Tuesday, March 25, 2008



I am a cynical and cold hearted bastard.

Therefore, I find this news very, VERY funny:

ISMAILIYA, Egypt (AFP) — A US military ship about to cross the Suez Canal opened fire Monday on barges of hawkers that approached their boat, killing one Egyptian and wounding two others, a security source said.

The ship, Global Patriot(...)

This just... fits so well.

OK - let me explain here.
It is standard practice in the Middle East, in EVERY country in the region, for small boats to come alongside your ship and the merchants on them try to sell you stuff - fruits, meats, pies or trinkets.

Which makes it really funny when that happens and a ship named GLOBAL PATRIOT blows them out of the water, killing them.

Which to me symbolizes America perfectly as it is now - a bull in a China shop, who with every movement crashes and destroys the priceless china vases and cups, while not even aware that he is doing all this destruction.

The name of the ship - GLOBAL PATRIOT - just has such a hilarious connotation to it. Simply put, that name also symbolizes America as it is now perfectly.

America's craziness, the bestest "democracy", the "market driven" economic system, it's Middle Ages christianity just went global, it's fake patriotism, more nationalism and jingoism than actual patriotic feelings, just spread world wide.

It is funny that we Americans, who have never (statistically) traveled outside our country (hell, our home town most of the times), who never saw how things really work in Western Europe, whose only actual travel was to Mexico or Jamaica during Spring Break, so that the daughters of all these pious christian parents can show the rest of the world exactly how much whores they are, wish to educate the rest of the world on what's best for them...

We Americans, who cannot afford to go to a doctor or god forbid have a life saving operation, with 1 out of 3 Americans uninsured (PDF document - watch out!, heck, normal html article here), say we have the best healthcare system in the world.

We Americans want to spread our bestest economic system around the world, shouting about how our version of a "free", "market driven" economy works, and export it around the world (see neocon utopia), while we just plunged the world into a global recession, thanks to the greed and lack of accountability of our country's business leaders - witness the Bear Stearns disaster and the coming credit meltdown. Our economy is a house of cards, yet we shout to all the world - our way is best! When the CEO makes 230 million while their company goes bankrupt due to criminal decision of said CEO and their workers lose they jobs and pensions, perhaps our way is not best?

Perhaps our "democracy" that we gleefully "export" using cluster bomb munitions and napalm, in which only millionares can become politicians of stature, in which an ordinary citizen like me and you has no voice, because the politician must spend his time pandering and sucking the dick off (figuratively speaking) of various lobbyists representing multinational corporations, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Northrop Grumman and the Oil Cartel, perhaps our "democracy" is not the best?

Perhaps our aggressive brand of christianity, with TV "preachers" having 1-800 telephone numbers for their viewers to make donations, our Creationist Museum, which informs stupified Americans that the world began 6,000 years ago (that link is SO worth clicking), makes us moral, and not as crazy as those insane moslems blowing themselves up we see every day on TV?

Perhaps the fact that 1 in 99 adult Americans are in jail, makes us superior to these pansy Western Europeans, who don't have that many people in their prisons?

Everything in America is BEST(tm), and we Americans, with our economy, system of government, religion, healthcare (and everything else) are obliged to show the rest of the world just how superior OUR WAY is.

World, are you ready for this?

After Dsniper's comment I looked on the web for articles that described the incident in more detail.

Here's what I found:
CAIRO (AP) — The United States Navy expressed regret on Wednesday that an Egyptian citizen was killed when a Navy-contracted ship fired warning shots at approaching motorboats late Monday in the Suez Canal.

The United States Embassy in Cairo and the Navy initially maintained that, according to the security team aboard the ship, there had been no casualties. But on Wednesday, an embassy statement said it “appears that an Egyptian in the boat was killed by one of the warning shots.”

The ship, the Global Patriot, a civilian vessel under contract to the Navy, had been approached by small motorboats that often do informal commerce in the canal. After warnings were issued, two sets of warning shots were fired as one boat kept approaching.

The Egyptian who died, Muhammad Fouad, was buried Tuesday.

That article tells me absolutely nothing - terrible, uninformative and confusing.

WASHINGTON -- A U.S.-flagged cargo ship contracted by the Pentagon to ferry military equipment fired on a motorboat while preparing to enter the Suez Canal on Monday night, U.S. Navy officials said. Egyptian officials said one Egyptian man was killed and two wounded in the incident.

According to a statement issued by the commander of the Navy's 5th Fleet, the cargo ship used its radio and other measures to warn several small boats that had approached to turn away. But one motorboat, which Egyptian officials said carried local merchandise to sell to crew members of larger ships, continued toward the cargo ship and was fired on.

The statement, by the Bahrain-based command that oversees American naval vessels in the Middle East, described the gunfire as "warning shots." But news service accounts, citing Egyptian navy and security sources, reported that shots hit men in the small boat. The Associated Press identified the Egyptian who was killed as Mohammed Fouad.

Much better article. Notice no mention of using the bullhorn; instead, the article states "the cargo ship used its radio and other measures" to warn off the small boats. I doubt small one man dinghies have radios, and anything and everything can be considered an "other measure".

What seems to have happened is that the crew of GLOBAL PATRIOT panicked, and fired into an approaching merchant's boat, killing him.

This has later been spun as "warning shots" (which usually are fired across the bow of a boat, not INTO it), and the article stating that radio was used as well as other means smacks me of bullshit.


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Kusanagi said...

Just found this blog and we are of the same mind except....I am sure those Egyptian hawkers don't think it's funny. Egypt is poor, very fucking poor, and their government is a police state of the highest order. They are our "allies" but yet they are a repressive oligarchy...hmmmm!!

Thank you...I like this blog but don't let your cynicism blanket your humanity. Those hawkers may have had families to feed, mothers and fathers to look after!

DigitalSniper said...

The news stated there were several boats, and after Bull horn warnings, and then a flare gun shot in their direction they all turned away EXCEPT one, which continued on its course. Think back to the USS Cole where 30 plus sailors died because a boat didnt turn back. Yea those men had families too. The boat that was fired on (30 meters in front of it according to the one report i heard) had plenty of time to turn back as the other boats did. It makes you wonder just what their intentions really were!
As for the idiot that posted the original comment, he would prob. do himself a favor and read up on current events before posting an idiotic post such as what he did. And Shaza, you know very well that Egypt also has extremists in those waters, and that those on the boat should of, and could of turned back when the other boats did after repeated warnings.

AmericanGoy said...

DigitalSniper - links please; thanks.

Anonymous said...

It's really hilarious because not only is it not an Amrcian navyship, but it's a ship owned and operated by Arab Muslims.

James Mendham said...

so i'm thinking digital sniper, gets together with the gang of the 100 acre wood... marching in a circle blowing on a littlt plastic trumpet, while pooh, piglet, eyore, and of course... rabbit, wave little paper flags of the good ole rad why-ta and ba-loo!!

toot toot ta toot!

Craig said...

Everyone's ignorance is showing.
The M/V Global Patriot is owned by Global Container Lines. A privatly owned US company whose owners are formerly from Iran.
The junk the hawkers sell is not desired by the US citizen crew. And one article of cigarette sales is false as they are sold onboard cheaper and of better quality. Ask any smoker about foreign made Marlboros.
Several warnings were issued and all but one of the boats heeded the warnings and turned away. A native speaker of the Arabic language issued warnings via a bullhorn.
The security team were the ones that fired the warning shots, not the ship's crew!
How do I know this? I was a crewmember on the M/V Global Patriot.
A man that goes by the name of "Charlie Brown" is the only Egyptian hawker that is allowed on most US flag ships and all hawkers know this. All this is prearranged through a local ship's agent before the ship even arrives to the anchorage.
Past experience shows that the hawkers that do not listen are looking to steal from the ship.

Chief (Steve Dickson) said...

I was aboard the ship when this happened and witnessed the warning shots fired by the U.S. Navy security team. This was U.S. flagged ship. The vendor boats kept advancing toward the ship until they were hailed by a crew member that spoke Arabic. Two of the boats left and the third kept advancing while the vendors were arguing. A flare was fired off and they were warned that warning shots would be fired. The boat kept advancing and 5 shots were fired well away from the boat. They turned back and quietly went toward shore. There was no screaming or wailing. The next day an Egyptian party came out and said that one vendor was killed and another was injured. The rounds that were fired were from a .50 caliber weapon. Those rounds would have sunk the boat. The Egyptians were paid by the U.S. government before there was an official investigation because that occurred in Souda Bay days later.