Terrorist attack in Yemen. 5 US sailors dead many more injured.
October 12, 2000 12:40 PM   Subscribe

Terrorist attack in Yemen. 5 US sailors dead many more injured. This is just amazing. I can't believe the Yemeni President says it's not terrorism. What? Two people steering a small boat packed with explosives isn't terrorism? Was that a welcoming committee with too many fireworks? The hole is 20 feet high and 40 feet wide!
posted by bkdelong (12 comments total)
I'd just like to ask: Who on Metafilter is not reading a major news source and missed this story? Maybe we should just work up some XML to have all the CNN, Wired and already-on-Slashdot stories show up here automatically.

That goes for you, too, Steven.
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:45 PM on October 12, 2000

Doncha wanna talk about it?
posted by thirteen at 1:52 PM on October 12, 2000

doesn't seem to be much to talk about, I'm sure there's no one (on MeFi) who isn't angry and/or outraged by the attack.
posted by s10pen at 2:00 PM on October 12, 2000

I posted this to prompt discussion not under the impression that no one saw it.

My concern was that the Yemeni goverment claimed it was an internal problem within the ship....not even acknowledging the explosion (which, mind you, the close-ups show the explosion going from the outside in).

I guess we can consider this discussion dead then?
posted by bkdelong at 2:10 PM on October 12, 2000

"Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, however, suggested a technical problem inside Cole caused the explosion." How incredibly stupid that is to say, especially counting all the eyewitness accounts, sheesh.
posted by thirdball at 2:12 PM on October 12, 2000

"All the eyewitness accounts"? So far, I've heard only one... and that was from a US Army Major on the shore, who happened to be looking outside. (That was from NPR, this morning)

Neither CNN nor Reuters are quoting any direct eyewitnesses, at least not yet.

posted by aurelian at 2:28 PM on October 12, 2000

OK, I'll bring something up.

"Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, however, suggested a technical problem inside Cole caused the explosion."

From the photographs, the explosion was obviously on the outside, blowing the hull of the ship inward.
posted by mutagen at 4:16 PM on October 12, 2000

Fine. The Yemen guy was probably wrong. Maybe he was lying through his teeth.

What I'm interested in, however, is the utterly obvious skewed nature of 'terrorist' coverage.

What if we had a news report like this every time US or British forces killed four patrolling Iraqi troops? The news would be the same every day, sometimes many times a day.

We're not at war with them, but we kill 'em all the time. But that's not terrorism, is it? It's "sanctions", so it's ok.

I didn't, of course, bother to note that the US hardly just kills Iraqi soldiers, but innocent people, too. And they non-military targets (like water purification plants).

It's nuts.
posted by queequeg at 7:48 PM on October 12, 2000

I guess it just speaks to my extreme level of cynicism that when I heard about this, my first thought was to wonder whether the explosion was set up by the U.S. military as a means for promoting public support of increased funding...

posted by Mars Saxman at 12:06 PM on October 13, 2000

The US government keeps stating this was an act of terrorism, but isn't terrorism acts of violence aimed at unarmed civilians? This was a military target. We can't expect our third world enemies to attack us with sophisticated weapons. State department officials have stated that the country is a safe haven for terrorist . Why was this warship refueling there in the first place?

It's a tragedy for our military, but the action wasn't terrorism. A better definition would be guerilla warfare.
posted by PaperCut at 8:54 PM on October 13, 2000

PaperCut: the only definition I've found that actually works is much more cynical. When there's a group of people not (overtly) associated with a government you recognize running around shooting people and blowing things up, if they're your allies, they're "rebels", but if they're your enemies, "terrorists".

This definition has the advantage of being consistent with mass media usage.

posted by Mars Saxman at 12:05 PM on October 14, 2000

I think your right Mars. Terrorism is being defined not by the action itself but by the motivations behind the action. If we bomb a factory or power plant, its a military operation, but if one of our power plants suffers the same fate someday, by a group or nation hostile to us, the government/media will label it a terrorist act, not recognizing that our government has been using the same methods lately to achieve its objectives.

posted by PaperCut at 7:57 PM on October 14, 2000

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