The End of the Flimsy Surface Ship Navy is Here

By Mike Sparks

Recovered front of the ROKS Cheonan

The Warning: Ignored

James Bond is For Real.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baengnyeong_incident

March 26, 2010.

Like a scene from out of a James Bond movie, a very light 1, 200 ton Republic of South Korea Ship (ROKS) Anti-Submarine Warfare (AWS) coastal defense corvette, the Cheonan is sailing at night by Baengnyeong island. At 9:22 P.M. local time, an explosion underneath her stern breaks the ship in two and she sinks, taking 46 men to their deaths.

Forward Looking Infared picture of the ROKS Cheonan split into two

Here is what it looked like intact; compare to what was recovered at the top of this page.

Pohang class ASW corvette like the ROKS Cheonan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pohang_class_corvette

At 21:21:57 (12:21:57 UTC) of 26 March 2010, an explosion (or two explosions) occurred for 1~2 seconds at the stern of the ROKS Cheonan (PCC-772), causing a power stoppage and inflow of oil and seawater, and the ship heeled 90 degrees to the right very fast. When the crew went out to the deck, they found the stern already submerged. At 22:40, the Navy and the Coast Guard rescued 58 sailors, including the captain, from the crew of 104; 46 were reported missing.[4] The ship sank around 01:00 of 27 March 2010.

The bow floated 4 miles to the southeast from the explosion site, then submerged completely at 22:30 of 27 March 2010.

The "official" investigation later concludes a torpedo fired from a North Korean diesel-electric mini-submarine created a "bubble jet" under the stern of the Cheonan likely homing in on her propeller sounds in the water, though a torpedo can be launched as a sea mine from the ocean floor like the CAPTOR. Wiki notes:

On 25 April 2010, Defense Minister Kim said that the most likely cause of the explosion that sank the Cheonan was a torpedo; his statements were the first time that a South Korean official publicly cited such a cause. Kim said that "A bubble jet caused by a heavy torpedo is thought to be the most likely thing to be blamed, but various other possibilities are also under review." A bubble jet is caused by an underwater explosion which changes the pressure of water, and whose force can cause a ship to break apart. The bubble jet theory was supported by one of the investigators into the incident, who had said that there was no evidence that an explosion had occurred in contact with a ship, and that a non-contact explosion had most likely broken the ship in half.[31]

Traces of RDX explosives (more lethal than TNT) used in size-constrained torpedoes were reported found. Debris from a North Korean CHT-02D torpedo is SAID to have been dredged up during the recovery was displayed. Wiki elaborates:

The torpedo parts recovered at the site of the explosion by a dredging ship on May 15, which include the 5x5 bladed contra-rotating propellers, propulsion motor and a steering section, perfectly match the schematics of the CHT-02D torpedo included in introductory brochures provided to foreign countries by North Korea for export purposes. The markings in Hangul, which reads "1" (or No. 1 in English), found inside the end of the propulsion section, is consistent with the marking of a previously obtained North Korean torpedo. Russian and Chinese torpedoes are marked in their respective languages. The CHT-02D torpedo manufactured by North Korea utilizes acoustic/wake homing and passive acoustic tracking methods.[45]

 

Display of the alleged North Korean CHT-02D torpedo that sank the ROKS Cheonan

Motive for the North Korean attack is ostensibly REVENGE for the previous naval skirmish where the South Korean Navy severely damaged a North Korean ship.

However, an alternative theory is that since U.S. Naval forces were conducting an "exercise" with the ROKs at the time, some suspect the Cheonan sinking was a false flag attack done by USN SEALs who emplaced torpedo-launching sea mine(s) to instigate a new Korean war.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baengnyeong_incident

The disaster took place precisely in the waters where what the Pentagon has called "one of the world's largest simulated exercises" was underway. This war exercise, known as "Key Resolve/Foal Eagle" was launched on March 8 and was slated to continue until April 30.[15][16]

The Key Resolve/Foal Eagle exercise on the West Sea near the Northern Limit Line (NLL) was aimed at keeping a more watchful eye on North Korea as well as training for the destruction of weapons of mass destruction in the North. It involved scores of ultra-modern U.S. and South Korean warships equipped with the latest technology.[16]

If all of this "latest technology" was in play, why then did they let a North Korean mini-submarine successfully attack one of the exercise's ships?

North Korean Mini-Submarine of Yono Type Alleged to have Sunk the ROKS Cheonan

On 9/11/2001 "terrorist airliner" drills were being conducted when the real attacks occurred. The same thing happened during the London Tube bombings. Since we see the same M.O. at work here, we must keep this explanation open as a possibility. Possible U.S. motives would be to perpetuate the USMC occupation racket in Okinawa--as well as ratchet up war weapons production profits in a hot shooting war. Details:

http://echkelon.blogspot.com/search/label/Beijing%20suspects%20false%20flag%20attack%20on%20South%20Korean%20corvette

Beijing suspects false flag attack on South Korean corvette

WMR's intelligence sources in Asia suspect that the March attack on the South Korean Navy anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, the Cheonan, was a false flag attack designed to appear as coming from North Korea.

One of the main purposes for increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula was to apply pressure on Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to reverse course on moving the U.S. marine corps base off Okinawa. Hatoyama has admitted that the tensions over the sinking of the Cheonan played a large part in his decision to allow the U.S. marines to remain on Okinawa. Hatoyama's decision has resulted in a split in the ruling center-left coalition government, a development welcome in Washington, with Mizuho Fukushima, the Social Democratic Party leader threatening to bolt the coalition over the Okinawa reversal.

The Cheonan was sunk near Baengnyeong Island, a westernmost spot that is far from South Korean coast, but opposite the North Korean coast. The island is heavily militarized and within artillery fire range of North Korean coastal defenses, which lie across a narrow channel.

The Cheonan, an ASW corvette, was decked out with state-of-the-art sonar, plus it was operating in waters with extensive hydrophone sonar arrays and acoustic underwater sensors. There is no South Korean sonar or audio evidence of a torpedo, submarine or mini-sub in the area. Since there is next to no shipping in the channel, the sea was silent at the time of the sinking.

However, Baengnyeong Island hosts a joint U.S.-South Korea military intelligence base and the U.S. Navy SEALS operate out of the base. In addition, four U.S. Navy ships were in the area, part of the joint U.S-South Korean Exercise Foal Eagle, during the sinking of the Cheonan. An investigation of the suspect torpedo's metallic and chemical fingerprints show it to be of German manufacture. There are suspicions that the U.S. Navy SEALS maintains a sampling of European torpedoes for sake of plausible deniability for false flag attacks. Also, Berlin does not sell torpedoes to North Korea, however, Germany does maintain a close joint submarine and submarine weapons development program with Israel.

The presence of the USNS Salvor, one of the participants in Foal Eagle, so close to Baengnyeong Island during the sinking of the South Korean corvette also raises questions.

The Salvor, a civilian Navy salvage ship, which participated in mine laying activities for the Thai Marines in the Gulf of Thailand in 2006, was present near the time of the blast with a complement of 12 deep sea divers.

Beijing, satisfied with North Korea's Kim Jong Il's claim of innocence after a hurried train trip from Pyongyang to Beijing, suspects the U.S. Navy's role in the Cheonan's sinking, with particular suspicion on the role of the Salvor. The suspicions are as follows:

1. The Salvor engaged in a seabed mine-installation operation, in other words, attaching horizontally fired anti-submarine mines on the sea floor in the channel.

2. The Salvor was doing routine inspection and maintenance on seabed mines, and put them into an electronic active mode (hair trigger release) as part of the inspection program. [or]

3. A SEALS diver attached a magnetic mine to the Cheonan, as part of a covert program aimed at influencing public opinion in South Korea, Japan and China.

The Korean peninsula tensions have conveniently overshadowed all other agenda items on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visits to Beijing and Seoul.

On the other hand, the North Koreans are definitely dastardly enough to fire a torpedo at a ROK ship--because in the past they have blown up entire airliners and gotten away with it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Air_Flight_858

The current dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong Il in 1987 ordered a South Korean airliner full of innocent people blown up and one of the agents who did it, failed to commit suicide. Upon imprisonment, the sexy one-time actress had a change of heart after seeing the peaceful South Korean way of life, so she revealed that he ordered the murder.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Hyon_Hui

No international tribunal has tried Kim Jong Il and convicted him as the war criminal that he is. South Korea should stop letting North Korea push her around and frankly should invade them and unify their country. We can argue over who sank the Cheonan, but the North Koreans have already done numerous acts of war against the South to justify an all-out war to put an end to the communist regime there. That "war" could be a complete economic and cultural embargo that forces the people there to revolt; it doesn't necessarily imply an overt military invasion.

What Are The Military Reform Implications of the Cheonan Sinking?

What U.S. Navy and marine corps (Navy/Mc) military reform lessons learned can we take from the ROKS Cheonan sinking? Is the surface ship dead on the modern precision guided munitions (PGM) naval battlefield as Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) pundits have been warning us about for years?

www.combatreform.org/TRANSFORMATIONUNDERFIRE/index.htm

At least the South Koreans have seen the need to reform their military. Wki reports:

On May 4, President Lee proposed "extensive reformations" for the South Korean military regarding the sinking incident.[53]

Let's examine what this sinking means for future naval warfare.

Blind: Not Enough Eyes

The first step towards not being a door mat is to have a Navy that cannot be easily sunk. The absurdity of an "Anti-Submarine" ship being sunk by a submarine should not be lost on the reader. The reality is that a surface ship today pinging around itself with active sonar or listening passively CANNOT stop an enemy submarine from waiting in ambush at a safe stand-off from sinking it. Trying to stop submarine attack at one's own main body is too late. If the Cheonan was sunk by a North Korean mini-submarine torpedo launched from 3 kilometers away, clearly ship-mounted sensors do not provide adequate protection. The submarine has the advantage over the surface ship of being undetected and being able to shoot first. Understanding this reality, the surface ship should compensate to gain an OVERMATCH by being able to put many aircraft into the air to spoil any submarine's attack by seeing it first and failing that, if the sub strikes first, not be so flimsy as to be easily sunk.

In 1939, the German pocket battleship, the Graf Spee began sinking civilian cargo ships whom Britain depended on for her survival. Armed with 11" guns she could out-range the British light and heavy cruisers fast enough to catch her. Nevertheless, she had one flaw: her AR-196 seaplane was unreliable and not able to fly often to look out over the horizon. Seizing documents from an earlier ship she boarded then sunk, the Graf Spee waited for cargo ships off the coast of South America. However, as these ships approached she couldn't put her seaplane into the air to discover who they were and British cruiser shells began to fall. Though severely damaging a British heavy cruiser, two British light cruisers stood back from a safe stand-off and harried the Graf Spee's captain into running for sanctuary in the waters of the port in Uruguay. Commander Ian Fleming's naval intelligence section cons him into thinking through psyops that an entire Royal Navy task force with the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal is waiting, so the Graf Spee's captain scuttles his ship and commits suicide.

The point here is that without its own seaplanes, a surface ship is dead meat even if well armed and armed; lesser vessels can stay at a stand-off and force it into ruin. Today's ships have short-range and limited endurance helicopters that simply cannot fly long enough and far enough to provide the needed outer defensive circle. Today's bloated aircraft carriers manned by 5, 000 would-be victims lack the quantity and types of aircraft needed to control the seas because the USN naval aviator only wants to fly sexy fighter-bombers. Today's short-range F/A-18 fighter-bomber only carriers are at extreme risk of being easily sunk in the face of multiple PGM attacks.

Flimsy: Not Armored Enough


The WW2 heavy cruiser USS Pittsburgh had its entire bow ripped off in a hurricane yet it sailed itself back to base for repairs

An excellent description of what high explosives (HE) does when employed against surface ships is found on WIKI at the link below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_mine

The main point--that the Navy/Mc do not get--is that HE blasts under water are NOT the same as in the air where the effects dissipate through that thin medium.

www.combatreform.org/highexplosives.htm

Explosions underwater are MAGNIFIED. Read that again.

Explosions underwater are MAGNIFIED.

We knew this from U.S. Army Air Corps Brigadier General Billy Mitchell's 1921 aircraft bombing tests where a German battleship captured from WW1 was sunk by underwater shock effect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Mitchell

Alexander Seversky, a veteran Russian pilot who had bombed German ships in the Great War, joined the effort, suggesting the bombers aim near the ships so that expanding water pressure from the underwater blasts would stave in and separate hull plates. Further discussion with Captain Alfred Wilkinson Johnson, Commander, Air Force, Atlantic fleet aboard USS Shawmut, confirmed that near-miss bombs would inflict more damage than direct hits; near-misses would cause an underwater concussive effect against the hull.[10][11]

At this point, 2,000 lb bombs were loaded and a flight was dispatched consisting of two Handley-Page O/400 and six NBS-1 bombers. One Handley Page dropped out for mechanical reasons, but the NBS-1s dropped six bombs in quick succession between 12:18 p.m. and 12:31 p.m., aiming for the water near the ship. There were no direct hits but three of the bombs landed close enough to rip hull plates as well as cause the ship to roll over. The ship sank at 12:40 p.m., 22 minutes after the first bomb, with a seventh bomb dropped by the Handley Page on the foam rising up from the sinking ship.[14] Nearby the site, observing, were various foreign and domestic officials aboard the USS Henderson.

The ROKS surface ship sinking from a bubble jet shock wave is a reality of weapons design that has been known for years within the few professionals that populate the world's navies but ignorantly and blissfully ignored by the rank & file sailor looking forward to liberty call so he can get drunk and find women to have sex with. The petty bureaucrats within the Navy/Mc are oblivious to the fact that modern HE weaponry seeks to explode UNDERNEATH the surface ship hull to magnify the explosion to lethal consequences. This naval weaponry is drastically ahead of any countermeasures since the Navy/Mc bureaucracy is ignorant about them as it frolics around the world in fatally-flawed, flimsy surface ships.

The Navy/Mc has failed to even heed the lessons from WW2 which at the end was beginning to show the effects of precision guided HE munitions via human kamikaze aircraft and early anti-ship missiles.

www.combatreform.org/midwaymyth.htm

The first lesson is that ships under 10, 000 tons to meet the 1921 Washington Naval Treaty limits are not survivable against even unguided bombs, torpedoes and mines. Light cruisers in WW2 were clobbered. We lost hundreds of under 10, 000 ton ships in WW2. In contrast, our ships over 15, 000 tons--heavy cruisers and above--we lost ZERO. Read that again. Zero. We did not lose a single heavy cruiser in all of WW2. Moreover, we did not lose any battleships in WW2 that were MOVING. The battleships sunk at Pearl Harbor were stationary--sitting ducks. Anything that is sitting still can be destroyed; but something that is moving, fighting back and armored is an elusive and dangerous foe.

Yet, the U.S. Navy today is composed of under 10, 000 ton cruisers and destroyers packed full of aviation fuel, HE missiles and unfortunate people packed in a thin, gray shell ready to be exploded. Our bloated aircraft carriers while over 85, 000 tons are so full of aviation and ship fuel and bombs, missiles that just one explosion can set the whole deck aflame as LT. John McCain did to the USS Forrestal flight deck in 1967 with his immature prank.

www.combatreform.org/USNAVYINDANGER/index.htm

The ocean is a big place, to get adequate coverage of it a navy needs NUMBERS. So the excuse bureaucrats make is that we cannot put everyone in a heavy cruiser and above because we need smaller ships to get the required numbers by lower costs. We are not doing this with each 10, 000 ton light ship costing us $1B each. A ship that is sunk because it cannot defend itself is a TARGET--not a combat effect multiplier. USN combatants to hunt the enemy must not be the hunted. For $1B we should be able to get a hunter ship, and for the money we spend a Navy larger than a measly 300 ships, a 1/3 of whom are in port at any one time.

In all-out nation-state war, we need thousands of planes to scour the seas for enemy submarines and small surface combatants; this means having at least 30 or more container ships converted into aircraft carriers to escort oil tankers and container ships.

Visible: No Stealth

Today's USN gray ships with large superstructures are easily targeted by even simple platforms with the "Mark 1 eyeball".

This doesn't even include the space and air surveillance that can easily spot our ships. Many high technology countries can put spy satellites into orbit; Communist china has even put men into space. All of these consequences were warned about by LTG Gavin in his book, War and Peace in the Space Age in 1958:

www.combatreform.org/warandpeaceinthespaceage.htm

Yet our Navy/Mc operates like camouflage and stealth are not even required.

How has the U.S. Navy and Mc Failed to Comprehend and Adapt to the Pattern of War?

Publishing British General Tuker's book The Pattern of War does not mean you can just check it off that all is well.

VANILLA:

www.combatreform.org/FMFRP12-27ThePatternofWar.pdf

INTER-ACTIVE EXAMINATION:

www.combatreform.org/thepatternofwar.htm

You have to FORCE EVERYONE in the Navy/Mc to READ IT and to ACT ON IT. This is what PROFESSIONALS do.

The USN/Mc is a BUREAUCRACY--not a profession. The Navy/Mc are populated by weak, narcissistic egomaniacs bent on using the bureaucracy to lord it over those of lesser ranks.

www.combatreform.org/militarismsucks.htm

It's all about rank and power tyrants steering weak lemmings who want a set and safe routine to follow to reduce personal anxieties about life. This psychology of military incompetence is best described in former WW2 British Army combat engineer Norman Dixon's book, On the Psychology of Military Incompetence:

www.combatreform.org/thepsychologyofmilitaryincompetence.htm

The current Navy/Mc are so FUBAR the men and women populated our flimsy surface ships are not even wearing uniforms with water survival equipment as they will surely need once they are exploded into the sea. They operate their flimsy ships like giant horizontal filing cabinets; an office building of petty bureaucrats that is afloat on a deadly sea ready to kill everyone on board lulled into a false sense of security by years of peace and no human enemies attacking them.

The Solution

The first step would be to abolish General Billy Mitchell's conviction for bureaucratic insubordination. ANY military man who blows-the-whistle on misdeeds needs his warnings--not himself--investigated. The highest loyalty is bringing up problems so they can be corrected.

In the case of the Navy/Mc, there is only one way out, and that is to scrap the entire current U.S. Navy and Marine corps and start over--because the entire conglomeration is a disaster at sea waiting to happen.

Scrap the Navy/Mc bureaucracy and Build a Profession

First thing we need to do is abolish the USMC. The USMC is a sick and demented clusterfuck of malignant narcissists who have lied and conned the American people into thinking that by wearing pretty dress uniforms and acting like male prima donnas that they somehow are then physically and mentally competent in actual war. It doesn't work that way in real life. In real life, EVERY waking moment needs to be spent on FUNCTIONAL actions to have any hope in hell of being ready for war. Those that obsesses with vanity are not on-the-ball as we have seen--Beirut 1983, Nasiriyah, 2003 etc. and criminally negligent. The whole lie mythology package of the USMC is beyond salvage; keeping any of it intact invites weaklings to join the outfit and take-over the reins to create another incompetent ego club. No, the only option is to disband and PUBLICLY CONDEMN the USMC mentality as bad culture that does not work--and start over with a humble, hard-working naval maneuver force professional organization.

The best way to do this would be to create a sub-branch of the U.S. Army dedicated to be a Naval Maneuver Force and have it focus on amphibious warfare using WHATEVER naval means are required--not the Iwo Jima WW2 re-enactment weak surface ship racket.

www.combatreform.org/AIRBORNEMUSEUM/sld026.htm

This means fast, long-range seaplanes, submarine aircraft carriers and on the surface only HEAVY CRUISERS and larger that are stealthy, have long-range catapult-launched seaplane eyes, adequate armor to withstand PGM attacks.

The Navy we need manning the seaplanes, submarine aircraft carriers and heavy cruisers and larger that can defeat enemy navies, secure sea oil tankers and container ship commerce and project land combat power from the sea dimension must be a PROFESSIONAL force of WARRIORS--not petty, back-stabbing assholes. The current bureaucratic obsession with rank and privilege must end; everyone wears a blue camouflage color fireproof jumpsuit with water survival means showing the realization that they are WARRIORS who are very likely going to get very, very wet from combat action.

www.combatreform.org/USNAVYINDANGER/abandonshippreparetodie.htm

Everyone swims and everyone fights. The office attire Navy is gone. A profession built on MORALITY and competence through humility. This also means warriors who cannot be ordered to do things like blowing up a friendly nation's ship in a false flag attack. The very ability to raise the possibility that USN SEALs could be ordered to do a false flag attack is a sign that the blind obedience foundation of the U.S. military bureaucracy is corrupt.

Stealthy Heavy Cruisers and Above--with Seaplane Fighters and Mine Countermeasures

The Navy that is on the surface to bust enemy navies and amphibious invasions and protect sea commerce must be able first to protect itself from PGM destruction.

The baseline USN ship must be a HEAVY cruiser over 15, 000 tons that is heavily armored with every technological countermeasure trick we can come up with to withstand underwater blast effects. The first step towards this would be to place all 4 x 35, 000 ton Iowa class battleships back into service.

www.combatreform.org/battleships.htm

The first likely criticism of heavy cruisers and above is that they are heavy and cannot "cruise" long distances easily if fossil fueled. We would not power them by DF-5 ship oil. The new class of heavy cruisers and Iowa battleships would be NUCLEAR POWERED so they would not need to be constantly refueled at sea and could "cruise" at will wherever they need to go. Another point is nuclear power eliminates the smoke plume that gives away a fossil fuel ship's presence.

The heavy cruiser must be stealthy--none of this gray ship crap so it can slip into a civilian port and conduct party-going ops. Its painted in the best disruptive visual camouflage possible and has as little superstructure sticking above the waterline as possible.

www.combatreform.org/camie.htm

Sorry if it busts egos, but enough is enough. If you want to party go on a Carnival cruise. Visual and radar invisibility is the goal in order to avoid PGM targeting.

The heavy cruiser would have the ability to launch & recover small boat teams and have boarding ramps to come alongside ships and inspect them for contraband weapons etc.

www.combatreform.org/seapirates.htm

Board Ships from a Position of Strength--NOT WEAKNESS--If Not Possible Do Not Board, Divert

The technotactical weakness of boarding the Gaza relief ships by sliding commandos down fast ropes from hovering helicopters from a position of weakness has resulted in a hand struggle where non-lethal weaponry had to be dropped and lethal fire employed for self defense. The result is 10 civilians dead and others wounded and a psychological warfare loss for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) for being seen as the bullies.

From Strength: Armored Boarding Ramps

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYjkLUcbJWo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buzOWKxN2co

This common practice of boarding ships from weakness by sexy high-speed boats from underneath via ladders and ropes and from fragile helicopters from above is a bad technotactic that has been just waiting to fail dramatically. This technotactical weakness has resulted in STRATEGIC consequences for the IDF and Israel. It could have been avoided had the Israeli Navy had at least one large ship with armored boarding ramps that could have put commandos on top in a position of strength in quality and quantity. Water cannon and tear gas dispensers could have been organic to the assault booms. The problems of sea piracy and blockade runners demands navies of the world properly adapt to this problem and stop relying on sexy but weak commando means.

Another problem is that fast ropes can snag on ship's masts and could crash the helicopter, so having an armored boarding ramps from ships in a safer and more tactically secure manner must be an alternative option. Boarding ramps are classic means associated with siege engines.

A new class of heavy cruiser or a module to fit into the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) should have armored boarding ramps.

Don't Do It If You Cannot Do It Well...

The consequences of not boarding a ship in strength and inviting a brawl will only make the boarders look bad in the world media. If boarding cannot be done from strength, then use warning shots to stop the suspect ships and bring in tugboats and force them to change course if necessary. Shots can be fired at the stern to immobilize suspect ships.

www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2010/may/31/israel-troops-gaza-ships

Israel attacks Gaza flotilla - live coverage

IDF says footage shows activists attacked troops
Thousands protest in cities around the world
Binyamin Netanyahu cancels White House trip
Turkey recalls ambassador from Israel

Protesters in Istanbul march over Israel's storming of Turkish boats bound for Gaza, with at least 10 activists killed. Photograph: Ibrahim Usta/AP

9.10am:

More than 10 people have been killed after Israeli naval commandos boarded six aid ships in a convoy heading towards the Gaza Strip.

The fleet was carrying aid to the area, which is under a naval blockade. Israeli troops were attacked with guns, knives and clubs when they boarded the ships after having given repeated warnings, the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs said.

"During the interception of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs," the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs said.

"Additionally one of the weapons used was grabbed from an IDF Soldier. The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose."

The Free Gaza movement, which is behind the flotilla, is reporting a very different version of events.

"Under darkness of night, Israeli commandoes dropped from a helicopter onto the Turkish passenger ship, Mavi Marmara, and began to shoot the moment their feet hit the deck," the movement said on its website.

"They fired directly into the crowd of civilians asleep. According to the live video from the ship, two have been killed, and 31 injured." Al-Jazeera has just confirmed the numbers.

9.20am:

Here's the full statement from the Israel ministry of foreign affairs. In the interests of fairness I will post the full response from the Free Gaza Movement in the next post.

Early this morning (31 May), IDF naval forces intercepted six ships attempting to break the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. This happened after numerous warnings from Israel and the Israel navy that were issued prior to the action. The Israel navy requested the ships to redirect toward Ashdod where they would be able to unload their aid material which would then be transferred over land after undergoing security inspections.

During the interception of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF naval personnel with live-fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs. Additionally one of the weapons used was grabbed from an IDF Soldier. The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose.

As a result of this life-threatening and violent activity, naval forces employed riot dispersal means, including live fire.

According to initial reports, these events resulted in over 10 deaths among the demonstrators and numerous injured; in addition, more than four naval personnel were injured, some from gunfire and some from various other weapons. Two of the Soldiers are moderately wounded and the remainder sustained light injuries. All of the injured, Israelis and foreigners are currently being evacuated by helicopter to hospitals in Israel.

Reports from IDF forces on the scene are that it seems as if part of the participants onboard the ships were planning to lynch the forces.

The events are ongoing, and information will be updated as soon as possible. Israeli naval commander, vice admiral Eliezer Marom is overseeing the events.

In the coming hours, the ships will be directed to the Ashdod port, while IDF naval forces will perform security checks in order to identify the people on board the ships and their equipment. The IDF spokesman conveys that this event is currently unfolding and further details will be provided as soon as possible.

This IDF naval operation was carried out under orders from the political leadership to halt the flotilla from reaching the Gaza Strip and breaching the naval blockade.

The interception of the flotilla followed numerous warnings given to the organisers of the flotilla before leaving their ports as well as while sailing towards the Gaza Strip. In these warnings, it was made clear to the organisers that they could dock in the Ashdod sea port and unload the equipment they are carrying in order to deliver it to the Gaza Strip in an orderly manner, following the appropriate security checks. Upon expressing their unwillingness to cooperate and arrive at the port, it was decided to board the ships and lead them to Ashdod.

IDF naval personnel encountered severe violence, including use of weaponry prepared in advance in order to attack and to harm them. The forces operated in adherence with operational commands and took all necessary actions in order to avoid violence, but to no avail.

9.24am:

This is a rather different version of events from the Free Gaza Movement, which had two boats in the "Freedom Flotilla":

Under darkness of night, Israeli commandoes dropped from a helicopter onto the Turkish passenger ship, Mavi Marmara, and began to shoot the moment their feet hit the deck. They fired directly into the crowd of civilians asleep. According to the live video from the ship, two have been killed, and 31 injured. Al-Jazeera has just confirmed the numbers.

Streaming video shows the Israeli Soldiers shooting at civilians, and our last SPOT beacon said: "HELP, we are being contacted by the Israelis."

We know nothing about the other five boats. Israel says they are taking over the boats.

The heavy cruiser operates long-range, long-loiter time, hydrogen-powered seaplane fighters that can see above the horizon and attack/destroy enemy PGM launchers (aircraft, surface ships, submarines) long before they even get within launch range. The hydrogen fuel for the seaplane fighters would be distilled from sea water by the nuclear power supplied electricity ONLY AS NEEDED to eliminate huge fossil fuel storage tanks compromising the ship's inherent survivability.

www.combatreform.org/seaplanefighters.htm

The seaplane fighters can also air-land a 7-man SEAL squad and its rubber boat to inspect cargo ships and/or do special operations raid and recons. This seaplane fighter would also operate from new design submarine aircraft carriers:

www.combatreform.org/submarineaircraftcarriers.htm

Complimenting our heavy cruisers and their seaplane fighters scouring the seas of pirates and establishing a naval presence that is respected to deter sub-national conflicts (SNCs) would be long-range hydrogen-powered seaplane bombers and transports that would operate from land bases and resupply submarines to hunt enemy submarines, lay sea mines, rescue personnel in the water, insert/extract SEALs and deploy Army Naval Maneuver Forces in nation-state wars (NSWs).

www.combatreform.org/p6mseamaster.htm

Some of these large seaplanes would have rear ramps to launch/recover light tracked M113 AmphiGavins for armored, cross-country maneuver ashore instead of the typical Iwo Jima stupid marine foot-slogging.

www.combatreform.org/seaplanetransports.htm

The Likely Reception to This Ultimatum?

Make no illusion, these necessary reforms will not likely be embraced by our current Navy/Mc because frankly, THEY ARE ASSHOLES. Yes, I could "play nice" and leave that part out and just present the factual problem/solution and hope it gains traction--and I've done this for over 28 years with only limited success. No, the time is long overdue to face the fact that we have created a Navy/Mc composed of uber assholes who are not professionals who factual arguments will hold sway with. We can no longer ignore this because it is THE problem which all other problem are created from. 100 years from now, the naval problem might be "particle beams that can see underwater" or "levitation engines to skim over the water" etc.---the type of problems will change with the technological age we are living in at the time--but none of them are going to be solved if the human beings live according to a cultural mindset of arrogance and institutionalized stupidity.

Because the Navy/Mc are uber assholes, the way of life in this world is they deserve their comeuppance. In other words, they are asking for their asses to be kicked and forced to have some humility; in the typical human folly-to-disaster-to-virtue-to-complacency-to-arrogance-to-folly cycle which endlessly repeats. It repeats because once having gone through the cycle, we do not develop a PROFESSIONAL memory and conscience that can break the repetition, and choose instead to be humble and ready by understanding the pattern of war as it emerges. That thousands of sailors and marines have to die to make assholes learn is hard to accept by a caring person who loves people. It would be almost tolerable if afterwards, a professional culture develops--but unfortunately we tend to fall back on the old ways and the tragic cycle repeats. Its not just that we are headed to disaster; we are headed to disaster over and over again because we as Americans lack a culture that understands the nature of life and our place in the world. We will keep on experiencing disasters until we do or be destroyed into extinction.

NOTES

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20100818/wl_time/08599201150700

Seoul's Findings on Warship Sinking Won't Calm Skeptics

By MARK THOMPSON / WASHINGTON Mark Thompson / Washington - Wed Aug 18, 2:00 pm ET

As South Korea prepares to release its findings that blame North Korea for sinking the warship Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. last March, several scientists continue to claim that the conclusions of the official investigation don't add up. The government's preliminary findings released in May were attacked as amateurish and crude by some South Korean-born scientists concerned that flawed science could be used to escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula. About 1 in 4 South Koreans share such doubts. But the top U.S. naval adviser to the probe remains steadfast in support of its conclusions.

The debate over what caused the sinking of the Cheonan is difficult for the general public to follow, with all its discussion of acoustic signatures and electron-dispersive spectroscopy. And it certainly has echoes of conspiracy theories like those surrounding the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. (See pictures of North Koreans at the polls.)

The South Korean government, aided by experts from the U.S., Australia, the U.K., Canada and Sweden, alleges that a North Korean midget submarine fired a 500-lb. torpedo at the 1,200-ton Cheonan on March 26, killing 46 South Korean seamen. But Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. have echoed the doubts expressed by some scientists over the official finding. While the official investigation, as detailed recently by U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Thomas Eccles, chief engineer of the __________, harnesses several forensic techniques to eliminate all options except for a North Korean torpedo, skeptics view that logic as a house of cards that falls apart when evidence from the Cheonan is scrutinized closely.

"To me, this challenges the integrity of science," Seung-Hun Lee, a physicist at the University of Virginia, tells TIME. "They say they reached these conclusions that have enormous consequences on the political and international stage. As a scientist and scholar, I felt it was my duty to check their conclusion." Lee says bluntly that the government's conclusions are "absurd." (Comment on this story.)

The residues that the governments say were caused by the blast "have nothing to do with the explosion, but are just aluminum hydroxide that can be naturally formed by corrosion when aluminum is exposed to water for a long time," Lee says. He adds that he doesn't know why someone would invent such a scenario to explain the sinking. "That's a political thing that's beyond me," he says. J.J. Suh, a professor and director of Korea Studies at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., also doesn't believe the government's story. A 500-lb. torpedo would have generated at least 5,000 lb. per sq. in. of pressure on the Cheonan's hull. "The bottom of the ship does not betray any sign of being exposed to that kind of shock wave," he says. "The rest of the ship doesn't either ... even a florescent light bulb in the exposed cut area survived the explosion intact." Lee and Suh have sent a letter to the U.N. Security Council seeking a new investigation into the sinking because of their belief that the official probe is "riddled with inconsistencies." (See TIME's photo-essay "The Iconography of Kim Jong Il.")

But Eccles is sticking to the investigation's key finding that a torpedo sank the Cheonan. He was dispatched to South Korea following the sinking to devote his considerable technical expertise - he has a degree in electrical and mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - to help figure out what happened. "I can tell you conclusively that an explosion that correlates to a 250-kg maritime weapon at a placement that's ideal for breaking this ship occurred in the same place and I think at the same time as not only objective recorded information ashore, but where and when a piece of torpedo - which is a perfect correlation of a North Korean weapon of the exact same size - was found," Eccles told reporters recently. (See pictures of the rise of Kim Jong Il.

Seismic, acoustic, physical and visual evidence all indicated that a 500-lb. torpedo broke and sank the Cheonan when it detonated between 20 ft. and 30 ft. deep and 10 ft. off the port side, Eccles said. The experts reached that conclusion on April 30, and their belief was bolstered 15 days later when pieces they believe came from the torpedo were pulled from the Yellow Sea near where the Cheonan sank. These were compared with drawings of a North Korean torpedo obtained by an unnamed intelligence source. "I can tell you that down to the size of rivets, every small and large dimension I could measure was the same as the drawing," Eccles said. "The pieces and parts were all the same - this was a perfect match."

Both sides have been arguing over the corrosion found on pieces of the purported torpedo, the meaning of handwriting on one of those pieces, the presence or lack of a water column common to torpedo blasts and whether or not the Cheonan could have run aground and broken apart. Each side sums up its opponent in pretty much the same way. "They're amateurs, and I don't think they're experts" on the type of scientific analysis performed by himself and others, Lee says. Eccles, when asked about the possibility that the Cheonan ran aground - as Lee believes might have happened - said, "The amateurs who think it has something to do with grounding are just that - amateurs."

Whether or not the release next week of the South Korean government's complete 250-page inquiry can settle the matter is doubtful. After all, the Warren Commission's investigation into JFK's killing was a mammoth 888 pages - along with 26 volumes of supporting information - and that argument has raged ever since.


James Bond is For Real.