Thursday, December 17, 2009

Whale war

Anti-whaling activist Paul Watson was this morning shot in the head by a Japanese sniper aboard one of its whaling vessels. Whoa, the Japanese have obviously had enough of the rancid butter tossed onto their decks. Sea Shepherd vessels might do well to clear the area - Japanese torpedoes could be next.

Captain Watson is indeed lucky that the fine wire bridge-piece on his classic Ray Bans deflected the high velocity projectile that would have otherwise struck him smack between the eyes. It's another miraculous escape for bullet-magnet Watson.

Watson had earlier sought Australian intervention:

Really what Australia should do and could do is send a navy vessel down here and order the Japanese out of the Australian Antarctic territory.

Australia could do this but shouldn't: it's sovereignty over Antarctic waters is not clearly established. Thus it's not unreasonable to think Japan might consider naval intervention an act of war. And just imagine what might happen if an Australian vessel sank a whaler and picked up the survivors. Having seen the Oceanic Viking precedent there's no way those hard-headed Japanese whalers would go ashore anywhere other than Japan. Hell, they could be on board forever - World War II holdout Hiroo Onoda didn't surrender until 1974.


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