Spectre of USS Maine aka the "Cheonan Incident"
It seems as if a specter of Maine, a battleship of the United States that sank over 110 years ago, is haunting the planet.
Old trick of ascription
On the night of March 26, 2010, the south Korean naval ship Cheonan sank in the West Sea of Korea. The south Korean authorities attributed the sinking to either “internal explosion” or a “natural breakdown” of the superannuated vessel. Suddenly, on May 20, over 50 days after the accident, they released a “report of joint investigation,” where they ascribed the sinking to a torpedo attack of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Such an abnormal and perverted act of the south Korean authorities struck the people of the world dumbfounded.
It is, however, not so surprising if one inquires into what underlies its background. The US, de facto dominator and controller of south Korea, instigated the south Korean authorities to link the accident with north Korea, asserting that “there is no other suspect than north Korea,” and “the sinking of the ship is most probably due to north Korea’s torpedo attack.”
It is typical of the US to shift blame to another; this becomes inevitable if the latter is a country with hostile interest.
In February 1898 the US, in order to seize the Spanish colonies in the Pacific area and Latin America, had had its own battleship Maine exploded, and laid the blame at the door of Spain. It then unleashed a war against Spain, the first imperialist war of kind in the world.
In August 1964, its destroyer Maddox under the cover of tens of aircrafts, intruded into the Tonkin Gulf in North Vietnam. It was a sort of provocation. It then claimed that Vietnam had attacked the American vessel in the open sea, and expanded the Vietnam War.
North Korea, branded by the US as “suspect” of the Cheonan incident, is a country which the latter has resorted to every conceivable scheme and method to stifle for scores of years.
The accident was a golden opportunity for the US.
“Material evidence,” full of doubts
Every plot, however authentic it looks, is hard to hide its truth. And the material evidence of north Korea’s torpedo attack which the south Korean authorities produced is too far-fetched.
The “small amount of powder ingredients” detected from the funnel and cutting section of the sunken ship was that of the RDX powder generally used in the military and civilian industries everywhere in the world, including south Korea. The “alloy fragment” noted as north Korea’s torpedo splinters was no more than a metallic material of aluminum and magnesium that is also used in shipbuilding for the south Korean navy.
What south Korean side put forward as the decisive “material evidence,” 1.5-meter-long rear part of torpedo, was more ridiculous; it was neither bent nor damaged, far from being out of recognition, though it was allegedly used for breaking the ship into two parts. Besides, the letters “No. 1” written in the “style of the north” on the rear part of the propelling body were too clearly visible even though the body got rusty under the sea for 50-odd days.
There were more doubtful points, including the fact that the south tries to conceal the gas turbine, a key element in explaining the cause of the sinking.
Konstantin Osmolov, senior researcher at the Korea research center of the Far Eastern Institute under the Russian Academy of Sciences, presented following questions:
Why did the accident claim the lives of only rank and file, not of officers?
Why did nobody suffer from ruptured eardrum or broken bones, instances commonly witnessed after a torpedo attack?
Why do the letters written by a modern felt-tip pen, allegedly visible on the torpedo’s propelling body, have more similarity with the south’s style than the north’s?
Beneficiary of the accident
It is an elementary and general principle in the investigation of a case to find out who will reap the greatest benefit in the case.
Then what benefit would north Korea, the “accused,” gain from this accident?
As is widely known to the world the DPRK is now concentrating all its efforts into the building of a thriving nation by 2012. It has even mobilized a huge force of soldiers into the major sectors of the national economy such as the Huichon Power Station construction project.
From the viewpoint of common sense, that peace and security are the prerequisites for economic growth and prosperity, peaceful environment is more important than ever for the DPRK. For this, it put forth a proposal of establishing a durable peace mechanism in the Korean Peninsula early this year, and has made strenuous efforts to realize it.
It easily stands to reason with everyone that the north has nothing to gain by sinking a south Korean naval ship.
It is none other than the US that shares the greatest benefit from the accident.
The Obama administration, ill reputed for its weakness in foreign policy in the first year of its power, had availed itself of this case to produce to the fullest its “hard image” in the lead-up to a Congressional mid-term election slated for coming November. By creating the impression of “threat from north Korea” in bold relief, it compelled the Japanese ruling Democratic Party to retreat from its commitment that it would drive the GIs out of Okinawa. And by inciting the feeling of “security unrest” that a war may break out any time in the Korean Peninsula, it elicited an agreement from the south Korean authorities on extending the “transfer of the wartime operational control,” which is due in 2012, by 2015. In a nutshell, the US killed “three birds with one stone.”
Who is then the real culprit of the case?
A reconnaissance source of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy said that the Cheonan was sunk by a special torpedo fired by a small diving machine of a state-of-the-art nuclear submarine of the US forces. This is worthy of note.
Dark cloud of war
The south Korean authorities, at the manipulation of the US, vociferate that it is ready to go to war against north Korea. South Korea and the US plan to stage joint military rehearsals against north Korea from July to the end of this year under the pretext of Cheonan accident.
Prevailing situation portends a new Korean War.
The Cheonan incident of 2010 may incur a new war in Korea, as the Maine of 1898 invited the US-Spain War and the Maddox of 1964 the expansion of the Vietnam War.
But now is not the end of the 19th century or the mid-20th century. Nor is it 2003 when the US deceived the United Nations with a piece of sheer lie and unleashed a war against Iraq. International community is matured and awakened enough to see through the Cheonan incident and the underlying US intention.