Refuge at Last

Pity the poor Finns!  They haven’t even (officially) managed to get to the bottom of the 2009 M/V Arctic Sea saga, and now someone has dropped another boatload of missiles into their laps  –this time, American ones.

The Finnish authorities have impounded an Isle of Man-flagged ship bound for China with undeclared missiles and explosives, officials say.  Routine checks by Finland’s traffic safety authority revealed a load of up to 160 tons of improperly packed nitroguanidine, a low-sensitivity explosive with a high detonation speed.   Police are questioning the crew of the MS Thor Liberty after what were described as 69 Patriot anti-missile missiles were found in containers marked “fireworks”.

Fireworks enroute to China:   it’s like carrying coals to Newcastle all over again.

credit: L K Gilbert

 

BBC News accompanied their online story with an archive photo showing a Patriot missile launcher deployed at a Greek air force base. Are they hinting at something that no one’s willing to actually say quite yet?  Like maybe the bankrupt Greeks are paying off debts by selling high-tech NATO weaponry to Russia and China?

AP via BBC

 

Lunghu thinks that the ostensible destination of this shipment –Shanghai– is quite a clever touch:  it’s almost enough to make him believe that Comrade Bear is behind the whole thing, seeking to torque up tension between China and the United States, embarrass the Obama administration in an election year, and sow seeds of mistrust within NATO.  Too complicated?  Maybe.

Mind you, there’s no reason that an enterprising Chinese missile entrepreneur wouldn’t like to have a few dozen Patriot missiles in stock … just to round out his inventory.

Return Bout

Meanwhile, Lunghu is sure this is just a coincidence:

Judge Shira Scheindlin interviewed a juror from [last month’s] trial of Viktor Bout at a brief hearing Wednesday. The juror said she had seen the film “Lord of War” before the trial began … [but] didn’t realize until after the trial was over that the movie pertained to Bout.  Judge Scheindlin [then] rejected requests by Bout’s lawyers that she rule the juror acted inappropriately in convicting him.

 

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