As a general rule of thumb, I do not encourage people to click on Gawker links.
You might, however, be forgiven if you were to do so in this case. There’s damn little that we and they can agree upon; but this is, I believe, common ground. I wonder if the guy had time to realize that he had pretty much screwed up about as thoroughly as a jihadi suicide bomber could possibly hope to do…
Reading the first (confused) reports, it looks like the US Navy took the ship once the pirates murdered their four American hostages. Some pirates are actually in custody, apparently: which means that their home base could be theoretically traced back.
I kept quiet about this situation while it was going on, but now that it’s ended in atrocity allow me to be a little cold here: if we want to discourage piracy and murder, there is precisely one way of doing that – and that’s encouraging a healthy fear of the consequences of one’s actions. Dope these guys up, find out where they live, send a punitive expedition. Burn every boat and docking facility. Burn the local leader’s house. Gibbet the surviving pirates in front of the ashes.
And shrug when when the ‘international community’ hypocritically complains.
As I said: cold. But if pirates think that they can murder civilians with impunity, they will murder civilians with impunity. They do murder citizens with impunity, in fact. They won’t stop simply because we ask them to. Tell them to, sure; ask, no.
UPDATE: AoSHQ has more.
The more, the merrier.
Russia captures Somalia pirates
A Russian warship has seized a pirate vessel with 29 people on board off the Somali coast, Russian news reports say.
Guns and navigation equipment were found during a search of the pirate boat, officials were quoted as saying.
Notably absent from this account – or this one, or this one – is any indication that the pirates were let go afterward. It’s suspected that these were the same pirates that attempted to seize a Russian tanker earlier: Continue reading Russian navy captures Somali pirates.
Step by step – sometimes almost painfully so – the Japanese are getting themselves back into the game:
Japan’s MPs back anti-piracy bill
The lower house of Japan’s parliament has approved a bill to allow the country’s naval ships to take a bigger role in fighting pirates off Somalia.
The bill will mean the navy can escort non-Japanese ships and use weapons for more than just self-defence purposes.
Although the bill is likely to be rejected by the upper house, the government can still turn it into law.
Apparently the way that works is that the government, if it wants to, can have the bill reintroduced into the lower house of the Japanese parliament – which would then presumably pass it again. Continue reading Japanese to take more aggressive anti-piratical stance?
As you probably noticed, I’ve been polite in reacting to the administration’s handling of the first wave of Somali piracy. This has been mostly out of pragmatism: like Jonah Goldberg and Ed Morrissey, my interest is in seeing dead or stopped pirates, and my generally low opinion of Democratic Presidents aside when it comes to setting foreign policy, this is actually one time when Obama’s natural instinct for detachment would be fine. The military knows how to handle piracy, particularly when they’re not required to worry about nation building whatever euphemism the administration eventually comes up with to replace ‘nation-building.’ Which they wouldn’t even have to, in this case. I’m even pleased to see the chest-beating bravado from the Online Left: it’s, well, cute – and God knows that their ideology gives so few opportunities to act anything like the ‘primitive’ men that they publicly deride and privately envy.
Besides, I also knew that this was going to happen (via Jammie Wearing Fool): Continue reading Somali Pirates up the ante.
How do you say “punitive expedition” in Somali?
Eyl’s location: 7° 58′ 0″ N, 49° 49′ 0″ E. Not that either the United States Navy or the Air Force particularly needs my help in pointing out the coordinates, but it will hopefully clarify matters. Anyway, here’s the comment:
Jamac Habeb, a 30-year-old self-proclaimed pirate, told The Associated Press that the three pirates’ deaths were “a painful experience.” Speaking from the pirate hub, Eyl, he added: “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,” Habeb said. “Now they became our number one enemy,” he said of U.S. forces.
Continue reading Pirate located in Eyl, Somalia threatens America.
I suppose that it says something about me that I really would rather live in the Weekly World News‘ world:
WHALES TAKE DOWN SOMALI PIRATES
CAIRO—The Egyptian government is calling on the gentle giants of the sea to take out pirate ships, and the whales are getting the job done.
Somali privateers operating in the Indian Ocean have been robbing trade ships in the region and taking hostages, sometimes with political overtones. Egypt has responded with an elite fighting force of ramming whales trained to neutralize the vessels through headlong collisions.
“They’re not human!” wailed a captured Somali pirate, after an engagement that left his ship a wreck and his crew prisoners. “I mean, I know they’re not human, but like…I mean it in the superlative sense, like they’re not bound by human limitations.”
In a very odd way, it’d be a bit more coherent. The weird stuff that happens there have reasons behind them. Or, at least, better ones than “Just because” or “because there was money in it.”
Found here, by Vice Admiral William Gortney. Blackfive sums up the whole thing nicely, I think:
The entire point, of course is to “disincentivize” piracy. That’s a nice way of saying they want to make piracy more painful than fishing. Right now there is no disincentive, or what little there is remains vastly outweighed by the potential rewards. So Somali fishermen have become pirates. The average payoff today is $1.5 million to 2 million a ship. CTF-151’s mission, in reality, is prevent successful hijackings, capture the pirates and help the rest rediscover their love for fishing. When enough head out to hijack a ship and don’t come home, but end up dead or in prison for a long, long time, Gortney figures fishing will start looking a lot better again.
Continue reading A very interesting briefing on counter-piracy operations.