Sunday, April 12, 2009

Walking the Plank.... Figuratively

Good news from the Indian Ocean today when an American held hostage by pirates was successfully freed. Apparently snipers aboard a navy destroyer on the scene shot and killed three of the pirates holding the victim. Considering that the pirates were on a small lifeboat bobbing up and down, those could not have easy shots.

Also, more details are beginning to emerge about what happened when the American freighter was first seized. Apparently there was a struggle between the crew and the pirates. It ended only when the ship's captain offered himself up as a hostage in exchange for the safety of his crew.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the pirate group orchestrating these attacks on ships in the area said that there was a lesson to be learned here: "Our friends should have done more to kill the captain before they were killed. This will be a good lesson for us.... From now on, if we capture foreign ships and their respective countries try to attack us, we will kill them (the hostages)."

Hmmm.... He better not hope there isn't a quiz on exactly what was learned today. If anything, what the world has finally discovered is that it's time to stop dicking around with these people. Untold millions of dollars in ransom have been paid over the last several years, and the money has only served to further encourage these hoodlums. The obvious solution is for the world's naval forces to step up patrols in the area. Granted, there's thousands of square miles of ocean to cover, but with a aircraft carriers providing cover, it should be easier to cover.

Hell, why don't the shipping companies hire armed escorts to accompany their ships or convoys? Remember Blackwater from Iraq? Those guys would love to have an excuse to shoot more bad guys.

Additionally, why not set up a 12 mile limit on ship traffic off the coast of Somalia? Anything that ventures beyond that gets stopped and searched, or else it gets blown out of the water. We may not be able to stop every single ship, but so what? Even if we're only intercepting, say, 50 percent of the bad guys, it introduces enough uncertainty for them that piracy loses its appeal.

0 thoughtful ramblings: