Patterico's Pontifications

4/11/2008

Update on Pirated French Ship

Filed under: International,Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 9:25 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

In another thread, Kishnevi linked a France24 report on the French yacht/cruise ship that was captured by pirates last week (covered in this post). Today’s report states that French commandos seized six Somali pirates in a helicopter raid launched after the pirates had released the captive crew. As detailed in the article:

>> The yacht owners paid a ransom for the crew, and after the crew was safely released the French commandos tracked down the pirates (believed to be Somali fishermen) as they made their escape to cars waiting on land.

>> The raid was conducted in daylight. Local officials said there were 5 deaths but the French military denied killing anyone.

>> Apparently some of the ransom, referred to by authorities as “interesting bags,” was recovered in the raid.

My favorite image from the article:

“The French navy sent 2 boats to the area, with 4 or 5 helicopters on board and around 50 commandos. A French admiral was also parachuted into the sea and picked up by the task force to help lead the operation.

The best part of the article:

“A sniper in one helicopter shot out the car engine while another helicopter dropped off three elite French soldiers who captured the six pirates and hauled them off to French navy helicopter carrier waiting off the Somali coast.

“It is the first time an act of piracy in this area has been resolved so quickly … and it is also the first time that some of the pirates have been apprehended,” Admiral Edouard Guillard told a news conference in Paris.

French officials said the pirates, believed to be Somali fishermen, would be tried in France. They said Paris would also seek much tougher United Nations action against maritime piracy.”

There’s more … France identifies the problem and offers a military and diplomatic solution:

“France said it would present new anti-piracy measures to fellow members of the United Nations Security Council next week aimed at toughening the war against sea banditry.

“This phenomenon is increasing, with the pirates becoming ever better equipped and organised,” said Jean-David Levitte, Sarkozy’s chief diplomatic advisor.

“We are confronted by a real, real threat,” he said, adding that over the last 10 years 3,200 sailors had been kidnapped by pirates, 500 injured and 160 killed.

He said countries like Somalia that had a problem with piracy needed to open their seas to international naval patrols and countries with strong navies, like France and Britain, needed to set up counter-piracy units.”

I don’t think pirates will enjoy French justice but it’s nice to see France and Europe take the lead in solving an international problem.

H/T Kishnevi.

— DRJ

24 Responses to “Update on Pirated French Ship”

  1. France said it would present new anti-piracy measures to fellow members of the United Nations Security Council next week aimed at toughening the war against sea banditry.

    I’m sorry, but the US simply will not support such immoral actions that interfear with the Somali people. At best we will support a resolution condemming piracy in the strongest yet most ineffectual language possible, and threaten but never employ force shoul it continue…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  2. a french admiral parachuted into the sea? he couldn’t have run the op from a plane, or a desk on land?

    the pirates should have been summarily executed. i would have hanged them from a yardarm on the pirated vessel. taking them back to france isn’t going to discourage piracy. they’ll probably eat better in french jail than they would in mogadishu’s finest restaurant.

    assistant devil's advocate (c9025d)

  3. Have you ever noticed how France is always counseling talk and understanding root causes and such when other people face a security situation, but when French interests are involved they skip right to the ass-kicking?

    Eric (884ea6)

  4. Eric #3,

    Yes, but they only do it when they are in an immesurably stronger position. When faced by an opponent who might hurt them even the slightest bit, they raise the white flag. Case in point, Hitler took the Rhineland with just one German regiment against the whole French Army.

    There’s a word for people like that.

    nk (6b7d4f)

  5. Ah, the ineffectual French.

    Only reason piracy isn’t worse in the area are US and British anti piracy patrols…

    and countries with strong navies, like France and Britain, needed to set up counter-piracy units.

    Always right behind those out in front (there has been an internationally coordinated anti piracy effort for decades…led mainly by the shipping industry itself.

    Oh yeah, Somali fishermen? Geez, just how stupid can one Frenchman be?

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  6. “There’s a word for people like that.”

    Indeed, and the word might be obtuse.

    I refer not to France but NK. Historically, effective measures for eradicating piracy look quite similar to France’s recent endeavors. That may not be the only approach but it certainly worked in the past.

    The despicable and cowardly behavior of France in WW2 has little relevance to the subject at hand unless one thinks that such National characteristics indicate insufficient political will to follow such policies to their natural and successful conclusion.

    Amused Observer (8684ef)

  7. The despicable and cowardly behavior of France in WW2 has little relevance to the subject at hand

    Then how about their similar behavior every moment since then?

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  8. Without the recent change at the top in France, do you think the French would have even thought about this type of response?

    Bill M (57c57f)

  9. If we did what the French did the ACLU would scream, their sycophants in the media and academia would howl, demonstrations against “evil” America would take place all over the world and only an innocent verdict would silence them.

    Howard Veit (cc8b85)

  10. The company that owns the ship paid a ransom over the objection of the Somali government, which feared a ransom would encourage more piracy (and it probably would have, if the pirates had gotten away). The French government could have let the episode end after the company paid the ransom and saved the hostages. The French could have been satisfied with expressing concern about piracy off the coast of Somalia.

    Instead the French organized and successfully carried out a post-rescue commando action to catch the pirates and bring them to justice – in France, no less. I don’t know what the penalty for piracy is in France but I doubt it’s a slap on the wrist, and I agree with Bill M that Sarkozy had something to do with this.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  11. Outside the web of the Paris Intelligentsia, there is strong sentiment for Capital Punishment;
    do you think Sarkozy will bring back the guillotine?
    This would be the perfect case for it!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  12. Quel Unilateralisme!

    ThomasD (2e1ca3)

  13. I guess it would be “racist” to inquire about the religion or ideology of the “pirates.”

    Patricia (f56a97)

  14. The French special forces are called 1er Regiment de Parachutistes d’Infanterie de Marine and are colloquially known as “Rip-’em.” They are mean as hell and have always done what was necessary regardless of what the world might think. Because they are France, nobody cares. For example, in 2004 the French invaded Ivory Coast and kicked ass without any inquiry to the UN as to whether that would be approved. We are the only ones who seem to care about what the rest of the world thinks.

    Mike K (86bddb)

  15. colloquially known as “Rip-’em.”

    Sacre blue! Franglais en la Armee!

    Call the Academy right now!

    Seriously, the French military has always been a depressing factor. The only way they could get over being beaten by Germany in 1870 was to beat them in WWI, only they couldn’t quite do it without some outside help; and in the meanwhile we had things like the Dreyfus affair, one root of which goes into the gloire perdu syndrome that was endemic in the French army at that time. Then after WWI, they couldn’t deal with the morale problems revealed there (both the death toll and the poilu strikes), so they came up with the Maginot line, and then mixed it up with the politicians. One reason the French did so miserably militarily in 1940 was that the leading general and the premier, having lost their tempers with each other, resigned–which meant the cabinet resigned with him–all a few hours before Hitler launched his invasion of the Low Countries and France–meaning that for a very brief period no one was around to take that 3 AM phone call (they all hurriedly unresigned, but too late to undo the damage).

    kishnevi (da6457)

  16. The despicable and cowardly behavior of France in WW2 has little relevance to the subject at hand unless one thinks that such National characteristics indicate insufficient political will to follow such policies to their natural and successful conclusion.

    That’s what I thought I said. The French backbone is of about the same consistency as the surface of the Seine — soft green scum. Why do you think the only French military unit which has ever earned any glory is the Foreign Legion composed entirely of non-Frenchmen?

    nk (6b7d4f)

  17. My father worked with and admired the French resistance, and they saved my uncle’s life after he was shot down.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  18. My uncle, my father’s oldest brother, was in the army which gave the first defeat to the Axis powers. In 1940. The Italian invasion of Greece. Mussolini’s land forces were a non-entity after that and Hitler’s decision to intervene delayed the planned invasion of Russia long enough to make “General Winter” the winner of that front.

    The “resistance” murdered him eight years later.

    nk (6b7d4f)

  19. The French have a navy?

    Proud Floridian (54fb21)

  20. This is only going to encorare such action what is needed is those pirates should all be rounded up and hanged by their necks till dead and then fed to the sharks

    krazy kagu (d982eb)

  21. “The French backbone is of about the same consistency as the surface of the Seine — soft green scum.”

    Our opinions are not as far apart as they may seem.

    History has shown us that eliminating piracy is as simple as capture and execution until the price paid for piracy exceeds the gains offered by such trade. In the past many formalities of law were overlooked at sea and those brought to justice had their bones molder alongside the peaceful river Thames. As I pointed out before perhaps not the only solution but one that has worked before.

    The French may very well take the lead on eradicating piracy. It offers the opportunity to look tough while engaging primitive 3rd world thugs who succeed by practicing bold brutality against passive targets.

    It’s not like undertaking a dangerous war for any length of time against a determined foe of roughly equal strength on a matter of principle, honor, or sovereignty. Think Rainbow Warrior. A pack of wooly headed hippies who border on criminal behavior from time to time but hardly dangerous opposition for a determined government military endeavor.

    The French remind me of the LA Police ala Rodney King. Brave enough six to one against a stoned lowlife criminal but stepping aside to let a city burn when the going got tough. LOL, speaking of burning cities and third world thugs. I recall hearing something about cars, “youth”, and France.

    Amused Observer (f47388)

  22. From the a Yahoogroup to which I belong, devoted to the subject of passenger ships (the last line is the comment of the listmember who posted it):

    The New York Times report that the Royal Navy have been told not to
    apprehend pirates as it might ‘infringe their human rights':

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/opinion/20burnett.html

    I give up!

    The kindest reaction onlist has been that of one gentleman who wrote that he would be sure to always book a passage on a French flagged ship whenever sailing near the Red Sea.

    kishnevi (33bfb0)

  23. That’s an amazing article, Kishnevi, and it’s even more amazing that an island nation like Britain – a nation that is totally dependent on the sea for trade – would give in to pirates.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  24. “Great” Britain is no more. The politically correct Britain is an embarrassment.

    SPQR (6cd738)


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