Pirates Kill Hostages on Yacht

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Lord Blackadder, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. Lord Blackadder, Feb 22, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011

    Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #1
    Recently I started a thread about the latest hijacking off the Horn of Africa, in that case a large oil tanker. Our discussion focused mostly on the effectiveness of armed force in stopping continued piracy in the region. Some posters suggested that increased use of Navy SEALs or other similar military units would be able to put a stop to the problem.

    In this thread I continue the discussion with a new example that most of you have probably already read about. Four Americans on an 8-10 year around-the-world sailing cruise recently had their yacht hijacked by Somali pirates, and the US Navy incercepted the vessel. From the news article:

    While I think it's reasonable to assume (till proven otherwise) that the Navy did everything they could to effect a rescue, I think this incident demonstrates just how serious the piracy problem is. These people want money, and they are willing to kill for it - though it is also generally true that the pirates do not kill unless they encounter resistance, since they are after money above all, and dead hostages do not pay.

    There is evidence that Somali piracy has become an interational criminal business venture, and the people behind the system are not the 'soldiers' on the boats.

    Is force a solution?
    The Russian solution seems to hold a great attraction for some, but murder is not our business, and at any rate hostages often die when force is resorted to, as with the latest incident. And this is before you even consider that Task Force 150 simply fails to find and intercept the majority of the hijacked vessels before they are taken to Somalia.

    It's also worth remembering that the piracy has traceable causes:

     
  2. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #2
    there is not an easy solution to this growing problem ... I read the soldiers boarded the vessel after hearing gunshots during hostage negotiations.

    IMO ... The Military does need to get involved in these situations. If the only answer is to stay out of it and just keep paying and paying ... these incidents will increase with much frequency.

    may these 4 innocent people rest in peace.
     
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #3
    I realize that murder is not our business, but then what is going to be if not murder? Nothing seems as though it will be easy.
     
  4. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    #4
    Too bad the navy didn't slaughter the rest of the pirates. If I was the captain of some sort of ship i would keep a noose on board just in case any pirates try to hijack, a good old fashioned hanging would do them some good. I think there is nothing wrong with killing them on the spot.
     
  5. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #5
    No, nothing about this will be easy, that much is certain.

    I think that the rest of the world has abused and abandoned Somalia. Am I calling these criminals victims? Yes, absolutely. We have ruined their fishing gounds upon which so many of their people depend for food, dumped waste, and failed to address the humanitarian and political crises affecting the 'nation'.

    We are also victims, victims of piracy. It's costing us billions in lost trade, not to mention the lives lost. But ultimately we are victimizing ourselves, because we created Somalia as it exists today. We've taken everything from the people that live there, and we've made them a desperate society with nothing to lose. Perhaps it's more neglect than active abuse, but either way people that vblame the Somalis for the piracy first and foremost are conveniently ignoring a great deal of reality.

    If the problem came by way of neglect or abuse, the solution will have to take us in an opposite direction - engagement and aid. Extremism and crime thrive on destitution and lawlessness.

    For every pirate out there, there are ten Somalis ashore willing to take their places. You can kill every pirate that you can find and you still won't be able to stop them, short of a full-on naval blockade/invasion. And who is going to suggest that? We've lost something like $10 billion to the pirates in ransoms, but Iraq and Aghanistan should have been a clue that invasions cost far more. And anyways once you leave, the pirates will come back.
     
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #6
    Exactly. It is real convenient to forget how this all came to be. Without justification, it is reality and I agree with you. We need to turn this around and what is our business? We need to re-engage them, but can we? I don't know if we're even capable. Not without trying, but I am unsure they're willing to deal now. In addition to that, do they need a central government? Do we need them to have one?
     
  7. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #7
  8. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    #8
    Like I said in the first thread on this. We should have sent the SEALS.
     
  9. redshift1 macrumors regular

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    #9
    Reports are somewhat sparse in detail which leaves the question unanswered so to who killed who. I understand the official account but I wonder about friendly fire and why launch a grenade during negotiations. I doubt we'll ever know what actually happened not that i think the navy acted inappropriately.
     
  10. Peterkro, Feb 22, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011

    Peterkro macrumors 68020

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    #10
    It all seems very odd.
    "Even so, some experts in maritime piracy confessed to being perplexed by the sequence of events and by reports that the Quest had been boarded by 19 Somalis, a curiously large number considering the small size of the yacht.

    "We have heard threats against the lives of Americans before but it strikes me as being very, very unusual why they would kill hostages outright," commented Graeme Gibbon-Brooks, the head of Dryad Maritime Intelligence. He said that the pirates would surely have known that killing the Americans would provoke an instant US response."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...after-pirates-kill-four-hostages-2222827.html
     
  11. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #11
    Perhaps the best solution, as in Sudan or the Balkans, is to split the country into smaller nations along traditional ethnic geographic boundaries. Successful unification is not always possible.

    People like Aidid can only operate in a situation where rule of law has broken down. Political turmoil often follows economic/social crises, and Aidid did not just materialize out of thin air. He was the product od a civil war, itself the product of a fallen authoritarian regime.

    We did. And it didn't work. SEALs are not superhuman, they can't produce miracles. And they occasionally make mistakes.

    There are too many imponderables to do more than speculate. Perhaps there was a disagreement among the pirates, and the more militant among them decided to fight even while some of their number were talking to the Navy. Perhaps the pirates became spooked by some action on the part of the Navy and started shooting - or maybe the discharge of the RPG was accidental, touched off by a nervous pirate.

    The US Navy is not perfect, but they are trained professionals and in the absence of evidence to the contrary I have to assume that they did their utmost to avoid an escalation, and when the shooting started I'm sure they did their best to end it with a minimum loss of life. Unlike the Russians, for example.
     
  12. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Just an FYI for anybody wishing to release the kraken over this incident...

    The intentional murder rate in the United States is 5 per 100,000.

    The intentional murder rate in Somalia is 3.2 per 100,000.
     
  13. joepunk macrumors 68030

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    #13
    According to more recent news from the PBS News Hour, they reported that the yacht owners were, as stated, on a multi-year sail and two other couples were from Seattle (pretty much my home town) and had just joined them on the boat a year ago or so. The boat was with another group of ships and for some reason decided to separate from that convoy group and do their own thing. The couples were sailing around the world handing out bibles :confused:

    I'm thinking that there might have been some sort of internal disagreements among the pirates on the yacht. And things got very crazy and out of control. Probably because they were being cornered by the U.S. Navy.
     
  14. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #14
    very sound analogy ... who knows where it all came apart.

    I think a solution to these pirates is a joint Military presence in the region ... flood that area of the Ocean with Military personal all working together to deter pirates with deadly force ... try to board a vessel and get your A**es kicked until they realize ... hijacking vessels is a suicide mission that gets you ... killed.
     
  15. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Release the kraken!!!

    America's answer to everything. :rolleyes:
     
  16. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    #16
    The last time an American was taken hostage in Somalia, 3 SEAL snipers fired in unison and shot 3 pirates in the head in the middle of the ocean while the waves were moving the ships up and down.

    I'd say it worked perfectly.
     
  17. Apple OC macrumors 68040

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    #17
    kraken? I don't even know what this means? ...

    as Ray sang it best "America the Beautiful"

    What I am saying is ... when you have thugs like these Pirates roaming the waters looking for victims ... we need to turn the tables on them and make it dangerous for them to be out trolling for easy targets.
     
  18. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Because you don't waste your time watching crappy movies on HBO.
     
  19. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #19
    With Somalia being in the chaotic state that it is currently in, I question any numbers of this kind. At best they are estimates based on spotty data, at worst wild guesses.

    I think it's fair to say that it's a dangerous place to live.

    I think the people on that yacht exercised very poor judgment in sailing those waters in the first place. They took a pretty big risk, and they paid the ultimate price for it.

    I think we need to maintain a presence in the area, we can't afford to simply abandon the sea to piracy. However, patrols by naval vessels will never be enough by itself to reduce piracy to acceptable levels. Sweeping the area of pirates would require the better part of the US Navy to accomplish, and in the end it would still fail to neutralize the bases they operate from. The military component alone is not enough.

    A completely ludicrous statement. You fail to acknowledge or even show a glimmer of understanding of the limitations of military force. The rescue just attempted was a failure. The hostages are dead. No magic sniper shots this time, no "good guys win" scenario.

    Military force can only accomplish so much It is not a panacea. Somalians have been driven to desperation by years of economic destitution and political strife. Hundreds of thousands have died, either from disease, malnutrition, or through violence. Their waters have been illegally fished to exhaustion, so that people don't have enough to eat, and they've now fallen under the "law" of local strongmen and bandits

    And your proposed solution is to kill more of them. How very Stalinist of you.
     
  20. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #20
    I've got a bridge to sell you if you believe that. Somalia is one of the most dangerous places in the world. It's one of two places in the world where even MSF operates with armed escorts. Even then, people get killed. I knew some of the guys who have been through the Somali mission, including the a logistician who was killed by IED not too long ago. It's almost universally acknowledged that Somalia is one of the most dangerous places to work even as a humanitarian organization.

    If you look at that UN Excel chart, you'll see that it's sourced from Public Health, Police and WHO numbers. There is no public health service in Somalia. There are no police in Somalia. The WHO presence doesn't extend very far out of Mogadishu.

    Somali is an ethnic group and they don't break down by tribe, so much as by clan and what you're talking about has already been done, just not acknowledged by most. BTW, this doesn't solve the problem. In a way, it serves to legitimize conflict.

    Chicken and egg. In a highly aggressive society such as this one where everyone is armed, the only really easy solution is if overwhelming force puts the hammer down and does so ruthlessly and without mercy such that everyone understands that assing about is no longer acceptable. That's simply not going to happen.

    Meanwhile, the next generation grows up chronically malnourished and mentally underdeveloped, just in time for next round of Somalia vs itself.

    Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps... Wasn't there a TV show with a theme song that went like that?

    Perhaps one of the hostages decided to make a move. No one knows, really and no one is likely to know.

    If you haven't noticed, the US is already up to it's neck in military adventures abroad.

    Also note that the Somali coast is roughly 2000 miles, that's about the size of the US East Coast, give or take. A little less than half of that faces the Gulf of Aden, which is where all the ships have to pass. What you're talking about is an enormous logistical task. No country has the manpower, resources or more importantly, the will to be able to secure that coastline for a significant period or time. The tradeoff makes no sense.
     
  21. Eraserhead macrumors G4

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    #21
    This coupled with sailing close to Somalia is pretty damn stupid.
     
  22. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #22
    Evidently, they were in convoy with a bunch of others, but broke off for some reason.
     
  23. KingYaba macrumors 68040

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    #23
    Everyone should fly the Russian flag now. I sure would.
     
  24. macquariumguy macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I say we institute a policy that says hijackers die. Period. Hijack one of our ships and we storm the boat and kill the hijackers ASAP. Every time, immediately and without exceptions.
     
  25. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #25
    Will all the resulting dead hostages just be chalked off as collateral damage?
     

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