Thursday, March 12, 2009

High Seas Adventure: No Buckle on the Swash

I was reading a recent NYT article about the supposed “Most horrible and serious incident in all of maritime history” between the U.S. and China.

But in fact,” this most serious incident” consisted, in part, -- they also “surrounded” the USS Impeccable and even tried to grab a cable with a hook -- of some Chinese sailors throwing some wood in front of the USS Impeccable.

Yet according to Dennis Blair…


WASHINGTON — The confrontation between a United States naval vessel and five Chinese ships is the “most serious” military dispute between the countries since a midair collision in 2001 forced an American surveillance plane to land on Hainan island, the director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, said Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

My goodness, do a few pieces of wood tossed in front of a giant U.S naval ship by a few small fishing boats really rate right up there with a midair collision? And Dennis Blair is director of national intelligence?

Here, according to the Times, is what the attacking armada consisted of…

The Chinese ships consisted of a naval intelligence vessel, two smaller trawlers, a fisheries patrol boat and an official oceanographic ship, Pentagon officials said.

Since there really wasn’t enough menace for the news casters to frown and look all ominous over the New York Times throws in a freebie…

China has invested heavily in a new fleet of diesel-powered attack submarines and maintains a submarine base on Hainan. The waters where the confrontation took place would probably be plied by Chinese submarines.

Mind you, there were no actual diesel-powered attack submarines in the incident but they could have been plying the waters. I’m not sure why the Times felt the need to add that bit of intelligence but that’s the kind of quality writing you expect from the Times where they go that extra mile. If the story isn’t interesting enough, why then, its time to get creative and invent a few maybes and perhapses. I suppose that there could have been diesel-powered Chinese attack submarines plying those waters. If not, maybe a few giant squid or even a sea serpent or two.

If the story isn’t interesting what is interesting is how the NYT never fails to report ludicrous claims made by various national leaders as if what ever is said is pure gold. Maybe platinum.


At March 13, 2009 1:21 AM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

It would be very dangerous if peace were to break out. I'm reminded of this. (the commenter is a clever fellow too.)

At March 13, 2009 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice work Rob. good observations.

At March 13, 2009 3:19 PM, Blogger rob payne said...


There does seem to be a pattern here. Small boats, big ships, lots of creativity.

M. Pyre,

Hey thanks.


Post a Comment

<< Home