U.S. Rappahannock Does the Right Thing

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A recent Frontpage article urged the U.S. Navy to fire on small boats that approach U.S. warships rather then let them draw near and detonate bombs, as was the case in 2000 with the USS Cole, with a cost of 17 American lives and more than $250 million in repairs. It seems that somebody got the message.

On July 16 in the Persian Gulf, a small boat rapidly approached the USS Rappahannock, a refueling ship with the US Fifth Fleet. The boat ignored repeated warnings to stay away, including warning shots. When it continued a swift, deliberate approach, the security team aboard the Rappahannock opened fire with a .50 caliber machinegun, killing one member of the approaching boat’s crew and wounding two others.

Iran used the incident to charge that “foreign forces” are a threat to “regional security.” This from a nation that has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a vital passage for oil supplies, and to eliminate the state of Israel from the map of the region. And this was the nation that, during the Carter Era, called the United States the “Great Satan,” took 52 Americans hostage and held them captive for 444 days. More recently, Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons.

The menacing boat, meanwhile, was a fishing vessel with an Indian crew and registered to a company in the United Arab Emirates. The Navy and UAE will conduct investigations and the U.S. Ambassador to India issued a statement regretting the loss of life. While the investigations proceed, some realities are clear.

The Navy is refueling ships at sea rather than in dangerous ports such as Aden, in dangerous countries such as Yemen, where they are vulnerable to terrorist attacks as with the USS Cole. The refueling ships are not sitting ducks but carry security teams, with the arms, ammunition and orders to protect the lives of American servicemen from terrorist attack. This is all sound policy and should be continued, or even beefed up, whatever the results of the investigation.

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  • PhillipGaley

    Well of course, we are—even now—in a kind of war. That small boat's forward movement appears to have been a testing of our resolve and sense of defensive posture: "What kind of vulnerability can we expect: will the US take a Jimmy Carter / Obama styled approach—or not?", . . .

  • Dr. Kochava Malchiel

    Shoot first and ask questions later

  • Schlomotion

    Fortunately, in the face of the despicable and cowardly acts of Yemeni terrorists, the Americans have shown admirable bravery by subjecting those men to torture and killing their cohorts with remote controlled airplanes until they got the right guy. Now America bravely fires on fishing boats and admirably kills anybody who gets too close to an American ship. Kudos to those brave men who use their weapons kill and destroy those men who might possibly maybe have weapons.

    • pagegl

      Considering the twits on the fishing boat disregarded multiple warnings by a Navy vessel I figure they were fairly stupid and the Navy did a service to the world by removing their genetic material from the gene pool.

  • Ronald Johnston

    The US Rappahannock did not do the right thing!!! They should have eliminated the boat and all it's occupants!!!! The Iranians do not respect anything but superior force!!!!

    • mlcblog

      Still, I am happy with any standing up to the enemy, no matter what the size.

  • Supreme_Galooty

    Once a decision to open fire has been made, no survivors should be allowed. Period. That should be Standing Procedure with no exceptions….

  • Ghostwriter

    To the idiots like Schlockmotion who seem to have forgotten the "U.S.S. Cole" incident,what would YOU have had "The Rappahannock" do? Nothing,until they were blown up? They were repeatedly warned not to go near the ship. I ask again,what did you expect them to do? Nothing?

  • Tanstaafl jw

    This was a test run to see what a US Navy ship would do. Hope the jihadists learned a lesson.

  • Amused

    Schlomotion , why do you persist in trying to prove yourself an IMBECILE ? You already proved that chump .

  • Ray Waits

    I think people that think like Schlomotion who admit they think that way should be drafted immediately so they could learn about reality. Israeli citizens serve two years and their understanding of reality is eons ahead of ours.