Sunday, June 06, 2010

Dead in the Water

A couple of days early for the anniversary but this BBC documentary (a throwback to a time when the BBC still made documentaries rather than videos of press releases) about the USS Liberty attack is definitely worth a spin...

It gets especially interesting towards the end when lots of people, including Psycho-in-Chief Robert McNamara, start suffering from spontaneous memory loss and bad tempers

Hmmm, Robert McNamara in a bad mood, not good

Robert 'I'm totally OK with becoming Death, Destroyer of Worlds' McNamara

The Israelis' explanation of how they mistook an American ship traveling at 2-3 knots for an Egyptian ship traveling at 25-30 knots is equally entertaining, particularly when you hear how the Israelis started jamming American, not Egyptian, radio frequencies just before they started dropping napalm on the ship's decks...

The USS Liberty - just bristling with US identity codes and no offensive armament whatsoever

Oh yes, and there's a bit where some ex US military types start talking about how nuclear armed American jets were minutes away from vaporising Cairo

It's a shame more Americans don't know about the Liberty attack, as some of them might get round to asking why they've been subsidising this sort of thing through billions of dollars of aid every year. Aid to a country with a GDP per capita somewhere between Italy and New Zealand which, the last time I looked, were doing just fine without any US subsidy


edit: meanwhile, back in 2010, more comedy chutzpah gold from those side-splitting Israeli spokesfolk...



Parabellum said...

It seems evident, from the attitude of the capitalist world to Soviet Russia, of the Entente to the Central Empires, and of England to Ireland and India, that there is no depth of cruelty, perfidy or brutality from which the present holders of power will shrink when they feel themselves threatened. If, in order to oust them, nothing short of religious fanaticism will serve, it is they who are the prime sources of the resultant evil. And it is permissible to hope that, when they have been dispossessed, fanaticism will fade, as other fanaticisms have faded in the past.

The present holders of power are evil men, and the present manner of life is doomed. To make the transition with a minimum of bloodshed, with a maximum of preservation of whatever has value in our existing civilization, is a difficult problem. It is this problem which has chiefly occupied my mind in writing the following pages. I wish I could think that its solution would be facilitated by some slight degree of moderation and humane feeling on the part of those who enjoy unjust privileges in the world as it is.

Bertrand Russell - The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism (1920)

Damn, I need to read that book.

Includes classics like:
But the method by which Moscow aims at establishing Communism is a pioneer method, rough and dangerous, too heroic to count the cost of the opposition it arouses. I do not believe that by this method a stable or desirable form of Communism can be established. Three issues seem to me possible from the present situation. The first is the ultimate defeat of Bolshevism by the forces of capitalism. The second is the victory of the Bolshevists accompanied by a complete loss of their ideals and a regime of Napoleonic imperialism. The third is a prolonged world-war, in which civilization will go under, and all its manifestations (including Communism) will be forgotten.

Parabellum said...

And I had to think of this story from 1969:
Frustrated, Nixon decided to try something new: threaten the Soviet Union with a massive nuclear strike and make its leaders think he was crazy enough to go through with it. His hope was that the Soviets would be so frightened of events spinning out of control that they would strong-arm Hanoi, telling the North Vietnamese to start making concessions at the negotiating table or risk losing Soviet military support.

Codenamed Giant Lance, Nixon's plan was the culmination of a strategy of premeditated madness he had developed with national security adviser Henry Kissinger

Anonymous said...

USS Liberty