Friday, April 10, 2009

Somalia Later

Irate aboot Pirates

The ongoing standoff in the Gulf of Aden has many perplexed. How can there be Pirates in the 21st Century?
First of all we need to remember that SOMALIA
is number one on the failed state index which measures the worst conditions for humans to live in. Sudan is number two.

When I hear the name Somalia the first 3 things that come to mind are the movie Black Hawk Down, super-model Iman, & Somali Pirates.

This is one of my favorite soldier flicks. It depicts America's last military encounter with this "failed state"...Somalia hasn't had a government since 1991!

During this collision of cultures, 19 Americans and over 1000 Somalis died. The caption Leave No Man Behind eerily mirrors the current situation that the world is watching. Somali Pirates have abducted the civilian Captain of a merchant cargo vessel, the first act of piracy on an American vessel in 200 years.

The Captain bravely offered himself as a hostage to the Pirates in exchange for his crew. Leave No Man Behind...especially a good, brave, man like Captain Richard Phillips. There are about 250 other hostages from other countries being held by Somali Pirates.

#2 Iman

Yes indeed, Iman, the uber-elegant, super-model and spousal unit of David Bowie, is from Somalia. For whatever reason, Mother Nature has nurtured and molded a gene pool in the horn of Africa that produces the most beautiful and handsome homo escapeons on Earth...atleast imho.

When you look at pictures of the pirates you cannot help but notice that these are not the usual suspects...those half-crazed, bearded, desert worn, thugs dressed in nightgowns...but Somali people are extraordinarily good looking homo escapeons.

Thanks to the ubiquitous influence of Television and Movies, most of us in the West have been trained to expect the bad guys to be U G L Y!

We must also bear in mind that these Somali Pirates have no philosophical illusions of perpetually penetrating 72 nymphomaniacal-virgins in paradise when they volunteer to expire in some glorious cause. Nope.

Despite the islamist influences in the political spectrum of Somalia, and the fact that these pirates live in a moral vacuum where human life has no value, they just want money.

Most of us scratch our heads when we read about these third-world, gangsta-pirates. It is hard to comprehend how a seemingly rag-tag group of heavily armed, stoned on Khat asshats can manage to somehow capture HUGE cargo ships from small boats with outboard motors..hundreds of miles out-to-Sea...and then force Corporations to cough up million$ in ransom?

The Pirates are actually quite well prepared. They travel out to Sea on large "Mother Ships", locate targets using modern technology, and then launch small attack squads with just enough firepower (rocket launchers) to actually sink the cargo ships.
Don't ask me why merchant vessels, manned by unarmed crews, haven't been travelling through the Gulf Of Aden in convoys with military escorts?
Instead they play the odds.

We also need to remember that there isn't a functioning government on shore so these pirates can do whatever they like. So far the Corporations seem willing to dish out $2M in ransom in order to rescue $20M worth of merchandise..

it's the just the cost of doing business in the new global economy.

A new book by Dambisa Moyo titled DEAD AID
outlines the failure of the West to ease their conscience and help Africa by just throwing tons of money at it.

Post Colonial Africa seems hopelessly trapped by millenia of tribal/genocidic hatred.
The modern (meaningless?) borders are constantly being transgressed by vicious military-gangs who torture, rape, pillage, and murder, members of other tribes. These armies serve warlord thugs who are sponsored by the booty they pirate from well intentioned Western Aid.

These despotic tyrants "pirate" the aid, siphon the proceeds, and purchase modern weaponry for their private armies.

It's an unmitigated disaster for all of those emaciated mothers and children that we see on televsion BUT for the warlords and despots it's like winning the lottery! The African people aren't getting it and obviously we in the West aren't "getting it" either.
I wrote an overview of the continental struggle of nearly 1 Billion People on March 08, 2009 entitled AFRICkAn MESSage for all of us.

SO...What will happen?

This is an international problem that affects the globalization of the world economy. Now that the Pirates feel bold enough to take on the USA they may be in for a surprise. All wars are related to economics and this new aspect will be tagged on to the War On Terrorism.

The root of the problem, a failed state, needs to be dealt with by a coalition because of the impact on the human lives that are being tyrannized under the lawlessness that prevails in Somalia.

The other thing that needs to happen is for the Pirates to hand over all of the hostages. Then their land bases need to be monitored and secured so that they can't launch.

My guess is that the American Navy will need to hold off from delivering an appropriate response until the Captain is released via a secret ransom and subsequent safe passage of the Pirates. He did try to escape but was recaptured and now other pirates are on en route to bolster the resolve of their fellow extortionists.

Unfortunately the "lifeboat" in which Captain Phillips is being held, is a covered craft and that makes it difficult to "take out" the bad guys without endangering his life. It is unknown how much food and water is onboard. The US Navy circling the scene could wait them out and sink any approaching vessels.

Following that event, any vessel bobbing about in that part of the world will be strafed, torpedoed, and sunk on sight without prejudice.

Yo-Ho-F*cking-Ho, Somalia later!


  1. Many thanks Mr Coppens for filling me in; I had wondered what this was all about.

  2. I think it's time to bring the infamous "Q" ships out of retirement. I think a few "buzzs" of phalanx gattling guns and the resulting red stain in the ocean would serve to make "the cost of doing business" a bit too high for these folks.

  3. Oh my god, I can't remember a movie that pissed me off more than Black Hawk Down. I was so disappointed that we didn't go in there and kick some ass and get our soldiers out.

    I think we should rescue the captain and then sink every one of the pirate ships that showed up. So, I'm not a very consistent democrat!

  4. yeah....this is probably one place where the United States needs to take a stand.

    I'm guess we will probably see more than a few naval vessels on permanent patrol...

  5. Hellloooo - I'm doing what MJ told me to do. (Nice post.)

    I should have visited earlier.

  6. Great post with some great points.

    I think it's worth noting, or at least considering, that globalization of trade could at least partly be a cause of all this.

    Look at what has happened to Somalia in the recent past. It's barely a nation and what is left has been pillaged itself by other countries who travel this globalized globe taking whatever they can get under the guise of free trade.

    As you pointed out, the place is a disaster. The western world is only throwing money at Somalia and other African nations and then turning a blind eye.

    And western TV constantly runs those shows detailing the ugliness and asking viewers to send money.

    They do, but it doesn't get to the people who need it, as you point out. It goes to the warlords.

    And while they are despicable people, if I was living in a powerless third-world country with no hope and no guidance and no intervention except for a few billions of dollars, maybe I'd become a pirate too.

    The fact that all these boats loaded with millions of dollars worth of goods taken from the region for export to the highest bidder is globalization and what it's all about.

    They are travelling around the horn and have made themselves easy targets in this way.

    Shooting them out of the water or blowing up their ships as a means of protecting American captains or anyone else -- as some Americans, predictably, think things should go -- is an easy immediate solution.

    It doesn't solve any of the underlying reasons for that piracy.

    If those ships weren't sailing their routes on the profit-oriented globalization trail, these pirates wouldn't and couldn't be pirates.

  7. Boxer just came over here to see if you're wearing The Freakin' Green Elf Shorts yet.

    Nice "Schwing" icon on the left side, by the way.

  8. Dude, the darkest continent can be a very dark place indeed...

  9. Mj sent me, no just pretend we are strangers.
    Phillips is a good man and captain no doubt about that.

    Those pirates all looked the same to me but me brain is only trained for white people.
    I love and own Black hawk doon and laugh at how many Yank jobs were taken by Brits and Aussies.

    Somali Pirates have been at it for 100's of years that is their main business which is why they are so good at it. Funny how the world is starting to take notice now after so much already.

  10. Which one is Iman? The buzzcut blond on the left?

    I'd be a super svelt sexy person too if I was starving and tanning forever under the hot African sun.

    The good news is they rescued the captain. But WW is right; it's easy to bomb the hell out of the pirates, but it won't solve the underlying cause. The sad truth is, we (the whole world, not just the US) might need to go to full scale war against the warlords, and we may need to occupy the territory for some time until the people are not afraid anymore and willing to take a stand against corruption.

    Until then, for the Somalis, it's hard to bite the hand that (barely) feeds you.

  11. Good Morning Mr Coppens , I am visiting as its MJ day .

    I have to admit to being fatigued by Africa . The way I see it is that its always been like this , and I dont think anyone will change it , however much money or time is thrown at it .
    As to the pirates , go back to old wartime common sense and sail the boats thru the area in armed convoys and blow anything out of the water that approaches the convoy

  12. Happy Easter Mister Coppens.
    I was hoping to see you in bunny suit.

  13. Well, it seems that the terrain of piracy is changing, now with the death of the captors and the message from the pirates that future US captives will be killed...the plot thickens, yes?

  14. I would just like to add that we ought to start a shock and awe campaign against those pirates.

    We'll send in our greatest weapon (on loan from Canada) against terror on the high seas! Send in Celine Dion and have her sing that Titanic song! That'll scare the crap out of those terrorist and make them think twice about being on a boat in the first place!

  15. SCARLSI am at your service and please bear in mind that no thought goes unvoiced and that this condition is quite conducive to bullsh*t..known herein the Colonies as Male Answer Syndrome.THENow that snipers took out the three remaining pirates they have hardened their resolve and started to take pot-shots at airplanes. This could quickly escalate into a "situation". Just what we need.HOOD CHICK Damn straight! After I watched BHD I also wanted them to remove the horn of Africa via rapid molecular destabilization. It made me so mad!

    Now it just got worse...atleast Captain Phillips escaped before the next phase.
    KATHERINEIt's too late to wonder what IS on! Now the rest of the world needs to pull up their socks and help shut them down instead of just dropping bags of money!BOXERGuilt Schmilt! Please don't apologise nobody is keeping score. There are so many awesome people to visit that it is impossible to be everywhere.

    Thanks for visiting
    WWI know that you have educated yourself on the matter of globalization and your succinct diagnosis cannot be improved upon.H'EMJZAYI just hope that I can contain myself once they arrive. I know that I have months to prepare but once I get those badboys on...well, quite frankly anything could happen.ANGELYou would know. I sense that the Dark Continent has been percolating as of late and soon it may come to the forefront of International News.

    Could it all end where we began our journey?
    KNUDEY GAZOODYYou shame me with your brutally honest approach to racial profiling. Perhaps an old Salt such as yourself should offer his services ot the UN? Just make up a list of supplies and personnel..I'll make up some outrageous budget...and off we'll go on a great adventure cleaning up the Gulf Of Aden.

    How's next Wednesday?
    MR SWINGSI suppose that you're right about the diet and geographical all seems so obvious now.
    *begins shame spiral

    Can you imagine invading another lawless country..especially that one. It would NEVER end because there is only 1 sustainable country on the entire continent!
    Talk about an infinite makework project.
    BEASTThe only person who isn't fatigued about Africa is Bono..and I don't want to discourage him. I remember Geldof remarking about how his partner Bono LOVES the world and wants to give it a hug while he wants to kick it in the ass!

    I think that we've reached the Kick It In The Ass stage.
    MISTIpssst..listen, just between you and me, for a small fee that could be arranged.GILLETTEAs always, violence begat violence. Now the stakes have ben raised and those bastards have little to always need to keep that in mind when you're in a fight.
    Don't start them just finish them.
    JONASGreetings brother. I am genuinely concerned that this is going to get ugly. The rest of those shipping accountants are not going to get off writing cheques either..the pirates don't see any difference. It is on.

    Now if the Free World block the ports they'll move to another country..this could become as big as the Middle East for the next few years..hell, with the islamist connection there is no way that it won't just get thrown into the pot in the great battle to defeat the Infidels!

  16. Federal prosecutors say the conviction of five Somali pirates should be upheld because the definition of piracy under international law includes failed attempts.Shipbuilding Supervision


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