the blame for that. But hopefully it will de-escalate. But in the end, I think we have to know that it was mistakenly shot down.
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. Thank you all very much, a great discussion.
Up next, a look back at that giant leap for mankind on this day in 1969.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... different it's very pretty out here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Forty-five years ago tonight, everyone looked to the skies to see a magnificent sight, man's first walk on the Moon. A feat inspired by the Cold War. And now, so many questions about America's place in space and our relationship with Russia are sparking new ideas to explore the final frontier.
Here's ABC's Clayton Sandell.
NEIL ARMSTRONG, APOLLO 11 ASTRONAUT: The Eagle has landed.
CLAYTON SANDELL, ABC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Forty-five years ago today, the future arrived.
ARMSTRONG: That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
SANDELL: Millions watched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin go where no one had ever gone before. It was the height of the Cold War. And the U.S. had now won the space race against the Soviets, securing its place as the leader in cosmic exploration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Touchdown confirmed.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
SANDELL: From the Mars rovers, the Hubble telescope, the International Space Station, but then...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The space shuttle pulls into port for the last time.
SANDELL: Three years ago, the shuttles were retired, sent to museums. U.S. astronauts lost their own ride to space, forced to buy seats on Russian rockets.
And even before Malaysia 17 was shot down, new tensions were rising between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine. The deputy prime minister threatened this spring: "If America wants astronauts in space, it should get a trampoline."
That does not sit well with former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin.
MICHAEL GRIFFIN, FORMER NASA ADMINISTRATOR: We're in a hostage situation. Russia can decide that no more U.S. astronauts will launch to the International Space Station. And that's not a position that I want our nation to be in.
SANDELL: But now, there's a new space race: three private companies competing for billions in NASA dollars to build a brand-new ride for America's astronauts.
CHRISTOPHER FERGUSON, BOEING: So this is the CST-100.
SANDELL: Chris Ferguson commanded that last American shuttle flight. He's now helping Boeing sell this design that can seat seven.
FERGUSON: We are just waiting for sort of the government go-ahead to start building.
SANDELL: SpaceX has the Dragon, the first commercial ship to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. And then there's Dream Chaser, Sierra Nevada's smaller, sportier version of the old shuttle. Former astronaut Steve Lindsey took us aboard.
(on camera): It's a tight squeeze, isn't it?
STEVEN LINDSEY, SIERRA NEVADA CORP.: Yes, it is.
SANDELL (voice-over): NASA wants the winning design to launch by 2017. But many want the U.S. to go beyond just Earth orbit.
Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon, wants us to go back there, then on to Mars.
BUZZ ALDRIN, APOLLO 11 ASTRONAUT: We don't have to repeat what we did 45 years ago. But we don't ignore the Moon. It's very important for technology, commerce, science.
SANDELL: That next giant leap, perhaps to an asteroid or Mars, will be costly. But explorers like astronaut Catherine Coleman, inspired by Apollo 11, say, it's well worth it.
CATHERINE COLEMAN, ASTRONAUT: Humanity's first footsteps on the Moon taught us what we can accomplish for all mankind when we focus on a common goal. It's time for our next giant leap. We are meant to explore our universe.
SANDELL: For THIS WEEK, Clayton Sandell, ABC News, Denver.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And we end with some good news. For the third week in a row, the Pentagon reported no deaths of service members in Afghanistan.
That is all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out "WORLD NEWS WITH DAVID MUIR" tonight. And I'll see you tomorrow on "GMA."