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Jun-15-2010 02:52printcomments

US Wants South Korean Sinking Story Told Their Way: Russia and China Disagree

The lack of evidence linking Pyongyang to the sinking, coupled with the history of US deceptions in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, makes it more likely that the Cheonan was sank by the US or South Koreans, accidentally or deliberately.

Cheonan image courtesy: Hindu Times

(LONDON) - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has “...warned Chinese officials that China could put itself in a ‘dangerous position’ if it refuses to accept North Korea’s role in the sinking of the Cheonan, an apparent reference to the South Korean joint civilian-military investigatory report”, according to the website. This Hong Kong news forum’s name should remind us that Europe is following America into conflicts everywhere with our economies and currencies collapsing while Asia is getting on with rapid development. Can there possibly be a connection?

There is no use Americans getting angry with China for having its exports surge as the Financial Times reports. Many of us can think of much better ways to spend money than on wars and have been saying for a long time that America should be restructuring its economy rather than killing people half a world away in order to steal their oil. Why blame China for America’s own blunders? As I’ve said previously, America would like an excuse for mid-level conflict with China in order to bring in trade sanctions and recover American jobs. A reason to default on their interest payments would be nice too. They’re also pressing for a revaluation of the renminbi. The Chinese won’t be impressed by Hillary ’s threats, so there’s the possibility of a good manufactured conflict here.

”Truth has now become politics and evidence doesn’t matter”

The Chinese and Russians don’t agree with America that North Korea sank the South Korean corvette Cheonan on 26 March 2010, and why should they just because Hillary Clinton expects them to? They’ve seen the evidence. All there is against North Korea is a piece of metal with a single character on it that is said to be usually (not always, but usually) used in North Korea. Even some South Korean experts don’t agree with this. No-one appears to have alleged that it is even part of a torpedo. It’s not enough to convince an American jury, criminal or civil, so how can it go to the United Nations? Why are the UK and Europe going along with this? Truth has now become politics and evidence doesn’t matter.

The international character of the investigation was much touted by the Americans, but it turns out that experts from other countries were merely window-dressing observers while Americans and South Koreans did the investigating. Since our countries are expected to back America in the United Nations, the investigation report should be made public before we become entangled in yet another American conflict even further away from Europe than the Afghanistan-Pakistan mess. Show us the evidence!

The Cheonan sinking might indeed have been the North Koreans taking revenge for a maritime clash with South Korea in November 2009, but it is unlikely. The North Koreans like minor provocations that display their bargaining items and this does not fit the pattern. It might also have been a mine or the Sokcho, the Cheonan’s sister ship, wildly firing off a torpedo as well as its guns.

Suspcious US behaviour

As I’ve said previously, I like the United States as culprits. As suspicious behaviour, why is it that the US only announced on 5 July, after two months, that it and South Korea had an anti-submarine exercise in progress allegedly 75 miles away at the same time as the sinking? Possibly much closer. We knew anyway. Bloggers were writing about it and it was independently reported. I mentioned on this website on 2 July. There’s grave suspicion in South Korea about the American story. The government says that it will track down spreaders of internet rumours and conspiracy theories contrary to government conclusions. What’s this? Isn’t South Korea supported by the US because it’s a democracy where, by definition, the proletariat are allowed to disagree with their government? Indeed, there is an expectation that we, the unwashed, will scrutinize our exalted leaders’ actions. Such over-sensitivity and control usually means that we’re not being told the truth.

The excited gunfire by the Cheonan’s sister ship, the Sokcho, against an (alleged) flock of birds and America’s bellicose response to the sinking, without evidence, reminds me of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident that President Johnson used to start a full-scale war on Vietnam. We know how that went. Nearly 60,000 American dead wasn’t it, with at least two million Vietnamese killed and the population still suffering genetic damage from agent orange, that the US sprayed over nearly the whole country.

Echoes of Tonkin

The papers about the Tonkin incident were only declassified and pried out of the government by persistent investigative journalists. The synopsis on the George Washington University website by Robert J. Hanrock in the formerly classified journal Cryptographic Quarterly makes fascinating and relevant reading.

If you don’t know the story, the USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy were on a mission of deliberate provocation within the territorial waters of North Vietnam. Simultaneously, on land, the CIA and American “trainers” were organizing raids by South Vietnamese commandos on the North’s facilities. Maddox had engaged North Vietnamese torpedo boats two days previously on a similar mission. On the night of 4 August 1964 at 21.34 hours, both Maddox and Turner Joy detected surface and air threats. They began high speed evasive manoeuvres and a few minutes later Turner Joy began firing its main five-inch guns wildly. It fired over 300 rounds on up to 13 targets, fired star shells, dodged two dozen torpedoes, dropped four or five depth charges. Targets were appearing and disappearing. US aircraft called in could find no attackers. No trace of debris was found in the morning. The Maddox’s captain did not believe that there had been any attackers and this was found to be the case. The ships’ own high-speed wakes, erroneous sonar interpretation and radar reflections from waves were responsible for false targets and torpedoes.

Delighted by first reports of an attack, President Johnson was not pleased when doubts that any attack had occurred reached him. He was cheered however, when the National Security Service presented him with reports based on radio intercepts that had been selected to support the attack story by omitting 90 per cent of the material, particularly items indicating that there had been no attack. Johnson used this material to get the House of Representatives to give him a free hand on military action in South East Asia, resulting in the American wars in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. America killed millions. Does it sound familiar?

Johnson knew that there had been no attack on the Maddox and Turner Joy. He is quoted as saying, “Hell, those damn stupid sailors were just shooting at flying fish,” and thought himself very clever. The government had resisted releasing the Tonkin documents for years because they were so similar to the intelligence methods used in support of the Iraq war.

The Cheonan explosion time at 21.22 hours, is within 12 minutes of the time the 1964 Tonkin incident commenced (21.34 hours). The same symptoms of wild gunfire against an unidentified target are seen. American craft were near the Cheonan and presumably helicopters with torpedo-carrying and depth charge capability. It is possible that the Cheonan was not where it was supposed to be or expectations of where it should have been were wrong. In other words, it could have been mistaken for a North Korean vessel. The coincidence of times is noteworthy. Early evening when sight of one’s surroundings has just been lost could be a disturbing and disorientating time, especially near a hostile coast as both these incidents were.

I know nothing of naval warfare, so call me presumptuous, but firing on an unidentified target that has not shown hostility is surely an amazing thing to do. America has an appalling record in Iraq and Afghanistan for attacking targets without confirmation of their identity. BBC reporter John Simpson’s convoy was attacked on camera by an American aircraft, killing a cameraman and 17 other persons with 45 injured. Wedding parties are particularly favoured for air attack, when they are reported as Taliban or Al-Qaeda training camps. General Stanley McChrystal’s big idea in Afghanistan at present is special forces night attacks on houses, often the wrong ones, with everyone killed, men, women and children. Of course, there’s the Wikileaks’ “Collateral Murder” video showing American attitudes, that you have probably seen.

The Sokcho might not have been the only craft firing at the time of the Cheonan explosion. If an American submarine or helicopter torpedoed or depth charged the Cheonan, whether by accident or intentionally, they are clearly not going to admit to it.

Because of their record of genuine conspiracies and murderous ones at that, only the most naïve persons now believe the American and British governments. That is why we have conspiracy theories. It is a simple fact that there is no evidence whatsoever in the public domain linking North Korea to the sinking. Having examined the best that the Americans have, the Russians and Chinese don’t think so either. Yet Hillary Clinton wants the world to trust and believe her when she says that North Korea was responsible. The evidence is really that the Cheonan sinking is another in a long line of American deceptions.


Christopher King is a retired consultant and lecturer in management and marketing. He lives in London, UK.

Redress Information & Analysis is dedicated to exposing injustice, disinformation and bigotry and to providing thought-provoking interpretations of current affairs.

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jimmy June 16, 2010 6:21 pm (Pacific time)

Nice to see this starting to pick up some speed. Already there is quite a bit of discussion by groups labled as conspiracy nuts both here and abroad about the questionable evedence. A German made torpedo with a "possible" North Korean mark on it is literally all that the South has? Now I'm no expert but kids, if you are going to try to frame your neighbor for a crime, at least use something from their house!

Roy June 15, 2010 7:18 am (Pacific time)

That grim downturned mouth that is becoming fixed on Hillary is going to make her permanently ugly. It's scarier than the sardonic grin that Laura Bush wore. If she wants to be genuinely tough she can emulate Cuban leader Celia Sanchez, a real woman and beauty. But she would have to pick up a rifle and be the first one to cross the border to North Korea.

June 15, 2010 7:16 am (Pacific time)

That grim downturned mouth that is becoming fixed on Hillary is going to make her permanently ugly. It's scarier than the sardonic grin that Laura Bush wore. If she wants to be genuinely tough she can emulate Cuban leader Celia Sanchez, a real woman and beauty. But she would have to pick up a rifle and be the first one to cross the border to North Korea.

Leval Lowery June 15, 2010 11:58 am (Pacific time)

Christopher King lives in his mind not the real world!

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