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Old 07-23-2009, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 12,928,237 times
Reputation: 10072

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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Walmsley View Post
This has become one of the "untouchable" stories of history. Interestingly, President Johnson broke with the historic tradition of holding commendation ceremonies at the White House, and recognized the valor of the Liberty skipper Commander William McGonagle and his men in a quiet service at the Washington Naval Yard. It seems to be a sealed story, so far.
That one bugs me too. One thing that has eroded my solid support of Israel over the years is the tendency to accuse of anti-Semitism anyone who finds fault with an Israeli policy or action. That's just retarded, quite frankly. If I find fault with a Nigerian policy, does that make me racist against African Africans? In the case of the Liberty, it gets more than a little shrill. It's happened a lot with the Liberty incident.

The worst thing I've read thus far about it was by a judge in Florida who basically endorsed the whole Israeli position and said, "I'm a distinguished jurist, this should end the debate forever." As if being a big-name lawyer should carry any weight of credibility with honest men and women, rather than the precise opposite.

As far as the biggest hole in the Israeli version, it has to be the El-Quseir business. First they said it was an accident, then they ran for Jane's Horse Transport Scows in desperation to find something Arab that could theoretically be mistaken for the Liberty by a Pac-10 referee, and said they'd mistaken it for the El-Quseir. Which, as we all know, would surely have picked that time to head out along the Gaza shores, because as we all know quite well, Egyptian air power was doing magnificent things in the war effort, and it would make excellent sense to send an old scow into the war zone, confident that the crushed Chel Avir Ha'Isra'el could pose it no danger. Yeah. Right. "Sorry; we mistook it for another ship. If you'll give us a few minutes, we'll look it up and figure out which ship we mistook it for."

I had a very interesting discussion about it with a retired Israeli colonel who was a veteran of Milchamat Ha'Shisha Yomim (as they call the Six-Day War in Hebrew, hope I didn't forget an article). He felt (not as an insider to my knowledge) that the attack was a great mistake (and he didn't mean an accident). I asked him what if the US had been using the intercepted Israeli communications output to pressure Israel politically? (That is what I think happened, and why they ordered it out of the area. "Well, we didn't mind you spying as long as we thought you were rooting for us, but if you're going to bug us, then very well: your ship is in a war zone, and if it's still there in a day we'll sink it.") He said, quite cogently, "What if it was spying? Russian trawlers were doing exactly the same thing, and surely helping the Arabs with the information. We didn't shoot at them. Why shoot at a friend?"

The scariest part is that the first aircraft scrambled from the 6th Fleet, if my information is correct, were the 'ready' aircraft. 'Ready' aircraft carried nuclear weapons. My understanding is that McNamara blanched pretty well when they told him those had been launched, and gave a quick order that they return immediately. This might well give Israel the most pause of all: for a short time, United States warplanes armed with nuclear weapons were headed for the Israeli-occupied coast, certain that a United States ship was under attack.
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:02 PM
 
594 posts, read 1,655,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j_k_k View Post
That one bugs me too. One thing that has eroded my solid support of Israel over the years is the tendency to accuse of anti-Semitism anyone who finds fault with an Israeli policy or action. That's just retarded, quite frankly. If I find fault with a Nigerian policy, does that make me racist against African Africans? In the case of the Liberty, it gets more than a little shrill. It's happened a lot with the Liberty incident.

The worst thing I've read thus far about it was by a judge in Florida who basically endorsed the whole Israeli position and said, "I'm a distinguished jurist, this should end the debate forever." As if being a big-name lawyer should carry any weight of credibility with honest men and women, rather than the precise opposite.

As far as the biggest hole in the Israeli version, it has to be the El-Quseir business. First they said it was an accident, then they ran for Jane's Horse Transport Scows in desperation to find something Arab that could theoretically be mistaken for the Liberty by a Pac-10 referee, and said they'd mistaken it for the El-Quseir. Which, as we all know, would surely have picked that time to head out along the Gaza shores, because as we all know quite well, Egyptian air power was doing magnificent things in the war effort, and it would make excellent sense to send an old scow into the war zone, confident that the crushed Chel Avir Ha'Isra'el could pose it no danger. Yeah. Right. "Sorry; we mistook it for another ship. If you'll give us a few minutes, we'll look it up and figure out which ship we mistook it for."

I had a very interesting discussion about it with a retired Israeli colonel who was a veteran of Milchamat Ha'Shisha Yomim (as they call the Six-Day War in Hebrew, hope I didn't forget an article). He felt (not as an insider to my knowledge) that the attack was a great mistake (and he didn't mean an accident). I asked him what if the US had been using the intercepted Israeli communications output to pressure Israel politically? (That is what I think happened, and why they ordered it out of the area. "Well, we didn't mind you spying as long as we thought you were rooting for us, but if you're going to bug us, then very well: your ship is in a war zone, and if it's still there in a day we'll sink it.") He said, quite cogently, "What if it was spying? Russian trawlers were doing exactly the same thing, and surely helping the Arabs with the information. We didn't shoot at them. Why shoot at a friend?"

The scariest part is that the first aircraft scrambled from the 6th Fleet, if my information is correct, were the 'ready' aircraft. 'Ready' aircraft carried nuclear weapons. My understanding is that McNamara blanched pretty well when they told him those had been launched, and gave a quick order that they return immediately. This might well give Israel the most pause of all: for a short time, United States warplanes armed with nuclear weapons were headed for the Israeli-occupied coast, certain that a United States ship was under attack.
j_k_k,
Thanks for your great post on the USS Liberty! It's doubtful we will ever see a thorough investigation of this story in our lifetime. Some things are sacrosanct!
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:57 PM
 
873 posts, read 1,619,579 times
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Excellent post sir! And the accusation that you mentioned is almost always used to discourage any discussion, criticism, etc. I almost wonder sometimes if the U.S. gov't. isn't held hostage by Israel with the threat of blackmail or something, due to the position that the U.S. almost always takes that is certainly not in the best interest of America and our citizens. Again, excellent post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_k_k View Post
That one bugs me too. One thing that has eroded my solid support of Israel over the years is the tendency to accuse of anti-Semitism anyone who finds fault with an Israeli policy or action. That's just retarded, quite frankly.
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 12,928,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bugguy View Post
Excellent post sir! And the accusation that you mentioned is almost always used to discourage any discussion, criticism, etc. I almost wonder sometimes if the U.S. gov't. isn't held hostage by Israel with the threat of blackmail or something, due to the position that the U.S. almost always takes that is certainly not in the best interest of America and our citizens. Again, excellent post.
Thing is, in many ways I see the Israeli point on some topics. They were invaded the day after their declaration of independence. Countries near Israel have often been unable to complete a simple sentence without talking about destroying Israel; that's enough to set anyone on edge. And my thinking on many matters is similar to Israeli thinking: you cannot negotiate with thugs and bullies. Thugs and bullies understand only one language--that of swift, brutal and final violence. The way my mind works, one day someone makes a posturing threat once too often, and someone should act pre-emptively without warning to make sure that threat can't ever be carried out. In their part of the world, right and wrong are rarely as essential as willingness to strike first, strike hard and strike finally.

While I don't endorse every action Israel has taken, they've shown guts and brains and I admire both. But we have to keep it real. On this particular topic, Israel has tried to paint its critics as though they're dusting off Protocols of the Elders of Zion. And the fact is there are those of us who speak pretty fair Hebrew, have no problem with Judaism or Israel, yet who can still call Israel on a really evil deed and a cover-up that insults the intelligence.

There's plenty of authentic anti-Semitism out there, especially the D. Irving variety. To see it where it is not cheapens the term.
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:57 PM
 
74 posts, read 266,413 times
Reputation: 82
^How this all started is usually forgotten and overlooked. It seems this problem started because of UK. war and foreign policy decisions.

Also, do not forget that there were few Jewish people inhabiting the area in what was to become Israel which at that time was called Palestine. That area was controlled by the Ottoman Turks who lost it to the UK. at the end of WW I.

Before the end of WW I the UK. issued the Balfour declaration in 1917 whose goal was to allow Jewish people from Europe to move there while not asking the people who actually lived there if they liked the idea. The declaration had to do with getting Jewish Europeans support for WW I.

Info. on the declaration:
http://www.answers.com/topic/balfour-declaration-1917

Then we have the British Mandate of Palestine after WW I.
http://www.answers.com/topic/british...e-of-palestine


So the UK. helped create Israel without ever asking the people who actually were from that area if they approved. All this has lead to constant conflict in that area. Israel needs to find a solution which both sides will agree too. A nation cannot be in conflict forever.

Strange thing about this is that the Arabs that live in Israel proper and are citizens are reproducing at a higher rate then the Jewish people who live there. Israel is a democracy so what will they do when the Arabs demand more political power.

And has for the 1948 war just take a look at the first two maps of 1947. Seems the UN Plan, the second map, was not coinciding with the first map which actually showed what each side controlled.
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:43 PM
Status: "Uncomfortably numb" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
65,192 posts, read 61,346,166 times
Reputation: 79544
Wow, just discovered this thread. Lots of info!
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:02 PM
 
594 posts, read 1,655,989 times
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One of the lesser-known stories of WWII is that the Axis, notably the Germans, disguised and armed merchant vessels to attack allied shipping. Some of these merchant raiders were armed sufficiently to be considered auxiliary cruisers. In 1941 off the western coast of Australia, the German merchant raider Komoran, disguised as a Dutch merchant vessel, engaged the Australian naval cruiser HMAS Sydney in battle. During the fierce engagement, the badly damaged Sydney was ablaze and tried to make it to the Australian coast. Unfortunately, it sank with a loss of all hands, over 600 men, making it one of the worst naval disasters in WWII. Likewise, the heavily damaged Komoran also sank, but many of the crew made it to the Australian coast, where they were interned.

In 2008, the team that found the HMS Hood off Greenland performed a survey off Australia's west coast and discovered the wreck of the Komoran and soon after the HMAS Sydney, bringing closure to a story that had perplexed many families for decades. A link to the story follows:

WWII cruiser found 66 years after sinking in battle | KVAL CBS 13 - News, Weather and Sports - Eugene, OR - Eugene, Oregon | National & World News
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:22 AM
 
2,421 posts, read 6,476,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Walmsley View Post
One of the lesser-known stories of WWII is that the Axis, notably the Germans, disguised and armed merchant vessels to attack allied shipping. Some of these merchant raiders were armed sufficiently to be considered auxiliary cruisers. In 1941 off the western coast of Australia, the German merchant raider Komoran, disguised as a Dutch merchant vessel, engaged the Australian naval cruiser HMAS Sydney in battle. During the fierce engagement, the badly damaged Sydney was ablaze and tried to make it to the Australian coast. Unfortunately, it sank with a loss of all hands, over 600 men, making it one of the worst naval disasters in WWII. Likewise, the heavily damaged Komoran also sank, but many of the crew made it to the Australian coast, where they were interned.

In 2008, the team that found the HMS Hood off Greenland performed a survey off Australia's west coast and discovered the wreck of the Komoran and soon after the HMAS Sydney, bringing closure to a story that had perplexed many families for decades. A link to the story follows:

WWII cruiser found 66 years after sinking in battle | KVAL CBS 13 - News, Weather and Sports - Eugene, OR - Eugene, Oregon | National & World News
There's a moving memorial to the loss of the HMAS Sydney II, in the WA coastal town of Geraldton.


Another largely forgotten WW2 naval incident involving Australia, was the unfortunate sinking of the "Montevideo Maru".

The Montevideo Maru was a Japanese Troop/Crago vessel. Which on the 1st of July 1942, was travelling unattended towards Hainan Island in the Phillipines. Where it was spotted and torpedoed by an American Submarine, USS Sturgeon.

The unfortunate part of this story. Is that the American Submarine Captian thought he was shooting on a typical Japanese transport ship and wasn't aware of the fact. That there was around 1000 Australian POW's onboard. Who the Japanese had captured during the "Battle of Rabaul", in Papua New Guinea and were apparently in the process, of transporting them back to Japan?

Sadly, No-one survived and not much was known about the incident, Until after the Japanese surrendered.

ABC Perth - The wreck of the Montevideo Maru

Last edited by Kangaroofarmer; 08-03-2009 at 01:35 AM..
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:57 AM
 
594 posts, read 1,655,989 times
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Kangaroofarmer,

Thanks for the additional information on the HMAS Sydney memorial and the story of the Montevideo Maru. Indeed, both are sad chapters in the annals of war. One thing I forgot to mention is that there were eight members of the Royal Navy who were lost aboard the HMAS Sydney.
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:10 AM
 
Location: Turn right at the stop sign
1,622 posts, read 2,777,275 times
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The attack on the USS Liberty brings to mind a similar attack upon an American naval vessel that took place thirty years earlier. At the time, it too was blamed on a case of "mistaken identity".

The USS Panay, a navy gunboat that patrolled the Yangtze River protecting U.S. interests in China, was dispatched to the city of Nanking in the early part of December 1937. Her mission was to evacuate all remaining American and European dependents whose lives were in danger from the brutal assault the Japanese Army had launched against the city.

On December 11th, the Panay departed Nanking accompanied by three Standard Oil tankers. The following day, December 12th, the Panay dropped anchor approximately twenty-eight miles upriver from Nanking where it awaited the inevitable fall of the city. At 1:40 PM, three Japanese heavy bombers appeared in the sky above the Panay. Without warning, the planes began to drop bombs on the ship, one of which struck the Panay almost immediately. The blast incapacitated the Panay's captain and chief quartermaster. The crew of the Panay returned fire, but the arrangement of the ship's machine guns was such that it made it nearly impossible to elevate the guns to strike at the Japanese planes.

Six Japanese dive bombers now appeared and continued the assault on the Panay with more bombs and machine gun fire. The Japanese planes kept up the attack for over twenty minutes, inflicting so much damage on the Panay that it soon began to sink. As the crew began to abandon ship, the motorized shore boats that they were using to ferry people away were continuously strafed by the planes. With the Panay clearly done for, the Japanese turned their attention to the oil tankers, sinking two of the three ships in short order. At 3:49 PM, a Japanese army patrol boat arrived on scene, riddled the Panay with machine gun fire, then boarded the vessel. After a short inspection, they departed and the planes did as well. Five minutes later, the Panay sank to the bottom of the Yangtze River. When it was all over, two U.S. sailors were dead as well as one foreign journalist.

News of the incident quickly reached around the world and the expectation was that it might lead to the U.S. declaring war against Japan. However, the Japanese quickly offered a formal apology for the action against the Panay, claiming that the ship was mistaken for a Chinese naval vessel. After much diplomatic wrangling and promises of reparations, President Franklin Roosevelt accepted the Japanese apology and the matter was considered closed.

However, the "mistaken identity" claim was never really believed by most at the time. Aboard the Panay was a newsreel cameraman named Norman Alley, who worked for Universal News. Alley filmed the entire incident from beginning to end, and when released, his footage showed without a doubt that the Panay was clearly marked as a U.S. vessel. In addition, the Japanese were well aware that the Panay was in the vicinity of Nanking. A Japanese Army officer had even visited the Panay earlier in the day prior to the ship coming under attack, demanding information from the Americans about Chinese troop movements. Lastly, the incident was not isolated by any means. Four British gunboats on the Yangtze had also come under attack by Japanese planes and artillery the same day as the Panay.

Regardless, neither the American or British governments were eager or in any position to go to war against Japan in 1937. It was simply believed to be in all three nations best interest to forget the whole thing. Which is exactly what they and the rest of the world for that matter, promptly did.

Last edited by TonyT; 08-04-2009 at 03:40 AM..
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