Tuesday, September 19


The family and I are off to my wife's homeland of Finland for a couple weeks vacation.

While I expect to have internet access and the means to post, I am not planning on making any posts, unless I get the inspiration to post something. Mainly this means a hiatus of Maritime Monday. (If it wasn't for that, you might not even notice that I was gone!) Feel free to check out previous editions of Maritime Monday. If you have a Maritime Monday item, you can post it in the comments of this post to share with others.

Since you stopped by, feel free to check out the following posts which are the most popular posts found through search engines:
Racing Up Pikes Peak - Video - All time, most popular post
And if you are interested in Finland:
Finally, feel free to check out my blogroll. I try to keep it short, so if there is one that your not familiar with, be sure to check it out.

Best regards,

Remembering the Soviet Union v.1

The Soviet Union was one of the most murderous, criminal regimes to ever exist on this planet. Despite falling apart in the early nineties, it is greatly responsible for most of the conflicts we see to this day. It is important to understand the contribution of the Soviet Union to global conflict as Russia today continues to create instability in the world. In addition, it is good to note and remember what the Soviet Union did during it's existence on Earth. Especially considering the following:
Russian president Vladimir Putin considers the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 as one of the greatest catastrophes of the 20th century. His attitude is shared by many other Russians who came of age during the twilight of the Soviet Union. These people are running the country now, and they are not afraid to express nostalgia for the lost glories of the Soviet era. But the kids who came of age after 1991, are less impressed with the Soviet era, and not automatically ant-American. But for another generation, a Cold War mentality will live on among the Russian ruling class.

A recent survey found that 68 percent of Russians believed the breakup of the Soviet Union was a mistake, and 51 percent would vote to restore the Soviet Union. Similar surveys found that in some former parts of the Soviet Union, lots of people were in favor of re-joining the Soviet Union (45 percent in Ukraine, 36 percent in Belarus.) - Strategy Page
Thankfully, the Soviet Union is gone, but some of the goals surely remain. They were not able to crush the US on their own, but I wonder if they are supporting regimes in Iran, Venezuela and North Korea in the hope that they can destabilize the US in ways that they were never able to. Or is it just that their decision-making is simply related to money? Money was the main reason for Russia selling out Sanctions against Iraq. So enjoy this 'short' list of Russian/Soviet atrocities. (Feel free to start you own list on the US and then lets compare body counts.)

Let's just call this version one. There are many items not listed here, so feel free to add more in the comments.

Note: this is now Version II, published on 27 February 2007.

So now for the trip down memory lane:


Interference in the Chinese Civil War

- Initially aided BOTH Sides
- Invaded and occupied Manchuria at end of WWII
- Theft of all of Manchuria's industrial Infrastructure
In the last month of the World War II in East Asia, Soviet forces launched the mammoth Operation August Storm in Manchuria. This operation destroyed the fighting capability of the Kwantung Army and left the USSR in occupation of all of Manchuria at the end of the war. Consequently, they took the surrender of the 700,000 Japanese troops still stationed in the region. They seized the arms of these surrendering Japanese and handed them over to the Communist Party of China, providing them with the initial military means to face the Nationalists in open warfare. Later in the year Chiang Kai-shek came to the painful realization that he lacked the resources to prevent a CPC takeover of Manchuria following the scheduled Soviet departure, he therefore made a deal with the Russians to delay their withdrawal until he had moved enough of his best-trained men and modern material into the region. Nationalist troops were then airlifted by the United States to occupy key cities in North China, while the countryside was already dominated by the Chinese Communists. The Soviets spent the extra time systematically dismantling the entire Manchurian industrial plant (worth up to 2 billion dollars) and shipping it back to their war-ravaged Motherland. - Wikipedia

Artificial Famine (Genocide) in Ukraine - 1932 -1933
(artificial famine of 1932-33, which caused upwards of 7 million deaths in Ukraine)
In an open letter to Mikhail Gorbachev in August 1987, the veteran dissident Vyachaslav Chornovil wrote, "The biggest and most infamous blank spot in the Soviet history of Ukraine is the hollow silence for over 50 years about the genocide of the Ukrainian nation organized by Stalin and his henchmen ... The Great Famine of 1932-33, which took millions of human lives. In one year - 1933 - my people lost more than throughout all of World War II, which ravaged our land." - Soviet Crimes Remain Unpunished
The famine resulted from Stalin's collectivisation programme and ruthless grain requisitions, but experts are divided on whether it was intentional.

Some allege Stalin used mass starvation as a weapon to eradicate the Ukrainian peasantry, while simultaneously arresting or executing the Ukrainian intelligentsia.

Others say the claim cannot be proved. [note: Well taken in context with their other-proven behavior, I think we can pretty well place this in the column of Intentional. This it the work of socialists to deny these crimes despite clear evidence that Stalin had the borders to the Ukraine closed to prevent people from leaving and food from getting in. And what was the reason for keeping it a secret?]

Millions died during the 1932-1933 famine - a quarter of Ukraine's population at the time, according to some estimates. - BBC
The Soviets kept the famine secret. (All the time, exporting food products.)
More here.

Stalin's Intervention to ensure Hitler's Election in Germany:
During the critical 1932 German elections, he forbid the German Communists from collaborating with the Social Democrats. These parties together gained more votes than Hitler and could have prevented him from becoming Chancellor. - Wikipedia
Removal of Jews from the Diplomatic Corps:
Stalin purged his diplomatic apparatus of Jews in preparation for signing his “non-aggression” pact with Hitler. - National Review

Alliance with Hitler / Nazi Germany

The Soviet Union had Hitler's back at the start of World War II by agreeing to split Europe amongst themselves drawing a line right through Poland. (Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact)

It is common knowledge that Nazi Germany attacked Poland (on 1 September 1939) but not so common knowledge that the Soviet Union attacked Poland from the East. (On 17 September 1939)

Support of Nazi Germany
From the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in August, 1939 through almost the end of the first half of 1941, Stalin and the USSR fed and equipped Hitler and Germany as Germany invaded Western Europe and then attacked Great Britain by air. - Wikipedia

Partially Responsible for World War II
According to the Historian Richard Pipes, the Communist states share some responsibility for World War II. Both Hitler and Mussolini used the Soviet Union as a model for their own totalitarian states and Hitler privately expressed that Stalin was a "genius". In turn, Stalin expressed desire for another great war that would leave his enemies weakened and allow Soviet expansion. He allowed the testing and production of German weapons that were forbidden by the Versailles Treaty to occur on Soviet territory. - Wikipedia

Soviet-Finnish Winter War

The Soviet Union attacked Finland to take land that the Finns declined to cede to the Soviets voluntarily.

Creation of Soviet 'puppet' States after WWII:
- East Germany
- Poland
- Hungary
- Bulgaria
- Czechoslovakia
- Romania

Forced the deportation to the Soviet Union of thousands:
After the end of the Second World War some 100,000 people were expelled from Finland over the eastern border into the Soviet Union - thus, a considerably larger number than was deported to Nazi Germany.

The terms of the peace agreement required that Finland had to return to the Soviet Union some 56,000 Ingrian, 44,000 Soviet and over 2,500 German prisoners of war. If these terms were not met, the Soviet government would refuse to return the many Finnish prisoners of war to their own country.

The return of the Ingrians was not spoken about in postwar Finland. One Finnish commentator has remarked: "During the whole time the Soviet Union existed, people didn't speak about those Ingrians that had been sent back. This return of the ethnic Finns after the war didn't exist. Not until the end of the 80s did the matter attract attention when books and memoirs were published. " - - A Step at a Time

More 'abuse' of Ingrians:

The family of Anna Ruotsi boarded a train in Oulu. Once over the border, the doors were shut, and nobody was allowed to leave. "People started crying. Where are they taking us?" Ruotsi remembers.

They did not go to their home village. The family got off the freight train in the district of Yaroslav and ended up on a collective farm. "We worked, but we were not paid anything. There was great hunger there. To make ends meet, the family sold their watches, bicycles, and other belongings.

After two years on the collective farm, the family moved to Estonia. While waiting for a train in Leningrad, the father went to see the home village 35 kilometres away. "Everything had been burned." All that was left of the old house was the well.

In Estonia, Anna Ruotsi’s life went on. She even found an Ingrian husband, who had been in the Finnish army during the war. His return to the Soviet Union had meant imprisonment for ten years. Ruotsi and her wife followed their adult children to Finland in 1990. - Helsingin Sanomat

Continued occupation of Iran after WWII

Division of Germany and creation of East Germany (German Democratic Republic)

The Soviet Union accomplished what Hitler wanted to; Occupation of a good portion of Europe.

Brutal occupation of Germany and other territories:
Once a year, aging Red Army veterans who fought in the battle for Berlin gather in that city’s suburb of Treptower Park, where some 5,000 of their comrades are buried. But as Jason Cowley of the Guardian reported, one local refers to it as “the site of the unknown rapist.” No doubt there are others who share this sentiment: During that first year of Soviet occupation in 1945, more than 100,000 women in Berlin were raped. Combined with the German women caught in Pomerania, Silesia, and East Prussia during the mass exodus, the number of rape victims soars to roughly 2 million. Many of them subsequently committed suicide. - a Contest of Brutality

Cutoff of Supply Lines to West Berlin

Soviet Union Blockades West Berlin's road and rail connections, cutting off supply lines forcing allies to supply the city form the air in the great Berlin Airlift that went on for over a year.

June 1953 uprising Massacre in East Berlin

Occupation of:
- Latvia (Including mass deportations/"Population Transfer")
- Lithuania (Including mass deportations/"Population Transfer")
- Estonia (Including mass deportations/"Population Transfer") - " Destruction of the Estonian State"

Soviet invasion of Korea
- Creation of North Korea
- Prevented UN elections in North Korea which were held as part of the UN plan to reunify Korea, originally agreed to by the Soviet Union.
- Soviet-backed North Korea attacked South Korea in 1950.

Creation of the puppet state of the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad in Northern Iran.

1949 — Chinese communists reach the northern border of Indochina. The Viet Minh drive the French from the border region and begin to receive large amounts of weapons from the Soviet Union and China. The weapons transform the Viet Minh from an irregular small-scale insurgency into a conventional army.

The Soviet Union, along with China, supplied North Vietnam with weaponry and other material throughout the war. Soviet pilots acted as training cadre and may even have flown combat missions as "volunteers". Other USSR operatives tested their SVD rifle in combat conditions prior to official American entry as well as operating surface-to-air missile batteries in North Vietnam. - Wikipedia
More Vietnam:
The truth about Vietnam that revisionist historians conveniently forget is that the United States had not lost when we withdrew in 1973. In fact, we grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory two years later when Congress cut off the funding for South Vietnam that had allowed it to continue to fight on its own. Over the four years of Nixon's first term, I had cautiously engineered the withdrawal of the majority of our forces while building up South Vietnam's ability to defend itself.

My colleague and friend Henry Kissinger, meanwhile, had negotiated a viable agreement between North and South Vietnam, which was signed in January 1973. It allowed for the United States to withdraw completely its few remaining troops and for the United States and the Soviet Union to continue funding their respective allies in the war at a specified level. Each superpower was permitted to pay for replacement arms and equipment. Documents released from North Vietnamese historical files in recent years have proved that the Soviets violated the treaty from the moment the ink was dry, continuing to send more than $1 billion a year to Hanoi.

The United States barely stuck to the allowed amount of military aid for two years, and that was a mere fraction of the Soviet contribution.Yet during those two years, South Vietnam held its own courageously and respectably against a better-bankrolled enemy. Peace talks continued between the North and the South until the day in 1975 when Congress cut off U.S. funding. The Communists walked out of the talks and never returned. Without U.S. funding, South Vietnam was quickly overrun. We saved a mere $297 million a year and in the process doomed South Vietnam, which had been ably fighting the war without our troops since 1973. - Gateway Pundit
Invasion of:

- Soviets invade Czechoslavakia (1968) "Prague Spring"
- Soviets invade Afghanistan (1979)

Heavy handed-ness:
- Put down of uprising in Hungary (1956)
- Put down of riots in Georgia(1989)
- Harsh Prison sentences for those caught attempting to escape the Soviet Union:
From a book published in Finland it can be concluded that between 1945-1981 Finnish authorities were sending back a majority of political refugees from the USSR, who were trying to flee to the West through Finland, this was done by the authorities of their own free will, and was not forced on them.

However, there weren't many of those kind of of cases. Juha Pohjonen, author of recently published book "Ei armoa Suomen selkänahasta" ("No Mercy At Finland's Expense ") dug through the archives and counted 117 persons who were sent back to the USSR. Pohjonen told Gazeta that a majority of them got harsh sentences of 10-15 years of prison or gulag. In one instance a death sentence was executed, some people who were sent back committed suicide.

"It's not the scale of this behaviour that's important - what matters is acquiring a moral perspective on the Finnish politics of those days," Pohjonen asserts. - A Step at a Time

A somewhat different, yet still critical view on the deportations here.)

Ogaden War (Somalia and Ethiopia)
- Initially armed BOTH Sides
The U.S.S.R., finding itself supplying both sides of a war, attempted to mediate a ceasefire. When their efforts failed, the Soviets abandoned Somalia. All aid to Siad Barre's regime was halted, while arms shipments to Ethiopia were increased. Soviet military aid, only second in magnitude to the October 1973 gigantic resupplying of Syrian forces during the Yom Kippur war, plus Soviet advisors flooded into the country along with around 15,000 Cuban combat troops. Other Communist countries offered assistance: the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen offered military assistance and North Korea helped train a "People's Militia". As the scale of Communist assistance became clear in November 1977, Somalia broke diplomatic relations with the U.S.S.R. and expelled all Soviet citizens from the country. - Wikipedia

There was so much Political Repression in the Soviet Union that it needs it's own index page in Wikipedia.

Soviet Nuclear Activities:
Greatest Manmade Explosion in Human History -Tsar Bomba - Wilipedia


Abandoned Nuclear-powered navigational Lighthouses - Bellona

"Soviets Secretly Tried to Blame U.S. for AIDS--CIA" Reuters (09/30/93)
Langley, Va.--For more than five years, the former Soviet Union attempted to blame the AIDS virus on a plot by U.S. military scientists, according to newly declassified CIA documents. The papers reported that the Soviets launched a campaign in 1983 aiming to tie the emergence of AIDS to American biological weapons research. The disinformation was circulated in 25 different languages in over 200 publications, as well as in posters, leaflets, and radio broadcasts, in more than 80 countries before the campaign was finally abandoned by the Soviets, according to a study cited by the CIA in the documents. The Soviets dropped the campaign in 1988 when the United States refused to cooperate with them on a research program on AIDS, which was by then spreading in the U.S.S.R., said the CIA article. The Soviet campaign was apparently retaliation for the Reagan administration's claims of Soviet-produced "yellow rain," or yellow traces found on vegetation due to a Soviet biological weapon.

Reproduction of the above excerpt is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC Clearinghouse should be cited as the source of this information. Copyright 1993, Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD
Militarization of Third World Countries:

Arming and instigation of Islamic radicals (in the '70s.)

Theft and reuse of tombstones (Removed from graves in Finnish Karelia, resurfaced, sent to Estonia.) (More on Finnish cemetery desecration here.)

Human Rights in the Soviet Union:
The Soviet authorities orchestrated the death and deportation of millions of their own citizens, to eliminate domestic opposition to the Soviet Union. It includes the persecution of members of nations incorporated into the USSR which since the fall of the USSR live in states independent of the Russian Federation.

While it is indisputable that USSR Government brought death and suffering to millions of its population, the legal use of the term genocide as inappropriate because international law on genocide is based on the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Soviet Union made sure that the drafting of the convention excluded genocides based on social class and class struggle ideology. Nevertheless the term genocide is used by many respected historians, especially with respect to the Holodomor. This usage is often motivated by the fact that, e.g., ethnicity-targeted population transfer in the Soviet Union, while arguably lacking genocidal purposes, led to millions of deaths due to inflicted hardships. - Wiki

Third-World Standard for Quality of Life:
In the Soviet Union in 1989 there was rationing of meat and sugar. The average intake of red meat for a Soviet citizen was half of what it had been for a subject of the Czar in 1913. Blacks in apartheid South Africa owned more cars per capita. The only area of consumption in which the Soviets excelled was the ingestion of hard liquor. Two-thirds of the households had no hot water, and a third had no running water at all. According to the government paper, Izvestia, a typical working class family of four was forced to live for 8 years in a single 8x8 foot room, before marginally better accommodation became available. The housing shortage was so acute that at all times 17% of Soviet families had to be physically separated for want of adequate space. A third of the hospitals had no running water and the bribery of doctors and nurses to get decent medical attention and even amenities like blankets in Soviet hospitals was not only common, but routine. Only 15 percent of Soviet youth were able to attend institutions of higher learning compared to 34 percent in the U.S. The average welfare mother in the United States received more income in a month, than the average Soviet worker could earn in a year. - Wikipedia
Failure to maintain the Structures of the USSR:
During my first trip, in 1984, I found the state of most structures shocking. One of my fellow travelers, an electrical contractor, pointed repeatedly to jury rigged exterior wiring not contained in conduit. This was in major public buildings in Moscow and Leningrad. Each successive visit has seen some of same buildings continue to deteriorate with little of no maintenance.

The causes of this are several fold. First, much of the physical plant in Western Russia was destroyed or damaged during the Great Patriotic War. Replacement of structures or repairs had to be accomplished in a compressed time frame and quality of both design and craftsmanship undoubtedly suffered. Second, the West rapidly recovered from the war while Russia did not. The US emerged economically strong and via the Marshal Plan rebuilt Western Europe. The USSR believed it had to chose between "Guns and Bricks" it chose guns. A Russian friend once joked that the lights in his stairwell hadn't worked for years because the Soviets felt the resources were better used for "a hundred Kalashnikov magazines or maybe some parts for a T-62 Tank in Afghanistan."

The end result of all this was a lot of poorly constructed, poorly maintained buildings. - La Russophobe
Raping of the Environment:
One example is the gradual disappearance of the Aral Sea and a similar diminishing of the Caspian Sea because of the diversion of the rivers that fed them. Another is the pollution of the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the unique freshwater environment of Lake Baikal. Many of the rivers were polluted; several, like the Vistula and Oder rivers in Poland, were virtually ecologically dead. Over 70% of the surface water in the Soviet Union was polluted. In 1988 only 30% of the sewage in the Soviet Union was treated properly. Established health standards for air pollution was exceeded by ten times or more in 103 cities in the Soviet Union in 1988. The air pollution problem was even more severe in Eastern Europe. It caused a rapid growth in lung cancer, forest die-back, and damage to buildings and cultural heritages. According to official sources, 58 percent of total agricultural land of the former Soviet Union was affected by salinization, erosion, acidity, or waterlogging. - Wikipedia

Disgraceful Handling of Nuclear Waste:
Nuclear waste was dumped in the Sea of Japan, the Arctic Ocean, and in locations in the Far East. It was revealed in 1992 that in the city of Moscow there were 636 radioactive toxic waste sites and 1,500 in St. Petersburg. - Wikipedia

- Murder of the Czar and immediate family
- Restriction of movement within the Soviet Union (Internal Passports)
- Forced Labor Camps (Gulags)
- Stalin's purges
- Command Economy
- Collectivization
- Suppression of Religion
- Destruction of churches
- Damage to the environment
- Nuclear and other waste.
- Spread of small weapons
- Destruction of cultural heritage
- Constant revision of historical documents
- Suppressed research

Here is a handy Desktop Wallpaper summarizing the 62 Million Deaths attributed to Soviet Rule:

You can find it here: The New American Myth

Other Links:
Soviet Child Care - Born in the USSR - Opinion Journal

Back to the USSR - Helsingin Sanomat

Behind the Wheel in the Soviet Union - New York Times

NOTE: This post will be updated/edited on occasion.

NOTE II: Some links are to Wikipedia, which is subject to constant editing both of content as well as links. Information was correct as of the initial posting and may no longer be available. Just consider it an extension of the Soviet tradition of rewriting history!

Many of the events above were either kept secret or the truth was distorted by the Soviet Union. Many facts are still not known today.

Just because The Soviet Union has fallen apart, does not mean that they are still not causing problems, including the following:

- Nuclear poisoning
- Acting like the Soviet Union at the UN Security Council.
- Assisting Iran with its nuclear program. (Even during the 18 years in secret?)
- Selling arms to Iran, knowing that they intend to use them if possible or pass them on to the likes of Hezbollah and others.
- Selling Venezuela military equipment immediately after the US halts all military sales to the country.

Monday, September 18

Maritime Monday 27

Welcome to this 27th edition of Maritime Monday.

Note: The next edition of Maritime Monday will be published on 9 October after my return from vacation.

This Weeks Photo:
Since I am going away for a while, I figured that I might as well leave a little homework for those whose knowledge of ships and terminology. So feel free to go off to the Federation of American Scientists and read the "Boats for Beginners." Just remember that those large things are ships, not boats.

Ship Structure

This weeks items:

BBC News has news of deaths in the Suez Canal as the result of a dredge sinking.

Brown Hound has news of the death of former Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Kime.

EagleSpeak has the latest on the US Port Security Bill.

The Stupid Shall Be Punished wonders if the Russians really admitted that they have tactical nukes deployed on their attack subs, in effect admitting a violation of a treaty with the US.

RMC's Navalcadetis minorae has an excellent explanation of why the Canadian Navy is pressing into it's far north. (In short, everyone else is already there.)

Hello Estonia has news of the discovery and removal of 47 WWII era Soviet anti-ship mines off the Estonian Coast.

Corey Pien at Slate wonders "Why is Washington exaggerating the pirate threat?" with an editorial titled "Hijacking the Pirate Menace". Cleary, nobody has ever bothered to tell Mr. Pien that pirates kill merchant seaman, and fishermen, and....

The Scotsman has further news on the seizure of the ship GREGORIO 1 (Some news report that the vessel is called the GRIGORIO 1 but a photo on Debka of the vessel provides the correct name.) by Cyprus suspected of weapons smuggling. Turns out that cargo manifested as "weather observation equipment" was actually air defense systems; 18 trucks and three command systems. Syria has demanded the release of the cargo, claiming it as theirs. Back in 2002 US and Spanish forces boarded the cargo ship SO SAN and discovered 15 unmanifested/declared Scud missiles, which the Government of Yemen later claimed as theirs. See the Christian Science Monitor for more details on that discovery.

Some details of the GREGORIO 1: (From the Equasis site)

  • Flag: Panama
  • Registered Owner: BEVERLY MARINE INC (Marshall Islands Corporation)
  • Ship Manager: TRANSATLANTIC MTME SA (Located in Piraeus, Greece)
Sailors, Mariners & Warriors League has news of an upcoming extremely foolish venture. Princess Cruises is planning to send the GRAND PRINCESS on a six-day cruise to Antarctica. There are lots of reasons why this is a bad idea.

Regime Change Iran has news that video footage released by Iran of a recent missile test is actually footage of a Chinese missile test.

Korea Looking Outward has news of the Chinese building a port at Najin/Rajin in North Korea. The payoff, exclusive access for Chinese-flag vessels, shutting out Russian ships. (For whatever that's worth.) Port details from the UN here.

Global Security.Org has the news of the USS RAVEN (mine hunter) saving the life of a crewman of an Iranian fishing dhow while on patrol in the Persian Gulf.

Logistics Management
has news of the Port of New York and New Jersey handling ten percent more cargo than over the same period in 2005 for a new record.

Navy Newsstand has news of the USS STEPHEN W. GROVES interdicting over 8 tons of cocaine in three captures in less than two weeks while on patrol off the US West Coast.

Neptunus Lex has coverage of the Naval Academy breathalyzing returning midshipmen in an attempt to curtail their drinking off 'campus'. (Brings back fond memories of being charged with 'Providing alcohol to minors' 'Drinking as a minor' 'Bringing disrespect upon the Regiment of Midshipmen'. Lets just say it's a long story.)

Cdr. Salamander has more on the same subject and advises against going to the Naval Academy to obtain a commission in the Navy and instead go ROTC or OCS.

Marex Newsletter has news of Wärtsilä's newest 14 cylinder engine, the most powerful in the world.

The Daily Mail, UK has the story behind this composite photo, by Alisdair MacDonald, of one hour of traffic in the Thames.

The Gowanus Lounge has a tip that the massive graving dock at Red Hook in Brooklyn (Todd Shipyard) is being filled in, by Ikea, so that they can pave it over to make a parking lot.

Design Asides has a summary and graphics of the proposed restoration facilities (ship in a bottle) for the CUTTY SARK in Greenwich, England.

Imagine There's an Image has photos of the Lightship CHESAPEAKE. A summary about lightships can be found at Wikipedia.

Clean Up The World has information on Clean Up The Mediterranean Campaign which launched on 15 September in Athens, Greece.

Solidarity covers the as yet unsuccessful attempt to honor Sydney's longshoremen.

OSHA has a summary of shipyard hazards.

From Haight's Maritime Items: (Where Dennis L. Bryant does a maritime roundup every day!)

Maritime heroes of 9-11 - The Maritime Administration (MARAD) posted a video entitled Maritime Heroes of 9-11. (Note: the link is direct to the video.) The video chronicles the response effort mounted by the maritime community in the Port of New York and New Jersey immediately after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. (9/11/06). - Dennis L. Bryant


UK – master fined for Colregs violation - The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that the master of a freighter was fined £500 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000 for violating the collision regulations by navigating his vessel in the English Inshore Traffic Zone while on passage from Littlehampton to Dunkerque, contravening Rule 10(d). The master initially claimed that he had received permission from Dover Coastguard to utilize the inshore traffic zone, which is reserved for small vessels that can’t safely travel further offshore. (9/12/06). - Dennis L. Bryant

Lastly, even though it has nothing to do with Maritime, be sure to check out this post at the Ice Blog, the Journal of a Polar Bear in Iraq.

Previous Editions:

Maritime Monday 1 - 26

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Saturday, September 16

Early International No Smoking Sign

I posted this image back in March of this year of an International No Smoking sign.

I first saw this sign as a photocopy in 1995 while I was working in the Port of Charleston, in South Carolina. I liked it and took a copy. The ladies in the office did not know where it came from, other than it being taped to the wall for as long as anyone could remember.

( Click to enlarge)

So one day I run across a similar sign in the photo below taken in Saudi Arabia in the late '40s.

Sign on the shack at Ras Tanura. In addition to the No Smoking sign in about ten languages, it reads No Shore Leave, No Dock Leave - Saudi Arab Customs - Violation of this rule will stop loading immediately. Taken in 1947 while aboard T-2 Tanker SS Jeanny (ex - Allatoona ) - Provided by Chuck Durand
You would think that people would not want to smoke around an oil tanker. I worked on a gasoline tanker for 3 months. There was a "fire line" on the stern where you could smoke while underway. I thought that was crazy enough, but was told that they used to have barbeques on deck as well. (I had to keep telling myself that the ship was 40 years old and had not blown up in that time, so my three months was nothing to worry about.)

Ship pictures by Chuck Durand
Smoking Can Cause a Slow and Painful Death - Marlboro - FFI

Jesus and Muslims

So the Pope has upset a couple of Muslims and (just to prove that he is right,) they are out rioting around the world. Perhaps the Pope should have gone a little further and claim that the Koran is offensive to Christians because it "denies the story of the crucifixion of Jesus." In other words, the Koran teaches Muslims that Christians believe in a lie. Shouldn't Christians take offense to that?

For those of you who did not take advantage of CAIR's offer for a free Koran, you can read it at this online version. (Page 154, comment number 171 in the book.) No need to read the whole thing, skim through to the sections in red.
4: 155
And so, [We punished them*] for the break­ing of their pledge, and their refusal to acknowledge God's messages, and their slaying of prophets against all right, and their boast, "Our hearts are already full of knowledge"- nay, but God has sealed their hearts in result of their denial of the truth, and [now] they believe in but few things - ;** (4: 156) and for their refusal to acknowledge the truth, and the awesome calumny which they utter against Mary,*** (4: 157) and their boast, "Behold, we have slain the Christ Jesus, son of Mary, [who claimed to be] an apostle of God!" However, they did not slay him, and neither did they crucify him, but it only seemed to them [as if it had been] so;**** and, verily, those who hold conflict­ing views thereon are indeed confused, having no [real] knowledge thereof, and following mere con­jecture. For, of a certainty, they did not slay him: (4: 158) nay, God exalted him unto Himself***** - and God is indeed almighty, wise. (4: 159) Yet there is not one of the followers of earlier revelation who does not, at the moment of his death, grasp the truth about Jesus;****** and on the Day of Resurrection he [himself] shall bear witness to the truth against them.

Footnotes and commentary:
*The statement relating to their punishment - clearly implied here - is made explicit in verse.
**See 2: 88 and the corresponding notes.
***The calumny referred to is the popular Jewish assertion that Jesus was an illegitimate child.
****Thus, the Qur’an categorically denies the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. There exist, among Muslims, many fanciful legends telling us that at the last moment God substituted for Jesus a person closely resembling him (according to some accounts, that person was Judas), who was subsequently crucified in his place. However, none of these legends finds the slightest support in the Qur’an or in authentic Traditions, and the stories produced in this connection by the classical commentators must be summarily rejected. They represent no more than confused attempts at "harmonizing" the Qur’anic statement that Jesus was not crucified with the graphic description, in the Gospels, of his crucifixion. The story of the crucifixion as such has been succinctly explained in the Qur’anic phrase wa-lakin shubbiha lahum, which I render as "but it only appeared to them as if it had been so" - implying that in the course of time, long after the time of Jesus, a legend had somehow grown up (possibly under the then-powerful influence of Mithraistic beliefs) to the effect that he had died on the cross in order to atone for the "original sin" with which mankind is allegedly burdened; and this legend became so firmly established among the latter-day followers of Jesus that even his enemies, the Jews, began to believe it - albeit in a derogatory sense (for crucifixion was, in those times, a heinous form of death-penalty reserved for the lowest of criminals). This, to my mind, is the only satisfactory explanation of the phrase wa-lakin shubbiha lahum, the more so as the expression shubbiha li is idiomatically synonymous with khuyyila 1i, "[a thing] became a fancied image to me", i.e., "in my mind" - in other words, "[it] seemed to me" (see Qamus, art. khayala, as well as Lane II, 833, and IV, 1500).
*****Cf. 3: 55, where God says to Jesus, "Verily, I shall cause thee to die, and shall exalt thee unto Me." The verb rafa ahu (lit., "he raised him" or "elevated him") has always, whenever the act of raf’ ("elevating") of a human being is attributed to God, the meaning of "honouring" or "exalting". Nowhere in the Qur’an is there any warrant for the popular belief that God has "taken up" Jesus bodily, in his lifetime, into heaven. The expression "God exalted him unto Himself" in the above verse denotes the elevation of Jesus to the realm of God's special grace - a blessing in which all prophets partake, as is evident from 19: 57, where the verb rafa nahu ("We exalted him") is used with regard to the Prophet Idris. (See also Muhammad ‘Abduh in Manar III, 316 f., and VI, 20f.) The "nay" (bal) at the beginning of the sentence is meant to stress the contrast between the belief of the Jews that they had put Jesus to a shameful death on the cross and the fact of God's having "exalted him unto Himself".
******Lit., "who does not believe in him before his death". According to this verse, all believing Jews and Christians realize at the moment of their death that Jesus was truly a prophet of God - having been neither an impostor nor "the son of God" (Zamakhshari). - Extract of the Fourth Surah
Why do I not care what they think of my belief? How do we get them to feel the same way? Why are supposedly 'tough' Muslims so sensitive?

The Message of The Quran by Muhammad Asad

Update: 27 November 2006

Get a load of the sign in the picture:

("Jesus is not son of God. He is Prophet of Islam.").

Fine, if that is what she wants to believe but millions of people will disagree with her. Unfortunately, in her world, we cannot disagree with her proclamation. There will be no global outrage over the insult to Christianity that the sign in the photo is. However, look at the outrage over a couple cartoons of Mohammad, like this one:

There is a basic problem here and that is one of Muslims ignoring the problems within their own religion. Those who care enough brush off the link between terrorists and Islam with the comment that Islam was Hijacked. I call bull on that lame excuse.


Tuesday, September 12

Strong Argument for the Death Penalty

In the ongoing Lebanon saga (really Hezbollah saga), we now have the (criminal) leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, declare that the two kidnapped Israeli soldiers that they hold will not be released until Israel releases a Lebanese prisoner that they are holding.

Hezbollah has always claimed that their kidnapping was done as an act to force Israel to release Lebanese prisoners that they hold. (Israel claims to be holding only three) This was also not the first time that they have done this, the last time in 2003, when they traded the bodies of three soldiers that they kidnapped and then murdered in 2000 for over 400 prisoners. However, their actions are centered around freeing only one Lebanese prisoner, Samir Kuntar (Qantar).
Hezbollah's leader has said two Israeli soldiers held by his group will only be released if a Lebanese militant held by Israel for 27 years is also freed. Hassan Nasrallah said that any deal with Israel would have to include Samir Qantar, convicted of several murders after a cross-border raid in 1979.

The capture of two Israeli soldiers in July sparked a month-long conflict. - BBC
For starters, Israel has good reason why they have held Samir. He took part in a raid into Israel where a number of Israelis were murdered, including by Samir himself. The BBC article pretty much white-washed over important details of the murders, so here is a better description as found in Wikipedia:
After taking the hostages, Kuntar's group took Danny and Einat down to the beach, where a shootout with Israeli policemen and soldiers erupted. Samir Kuntar shot the father, Danny, at close range in front of his daughter in the back and drowned him in the sea to ensure he was dead. Next, he smashed the 4 year old girl's head, Einat, on beach rocks and crushed her skull with the butt of his rifle. - Wiki
Four-year old Einat's younger sister also died, smothered by their mother in an attempt to keep the child from making noise and revealing their position to Samir's terror group. Initially, he was to receive the death penalty, but for some idiotic PC (politically-correct) reasons (to not upset Egypt ) he was not, receiving multiple life sentences instead. That has been an unfortunate mistake as Israel has since lost a number of soldiers in the terrorist's attempts to gain his release. If only he was executed years ago, then his imprisonment would have stopped being an issue years ago.

An execution is forever and nothing Hezbollah could do would ever bring him back.

This is something to think about as the US gets ready to bring a number of terrorists now being held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

This is also a perfect example of how you cannot negotiate with terrorists. Israel has been pushed to comply with the UN mandated cease-fire. Part of the cease-fire called for the immediate release of the captured Israeli soldiers. Nasrallah's refusal to release the kidnapped soldiers is just a little more proof that you cannot negotiate with these animals and that the UN did Israel a disservice by stepping into the middle of the fight.

At what point are we going to learn that our kindness (and our compassion) is going to get us all killed? We really need to change the way how we fight these people.

Update: 13 September 2006
Today's NY Post has this example of the US still being PC when dealing with terrorists. The most amazing part of this story is that the frustration of the military members who were prevented from taking out some terrorists was made public:

WASHINGTON - Taliban terror leaders who had gathered for a funeral - and were secretly being watched by an eye-in-the-sky American drone - dodged assassination because U.S. rules of engagement bar attacks in cemeteries, according to a shocking report. U.S. intelligence officers in Afghanistan are still fuming about the recent lost opportunity for an easy kill of Taliban honchos packed in tight formation for the burial, NBC News reported. - NY Post

As if the Taliban (or Hezbollah) have rules of engagement.

Further Update:
Here is a pic of taliban gathered for the funeral:

As found on Confederate Yankee.

Nasrallah demands militant freed - BBC

Monday, September 11

World Trade Center Tribute

Today is the 5th anniversary of the attacks on the US, starting with the hijacking of 4 commercial airliners with no survivors from the flights and the destruction of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in NY, severe damage to the Pentagon and thousands dead.

There is a tribute to those who died called 2996 where the goal is to pay a tribute to each victim who lost their life that day. Click on the image to go to the homepage for the project:

One of the victims was Glenn Winuk. I wrote about him last year here.

I did not know anyone who died that day. I did know people that worked around the world trade center. My parents were part of the massive effort undertaken just after the attacks. My mother was a Red Cross volunteer serving meals at Ground Zero. My father was a Verizon employee who volunteered to rebuild the phone connections that were severed when the towers fell. (The Verizon phone exchange was one of the buildings adjacent to the WTC complex and was heavily damaged.) My father was injured while working there and spent a night in the hospital.

While I did not know any victims, I did know the buildings very well, visiting them often. So I would like to pay tribute to the buildings themselves. They were a beauty to see any they were an amazing example of what man can accomplish. (All photos: Fred Fry)

Landing at LaGuardia Airport

Returning from sea. March '93, just after the first WTC attack.

May '94

View of NY Harbor from the South Tower. December, 2000.

Op Sail 1992

Summer '94

September, 1990 (Soviet Sail Training ship DRUZBA)

North tower obscuring the South Tower. Sept, 1990.

Update: 12 September 2006

Go see a 4 minute highlight video of the construction of the Twin Towers over at Hot Air.

Maritime Monday 26

Welcome to this 26th edition of Maritime Monday.

This Weeks Photos:
Here are a couple of photos from my fourth and last visit to the U.S. Navy-Military Sealift Command (MSC)/MARAD fire training facility in Earle, NJ. This is in 2000 and was my second trip for basic firefighting (renewal). Other trips were basic and advance firefighting and damage control.

Fred Fry entering the USNS FIRE QUEEN Engine Room

This weeks items:

The Stupid Shall Be Punished (Sub Blog) has news of a fire onboard the Russian Submarine DANIIL MOSKOVSKY resulting in two deaths.

EagleSpeak has news that terrorists might be checking out Washington State's ferry system. In a related post, he covers port security 5 years after 9/11.

Hello Estonia has news of the Panama-Flag tanker PROBO KOALA causing concern in the Baltic. The tanker recently discharged toxic petroleum waste dumped in the Ivory Coast resulted in the deaths of 3 locals and injury of 1,500. Relief Web has more on the sad story.

The Intelligence Summit has news of Cyprus impounding a Panama-Flag cargo vessel suspected of carrying weapons bound for Syria.

Ms. Sizzle Says should have a tribute (not yet posted as of publishing) to Merchant Mariner John Corcoran (First Engineer) who was killed on 9/11. He was flying to the West Coast to catch a ship when his flight was hijacked as part of the attack.

Sailors, Mariners & Warriors League has news of a collision between the cargo ships DEALER and VINDO off Dover in the English Channel. As it so happens they were communicating with each other when the collision occurred.

Bellona Foundation has the news of the removal of the last submarine from Russia's Greminka base.

Ocraworldwide has news that "Dubai Ports World Plans Major North American Investment" in Vancouver, Canada. (I just wonder what Dubai Ports World will do once Congress adjourns with NONE of the Anti-DPW-Owning-Anything-in-the-US hysteria legislation being passed into law. Might they just keep their US operations?)

Nunatsiaq News has coverage of the 100th anniversary of the first European vessel to transit the Northwest Passage, accomplished by Norwegen Roald Amundsen.
Logistics Management has news of Shanghai setting a port record in August for number of containers they have handled in a month.

Navy Newsstand has the news of the closure of Naval Air Station Keflavik in Iceland.

Schlumberger has some reference material for the Offshore Oil Industry; The i-Handbook, an electronic version of the (Well Services) Field Data Handbook and The Oilfield Glossary.

UK's Timesonline has a story on the dangers of small-boat sailing in the English Channel.

When the Songbird Sings has satellites photos of the Guimaras oil spill.

Newswatch 50 has the news of the grounding of the Greek-Flag TORO in the St. Lawrence Seaway.

There is a new book out covering the USS SAMUEL B ROBERTS during it's duty in the Persian Gulf escorting (re-flagged) Kuwaiti tankers. It's called "No Higher Honor". For those who don't know/remember, the Roberts struck an Iranian mine. Read chapter 1 here which covers the moment the vessel struck the mine.

Google images of this and previous vessels with the name here. Read the amazing story of the heroism of US Navy Coxswain Roberts here.

Cdr. Salamander comments on having an aggressive (effective) maritime blockade.

Neo-Neocon has a post on pirates and terrorists.

From Haight's Maritime Items:

UK – investigation of grounding on Goodwin Sands - The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued the report of its investigation into the grounding of a freight vessel on Goodwin Sands on 12 February 2006. The primary cause of the grounding was that the master, who was alone on the bridge, fell asleep and missed a course change. Secondary causes included that the master was exhausted and drunk, that the lookout had been sent below, and that company audits had failed to detect that the ship had not complied with the company’s safety management plan. The bridge watch alarm had not been activated, primarily because the master was unaware that the ship had been fitted with the alarm. The master was later convicted of operating the ship while intoxicated and he was sentenced to seven months imprisonment. Report No. 24/2006 (9/1/06). .

From Fairplay International Shipping Weekly:

BC Ferries lawsuits 'more likely' VANCOUVER 07 September – Lawsuits following the sinking of BC Ferries' Queen of the North are becoming increasingly more likely. Lawyers in a still-to-be-certified class action suit against the ferry corporation were successful yesterday in adding several crewmembers to the suit in addition to the crew members who were on the bridge at the time of the accident. The complainants, Alex and Maria Kotai, who lost their household belongings in the accident, were successful in adding the ship's captain, the fourth officer and a deckhand to the suit, claiming the accident was the result of "recklessness", which is a significantly greater charge than "negligence" and removes the cap on damages if they are successful. The Queen of the North struck Gil Island, British Columbia, in the middle of the night of 22 March and quickly sank. With the exception of two passengers, all on board survived the sinking. In addition to adding other crewmember to the class action, the lawsuit claims there was also a "temporary abandonment of duties". If successful the crewmembers named could be held liable for damages..


Fatal shooting on Phils ferryMANILA 08 September – The Sulpicio Lines passenger/cargo ferry Cagayan Princess was the scene of a murder today, with the killing of a former governor of Biliran province aboard the ship in Cebu port in the early hours of this morning. Danilo Parilla died in a nearby hospital after being shot in the back of his head by his assailant with a .45 calibre pistol. The gunman was also aboard the ferry, Sea Sentinel’s sources have ascertained, suggesting that ship security had failed in allowing the armed man aboard. Parilla was queuing to disembark from the Cagayan Princess after it docked at Pier 4 in Cebu port when he was shot, according to a police report. Terminal police immediately arrested the gunman. He is said already to have assaulted Parilla, at the Naval Pier in Biliran on 2 September, after the former governor accused him of involvement in a robbery. - Fairplay

Previous Editions:
Maritime Monday 1 - 25

Submission Guidelines:
Look here for more details: Submission Guidelines

You do not have to be the author to submit a blog post or news story. Feel free to suggest something that you think is worth sharing.

No sponsors for this week. You can sponsor this week's post retroactively. Then again, if you are interested in doing that, then you might consider sponsoring an upcoming post. Check the submission guidelines for more details.

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Monday, September 4

Presidential Choppers on the National Mall

We were walking around the National Mall in Washington, DC this morning and ended up being front row for a little Presidential Helicopter show.

They landed right on the Mall in order to collect the Press Corp.

He was on his way to the Seafarers International Union, SIU, at Piney Point, Maryland.

President George W. Bush addresses a Labor Day observance at a maritime training institute in Piney Point, Maryland, September 4, 2006. Bush pitched his tax cuts as the best way to help U.S. workers, but said the country's dependence on foreign oil was threatening economic growth. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) - Yahoo News

Happy Labor Day!

Sunday, September 3

Maritime Monday 25

Welcome to this Labor Day (US) edition of Maritime Monday.

This Weeks Photos:
How exactly do those huge container cranes arrive at the port? As cargo of course, but just how do you discharge them? It's not like they can lift themselves off the ship. You roll them off of course. The following photos are from delivery of cranes at Vancouver's Deltaport Terminal:

(Arrival at Deltaport terminal in Vancouver, Canada - April 05)

(Rolling a crane off the ship.)

View the whole series here. They are on the TSI Terminal Systems site, which is the operator of the Deltaport Terminal. The company's photo gallery is here.

This weeks items:

EagleSpeak has a photo and update on the Sea-based x-band radar platform.

Dockwise is/was the company transporting the SBX. Check their site for more pics and a video.

Russos has pictures from inside an abandoned Soviet Nuclear Submarine Base located in Balaklava, Ukraine. There is an English summary at the bottom of the page.

Sailors, Mariners & Warriors League has the news that the Port of Vancouver is suffering a slowdown as the local union is not able to provided the needed amount of Longshoremen.

EU Referendum has the story of "predatory EU third country fishing agreements" contributing to the mass migration from Africa to Europe. (Are they following their fish?)

Logistics Management has news that the Port of New Orleans has surpassed pre-Katrina tonnage levels, despite losing 25% of its terminal facilities. (5-year average.) Seems none of the news programs revisiting New Orleans bothered to mention that.

Armed-Guard.com has news of the recent award of a Russian Jubilee Medal to WWII Navy Armed Gunner Theodore McConley who was assigned to a merchant ship ferrying supplies to Russia.

The International Maritime Bureau has released a Google Maps mashup "Live Piracy Map" where piracy attacks will be uploaded within 24 hours of being reported.

Kuam News has coverage of an accident in Guam's shipyard, where two Civilian Mariners from the USNS SAN JOSE fell while painting, resulting in one death. (USNS SAN JOSE website here.)

Turks.US has coverage of Turkey's decision to ban the vessel OTAPAN from Turkish shipbreakers. Ship Photos has a picture of the vessel during it's 7 year stay in Amsterdam.

Foreign Policy Magizine has a photo essay on shipbreaking at Chittigong.

More Chittigong photos at Pbase.

SchiffsPhoto.de has recordings of various ship's horns.

The Stupid Shall Be Punished (Sub Blog) has "The Legend of the Midnight EOOW."

Murdoc Online has the story of two WWII era Coast Guard Cutters still in service in Alaska, but perhaps not for much longer.

From Haight's Maritime Items:

UK – lifeboat design study - The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) posted an 84-page study that it commissioned on the development of lifeboat design. The study confirmed that most of the serious accidents involving lifeboats occur because of problems with the on-load release hooks. It recommends that the safety and stability of all lifeboat on-load release hooks be demonstrated by means of a safety case regime, subject to independent review. MCA Research Project 555 (3/27/06).

From Fairplay International Shipping Weekly:

Polish yard subsidy report still awaited
BRUSSELS 04 September – EU Competition commissioner Neelie Kroes is believed to be still waiting for the report from the Polish government justifying the substantial subsidies that have been awarded to shipyards in Gdansk, Gdynia and Szczecin over the past year. The government set a deadline of Thursday 31 August and a letter was apparently faxed over on Friday to confirm that the report would be provided today. If the EU judges the subsidies, amounting to over euro450M ($579M) for restructuring and nearly euro1.7Bn in export guarantees since Poland joined the EU, are illegal they might have to be returned. At issue here is one of Poland’s largest industries and the second largest shipbuilding industry in Europe. Without some level of support there could be serious implications for the future of the Polish yards. - Fairplay

Previous Editions:
Maritime Monday 1 - 24

Submission Guidelines:
Look here for more details: Submission Guidelines

You do not have to be the author to submit a blog post or news story. Feel free to suggest something that you think is worth sharing.

No sponsors for this week. You can sponsor this week's post retroactively. Then again, if you are interested in doing that, then you might consider sponsoring an upcoming post. Check the submission guidelines for more details.

Feedback Welcomed!


Friday, September 1

Iran's Segregated Population

Here are some screenshots from last night's ABC World News tonight report on Iran's nuclear program featuring a speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad celebrating his country's defiance of the 'will of the International Community.' (Watch the report here.) Of course they made no mention of the crowd being segregated.

The madman himself

The Women's Section.

The Men's Section.

Just how do they find each other after these events, or do they just meet up back home? When you watch the report, it is kind of funny because in each scene there are either men or women. Even the scene of the pres driving down the street, the crowd looks 100% men. I have no problem with them doing that, there. But we allowed the Taliban to do this sort of crap and once they were finished, got pissed off that we didn't do the same with our women. Eventually the same will happen in Iran when all their women want to flee.

Of course his entourage is all men.

Then there is the small issue that they are continuing their march towards a bomb. Now let's watch the UN once again do nothing about this.

Iran Claims right to nukes - ABC News