Israel, ‘Gaza flotilla’ and a few questions about the reporting….

Around midnight of May 31st, 2010, there was an ‘unpleasant’ confrontation between a ‘flotilla of boats’, sailing under the Turkish flag, and the Israeli military.  By now, most of us have been inundated with ‘information’ about what had happened, so I’ll delve right into what is bothering me.

This information comes from ‘respectable news sources’ – and, most people accept the words as true.  However, I like doing (both solving and creating) logic puzzles – you know, of the type of the famous ‘Einstein Puzzle‘: if I see two guys, Bob and Rob, and if Bob is wearing a blue shirt, and the two are wearing shirts of the same colour, what colour shirt is Rob wearing?

That type of a puzzle….

So, I could not help notice that some of the things constantly repeated over and over and over within the ‘news stories’ contained internal contradictions.  Not just inconsistencies, but downright contradictions!

Sort of like if they were reporting on the above (simplified) puzzle, and kept saying ‘Rob, the one wearing a red shirt, is taller than Bob…’

How am I supposed to figure out which bits are the facts of what happened and which bits are wrong – when the reporting has such glaring internal inconsistencies?!?!?

That does not, in any way-shape-or-form even get close to considering or commenting on the ‘correctness’ – or, demonstrable ‘incorrectness’, as in ‘contradictions to international laws’ – within the statements and claims in the articles.  There are bits in the reports which directly contradict other bits asserted in the same reports!

Well, most of the times – in the ‘mainstream media’ – so you have to go to the blogosphere to learn the facts….

Let me give you one example.

From Wikipedia, this is a diagram of how ‘territorial waters’, ‘international waters’ and so on are defined under ‘international law’ (I put ‘international law’ in quotes because that itself is also a nebulous matter, to say the least…plus neither Turkey, nor Israel are idiotic enough to have signed UN’s L.O.S.T. – but it is the convention):

File:Zonmar-en.svg

This seems relatively clear:  ‘international waters’ begin 200 miles (or more) from the shore.  That is rather unequivocal!

Right?

(If there are multiple countries whose claim ‘overlap’ inside this 200 mile limit, the ‘jurisdictional border’ is negotiated – usually giving each side half the amount of the overlap, leaving no ‘international waters’ between them.  This, for example, is the case between Canada and those 2 tiny little French islands…  Other countries may have ‘right of passage’ through these waters – but not unregulated!)

Next step:

The ‘news reports’ all seem to agree that the ‘incident’ happened 70 miles off-shore.  As in, well within the regulated ‘economic zone’, within which all ships may cross, but are obligated to submit to inspections by the ‘enforcing country’, which has the right to regulate these waters.

But, these same reports claim that the incident took place in ‘international waters’!

And – that because the ‘incident’ occurred in ‘international waters’, Israel had no right to board the vessels….and so is, in effect, guilty of piracy!

Apply logic here….

Which is it?  Did it happen in ‘international waters’ or did it happen 70 miles off-shore?

It cannot possibly be both!

Ah – the trouble one runs into when applying logic to ‘news reports from reputable sources’!