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After the Ehimu Maru tragedy occurred, opponents of GWB immediately sought to somehow blame GWB. Dozens of posts on this board and on LOOPT argued that somehow it was GWB's fault. IMO, these arguments were frankly, as pointed out by Vile, as silly as trying to blame ex-President Clinton for the gondola tragedy in Italy (which I don't recall anyone trying to do).

They also attacked the Navy, which may have made mistakes, but which no one argues hit this Japanese training vessel on purpose.

Yet in their rush to attack Bush and the Navy, his opponents overlooked the question of "what a Japanese training vessel for future fishermen was doing in American waters." (All quotations are from an article by John Hall published in The New York Post on February 22, 2001, which unfortunately was not included in the Post's web edition.)

"For decades the Japanese have been sending huge flotillas...close to and into U.S territorial waters from which they are barred by law....

"When causght fishing illegally ....vessels abandon entire drift nets to destroy the evidence. The result is hundreds of miles of netting left to 'ghost fish'...entrapping whales and dolphins to drown....

"In Hawaii and the South Pacific, they call the nets the "wall of death", not only for tuna, but sharks, seals, turtles and birds."

"Plastic drift nets....can be as long as 40 miles. They are rapidly depleting world fisheries. In the North Pacific alone, 20,500 miles of nets are set nightly.

(Emphasis and italics added)

After reading this article, I can only hope that the Ehime Maru tragedy, instead of being a silly political football, will have an unexpected benefit - an opportunity to draw attention to the other tragedy of what's being done to the world's oceans.


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