Maybe I’ve been to Disney World too often. I’m having difficulty taking all of this Pirate stuff in the news seriously. Believe me, when there are hostages involved, it’s a very serious thing.
Somali pirates have a hostage and he’s an American sea captain. To the Pirates, they have hit the big time now. They are thumbing their noses at a U.S. destroyer with more warships on the way and FBI hostage negotiators.
The pirates tried to hijack the U.S.-flagged ship on Wednesday. The crew defied the pirates by locking themselves in a room. The crew later overpowered some of the pirates. The sea captain surrendered himself to the bandits to safeguard his men, and four of the Somalis fled with him to an enclosed lifeboat.
The Alabama based shipping company who employs the sea captain says that they have been in contact with him and that he is unharmed.
Does someone wake up one morning an say “I think I’ll be a Pirate”?
Actually, the modern day Pirate is actually most likely to come Somalia. Somalia is a country in dire need of an organized government, economy, and basic organized social system. These guys are desperate for money. They’ve got nothing to lose. So, like the Pirates of long ago, they set their eyes on the sea. Ahoy.
- Local fishermen, considered the brains of the pirates’ operations due to their skill and knowledge of the sea.
- Ex-militiamen who used to fight for the local clan warlords, used as the muscle.
- Technical experts who operate high-tech equipment such as the GPS devices.
“The U.S. has a very clear policy of no concessions; that’s different than no negotiations,” said a senior adviser to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
The U.S. policy against concessions translates into a policy against paying for the release of hostages, he said.”That means no ransoms, nothing of value in return for the safe release of hostages,” he said. But, he added, “It’s also important to note that there’s nothing in U.S. policy that restricts family members or private companies — like a shipping company — to actually pay a ransom. There’s nothing that the U.S. government can do other than potentially to prosecute if that money is going to a known terrorist organization, which is a fine line.”
Nevertheless, he said it is U.S. government policy to discourage private companies from making payments to hostage takers.”The U.S. has a very clear sense that, if you start to pay ransoms, you in essence create an industry for kidnapping,” he said.
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