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Sam5
2009-Apr-12, 05:49 PM
“The captain of the Maersk Alabama was freed today after being held captive since Wednesday by pirates off the coast of Somalia, a senior U.S. official with knowledge of the situation told CNN. The official said that Capt. Richard Phillips is uninjured and in good condition, and that three of the four pirates were killed. The fourth pirate is in custody. Phillips was taken aboard the USS Bainbridge, a nearby naval warship.”

Full story:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/04/12/somalia.pirates/index.html

Larry Jacks
2009-Apr-12, 06:13 PM
Details are sketchy at the moment but it sounds like the good captain managed to jump into the water once again. My guess is that the Navy then took the opportunity to properly ventilate the lifeboat. As for the report that 3 of the 4 pirates were killed, nobody's perfect all of the time.

Moose
2009-Apr-12, 06:17 PM
Good for him.

Ara Pacis
2009-Apr-12, 06:23 PM
From reports: one of the four pirates was on board the destroyer for a negotiation. The captain jumped overboard, the other three pirates aimed their weapons at him and were killed by the Navy. Maybe the Navy just took advantage of an opportunity to open fire, or maybe the pirates aiming at the escaping captain was a clear and present danger under Rules of Engagement authorizing use of deadly force. Either way, the talk was that they were simply expecting the pirates to surrender after enough time had passed without food and water.

slang
2009-Apr-12, 08:28 PM
I wonder if the captain had seen that Mythbuster episode where they measure how far into water several kinds of bullets can penetrate. He seems a courageous man.

peter eldergill
2009-Apr-12, 09:28 PM
I missed that episode, Slang

How far down do bullets go? Just curious!

Pete

Gillianren
2009-Apr-12, 10:08 PM
Depends on the initial speed of the bullet, as I recall. The faster it's going, the sooner it fragments.

kleindoofy
2009-Apr-12, 10:23 PM
... How far down do bullets go? ...
I'll bet they go all they way to the bottom, no matter what the initial speed is our how deep the water is. ;)

But how far down are they still lethal, on average?

slang
2009-Apr-12, 11:16 PM
How far down do bullets go? Just curious!


But how far down are they still lethal, on average?

Right, that was the point. Surprisingly little, was the conclusion. Man, this forum needs a "spoiler" tool. The answer is here (http://mythbustersresults.com/episode34). Gillianren is correct too, there was a big difference between older weapons with slower exit velocity and modern supersonic weapons. I love the .50 cal weapon they used for testing.. would love to try it. All I ever fired was an UZI.

publius
2009-Apr-12, 11:26 PM
When I was kid, we used to "skip" .22LRs off the water, usually mud puddles out in a field. If you got the angle right, the bullet would skip off and tumble, making this odd "zzzzzrrrrrreeeee" sound.


-Richard

korjik
2009-Apr-12, 11:37 PM
I'll bet they go all they way to the bottom, no matter what the initial speed is our how deep the water is. ;)

But how far down are they still lethal, on average?

Most rifle rounds break up on impact with the water and are not lethal in about a foot. A pistol round can go several feet and still be lethal.

mike alexander
2009-Apr-13, 12:00 AM
Good.

novaderrik
2009-Apr-13, 12:02 AM
i hear that the Somali pirates are wanting to get revenge against the USA and France over the unwarranted death of their brethren.
apparently, France has gotten sick of their antics and sent a few of them to whatever their version of heaven is.
looks like this is the new face of "terror", and of course we will have to declare "war" on it now..

pzkpfw
2009-Apr-13, 12:08 AM
Night drop into the ocean.

(How the snipers got to the Navy ship.)

Full respect.

aurora
2009-Apr-13, 01:45 AM
I suspect that this sort of thing will continue until the UN gets it together and an international force lands in Somalia and cleans it up and puts a governement in charge. Otherwise, it will continue to be naval vessels from a dozen countries trying to patrol a huge ocean. Either that or they will have to start a convoy system for freighters.

Tucson_Tim
2009-Apr-13, 01:47 AM
A cheaper approach might be a small, well-armed military contingent aboard each vessel.

korjik
2009-Apr-13, 03:08 AM
i hear that the Somali pirates are wanting to get revenge against the USA and France over the unwarranted death of their brethren.
apparently, France has gotten sick of their antics and sent a few of them to whatever their version of heaven is.
looks like this is the new face of "terror", and of course we will have to declare "war" on it now..

new?

You do know that the US Navy and the USMC were founded for this very same problem, dont you?

korjik
2009-Apr-13, 03:09 AM
A cheaper approach might be a small, well-armed military contingent aboard each vessel.

Easier to post a watch with a light machine gun.

Tucson_Tim
2009-Apr-13, 03:24 AM
Easier to post a watch with a light machine gun.

I was thinking that maybe they could have some sort of weapon capable of taking out a small boat. It could be a small UN contingent put aboard the vessel before entering the area and taken off when the danger is past. The troops could then be put on another vessel. I know, I've over-simplified the logistics.

flynjack1
2009-Apr-13, 03:26 AM
I suspect that this sort of thing will continue until the UN gets it together and an international force lands in Somalia and cleans it up and puts a governement in charge. Otherwise, it will continue to be naval vessels from a dozen countries trying to patrol a huge ocean. Either that or they will have to start a convoy system for freighters.

I would'nt hold my breath for the UN to do something. Can anyone honestly remember one single instance where the UN was effective?

Eta C
2009-Apr-13, 03:49 AM
I would'nt hold my breath for the UN to do something. Can anyone honestly remember one single instance where the UN was effective?

Well, technically, Korea. One can argue on how effective the UN forces were there, but in the end they did mantain status quo ante bellum.

As to the pirates, I'm guessing (haven't read the news reports yet) that the lifeboat remained in international waters. One of the problems in dealing with these latter day pirates is when they manage to get into Somali territorial waters. While naval vessels technically have hot pursuit rights, they're hard to enforce. Much easier in international waters where the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/convention_overview_convention.htm) (another instance where the UN has been effective) allows naval vessels to deal with pirates as they wish as stated in article 105

On the high seas, or in any other place outside the jurisdiction of any
State, every State may seize a pirate ship or aircraft, or a ship or aircraft taken
by piracy and under the control of pirates, and arrest the persons and seize the
property on board. The courts of the State which carried out the seizure may
decide upon the penalties to be imposed, and may also determine the action
to be taken with regard to the ships, aircraft or property...

Article 107 does go on to state that only warships are allowed to arrest pirates on the high seas. Article 111 goes into the requirements for a ship to conduct a hot pursuit into another country's territorial waters. They're a bit onerous, and it's no surprise that most countries, the US included, prefer not to mess around with them. We were fortunate in this case that everything took place on the high seas. In any case, those interested in what can and can't be done should take a look at the UNCLOS. Articles 100 to 107 deal with piracy.

publius
2009-Apr-13, 04:49 AM
new?

You do know that the US Navy and the USMC were founded for this very same problem, dont you?


From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli. Look up the Barbary Wars. Marines got the name "leathernecks" from the thick leather collars they wore to protect their necks. The Barbary Pirates liked to chop their heads off with a swift sword chop.

It's an historical irony that the USS Bainbridge was the main ship dealing with this bunch. Her namesake, Commodore William Bainbridge, had a lot of dealings with the Barbary Pirates.

The US govt. originally paid a substantial tribute to the Barbary states for protection against piracy, and Bainbridge was assigned to deliver the booty. He made the mistake of anchoring his ship right under the main shore guns, and the sultan of Algiers (or whatever they called him), threatened to blow the ship out of the water unless Bainbridge agreed to do some ferry duty to Constantinople. Bainbridge, humiliated, had to fly the flag of Algiers on his mast.

Bainbridge was in command of the USS Philadelphia during the First Barbary War. She ran aground on an unchartered reef in the harbor of Tripoli and Bainbridge and his men were captured and held prisoner by Tripoli.

And so there's the grand irony -- Bainbridge himself was a hostage of pirates. They couldn't let the Philadelphia remain in enemy hands -- it was too great a prize -- so they decided to destroy it. A boarding party led by Stephen Decatur attacked from the USS Intrepid (which was later destroyed in a near suicide mission, IIRC). They fought hand to hand with sword wielding pirates and set fire to and destroyed the Phildelphia.

A young sailor named Reuben James saved Decatur's life by taking a sword blow meant to decapitate Decatur, IIRC. None other than Lord Nelson described that action as the most daring act of the age.

Decatur, Reuben James, and Bainbridge all went on to join the pantheon of US Naval greats.

-Richard

korjik
2009-Apr-13, 04:53 AM
I was thinking that maybe they could have some sort of weapon capable of taking out a small boat. It could be a small UN contingent put aboard the vessel before entering the area and taken off when the danger is past. The troops could then be put on another vessel. I know, I've over-simplified the logistics.

The thing is, a light machine gun would be able to take out most of the pirate boats I have seen on the news. All I have seen is light motor boats and speedboats. Within a couple hundred yards 7.62 NATO will turn those to swiss cheese.

peter eldergill
2009-Apr-13, 04:57 AM
I would'nt hold my breath for the UN to do something. Can anyone honestly remember one single instance where the UN was effective?

<Simpson's quote from memory..may not read exactly as shown :) >

Skinner: "Do you want to be like the real UN, or do you just to bicker and waste time?"

:p

Pete

peter eldergill
2009-Apr-13, 05:01 AM
Right, that was the point. Surprisingly little, was the conclusion. Man, this forum needs a "spoiler" tool. The answer is here (http://mythbustersresults.com/episode34). Gillianren is correct too, there was a big difference between older weapons with slower exit velocity and modern supersonic weapons. I love the .50 cal weapon they used for testing.. would love to try it. All I ever fired was an UZI.

Heh...missing an episode of Mythbusters should hardly be considered a "spoiler" (Unless I misunderstand your quote) :)

Thnks for the info

I could have found it myself, but that would have wasted valuable seconds.....you see the bind I'm in ...

Heh

Pete

PS...Just read your link, Slang

I had no idea that bullets would disintegrate underwater. Pretty cool that slower bullets would travel deeper, but common sense is not always reliable!

peter eldergill
2009-Apr-13, 05:02 AM
I'll bet they go all they way to the bottom, no matter what the initial speed is our how deep the water is. ;)


Wise guy, eh?? :p

HA!

Pete

novaderrik
2009-Apr-13, 05:05 AM
new?

You do know that the US Navy and the USMC were founded for this very same problem, dont you?

but it hasn't been all over the news until a few days ago.
there have always been pirates just like there have always been terrorists.
and people have always smoked, done drugs, and been illiterate. all things that the US has declared "war" on. so now we have the new face of "badness"- Osama bin Laden has been replaced by Somali pirates for the time being.
my solution doesn't involve putting machine guns on the ships- but rather using our remote operated drones in the skies when a ship flying our flag is passing thru the area.
the drones of today aren't just remote controlled camera platforms- they have machine guns and missiles on them now that are capable of taking out small moving targets as small as individual people. it has proven to be an effective weapons system in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, and i think it's time to prove their ability to take out targets on water. all it takes is a few small pirate boats going kablooie before the bad guys start to think about doing something more productive with their lives than going after ships with the American flag on them.

Jens
2009-Apr-13, 05:09 AM
i hear that the Somali pirates are wanting to get revenge against the USA and France over the unwarranted death of their brethren.


Not intending to stand up for pirates, but I heard somewhere that a lot of the pirates were originally fishermen, but because the government collapsed, there was no longer any navy to defend them from poachers from other places, and they started their pirating activities as a form of self-defense, but then realized that more money could be made out of piracy. Though come to think of it, that's how the Mafia, yakuza, etc., all got started...

peter eldergill
2009-Apr-13, 05:15 AM
<Last post by me in this thread, I promise..>

Two things

In the late 1700's, piracy was legal in the British empire...as long as it was against the Americans. They were called "privateers" I think. Basically legal pirates.

Also, I teach Somalians at my high school. Please don't let the recent trend of piracy smear the entire culture. It certainly is unfortunate that some poeple need to resort to piracy (and I advocate the response by the rest of the world), and I'm not claiming that there are no culture issues that I have to deal with, but piracy is certainly not one of them.

Just my two cents

Pete

novaderrik
2009-Apr-13, 05:44 AM
<Last post by me in this thread, I promise..>

Two things

In the late 1700's, piracy was legal in the British empire...as long as it was against the Americans. They were called "privateers" I think. Basically legal pirates.

Also, I teach Somalians at my high school. Please don't let the recent trend of piracy smear the entire culture. It certainly is unfortunate that some poeple need to resort to piracy (and I advocate the response by the rest of the world), and I'm not claiming that there are no culture issues that I have to deal with, but piracy is certainly not one of them.

Just my two cents

Pete

it's what happens when the rule of law breaks down, and they essentially have no other choices.
how long has it been since the territory we call "Somalia" has had anything resembling a central government? 15 years? as i understand it, the whole area is just a bunch of tribes fighting amongst themselves over control. their geographic location next to a bottleneck in the worldwide shipping lanes gives them a place to find some easy revenue to give their clan a little bit of an advantage (weapons and food- probably in that order) over the clan next door.
i feel somewhat sorry for them, but only until they start messing with the civilian ships that are passing thru the area that are manned by people just trying to make an honest living. then, all bets are off and they deserve whatever they get when someone fights back.

slang
2009-Apr-13, 07:26 AM
Heh...missing an episode of Mythbusters should hardly be considered a "spoiler" (Unless I misunderstand your quote) :)

No, you understand it correctly. I didn't want to give it away especially since the result was so surprising. To me anyway :)

Molebait
2009-Apr-13, 08:11 AM
I suspect that this sort of thing will continue until the UN gets it together and an international force lands in Somalia and cleans it up and puts a governement in charge.

There was an international force in Somalia, but a few of them got killed, so the rest ran away.

Nicolas
2009-Apr-13, 08:16 AM
but it hasn't been all over the news until a few days ago.
[snip] the bad guys start to think about doing something more productive with their lives than going after ships with the American flag on them.

Strange, the new wave of piracy from Somalia has been a major news item overhere since at least a year.

And they don't just go after US vessels, they take whatever they can. French and Canadian vessels are the victim as we speak.

Jens
2009-Apr-13, 08:26 AM
There was an international force in Somalia, but a few of them got killed, so the rest ran away.

That's a little bit simplistic. Soldiers typically follow orders from their command structures, so I think in general is was politicians making the decisions about withdrawals rather than the individual soldiers.

Swift
2009-Apr-13, 01:30 PM
A cheaper approach might be a small, well-armed military contingent aboard each vessel.
I heard an interesting bit about this on National Public Radio this morning. First, a lot of national shipping laws forbid the arming of merchant vessels, and so arming the crew might not be an option (the ships wouldn't be allowed to enter port). Also very few shipping companies are interested in such an option: they don't want the expense, they don't want to give guns to an untrained and ...."multi-cultural" crew, and they feel that this is the role of the various navies, not the merchant fleet.

Second, the odds of a particular ship getting attacked are low, there are several thousand ships within the area at any one time. So the shipping companies are just taking their chances, but it is too many ships to send a couple of Marines to each one.

I also suspect that it is a similar problem to what many ground forces have with dealing with terrorists. You have a navy fleet and technology designed to counter a traditional navy force, not a bunch of guys in tiny boats, coming from multiple possible locations and attacking any of thousands of target.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Apr-13, 02:31 PM
but it hasn't been all over the news until a few days ago.

Strange, the new wave of piracy from Somalia has been a major news item overhere since at least a year.
First time a US registered vessel get targeted, so it shouldn't be a surprise it's only now the US media and politicians notice something is going on.

Tucson_Tim
2009-Apr-13, 02:34 PM
I heard an interesting bit about this on National Public Radio this morning. First, a lot of national shipping laws forbid the arming of merchant vessels, and so arming the crew might not be an option (the ships wouldn't be allowed to enter port). Also very few shipping companies are interested in such an option: . . .

I didn't suggest arming crew members. I suggested a well-armed (possibly UN) force, maybe no more than a half-dozen per ship. The ships could choose to have them or not. I thought this would be a lot cheaper and effective than huge naval vessels chasing small boats. Smaller boats could then be used to move the troops from one ship to another. The ships could then be charged a flat fee for the service -- nothing that would break them -- just some money to defray some of the cost.

Eta C
2009-Apr-13, 02:54 PM
First time a US registered vessel get targeted, so it shouldn't be a surprise it's only now the US media and politicians notice something is going on.

While this statement might be true about the press, the US Navy has been concerned about this new wave of piracy for some time. There have been US Navy ships on station in the Gulf of Aden for three to four years as well as those of several other nations (including Russia, France, Denmark, and the PRC). Bainbridge wasn't sent there in response to the take-over, she was already on-station and in a position to act. So feel free to castigate the US press for their stupidity and provincialism, but give some credit where credit is due.

geonuc
2009-Apr-13, 03:04 PM
I don't think it's entirely true about the US press, either. Using mostly US news sources, I've kept myself informed about most of the pirate activity.

Swift
2009-Apr-13, 03:06 PM
I didn't suggest arming crew members. I suggested a well-armed (possibly UN) force, maybe no more than a half-dozen per ship. The ships could choose to have them or not. I thought this would be a lot cheaper and effective than huge naval vessels chasing small boats. Smaller boats could then be used to move the troops from one ship to another. The ships could then be charged a flat fee for the service -- nothing that would break them -- just some money to defray some of the cost.
I understood that is what you meant, I just expanded the discussion (I also heard suggestions on arming the merchants).

If we are talking several thousand ships transiting the area, even with only 3 person teams on-board, you are talking quite a lot of Marines, as well as fairly complex logistics. But it might be possible and possibly even desirable.

I'm also guessing, based on the NPR story, that a lot of merchants will chance it, given the odds, than paying any fee; but again, that's my guess.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Apr-13, 03:07 PM
While this statement might be true about the press, the US Navy has been concerned about this new wave of piracy for some time.
You're right, I was just feeling snarky about how people has just now started talking about how it's time something was done about the decades old situation because they just heard about it because this was the first time a US ship got hit.

Incidentally, the Somalian pirates is the counter-example to the claim that global warming is caused by a lack of pirates.

Swift
2009-Apr-13, 03:08 PM
Incidentally, the Somalian pirates is the counter-example to the claim that global warming is caused by a lack of pirates.
:lol:

Tucson_Tim
2009-Apr-13, 03:42 PM
If we are talking several thousand ships transiting the area, even with only 3 person teams on-board, you are talking quite a lot of Marines, as well as fairly complex logistics. But it might be possible and possibly even desirable.


I'm sure there are also many bureaucratic reasons why it wouldn't work.

Sam5
2009-Apr-13, 05:09 PM
I'm sure there are also many bureaucratic reasons why it wouldn't work.

Here’s a list on Wiki of ships captured or attacked by pirates:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ships_attacked_by_Somali_pirates

Ara Pacis
2009-Apr-13, 05:49 PM
And Piracy isn't just occuring off the Horn of Africa, it also occurs in SE Asia with all those islands and narrow straits and also in the Carribean. IIRC, there were cases in SEA where the sailors were killed and the ships captured for their cargo instead of just ransom for the safe return of the sailors. Once upon a time, Kidnapping was considered a noble crime: if you were silly enough to not have a security detachment to protect you, then you paid for that mistake with gold. Then somewhere along the line, probably due to the Lindburgh baby (in the American consciousness) but perhaps before then, kidnappers started killing their hostages and kidnapping itself became a high crime.

Anyways, this is a good time to advocate my idea of advanced Zeppelins that could stay on patrol at altitude for weeks in an area like the Horn of Africa, and be able to observe and respond much more quickly

novaderrik
2009-Apr-13, 06:20 PM
I don't think it's entirely true about the US press, either. Using mostly US news sources, I've kept myself informed about most of the pirate activity.

it has been in the news, but it hasn't been the headlines until now.
we have had other things occupying our minds here in the US lately- a single woman had 8 babies out of wedlock, and something about a colored guy living in the White House...

Gillianren
2009-Apr-13, 06:42 PM
In the late 1700's, piracy was legal in the British empire...as long as it was against the Americans. They were called "privateers" I think. Basically legal pirates.

Ha ha! An area where I know something!

It wasn't just the late 1700s, and it wasn't just the British, and it wasn't just against the Americans. Privateering has a grand old history. Sir Francis Drake was a privateer. That famous mission of his that went around the world? Privateering, as it happens. The English weren't technically at war with Spain, though that did change, but I believe Elizabeth I got something like a 4000% return on her investment into that little excursion. And it's not as though privateering were new then, either.

Donnie B.
2009-Apr-13, 06:48 PM
Incidentally, the Somalian pirates is the counter-example to the claim that global warming is caused by a lack of pirates.
Not necessarily. We'll have to wait and see how the average temperature trend tracks (or doesn't) with the upsurge in piracy.

Furthermore, it's unclear whether the current level of piracy is really an upsurge over the long-term background level.

In any case, it seems like the last few years have been a bit cooler than the late 90's / early 00's, so maybe the hypothesis is actually supported. Ramen.

Nicolas
2009-Apr-13, 07:09 PM
I was thinking the same thing: if the temperatures do start dropping now, that pirates/global temperature graph will get a VERY eerie twist to it...

Swift
2009-Apr-13, 07:18 PM
Not necessarily. We'll have to wait and see how the average temperature trend tracks (or doesn't) with the upsurge in piracy.

Furthermore, it's unclear whether the current level of piracy is really an upsurge over the long-term background level.

In any case, it seems like the last few years have been a bit cooler than the late 90's / early 00's, so maybe the hypothesis is actually supported. Ramen.
You know, a correlation doesn't prove a cause and an effect. Maybe rising global temperatures cause a decrease in piracy (not the other way around), and the small drop in temperatures recently has allowed piracy to increase? :think:

:D

Sam5
2009-Apr-13, 07:21 PM
Strange, the new wave of piracy from Somalia has been a major news item overhere since at least a year.

And they don't just go after US vessels, they take whatever they can. French and Canadian vessels are the victim as we speak.

The American news media have always had a bad habit of mainly covering American stories or international stories only when America is somehow involved, or stupid stories like what kind of dog the President is going to get for his girls.

I would love to see TV news reports about the piracy of other countries' ships and what the countries do about it.

Celestial Mechanic
2009-Apr-13, 07:22 PM
[Snip!] It wasn't just the late 1700s, and it wasn't just the British, and it wasn't just against the Americans. Privateering has a grand old history. [Snip!]
It is also in the United States Constitution, a provision that only Congress shall grant letters of marque and reprisal. Of course we don't do that anymore. ;)

Celestial Mechanic
2009-Apr-13, 07:30 PM
The American news media have always had a bad habit of mainly covering American stories or international stories only when America is somehow involved, or stupid stories like what kind of dog the President is going to get for his girls.
The Americans are not alone in this, I'm sure. How much of the British news media is taken up with the latest misadventures of the royal family? What are the latest preoccupations in, say, the French, German, Italian, Japanese, Australian media?

I would love to see TV news reports about the piracy of other countries' ships and what the countries do about it.
I would love to see more hard news, but it doesn't get the ratings. Without the ratings there is no advertising revenue, and without revenue no money to put hard news on the air. Believe me, when my local yokels put on their little news and variety show at 10 pm I want to throw my shoe through the screen when they mention some local person who is on "The Biggest Loser" and yell, "That's not news!". Alas, we are not going to get significant amounts of real, serious news anywhere in the world about everywhere in the world.

Doodler
2009-Apr-13, 10:21 PM
First time a US registered vessel get targeted, so it shouldn't be a surprise it's only now the US media and politicians notice something is going on.

Not true, the coverage hasn't been as up to the nanosecond, but they've covered them all to some degree. The next most covered one was the Ukrainian freighter with all the weapons. As for the President, why do you think US vessels were in that area in the first place?

C'mon guys, give us a little credit, we are aware that there are landmasses over the horizon...even if we can't always find them on a map.

sarongsong
2009-Apr-14, 01:16 AM
April 13, 2009
...US Navy Seals opened fire from about 25 metres away...“The sniper’s position on the fantail of the Bainbridge observed one of the pirates in the pilot house with [another] two pirates with their head and shoulders exposed"...A fourth, who had come aboard a nearby US warship to negotiate, was taken into custody. He was reported to be as young as 16...
timesonline.co.uk (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article6082713.ece)An MS-NBC animated simulation (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/30189266#30189266) (at 1:11 of 3:08 minutes).

HenrikOlsen
2009-Apr-14, 01:39 AM
Not necessarily. We'll have to wait and see how the average temperature trend tracks (or doesn't) with the upsurge in piracy.
See, that's what I was snarky about.
There wasn't an upsurge in piracy, they just targeted an American ship for once.
That's the only thing that's really new, that and that it ended violently.

Sam5
2009-Apr-14, 02:00 AM
I would love to see more hard news, but it doesn't get the ratings. Without the ratings there is no advertising revenue, and without revenue no money to put hard news on the air. Believe me, when my local yokels put on their little news and variety show at 10 pm I want to throw my shoe through the screen when they mention some local person who is on "The Biggest Loser" and yell, "That's not news!". Alas, we are not going to get significant amounts of real, serious news anywhere in the world about everywhere in the world.

I agree. That's a shame too. Back in the old days, the three major broadcast networks gave us real news, and so did CNN for several years after it started up around 1980. All day long they were switching to live reports from around the US and around the world. It was amazing what all was going on in the world. Now, according to American TV, nothing is going on in the world of any real importance, especially if the US is not involved in it somehow.

I almost barfed when the cable networks spent all last weekend arguing about whether or not President Obama should have "bowed" to the Saudi Prince! I thought the President was being polite and it was nothing worth arguing about and not worth reporting about more than once or twice.

Ara Pacis
2009-Apr-14, 04:39 AM
The American news media have always had a bad habit of mainly covering American stories or international stories only when America is somehow involved, or stupid stories like what kind of dog the President is going to get for his girls.

You say that like it's a bad thing. Imagine how involved the US would be in world affairs if the US citizenry was well informed. Imagine how sad they might be at the state of world affairs and how much lower their productivity might be. Happy workers are good workers.

publius
2009-Apr-14, 05:35 AM
I just heard a merchant mariner on TV mention something I was wondering about. They do have various have anti-boarding devices they can use. One I was thinking about is an "electric fence" that rings the ship, and will shock any boarders. The ship hull and water is the other end of the circuit. Another thing he mentioned is a device that emits an excruciating high pitched sound in a zone around the ship.

Another thing I was wondering about (and I'm sure they won't talk about) is the "Voice of God" device, which can beam a sound directly into someone's head. It modulates the audible audio signal on a top of an ultrasonic carrier. When the carrier "beam" hits the skull, the modulated signal becomes audible via some interaction. They may have used this to communicate with Capt. Phillips, such as "Duck, we're shooting!".

-Richard

Nicolas
2009-Apr-14, 07:48 AM
You say that like it's a bad thing. Imagine how involved the US would be in world affairs if the US citizenry was well informed. Imagine how sad they might be at the state of world affairs and how much lower their productivity might be. Happy workers are good workers.

I suggest we spread MP3 players locked to "sunshine, lollypops and rainbows" to the masses.

geonuc
2009-Apr-14, 10:39 AM
Not true, the coverage hasn't been as up to the nanosecond, but they've covered them all to some degree. The next most covered one was the Ukrainian freighter with all the weapons. As for the President, why do you think US vessels were in that area in the first place?

Yes. The American media sources have actually been all over these pirates for a while now. Pirates are newsworthy, I suppose.

Along with the arms freighter, there's the French raid recently to rescue hostages from a yatch (one hostage killed), the oil supertanker, the earlier French military action where they actually chased the pirates on land, several other yatch piracies, the Chinese getting involved with their elite counter-piracy units, and more that I'm forgetting. All these stories covered reasonably well by US media sources.

I think the recent piracy ratcheted up the attention in the US because it might involve the possibility of American military action (beyond the US Navy presence that we already knew about). But the media have always been there, US ships or not.

Moose
2009-Apr-14, 11:00 AM
It's not the "pirates get aboard" that's defeating the merchantmen. It's the "let us aboard or we'll use this RPG to punch holes in your hull at the waterline then find another target. We're cool either way. Now what'll it be?"

You can repel the pirates, sure, but unless you can countermeasure their heavy weapons, you're better off as a hostage for a while (assuming your company has deep pockets.)

Larry Jacks
2009-Apr-14, 01:49 PM
An AK-47 or an RPG only has an effective range of a few hundred meters at best. Riding in those little boats being tossed around, it's even less. A 7.62mm machine gun on a big stable ship can have an effective range of over 800 meters. If that isn't enough, get a good old Ma-Deuce (M-2 Browning .50 caliber machine gun) or .50 caliber sniper rifle. They have the ability to reach out and touch someone over a mile away.

The idea that merchant ships must remain unarmed is foolish. Pirates prefer unarmed victims.

BigDon
2009-Apr-14, 02:31 PM
I also suspect that it is a similar problem to what many ground forces have with dealing with terrorists. You have a navy fleet and technology designed to counter a traditional navy force, not a bunch of guys in tiny boats, coming from multiple possible locations and attacking any of thousands of target.

Uh, Mr. Swift, no disrespect to you or your moderatorness, but that's silly. Ever seen what a CBU does to a fifty foot launch? Or how a tracking aircraft can sort out who's going where, and where the targets came from and where they have been?

The main difficulty is political and moral, not capability.

The ocean is not land. It provides a very nice back drop in infrared and shows wakes for a very long time to the right equipment. Then you have subs listening and tracking, their onboard computers memorizing everything they ever heard. Were we suddenly to go all Klingon on them we could exterminate them and their havens as fast as we could ID them. And don't think we don't already know where their points of origin are located.

They don't have a big boat building industry, so every hit is a loss, not just a set back. After the second or third harbor gets an alpha strike or naval gunfire barrage or cruise missile attack that destroys the boats and piers, the rest of the harbors would go, "You pirates have to go somewhere else to live."

But that would be slaughter. That's a bad thing.

slang
2009-Apr-14, 04:25 PM
After the second or third harbor gets an alpha strike or naval gunfire barrage or cruise missile attack that destroys the boats and piers, the rest of the harbors would go, "You pirates have to go somewhere else to live."

"Peaceful unarmed civilian fishingboats destroyed by aggressive ogres! Security Council emergency meeting imminent!" :rolleyes:

According to newsreports here one Dutch merchant evaded approaching pirates simply by speeding up. Apparently those tiny boats can't keep up with large freighters, which surprises me.

Larry Jacks
2009-Apr-14, 04:36 PM
According to newsreports here one Dutch merchant evaded approaching pirates simply by speeding up. Apparently those tiny boats can't keep up with large freighters, which surprises me.

It could be that the waves and wake kicked off by a large, fast-moving freighter are too much for those small boats to handle. It can't be easy to climb up a rope ladder (or whatever) while you boat is bouncing all over the place.

It's even harder if the crew had the opportunity to fill your boats full of holes (e.g. machine gun fire) instead of having to depend on fire hoses. Strange how the shipping companies feel constrained by international law when the pirates surely aren't.

Moose
2009-Apr-14, 04:37 PM
If the seas are up, slang, the little boats spend most of their time going up and down rather than forward. The big ships don't really notice much.

Gillianren
2009-Apr-14, 05:06 PM
The Daily Show did a report on pirates sometime last year, I think, or in the first month or two of this year. Yes, they made John Oliver dress up like an olde-tymey pirate, but he made it quite clear that it's a real problem that we need to find a real solution for.

BigDon
2009-Apr-14, 05:28 PM
According to newsreports here one Dutch merchant evaded approaching pirates simply by speeding up. Apparently those tiny boats can't keep up with large freighters, which surprises me.

It could be that the waves and wake kicked off by a large, fast-moving freighter are too much for those small boats to handle. It can't be easy to climb up a rope ladder (or whatever) while you boat is bouncing all over the place.

It's even harder if the crew had the opportunity to fill your boats full of holes (e.g. machine gun fire) instead of having to depend on fire hoses. Strange how the shipping companies feel constrained by international law when the pirates surely aren't.

I've seen plenty of pictures of cargo ships hiring mercenaries from Eastern bloc nations just to make the transit. Seems nobody who's backside is really on the line gives a hoot about international law. You have to read more Rueters. You don't hear about them because they don't get highjacked.

Larry Jacks
2009-Apr-14, 05:51 PM
I keep hearing how the crews aren't trained to handle weapons. That may well be true. However, the military has a lot of experience taking teenagers right out of high school and training them in a very short time to handle weapons ranging from hand grenades and rifles through machine guns. I have a hard time believing that professional merchant sailors (mature adults with ingrained maturity and discipline) would need more than a week or so of training to learn the basics. Sure, advanced security tactics or sniper training takes much longer but you wouldn't need too much of that. Being armed and ready to blow the pirates away long before they board the ship negates a lot of the need for advanced security tactics.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Apr-14, 05:54 PM
Incidentally, another freighter's been taken, Greek owned under St. Vincent flag, with 22 hostages.

Ara Pacis
2009-Apr-15, 03:48 AM
I suggest we spread MP3 players locked to "sunshine, lollypops and rainbows" to the masses.

It's probably cheaper than giving them to the masses of non-americans in the world. :D

Ara Pacis
2009-Apr-15, 03:56 AM
BTW, how much real damage can an RPG do to a freighter? The hole it would make from the shaped charge would be rather small, wouldn't it? With the impact point likely to be near but above the waterline, it wouldn't be a critical flooding issue, I suspect. Or is the major issue damage to some random piece of cargo? Tankers, on the other hand...

Moose
2009-Apr-15, 08:43 AM
Well, I guess it depends heavily on where the freighter was flagged... and which nation's safety standards are in play. And whether the watertight doors are consistently closed (or there), whether or not that really is a double-hull, etc.

ineluki
2009-Apr-15, 08:52 AM
"Peaceful unarmed civilian fishingboats destroyed by aggressive ogres! Security Council emergency meeting imminent!" :rolleyes:



We are almost there, now the Pirates are suing
http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/1239729421.77

Heid the Ba'
2009-Apr-15, 09:06 AM
We are almost there, now the Pirates are suing
http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/1239729421.77

One suspect is suing; and he'll lose. He knows he'll lose but is hoping the Germans will settle out of court.

And he isn't a pirate, he's a suspect and is innocent until proved guilty.

Others are claiming they won't receive a fair trial and seeking to have defence agnts appointed. Again suspects and entitled to a fair trial.

Edit to add final two sentences after re-reading link.

Tog
2009-Apr-15, 09:06 AM
Another group of pirates had a go (http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/04/15/somalia.pirates/index.html?eref=rss_topstories) at a second US ship.

A person on board was sending e-mails to his mother at the time. From the sounds of it, the crew called the Navy then locked themselves in the engine room. 2 hours later, the Bainbridge was escorting the cargo ship to port.

geonuc
2009-Apr-15, 09:32 AM
BTW, how much real damage can an RPG do to a freighter?
Reports say the recent failed attack involved RPG's.

Tog
2009-Apr-15, 10:27 AM
BTW, how much real damage can an RPG do to a freighter? The hole it would make from the shaped charge would be rather small, wouldn't it? With the impact point likely to be near but above the waterline, it wouldn't be a critical flooding issue, I suspect. Or is the major issue damage to some random piece of cargo? Tankers, on the other hand...

I did a search for "RPG Blast Damage" and found a youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehlB2YSHdfw) that showed an RPG-7 being fired at some bullet resistant glass. It made a hole about fist size in the glass, and the bulk of the explosion happened on the inside. That's pretty much how they are supposed to work.

They use explosives to melt a copper plug, then drive that molten copper through the armor, releasing the main blast inside to take out the crew. With a tank or a bunker, the crew is close to pretty much everywhere. On a ship, the odds of a crew member being hit would be pretty small. I'd also think that a 10 cm hole wouldn't be an immediate danger.

Now, for a tanker... yeah. I don't know. Wouldn't the hulls be strongerr than standard? Or doubled up?

Swift
2009-Apr-15, 01:35 PM
Uh, Mr. Swift, no disrespect to you or your moderatorness, but that's silly. Ever seen what a CBU does to a fifty foot launch? Or how a tracking aircraft can sort out who's going where, and where the targets came from and where they have been?

The main difficulty is political and moral, not capability.

No disrepect even appeared as a blip on the radar.

My knowledge of naval warfare is largely based on years of playing the computer game Harpoon; I don't even know what a CBU is.

And I do agree that parts of this are political and moral, as well as legal, social, etc. (And of course we all know to save the politics for another forum)

But my point still stands. How does a navy destroyer differentiate between an innocent Somali fishing boat, out to earn an honest living, and one filled with pirates getting ready to attack a ship? How is that task complicated by the hundreds, if not thousands of small boats and ships spread over thousands of square miles of ocean?

Larry Jacks
2009-Apr-15, 01:51 PM
But my point still stands. How does a navy destroyer differentiate between an innocent Somali fishing boat, out to earn an honest living, and one filled with pirates getting ready to attack a ship? How is that task complicated by the hundreds, if not thousands of small boats and ships spread over thousands of square miles of ocean?

Unless they're fishing using RPGs (which would be a step up from "redneck fishing" using dynamite), the lack of fishing equipment and the surplus of weapons might be a clue. As would the tendency to approach merchant ships at high speed while brandishing weapons.

According to this source (http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/CBU), there are many definitions for the acronym CBU. The most likely one for this discussion is "cluster bomb unit". Even that wouldn't be necessary. Put some Marine AH-1Z SuperCobras (http://www.helis.com/Since80s/h_ah1z.php) on Navy ships and they would have a variety of ways with dealing with the pirates, be they in their little speedboats or in their larger motherships.

Heid the Ba'
2009-Apr-15, 02:05 PM
But my point still stands. How does a navy destroyer differentiate between an innocent Somali fishing boat, out to earn an honest living, and one filled with pirates getting ready to attack a ship? How is that task complicated by the hundreds, if not thousands of small boats and ships spread over thousands of square miles of ocean?

Unless they're fishing using RPGs (which would be a step up from "redneck fishing" using dynamite), the lack of fishing equipment and the surplus of weapons might be a clue. As would the tendency to approach merchant ships at high speed while brandishing weapons.


That involves getting close enough to every ship to visually check what they are carrying. Sometimes things look like something else (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Air_Flight_655) on radar. In the area described is it possible to visually check before launching missilies?

Swift
2009-Apr-15, 02:16 PM
That was my thinking Heid. Now, I suppose one could have an operation where every boat is approached by chopper or Naval vessel for close inspection. But I think you are now talking about a very big operation, inspecting hundreds of boats a day.

BigDon
2009-Apr-15, 02:25 PM
That involves getting close enough to every ship to visually check what they are carrying. Sometimes things look like something else (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Air_Flight_655) on radar. In the area described is it possible to visually check before launching missilies?

Howdy Heid.

AFTER a ship reports an unsucessful pirating attempt it would be very easy for a tracking aircraft or listening attack sub to label them as hostiles. Once labeled those particular boats would have their engine and EM noises, which are unique to everything that floats, recorded and put on a list. They sally out a second time and trouble would be waiting.

You might not be aware of the fact that every ship in the world has it's own unique engine sounds recorded in what's called a sound library. They pirating ships would just be added to the list. You can even program torpedos to pursue a particular ship's engine sounds, from the library, if they were worth the effort.

Welcome to the 21st century. Now behave.

Heid the Ba'
2009-Apr-15, 02:42 PM
I have no doubt the technology exists, but it involves someone being close enough to identify the correct boat from possibly dozens, with a degree of certainty acceptable in international law, then record those engine noises. How the crew of an attacked ship communicate with the attack submarine to request them to record the engines being but one of the difficulties.

If the boat then reappears, in your scenario you are assuming it still has the same owners or users, and that there is no reasonable doubt anywhere along the way. And that someone is close enough to do anything about it.

How much of the world's navies do you want to tie down in this?

BigDon
2009-Apr-15, 03:08 PM
I have no doubt the technology exists, but it involves someone being close enough to identify the correct boat from possibly dozens, with a degree of certainty acceptable in international law, then record those engine noises. How the crew of an attacked ship communicate with the attack submarine to request them to record the engines being but one of the difficulties.

If the boat then reappears, in your scenario you are assuming it still has the same owners or users, and that there is no reasonable doubt anywhere along the way. And that someone is close enough to do anything about it.

How much of the world's navies do you want to tie down in this?

(Please don't take this as hostile or snarky)

Well last part first, the assets are already there, the middle eastern conflicts already had a good portion of our forces on the scene. Nothing has to be added, they just need the go ahead to change gears.

Ship calls out on radio, everybody hears it. Ship sounds carry in water for hundreds of miles, subs can hear freakin' shrimps snapping their claws at several kilometers away, must less the racket of a speed boat. All the sounds are analysed and sorted by awesomely capable computer systems.

Also don't confuse the roles of military and the roles of police. Two different functions. Once a hostile force has stepped over into the rules of engagement, they get engaged. This does not mean chasing them down until they give up. There is no "due process". You get engaged and if you can't stand up to what's going to pour down, you become extinct. If you surrender fine. But surrender isn't a requirement to solve this issue. There is only a finite amount of them.

That said you don't quiet a crying baby by smothering it. You give it a bottle.

We have to find out why this has become a desirable occupation. Sure, just out and out barbarism can be one explaination, but something has to be fixed here. I, myself, don't know what. (And I just don't like pirates, having seen the asian one's handiwork)

Heid the Ba'
2009-Apr-15, 03:38 PM
(Please don't take this as hostile or snarky)
Ship calls out on radio, everybody hears it. Ship sounds carry in water for hundreds of miles, subs can hear freakin' shrimps snapping their claws at several kilometers away, must less the racket of a speed boat. All the sounds are analysed and sorted by awesomely capable computer systems.
My point was, among a number of boats, some hostile, some not, how do the civilian ships identify the hostile ships to submarines hundreds of miles away?


Also don't confuse the roles of military and the roles of police. Two different functions.
Indeed they are, and part of the problem is that the military are performing a police role. There is no military role here, piracy is a civilian crime.


Once a hostile force has stepped over into the rules of engagement, they get engaged.
Your previous post suggested they be engaged as soon as they put to sea.


There is no "due process".
Of course there is. Otherwise why do you talk of "rules of engagement"? This is a criminal problem, not a military one. There are laws governing the jurisdiction over piracy and there have been for centuries. That is why Kenya is the agreed country for the trials if the capturing forces do not want to take the captives elsewhere.

geonuc
2009-Apr-15, 03:56 PM
There is no military role here, piracy is a civilian crime.
Not quite. The UN "Law of the Sea", which defines much of international maritime law, provides that only warships or military aircraft or other clearly marked government ships or aircraft (police) may seize a pirate vessel. So the military has a role.

Heid the Ba'
2009-Apr-15, 04:10 PM
Not quite. The UN "Law of the Sea", which defines much of international maritime law, provides that only warships or military aircraft or other clearly marked government ships or aircraft (police) may seize a pirate vessel. So the military has a role.

It is a police role, carried out by the military. I know that sounds like pedantry but from the legal standpoint it isn't.

I wish I knew how to put a circonflexe over the "o" everytime but then I'm a tosser. :)

Sam5
2009-Apr-15, 04:14 PM
Not quite. The UN "Law of the Sea", which defines much of international maritime law, provides that only warships or military aircraft or other clearly marked government ships or aircraft (police) may seize a pirate vessel. So the military has a role.

I’m just a humble civilian landlubber, but shouldn’t the UN “Law of the Sea” read: “Piracy is illegal. Any ship being attacked or approached by pirates is completely free to defend itself and either capture the pirates or blow them out of the water.”?

Eta C
2009-Apr-15, 04:16 PM
Not quite. The UN "Law of the Sea", which defines much of international maritime law, provides that only warships or military aircraft or other clearly marked government ships or aircraft (police) may seize a pirate vessel. So the military has a role.

Which, as astute readers will remember, I referenced back in Post 21 (http://www.bautforum.com/off-topic-babbling/87091-cnn-captain-freed-pirates-killed-u-s-official-says.html#post1471195). The relevant sections are articles 100 to 107. Here's the link to the web site where one can download the entire text. (http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/convention_overview_convention.htm) Enjoy.

geonuc
2009-Apr-15, 04:21 PM
Which, as astute readers will remember, I referenced back in Post 21 (http://www.bautforum.com/off-topic-babbling/87091-cnn-captain-freed-pirates-killed-u-s-official-says.html#post1471195). The relevant sections are articles 100 to 107. Here's the link to the web site where one can download the entire text. (http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/convention_overview_convention.htm) Enjoy.
Yes, so you did, although in that post you stated that only warships can act under 107. The article also allows other government craft to act against pirates.

Eta C
2009-Apr-15, 04:32 PM
Picky, Picky, Picky. :)

More on topic, the ability to identify potential pirates, especially before they display hostile intent, is not a trivial one. Although sensors do exist that can track ships, maintining surveillance over the area will be asset intensive. In the end, ID will still probably come down to the Mark I/Mod 0 Eyeball regardless of what other sensors have been used in the search.

geonuc
2009-Apr-15, 04:38 PM
I see in the news now that the French navy captured some pirates by observing them going back to the 'mother' ship.

BigDon
2009-Apr-15, 06:09 PM
I keep hearing how the crews aren't trained to handle weapons. That may well be true. However, the military has a lot of experience taking teenagers right out of high school and training them in a very short time to handle weapons ranging from hand grenades and rifles through machine guns. I have a hard time believing that professional merchant sailors (mature adults with ingrained maturity and discipline) would need more than a week or so of training to learn the basics. Sure, advanced security tactics or sniper training takes much longer but you wouldn't need too much of that. Being armed and ready to blow the pirates away long before they board the ship negates a lot of the need for advanced security tactics.

Two words. Insurance companies.

BigDon
2009-Apr-15, 06:29 PM
Of course there is. Otherwise why do you talk of "rules of engagement"? This is a criminal problem, not a military one. There are laws governing the jurisdiction over piracy and there have been for centuries. That is why Kenya is the agreed country for the trials if the capturing forces do not want to take the captives elsewhere.

What?

The main purpose of a navy is to keep the sea lanes open. How the heck is this not a military problem? When they are not busy sinking each other what do you think navies do? This is outside the jurisdiction of any country's police force. Somalia itself has no goverment and the only reason there is a Somalia shaped spot on the map is it isn't worth it for any of their neighbors to try and annex it.

And you are quite correct about there being laws about this for centuries. Sadly for you they land squarely on my side of the argument. Nice try.

(If you ever consider immigrating you have a very good future in San Francisco politics. :))

Ask any nation with a maritime history.

Kenya agreed because the pirates muck with them too and for the last thirty years or so the US has been instrumental in keeping Kenya from being taken over by Islamicists. They saw we have a problem and are returning a favor. People do that.

I think we both took different history classes. :think:

Jens
2009-Apr-16, 02:05 AM
I’m just a humble civilian landlubber, but shouldn’t the UN “Law of the Sea” read: “Piracy is illegal. Any ship being attacked or approached by pirates is completely free to defend itself and either capture the pirates or blow them out of the water.”?

I can imagine the problem with that would be that everybody would start claiming that "the other guys were pirates." Merchant ships would have to carry weapons to defend themselves, and pirates would claim that they were attacked first and were just defending themselves. You'd have to have an expensive international investigation and court system to sort out what happened in each case. By contrast, if you limit the right to military or police vessels, then it comes under state sovereignty and there is no need for an international court system.

sarongsong
2009-Apr-16, 02:29 AM
Two words. Insurance companies.I heard AIG would have been on the hook for this one! :)

HenrikOlsen
2009-Apr-16, 02:21 PM
That said you don't quiet a crying baby by smothering it. You give it a bottle.

We have to find out why this has become a desirable occupation. Sure, just out and out barbarism can be one explaination, but something has to be fixed here. I, myself, don't know what. (And I just don't like pirates, having seen the asian one's handiwork)


What?
The main purpose of a navy is to keep the sea lanes open. How the heck is this not a military problem? When they are not busy sinking each other what do you think navies do? This is outside the jurisdiction of any country's police force. Somalia itself has no goverment and the only reason there is a Somalia shaped spot on the map is it isn't worth it for any of their neighbors to try and annex it.
Looks like you already have the cause figured, it's the cure that's difficult.

With no useful exploitable resources and no stability it's difficult to get anyone interested in investing in the country, which means it's probably going to be poor until someone realized that pushing money into developing the country is cheaper than paying ransoms and posting warships on semi-permanent duty.

Incidentally, BD, the warships aren't there1 because of other engagements in the area, CTF 151 is there specifically to target pirates.


1) Off Somalia.

BigDon
2009-Apr-16, 02:49 PM
Sorry Henrik, I was looking at it from a carrier sailor's perspective. Anything within 1200 nautical miles is "close". Anything within range of a single refueling is "semi-close".

Heid the Ba'
2009-Apr-17, 06:46 AM
BigDon there is talk of taking the pirate captured by the US navy to the US to stand trial in a civilian court; ergo a civilian problem. Our respective history lessons are much less important than our respective international law lessons.

Sam5
2009-Apr-17, 07:30 PM
Merchant ships would have to carry weapons to defend themselves, and pirates would claim that they were attacked first and were just defending themselves.

Why would a large commercial cargo ship, carrying containers filled with merchandise, try to rob a group of Somalians in a small boat who have no money or cargo on them?

novaderrik
2009-Apr-17, 08:13 PM
Why would a large commercial cargo ship, carrying containers filled with merchandise, try to rob a group of Somalians in a small boat who have no money or cargo on them?
because they want an extra lifeboat?

Gillianren
2009-Apr-17, 09:51 PM
Why would a large commercial cargo ship, carrying containers filled with merchandise, try to rob a group of Somalians in a small boat who have no money or cargo on them?

They wouldn't try to rob them. Clearly, the cargo ship shot first on the unfounded assumption that they were pirates.

slang
2009-Apr-17, 10:34 PM
They wouldn't try to rob them. Clearly, the cargo ship shot first on the unfounded assumption that they were pirates.

"There we were, peacefully fishing with RPG's, aiming for fish near the freighter's waterline..."

Tucson_Tim
2009-Apr-17, 10:44 PM
I heard AIG would have been on the hook for this one! :)I think AIG is run by pirates.

novaderrik
2009-Apr-18, 01:39 AM
"There we were, peacefully fishing with RPG's, aiming for fish near the freighter's waterline..."
that made me laugh.. literally.. out loud..

geonuc
2009-Apr-18, 10:36 AM
In an opinion piece I read recently (I apologize, but I don't recall where. Might have been the Washington Post), it was suggested that the Somalian pirates might be doing us (the world) a favor of sorts, in that they keep other, nastier, elements in check. Other elements such as al Qaeda. The pirates are relatively non-violent and only want money.

Sam5
2009-Apr-18, 05:09 PM
In an opinion piece I read recently (I apologize, but I don't recall where. Might have been the Washington Post), it was suggested that the Somalian pirates might be doing us (the world) a favor of sorts, in that they keep other, nastier, elements in check. Other elements such as al Qaeda. The pirates are relatively non-violent and only want money.

What a wonderful attitude! That means we should all be robbed daily, so worse things won't happen to us! That sounds just like the Washington Post's attitude. :)

Nicolas
2009-Apr-18, 07:21 PM
In what sense does having or not having Somalian pirates have any influence on Al Qaeda?

Nicolas
2009-Apr-18, 07:29 PM
sigh, they got us... (http://www.bautforum.com/off-topic-babbling/87216-solution-somalia-pirates-2.html#post1474165) :sad:

geonuc
2009-Apr-18, 10:26 PM
What a wonderful attitude! That means we should all be robbed daily, so worse things won't happen to us! That sounds just like the Washington Post's attitude. :)
Where ever I read it, it was not the opinion of the paper, but an op ed piece.

A lot of decisions in life involve choosing the lesser of two evils.

geonuc
2009-Apr-18, 10:27 PM
In what sense does having or not having Somalian pirates have any influence on Al Qaeda?
As I said, the idea is that the pirates keep other elements in check. They don't allow them to operate in their territory.

Sam5
2009-Apr-18, 10:34 PM
Where ever I read it, it was not the opinion of the paper, but an op ed piece.

A lot of decisions in life involve choosing the lesser of two evils.


The "lesser of two evils" is to have the cargo ships agressively defend themselves against pirates.

In fact, that's no "evil" at all. That's common sense.

sarongsong
2009-Apr-19, 02:21 AM
As I said, the idea is that the pirates keep other elements in check. They don't allow them to operate in their territory.Not for long:
April 18, 2009
Somalia's parliament unanimously approved Saturday a government proposal to introduce Islamic sharia law in the country...
AFP (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hE5BVSCQf9E0DO2V2Mdp4bBwS9Zw)

HenrikOlsen
2009-Apr-19, 06:45 AM
Not for long:
Islam, even sharia islam, is not equal to Al Qaeda.

novaderrik
2009-Apr-19, 06:46 AM
Somalia has a parliament?
how much of the country outside of the capitol city do they have any control over?

geonuc
2009-Apr-19, 09:57 AM
The "lesser of two evils" is to have the cargo ships agressively defend themselves against pirates.

In fact, that's no "evil" at all. That's common sense.
If it was just common sense, don't you think the ship operators would be doing that by now? Surely you're cognizant of the difficulties your 'common sense' solution presents? The ship owners are.

The idea that pirates control their territory to the exclusion of other factions, including those considerably more dangerous, is perhaps something to be considered.

sarongsong
2009-Apr-19, 04:00 PM
Islam, even sharia islam, is not equal to Al Qaeda.Taliban.

Gillianren
2009-Apr-19, 06:45 PM
Taliban.

Still not actually equivalent.

Nicolas
2009-Apr-19, 08:11 PM
The idea that pirates control their territory to the exclusion of other factions, including those considerably more dangerous, is perhaps something to be considered.

But is this indeed the case? Are their waters in that region where no moderately-violent pirates are active and are these areas the hunting ground of Al Qaeda and their likes?

geonuc
2009-Apr-19, 08:54 PM
But is this indeed the case? Are their waters in that region where no moderately-violent pirates are active and are these areas the hunting ground of Al Qaeda and their likes?
I don't know the answer to either question.

sarongsong
2009-Apr-19, 09:03 PM
Still not actually equivalent.Was not equating them. :)

Sam5
2009-Apr-20, 01:00 AM
But is this indeed the case? Are their waters in that region where no moderately-violent pirates are active and are these areas the hunting ground of Al Qaeda and their likes?

I suspect that the young men who are doing the piracy are not doing it on their own. I think they are being paid by some of the “war lords” or other intelligent/educated people to do it.

The pirates I’ve seen in photos don’t seem to me to be educated or sophisticated enough to be able to master-mind an entire operation or to make successful arrangements to obtain the large sums of money paid by the shipping companies as ransom.

I suspect their bosses are handling the ransoms with something like numbered Swiss bank accounts.

I read a couple of reports that said the pirates often have radios and they are in communication with people on land, who tell them what to do and who engage in some of the negotiations with the shipping company representatives.

Gillianren
2009-Apr-20, 02:44 AM
How do you know it isn't more of those same men? Because they don't look all that bright to you in pictures?

Divine Wind
2009-Apr-20, 03:24 AM
One suspect is suing; and he'll lose. He knows he'll lose but is hoping the Germans will settle out of court.

And he isn't a pirate, he's a suspect and is innocent until proved guilty.

Others are claiming they won't receive a fair trial and seeking to have defence agnts appointed. Again suspects and entitled to a fair trial.

Which will result in a return of the old pirate maxim "dead men tell no tales"....in or out of court.


As for arming crews. This falls under the old strategy of not having a gun in the house so when a robber robs you they will feel "safe" and not be inclined to kill you. The airlines used to train their crews to be passive and compliant when hijacked so the hijackers won't hurt them. This all changed over 7 years ago in a spectacular fashion. Now airline crews are armed. Same will happen with ships. I expect the Captain will have a locked weapons locker where only he and one other have the key. If the need arises, they'll break out the weapons and repel boarders with extreme vigor. Pirates will escalate by using larger boats and larger weapons but this will work against them because then they'll be more easily differentiated among the fishing boats.

geonuc
2009-Apr-20, 09:29 AM
I suspect that the young men who are doing the piracy are not doing it on their own. I think they are being paid by some of the “war lords” or other intelligent/educated people to do it.

The pirates I’ve seen in photos don’t seem to me to be educated or sophisticated enough to be able to master-mind an entire operation or to make successful arrangements to obtain the large sums of money paid by the shipping companies as ransom.

I suspect their bosses are handling the ransoms with something like numbered Swiss bank accounts.

I read a couple of reports that said the pirates often have radios and they are in communication with people on land, who tell them what to do and who engage in some of the negotiations with the shipping company representatives.
Has anyone suggested that the people actually in the boats are running the show? Of course there are masterminds to the whole operation. Probably several.

Jens
2009-Apr-20, 09:53 AM
"There we were, peacefully fishing with RPG's, aiming for fish near the freighter's waterline..."

That's right. Or at least, that's what they would claim. It doesn't matter that it isn't credible. What matters is that you have to have courts, lawyers, judges, prosecutors, etc., to make decisions on whether it's credible. And that means a whole system for gathering and presenting evidence, etc., which amounts to money and which also amounts to nation-states giving up some of their soverignty to an international system. I don't think it's a bad idea, but then again I'm an internationalist, so wouldn't.