Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
On Board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin
The funny thing about opposing the outlaw Japanese whalers every year is seeing to just what depths of absurdity they will stoop when it comes to putting a sympathetic spin on their vicious and illegal poaching of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
Every time we have a confrontation with the whalers, they claim that some of their crew were injured. Last year it was three. This year it was four. Last year it took them a day to discover we had "injured" the three. This year, they had the media release ready to go for four.
It's as if the whalers are saying, "My God, these whale defenders have no respect for human life; look at what they are prepared to do to stop us, why they actually tossed a 'stink bomb' onto our decks. Oh the horror, the inhumanity, blah, blah..."
No one on the Sea Shepherd crew hurt a single one of those cowardly whale killers. I swear, if you were to hold up a banner saying "stop killing whales" they would claim an injury from one of the crew who allegedly tripped while trying read it.
The biggest crybabies are bullies, and bullies don't come meaner than the bully whalers who prey upon the defenseless and gentle whales.
In East Africa, the rangers have a shoot-to-kill policy on elephant poachers. In India, kill a tiger, and you may also get shot. Yet in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, if you poach a whale, the world does--nothing!
And when a group of volunteer whale defenders travel south to actually save some whales, they get criticized by that ultimate group of do-nothing posers--the politicians.
Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith has apparently condemned Sea Shepherd for "injuring" four Japanese whalers based solely on the "evidence" that they told him they were injured.
The Japanese had a slew of video cameras on their ship. Sea Shepherd had three video cameras on our ship, and with all those cameras running there was not any footage of anyone getting injured. Every container of rotten butter acid that Sea Shepherd crewmembers threw onto the deck was recorded on impact, and not one landed anywhere near a Japanese crewmember.
Apparently, the so-called injuries have come down to four crewmembers becoming nauseated by the stench of the rotten butter--as it tends to make people seasick.
But Mr. Smith was quick to condemn Sea Shepherd based solely on the whining spin-doctoring of the Japanese whalers in their pathetic attempt to get public sympathy.
Let me see, we have the Japanese firing blunt-tipped explosive harpoons into the fleeing backsides of gentle whales, violently shredding their internal organs, causing them to thrash in mortal agony on the surface of the sea as their blood spurts out in gallons in the cold briny ocean. The killing of the whales is one of the most barbarically prolonged and horrifically painful slaughters that man has ever directed at any other species. Yet Mr. Stephen Smith condemns Sea Shepherd as violent because a few weak-stomached whalers got sea-sick and hurled?
Not once has Mr. Smith contacted anyone on the Steve Irwin to speak to us directly.
Not once has he condemned the whalers for being violent and for blatantly being in contempt of an Australian Federal Court order specifically prohibiting Japanese whalers from killing whales.
The government should be enforcing this court order with the Australian Navy if need be. Instead, there is not a single government representative in these Australian waters upholding the law.
What we have are armed Japanese Coast Guard officers making threats against Australian citizens opposing Japan's violation of the court order in Australian waters. Japan insisted that Australian Customs not have firearms on board the Australian Customs ship the Oceanic Viking, and Australia was quick to say "yes sir, anything you say sir." Yet we now have an armed foreign military presence in Australian waters.
Australia claims the Antarctic Territory and the waters within 200 miles of the coast, yet it allows foreign fishing boats to pilfer the sea for toothfish and the Japanese to violate the Australian Whale Sanctuary, and it does nothing except to say, "we really, really don't like whaling and would you guys in Japan please, please stop killing the whales, because we kind-of-sort-of-promised before the election that we would stop you, but if you don't want to then, well, I guess we can agree to disagree."
Why is Sea Shepherd down in these waters protecting whales with stink bombs, pie filling, and banana peels? The answer is because Australia is not down here upholding its own laws and court rulings.
And the only thanks we get from Mr. Smith is to unquestionably condemn us for making a couple of whale-killing blokes chunder from the smell of rotten butter.