In my News and Views from the Nefarium last Thursday (Jan 11th), I prefaced my remarks about the Franco-Chinese summit by pointing out that these past two weeks have seen some strange stories, stories suggesting that while the war between the great powers for hegemony may not have gone hot, it's at least much warmer than before. For example, in the space of a few days, we've seen (1) the US launch, and as quickly lose, a classified space satellite; (2) ships colliding in the Aegean Sea and in the Persian Gulf, and (3) Russia shoot down over a dozen drones which it claims "Syrian militants" shot at Russian bases.
It takes no great leap of the mind to understand that "Syrian militants" aren't producing or manufacturing those drones by themselves in the Syrian desert in the "Syrian Militant Secret Desert Drone Manufacturing Facility"; they're getting them from somewhere, and that somewhere is probably the U.S.A. It takes no greater leap of the imagination to understand that as part of that "sale" the "militants" were probably told "target Russian bases." The satellite story is intriguing in the context of everything else going on, and we'll probably blog about that in this weeks' blog offerings of high octane speculations. Suffice it to say, some people are already speculating about the satellite lose being due to sabotage. In the context of drones and colliding ships it does take on a different shape.
It's those colliding ships, however, that really have me going "Hmmmm," and apparently they have quite a few other people going "hmmmm" too, because the story was one of the highest represented in this weeks' "inbox" of articles, so a brief word of thanks to all of you who sent in various versions of the story along with some of your own high octane speculations.
One individual who sent a version of this story, Mr. J.C., wondered if this was part of the warned "tanker war," and frankly, I have to wonder too. But besides this collision between an Iranian tanker and a Chinese freighter, the Russians appear to have experienced a collision in the Aegean Sea:
Now, I mention the last article, shared by Mr. P.K., which, while short, is perhaps the most significant of the three, since the incident reported occurred on Dec. 30th, and the story was only posted by RT on Jan 10th, nearly a week and a half after the "event." We're given no details about the Chinese-Iranian collision, but the Russian collision in the Aegean contains this significant detail:
The collision was caused by the Orka-2 ship, which in violation of international rules followed “a parallel course and overtook the Russian ship on the port side,” Sputnik reports, citing the military’s statement. It added that the ship then “suddenly changed course to the right (sic) and caused a collision.” No one was hurt, and the ships remained on the move. (Emphasis added)
Suddenly changing course to starboard and "causing" a collision strongly suggests that the collision was deliberate, and that the Russian vessel was a deliberate target. What's interesting here is that in the wake of the USS Fitzgerald and USS McCain incidents, videos began to be posted on YouTube which, to put it mildly, were astonishing, for they showed passing ships, one of which would suddenly change course and crash into another, clearly the cause of deliberate action, and clearly someone thought the videos might explain the McCain and Fitzgerald incidents. Indeed, I've had my suspicion about the latter, since no one seems to want to talk about the crews of the ships doing the "colliding into", although some reports of the Fitzgerald incident mention that the crew appeared to have been in some sort of mental state of indecision.
At the time, I advanced the high octane speculation that one might be looking at two technologies: a sophisticated electromagnetic technology that could take over a ship's specific systems remotely, and cause them to crash (recalling the USS Donald Cook incident with a Russian fighter-bomber in the Black Sea), or that one might be looking at a mind manipulation technology capable of influencing the crew of either one, or the other, or both ships. Since that time, we can add two other possibilities: cyber warfare (either through hacking into ships' systems, or via defective hardware ala the recent Intell defective chips story), or global positioning "spoofing", which I have also blogged about.
The real question - once one admits the possibility that some of these incidents are not accidental but are being deliberately caused - is "Who is doing it, and why?" One obvious answer to this question is that the West was being targeted in the Donald Cook through McCain incidents, and that the Chinese-Iranian and Russian-Sierra Leonese collisions are the "response" from the West. Throw in "Syrian militant drone attacks on Russian bases" and you get the idea: the context - if indeed it is a context - makes sense. But at the time of the Fitzgerald incident, I pointed out that the obvious possibilities for an "attack" - Russia and China, perhaps North Korea - really had little to gain from such action and much to lose, if only for the fact that Russia and China are trying very hard to improve their images abroad. Similarly, I can see that the West has little really to gain by any covert attack on Iranian, Chinese, or Russian shipping other than increasing tensions, and a case can be made that the last thing anyone wants to do is increase tensions...at least, at one level.
But perhaps, I offered during the Fitzgerald incident, perhaps one was not looking at a state actor in any conventional sense. Perhaps one was looking at an extraterritorial entity with access to one or more of the above-enumerated technologies and expert techniques, an entity which, for whatever reason, would profit from increasing tensions. I mention this possibility again here, for while I have no doubt that the USA or, for that matter, any other western power, or that Russia, or China, or even Iran, have some capabilities in all these areas, I have difficulty seeing anything any of them have to gain from such covert actions. Another entity, however, that would profit from increasing tensions between them, or even the destruction of one or more of those "state actors", might be playing for much higher stakes, and be willing to take the risk.
Either way one goes with that particular aspect of my high octane speculation today, one thing I do think needs to be seriously entertained is that these actions are quite possibly not just accidents, but the deliberate casualties in some sort of covert war taking place.
See you on the flip side...