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Monday, March 09, 2009


Who's harassing whom?

[I hope I got the grammar correct in the headline!]

AP reports this morning that:

The Pentagon charged Monday that five Chinese ships shadowed and maneuvered dangerously close to a U.S. Navy vessel in an apparent attempt to harass the American crew.
The reports emphasize that the U.S. Navy vessel was "an unarmed vessel with a civilian merchant marine crew" and was "conduct[ing] ocean surveys." "Ocean surveys," eh? Were they conducting a census of tuna fish? Hardly. What the AP report (not to mention the Pentagon and the Obama administration) fails to mention is that, as reported this morning on MSNBC by Jim Miklashevski, the Navy ship was cruising the coast of China, using sonar to search for Chinese submarines.

The Obama administration calls the Chinese actions "increasingly aggressive." I'd say what's "aggressive" is having your Navy operate off the coast of another country, looking for that country's submarines. Imagine the screams from the Obama administration (or any U.S. administration) if a Chinese Navy fleet was sailing in international waters just off the coast of Hawaii, searching for American submarines.

Update: The latest AP article admits the U.S. was conducting "military surveillance" and claims that the ship is equipped to "detect underwater threats." It fails to explain how a Chinese submarine patrolling off the coast of China, even in international waters, is a "threat."

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