Friday, March 12, 2010


Mr. Bethune
COMMENTARY: 2200, March 14, 2010.
For those of you who watched Part 1 of "Pacific" tonight we now know that the political correctness of the 21st. Century is not applied to this miniseries. It is, as indeed it should be, the political attitude of the 20th. Century era 1940's.
It also is a reminder that the World has changed both in the Western nations and Japan. If we make persons like Mr. Bethune above "hero's" of Western culture, as Mr. Watson of Sea Shepherds has suggested he is, we regress to the attitudes of the 1940's that so many of us have worked so hard to overcome.
In the months ahead during the trial and possible punishment of Mr. Bethune let us all, both Japanese and Westerners, maintain a decorum. Remember that this person did what he did for a narrowly focused cause. It was a self-centered action which risks the greater cause of peace in this World, a partial peace which is fragile and tested each day. There is nothing heroic in this selfish action by Mr. Bethune with no honour for him or any cause.

UPDATE: March 13, 2010.

The Japan Coastguard formally arrested Mr. Bethune shortly after his arrival on board the MS Shonan Maru #2 in the Port of Tokyo. The Japan Coastguard removed him from the ship to Japan Police HQ in Tokyo. This will be the first prosecution and trial for trespassing aboard a Japanese vessel preferred by the Japan Coastguard. If convicted, which would seem quite likely, Mr. Bethune faces three years in a Japanese prison.

It is reported on the international media outlets that Mr. Bethune has had previous conflicts with Central and South American nations. He is also reported to have caused one death, in a sea collision off Guatemala, while operating the Earthrace which is the former name of the now sunken Ady Gil. Thus it appears he is no stranger to confrontations with maritime authorities of various nations around the world.

From Japan comes news that the MS Shonan Maru#2 has arrived in Tokyo and aboard is Mr. Bethune the operator of the Ady Gil. You may recall this is the SS-PG vessel sunk by the MS Shonan Maru #2 and that Bethune scrambled aboard to confront her Master. Of course he was detained and under orders of the Japanese Government brought to Japan in disgrace to stand trial for violation of Japanese Maritime Law.

The SS-PG Press Release covering his arrival is an amalgam of quotes over the years by its fearless leader who likes to risk other peoples lives while he remains safe and sound. In fact looking at his upcoming schedule he will be parading around on a speaking tour and generally socialising with the 'hollywood' types. In this false and unrealistic world he will be the latest cocktail party buffoon until something else comes along to occupy their boring and trivial lives.

Meanwhile of course in the real world Mr. Bethune is the focal point of all that is worst in peoples behaviour. The Press Release raises the spectacle of the Second World War and touts this man as a 'hero' of western nations. On the Japanese side nationalists waved Rising Sun flags and displayed signs. This person has in a self-centered thoughtless action endangered years of diplomacy and constructive treaties to develop a sound working relationship after a bitter conflict.

To add to this situation a Mr. Spielberg and a Mr. Hanks both, so NAUTICAL LOG understands, are 'hollywood' types who are currently producing "Pacific" a 10 part HBO miniseries about the World War against Japan. There is an ongoing discussion about the controversial approach to the conflict this series "Pacific" takes. No doubt, without regard for the greater responsibility of maintaining world peace, 'Wats-his-name' will play the part of the swashbuckling pirate captain for his continued personal glorification in the name of a narrowly focused cause. Were it not so serious it could be regarded as pathetic.

Good Watch.

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