Battleships and cruises

by | September 10, 2017 5:43 pm

There was a big front-page picture the other day.
There were five warships lined up for a “show of force” by South Korea. The U.S. Navy was flexing its muscles. The purpose was to show North Korea how tough we are. It is a cool picture. These high tech looking ships are shooting guns. They don’t look quite as imposing as pictures of World War II battleships unleashing its many guns. Those pictures showed the entire ship moving sideways in the water.
At the risk of offending my Navy veteran friends, what are we doing with our navy now? I understand the value of having ships coming close to a country.
A carrier can supply air cover, ships can supply the carrier, wounded troops can be carried to a hospital ship, and al sorts of things. The hidden Navy submarines can launch missiles. Why do all that?
There is a certain romance to all the Navy things. Immediately we compare naval battles to pirate ships fighting at sea. Action like this has never been seen since.
Cannons blasting, smoke-filled air and pirates boarding other ships for plunder is a nice notion for the movies. Now piracy is done in little boats trying to take over a container carrying cargo ship. A few fifty caliber machine guns tends to turn away these little pirates.
You still want to go back to the image of a ship powered by wind in massive sails. Crystal waters surround the ship and you stop on pristine islands for food, water and other provisions.
Take a modern day cruise and you can drift into this fantasy world easily. Work on a cruise ship and it is a different story. You sleep in a room with no windows. There is eighteen hours of work for you everyday. All the passengers are having the fantasy life and the ship’s crew is scrambling to make that fantasy life true.
Compare that to the Navy ships. There are no passengers on those ships. Everyone is trying to do a job that takes about eighteen hours a day to complete. It is tough to keep a ship of five thousand people fed, bathed, supplied, etc. and a lot of other ships are needed to make this happen.
It still brings us back to the show of force business. The show of force is to make the North Koreans from firing missiles. Why not just send over the long range bombers and drop some bombs to show what can happen? That might teach them how to spell respect.
That’s just silliness on my part. What we should do is send over cruise ships. If people had the chance to stay on a ship for a week, it could make all the difference in their lives. Imagine waking up when you wanted. A nice breakfast would be waiting for you. You could lounge around on the deck or go for a side journey at an exotic port of call. There is a big buffet in the middle of the day or an elegant meal at night followed by dancing.
That’s what people should aspire to. Why have all this fighting when you could be sailing in the Carribean?

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