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Tag: Africa

Trident shadowing boat-load of bombs

Trident shadowing boat-load of bombs

Chinese arms dispatched to Mugabe rejected by ports
– so far

April 24, 2008

By Gordon Thomas
Reposted from the G2 Bulletin with permission – The G2 Bulletin is a subscription only news source.

Robert Mugabe

LONDON – A floating arsenal of weapons and bombs dispatched by China in a rust-stained tramp freighter to the pariah state of President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe now is being shadowed by Britain’s most powerful submarine, a nuclear Trident.

Freighter officers are desperate to be allowed to unload their cargo of 1,500 rocket-propelled grenades, 2,500 mortar rounds and three million rounds of ammunition for Mugabe’s army, intended to be used to further cow the country’s starving population.

But it has been turned away by dockers in the South African port who branded it “a ship of shame,” as well as ports in Angola and Mozambique.

Now as it wanders around the South Atlantic, the An Yue Jiang, which began its voyage five weeks ago from the Chinese port of Ningbo southwards into the Pacific and across the Indian Ocean, the Beijing Ministry of Defense has been trying to find an African country which would allow it to unload the lethal cargo.

Intelligence sources in London have confirmed that secret approaches have been made to Equatorial Guinea, Benin and the Ivory Coast. But so far none has allowed the ship to dock and offload its weapons.

Tom Casey, a State Department spokesman in Washington, said: “We think that under the present circumstances and the current political crisis in Zimbabwe, now is not the time for anyone to be increasing the number of weapons and armaments available to that country. We will press African nations to refuse the Yue Jiang docking rights or to face worsened relations with the United State.”

Naval intelligence sources in London have said the possibility “cannot be ruled out” that the ship could make the journey to Venezuela, whose maverick leader, President Hugo Chavez, has a good relationship with China and is an opponent of the United States.

“Chavez is a skilled player on the international stage and he could say he was offering to refuel the ship on humanitarian grounds. The weapons could then be transferred to a Venezuelan registered ship and repackaged for Zimbabwe,” said one ship’s broker at Lloyds, the world’s largest shipping broker.

Meantime, the Trident — one of four in the fleet which is based in Faslane on Scotland’s Clyde — is on patrol.

For three months, the black-hulled submarine will be at sea. At 450 feet long and weighing 16,000 tons, the leviathan hull is covered with sonar-absorbing anechoic tiles.

From the depths of the ocean it trails a 1,000-yard-long communications wire. That wire is used to receive and send short burst communications.

The Trident’s role is simply that of a watchdog. But its presence can only reinforce the mood in Washington and London that the shipment of arms must be recalled to China and plans to send further shipments abandoned by the Beijing regime.

Gordon Thomas is the author of the newly published Secrets and Lies: A History of CIA Mind Control and Germ Warfare (Octavo Editions, USA) and the forthcoming Inside British Intelligence (JR Books, UK).

The Compassion Forum

The Compassion Forum

barackhillary.jpgOn April 20th* April 13th (Sunday) at 8:00pm (ET) Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will participate in a forum on faith and values at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. It will be broadcast live on CNN. John McCain has been invited as well but has so far declined. The event has been called The Compassion Forum.

The faq page of The Compassion Forum Site lists the following “compassion and social justice issues” for discussion:

  • Global and U.S. Poverty
  • Human Rights
  • Global Aids
  • Climate Change
  • Darfur

What do I think of all this?

  1. I believe that Christians should act with compassion to help those in poverty.
  2. I believe that Christians should be on the front lines of defending human rights
  3. I believe that Christians should be on the front lines of compassion towards those with Aids
  4. I believe that the Human Caused Global Warming “crisis” is a Man Made Myth.
  5. I believe that the crisis in the Sudan is a great tragedy. I don’t know what to do about it and I am very interested in hearing a discussion of what the U.S. government can or should do about it.

I hope that in the category of human rights the forum addresses:

  • The Right to Life and the ending of the Evil and Murderous practice of killing unborn children
  • Religious Freedom in America and around the world
  • The Right and Responsibility of parents as their children’s primary educators

I have to admit that I am skeptical. I get a little bit tired of some claiming that it is only “compassion” if you believe that the government should tax people more and spend more money on the problem. I am convinced that individuals, churches, and private organizations getting involved hands-on with their own money and their lives is the key to most “compassion” issues. I do believe that the government has a responsibility to defend the Rights to Life and Liberty. I believe that the best thing the government can do to combat poverty is to get out of the way and let the people love their neighbors.

I hope I will be able to watch it. I am not sure if I will be able to at this point.

If you watch it, come back here and tell me what you thought about it!

It will be very interesting to see if John McCain shows up. Even Mike Huckabee is supporting the event.

We’ll see what happens!

*A comment below revealed that I had entered the wrong date for the CNN broadcast of the event. April 13th is the correct date.