Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Somali Pirates Challenge Obama, U. S. Navy

TigerHawk posts about it - - -

Somali pirates have decided that it is great time to capture an American flagged ship crewed by our citizens.

Naturally, I have a few questions.

Why has this not happened before? Why were these pirates not deterred by the prospects of a response from the United States Navy (the very first mission of which was to stop piracy from Africa)? What will our president do about it?

This is a far more important moment for Barack Obama than the news media, judging by the lack of coverage on cable news this morning, believes it to be.

MORE: FoxNews has more.

WELCOME CORNER READERS: The tenor and scope of our response should not merely be tailored to getting these hostages back safely. Our Navy's command of the seas is a non-negotiable strategic asset. We need to know why our flag did not deter these bozos and take immediate steps to restore their respect for it, even if we have to bomb every pirate port on the Somali coast and suffer the charge of "disportionality" from the international law fetishists. It's what Thomas Jefferson would do.


Anonymous said...

A well-trained and well-armed security squad aboard each merchant ship in the Indian Ocean would probably only have to disintegrate one pirate group to get the message out.
Oops, I forgot, the United Nations would disapprove, so we can't do that.
In that case, why don't we send Barack and Michelle to talk them out of it?? The tactic worked so well with Kim Jong-il.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Jim in San Diego said...

Here are two ideas to deal with pirates. Either would work to protect further piracy against U.S. Ships:

1. President Obama, as Commander-in-Chief, issues a policy statement,

"The United States will not pay ransom, nor will it allow anyone else to pay ransom, for return of a U.S. flagged ship captured by pirates. Instead, any act of piracy against U.S. flagged ships on the high seas will be treated as an act of war, and will be dealt with accordingly."[best not to be too specific with what we will do; keeps all our options open]

"Owners of U.S. flagged ships, and their crews, are ordered to prominently display large American flags visible in all directions, so as to warn pirates of the risk they face if they attack the vessel.

"Owners are warned to avoid pirate infested areas, unless they are prepared to defend themselves from pirates. I will order our forces to assist any owner to arm his vessel, if he chooses to do so".

2. Require ship traffic to travel in escorted convoy. Since the pirates are no threat to any naval combat vessel, a very large convoy could be escorted by a very small naval escort force.

Comment: The current coalition effort, involving 12-15 vessels covering an area larger than the Mediterranean and Red Seas combined, seems incompetently inadequate. The nations involved have navies totaling more than 1000combat vessels.

Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...

Fox is reporting that the US members of the hijacked ship managed to retake control of the ship and they have one of the hijackers in custody. Obviously, they were not about to allow themselves to be sitting ducks for the pirates/terrorists while the administration wrings its hands and tries to figure out what to do.

Anonymous said...

News reports say the crew has retaken the ship, and at least one pirate is in their custody.

As a US flagged vessel, does US law cover this piracy? Can the "alleged" pirate be handed over to the US Navy for transport to the US?

Stephen Wilson said...

Modern pirates must have one heckuva hideout for the loot.

Anonymous said...

In the days of sail, with Iron Men and Wooden Ships, pirates caught red-handed could be hung on the spot from the yardarm.

Arrrggghhh ! ! !

Jim in San Diego said...

The Administration's first response today, that "Their primary concern was for the safety of the crew" is exactly wrong.

The primary concern of the national executive, responsible for the security of all the people, should be for the principle of freedom of the seas.

The reason that piracy has flourished is it is profitable.

The current MO is to pay large ransoms. This, in an impoverished nation, has made piracy a profitable way of life for hundreds of pirates.

If a policy of "no ransom" had been enforced from the beginning, the last few dozen piracies would not have happened, including the one today of a U.S. flagged vessel, and the one tomorrow, and the one the day after that, etc.

Jim Peterson

Jim in San Diego said...

For a consulting fee of $1.00, I offer to propose a plan to deter piracy off Somalia.

This should take about 24 hours.

Allies and assets: The combined navies of the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Russia, China, and India (the members of the current coalition).

Enemies: A few hundred lightly armed pirates who pose no threat to any vessel whatsoever armed with a 20 MM cannon or better.

Difficulty of problem, on a scale of 1 - 10: About 2 1/2, primarily a logistics problem.

Have resume, will travel.

Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...

Jim in SD: Read my post at the beginning of this thread. I'd be happy to join you.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

I just caught part of an interview with a "hostage negotiator" on FoxNews. The lunatics have really taken over the asylum: this bozo claims that the US policy is not to negotiate with terrorists, but pirates are more like businessmen--they only do what they do get money, unlike terrorists who have political agenda. Therefore, we'll be glad to see what kind of "business deal" we can work out.
Well, after seeing how some of our high-priced CEOs and CFOs run their businesses, it's no wonder some confuse them with pirates. Sheeeesh!
Tarheel Hawkeye