Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What Are World Leaders Waiting On?

Somali Pirates have seized yet another ship, an Iranian Cargo ship carrying 30 tons of grain and a Saudi Arabian Super Tanker with a cargo of $100 million worth of crude oil.

Astonishing is that the World’s Leaders and Navies declare themselves “powerless” against this band of criminal thugs, holding world trade hostage.

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Saud al-Faisal says, “Piracy, like terrorism, is a disease which is against everybody, and everybody must address it together.”

In true liberal wimpish fashion, Roger Middleton, a Horn of Africa specialist at the Chatham House think-tank says, “Now that they have shown they are able to seize an enormous ship like this, it is beyond a military solution. You won’t fix this without a political solution.”

The world has seen “political solutions” before and the result was more bloody war.

In spite of a UN Mandate allowing several nations Navies to patrol the area, ships continue to be illegally seized, as the Naval Operations must deal with “legal difficulties,” such as restrictive rules of engagement and rights of habeas corpus.

Forgotten is the world’s right to free trade between nations, unhampered by piracy while Pirates exploit the confusion as we worry about legalities.

Fully understanding that Somalia is besieged with unrest and no legitimate government currently is no excuse for not dealing with Pirates that intercept whatever they please and the mightiest Militaries on the planet sit back and worry about rights for the Pirates.

The UN Security Council unanimously passed resolution 1838 which “precisely and clearly calls on the member States of the United Nations to fight by any means under Chapter 7, the pirates.”

Some 7 ships are currently patrolling the waters off Somalia to combat pirates while NATO says “its priority is escorting World Food Program ships that deliver basic rations for three million hungry Somalis.”

I am left with the feeling that once again, in spite of all the condemnations of America thinking we are the World’s Police Force, these nations are sitting back, doing minimal patrolling and waiting for us to deal with the problem, while they continue to look down their noses at America.

We saw this with the War on Terror, joined in by the bleeding heart leftists within America for retaliating against terror. Terrorist rights seemed to be foremost in the minds of many who want to close down Guantanamo and bring terrorists inside of America for Civilian Trials, with no regard of what afterwards, should they be acquitted.

The world condemns George W. Bush for taking swift action against terrorists and resuming hostilities against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq before he could support the terrorists even more. Few nations joined in the fight in earnest and a few more gave only tacit support, with too many sitting back complaining, but letting American blood be shed to fight terrorists.

Pirates, just like terrorists, have gotten emboldened by the lack of action against them. They have honed their tactics and gotten brazen in openly seizing cargoes destined for world markets.

President Bush has just weeks left in office before he turns leadership over to a inexperienced novice with no idea of what it is like to deal with whiney world leaders who don’t want their hands soiled protecting their countries.

Will he meet with these Pirates and negotiate an end, only to discover that doing so emboldens them more? Will he tell the world’s leaders it’s their baby and demand they deal with the problem, since it is mostly their ships and cargoes being highjacked?

Do they all forget they claim our Army is stretched to the breaking point and exhausted from fighting terrorists?

If ordered, our Brave Warriors will go and engage this band of criminals and yes, I fell win, provided they a re allowed to fight. But, if B HO orders them to fight, will he be accused like President Bush was of engaging in an “illegal pre-emptive war” against someone who never attacked us?

This very possibly could be the test Joe Biden was talking about, or at least one of them.

I have no idea how B HO will perform in this regard as I have not heard him speak about this problem. I also have no reason to be confident he will act in the best interest of America and take a strong stance and tell the UN and world leaders to deal with this small band of Pirates themselves, we are busy elsewhere.

It is well past time the rest of the world stepped up to the plate and dealt with despots too. Since they complain we should not be the World’s Police Force, it becomes incumbent upon them to deal with those who threaten their nations.

Stop bashing America, get off your asses and fight for your freedom and liberty against these pirates that hold your nations hostage. Stop waiting on us to clean up your messes just so you can complain that we saved your sorry butts.

UPDATE: I must commend the Indian Navy for their actions against the Pirates. Suspected pirate mother ship sunk

A Norwegian Shipping company has ordered their ships to sail around Africa instead of through the Suez Canal, bypassing the area the Pirates operate in and raising their shipping costs considerbaly, I'm sure.


Ms Calabaza said...

"Stop bashing America, get off your asses and fight for your freedom and liberty against these pirates that hold your nations hostage. Stop waiting on us to clean up your messes just so you can complain that we saved your sorry butts." - Ha! Likely idea!

I know a young girl whose boyfriend is presently stationed in a destroyer off the the coast watching the piracy situation. Why are we there? Waiting for another international incident so our boys are mixed up in the middle of it? Either let them (Navy) do their job or get them the hell out of the there. Just my two cents . . .

LewWaters said...

I was appalled by NATO being more concerned about protecting food and aid shipments into Somalia than stopping these criminal thugs.

The UN has granted sanctions to take them out, as if any need their permission to protect their shipping and citizens, so it is up to others to stand up and give us a break.

They cry we assume the position of Worlds Police then sit back and wait for us to do the dirty work, all the while complaining about us doing it.

Many wouldn't lift a finger to help against terrorists and now they just whine and offer token assistance against a band of thugs.

Even Pirates must come back to land some time and a well trained group of Soldiers from European Nations could easily take them out when they do, if they were serious about stopping the plague.

Personally, I am tired of the dirty work being left to American Forces and those we help spitting in our faces for doing what they want done and won't lift their fingers to help.

Pete said...

"Somali Pirates have seized yet another ship, an Iranian Cargo ship..."

Seems to me this is a win-win situation --- Iranian Ship, Somali pirates. Perfect target!!

What am I missing here?

LewWaters said...

What is missing is that little is being done to engage that target. Negotiating and paying ransom just emboldens them.

It seems that once again, world leaders wait for America to fight their battles and then, as usual, they wills it back and condemn us.

Pete said...


Exactly, and I in no way suggested negotiating, nor paying ransom. My statement stands --- a perfect target whether for the UN (unlikely especially given the UN Food for Oil scandal) or the United States!

It would likely only take one or two engagements and I suspect the Somalis would get the message. Might take a little longer for the Iranian Mullahs.

LewWaters said...

Pete, the main problem I see with us taking the initative again is that we save their bacon and then, they condemn us.

These other countries have Navies and Ground Forces too and can easily come up on the Pirates from behind once they come ashore.

The UN will do nothing but whine and pass resolutions condemning the Pirates, if that much.

But, my point is, these other countries need to fight for themselves this time, our Military is busy currently.

They complain we act like the World's Police, but then sit back and wait for us to take necessary action, then condemn us for doing it.

It's getting old. Their ships, their people, their responsibility.

Pete said...


I agree with you to a point, that is, we don't need to police the world. However, we need to look after American interests. And the UN is useless.

However, the Somali pirates have been a long term problem along the East Coast of Africa, and it hasn't been limited to just cargo ships. Recently, they have moved more into the major international shipping area. They have also even gone after Cruise ships at times, so far unsuccessfully.

Our problem is that this is encroaching on an international shipping lane. So far, bribery and ransom have been used to deal with the pirates much as it was by the major sea powers in the Mediterrean prior to Jefferson's Presidency in the early 1800's. However, at some point the enriched and emboldened pirates will move to effectively close the sea lanes and cause us problems especially given our self imposed dependence on Mid-East oil.

The US has historically been slow to intervene in international conflicts, which invariably then tend to grow in magnitude, while we conjecture. My feeling is we should monitor closely and, if necessary, take military steps to deal with this problem while it is still in its infancy.

LewWaters said...

Pete, we probably will end up being the ones who have to deal with the Pirates, other nations being unwilling to protect their own.

It's unknown how homey will react to these situations, so that remains to be seen.

We do need to closely monitor what happens there, but I still feel the prime responsibility for dealing with these miscreants belongs to Europeans first.

It would be nice if they stepped up to the plate and did their part.

Pete said...


I agree with you, and if history is any indication, Europe will simply ignore the problem and continue to pay bribery and ransom rather than confront the Somali pirates.

This certainly was the case in the early 1800's when the British and French despite their massive naval fleets, refused to face the Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean instead opting to pay them for safe passage of merchant ships. It was Thomas Jefferson and the fledging US Navy, who confronted the Barbary pirates, eventually destroying their ability to attack with impunity.

We could probably at this point destroy most of the pirate ships and enclaves relatively quickly and with surgical precision. Unfortunately however, especially given the new administration, we will likely wait until they have grown in strenght and further aligned themselves with Al Qaeda or a rogue nation like Iran or even a resurgent Russia. By then, it will likely be a far more difficult and costly task.

Pete said...


"Somali pirates are becoming more brazen in their attacks on commercial and passenger ships off the coast of Africa, and -- thanks to international law -- there is little that can be done to stop them."


Lew, this just reinforces my original point. Absent, International sanction or actions, it would likely be far more effective of us to simply take military action now and neutralize these "pests", as opposed to waiting for an impotent International Community or more likely for the Somali pirates to fortify their alliances and become significantly more of a pest!

LewWaters said...

Pete, I'm not a big fan of useless sanctions, especially against criminals like the Pirates.

If it comes to us taking action, and it may very well work out that way, I can't think it would take a lot of our Navy and Marines.

It really should be the Europeans, but we both know that impotent lot won't do anything but pay them off.

Any bets some of that ransom goes to terroist group like Al Qaeda?

Pete said...

Lew, I agree and it wouldn't surprise me that much of the money seized by the Somalia pirates ends up in the coffers of Al Qaeda.

After all isn't Mogadishu where Al Qaeda discovered their courage, courtesy of the first Clinton Administration (Clinton Era I)?