Monday, April 13, 2009

Somali Pirates Vow Revenge

Uh-oh, the Somali pirates are vowing revenge. In the wake of yesterday's dramatic rescue of American, CaptainRichard Phillips ,of the Maersk-Alabama, and the storming a few days earlier of a private yacht by French commandos, the pirates have fired a warning shot across the bow of the world.

From here on in they will kill any French or American sailors they find on ships they hijack in retaliation for the deaths of their comrades at the hands of French and American snipers.

Maybe the pirates are just pissed that they didn't get the $2,000,000 ransom they demanded for Captain Phillips, or maybe piracy is the only growth industry the failed state of Somalia has, or maybe it is Osama bin Laden and his merry band masterminding yet another hit on the West. Whatever the reason, pirate revenge is not a pretty picture. It takes the whole situation up a notch and does not bode well either for Somalia or for life in the shipping lanes off the horn of Africa.

The world's navies have been chasing pirates off the Horn of Africa for years now, but have avoided confrontation by simply dumping captured pirates back in Somalia or in neighboring Kenya. Private companies have often paid the ransoms demanded as part of the cost of doing business. According to the Associated Press, at least a dozen ships and 200 crew members are currently being held for ransom by Somali pirates. Until now, the nations of the world have tried to simply look the other way. After the dramatic events of the past few days, that isn't going to be possible anymore.

Once the first French or American sailor is killed, we are going to be off and running and war of some kind will be inevitable. I wish I could see a way out of this, but I can't. Somalia has not had a working government or a legal system since 1991. It is a rogue, failed state. The pirates, like the Taliban in Afghanistan after the Soviets left, are the only game in town. Fasten your seat belts folks, this is going to be a bumpy ride.

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