Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pirates Again

Here's the NY Times on the horrible tragedy that befell the four Christian missionary sailors:
It is not clear why the pirates killed the hostages – whether accidentally during a firefight or possibly out of revenge for the Somali pirates killed by American sharpshooters in a hostage situation in 2009.

Maritime analysts who monitor pirate activity said the killings were unusual and may have stemmed from a highly-combustible mix of around 20 pirates and four hostages squeezed together on a sailboat with limited food, water and space. In the past, when pirates have hijacked smaller vessels, they usually transfer the hostages to a much bigger boat, a so-called mother ship, which functions as a floating base in the middle of the ocean.
According to the Times Obama was "tracking the event closely" but apparently he lost track because so far only Hillary has issued a statement. That was different back in 2009. Here's the Times covering the last high profile pirate event:
Acting with President Obama’s authorization and in the belief that the hostage, Capt. Richard Phillips, was in imminent danger of being killed by captors armed with pistols and AK-47s, snipers on the fantail of the destroyer Bainbridge, which was towing the lifeboat on a 100-foot line, opened fire and picked off the three captors.
Again, the big question is why the pirates would break the first rule of hostage-taking. They mentioned a possible dispute--perhaps a new team of suicide pirates was sent in to kill the Americans to make a point and the others rebelled? Story says they never fired at the Seals other than the RPG. Seems to be some missing pieces at this point.

Whatever the case, these words were spoken by a pirate spokesman after the last event:
“Every country will be treated the way it treats us,” Abdullahi Lami, one of the pirates holding a Greek ship anchored in the pirate den of Gaan, a central Somali town, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying in a telephone interview. “In the future, America will be the one mourning and crying.”
The problem is what to do about them. Carpet bombing won't solve the abject poverty and tribalism that is breeding these scumballs; then again we cannot allow pirates to indiscriminately kill Americans on the open seas no matter how good their excuses sound. America has been to Somalia once to provide food and all we got for it were dead soldiers dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. President Jefferson had a similar problem in his day and his solution lasted a few hundred years--what will Obama do? Smoke a cigarette? Will the media even bother to ask?

MORE 2/22/11

The "Pirates" are saying (that sounds ludicrous, as if the pirates actually have a public affairs officer) that the Navy shot first:
'Our colleagues called us this morning (saying) that they were being attacked by a U.S. warship,' said a pirate who identified himself as Muhammad.

'The U.S. warship shot in the head two of my comrades who were on the deck of the yacht by the time they alerted us,' he said. 'This is the time we ordered the other comrades inside the yacht to react - kill the four Americans because there was no other alternative - then our line got cut.'
And we should believe a pirate? Their alternative is to admit they messed up and assassinated four American Christians on a bible mission. Or maybe they did--can religious based hate crime be ruled out yet?

1 comment:

Debbie said...

If I remember correctly with the Bainbridge, the snipers had several opportunities to take the pirates out but Obama would not make a decision to give the OK. Things were getting out of hand and there was no other option and he either (1) finally gave the OK or (2) the snipers took action and Obama took credit.

In this situation there were two dead pirates in the boat with the 4 injured-then-dead Americans. I wondered if the Americans made an attempt to grab a gun away from them and it went to hell, then the Navy got involved when they heard the gun fire.

We may never know.

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