March 29, 1986 - 33 years ago

33 Years ago

There's rumors of war
Men dying and women crying
If you breathe air, you'll die
Perhaps you wonder the reason why? 

This is how the song 'Are you ready' commences. The song was a hit by a band called Pacific Gas and Electric in the sixties of last century.
I was ready in the eighties to work in all kinds of places, even in war zones like the Persian Gulf. The name of the ship was 'Hawaii'  and it was hit and destroyed by an Exocet Missile which was fired by the Iraqis during the first Gult war between Iraq and Iran. This news message was hidden in some obscure newspaper: 

The 372,201 dwt Liberian tanker Hawaii, was loaded with 320,000 tonnes of Iranian crude oil, when she was attacked by an Iraqi warplane about 60 mi South of Kharg Island in lat 28.20N, long 50.50E at 0310 am on March 29 1986. The Exocet missile struck her in a starboard fuel tank, causing a major fire in the aft section. 31 man crew. 

I was on board and was rescued by the Dutch towing and salvage company Smit International. They took me on board after I was picked up from one of the lifeboats. I only wore shorts and T-shirt and shoes which I had to put on in a hurry because the first level of the accommodation was on fire. I remember having to escape through smoke and panic. People shouting, screaming 'this is not a safety drill, this is for real.'  So, I thought I will write about this after so many years, because stupid and irresponsible politicians are on the verge to make the same mistake; start another war in the Gulf Area. You may, no, you now have to ask; 'cui bono?'  Who wins? Who gains? It is commonly known that a war can't have winners, only losers and those who think they won, have definitely lost, because they have lost themselves. Somehow, I am glad that at this moment it is President Trump who stepped on the brakes, but I don't know how long he can keep his foot there. Too much pressure from Israel, financial interests and the interests of the Military Industrial Complex, may be tipping the delicate scale of peace at this moment.
And the Dutch politicians? They look away, support US policies no matter how dangerous, because they are afraid. 'Fear is a bad advisor' my mother used to say. That is why I posted a picture of myself on Linkedin today, more than 30 years ago. Nothing has changed. People have not learned from history. 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it' , said George Santayana. 


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