The so-called "Holy Lands" have never seen peace in the last 2000 years. On the one hand, you have the Jews, claiming that it is their land because this invisible man who lives in the clouds and who talks only to them told them so. Then you have the Muslims, claiming that it is their land because this invisible man who lives in the clouds and who talks only to them told them so. Add to that a half dozen "Holy Crusades" coming down from the Europeans, claiming that it is their land because this invisible man who lives in the clouds and who talks only to them told them so, and you can see why so much blood has flowed onto the dust of that part of the world at the hands of armies claiming to represent this or that loving god as justification for all manner of vile horrors, up to and including cannibalism!. (Maraat an-numan captured and thousands killed on 12/11/1098. According to Chronicler Albert Aquensis, the Christian conquerors engaged in acts of cannibalism.)
Recent weeks have seen a renewal of the tensions along the Gaza between Israel and the Palestinians. In a modern world where the internet has obviated the ability of the mainstream media to put a particular spin on world events, the Israelis found themselves in the position of losing public support for their Gaza strip policies. Most people in the world are well aware that the Palestinians were one of the few people not to have harmed the Jews during WW2, yet when it came time to create the Nation of Israel, it was the Palestinians who were dislocated, then treated as troubolemakers for complaining about the loss of their ancestral homes to a flood of mostly European immigrants.
Israel might have the military advantage and the unwavering suport of the United States government, but as young Palestinian school boys were gunned down and oil prices soared and the Oslo accords remained unimplimented, the American people began to wonder just who was the "good guys" and who the "bad guys" here.
It was right at this moment, when Americans were starting to view the Palestinians not as terrorists but as a displaced people with legitimate political greivences, that the USS Cole was supposedly attacked.
But already, indications are that the initial story of an attack by Arab terrorists, may be a cover story.
Click for full size image.
The above graphic, which appeared in the media, illustrates the story put out regarding the attack. A small boat, pretending to assist the USS Cole in morring at a refueling dock, moors the bow line, then motors around to take another mooring line to pass over to the dock, then bumps up against the USS Cole and explodes an on board bomb.
This high resolution photograph from Aden puts to bed the myth that two Arabs stood to attention as their little rubber boat rammed the USS Cole after "quickly leaving the jetty". Which Jetty? The USS Cole is tied up to the outermost buoy, literally miles from shore, in a terribly vulnerable position.
The story was weak to begin with. Ships tied up to docks to not bother tying off to outer moorings, and more to the point, US Navy ships use messenger lines to get mooring lines over to docks, precisely because smaller boats between the large ships and the dock are at risk.
Oddly enough, the first officially released photo of the actual damage to USS Cole was tinted a deep blue.
Later photos revealed more problems with the official story, showing that USS Cole had been docked with the starboard against the refueling dock. The outer mooring bouys described in the original story simply do not exist.
Finally, the United States Navy admitted that the USS Cole had actually been docked for 1/2 hour and was already transferring fuel at the time of the blast, proving that the story of an attack while mooring the ship was a total fiction. In addition, initial reports that the dingy seen floating near USS Cole at the time of the explosion was actually unmanned have resurfaced via statements made by three surviving USS Cole deck crew.
Reuter's news originaly reported that the explosion had occured ON BOARD the USS Cole, and recently, authorities at the Yemen seaport claim that a security camera videotape of the incident does not show a small boat near USS Cole at the moment of the explosion. That video was turned over to the FBI, which then annouved that the tape shows nothing at all and apears to have been edited. The Yemeni government says the FBI did the editing, the FBI says the Yemeni did it.
Was the explosion really a terrorist attack? Or was it, as initially claimed, an accident during refueling quickly converted to a terrorist attack for political gain? Is the bombing of USS Cole a staged event to incite the American people into blind acceptance of a particular point of view?
One thing is clear, had it been a genuine terrorist attack, they chose the one point along the hull least lilely to sink the USS Cole. Had they moved their boat of explosives either foreward or aft, the explosion would have ruptured the missile magazines, the resulting blast from which would have blown USS Cole into a thousand pieces.
Yet another controversial question is why the USS Cole was even in that port to begin with. USS Cole had more than sufficient fuel to reach her destination without refueling. US War ships rarely refuel at Aden harbor as the Yemeni government refuses to gaurentee the security and safety of the ship.
The security at Aden brings up another controversial issue. Given that there was no security within the harbor, it seems odd that the crew of USS Cole were not taking any security precations themselves, apparently under orders. Worse, a DIA intelligence analyst had tried to warn the Navy of a threatened attack, but his warnings went unheeded and he has since resigned.
The overlapping instances of reduced security and ignored warnings strongly suggestive of the theory that the USS Cole was deliberatly set up for an attack for political purposes much as FDR set up Hawaii to be attacked by the Japanese to force the US into the second world war.
USS Cole on her way home.
USS Cole on her way home.
Detail of the hole in USS Cole.