2 July 17
Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm doth bind the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
First stanza from the “Naval Hymn,” authored by William Whiting in 1860, inspired by dangers of seafaring described in the 107th Psalm. It has since been “adopted,” officially and unofficially, by many Western navies and Marine Services.
Many, including US Adm James Stavridis (ret), have expressed grave concern for the obvious vulnerability of cruise-ship crew and passengers, herded together in a small space, and isolated far from any kind of help in some remote corner of a vast ocean, to attacks by ISIS. Stavridis is the former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe
Slow, lumbering, high-profile, luxury cruise ships typically carry 5k passengers and crew. And, they are utterly defenseless! Cruise ships are “gun-free zones!” Passengers and crew are all castrated!
A dozen heavily-armed ISIS terrorists can easily board and take-over most cruise ships, with scant interference from the crew, none from passengers. Escape will be all but impossible, and rescue will be grievously arduous and dangerous.
Results are predictable, and will resemble Beslan!
And, it is not all just speculation!
In October of 1985, the luxury cuuise ship, Achille Lauro, was hijacked by a dozen members of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) while off the coast of Egypt. They singled-out a passenger, an American Jew named Leon Klinghoffer, who was confined to a wheelchair. At point-blank range, Klinghoffer was shot to death in his wheelchair, and then he and his wheelchair were thrown overboard.
Hijackers subsequently escaped and were granted “safe passage” to Tunisia, but the getaway plane was forced to land in Italy by US fighter jets, under the direction of then-president Reagan. During the extradition hearing, bungled by the Italians (what a surprise), the leader of the murdering hijackers, (Muhammad Zaidan, also known as “Abu Abbas”) was allowed to fly to Yugoslavia and ultimate freedom.
By chance, Zaidan was recaptured by American forces in Iraq in 2003. When his identity was discovered and confirmed, he was scheduled for extradition back to Italy. He never made it! The Italians didn’t get a second chance to flub the dub! Zaidan died in early 2004, while still in captivity, of what were reported as “natural causes.”
Currently, there is still scant co-operation/coordination with regard to terrorism at sea, even with regard to piracy, much less luxury cruise ships. The entire issue is fundamentally ignored!
… and will continue to be until the unthinkable happens, again!
For one, cruise ships are not for me, nor is any other place I can’t be armed. For the foreseeable future, this world will not be a happy place for VBCs (Victims, by Choice)!
Americans have the right to choose to be unarmed and helpless.
Be my guest!