Japan didn’t launch the resolution we expected, demanding that Greenpeace be bounced from the International Whaling Commission. Instead, they took a watered down version (which Andrew calls the diplomatic eqivalent of a “group hug.” Nobody supports unsafe seamanship, nobody supports violence at sea, nobody supports recklessness. All agreed.
But then they go and issue a press release saying the commission condemned Greenpeace and that we rammed their ship. Sheesh. I can’t remember my debate terminology anymore, but what’s the name for a logical progression that’s based on a false step? Like,
1. The commission condemned the killing of kittens.
2. Greenpeace kills kittens.
3. Therefore, the commission has condemned Greenpeace.
Yeah, whatever form of a syllogiswhatsit that is, that’s what it is. What’s worse is JAPAN is the kitten killer here: They rammed the Arctic Sunrise, and every single soul aboard those two ships knows it.
Fact is, Japan has never made a complaint to the authorities about the alleged ramming because they were already told they’d lose. The Dutch Government accepted a delegation from Japan to hear their evidence, and this is what they said:
“Complaints about activities on the high seas are subject to due process. All
vessels under our flag are required to adhere strictly to all regulations.
Following the alleged collision on Jan 8, the facts and videos do not lead
to a conclusion as to who was in the wrong.”
Had the Japanese government wanted to debate it at the IWC, we were ready with charts with circles and arrows and animations and video footage from the actual incident. THAT would have been too embarassing, so they chose the sneak attack of getting an anodyne statement passed and saying it proved their case.
The fact is, Greenpeace has never killed a kitten. OR rammed a ship. It’s not in our nature, it’s against every principle of non-violence that we stand for. This is why we parted ways with Paul WAtson many years ago: a disagreement about principle translated into a difference about tactics. Greenpeace doesn’t ram ships. We may risk our own lives, but we don’t put the lives of others at risk. In 20+ years with the organisation, I have never met a campaigner or a captain who disagreed with that principle or promoted an alternative course of action.
Japan is lying when they say Greenpeace rammed their ship, just as they lie when they say they are whaling for scientific research. You can’t trust somebody with a harpoon in their hands.