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Somalia Pirates

By BlakeyV - Posted on 09 April 2009

Just hadn;t seen it posted yet, I know this direct article is a day old.  Also wonder what consequences you feel there will be or should be?  Thoughts and prayers with the captain and may God be with you.

I'm with Blakey with the thoughts and sincere prayers.  I have following this story closely, and find it most distressing.  I don't know what I think the consequences will be, as I know we have limited powers in international waters.  What I would LIKE for them to be is to have these pirates brought to American to be charged and stand trial. 

My guess is that they will be brought back to Somolia for "justice...yea right" in exchange for the Captain.

What's your opinion, Blakey?

An international court of justice would be more appropriate in my opinion.
 My opinion is we need to have other nations involved, these Pirates are a threat to all and need to be dealt with. Somalia ports maybe need some rearranging from airplanes and these particular pirates are asking for 10 million, give it to them, then give a few ton of rocks to go with it.  And also these cargo ships need some sort of protection also, be it from sideline vessel on on board. The pirates here don;t have many options as last I heard are surrounded right now, so they should know if anything happens to the captain they are toast.   Again though I have no idea of the size of how many pirates are out there, wouldn;t think by using a bit of force they would be much to deal with.  I feel other nations will get involved as others are dealing with this constant threat.  As far as having a trial back here,,nah I personally don;t give em that option..what pirates..I didn't see any pirates,,there were pirates out there,,no way,,shoot must have been that spot where we had that mishap with out fighter plane.

The people backing these pirates (the BIGWIGS) have to be found and dealt with. These are not just Somali nobodies getting together and saying, "lets hijack some ships, and hold the crews and cargoes for ransom." Someone big is behind them. They have moved from the Gulf of Aden out into the open Indian Ocean, where maritime or military patrols are much less likely to get in the way.

Here is an idea if pirates are ever captured (one was captured but let go): rig the captured pirates to the sides of a small boat in open waters, and let them stay there until sharks come by and have their meal. It wouldn't take doing this too many times for this message to get back to the remaining pirates.


Very true, but apparently the options are limited: 1) Despite international support, there are a limited number of ships that maritime nations will commit to this region. 2) There's only so much we can do with limited patrol routes and boats indistinguishable from small fishing vessels. 3) Since this attack came in the Indian Ocean, it was way outside the normal hot zone for the Somali pirates.

They could use convoys with light torpedo boats or something, but with the shipping traffic in that area, I'm not sure that's feasible. What would be really nice is a regular EWACS sweep of the region and the CIA pinning down who's profiting from these raids (my tinfoil hat guess is al Qaeda), but now that they've expanded into the open seas, that drastically increases the amount of water to cover

And as a disclaimer: No, I'm not an analyst. I do, however, play lots of strategy games...


It's sad that we've reached a point where 'government service' is a dirty word... If we're the greatest country on earth, maybe we can have the greatest government.

Lewis Black

Had a complete War games moment .....LOL

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play...

"How about a nice game of chess?"


It's sad that we've reached a point where 'government service' is a dirty word... If we're the greatest country on earth, maybe we can have the greatest government.

Lewis Black

I have been praying for a peaceful end to this since it began to unfold.

I think we also need to look a the big picture: the extreme poverty in Somalia. I don't think we can argue that living under very poor conditions only increases the likelihood of expanding crime "proejcts" like this. Look at Mexico and the drug war. Until we address the root of the problem, things may just get worse.

Update from MSNBC

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
A senior U.S. official says the federal government has put together a working group to advise the Navy on how to talk to the pirates. The FBI is part of that group but, the official says, is by no means in charge of the negotiations.

FBI hostage negotiators are offering their advice, as are others in the federal government with experience and knowlege about talking with captors. 

But, the official says, the FBI has not taken over the negotiations.


Also, there are ships from many nations that have come into the area (Including China and Russia) and are more or less on stand by.
Now, if I could just wrest the TV away from the four year old and cartoon network, I could catch up on this story...*sigh*

They should them, don't they???


 I will not throw the first punch but I wil certainly throw the last.....President Barack Obama.

I have become really obsessed with this story, constantly checking for updates. My heart is aching thinking of this brave American and his family. If the boat was not covered, I'm sure they'd have snipers on the case-but this seems extremely complicated. They can't just destroy the boat with a hostage on board. And the pirates realize this.  I know that in many cases the ship company will just agree to pay the ransom. Obviously, this is not the best outcome but at least the man would return alive. If they did pay the pirates, couldn't the gov't find them later and charge them? They certainly have evidence. I truly believe the State Dept./our government is doing everything in their power, but this is a worse case scenario. Maybe it will finally bring to light the need to address the piracy problem. I've seen reports on pirates in the last year but often they are discussed with a chuckle like "yes, I said pirates" and it does not seem to be taken seriously. Let's all say some extra prayers for a positive outcome. This is Day 3!

update from CNN

The problem is that we're not negotiating with the pirates on the boat. The people in charge of this operation are not in that boat. We're negotiating with whoever is controlling this from the shore. We know where they are. And that's the problem. If the pirates on the boat don't give up the captain, they're probably dead. And if they do give up the captain, without ransom, they're probably dead too.

Pirates holding an American hostage on a drifting lifeboat want $2 million for his release, a fellow pirate onshore said on Friday. The pirate, speaking to Reuters from Haradheere port, also said other pirates were taking a hijacked German ship, with foreign crew on board, towards the scene in the Indian Ocean where the lifeboat is floating, watched by U.S. warships.

"Knowing that the Americans will not destroy this German ship and its foreign crew, they (the pirates) hope they can meet their friends on the lifeboat," said the pirate, who has given reliable information in the past but asked for his name not to be used. (Source)

From CNN.

Earlier Saturday, pirates holding a German cargo ship returned to port after failing to reach a lifeboat containing four pirates and their American hostage, a local journalist told CNN.

The German ship Hansa Stavanger was among several hijacked vessels that pirates were using to reach the lifeboat some 300 miles off the Somali coast, a Somali journalist told CNN.

The ship had set sail to help the pirates holding Phillips, but turned back because of the U.S. naval presence, the journalist said. The Hansa Stavanger is now at the Somali port of Eyl, the journalist said.

The Hansa Stavanger, with a crew of 24, was hijacked April 4 off the Somali coast.

Pirates have been searching the waters off Africa's coast to try to find the lifeboat, a U.S. military official with knowledge of the situation said Friday. They are using hijacked vessels and skiffs launched from larger ships, the official said.

 Should we take this as good news? There seem to be few options. The conditions must be getting pretty awful on board. They don't even have a toilet. Maybe the negotiators hope time will wear them down. Misty is right-these pirates have nothing to hold on to for hope. They are doomed either way. Maybe they would welcome some kind of sentence in which they are turned over to the Americans rather than the Somalians. That says alot right there. I just hope they don't see death as the best option right now. With the world they live in, you just never know.

The most frustrating thing for a retired serviceman is that I want to go get them. I know we have the ability to free that captain right now. With any measure necessary, we can kill all the pirates and bring that man home for Easter.

 But thats the military in me. The diplomat in others keeps nuts like me in check!

 Im just frustrated about the situation, but proud of that Captain for his heroism! I pray for him a lot each day!

The pirates and the captain are in a closed lifeboat.  I don't see how anyone could get to them to rescue him, without them having a chance to kill the captain.

Miltary strategists have probably already came up with at least 3 different ways to do it, regardless of the enclosed boat. Technology on naval ships is incredible. And snipers are pretty accurate when it comes to taking someone out, even through a wood wall.

 I am sure they have several plans, but no "go ahead" to initiate. And its probably best. Let the diplomacy experts try first. Then let the military try!


Distractions: Recent U.S. experience with Somalia not good

President George H.W. Bush, describing it as "God's work," sent U.S. combat troops to the east African nation in late 1992 to lead an international U.N. force to secure the environment for relief operations.

"We will not stay one day longer than is absolutely necessary," Bush said.

President Bill Clinton inherited the problem. He pulled most of the U.S. troops out in early 1993.

But those that remained were sent to track down warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed, ultimately leading to a 17-hour firefight in Mogadishu in which 18 American soldiers were killed, a disastrous battle that led to the book and movie, "Blackhawk Down."

The recent pirate episode was a reminder to the United States that Somalia is a festering failed state -- or as Foreign Policy magazine called it, "The Most Dangerous Place in the World" -- and poses a foreign policy dilemma that will not go away.

The recent pirate episode was a reminder to the United States that Somalia is a festering failed state -- or as Foreign Policy magazine called it, "The Most Dangerous Place in the World" -- and poses a foreign policy dilemma that will not go away.

 To that I say ..... Then lets go get em! But I am a soldier. Thats what we always say! Its the training!

For clarity's sake, the preceeding line in the source Misty quoted is "Somalia came to U.S. attention in 1992 when warring factions created a humanitarian crisis."

This is a really good article that explains the actual situation in Somalia.  Thanks Misty.

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