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Old 12-04-2009, 17:30   #16
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I am going to preface this by saying " What the pirates did is wrong and I am in no way condoning their actions." However denigrating them and making them out to be lesser people, makes it easier for us to kill them with out our conscience, bothering us at night. It worked for the crusades in the middle east, it worked for Hitler with the Jews. It has worked for every country in the world that has declared war on another country, so justify the inhuman acts by making the enemy out to be a lesser human. Maybe we should think about what lengths we would all go to, in order to see our families fed, especially in a place where there is little or no hope of things getting better.
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Old 12-04-2009, 17:46   #17
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Maybe we should think about what lengths we would all go to, in order to see our families fed, especially in a place where there is little or no hope of things getting better.
Bullshit. The rest of us ARE better people than they are. These people are thugs, preying on innocents. They are no better than the gang-banger who carjacks someone at gunpoint. Being poor is no excuse for kidnapping and extortion. These animals deserve everything they get. And if that includes being killed, so be it. But saving innocent lives must be the priority.

BTW, what ransom did the Saudis pay last year? $10,000,000? You trying to tell me the pirates (who are from one of the poorest nations on the planet) were simply trying to feed their families with $10,000,000? Or maybe they planned to donate it to the Save Somalia Fund? Give me a break.
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Old 12-04-2009, 18:06   #18
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Into Heaven any more.
They're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
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No matter what the reason's for,
And your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more. " - John Prine
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Old 12-04-2009, 18:40   #19
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It has been said that why don't the army put some of there people on the boats , One end and pick them up when there safely through, You would only need 2 with a rail gun [Vulcan Gatling Gun] each side would be enough to stop any attack.

A few dead pirates would be enough to stop the attacks as they would be unsure what boat was armed and what was not

From what I understand now the insurance co.s are charging the ship owners a Levi for going through the straights so they are not worried as they are not losing any money and the pirates know this and from what I understand is the pirates are only asking for the Levi amount so they are not upseting the insurances Co's

Could be a good business to get into escorting boats through the straights
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Old 12-04-2009, 18:50   #20
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What you suggest is that, in this particular scenario, we sacrifice the life of a clearly selfless, brave American ship's captain to exact bloody revenge on four dumbshits who are not worthy of licking his boots. If that's the kind of good sense that Libertarians are known for, it's no wonder they almost zero political power in this country.

Not at all. I'm suggesting that we address the main problem in order to solve all the symptoms of which this man's tragic captivity was one, and the french yacht captains death was another. Yes there is a risk to the hostage but you have to balance it versus the overall risk of further piracy.

It's not about revenge and it's not about the individuals involved in this one situation. It's about changing the climate and the incentives for the Somalis so that future ships can sail through the area without worrying about being captured and beheaded by the aforementioned dumbshits.

Right now it's good business to attack ships. What I suggested would change that.

Is that so hard to see? By the way, you can call me dumb all you want but you know I'm right.
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Old 12-04-2009, 18:50   #21
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Kudos and congrats to the brave crew and captain. To the crew for refusing to play the victim and and taking control of their own destiny and for the captain for doing everything in his power to escape his captors. Perhaps the rest of the maritime industry could learn a thing or two from these fine people. Up until now it was too easy for the pirates as they seemed to become more emboldened by the lack of resistance from their targets and started to go further afield for their quarry. Perhaps now they will reconsider attacking American vessels. One can only hope that this incident will not cause them to adopt a shoot first attitude. The last thing we need is loss of innocent lives.
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Old 12-04-2009, 19:02   #22
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It probably will cause a shoot first attitude for a while. This is a fight though, and the bad guys will fight back as long as they think doing so makes sense. We'll have to watch out for some pretty brutal attacks soon and make sure we respond with determination rather than by flinching. It's a crappy fight but it's one that the civilized world has to win if it wants to be able to transit those waters in safety.

The tactical part is actually a lot easier than the main piece though. We have to convince the whole world to quit paying the ransoms or nothing we can do tactically will solve the problem.
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Old 12-04-2009, 19:18   #23
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In the case of this one situation I'll give you that the captain's chance for survival was probably enhanced by a long wait that probably tired the pirates and slowed their reactions. That's not the point though.

There should be no negotiation process. This is no different from a terrorist attack. You set up and go kill the terrorists with as little risk to innocents as is practical.

The fact that they do negotiate is the source of the whole problem.
Those who disavow the negotiation process clearly have no understanding of what negotiations are meant to accomplish. In any hostage situation in the US, the police first establish a perimeter to contain the situation, then bring in the trained negotiators.

Only a fool would believe that their purpose is to find out what the hostage-taker(s) want, then provide it in the hope that the hostages will be spared. Have you ever heard of even one instance where the hostage-taker actually walked away from such a situation with no legal repercussions? That is, if he walked away at all.

The purpose of the "negotiations" by the police is to calm the hostage-taker and buy time. The police are in control of the situation as long as communication is maintained. And while they are, all sorts of contingency planning is going on, much of which has lethal force against the hostage-taker as its ultimate outcome. As long as the hostage-taker continues to believe that he may prevail through negotiating with the police, he will spare the life of his hostage(s), his only bargaining chip.

Once police see an opportunity to eliminate the threat through lethal force that does not endanger those held hostage, do you think they hesitate for even a second because someone may have "promised" the hostage-taker a safe way out?

As far as the simplistic notion that a full-scale military assault against the pirates' safe havens is concerned, anyone who advocates such action needs to realize that to do so is to accept the probability that every one of the 250 innocent hostages the pirates currently hold somewhere in a country four times the size of Texas will die. Either in the assault, or at the hands of their captors.

Is the satisfaction of your anger against the Somali pirates worth the loss of so many innocent victims, to say nothing of the countless innocent Somali women and children who would be "collateral damage" in such an assault? And is the satisfaction of your bloodlust really worth the very real possibility that a nation already bogged down in military conflicts in two other Muslim countries could easily get bogged down in a third?

Many seem to believe that the US is actually as rich as it has acted for the last sixty years, and that no cost is too great to gain a measure of revenge. I would submit that you have no understanding of how crippling the true costs of such actions would be to an already economically-weakened nation.

It is discussions like the current one that make it absolutely undeniable how fortunate we are to have a representative republic rather than a democracy.

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Old 12-04-2009, 19:31   #24
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If I understand you, you're saying that negotiation like diplomacy is the fine art of saying "nice doggy" while you pick up a stick to hit it with. In that case fine, but the point needs to be made that this isn't a normal hostage situation. It's a pattern, a business and it's becoming the chosen way of life for people there. The goal of a police action is normally to solve a given individual situation with minimal loss of life. That's good.

In this, the goal is to remove the incentive to piracy by making it not pay and making it almost certainly fatal for the pirate. In this case, Dead or Alive, Dead preferred is accurate. You WANT the pirates dead as often as you can make it happen as a disincentive. That's the main difference between police actions and military ones. Cops are supposed to protect and serve. Soldiers and Sailors are supposed to kill and destroy. Piracy of this type can't be solved by cops. It's gonna take the military.

As for the hostages, you really have to view them as casualties from the start and count any rescues as wonderful gifts. If you approach the situation from the perspective that you have to have the hostages' lives as your first priority your only choice is to pay the ransom and start the cycle over.

I want to know that if I'm dumb enough to sail through there and get captured, the navy will show up and kill the pirates even if it costs me my life. As counter-intuitive as it is, I'm safer in that situation because I'm less likely to be a hostage in the first place.
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Old 12-04-2009, 19:40   #25
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Lets not forget who we are dealing with here. For the most part these people are little more than thugs and criminals hiding behind a veil of feigned Muslim outrage at the West for greivances real or imagined. The real purpose of these acts of piracy is for hard currency so they can continue to prop up their corrupt system. To continue to give in to their ransom demands is akin to buying off a bear with honey. You cannot reason with the unreasonable and if you think this is possible then try reasoning with the Taliban or any other group of fanatics. How soon we forget Neville Chamberlains "peace in our time" statement and look where that got us.
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Old 12-04-2009, 19:49   #26
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So how do you cure the corrupt system? Clearly there is no central government to give this charge to, and the ones collecting the ransoms are certainly not doing anything for the infrastructure of the country.
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Old 12-04-2009, 20:08   #27
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What you suggest is that, in this particular scenario, we sacrifice the life of a clearly selfless, brave American ship's captain to exact bloody revenge on four dumbshits who are not worthy of licking his boots. If that's the kind of good sense that Libertarians are known for, it's no wonder they almost zero political power in this country.
Individuals exact revenge; governments (decent ones, anyway) impose justice. You are confusing the two: it's a category error. The one is a vice in individuals; the other is a virtue in governments.

That the captain was selfless and brave (both by giving himself over to the pirates in the first place to secure the safety of his crew and by his two attempts at escape) is obvious.

That the pirates are "dumshits" (I take that to mean criminals of opportunity who got what they had coming to them) is also quite obvious, except maybe to the posters who what to ignore their (the pirates') moral choice in the matter and replace it with a purely socio-economic explanation for their behavior, which is typically a liberal short-sightedness.

That behavior which is rewarded (or simply not resisted fervently enough) is repeated, while behavior that is punished severely is not repeated should be obvious to everyone.

A harder pill to swallow is that, at times, violence indeed is the correct moral response to violent evil.

"All that is required for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing." — Edmund Burke (quoted in several variations)

And all hats off to the captain, who kept his head about him, understanding the US Navy would be hesitant to move aggressively against the pirates while he was with them, and gave them two chances to pull the trigger.

Let's all hope this outcome emboldens the good guys and causes hesitation in the hearts of future pirates.

Somalia is a mess and will continue to be a mess: dealing with Somali pirates must follow a strategy of containment. No, not containment. Of cold and heartless repression.

Fair Winds,
Jeff
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Old 12-04-2009, 20:13   #28
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I am going to preface this by saying " What the pirates did is wrong and I am in no way condoning their actions." However denigrating them and making them out to be lesser people, makes it easier for us to kill them with out our conscience, bothering us at night. It worked for the crusades in the middle east, it worked for Hitler with the Jews. It has worked for every country in the world that has declared war on another country, so justify the inhuman acts by making the enemy out to be a lesser human. Maybe we should think about what lengths we would all go to, in order to see our families fed, especially in a place where there is little or no hope of things getting better.
Are you really comparing what we did to the pirates with what the Nazis did to the Jews? They are extorting millions out of every boat they get a hold of.

Do you really believe that they are using the money to feed their families?
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Old 12-04-2009, 20:16   #29
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The ransom money is going towards buying more and better weapons. Unless you can cut off the supply of arms provided by the Russians,Chinese,Americans,South Africans and a host of others you will never see a dime go towards improving the lot of the common people. It is a case of power coming from the barrel of a gun. A strict naval blockade should be imposed on the country and only allow humanitarian aid to enter. Seal the border with their neighbors so they can't sell the aforementioned aid to buy more weapons. I realise that this is pie in the sky argument since you could never get the Chinese and Russians on board since both have a veto on the UN security council. Regional self interest trumps humanitarianism every time. Remember Rwanda?
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Old 12-04-2009, 20:28   #30
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Opie, he didnt say that at all. He was describing ways in which leaders have lowered "enemys" in the eyes of their followers...creating the idea that its OK to think of another race or country as less than human. These pirates do not do this because it is fun and romantic...or easy. They do this partly because they can see no other way, THEY HAVE NO HOPE. Combine that with a rather foul upbringing, and, voila! instant pirate. You don't really believe they are that different, do you? Where does the money go? From the looks of the waterfront, they aren't redeveloping their Country...my guess is its going up a ladder towards the top echelon of what they have that passes for a government.
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