Well, the Yemenis are still saying it was an accident, but from the article in the latest Economist, according to an eye witness ship's officer, and the preliminary comments by some experts, it's going to be very difficult to show that it was an accident. The ship's officer saw a small boat heading for them at very high speed just before the explosion, the explosion was at the waterline -- and an accidental internal explosion would blow out the ship's weakest points, which are not at the waterline, but at bulkheads, the deck's edge and places like that. A Yemeni official said the metal plating was blow outwards, and indeed it appears that way, but according to the bomb expert, that's because typically the full force of the explosion is carried into the hull of the ship. Let me see if I can illustrate, and this even assumes the small boat was just a zodiac, without any hull-piercing capabilities, because in any case the ship was built to the latest safety standards, including double hull. The explosion will start at the instant the zodiac hits the hull, typically (they're often set off by dead man switches, and the person holding the switch would have lost control at the moment of impact, assuming "proper training" -- that is the discipline to wait, and not let go of his own accord). That beginning of the explosion pierces the hull, but the momentum of the zodiac carries it through the hole, by which time the explosion, which is, after all, a rapid but not instantaneous oxidation (strange term, but the point is it's not instantaneous, although it may appear that way to the human observer) is like a force vector which is moving in concert with the zodiac, so its full power isn't present until after the zodiac is inside the ship.
That's my speculation, and I'm not an expert -- I'm just thinking out loud. Does it make sense, do you think? Also, I think it was very clever of the terrorists to target a French ship, and here's why. France, like the US is one of only a handful of countries that has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. France, Russia, and iirc, China, are waffling in their support of Bush's Security Council strategy (that's separate from whatever military strategy he may have, and separate from the process of getting allies on board, although it feeds into that). France also has a more acute security supply than the US does. Contrary, perhaps, to what most US think, most of your oil no longer comes from the Middle East. In fact, in my letter that appears in the same issue of The Economist, I listed the sources, and they are (for crude alone), 1.Saudi Arabia, 2. Mexico, 3. Canada, and they aren't that far apart (I think Canada supplies a bit under 500m barrels a year -- I'd have to look at my own letter -- and Saudi a bit less than 600 m, with Mexico in the middle. But when you include all petroleum, incl. natural gas and refined petroleum, Canada is by far the US.'s largest single supplier. The US is, in effect, paying a surcharge for the security of having a safe supplier (something the author of the article I commented on failed to mention, which is why I wrote the letter; the letter-writer after me makes a similar point). So why is the US still paying the "military premium," the money to protect the Middle Eastern source? I think there are a number of reasons, but they are probably, in descending order of importance: 1) it feels an obligation to protect allies' sources [EU, Australia and Japan primarily]; 2) the secure sources are in place but not yet big enough players. Saudi is still #1 in crude, for instance, so the US still needs more time to do things like figure out how to get more Alaskan oil to the Lower 48, and tap into Venezuela's heavy oil as it already has Alberta's. It makes sense, if you have a choice, to subsidize a close ally's technological development of an otherwise uneconomical supply (like the Maracaibo and Athabasca tar sands in Venezuela and Alberta, respectively; and the Mackenzie Valley/Beaufort Sea/Alaska north shore supplies, which require expensive pipelines), than to provide military protection in an area where, for your efforts, you get bitten on the butt by locals who resent your very body odour, so to speak, and you have to do odious things like prop up regimes like Iraq, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. So I think putting pressure on France's supply forces France to waver in its UN Security Council commitment to Bush's plan, and it also puts some pressure on the US to maintain that military cordon a bit longer, which gives more time for the local hatred to simmer and stew. Just another spanner into George III's crown, that's all. That's what it's all about. That's my take on it, fwiw. [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote: > Marc Schindler: > > ... what made me think about this was the attack on the > French supertanker that's spilled thousands of litres of oil > into the waters of the coast of Yemen; almost certainly an > act of deliberate terrorism. Why attack a French > supertanker? Why not a U.S. one? Ah....interesting > question. I don't think the target was picked at random.... > > _______________ > > What attack? Has it been confirmed since this morning > that it was not just an accident, albeit a serious one? > > The captain has given two conflicting stories about what > happened. And the attack theory is based on a crewman > whose story has not been corroborated. > > Larry Jackson > <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> > > ________________________________________________________________ > > GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO! > > Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less! > > Join Juno today! For your FREE software, visit: > > http://dl.www.juno.com/get/web/. > > ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// > /// ZION LIST CHARTER: Please read it at /// > /// http://www.zionsbest.com/charter.html /// > ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// > -- Marc A. Schindler Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland "The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." --Michelangelo Buonarroti Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the authorís employer, nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated. ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /// ZION LIST CHARTER: Please read it at /// /// http://www.zionsbest.com/charter.html /// ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ==^^=============================================================== This email was sent to: email@example.com EASY UNSUBSCRIBE click here: http://topica.com/u/?aaP9AU.bWix1n Or send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] T O P I C A -- Register now to manage your mail! http://www.topica.com/partner/tag02/register ==^^===============================================================