Dire Straits 207


Vessels have the right of freedom of navigation through straits, on “innocent passage” under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. As it sounds, that amounts to a right to pass straight through on normal business. Territorial waters do not affect innocent passage. The coastal state has the right to establish sea lanes for maritime safety purposes.

So whether the Marshall Islands flagged Maersk Tigris was in Iranian territorial waters is not relevant to its right to pass through. If, as Iranian sources have indicated, it really was impounded for commercial debt, then that would have to be in territorial waters. But for that the crew could not be detained, and the debt would have to be immediately stated and the ship released if paid. Iran is not acting as though this really is for debt.

The Maersk Tigris is however a good example of why the shipping industry is an absolute disgrace. It is flagged in a country with which neither the vessel nor its owners have any connection. It is owned by Maersk, leased to a renting company in Berlin, and then rented back by Maersk. The purpose of the flagging arrangements is to avoid proper safety, crew qualification, wage and trade union regulations which go with a genuine state flag. The leasing is an international tax fiddle. For reasons nothing to do with Iran or the US, I have no sympathy with the owners or insurers.

I rather expect the Iranians are lying about the commercial debt. Iran and the US are playing a pointless, massively expensive hawkish game in the Gulf. At least the Iranians have the excuse that they live there.

Just as Iran should not have stopped the passage of the Maersk Tigris, so the US Navy had no right at all recently to threaten Iranian cargo ships which may or may not have been on the way to Yemen. Even if those ships had entered Yemeni waters, the US would only have had the right to intervene if asked to do so by the government of Yemen. While that government is a Saudi and US puppet, they are not keen for all their people to know that. Giving permission for invisible blasts from the sky is much more deniable than for huge warships.

I was sorry for the two American hostages who were killdied in a drone strike, but sickened that given all the hundreds of innocent women and children he has murdered in drone strikes, Obama finally got all sackcloth and ashes over two American men.


207 thoughts on “Dire Straits

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  • Phil

    Baal
    “Got anyone who isn’t (by your definition) in mind who’s in a position to do anything tangible for this election?”

    No. The system needs changing.

    You have mentioned three choices: what we have now, bloody chaos or invasion by Russia. Pretty much Thatcher’s TINA to a tee.

  • Republicofscotland

    It appears as though, Russia is jinxed at the moment,even its space module sent up to the International Space Station has gone into a unrecoverable spin.

    The module was carrying supplies including food for the space station inhabitants the module will soon fall out of orbit and crash into the earth.

  • Republicofscotland

    “I won’t draw the character Mohammed again. He doesn’t interest me anymore.”

    With those words the cartoonist Rénald Luzier — better known by his pen name, Luz — announced in an interview that he would abandon what has become his most infamous subject.

    A contributor to French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, Luz drew the cover of its so-called survivor’s issue in the aftermath of the attack on its offices in January.

    That cover depicted the Prophet Mohammed holding a sign with the words “Je Suis Charlie” under the text, “All Is Forgiven.”

    Does not drawing Mohammed in caricature,mean that the terrorists have won?

    Or does it mean that free speech has made its point,and no longer feels the need to continue with Mohammed like caricature drawings.

    Or is this just a lull in the battle for free expression?

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Republicofscotland
    30/04/2015 4:48pm

    I don’t have a problem with being respectful of a religion that does not want images of its Prophet drawn. But I don’t want to be afraid that I am going to be killed if I decide otherwise.

    Kind regards,

    John

  • fred

    “Oh, and bearing in mind that Russia’s just announced its intention to get some more Tu160s – strategic nuclear bombers – I wouldn’t be too dismissive of NATO just yet.”

    Don’t worry here in Scotland we have the solution, we call it “Bairns Not Bombs”.

    We just get a load of Glaswegian children and parachute them into Russia, those poor sods in Stalingrad will wish we’d nuked them.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Don’t worry here in Scotland we have the solution, we call it “Bairns Not Bombs”.

    “We just get a load of Glaswegian children and parachute them into Russia, those poor sods in Stalingrad will wish we’d nuked them.”
    _____________________________________

    We could always parachute you in Fred,your unatural obsession with the Nazis would put anyone off war.

  • Mary

    Private Eye claims (self.Scotland)

    submitted 1 day ago by Number-6

    ‘The Private Eye claims that Murdoch is using the English Sun to stop the readers voting for Miliband and his anti-monopoly laws and uses the Scottish Sun to encourage its readers to switch from labour to the SNP and so stop Miliband’s anti-monopoly laws.

    It also says that Salmond has held more than 2 dozen meetings with Murdoch, his son James and their senior henchmen. The Leveson Inquiry said that Salmond had shown a striking readiness to lobby UK ministers on behalf of Murdoch.

    Do you think SNP represent the interests of News International more so than Scotland?

    From http://www.reddit.com/r/Scotland/comments/34aha8/private_eye_claims/

    There is more.I was reading P Eye this afternoon. p 7 ‘Tartan Barmy’- one column. Too long to copy and not on line. Anti Murdoch and anti SNP by association seems to be the Hislop line.

  • Republicofscotland

    “We could always parachute you…”

    Fuck off and die retard.”
    _______________________

    Interesting how you didn’t deny your unhealthy obsession with the Nazi’s.

  • Mary

    The ref above is to the latest P Eye 1391 1 May 2015

    ~~~

    Obama’s Agreement to Russian S-300 Weapons Delivery to Iran, Slap in Bibi’s Face?
    by Richard Silverstein
    April 30, 2015

    s-300 missile system
    Russia’s S-300 anti-aircraft missile system (photo)

    ‘A new article in Middle East Eye offers a fascinating “take” on Vladimir Putin’s recent announcement that Russia would resume delivery to Iran of its $800-million S-300 anti-aircraft system. After intensive lobbying by Bibi Netanyahu, Pres. Obama pressured Putin to delay shipment of the advanced weapons system. Putin agreed. The delay meant that Israel would during that period have an opportunity to attack Iran without having to penetrate one of the more advanced anti-aircraft systems produced in the world.’

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2015/04/30/obamas-agreement-to-russian-s-300-weapons-delivery-to-iran-slap-in-bibis-face/

    and

    http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/politics-behind-russia-s-supply-s-300-missile-system-iran-1167842396

    PS How is Bibi doing with his attempt to form a coalition? Perhaps he will give advice to our lot post May 7th.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Phil

    “Baal
    “Got anyone who isn’t (by your definition) in mind who’s in a position to do anything tangible for this election?”

    No. The system needs changing.”
    ____________________

    Not good enough as an answer. A cop-out. Tell us how the system needs changing, on your opinion.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Republicofscotland

    ““I won’t draw the character Mohammed again. He doesn’t interest me anymore.”

    With those words the cartoonist Rénald Luzier — better known by his pen name, Luz — announced in an interview that he would abandon what has become his most infamous subject.

    A contributor to French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, Luz drew the cover of its so-called survivor’s issue in the aftermath of the attack on its offices in January.

    That cover depicted the Prophet Mohammed holding a sign with the words “Je Suis Charlie” under the text, “All Is Forgiven.”

    Does not drawing Mohammed in caricature,mean that the terrorists have won?

    Or does it mean that free speech has made its point,and no longer feels the need to continue with Mohammed like caricature drawings.

    Or is this just a lull in the battle for free expression?”

    ___________________________

    All of the above is not your words, RoS – you have lifted all of it from someone’s else’s writing.

    Can you not learn to put quotation marks around text you’ve lifted from someone else?

    After all, no one on here believes for a moment that this is your own work, you’re not intelligent enough to compose that sort of stuff.

    I’ve told you before!

  • fred

    “Interesting how you didn’t deny your unhealthy obsession with the Nazi’s.”

    I said fuck off and die retard.

    Cunt.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    At last! After months of posturing and performing circus tricks for the Greek people, it looks as if the SYRIZA govt. is about to get real.

    Article from the English language version of “KATHIMERINI”:

    “IMF says next Greek payment to fund due May 6

    Greece’s next payment to the International Monetary Fund, totaling some 200 million euros in interest payments, is due May 6 because of the May Day holiday in Greece, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday.

    He said the Fund did not have a “detailed” assessment of Greece’s liquidity situation and hopes to get more information in the course of talks with Athens and its IMF and European creditors, which began in Brussels on Thursday.

    Financial markets have doubted whether Greece has the money to pay back the IMF over the next month, while still paying wages and pensions.

    Greece’s following payment to the IMF, of 750 million euros, is due May 12, and Greece has suggested it will struggle to make the installment.

    Greece’s government on Thursday signaled the biggest concessions so far as crunch talks with lenders on a cash-for-reforms package started in earnest. Greek officials face growing pressure at home and abroad to reach an agreement with European and IMF lenders to avert a national bankruptcy.

    A new poll showed over three-quarters of Greeks feel Athens must strike a deal at any cost to stay in the eurozone.

    When asked about the risk of Greece leaving the currency bloc, the IMF said it did not believe this would happen, although it always considers different scenarios.

    “The Greek government has been clear that it wants to stay in the eurozone, and will take the necessary actions to prevent exit,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters.”

  • Giyane

    RoS

    The fury at making cartoons of the beloved prophet SAW is at its peak in countries which firmly revere animistic spirits and superstitions such as Indonesia and India.

    I have been into many Berelvi houses where the prophet SAW is revered by a picture of a white-haired sage which is deeply against the teachings of the religion of Islam.When I prayed recently in a Berelvi mosque on seeing a Gora/white man in his congregation the imam recited the verses of the Qur’an which declare that the people who associate partners with God will be brought low into humiliation, but whoops they themselves associate the prophet SAW as a partner of Allah.

    Other branches of Islam like my local mosque they engages in deep-state politics with war criminals like my MP Liam Byrne and domestic prevent programme. In Syria and Libya the slaughter of innocent Muslims by Al Queenida represents an astonishing depth of seething racism, by Muslims against other Muslims of a nationality different from their own. But that’s allright because they can switch personalities into real Islam when they come home to Paris and London.

    There is really nothing more annoying than someone else doing what you do yourself knowing that you shouldn’t be doing it.

    That is the reason why Zionists hate Muslims, because they can’t stand the witness of the truth of the Qur’an against them, knowing that they were once the people chosen to represent Islam.

    And the rest is history, as the saying goes.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    US Presidential hopefuls

    Can anyone on here in a position to know kindly brief us on what is happening in the US re the possible Republican hopefuls? Who’s being talked about, what are the trends, on whom the smart money for the moment, etc..?

    Thanks

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Lysias

    You know I rely on you to keep me updated on the latest regarding the Janner affair.
    Have you picked up anything new in the British press which you feel it would be worth bringing to our attention?

    Thanks.

  • Giyane

    Halomadostucco

    “Can ” you also ” not learn to put quotation marks around text you’ve lifted from someone else?”

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    RepublicofSnotland

    “Interesting how you didn’t deny your unhealthy obsession with the Nazi’s (SIC)”

    _______________________

    You addressed the above to Fred, but are you sure it shouldn’t have been addressed to Mr Goss?

  • Mary

    Broken Britain.

    Earlier in the week, this was the concourse at Waterloo.

    ‘Commuters travelling to London Waterloo face more disruption this morning following Monday’s chaos.

    A number of South West Train services have been cancelled or altered.

    Train passengers faced severe train delays and cancellations on Monday night following a person being hit by a train and an engineering fault with a second train at Clapham Junction.

    Rail bosses issued a statement on their website on Tuesday morning apologising for the situation.

    However unfortunately for passengers the “commute hell” has not yet finished.

    Due to trains not ending up in their correct position for this morning’s service a number of trains have been cancelled or altered.’

    http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/reading-berkshire-news/south-west-trains-waterloo-delays-9132896

    Today on a different line into London there were no trains for five hours and no information. Cause – a broken third rail, the one that conducts electricity.

    ‘Thousands of rail passengers have been evacuated from trains after a power cut in south London left people stranded during rush hour for up to five hours.

    The electrical problem struck between Wandsworth Common and Clapham Junction, resulting in trains in and out of Victoria station being suspended.

    Commuters were warned major delays would continue all evening, including on services from London Bridge.

    Earlier emergency services were eventually called to rescue commuters.’

    Clapham Junction and Victoria rail ‘chaos’ after power cut
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-32531004

    ConDems and the fat cats at Network Rail with the large bonuses take note.

  • Phil

    What the arch propagandist, warmonger, racist, corrupter of cops and politicians, blackmailer, tax dodger, friend of AJC, friend of Blair? Some people reckon he might even be a war criminal. That Rupert Murdoch?

    The one who said this after the IDF had murdered approx 1400 Palestinians:

    My friends, I do not pretend to have all the answers to Gaza this evening. But I do know this: The free world makes a terrible mistake if we deceive ourselves into thinking this is not our fight.

    In the end, the Israeli people are fighting the same enemy we are: cold-blooded killers who reject peace … who reject freedom … and who rule by the suicide vest, the car bomb, and the human shield.

    I thought the SNP are doing pretty fucking well and anticipate an unprecendented victory. They should tell Murdoch to fuck off. What grubby deal has Sturgeon done on your behalf. She didn’t ask you no?

  • Villager

    “I don’t have a problem with being respectful of a religion that does not want images of its Prophet drawn.”

    John, is it that or is it that it doesn’t want to draw images of its Prophet? In other words, can it decide for you and me? Perhaps we are saying the same thing?

    I won’t submit myself to their judgment under any circumstances. That is all.

    Respect is inherently there of course.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “Train passengers faced severe train delays and cancellations on Monday night following a person being hit by a train ”
    _________________

    Thank you for bringing that to my attention, Mary. I fully agree with you that it is bad enough having all these delays due to engineering work, breakdowns and so on without having to put up with the consequences of passengers’ carelessness!

    It reminds me that I was once on a Eurostar train which had to stop in the middle of the French countryside for over two hours because some selfish fucker had topped himself by jumping off a bridge in front of the train or something similar. I mean, for goodness sake, if people want to top themselves then fine, let them do it, but let them do it without inconveniencing hundreds of other people who have nothing to do with him! It’s a matter of showing some consideration for others, I feel.

    Bit like that pilot who couldn’t just top himself quietly but had to drag 150 innocent people to their deaths at the same time. BASTARD!!

  • fred

    “The SNP’s ‘business friendly’ approach of sucking up to powerful tycoons like Donald Trump, Brian Souter and Rupert Murdoch is scarcely any better then Blair’s cloying embrace of the super-rich, and arguably worse. The party’s flagship post-independence economic policy of attracting multinational companies by slashing corporation tax and undercutting the welfare budgets of other countries is the sort of tax piracy beloved of the neo-liberal right.”

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/04/if-you-think-snp-are-left-wing-force-think-again

  • DoNNyDaRKo

    Go back to rearing your sheep Fred. Your racism and poor grasp of Scottish politics is insufferable.

  • fred

    “Go back to rearing your sheep Fred. Your racism and poor grasp of Scottish politics is insufferable.”

    You can fuck off as well cretin.

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