Published on ChuckBaldwinLive.com on January 21st, 2016:
Here are two factual cases involving two separate countries. The cases both begin similarly but have drastically different endings.
A foreign naval vessel is lumbering in international waters. It is flying a brand new 8’x5’ flag, which unmistakably identifies it as a major ally of the country whose coastline is nearest the ship. The ship’s markings are ten feet high on both sides. It is not a warship. It is an intelligence-gathering ship. For all intents and purposes, it is defenseless against any warship or attack aircraft having but four .50-calibre Browning machine guns without shrapnel shields as its only offensive weapons. On board are 286 souls.
Suddenly, and without provocation, the supposed “ally” nation attacks the ship with both warplanes and torpedo boats. For over an hour, the helpless ship is riddled with machine-gun fire, rockets, and torpedoes. Within moments, the ship is completely disabled. As it seems certain that the ship will sink, lifeboats are lowered, but the attacking torpedo boats immediately riddle the lifeboats with gunfire. Helicopters from the aggressive country carrying Special Forces troops hover over the ship, which is now listing at nine degrees. Clearly, the attacking country intends that no one survive.
The ship has no engines, no rudder, and no power. As the Special Forces soldiers from the attacking country are being positioned to launch their final assault, the ship’s Captain barks, “Standby to repel boarders.” One sailor yells, “They’ve come to finish us off.”
The only thing that saves that ship and those survivors that day is eight warplanes from a nearby aircraft carrier that had heard the initial “Mayday” cry from the ship. This caused the attacking country to withdraw. As it was, 34 of the ship’s officers and crew are killed and only a divine miracle and superhuman, Herculean effort from the sailors in the bowels of that steel graveyard keeps that ship afloat. When the attack first began, one general from the attacking country protested to his commanding officer saying, “This is pure murder.”