The Japanese whalers are a cowardly bunch.

When it comes to shooting defenseless whales in the back, they thump their chests like big brave men. They strut around with their lethal lances and pose in front of their big harpoon cannons like preening peacocks bragging about their macho credentials.

But when we show up to defend the whales, they run like frightened little schoolgirls and call their government to send down some real men to defend them from us.

For ten days we have been chasing these craven killers across the Southern Oceans. Just like last year, and the year before that, they run and keep running.

This is a good thing of course because when they are running, they are not whaling. Ten days of not whaling when they average ten whales a day is one hundred whales at least saved so far.

Glenn Inwood, their hired mouthpiece in New Zealand, claims they are not running from us at all. He says they are just heading to the Eastern side of the Ross Sea to conduct their "legal lethal research."

If that were so, than they should have started whaling in the East in the first place. It hardly makes sense to begin whaling for a week on the far Western side southwest of Tasmania and then just as soon as Sea Shepherd arrives, they decide to go 2000 miles to the East.

I have to admit, it is daunting taking on an industry that has the full backing of one of the most powerful economies on the planet. The pressure they bring to bear on the countries we operate out of, the countries where we register our ships and the countries where we reside is tremendous.

In addition, we have to fight their highly paid public relations agencies. We are opposing an opposition that has $10,000 to spend for every dollar we raise, that has ten crew members for every one of ours, and outnumbers us with ships seven to one.

We have an opposition that uses firearms and concussion grenades and does not hesitate to use violence to defend their illegal activities.

And whereas we are guided by compassion and the desire to save lives, they are guided by greed and a ruthlessness to take life.

Since 2002 they have called us terrorists yet we have never been charged with a crime nor have we injured a single one of them.

We are seriously outmatched, outclassed, outmanned, out financed, and out influenced. They have all of the advantages, all of the power, all of the money, and all of the influence.

And we, well, we are just a small group of volunteers from around the world whose common bond is our love for nature, for the whales, and the living diversity in the sea.

And yet we have prevented them from killing whales and we have cost them a great deal in loss profits and most importantly we have humiliated them before the eyes of the world, exposing their illegality, their cruelty, their arrogance, and especially their cowardice. These men who kill the whales and the bureaucrats in Japan who support them are an embarrassment to the traditions and the values of the Japanese people. They are like the scared little men who fled the room in fear when Miyamoto Musashi glared at them as he plucked flies from the air with his chopsticks.

These nameless, faceless men who terrorize the gentle whales would have the world believe that they and not the whales are the victims. They would have the world believe that defending the whales from their remorseless slaughter is racist simply because some of us (not all) happen not to be Japanese.

As Joseph Goebbels once observed if you tell a lie often enough and long enough then people will begin to believe it and so they call us terrorists and criminals and accuse us of ramming their ships and throwing "acid" in their faces in an attempt to demonize us.

After all, it does not matter these days if you are defending whales, standing up for human rights, or running for President of the United States, the preferred dirty trick tactic of our time is to simply call your opponents "terrorists."

The question some may wish to ask in response to Japanese accusations that we are pirates, terrorists, criminals, and radicals is who are these people and why are they doing what they are doing.

There are 40 crew members on the Steve Irwin and they come from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Bermuda, Sweden, Germany, Hungary, and Japan. They are not paid to be on this ship. On the contrary they pay their own way to serve on the ship and they have sacrificed their holidays with their families to come into these hostile, dangerous, and remote waters to defend the whales from illegal whaling activities by Japanese whalers.

Let me introduce you to a few of them so that you can judge if they be the terrorist monsters that the Japanese whalers are trying to depict them as:

news_090105_1_4_Merryn_Redenbach
Australia
: Merryn Redenbach (32): Ship's Doctor. Merryn served on the Farley Mowat for the Seal Defense Campaign in March and April of 2008 as ship's medical officer and has joined the Steve Irwin for the Whale Defense Campaign. Merryn has spent time working with disadvantaged children and with human rights issues. She is a medical doctor working in pediatrics.

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Bermuda
: Laura Dakin (25): Chief Cook. Laura is the ship's vegan chef. She has worked as a personal chef for Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. She now works as Chief Cook on the Steve Irwin, a position with Sea Shepherd that she has held since 2005. Laura is the daughter of an Australian Naval officer.

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Canada: Emily Hunter (24): Quartermaster. Emily is a student of journalism at the University of Toronto. She is the daughter of Greenpeace Co-founder Robert Hunter.

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Hungary: Veronika Kristof (40): Veronika is a graduate in Tourism and Hospitality and works as a travel agent and journalist in Hungary.

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Netherlands: Laurens De Groot (28): Deckhand. Laurens worked with the organized crime department of the Rotterdam and the Hague Police Force. He is also a self defense instructor in Wing Chun Kung Fu. Aside from his passion for conservation, Laurens worked for a refugee centre in the Netherlands organizing child activities for refugee children from all over the world.

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South Africa: Amber Paarman (25): Quartermaster. Amber was raised in Cape Town. She has worked as a movie set dresser and has done elderly care work in South Africa and Great Britain.

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United Kingdom: Stephen Roest (42): Deckhand. Steve is a successful property developer in London. He has an Honors Degree from the Business College at Brighten University. He has worked with the Salvation Army teaching adult numeracy and literacy to the disadvantaged and the homeless. He is also presently standing in the next general election for Member of Parliament for Twickenham for the British Green Party.

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United Kingdom
: Simon Avery (44). Simon holds a Master's degree in Conservation Biology from the University of London specializing in Protected Areas Management. Simon has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the project to protect the endangered California Condor and has spent 15 years doing conservation work with the National Trust, RSPB RSPCA, in Britain, and the Nature Conservancy in the United States.

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USA: Jane Taylor (28): Navigation Officer. Jane served as a surface warfare officer on troop transport vessels and on a U.S. Navy frigate (2002-2008). She is a veteran of the 2nd Iraqi War serving in the Persian Gulf. Jane attended the U.S. Naval Academy and has a Bachelor's Degree in Oceanography.

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USA
: Don Kehoe Jr.: (43): Deckhand. Don is a retired Long Beach California police officer. He is presently working as a dive guide and shark wrangler.

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