Patterico's Pontifications


More Piracy in the Gulf of Aden

Filed under: Terrorism — DRJ @ 12:53 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Pirates off the coast of Somalia attempted to hijack another vessel in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday. This time it was a cruise ship with tourists, Oceania Cruise’s M/S Nautica, on a “32-day cruise from Rome to Singapore, with stops at ports in Italy, Egypt, Oman, Dubai, India, Malaysia and Thailand …”

The Nautica was able to outrun the pirate skiffs within minutes, and a spokesman later said the cruise line was not concerned about traveling in the Gulf of Aden. However, other cruise lines indicated they are considering itinerary changes to avoid the area.


32 Responses to “More Piracy in the Gulf of Aden”

  1. Thank goodness they were able to react well. But a fast boat isn’t that hard to get.

    It would have been easier for the current president and the rest of the world to do more about this had so many monsters not made it so hard to win in Iraq. Many of the problems today are because Bush spent all his capital on Iraq (which was the right move).

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  2. I don’t agree with that premise, since our Navy is primarily responsible for patrolling the world’s major commercial sea lanes, but even they can’t be everywhere at once. We have four fully operational Task Forces, and all of them are nuclear – powered as well (we still had one carrier running on oil a few years ago). The Navy has not been extended regarding Iraq, other than increased patrolling in the Strait of Hormuz.

    Want to see a preview of what they’ve got in store for actions such at these in the immediate future? Take a gander at this:

    The destoyers will be able to reach speeds of over 50 knots, and come right up to the shores of coastal areas. Presto – pirates no more.

    Dmac (e30284)

  3. You couldn’t pay me to take a cruise through that part of the world.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  4. Here is a thought: “letters of marque and reprisal.”

    I’m just saying.

    Back in the day, that is how I thought we should have handled the hostage crisis in Iran (yes, a long time ago). Have the aircraft carrier Enterprise go privateer, issued letters of marque and reprisal, and sack a few cities (with ample air support). Our Iranian friends knew we would follow rules they did not have to follow (such as seizing an embassy, normally an act of war). We could have just shrugged our shoulders and explained that we sold off Enterprise to a consortium of private individuals.

    It would give a more remunerative edge to a recruiter’s promise of “ample booty.”

    Eric Blair (8f93a0)

  5. Have the aircraft carrier Enterprise go privateer, issued letters of marque and reprisal, and sack a few cities (with ample air support).

    You forgot to add: “Kill all the men and sell the women and children into slavery.

    Privateers are still pirates and subject to immediate hanging if captured. They are only immune in their home country. Personally, I would take a page from the Romans and crucify them. And then apply the Nuremberg laws to the people who commissioned them.

    nk (5fa892)

  6. (we still had one carrier running on oil a few years ago).

    Is the USS Kitty Hawk out of commission? As I recall, it’s not a nuclear craft.

    Steverino (69d941)

  7. Kitty’s sitting at the dock in Alameda.

    mojo (8096f2)

  8. On your afternoon activities list:

    Plinking at Pirates 2:00 – 4:00 pm Afterdeck

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  9. A cruise ship would just about be the jackpot for them — and it would be a return to the 18th century, when European travelers would be kidnapped by Muslim pirates, held for ransom, and sold into slavery if the ransom didn’t come through.

    Hmmm… any bets when the slave trade comes into the open again?

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  10. Back in the day, that is how I thought we should have handled the hostage crisis in Iran

    Good idea, Eric – but no way that would have happened with our paramour of high morals in charge. When Russia released the archives of the Politboro discussions from that period, it revealed what many of Carter’s opponents had long suspected – once the President talked about judging other nations by their morality, they knew he could be rolled – easily. The helicopter crash/faux rescue/commando mission fiasco was predictable, albeit disgusting at the same time.

    Dmac (e30284)

  11. Didn’t Ross Perot send in mercenaries to successfully break out some of his employees from an Iranian prison during the Shah’s reign?

    nk (5fa892)

  12. OK, all this angst over pirates in the Gulf is nuts. To rid the world of these idots is easy.

    Instead of saying “you couldn’t pay me to take a cruise in this part of the world”, I say “Schedule cruises in this part of the world and equip the ships with twenty or thirty 50 calibers. Offer the passengers the right to shoot at any small boat that approaches the ship. Equip the guns to accept dollar bills and euros.”

    Heck, passengers will pay the captain extra to sail closer to the Somali coast.

    MTF (17058c)

  13. Dmac, I used to think that Carter was a well meaning jellyfish. In the years since, I have found him to be a santimonious nutjob who knows very well that he fooled no one, and shoots his mouth off with regularity.

    I well remember being told how the world would love us when Carter was elected.


    Doesn’t that sound familiar?

    Eric Blair (cc9718)

  14. MTF, that is a great idea! You could even add some RPVs for teleoperated “close up attacks.”

    Incidentally, I believe that we spent HUGE sums of money over the Barbary Coast pirates.

    Actually, this is interesting reading:

    And here I thought that only nasty White Europeans did much slaving.

    Three cheers for the Marines, is what I say! Interesting to learn the meaning of the term “leatherneck.”

    Eric Blair (cc9718)

  15. NK,

    He did.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  16. I didn’t love Perot as a candidate, but he showed real stones for that action. Must be something in the water in Texas? Thinking it over carefully, doing what you think is right, and not caring who disagrees…

    Eric Blair (cc9718)

  17. Perot…
    I thought his employees were hiding in the Canadian Embassy?

    Another Drew (4472ac)

  18. Dmac, it’s not the capability of our Navy that I was talking about. It’s the political capital that Bush was forced to exhaust… particularly in the field of foreign policy.

    We don’t really need littoral combat ships to defeat these pirates. We need immediate and severe responses to them wherever they are. Obama will obviously be more free to play cowboy than Bush was… and I hope he does.

    Juan (f88491)

  19. Hell,
    Just send a cruise ship filled with Marines.
    Let Ahmed and his buddys board.
    Grunts’ will take ’em out and hang their bodies from the bow.
    A big banner unfurls between the ships funnels:
    Next week send an oil tanker filled with Army Rangers…then the Air Force, then the Coast guard
    That Branch of the Service which rack up the most Pirates killed, the entire branch gets one extra weeks leave that year, and gets to wear the “Red Skull and Crossbones” achievement device on their uniforms for the year as well.

    pitchforksntorches (4dd8c4)

  20. While I agree with the comments about how we should deal with these pirates, realize that the partisan attacks undermining the Bush administration’s policies have had the side effect ( and I won’t bother to call it “unintended” as that would be obviously false ) of destroying the historical protocol for dealing with piracy.

    Congrats Democrats.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  21. SPQR, exactly right. On this and many other issues, one reason Bush can seem so disappointing is because he was so thoroughly undermined.

    Juan (f88491)

  22. Would that it were so simple.

    If only because I’d love to put to sea agin’ in pursuit of pirates. But the legal restrictions are plenty, and the physical problem (of locating and closing on them) is staggering.

    A recent report on the problem can be found here.

    And even though the increase of piracy around Africa has increased substantially, the Straits of Malacca remain the world’s haven for the craven and scurvy rats. (With over 600 ships a day passing through them, there are many more targets of opportunity there than anywhere else.)

    EW1(SG) (836d47)

  23. EW1, of course you have a point.

    But it needn’t be that hard to locate pirates. A universalized voluntary communication system for reporting attacks with a GPS receiver, that can be hidden anywhere on a boat like a black box, would be a good start.

    And some kind of task force trained for hopping on boats for hostage rescue, similar to SEALs but with a lower threshold, would also be a good idea. We know generally where these attacks are occurring, and could be there in a couple of hours via a helicopter to drop some smoke, tear gas, and a team of men to make these pirates pay.

    The status quo of letting these pirates sit and wait for negotiation is a poor policy. A policy of never negotiating with these people, and always fighting them, would quickly solve the problem.

    Yeah, there will always be tons of logistical problems and it will never be possible to prevent piracy, but for those considering piracy as a quick and easy way to get money, a policy of always using force would be persuasive.

    Juan (f88491)

  24. Behavior that is rewarded, increases.
    Behavior that is taxed, decreases.

    It doesn’t get any more complicated than that.
    It’s only a question of will.

    Why am I so discouraged?

    Another Drew (4472ac)

  25. You don’t fight pirates at sea. You fight them in their home base.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  26. In WWI and WWII, Germany used “Surface Raiders.” These ships looked like merchant ships, but were designed to conceal their heavy guns and could take allied merchant ships by surprise. So they were not easily recognized, these ships were sophisticated enough to change their silhouettes. A similar ship, cruising back and forth in the Gulf of Aden, could solve the pirate problem is a few weeks by simply annihilating any approaching pirates.

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  27. HH asked why no Q ships on the day the Saudi tanker was seized.

    As to their bases:
    If they don’t have any AAM, a visit by a couple of AC-130’s would put the fear of the Great Satan into them.
    Or, if we wanted to go Roman:
    One squadron of 52’s loaded w/500-pounders (about 84 bombs/plane) at 5-minute intervals for a little “Rolling Thunder” magic.

    Another Drew (4472ac)

  28. I think we need another Barbary Wars.

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  29. I think we need to stop letting the Arabs get us to police their neighborhood for them.

    nk (5fa892)

  30. If not us, Who?

    If not now, When?

    How many more must die before freedom and justice prevail?

    Another Drew (4472ac)

  31. nk, I wish it were so somple as that. But this isn’t the ‘Arab’s’ neighborhood. It’s international water… vital supply lines… innocent people.

    And so much of the world is too backwards to care. It’s the right thing to do to clean this up… but of course it will never be fair that the burden of justice falls on those who care.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  32. Thanks for providing information and prices of different variety of Cruise. I need this info because i am using online shopping services.

    Alija Beth (a13735)

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