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Pacifism and Piracy, Cause and Effect

April 12, 2009

Captain Richard Philips, of the container ship Mearsk Alabama is still being held by Somali pirates.  The pirates are demanding a $2,000,000 ransom.  Still more ships are being held for ransom by still other Somali pirates.  According to the Las Vegas Sun, “At least a dozen ships and more than 200 crew members are currently being held by pirates off the coast of Somalia, according to the International Maritime Bureau and NATO.”

After listening to the various news channels for several days, it becomes obvious why these pirate attacks happen.  So called “experts” and survivors of pirate attacks have been on the news almost constantly, telling us how to deal with the pirates.  Without exception, the idea appears to be one of “give them what they want.”  We are told, “they only want the money and they have never killed anyone.”

Exactly how long will it be before they do kill someone?  The crew of the Mearsk Alabama did everything right, they hid, then they fought.  The pirates were chased off the ship, but the Captain gave himself as a hostage to protect his crew from the armed pirates.  There are reports that the company that owns the ship is negotiating for Captain Richards release.  The US Navy says its first priority is the safe release of Captain Philips.  In other words, even though the Navy is on the scene, it is still the same tactic for dealing with the pirates.  The same failing tactic that only serves to enrich and encourage the pirates to continue taking ships and crews. 

There is only one way to put an end to all of this piracy.  Make the Somalis and anyone else interested in taking part in these crimes on the sea realize that it is illegal and will not go unpunished.  The idea of not fighting back because some one might get hurt has to end, by not fighting back some one will get hurt, maybe killed.  By not fighting back, the pirates get rich and the rest of the world pays for it.  If some one has to get hurt, if some one has to get killed, let it be the pirates that pay the heaviest price.

The next time pirates take a ship or yacht hostage, we need to do what the French did, take it back by force.  Sure the French lost a citizen on the yacht, but several others were saved and two pirates died, the rest captured.  Those pirates are now out of the pirate business.

In order to help reinforce the idea that pirateering is an unhealthy line of work, the French, the US, and every other country ought to make it perfectly clear to Somalia that piracy will hurt them more than they can hurt us.  The next step needs to be an all out assault on the Somali coast line.  The next pirated ship or boat should lead to an all out assault on all of Somalia.  Nothing breeds compliance like a harsh punishment for noncompliance. 

There will be alot of pacifists that say I’m wrong, they’ll say you can’t punish all for the sins of a few.  I say they are wrong, if we fail to make the punishment harsh enough, we will only encourage more piracy.  But if we make them suffer enough loss of life, they will see that it is not in their best interest to engage in these criminal activities, and will cease to engage in these same activities.  Kill 100 Somalis for every ship taken, don’t negotiate, don’t pay ransom, make the criminals pay with blood, put this problem to rest now and for ever.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2009 1:00 am

    Hi. I am a long time reader. I wanted to say that I like your blog and the layout.

    Peter Quinn


  1. Pacifism and Piracy, Cause and Effect

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