|Thursday, August 21, 2008|
Propaganda Wars Under the Rising Sun
Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
The Japanese government and the media are fabricating facts and distorting the truth in an effort to demonize the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the eyes of the Japanese public.
The Mainichi Daily reported this week that Sea Shepherd had planned an attack on their whaling ships with remote controlled planes.
This is of course news to us.
The report when on to say;
The question here is where are the photos? The crew of the Kaiko Maru filmed everything that happened that day and the photos were all over the website yet there is not one photo of the alleged planes. And I can assure them that if Sea Shepherd did have these planes, we would have used them. However we would have equipped them with cameras, not chemicals. The police are speculating on a fabrication without a shred of evidence to support any of these allegations.
The Japanese whaling fleet has been unable to get their kill quota for three years running thanks to the efforts of Sea Shepherd. The whalers are losing money and they are becoming increasingly desperate.
What they are trying to do is to depict whale defenders as the villains and whale killers as the victims. This is of course a difficult task to present the men who are filling the ocean with the blood of tortured whales as the victims.
So what they do is throw words like "terrorists" and "militants" around at every opportunity. Sea Shepherd actions are constantly described as "violent" despite the fact that in over three decades of campaigns, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has never been responsible for causing a single injury to any person anywhere. It's an unblemished record.
The Japanese media constantly accuse Sea Shepherd crew of throwing "acid" onto the decks of the whaling vessels and some reports have stated that we have squirted acid into the faces of whalers. Again no photos of victims have been produced and the truth is that the Japanese media are using distortion and half truths to present their lie.
Sea Shepherd crew have to date tossed only two substances onto the decks of Japanese whaling ships. The first is bottles of "rotten butter". This is an extremely foul smelling substance and it is non-toxic and will not burn the skin or blind anyone. The distortion lies in the fact that rotten butter is technically butyric acid just as orange juice is technically citric acid and milk contains lactic acid.
The second substance is methyl cellulose and this is a food grade product that is used to coat pills to make them easier to swallow. It is an extremely slippery substance and makes the process of cutting whales apart on the deck somewhat difficult.
We call this tactic the deployment of a non toxic, organic, biodegradable form of chemical warfare.
Sea Shepherd tactics are designed to be non-harmful and also humorous.
During the last campaign the whalers were caught in a number of lies.
After tying two of our crew to the rails and the mast of the harpoon vessel, they denied doing so and said that we were fabricating stories. Thanks to our satellite uplink we were able to beam photos and video of Giles Lane and Benjamin Potts tied to the rails and then to the mast of the Yushin Maru. They denied trying to throw Benjamin Potts overboard but again that action was recorded by Sea Shepherd cameras.
When Sea Shepherd reported that there were Japanese Coast Guard officers on the whaling boats, the Japanese government at first denied this until we produced video images of the officers in their uniforms. They then denied the officers were armed until we produced video images clearly showing them wearing side arms.
It is illegal for armed military units to operate in the Antarctic Treaty Zone.
During the confrontation where I was shot, the whalers first reported to the Australian authorities that they had fired warning shots. After the report that I was shot they denied that any shots were fired at all. However our cameras captured the audio reports of the shots and I am caught on camera immediately after receiving the bullet. The bullet hole is not present at the beginning of the campaign but is quite apparent at a point during the campaign.
The Japanese coast guard threw concussion grenades at the Sea Shepherd crew. The Japanese government then denied they had done so describing the ordinance as "bang balls."
Sea Shepherd crewmember Laurens De Groots, a former Dutch police officer recognized and described the grenades as the ones they used to deploy against gangsters. The exploding grenades were caught detonating on camera and one of them knocked an Animal Planet cameraman off his feet.
But the biggest lie of all is that Japanese whalers are conducting "research" whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
This is a lie that no one outside of Japan believes including the governments of Australian and New Zealand.
Another lie is that the whale slaughter is humane which of course any reasonable and rational person would acknowledge is impossible. Whales cannot be killed humanely and it takes anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to kill a large whale and they suffer in horrific agony during that time and that has been documented hundreds of time in heart wrenching videos that the Japanese whalers dismiss as "emotional."
Japan is working hard to marginalize Sea Shepherd and to lobby governments to assist in shutting down opposition to our interventions against their illegal whaling operations. The recent issuance of arrest warrants for three Sea Shepherd crew is an attempt to intimidate the rest of us.
It will not work. Nothing can deter us. We will not retreat from the Southern Ocean and we will not surrender the lives of the whales to the bogus scientific research slaughter of this unlawful industrialized killing fleet.
We have approached this conflict with great restraint and patience and not once have we placed the life of a Japanese whaler in danger. We have not injured a single Japanese whaler and we have no intention of doing so.
A forensic investigation of the collision between the Sea Shepherd ship Robert Hunter and the Japanese whaler Kaiko Maru by the Australian Federal Police demonstrated that the whaler was the vessel that rammed the Sea Shepherd ship. The support beams on the starboard bow section of the Robert Hunter were bent forward because the ship was struck from behind by the Kaiko Maru. If the Robert Hunter had rammed the whaler the support beams would have been bent backwards.
It has always been said that the first casualty of war is the truth. During World War II, the Japanese were masters at distorting the truth with their propaganda. Tokyo Rose spread information like a farmer spreads manure. The American, British and Australian people were demonized as barbarians and were enslaved, tortured and murdered. And as they murdered, raped and pillaged they spewed the nonsense that it was the Japanese who were being victimized by the rest of the world and were fighting a war of self defense when the reality was it was a war of imperialism.
Japan's horrific slaughter of the world's most gentle and intelligent creatures - the whales, is just another example of barbaric violence being deployed and justified in the name of Japanese honour and culture.
They can demonize us, they can marginalize us, they can attack us, arrest us, persecute and shoot us but they will never stop us from intervening against their illegal and brutal activities in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary.
Sea Shepherd's Operation Musashi is only months away from being deployed. Japan is leaning hard on Australia and New Zealand to stop us. We will take each obstacle as it comes, and we will keep our sights set on the goal of doing whatever it non-violently takes to hunt down and stop the slaughter of the whales by the imperialistic might of Japan's notoriously violent and cruel whaling fleet.