Loss of lives to terrorists on USS COLE


May 12, 2005
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All,

We have all heard now of the terrible and senseless attack on our military and the sad loss of 17 soldiers' lives. This has hit especially hard here in North Texas and my own small hometown of Ennis for a young man from here and another from a town nearby are known to be among those murdered - that is the only word for it.

This young man from Ennis - to show you how small this town and indeed the world is - was the son of a friend of my sister's - and the poor boy himself was once employed by the company for which my sister works.

I know our city must not be different than others in its' feelings of grief at the awful news but knowledge of this only heightens the sadness that cloaks this little corner of the world today.

Randy
 
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James Eldridge

Guest
Greetings Randy,

Condolences to you, town, and friends to whom this senseless loss has brought the horrors of war so close and intimately into your lives.

I wonder why knowing how hated we are in some quarters of the globe why we bother to put into ports like this one for anything except to shell the hell out of them ala Tripoli! I heard we are closing 17 embassies in the region so maybe this country is finally ready to act more aggressively toward these piraih nations.

Eldridge
 
May 12, 2005
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Eldridge,

Thank you so much. I feel exactly as you do. I have never been overtly political but I am in such utter shock over this that I have very ill thoughts indeed for these nations.

I think there must have been a lapse in command for that ship not have been more in readiness for such a deed. All hands ought surely to have been at attention and on deck in a port where such unrest is known.

It is a horrid act that has been played out and a sad day for our country.

Thanks for your kind words.

Randy
 
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James Eldridge

Guest
It sounds like the causus belli being worked up ala "Remember The Maine (Cole)." Never discount the capacity of governments for treachery we don't know what's going on that's about the trueist statement that one can say. The Mediteranean Fleet has ample oilers and other support vessels to supply its ships with under-way replenishment so it begs the question why did the Cole visit Yemen?

Eldridge
 
Dec 2, 2000
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To all, the short version is that the Mideast is coming unglued. Terrorism has been a fact of life there for a very long time. Certainly longer then I've been on this earth. The tensions and conflicts being what they are, I expect things are going to get a lot worse.

I respectfully suggest we shouldn't be so fast to judge the nations of the region based on the acts of extremists though. I've been to the Gulf Region, specifically to Bahrain and the UAE and I can tell you with utter confidence that a lot of the citizens are just plain folks who want to go on with their lives without being heckled, pestered and molested by bombthrowers with agendas.

In regards to how close they were able to get, the boat involved appears to have been a harbor craft routinely used for linehandling and mooring operations. You could hide one hell of a powerful bomb on such craft, and nobody would take any special notice of it until it was too late. Why should they? It's a harbor craft, it belongs there, and it's supposed to get up close and personal. That's it's job...a fact which the terrorists exploited.

Personally, I hope the National Command Authorities don't do something as inane as send in cruise missiles. Such weapons are useless against those who are constantly on the move. They need to send in Delta Force, or a SEAL team to deal with these people up close and personal. Clean the rats right out of their nest and send them packing to Allah!

Sorry if I seem a tad upset. To a 20 year Navy vet, all sailors are my shipmates. I don't get a thrill out of seeing them murdered by such cowards.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
SH-1 USN/Ret.
 
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I. M. McVey

Guest
Good evening, all,

Michael, though I am not a military man, I am a seaman, and all seamen are brothers, be they under arms or no. I grieved for the brother sailors abandoned in the Russian submarine, and I grieve for the men and women killed, my brother and sister sailors all, on board of USS "Cole".

They are in the hands of the Navigator now, and may He bless their souls, and comfort their families and friends in this hour.

My prayers are with them and their friends and families, and the people of Ennis, Texas, who are carrying a heavy burden for such a small village. There may be lines of distance here, but hearts travel at lightspeed, as do prayers.

With utmost respect,

I M McVey, Merchant Mariner
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Thanks for that one Ilya. Not just for the Cole, but for the submariners too. Lord knows that the sea isn't exactly the safest way to make a living, and terrorists trying to blow you up when your docking are no help.

Some of the media wags are starting to notice that some of the victems on the Cole were female. Kind of putting the cart befor the horse as far as I'm concerned. I hope the talking heads don't lose sight of the fact that ALL of the victems...men and women alike...were people with hopes, aspirations, and above all, families who will have to try to make some sense out of something that makes no sense at all.

In regards the submariners; I may have had some reason to question the sanity of people who volunteer to serve on ships that sink by deliberate design, but I've never had reason to question their courage no matter which navy they serve in. One hopes the Russians clean up their problems which they've been paying a heavy price for. No doubt, so do their families.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Deeply moved by all that was posted here - and the solidarity of the sea (and of humanity, one would hope). At the time of the Kursk tragedy I was walking home by the Thames, and passed the Submariners memorial - a beautiful relief sculpture, surrounded by anchor shaped hooks to told wreaths. There was an unusually vivid splash of colour - the red of poppies - and I wondered why as it wasn't one of the usual days of commemoration I could recall (Armistace Day, anniversary of a significant battle, etc). I thought it might be a personal tribute for a personal reason, but reading the sash found that it was from the British Submariners - for the men of the Kursk.

Thank you, Michael, for your reminder that these are the acts of fanatics who (wherever they are, whatever religion they are, and whoever they are) are the culprits. As, too, are those who enflame sectarian violence and breed war - whether they be political, religious or community leaders.

I'm not an American, so it wasn't 'my' people in the narrowest sense who perished in this act of terrorism. But John Donne expressed it best when he asked for whom the bell tolled:

No man is an Island, entire of it self; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

We are all part of the same common humanity - whether it be a small child killed in crossfire while his father cried for him to be spared, a soldier who lost his way and was lynched by a mob, or a sailor killed because they were doing their duty in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Each person's death due to violence and hate diminishes each one of us.

Inger
 
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Robert J. McDonnell

Guest
To All:
I, too, am deeply touched by the intelligent posts
regarding the sad event aboard the USS COLE. I watched the news last night, and saw the first flag-drapped coffins arriving in Germany. I was deeply touched. My sorrow went out to the families, who have lost love ones, and I also treasured, perhaps more than ever, one of my sons
who is active aboard a ship in one of our services. While I usually receive email from him reguarly, I have heard nothing, nor would I expect to at a time of heightened security.

As for the fanatics who perpetrated the act, what more really can be stated than has already be accurately written? I believe there will be a payback, and I also believe those who engineered the deed, given their mentally, did not think out the consequences. As Michael accurately stated, this not a time to over react, because the region is so unstable. It is a time, however, for strong words from strong leaders and other actions that make clear a simple fact. The citizens of this country and others will not tolerate such behavior, and history proves that fact. The real test will arrive, I think, should another nation in the region enter into the unrest. Thanks for reading and for supporting those at great risk.
Cordially,
Bob
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Hello Inger, and this John Donne isn't an author I've ever heard of...more the pity too as he seems like a smart guy if that excerpt is any indication. Thanks for posting that one.

Bob, I'm not so certain that the perpetrators will ever be caught and punished. Terrorists are a very tough type of vermin to catch because they live in a world that is at once shadowy and secretive, yet they blend in with everybody else. They're chemealeons in the truest sense of the word. This suicide boat is a good example of that in that it was a craft frequently used for harbor work and as such, a perfect cover for a Trojan Horse type of sucker punch.

I'd love for a special forces team to find these thugs and send them streight to Hell.

The trick is going to be flushing them out.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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Robert J. McDonnell

Guest
Micheal:
I see now that an aircraft was hijacked, as the heavily involved parties have agreed to talk. Yet, Iraq, as expected, is spitting its venom at the US attempt to stop the bloodshed.

Yes, you are absolutely correct about catching these types, and I think the Special Forces ought to be in there as well, and maybe they are for all we know. Also, when dealing with these degenerates, inflammatory language uttered by the leaders of the countries in which they "hide out" seems to be interpreted by the "factions" as
an order to create their deadly deeds. The leaders should also be held responsible as well, and appropriate measures taken (not necessarily military.) As you know, there are no easy answers. Let's hope that some group doesn't take the next step!
Best regards,
Bob
 
Dec 12, 1999
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This was indeed very tragic news, for everyone around the United States, and abroad. It's interesting to note that when President Clinton received the bodies of Americans killed at the embassy in Kenya, the United States Navy band played "Nearer My God To Thee." It was an incredibly sad scene. Even the President and First Lady had tears in their eyes. The lunacy of the Middle East continues to plague the world. There isn't a day that goes by when I don't think about the scene last week when the little Palestinan boy and his father were caught in a crossfire, and the boy was killed by the shrapnel. The father held his boy on his lap and prayed. I can see myself and my five year old in just the same situation. There's nothing so horrible as that.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Bob, I don't know much about the hijacking other then the fact that it's a Saudi airliner that's been taken. As to Soddamn Insane trying to fan the flames, that's par for the course for this guy. Remember that he murdered his way to the top and he doesn't think twice about eliminating anyone who causes problems for him. Including members of his own family.

Short of force, I don't see how these creeps can ever be brought to justice. Words in the end are just so much noise and are of utterly no value unless backed up by action.

Joe, my bet is that the boy and his father were one of those silent millions I mentioned who just wanted to get along unmolested. Now the father has has a reason to get involved in "the cause."

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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Micheal Napier

Guest
To all who read this.

I must say that some of the events of the last few days is tragic, with war in the Middle East and the bombing of the USS Cole. As I live in Australia, I am lucky to live in a country where terrorism and war is non existant. I think this is because here in Australia our politicians listen to the people and when something is happening that we don't like, the Government acts. This can best be seen in East Timor where innocent people were being slaughted, although this has been going on for many years, it is only due to modern technology that we now could see it. We Australians went in there with our peace keeping force and sorted the problem out by hand, losing one soldier in all, killing only minimal opposition and helped to rebuild the country. I think many countries could follow in our steps instead of just dropping bomb from the sky and adding to the problem.

I would like to hear you thoughts.

Mike Napier
 
Dec 2, 2000
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My deepest sympathies to all of those affected by this incident.

My name is Maureen. I posted my sentiments regarding the USS Cole first under the Apology thread which is no longer here, but I would like to address some of the things that Mike Napier has shared here first.

Countries experiencing internal problems can be overwhelming for a country and at times some may need assistance in gaining control. However, the issue here is not about "countries" losing control, as it is with a lack of respecting boundries and terrorism on the part of individuals or single groups.

Dropping bombs from above is not even how terrorism is addressed and the McCarthy Era is over. Please understand that as was addressed earlier I believe it was Michael Standart who shared beuatifully that it is not a specific country but a group of terrorists that are to be located.

Some of the conversations here concern me cause it seems like shades of "Japanese war camps" like we had in the WWII period for those who are not like us due to lack of trust. I hope this is not done anymore either.

Terrorists in recent years have been identified through special means and have been sought and even captured in many cases.

The activities that brought about the death of these fine people aboard the USS Cole or anything like this is hideous. Americans have only recently been the focus of such attacks, many years ago bombings were a frequent occurence for the UK, but seem to have greatly been reduced. Terrorism happens and when it does everyone suffers. No matter how far away a country is located from the detonation.

I agree with Ilya and Michael Standart about feeling deeply about the losses for anyone who serves in this capacity, no matter whose country or what the circumstances. And also is the loss of a daughter of more worth than a loss of a son? I do not think so. People serving their country were lost, male and female when the USS Cose was damaged. They will be equally missed.
Maureen.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Mo, thanks for that one. I'd dearly love to see the actual parties responsible assume room temperature permanently, but I'm afraid in the effort to nail the guilty, a lot of innocents are going to pay the price.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Dec 2, 2000
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A little update on the USS Cole is in order here. Their problems are far from over. Yesterday, they had a pump failure which allowed uncontrolled flooding in a space. Enough so that it was more then a bulkhead could stand. The bulkhead collapsed allowing flooding to progress elsewhere. They got it under control, but it was a close shave.

The Navy is now looking into contracting a large lift ship to transport the Cole back to the United States for repair and refit. Can't say as I blame them for this. In her present condition, I would be very leery of trying to get her home on her own with only a temporary patch standing between them and Davy Jones locker.

I'll post some more if any additional information comes my way.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

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