Cyberwanderer’s Blog

January 14, 2008

Filipino Monkey and other Comedies at Strait of Hormuz

Filed under: World News — cyberwanderer @ 7:11 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Past fake incident

When I first heard the Iran-U.S. Navy incident, I was a bit skeptical. It did not help that Powell have lied to U.N. before about some satellite photos showing Iraqis mobile weapon lab. Then coincidentally one of the news for the day is about how U.S. escalated Vietnam war based on fake incident. The “Report reveals Vietnam War hoaxes, faked attacks” article from AFP includes a retelling of 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident.

The author of the report “demonstrates that not only is it not true, as (then US) secretary of defense Robert McNamara told Congress, that the evidence of an attack was ‘unimpeachable,’ but that to the contrary, a review of the classified signals intelligence proves that ‘no attack happened that night,'” FAS said in a statement.

“What this study demonstrated is that the available intelligence shows that there was no attack. It’s a dramatic reversal of the historical record,” Aftergood said.

“There were previous indications of this but this is the first time we have seen the complete study,” he said.

Playing Devil’s Advocate

So playing role of Devils advocate, I thought ok what if you are the president of the U.S. or some war hawk and the NIE report claim that Iran has stop their nuclear program, and so does not pose immediate threat, taking away reason for attacking Iran before current President leave office? But you really want to attack them. What do you do? Maybe create an incident like Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam.

The Proof of the incident

Then U.S. release video as proof. Yep, video is always convincing evidence and plays well in media. You can actually hear them say with heavy accent “You will explode after .. minutes”. The Iran claim it is fake. Oh come on, who are you going to believe? The state branded as terrorist by Bush or freedom loving, patriot act U.S.A? Iran also releases their own video. The Iranian claim video and audio does not match. U.S. said video was edited together and audio was from separate source. So much for convincing evidence.

Peace Tour, Arms Deal and Uniting against Iran

Bush on his supposedly peace promotion tour of Middle East continue to claim Iran is a threat and on his “peace tour” he met the Saudi’s to push for $20 billion in arms deal. Bush then met with other Middle Eastern leaders as stated in this New York Times article:

With Mr. Bush in the middle of a trip to the region intended to build a united Arab front against Iran, ….

and according to that same article, the Pentagon seems to be backing away from their claim that Iran threatened them.

The Pentagon has appeared to back away from part of its initial account of that encounter. In Bahrain, where Mr. Bush began his day on Sunday, the commanders of two American ships involved in the encounter said a threatening radio message might not have come from the Iranian boats.

Oops, it’s the monkey

In today’s news, it was revealed that veteran sailors are saying the source is probably from a radio heckler nicknamed “Filipino Monkey”. A quick search on the net reveal other incidents and origin of such nasty racist name. Think Progress mentioned an incident involving Rick Hoffman, a retired captain.

“For 25 years there’s been this mythical guy out there who, hour after hour, shouts obscenities and threats,” he said. “He could be tied up pierside somewhere or he could be on the bridge of a merchant ship.” […]

“He used to go all night long. The guy is crazy,” he said. “But who knows how many Filipino Monkeys there are? Could it have been a spurious transmission? Absolutely.”

“Editor at large” blog has another interesting incident

“He started out by playing music and then by taunting other seamen, usually Filipinos, with curses in the middle of the night,” one official recalled.

Other seamen would respond in kind until the airwaves were alive with colorful arguments in various accents of English. This livened things up during the lonely and monotonous graveyard shifts in the gulf, and so for a time nobody much minded the Monkey’s technically illegal activities. His transmissions were an abusive, but harmless, form of entertainment.

Origin of the Monkey

I think the source of such degrading nickname appears to be from the heckler himself who is middle eastern and located in the busy maritime area of gulf area. There are large numbers of Filipino (pinoy) working as mariners. Here’s an account from a Filipino posted in Timog forum:

This stories about “Filipino Monkeys” in the Persin Gulf is true. I was serving with San Diego based US Navy ship deployed in the Gulf in 1990. Our ship was doing our normal patrol routine, going in and out of the Persian Gulf along the Straight of Hormuz. One evening during the mid watch, the Captain called me on the Bridge. Once I got there, he made me listen to a radio conversation which was nobody on the bridge can understand. I told the CO that the conversation is in tagalog and wanted me to translate what was being said. The exchanges between two Pinoys was just the ordinary “Kumustahan” saan ang punta nyo? kumusta ang Pinas…….how many Pinoy in your ship and kung ano ang dala nyo……then all of the sudden, another voice will cut in more on arabic voice saying ” Filipino monkeys, Filipino monkeys……what is your distination…….an d followed by other name calling and derigatory words……the Pinoys will just say goodbye to each other and remain silent until the arabic voice stop………… there are hundreds of merchant ships running in and out of the gulf region during our patrol and most of the time, there are Pinoy sailors sailing them……. and most of the time, manning the bridge of a ship………..

Who is linking: Carol’s My View of “It”

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1 Comment »

  1. When I first heard about this ‘incident’ I immediately figured it was more rhetoric and a way to incite and justify what appears to be an almost inevitable attack on Iran. After all if King-George wants to attack, he will whether he has legtimate reasons or not.
    It is my understanding that Iran has not done anythiing nuclear since 2003 and this is apparently the same information that Bush has chosen to ignore.
    Interesting Post.

    Comment by Carol — January 14, 2008 @ 7:45 pm | Reply

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