Viewer Mail Alert!
A Viewer (I have one - Amazing!) writes:
I was hoping you would post on this topic. As the weapons expert on Moneyline indicated... Yes it is suspicious to be transporting missiles inside of concrete. But the sale of short range missiles is not illegal by any binding treaty, the only treaties in effect are voluntary, and the N. Koreans aren't party to those treaties anyway.
Tough Times would say that even the Soviet Union had the courtesy to ship their missiles (Legally!) to Cuba on the decks of their transports, in full view. The method of conveyance alludes to secrecy for some reason other than state security - after all, as CNN relates, security in the Middle East comes out of the barrel of a gun, and Yemen would be advertising this gun to all its neighbors, were they Yemen’s missiles. And indeed, Yemen has claimed them.
But that does not contraindicate the possibility that these missiles were going to Al Qaeda (spelling of the day!) for nefarious purpose - after all, it could have been part of the plan for Yemen to claim them as their own should they be discovered. Once dispersed inside Yemen, they would have been hard to find, just as Saddam’s were during the Gulf War. Another interesting question: Why did the ship try to flee, if it were a legal transaction? Answer: Its crew knew it was acting in a highly suspicios, if not illegal manner.
We had very little right to board that ship, less right to hold the cargo, and no right from stopping from where it is going. We do have a right to ask whatever port authority was taking the weapons to interdict.
Actually, Spain intercepted, boarded and interdicted, though I assume the "we" you mean is the "anti-terror coalition" we, and not the "USA" we. The Spanish Captain felt that, since the vessel showed no evidence of being flagged in any country, it was a pirate, or outlaw vessel. Such vessels ARE able to be seized under International Maritime law.
My prediction is the same as the weapons inspector. We let the ship go "as is" (unless we find more sinister weapons on board than scuds) and then nobody will accept it in port. It heads back to N. Korea with its cargo...
I was going to post here that if in fact that missiles were legally ordered by, and belonged to the Yemenis, for them to NOT claim them would be an indication of the possibility of nefarious intent. Yemen has stated that they do belong to Yemen, and the latest breaking news is that the missiles will be turned over to Yemen (CNN page just updated, so link above goes directly to the now updated story). Perhaps an innocent purchase, but certainly the delivery was performed in an extremely suspicious manner.