Commentary by Paul Watson
Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

The Japanese whaling fleet is so threatened by Sea Shepherd's history of successful interventions that they have officially appealed to the governments ofAustralia and New Zealand to detain our vessels and to not allow them to depart for the Southern Oceans.

At the same time the Japanese are boasting that they will kill 50 endangered humpbacks and they will kill Migaloo the famous white whale if they come across him. In addition they will kill 50 endangered Fin and nearly a thousand defenseless piked whales.

The Japanese whalers are so arrogant that they believe they can smack Aussies and Kiwis across the face with the insult of targeting Australia's beloved humpbacks and at the same time they expect Australia and New Zealand to "protect" them from interventions by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

The Japanese arrogance on this issue has evolved to a point where they are intentionally targeting highly endangered whales like humpbacks and fins in a Whale Sanctuary in violation of the global moratorium on commercial whaling and yet despite this blatantly illegality they are accusing the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and even pacifist Greenpeace of being "eco-terrorists and pirates."

Now I don't have any problem with the pirate bit. It's a little romantic and after all it was the pirate Henry Morgan who ended piracy in the Caribbean and not the British Royal Navy or the British politicians who were on the take and more concerned with illicit profits then upholding the law - sort of like politicians today actually.

But this "eco-terrorist" label is just plain and simply nonsense. If I was a "terrorist" then I would not be allowed to reside where I live in the United States. I would not be able to hold a passport and to travel freely and I would be on the no fly lists. As it is I have no criminal record, and Sea Shepherd has never caused a single injury to a single person in our 30 year history.

But what is an eco-terrorist really? By definition it is a person or group that terrorizes the environment or by destroying the environment thereby terrorizes humanity. By this definition the Japanese whaling fleet is a terrorist organization.

In the last two years the Japanese whaling fleet through negligence and incompetence has caused the death of two Japanese seaman. One died in a fire onboard the Nisshin Maru last February and one man was crushed in a conveyor belt on the Nisshin Maru this past summer. And there have been other casualties and numerous injuries in the past. This ship has a reputation as a death ship.

And this death ship has illegally slaughtered tens of thousands of gentle intelligent whales in ways that are barbarically gruesome, cruel and repugnant. These ruthless whalers have literally spilled thousands of gallons of hot blood into the cold seas and they have the gall to refer to those who block their harpoons as "violent."

This is like the Nazi who routinely described the Jews as violent terrorists as they rounded them up and exterminated them. You see the Japanese whalers can afford expensive public relation firms whose business is really to spin lies into "truths" and to convince the public through gross deception and arrogant posturing that black is white and two plus two equals five.

The Japanese constantly state that they are involved in "research whaling" yet there has not been a single peer reviewed scientific paper ever published from this so called research. They have also admitted that they would not be doing this "research" if they could not sell the whale meat at a profit. If they are doing any research at all it is in product development and marketing - trying to sell mercury poisoned whale and dolphin meat to a gullible public who destroy their own health in the name of patriotism.

The Japanese say that whaling is a tradition although commercial whaling was really introduced to them in the last century by the Norwegians and encouraged by the Americans. The Japanese say that whaling is a matter of national pride. What kind of sick perverse culture can take pride in the cruel and bloody slaughter of whales and dolphins? oh yes, I almost forgot, the same culture responsible for the Rape of Nanking and the beheading of Australian, American, Canadian and Dutch soldiers and civilians.

The Japanese whalers believe that Japan's reputation as an international economic bully allows them to dictate this sick morality to the rest of the world where they call non-violent whale defenders terrorists as they spill lakes of steaming blood into the sea.

What Japan is allowing to be done to the whales and dolphins is a crime against the Earth and a crime against humanity. Slaughtering entire families of dolphins on their beaches by the thousands, driving cruel harpoons into defenseless endangered whales in the Southern Oceans and the North Pacific, this is an evil and disgusting morality and one which every civilized person on this planet should rise up and denounce.

The red ball on the Japanese flag symbolizes blood and it is that blot of cruel blood on a white background that symbolized Japanese arrogance in staining the decency that humanity could be capable of.

In the distant future, if we have a future, people are going to look back in astonishment at the brutality of our generations - the insane wars, the starvation, the racism and the horrendous slaughter of sentient life forms and they will be ashamed that they descended from such indecency, such arrogance and such amazing ignorance.

And there are those blinkered individuals who will say that this essay is racist because we are targeting the Japanese. My answer to this is that we are not targeting the nation of Japan because of the colour of their skin or their culture. I happen to be a great admirer of many thing Japanese and I am well versed in Japanese history but this on-going atrocity against the whales and dolphins is not part of Japanese culture. It is a modern perversion driven by greed and arrogant pride on the part of a few Japanese people who are painting their entire nation with the shame of their behaviour. This whaling industry is controlled by the Yakusa and is not an activity the average Japanese person supports. In fact the average Japanese person does not even eat whale or dolphin meat.

These animals are dying in agony so that an elite few can eat whale meat and boast that they can do whatever they wish with nature because it is their will to do so. And these greed driven criminals, and criminals are what they are, have used their illicit profits, their blood money to hire public relations whores to defend their atrocities and to accuse those of us who attempt to end the slaughter of being violent and dangerous people.

I have never hurt a single whaler in my life nor do I ever intend to but they have shot at my crew and I, assaulted my crew and I, and threatened our lives, yet their public relations mouthpieces defend this as defending their culture.

Strip away the illusions peppered by the P.R. firms throughout the media and it is plain to see who the real criminals and terrorists are.

Killing highly endangered species in a whale Sanctuary in violation of a global moratorium on commercial whaling are crimes. Trying to stop this insanity through non-violent tactics is simply attempting to uphold the rule of law against criminal actions.

Fortunately the governments of Australia and New Zealand are not so beholden to Japanese economic leverage that they will jump without hesitation to do the bidding of these ruthless killers or at least their people will not tolerate them doing so.

What Australia and New Zealand should do is to send their navies down to the Southern Oceans to uphold the laws were are trying to enforce.

And if they do that, we need not do so. We would happily surrender our efforts to a serious effort on the part of New Zealand and Australia to do more than just posture and talk about saving the whales.

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