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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  • Republicofscotland

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

    No it was 100% aimed at Fred.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Ros

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

    No it was 100% aimed at Fred.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    In that case, you young buffoon, your aim is as wonky as most of your ideas. 🙂

  • RobG

    Since this thread has gone off-topic anyway, I’ll get back to the first comment made here; ie, all things nuclear:

    Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:33am EDT
    Forest fire near Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear zone under control: Prime Minister
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/29/us-ukraine-crisis-fire-idUSKBN0NK14O20150429

    A BBC primer from a few years back:
    Chernobyl’s radioactive trees and the forest fire risk
    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-18721292

    And also the most recent piece I can find on Russia Today:
    Chernobyl zone in flames: Strongest blaze in 23 years, people evacuated, fire 20km from reactor
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezmlRSX4wDI&feature=youtu.be

    Being stuck on a train for four hours at Clapham Junction is the least of your worries, folks. It’s the air you’re breathing in that you have to worry about.

    Although the smoke from these recent Chernobyl forest fires did initially head towards western Europe, weather patterns now seem to suggest that it’s heading back east again, and by wonderful irony, curtesy of the jet stream, will probably end-up on Japan, where there are three full size commercial reactors (each of them three times bigger than the unit 4 at Chernobyl) in complete ongoing meltdown that will continue into an indefinite future, that no one ever talks about.

    So let’s return to the totally surreal UK General Election of 2015, in which nothing of any substance is ever talked about.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    By the way, does anyone know if Mr Dennis Skinner is standing for re-election on 7 May?

    I do hope someone will tell me he isn’t.

    In his younger days he was part of that cabal of hard left Labour MPs whose behaviour and attitudes contributed so ably to Mrs Thatcher coming to power. Latterly he has become a caricature of himself, an extinct volcano that never was, the HoC house buffoon.

    Good riddance!

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Lysias – please don’t forget Janner (cf my post at 18h31), will you. And feel free, of course, to comment on the latest concerning Lord Bramall (links and cribs OK)!

  • Republicofscotland

    “In that case, you young buffoon, your aim is as wonky as most of your ideas”
    ________________________________

    Not at all Fred is abnormal in his equation that somehow the SNP are, wait for it Nazi’s.

    By defending this position you are either insane (possible) or as you said in a prior comment.

    You’re on a “dick swinging” exercise

    Which is it?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    DonnyDarkside

    “Is that because I’m Scottish ?”

    ___________________

    No, it’s because you’re an idiot troll.

    Did you not tell us you were back in the UK (perhaps even in Scotland…:) )?

    If so, lucky Vienna!

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    I have been reading a history of the Labour govts between 1974 and 1979 and have been struck by what appears to have been Tony Benn’s ability to be wrong on virtually every political and economic issue during that period. Not that his disagreements with most aspects of govt policy ever caused him to resign from the cabinet, of course. The only positive thing in relation to Benn was, it appears, that the rest of the Cabinet paid no attention to the man.

  • 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

  • Republicofscotland

    “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.”
    ________________________

    Giyane I don’t for one minute doubt your belief in your faith,good for you.

    But you cant honestly expect non Muslims to feel the same way,in countries like Pakistan people are being killed due to blasphemy laws.

    Which can turn people away from Islam, and killing someone for drawing a cartoon or picture of the prophet,is in my opinion unacceptable,in saying that,respect should be paid to the followers of whichever religion they practice.

    Because ones beliefs are a personal.

  • RobG

    Habba, who trashed the world economy in 2008? Was it the socialists, et al?

    Who trashed the world economy in 1929? Was it the socialists, et al?

    We’re down the rabbit hole with you, pal.

  • Republicofscotland

    “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..?”
    ____________________________

    Habbitualbitching.

    For goodness sake look up,sites regarding US politics,do some research for a change.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Is it not incredible that none of the major parties has provided even slightly convincing policies for addressing the housing shortage/absurdly high house prices?

    It appears that such policies which have been promised will merely have the effect of increasing demand at the lower end of the price range, which is , according to the laws of supply and demand, likely to rapidly make those particular houses more expensive.

    Nothing, it seems, on ways of increasing reasonably priced supply.

    Indeed, it seems that Labour’s ideas about rent controls are in reamity a sign that it has accepted the notion that the current era of falling house ownership and increasing numbers of people renting is likelt to be a very long one.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Republicofscotland

    ““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..?”
    ____________________________

    Habbitualbitching.

    For goodness sake look up,sites regarding US politics,do some research for a change.”

    _____________________

    Well, you know, RoS, there’s nothing to beat the personal touch, the man on the spot thing, is there.

    Surely there must be some Americans who read – and perhaps even comment on – this blog who could provide useful and valuable insights?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    RobG

    “Habba, who trashed the world economy in 2008? Was it the socialists, et al?

    Who trashed the world economy in 1929? Was it the socialists, et al?”

    ____________________

    Well, you might get different answers to those questions depending on whom you asked.

    For example, Mr Goss would probably say that the Rothschilds, Zionists and Freemasons did the trashing.

    Mr Icke would put it down to lizards and I , at a pinch, would put quite a bit of the blame on parasites of various sorts, a category into which I would, however reluctantly, have to place you .

  • Clark

    Habbabkuk, 8:30 pm

    “Is it not incredible that none of the major parties has provided even slightly convincing policies for addressing the housing shortage/absurdly high house prices?”

    It seems predictable to me.

    1) The “net value” of the UK is kept artificially high by artificially high property prices; this maintains the UK’s credit rating,

    2) There are large numbers of people who don’t need to work because they live on other people paying rent, and no party wants to lose their votes,

    3) There are even more people who’ve invested their spare money in a “property portfolio”, which gives the highest rate of interest of any investment for which it is guaranteed that the capital cannot fall in value,

    4) High property prices keep people permanently in debt, making them compliant and pleasing the financiers.

  • Clark

    Oh, and then there are all those people on the “property ladder”, who can currently assume that the price of their house is guaranteed to rise over time. Don’t want to lose their votes.

  • Clark

    I’m off. I have a bad headache, and if commenters here want to fight they will. Try being nice to each other and see what happens. A bloke called Jesus suggested that two thousand years ago, and then got nailed to a tree for pointing out that some things actually matter more than money. Almost everyone knows the story but hardly anyone takes any notice of it.

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)
    29 Apr, 2015 – 7:38 pm
    Says:

    “Question to the experts on the HoC and troughers:

    “Mr George Galloway MP may not have been asked to repay any expenses unduly claimed. On the other hand, his earnings from activities undertaken outside the HoC amount to some three hundred thousand pounds a year.”

    “In the light of the above, is Mr George Galloway a trougher?”
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    The short answer Habbabkuk is no.

    He is making a lot of money for work outside his job as an MP. You could argue that MPs should not have outside financial interests but most do so George Galloway is no exception. He is not making this money at taxpayers expense.

    Also, Habbabkuk, you say: “Mr George Galloway MP may not have been asked to repay any expenses unduly claimed.” Do you have evidence that he has “unduly claimed” expenses?

  • Mary

    Anchored at Bandar Abbbas since Tuesday.

    http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/details/ships/shipid:1635726/mmsi:538005749/imo:9694581/vessel:MAERSK_TIGRIS

    2 hrs ago

    Iran Says Seizure of Cargo Ship Maersk Tigris Is Tied to Debt

    Iran said on Thursday that its seizure of a cargo ship owned by the Danish shipping company Maersk was related to a years-old debt. The company insisted that Iran let the ship go.

    In a statement, the Iranian foreign ministry said that Iran was following international law, and hoped the ship would be released “once debts have been settled, and hopefully the ship can carry on its course.”

    The statement said that the 24 crew members aboard the ship, the Maersk Tigris, were in good health and had access to diplomatic channels.

    Iran detained the ship, which carries the flag of the Marshall Islands, on Tuesday in the Strait of Hormuz, off the Iranian coast. The United States sent military vessels to monitor the situation.

    Maersk had chartered the ship, which is owned by undisclosed private investors. The company met with Iran on Wednesday.

    Maersk said it had agreed to pay an Iranian company $163,000 after an Iranian court ruling in February that was related to a dispute about 10 container boxes transported to Dubai in 2005. Iran has appealed, seeking more money, Maersk said.

    “We must insist that the crew and vessel are released as soon as possible,” Maersk said in a statement. “The crew is not employed by Maersk Line, nor is the vessel owned by Maersk Line. Maersk Tigris and its crew are thus not in any way party to the case.”

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/iran-says-seizure-cargo-ship-maersk-tigris-tied-debt-n351246

  • RobG

    Habba, I think we might agree that the lizards trashed the world economy in 1929 and 2008.

    It sure as hell weren’t the socialists.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The system needs changing.

    Destination agreed. Route?

    Sorry. But we know the system’s fucked. What are you suggesting we do to change it? I can’t see any way of changing it which does not involve engagement with it. Unwelcome, yes, hypocritical, yes, and absolutely subject to the universal human tendency to fuck up, either through greed or power-crazedness, yes, yes. But slightly more likely to succeed than grabbing a breadknife and taking on the Army.

    You will also need money. Going to ask (insert repressive dictator of choice) for it?
    Sure, that may change the system. But probably not in the desired direction. And you will be worse compromised than anyone who ever licked Murdoch’s arse for favourable coverage…

    OK, go on banging your righteously ethical head against a brick wall. Wait for The System to collapse under its own weight (it has a remarkably consistent record of never quite doing so, and, moreover, of beggaring the proles to pay for its failure). Then institute Utopia Phil-style, and maintain it for ten years wihout building palaces for your cronies, and accept my astonished respect.

    Meanwhile, please allow we less-idealist, less-radical unwilling slaves of the system to at least weaken the bits we can reach.

    Thank you.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Clark
    30/04/2015 9:01 pm

    I think you pinched that from Douglas Adams 😉

    Goodnight.

    John

  • fedup

    “Thank you for bringing that to my attention, Mary. …..”

    A delusion of grandeur is the fixed, false belief that one possesses superior qualities such as genius, fame, omnipotence, or wealth. It is most often a symptom of schizophrenia, but can also be a symptom found in psychotic or bipolar disorders, as well as dementia (such as Alzheimer’s).

    People with a delusion of grandeur often have the conviction of having some great but unrecognized talent or insight. They may also believe they have made some important discovery that others don’t understand or appreciate.

    This malady is further exhibited in speculations of “Oxford Don” whose “Voluotary” [sic] unconscious drivel bordering absurd with statements; I have reprimanded …..

    Grandiose delusions may have religious content, such as the person believes he or she has received a special message from God or another deity.

    Sometimes, in popular language, this disorder may be known as “megalomania,” but is more accurately referred to as narcissistic personality disorder if it is a core component of a person’s personality and identity. In such disorders, the person has a greatly out-of-proportion sense of their own worth and value in the world. People with this issue can also sometimes have a taste for the finer, more extravagant things in life.

    Interesting to watch it all play on the blog.

    ================

    Refugees: French soldiers raped children in the Central African Republic

    Witnesses in a refugee camp in Central African Republic’s capital say French soldiers who were supposed to protect civilians sexually assaulted young children.

    ‘Rape and sodomy’: Leaked UN report details French soldiers’ abuse against African boys

    A damning UN report about how French soldiers raped and sodomized starving and homeless boys in the Central African Republic, some as young as nine, has been leaked to the Guardian, and the UN official who blew the whistle is facing dismissal.

    French soldiers accused of raping and abusing refugee children in Central African Republic in exchange for food in ‘leaked UN report’

    According to an alleged internal report seen by The Guardian entitled Sexual Abuse on Children by International Armed Forces, children told human rights investigators they were sexually exploited, including rape and sodomy, in the capital Bangui in early 2014.

    One nine-year-old boy reportedly described how French soldiers at a camp for internally displaced people forced him and his friend to perform a sex act when they went to look for food.

  • RobG

    @Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)
    30 Apr, 2015 – 8:41 pm

    Habba’s latest faeces is that ‘welfare scroungers’ trashed the world economy in 1929 and 2008, and it was not a bunch of stupid, greedy, corrupt right wing feckers who don’t share a brain cell between them.

    I imagine that Habba has a portrait of Thatcher on his wall, a PM who presided over some of the most sexually perverse and corrupt governments ever seen in this land.

    The police investigations are still going on.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Fedup
    30/04/2015 9:45 pm

    You are quoting John Grohol: please, would you mind giving a source when quoting?

    Many thanks.

    John

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