Thursday, January 05, 2012

Oil Tanker Traffic in Dire Straits?

Oh no! What if the flow of oil tankers gets blocked or slowed down by Iran? Guess what - on average, dozens of fully loaded oil tankers and container ships get captured every month and are held in port for ransom for months at a time. Other ships get captured, repainted and sold along with their cargo in a matter of hours. The flow of oil and other cargo is already being blocked and slowed down without any link to Iran and this has been going on for decades.
Oil tankers get attacked on a daily basis yet there's little urgency to stop the actual problem that exists and incredible urgency to start a war over a potential problem that does not yet exist.
And it's not restricted to the waters off eastern Africa. It's a constant threat between the South Pacific and Indian Oceans around Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. I haven't even mentioned the piracy off the Brazilian coast. "But I haven't heard about Somali pirates for a long time," you say? No, as a sensational news story, modern day piracy has run its course. That doesn't mean it's no longer happening. Shipping companies try very hard to keep this quiet and out of the news for obvious reasons. Even the pirates avoid media coverage. Most prefer a clean business deal.

"Well, if oil tankers are already being captured and the flow of oil is already threatened, then why is there suddenly so much alarm about Iran blocking the Straits of Hormuz?" you ask. Exactly. Why the alarm? "And why haven't we sent in the Navy with the big guns to protect ships from the piracy that's actually occurring even right now?" Well, the U.S. does contribute to a modest international naval presence fighting piracy as part of a joint effort. But the daily theft of oil tankers and container ships is not considered an urgent problem. The great urgency seems directed to escalating a potential threat that someday in the future the flow of oil might be interrupted.

Be aware there is a concerted effort among many to start a war against Iran and the news media is only too happy to help fan the flames. For a few examples:

Iran Test-Fires Missiles Near Persian Gulf - 01/02/12
US sells $30bn - 84 - F-15 jets to Saudi Arabia
Live CNN Soldier's Mic Unplugged
CNN Live New Developments

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