Sunday, April 12, 2009

Navy Rescues Capt. Phillips; 3 Pirates Dead

Here's a "good news" report that starts with a post by Tigerhawk - - -

The Wall Street Journal sent me an alert seconds ago that said that Captain Richard Phillips has been rescued in a U.S. Navy operation and that we killed three of the bad guys in the process, and took another pirate into custody. Fox is reporting the same thing, so is the A.P., and CNN (blog round-up here).

Great news, and -- yes, I'll say it -- tip o' the hat to President Obama for signing off on the mission.

Now I have two questions. What will we do with the prisoner? Do we believe that this action is sufficient to restore deterrence against piracy?

The entire country should be proud of the performance of the Americans on the Maersk Alabama's crew, including especially their captain. The spirit of United 93 remains alive and well, which I believe is the single most important factor in our defense against the jihad and other dirtbags around the world.

My admiration for these men who took back their ship is without limit.By the way, Captain Phillips is now resting on the U.S.S. Bainbridge, named for Commodore William Bainbridge. Not only was Commodore Bainbridge born right here in Princeton, New Jersey, but he fought the Barbary Pirates and was imprisoned by them for 2 1/2 years until freed after William Eaton's expedition to "the shores of Tripoli."


My comments:

Congrats to Tigerhawk for a first-rate post under deadline. Be sure to read his post's comment thread. Lots of questions and comments there concerning what to do now.

A number of you who read and comment here have Navy and/or military intel experience. What's your first take given what we know as of 3 PM ET.

How about the rest of you?

There are three things I feel very strongly about:

1) - - - The securing during the past 200+ years of safe sea lanes (largely thanks to the British and Commonwealth Navies and the French and American Navies) has allowed for safe commerce that's enabled hundreds of millions of people all over the world to have a better life.

2) - - - Pirates and others who committ crimes at sea should be dealt with swiftly and severely.

3) - - - President Obama should make a brief statement which, as well as congratulating the Navy, the Alabama crew and others, also makes very clear to the world the U. S. is unapolgitic for its use of force; and will use every power within its means to destroy the pirate menace, in the process brooking no interference from those with a perverted concept of "rights" who make themselves the pirates' and other terrorists' enablers.


Anonymous said...

I'm pleasantly surprised that our Commander-in-Chief approved this action. BZ Obama!
What to do with the surviving dirtbag? If it were my call, I'd airdrop him w/o 'chute precisely on the spot where the Blackhawk helo went down in Mogadishu. Drop leaflets explaining the rules of the game: don't screw with a falcon unless you can fly!
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

When you’re a sovereign nation and one of your ships gets hijacked in international waters, it seems to me your objectives ought to be four: retake your ship and its crew, kill or capture the pirates, identify their lines of communications, and then launch punitive attacks on their shore-based facilities and state sponsors.

In the case of the Maersk Alabama, we had a courageous captain and crew -- and the Fifth Fleet well positioned to intervene. We prevented a U.S.-flagged ship from being sailed into a Somali port as a prize, and we eventually brought three of the pirates to justice. Thankfully no American lives were lost in the process.

That leaves punishing those Somalis that aided and abetted this outrage. And if our goal is to deter future attacks on U.S.—flagged ships, then retaking the Maersk Alabama and killing the pirates may alone be enough.

But how many other merchant marines out there have a Captain Richard Phillips, and how many other navies can put a Fifth Fleet in position to make a difference?

Somehow, after all his bad-mouthing of the US, I don’t think defender of the free world is in Obama’s playbook.

Mike Williams

Anonymous said...

What to do with the dirtbag?

Sharks have gotta eat.

Jim in San Diego said...

Lesser question: what to do with one captured pirate?

Answer: Hang him from a yardarm (or, more contemporaneously, a radar antenna), pronto. With full media coverage. Put the hanging on the internet, (a modern equivalent of leaving pirates hanging at the entrance to major harbors).

Bigger question: How to fight piracy in Somalia?


No ransom policy loudly announced and strictly enforced = end of piracy.

Armed merchant vessels, or even convoys.

MUCH greater participation by the combined navies of the U.S., U.K. USSR, Germany, France, China, India, Greece (all members of the current anti-piracy coalition).

Jim Peterson

Danvers said...

Notice how quickly, after the successful rescue, BHO jumped on the bandwagon to announce that he had approved the 'use of force in the rescue'.

No doubt if anything had gone wrong he would have been the first to pillory the relevant navy group for 'excessive use of force' and 'abusing the human rights of the pirates' and apologizing to the world for the brutality of the US armed forces.

Anonymous said...

Good news, I don't think Obama had much choice; he couldn't just let the guy get killed. I'd guess the orders were to only use lethal force if his life was in danger. Great work by the shooters, SEALs I think.

If Bush was in charge that last guy would be in Gitmo, but not under Obama. I think they will try him, put him in jail for a few years then send him home. As to this action being a deterrence, it may be for ships under the American flag, but I don’t see it changing anything for other ships, to stop this it will need a concerted effort from a number of nations.

Scott S.

FYI you misspelt French in point 1, not trying to be picky as I’m not the best speller in the world, you just seem to like to get it right. Also this part ‘The entire country should be proud of the performance of the Americans on the Maersk Alabama's crew, including especially their captain’ I think you need only put the ‘including’ or the ‘especially’, putting both is confusing.

Anonymous said...

The action off the Somalian coast demonstrates why it is that the US military, despite all the bashing it regularly receives, is the best in the world. It is the constant training and the confidence that such training instills that enabled those sharpshooters to take out the three pirates simultaneously. As for the fourth, hanging from the yardarm (and televise it on Al Jazzera {sp}) would send the message - mess with the US and it will not go well for you.

Danvers said...

What, under sharia law, is the penalty for piracy?

Hoosein Obama should hand the captive over to a Sharia Court for punishment.