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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Pirates by mrsteabag on 13 April 2009 4:48pm
Sorry, loves...not the Johnny Depp type.
Does it strike anyone else as sadly ironic that the Maersk Alabama carried food and medical supplies bound for Somalia? It sounds worse than the Wild West days of "expansion" here. Somalia and Ethiopia are scary places these days.
Re: Pirates by bIG bLOGGER on 15 April 2009 4:13pm
Yes,the irony of this escapade did not escape me,mrsteabag.But it seems Somali pirates have scant concerns about what cargo any freighter might be carrying,whether it be oil,containers or whatever.

The 17,000-ton US cargo ship Maersk Alabama was carrying relief aid bound for Kenya on the East coast of Africa when it was hijacked by a gang of Somali pirates 380 miles off the coast of Mogadishu.

The debate has centred partly on how best should you deal with pirates?
(a) pay their ransom demand (after all they are only in it for the huge sums of money demanded).
This is dubious because every captain who yields to ransom demands may get his men freed but it will only embolden the pirates to try further attacks.

(b)refuse to pay the ransom demand and call in navy commandos to try to rescue the hostages. This is what happened in this case and luckily Captain Phillips who had offered himself as a hostage to get his crew freed was subsequently rescued alive and unharmed. But of course it could have ended much worse that it did. However,in the dramatic rescue bid,US Navy Seals snipers killed 3 Somalian pirates,and the Somalis have vowed to avenge the deaths of their fallen friends threatening : "from now on,if we capture foreign ships and their respective countries try to attack us,we will kill them".
In another hijack-rescue this past week,French commandos also killed 3 Somali pirates.
Fears have been expressed for the safety of another 285 hostages still being held by the Somalis.Somalia is virtually an outlaw state with a chaotic lack of a proper government for the last 20 years. In 1991 America got its fingers burned (and 19 US Servicemen killed)in the BLACK HAWK DOWN massacre,where up to 1,000 Somalis were also gunned down,so relations between Somalia and the US are to say the least precarious.
Re: Pirates by tucsonmike on 16 April 2009 1:57pm
This is going to be a major problem for a long time. The pirates see it as it is worth risking their lives. You two have hit the nail on the head. Somalia as a nation state barely exists.

I am happy the commandos took action, but it will be bad no matter which actions are taken. Do I have a solution? No.

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