Monday, April 13, 2009

The Pirate Question

I think this pirate thing is being blown out of proportion. Yes they have what 10 or 12 ships, and 200 people as of now. They have used hijacked ships as mother ships to launch smaller boats for assailing other ships. But here is the point I want to make. None of the vessels taken are warships. Just commercial vessels. The small boats they use to "attack" larger vessels are at most launches or medium size motor boats. These ocean going vessels dwarf the boats they use to "attack" them.

How do they get the ships to stop? Do they threaten the vessel with RPG'S, AK'S
or other small arms. Can an RPG or even an anti tank weapon stop a large vessel? They do not want to disable the vessel since they have taken most into a Somali port to be held for ransom or used later as a mother ship.

Lets say they do stop it, how do they get on board? Can't the crew raise any boarding device such as a ladder, or other means of boarding a moving ship to prevent them from getting on board? Am I missing something? These are not your average weekend river boat or for that matter a houseboat. The deck is many feet up from the waterline. How do they get up to the deck? Do the crews fear them in the those tiny boats that much?

A while back there was a special on TV that addressed Pirates in that very area. There was a cruise ship that was "attacked" by pirates in a tiny boat with RPG'S and AK's. The crew had filmed the attack. They managed to get off a couple of RPG rounds that did not explode. The crew used one of those new Sonic devices and the pirates fled. Now if the crew of a Cruise ship can avoid stopping then why not a cargo ship?

Now to the meat of the question. Have some of these ships stopped and been boarded for reasons we are unaware of? Not to say the the American Flagged Vessel was one of these. Lets say that it would be unseemly for any ship to just dock in Somalia and start to unload on the up and up. But if a ship is HIJACKED and it is taken into port and unloaded who is going to question this action as anything more than pirates taking some bootie? What has been ON some of those ships that were "Hijacked?" It has been put out there that the Chinese have been supplying these pirates and the Somali warlords with weapons. What better way to get them to these people than to make it look the ship was attacked by pirates.

If my scenario is true then where are these weapons going? How many AK'S, RPG'S and the such can they use at any given time? A ship load of weapons could be unloaded and sent to who knows where with the approval of and payment to the local warlord. Last time I saw images of Somalia and its residents they all seemed well armed. Remember Black Hawk Down?

Lets say they go to neighboring countries like Kenya-unstable, Sudan-unstable, Uganda-unstable, Ethiopia-no better you get the point. What if it is PEOPLE that are the cargo? Does not need to be many to cause havoc. I mean TERRORISTS when I say people. What about explosives, chemicals? You get my drift.

I just think it is strange that the shipping companies have not provided some security when passing this area. It would be much less expensive to have a couple of guys with .50 caliber rifles to stop these guys. Even a few shots at them with something lighter would send them looking for an easier target. These pirates are getting $MILLIONS$ for the return of the ship and crew. How much can it cost to hire some security guys for the entire trip to act as a deterrence?

Something is not right about this whole pirate thing. It smells FISHY.

The first incident was I believe(been wrong before) was an oil tanker that caught fire due to an "explosion?" Was this pirates or as reported terrorists or was it insurance money at work? I forget the details but I believe it was near Yemen. Why destroy a tanker FULL of oil? How much is the oil itself worth even to non pirate terrorists? What political message would be gained by destroying a tanker and killing a few people? Was this a suicide bombing or did they just pull along side set some charges in a small boat and cruise away? They did find small boat wreckage at the scene. The French are glad to pay ransom as are many other nations. Why blow it up?
It just seemed strange to me.

My whole point is why have the governments of the other countries not done what we have just done? Is the thought of killing a few pirates that sickening to them that they would rather pay the ransom? It is not the governments that are paying the ransoms its the ship owners or the insurance companies. Why don't the other countries cry out for protection from the respective governments naval forces. I am sure that these countries have at least a cruiser or a destroyer or some warship bigger than the pirate vessels.

I just think there is more to this than meets the eye. Something is not right about the whole pirate thing.

Just my thoughts and I am sticking to them!


  1. Mark,
    I am with you on this one, brother!
    FIIIISHY! From what I've seen the guys in our deer camp could keep the pirates from boarding. The security detail would have to have night vision gear, of course. Don't those sea going vessels have radar? Hell, the pleasure boaters on the Great Lakes have their own radar.
    Some of the pirate gear included ropes and grappling hooks. If security knew by radar that they were coming, it would seem to be a pretty simple matter to suppress their invasion.

    Someone over at TSLRF suggested that these ships were prohibited by International Law from carrying arms. HAHAHA. What a bad joke.

    In light of recent activities I think that the shipping businesses better develop an American Cowboy attitude.

    The whole thing stinks really bad.

  2. hey Milton, There is too much at stake for these shipping companies to not have some sort of security. Unless there are other motives we do not know about. Thanks for the comment. Mark