English: Costa Concordia Polski: Statek pasaże...

English: Costa Concordia Polski: Statek pasażerski Costa Concordia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is Capt. Mitt doing as the GOP Ship Titanic starts to sink after hitting an iceberg? He has ordered that the deck chairs be rearranged and tax cuts be increased to keep the ship afloat. Such is life among the graduates of the Costa Concordia school of navigation.

Strait of Hormuz part 3

Strait of Hormuz

If Israel attacks Iran, we must evacuate our naval ships from the Persian Gulf before the Strait of Hormuz is blocked by damaged or sunken oil tankers. As you can see from the above closeup from Google Earth, the shipping lanes take a sharp corner that I believe must be navigated at a reduced speed for large ships. The shipping lanes are already very narrow due to the numerous islands and partially submerged rocks. We want to avoid a repeat of the Costa Concordia incident.

Once the Strait is closed, it will require weeks or months to clear the wreckage, especially under hostile conditions. During that time our ships will be targets for Iranian missiles and small boats. I believe that our naval aviation will easily defeat the Iranian air force, but their missiles and torpedoes will put our navy to a severe test. I don’t know how effective their defenses are; let us use 95% as an example. That means for every hundred Iranian missiles launched at US ships, 95 will be destroyed without damage to our ships and 5 will not, and will cause damage. Even if our effectiveness is 99%, one in one hundred missiles will reach its target.

Then imagine in a numbers game that Iranians launch hundreds of missiles at one time to overwhelm the US defenders. Can our ships survive that sort of attack? I don’t want to find out. The sinking or severe damage to an US nuclear aircraft carrier could cause more casualties than occurred on 9-11.

Please see Strait of Hormuz | Strait of Hormuz part 2 | Regime change | Decision/Indecision 2012

Costa Concordia

English: The "Costa Concordia" in Pi...

Image via Wikipedia

This is what we think we know: the Costa Corcordia ran aground due to human error, there may have been an electrical fault, and the captain abandoned ship in a cowardly manner. It may be months, if not years, before we know for certain what really happened. In the meantime, I suggest reading or re-reading as I just did, Joseph Conrad‘s Lord Jim. Conrad was a competent seaman, but he was an extraordinary observer of and writer about man’s relation to the sea.

Jim was an ordinary man, not a British lord, who exhibited cowardice at a critical moment on a ship that struck a concealed obstacle and then did not sink. The European crew abandoned ship and left 700+ Muslim pilgrims onboard to their fate. At a hearing, Jim was stripped of his license as a ship’s officer and then began to work as a liaison between ships and on-shore suppliers. As his story followed him eastward, he fled before it. Finally, he could flee no farther and he sought escape among the native Malays where he thought his story would not follow. They called him Lord Jim in their native tongue. There after another act of cowardice by a renegade who Jim allowed to depart caused the death of the chief’s son, he met his death at the hands of the grief-stricken father.

Conrad makes the point that no one knows if he will meet a challenge or retreat in cowardice until he is tested. An act of cowardice frequently causes death to others. Finally it results in the death of the coward himself at a later date.

Please see Joseph Conrad | The Mirror of the Sea | Google Earth | Wind