Piracy

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Piracy

Postby Haggis@wk » Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:42 pm

The topicality of the most recent piracy news convinced me that we need this thread, at least for the immediate future.


John Keegan, writing in the London Telegraph, gets it exactly right:

“our campaign must be ruthless and pitiless: pirate ships must be sunk on sight and the crews left to swim to safety, if it can be reached. . . . [Pirates] needed to be hunted to extinction – and the time to start the hunt is now.”


Ms. Clinton was in error when she referred to the pirates as “criminals.” Historically pirates (and terrorists) are,

Distinctions between lawful and unlawful combatants go back to Roman times.

As the eminent military historian Sir Michael Howard argued shortly after 9/11, the status of al Qaeda terrorists is to be found in a distinction first made by the Romans and subsequently incorporated into international law by way of medieval and early modern European jurisprudence.

According to Mr. Howard, the Romans distinguished between bellum (war against legitimus hostis, a legitimate enemy) and guerra (war against latrunculi, pirates, robbers, brigands and outlaws).

Bellum became the standard for interstate conflict, and it is here that the Geneva Conventions were meant to apply. They do not apply to guerra. Indeed, punishment for latrunculi, "the common enemies of mankind," traditionally has been summary execution.(emphasis mine)


Black’s Law Dictionary

Those committing thefts on the high seas, inhibiting trade, and endangering maritime communication are considered by sovereign states to be hostis humani generis (enemies of humanity).


It seems to me that we have centuries if not eons of precedent how to go about handling piracy. Why try to reinvent what’s demonstrably proven to be a very successful and available response?
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Re: Piracy

Postby analog » Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:23 pm

well happily the Navy got Captain Phillips back okay.

The sorry punks are yowling already.

"The French and the Americans will regret starting this killing. We do not kill, but take only ransom. We shall do something to anyone we see as French or American from now," Hussein, a pirate, told Reuters by satellite phone.



Hope Obama tells 'em "dont take your guns to town, boys."
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Re: Piracy

Postby Shapley » Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:24 am

Haggis@wk wrote:Bellum became the standard for interstate conflict, and it is here that the Geneva Conventions were meant to apply. They do not apply to guerra. Indeed, punishment for latrunculi, "the common enemies of mankind," traditionally has been summary execution.(emphasis mine)


Actually, later conventions to the Geneva Treaty attempted to extend the protections afforded to uniform combatants, or Bellum, to non-uniform guerra. The United States has never signed these conventions, but many have attempted to hold us to the provisions of them nonetheless.
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Re: Piracy

Postby Shapley » Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:42 am

US Navy Rescues Captain, Kills Pirates

I didn't see that anyone had yet posted a link to the story. My apologies if this is redundant.
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Re: Piracy

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:12 pm

Heh.

We will never know (for sure) the sequence of events but if I was a betting man I would bet the Captain of the Banbridge told the shooters that if all three pirates stuck their heads up at once, shoot. I'd even go even money that some strange noise was used to lure them out (ala Alvin York)

But, of course, I'm not a betting man :rofl:

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Re: Piracy

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:38 pm

MARK STEYN ON THE SOMALI PIRATES:

Our Reprimitivized Future.

“As it happens, Somali piracy is not a distraction, but a glimpse of the world the day after tomorrow. . . . Half a century back, Somaliland was a couple of sleepy colonies, British and Italian, poor but functioning. Then it became a state, and then a failed state, and now the husk of a nation is a convenient squat from which to make mischief. . . . It’s also a low-risk one. Once upon a time we killed and captured pirates. Today, it’s all more complicated. The attorney general, Eric Holder, has declined to say whether the kidnappers of the American captain will be ‘brought to justice’ by the U.S. ‘I’m not sure exactly what would happen next,’ declares the chief law-enforcement official of the world’s superpower. . . . Meanwhile, the Royal Navy, which over the centuries did more than anyone to rid the civilized world of the menace of piracy, now declines even to risk capturing their Somali successors, having been advised by Her Majesty’s Government that, under the European Human Rights Act, any pirate taken into custody would be entitled to claim refugee status in the United Kingdom and live on welfare for the rest of his life.”


Is this so hard?? Emphasis mine
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Re: Piracy

Postby Shapley » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:01 am

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Re: Piracy

Postby Shapley » Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:41 am

Another US Flagged Vessel Attacked By Pirates, Escapes

No injuries reported, but the vessel was damaged.
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Re: Piracy

Postby Schmeelkie » Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:04 am

I REALLY hope Obama lets the best Navy in the world do it's job and take out with extreme prejudice any pirates threatening US vessels...and anyone else's if they request it. I kinda thought the whole pirate thing was funny, and had the interesting benefit of bringing the 21st century to coastal Somali towns (they have internet cafes, and other western goodies), but realistically - they need to be stopped. I understand it's a huge area of water, but as I said before - best Navy + great technology should = major decrease in ranks of pirates.

they say - we never hurt anyone, we're just taking stuff and asking for money....yeah, well, who ends up paying for those ransoms? The company, which ultimately means the consumer...us. I say we don't stand for it. I say the US Navy should help any vessel that requests it. I seriously doubt the pirates are a match for SEALs - they just have an inflated opinion of themselves as no one has bothered to fight them until now.

REALLY STUPID to take on the US....If Obama doesn't have a backbone on this one I'm going to be extremely pissed that I voted for him. Always worry about Democrats and foreign policy....
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Re: Piracy

Postby Shapley » Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:58 am

The pirates hadn't hurt anyone, yet. However, they are committing piracy on the high seas, armed with fully-automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades, and who knows what else. Injury or death was only a matter of time. I say it's better if it's their injuries and deaths, not the innocent sailors trying to conduct legitimate business on the high seas.

I suppose the greatest problem is that is difficult to recognize the pirate vessels as distinct from legitimate fishing and small coastal craft until they have attacked. It's not as if they fly the Jolly Roger or merely paint "Pirate Ship" on the side of their vessels. There is a lot of legitimate traffic, large and small, through that region. Early recognition would be helpful, but it will be difficult to achieve.

We'll probably need an aircraft carrier their soon, to decrease response time to distress calls.
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Re: Piracy

Postby jamiebk » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:04 am

Shapley wrote:We'll probably need an aircraft carrier their soon, to decrease response time to distress calls.


I was thinking last night that a carrier might be a solution with fast acting F-18's. One little missle can really ruin a pirate's day.
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Re: Piracy

Postby Shapley » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:11 am

Hi-Tech (and some Lo-Tech) weapons to deter pirates

Fire Hoses, Remote Controlled FIre Hoses (or water cannons), Molotov Cocktails, Sonic Weapons, Slippery Foam, Rubber Bullets, Electric Fencing, Nets, Blinding Weapons, and Pain Rays.

I found this interesting:

Slippery foam. Boat decks are wet places. Somali pirates are often barefoot. Hence the need for what the acronym-happy Marine Corps calls its Mobility Denial System (MDS), also known as Non-Lethal Slippery Foam (NLSF) or Anti-Traction Material (ATM).

Basically, it's water, drilling-mud additive (used for boreholes) and a flocculent, an electrically charged suspension of solids that makes liquids even more slippery. No one's actually deployed this stuff yet, but a few serious squirts would send pirates sliding around helplessly like happy penguins on an ice floe.


Which reminded me of another ships captain who reported on his method of dealing with pirates. Capt. Joshua Slocum, in his book Sailing Alone Around The World recounts that he used to scatter thumbtacks on the deck every night before turning in when he was sailing through the canals of Tierra del Fuego. Pirates trying to board were generally barefoot, and their painful screams would waken the Captain, who would then dispatch them by threatening them with his rifle. He reported that, in one daylight encounter, he was met by a boat containing a group of natives, one of whom was naked except for a pair of boots, leading him to believe that this may have been one of his nighttime visitors who had learned a lesson from his nocturnal calling. :)
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Re: Piracy

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:28 am

Shapley wrote:We'll probably need an aircraft carrier their soon, to decrease response time to distress calls.

I'd recommend a helo platform rather than a CV - F/A-18s are not as effective as a low-and-slow gunship that can also drop off armed boarders. This job is right in the center of SEAL territory, it's not pilot business.
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Re: Piracy

Postby Shapley » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:33 am

Selma in Sandy Eggo wrote:I'd recommend a helo platform rather than a CV - F/A-18s are not as effective as a low-and-slow gunship that can also drop off armed boarders. This job is right in the center of SEAL territory, it's not pilot business.


You know the saying: "If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." I was a carrier sailor. Every problem looks like pilot business... :flex: :D
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Re: Piracy

Postby Shapley » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:37 am

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Re: Piracy

Postby analog » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:59 am

I love the irony - they whine "we aren't hurting anybody..." no, we just storm aboard with machine guns and bombs.

I like the old bumpersticker "Fight Crime - shoot back".
Where's Blackwater? A few good men on US flagged ships, with those 20mm gatling guns from Haggis' motivational poster would do the job.

Or a couple A-10 warthogs to leisurely pick off pirate boats marked by a fifth column inside the ports..
Bottom line - a hundred or so of those small craft need to simply fail to return to port.

c'mon, obama, show some grit. Thomas Jefferson did.
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Re: Piracy

Postby jamiebk » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:42 am

I don't understand why the French didn't just take out the "mother ship"...They could save themselves the problem and expense of trying them
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Re: Piracy

Postby Schmeelkie » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:50 am

The last American ship attacked, but escaped was carrying food aid. OK - that really pisses me off. I can kinda see going after 'Big Business', but trying to get a ransom for humanitarian aid is just cruel! You're taking food out of the mouths of starving people - that's just wrong! :evil:

As with most problems - always good to have both 'prevention' and 'treatment' options. Prevention - ways to avoid being attacked/targeted/captured by pirates
Treatment - quick military response to attacks

btw - love the 'mobility denial system'. That's great! Gotta love military euphamisms.
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Re: Piracy

Postby Shapley » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:20 pm

Schmeelkie wrote:The last American ship attacked, but escaped was carrying food aid. OK - that really pisses me off. I can kinda see going after 'Big Business', but trying to get a ransom for humanitarian aid is just cruel! You're taking food out of the mouths of starving people - that's just wrong!


To be fair, the pirates most likely have no idea what cargo is on the ships when they hijack them. They are interested in the vessel and crew as hostages, not so much what is inside. There have been reports that cargo has been pilfered while the ships were in harbour awaiting ransom, but what do you expect, they are pirates.

Obviously, the more critical the cargo, the more likely it is to be ransomed, so I'm sure they hope to capture something of value. However, I'm sure the targets are picked based on proximity and ease of capture, without much thought to what may be on board.
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Re: Piracy

Postby Trumpetmaster » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:29 pm

Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
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