Sink the Somali pirates

The recent capture on the high seas of the Maersk Alabama should be the signal that we need to fire up the Marines and remind them of their theme song where, ‘To the Shores of Tripoli’ was a much celebrated action against pirates.

We need to make the decision that fighting Somali pirates and other lawless actions on the high seas, is necessary and will be worth the effort. There is no doubt there will be casualties including our own seaman, Marines and, most likely, civilians on shore.

We need to board these pirated ships, fight it out, take the losses in the crews and execute the pirates. We need to follow the money trail, burn down their palaces and huts. We need to grab the Chieftains by the hair, drag them to the town square, and behead them. And if they do not get the message, then you step up the message!

We also have to make sure that the international community understands that when you pay pirates you become one of their supporters, and that there will be sanctions on you as well.

Enough. It is the time to put blood in the water, and let it be the entrails of the pirates and all that support them.

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  1. Bob says

    Edi, Liberian registry is a Tax scam. US shipping is nearly dead because it is cheaper to hire a crew from the Philippines. Name a commercial vessel built in Liberia or with a Liberian crew, you can’t because it does not exist.

  2. Bob says

    Lets send the Liberian Marines. Most of these “American” ship are not registered in the United States so they don,t have to pay “outrageous” taxes.

  3. Profile photo of Edi Birsan says

    Your comment was exactly what I was pointing out, the problem of legalistic approaches to extreme issues of foreign policy relative to pirates. It is simpler to take direct action.

    As for your other points:

    Maersk is one of the two largest shipping companies in the world. They bought out the US flag line: Sealand some time ago.

    Ships of various flags are maintained all over the world. There are certain conditions where a US flag vessel is required or preferred such as US government cargo, Internal US ports of call (Jones Act) and the like.

    The US Coast Guard has regulations preventing the arming of merchant crews. There is a bit of a modern tradition on this so as to avoid mutiny and the weapons being used against the crew and assorted other logic that others employ universally that does not seem logical within the confines of the Indian Ocean.

    Additionally there are problems with the crews wanting to be armed after all they signed up to be sailors not Marines. Then again there is the simple issue of protection.

    Considering the size of the ship a machine gun may not have been able to bear on the pirates depending on their approach. Also recall that many of the pirate reports indicate RPG’s on boarding ships. So the matter is a little more complex than the simple approach of see and shoot. As appealing as it may be.

    I would like to see a quick response team and retaliation on the shore at pirate towns such as Eloy as well as direct action against the host of middle men that make the whole operation work.

  4. By Way of Deception... says

    All ‘armed or intended to be armed’ pirates? That’s a pretty vague description and could be applied to many parties on those waters in a fairly arbitrary fashion.

    More relevant questions: Why was a ship operated by a Danish firm, Maersk, flying a US flag and why was its American crew operating *unarmed* in an area with known recent, frequent piracy? This is the height of stupidity. Defending the ship with small arms (rifles) and perhaps a mounted .50 cal should have been adequate to deter a boarding party from a motor boat. This was a no brainer. That such simple measures were not followed suggests either incompetence or design intent to create a situation demanding that ‘we do something.’

  5. Profile photo of Edi Birsan says

    For some background on Letters of Marque and Reprisal go here:

    The wording of such a document would be an interesting exercise and presents some problems with the concern for ‘collateral’ damage. However a blanket seizure for sale of Somalian armed assets at sea would be a start including summary at sea executions of all armed or intended to be armed pirates.

    Historically we do not get control over pirates unless we start to kill them in large numbers and make their economic indicators point to a heavy loss for the activity.

  6. C Brown says

    Two hundred years ago, we would have sent warships to the area and sunk the pirates without batting an eye.

    I suspect people today will whimper about international laws, being humanitarian, how we need to try to understand the pirates’ pain, and how we need to appeal to their higher selves to seek a peaceful resolution.

    But all of that would simply be yet another example of modern American’s complete inability to identify and respond to evil.

    In fact, regarding piracy, there must be no more ambiguity now than there was two hundred years ago. The pirates should be blown out of the water. Their bases of operation on the mainland should be bombed out of existence. End of story.

  7. By Way of Deception... says

    The Constitution for the united States, Article I, Section provides Congress with authority to issue letters of marque and reprisal. That is the proper way to proceed and what we should insist upon.

  8. Profile photo of Edi Birsan says

    A pretext to interfere in Darfur does not need to be generated from outside of Darfur.

    An occupation of Somalia was tried by Bush Senior and we wisely removed ourselves from it.

    As for being Gungho, there is a substantial difference between an occupation and a series of punitive raids or intense rescue missions where the pirates are eliminated.

    As for enlisting well at 59 even after the previous administration undermined the military enlistment programs and we saw eligibility soar to 42 now I think, I am a little out of the useful classification, however my son-in-law is in the army and has done a stint in Afghanastan.

  9. says

    You are right on the ransom money here. Pirate Obama is not doing anything to discourage these attacks nor our are our Allies who use the channel to ship oil and goods to the world. enough. When you pay pirates or play with terrorists you will never win. Frig turning the other cheek. Slap them where it hurts.

  10. By Way of Deception... says

    Before we run off all half-cocked that ‘we’ need to ‘send in the Marines’ have you given any consideration to possibility that the situation in & off the shores of Somalia may be of intentional neglect with the goal of establishing a pretext for reoccupying Somalia and later intervening in Darfur?

    Be careful what you wish for. And if you’re so gung ho, why don’t you enlist?

  11. Larry Smith says

    Caesar understood. As a young patrician, he was kidnapped by pirates. After his ransom had been paid, the Caesar was asked by the Pirate Chief how he would celebrate. Caesar replied he was going to crucify the pirates.

    And he did.

    He brought a warship with a bunch of his favorite soldiers, put the Pirate Chief on a cross facing all the other crosses, and then let the Chief watch all of his men die.