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Emotional Rescue: Praise for Sea Victory Could Presage Carnage
#21
Peter Presland Wrote:Further to Magda's post here is another article - from Johann Hari (he of 'The Dark Side of Dubai posted yesterday) published in The Independent in January this year. All this stuff is worth keeping in mind whenever the 'Somali Pirates' issue is in the news.

Was the US Navy was right or wrong in the particular circumstances? I don't think we are in any position to judge. As for getting caught up in the hero-worship - you can count me out. The Navy has it's story and it is being used for all it's worth to pump up Obama as the hero C-in-C (natch); OTOH so do the pirates. I find the telephone calls to relatives report saying they were out of ammo and trying to exchange their freedom for hostage release to be credible. I also find it totally INcredible that they were indeed 'about to shoot the hostage' since that would have resulted in swift and certain death....

Well now wait a minute. I'm having a trouble understanding your logic. A hostage has no value unless the kidnappers are willing to kill him. Furthermore, the pirates interviewed in the Aussie 60 Minutes piece that Maggie linked to repeatedly made the point that they didn't much care if they got killed because they didn't have much of a life anyway.

Kidnapping is a violent act that uses the threat of more violence as leverage. I don't see anything incredible about fearing for the life of the hostage whether guns were pointed at the hostage at that instant or not.
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#22
Jan Klimkowski Wrote:You surely remember the War on Drugs (launched by Tricky Dicky Nixon, and pursued with gusto by Ronnie & his Raygun).

The Bush regime preferred a War on Terror.

So, it's entirely predictable that arch-neocon John Bolton has now called for a War on Pirates:

Quote:Former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told Fox News over the weekend that the US should assemble a, quote, “coalition of the willing” to invade Somalia.
Predictable.

It's great raw material for the rabid cheerleaders of Faux News.

Good guys, bad guys - like rilly evil Johnny Depps....

Pirates of the.... um.... some sea near... um.... Africa?

Time to clamber aboard HG Wells' Time Machine and traverse back through the centuries.

But nevertheless, truly surreal. Confusedheep:


And when TSHTF big time, howzabout zooming through time and dusting off a Wells & Welles (HG & Orson) classic co-production....

The War of the Worlds.

Take the psyop all the way this time.

Yeah, baby - we need to forget about rioting against our exploiters and unite against an alien invasion.

:marchmellow:

Well, ain't that the truth Jan. The magician is distracting us to look here while the action there is where it is at. Pirates of the Caribbean was a big favorite in our house with the children and I always used to point out to them that it was the big bad ugly East India Company that was the ugliest pirate of them all. Just like today.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#23
Myra Bronstein Wrote:Well now wait a minute. I'm having a trouble understanding your logic. A hostage has no value unless the kidnappers are willing to kill him. Furthermore, the pirates interviewed in the Aussie 60 Minutes piece that Maggie linked to repeatedly made the point that they didn't much care if they got killed because they didn't have much of a life anyway.

Kidnapping is a violent act that uses the threat of more violence as leverage. I don't see anything incredible about fearing for the life of the hostage whether guns were pointed at the hostage at that instant or not.

I think that what Peter and others are suggesting is that the action of the US has now endangered the future negotiations and lives of all hostages and made bloodshed a much greater possibility even likelihood. It has upped the ante. De-escalation is the key to successful negotiation in such a situation and this is not what was done. Until now no hostages have been killed by the 'pirates'. There are currently still 200 hostages held whose release has yet to be negotiated and finalised. The Rambo-esque response of the US in the recent case has changed everything and for the worse. They didn't have to act that way. The 'pirates' were getting to the stage where they just wanted their own lives to be secure. They were out of ammunition and therefore effectively unarmed. As Peter L said there were clearly other ways to end that situation with out loss of life. But that action wansn't chosen. Now because of the wanton loss of Somali life their attitude towards (some) their hostages may also change for the worse. It also confirms for the 'pirates' the double standards and lack of regard for their lives with the western piracy of the local fishing resources and disregard for the local population to access food and have an unpolluted environment going unpunished and unacknowledged. Previously the 'pirates' just wanted the money and were happy to release the hostage but now revenge may play a role and they may be more trigger happy in future also as they are much more anxious about coming out of it alive. And though they are certainly willing to take huge risks because they are deperate they are still human and want to stay alive too. Think of it like a scaled down version of Bush's response to 9/11. Totally over the top and now US citizens (and others) are much more vulnerable to attack then before.

Kidnapping is a violent act but it is only a tactic. A means to an end and not an end in itself. Kidnappers are not murderers even if death is implied, as it implicitly is, that is not their aim. From the hostage negotiator point of view murder (of the kidnappers) should also not be an end in itself. What is required is the resolution of a stand off with out the loss of any life. It is also implicit in a response to a kidnapping that it may result in the death of the kidnappers. But again it should not be the outcome.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#24
Magda Hassan Wrote:
Myra Bronstein Wrote:Well now wait a minute. I'm having a trouble understanding your logic. A hostage has no value unless the kidnappers are willing to kill him. Furthermore, the pirates interviewed in the Aussie 60 Minutes piece that Maggie linked to repeatedly made the point that they didn't much care if they got killed because they didn't have much of a life anyway.

Kidnapping is a violent act that uses the threat of more violence as leverage. I don't see anything incredible about fearing for the life of the hostage whether guns were pointed at the hostage at that instant or not.

I think that what Peter and others are suggesting is that the action of the US has now endangered the future negotiations and lives of all hostages and made bloodshed a much greater possibility even likelihood. It has upped the ante. De-escalation is the key to successful negotiation in such a situation and this is not what was done. Until now no hostages have been killed by the 'pirates'. There are currently still 200 hostages held whose release has yet to be negotiated and finalised. The Rambo-esque response of the US in the recent case has changed everything and for the worse. They didn't have to act that way. The 'pirates' were getting to the stage where they just wanted their own lives to be secure. They were out of ammunition and therefore effectively unarmed. As Peter L said there were clearly other ways to end that situation with out loss of life. But that action wansn't chosen. Now because of the wanton loss of Somali life their attitude towards (some) their hostages may also change for the worse. It also confirms for the 'pirates' the double standards and lack of regard for their lives with the western piracy of the local fishing resources and disregard for the local population to access food and have an unpolluted environment going unpunished and unacknowledged. Previously the 'pirates' just wanted the money and were happy to release the hostage but now revenge may play a role and they may be more trigger happy in future also as they are much more anxious about coming out of it alive. And though they are certainly willing to take huge risks because they are deperate they are still human and want to stay alive too. Think of it like a scaled down version of Bush's response to 9/11. Totally over the top and now US citizens (and others) are much more vulnerable to attack then before.

Kidnapping is a violent act but it is only a tactic. A means to an end and not an end in itself. Kidnappers are not murderers even if death is implied, as it implicitly is, that is not their aim. From the hostage negotiator point of view murder (of the kidnappers) should also not be an end in itself. What is required is the resolution of a stand off with out the loss of any life. It is also implicit in a response to a kidnapping that it may result in the death of the kidnappers. But again it should not be the outcome.

Exactly. Overuse of force is the norm on non-europeans/americans/ozzies/kiwis. Clever tactics ,as I pointed-out, not considered - just blast 'em away Rambo style. Negotiate? With Terrorist-Pirates? Never! They have legit grievences and no one is talking about that. Their country was used as a toxic waste dumping ground; they have been getting poorer and ignored; their fishermen unable to earn a living etc. [See article above]. For the US having a new external enemy [oh boy, islamofascists team-up with littlebrownpirates!] is almost too good to pass up. Gotta divert attention from the economic collapse, the fact Obama is NOT investigating 911 or Bush Crimes; NOT changing the important things; NOT calling for repeal of unPatriot Act and the other horrendous legislation; NOT ending wars, but starting new ones, etc. NOT one MSM show/paper/mag will cover the real issues, history or interview someone who knows it. Another Mockingbird exercise - another PR snowjob. MIC wins; Oligarchy wins. Everyone else, as usual, the looser. More dead little brown men, as well - always good for the evening news. What's on TV tonight honey?
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#25
Myra Bronstein Wrote:.....A hostage has no value unless the kidnappers are willing to kill him.

And he most certainly has ZERO value once he has been killed. Put yourself in the pirates position - out of ammo and fuel for their boat with guns trained on them. There is only one thing that you can be absolutely certain of: Kill the hostage and you yourself will be dead in short order. You are effectively committing suicide. Personally I doubt they intended suicide.

Quote: ... don't see anything incredible about fearing for the life of the hostage whether guns were pointed at the hostage at that instant or not.
Neither do I; but I DO question whether, in all the circumstances, shooting the pirates was necessary to securing the release of the hostage unharmed. Seems to me that there were other calculations involved, ably pointed out by others on the thread.
Peter Presland

".....there is something far worse than Nazism, and that is the hubris of the Anglo-American fraternities, whose routine is to incite indigenous monsters to war, and steer the pandemonium to further their imperial aims"
Guido Preparata. Preface to 'Conjuring Hitler'[size=12][size=12]
"Never believe anything until it has been officially denied"
Claud Cockburn

[/SIZE][/SIZE]
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#26
February 4, 2009
You are being lied to about pirates

by Johann Hari
http://www.sfbayview.com/2009/you-are-be...t-pirates/

Somali pirate “ships” are small, but the ships they seize are huge. They held one gigantic tanker for months until ransom was paid.
Who imagined that in 2009, the world’s governments would be declaring a new War on Pirates? As you read this, the British Royal Navy - backed by the ships of more than two dozen nations, from the U.S. to China - is sailing into Somalian waters to take on men we still picture as parrot-on-the-shoulder pantomime villains. They will soon be fighting Somalian ships and even chasing the pirates onto land, into one of the most broken countries on earth. But behind the arrr-me-hearties oddness of this tale, there is an untold scandal. The people our governments are labeling as “one of the great menaces of our times” have an extraordinary story to tell - and some justice on their side.
Pirates have never been quite who we think they are. In the “golden age of piracy” - from 1650 to 1730 - the idea of the pirate as the senseless, savage thief that lingers today was created by the British government in a great propaganda heave. Many ordinary people believed it was false: Pirates were often rescued from the gallows by supportive crowds. Why? What did they see that we can’t?
In his book “Villains of All Nations,” the historian Marcus Rediker pores through the evidence to find out. If you became a merchant or navy sailor then - plucked from the docks of London’s East End, young and hungry - you ended up in a floating wooden Hell. You worked all hours on a cramped, half-starved ship, and if you slacked off for a second, the all-powerful captain would whip you with the cat o’ nine tails. If you slacked consistently, you could be thrown overboard. And at the end of months or years of this, you were often cheated of your wages.
Pirates were the first people to rebel against this world. They mutinied against their tyrannical captains - and created a different way of working on the seas. Once they had a ship, the pirates elected their captains, and made all their decisions collectively. They shared their bounty out in what Rediker calls “one of the most egalitarian plans for the disposition of resources to be found anywhere in the 18th century.”
They even took in escaped African slaves and lived with them as equals. The pirates showed “quite clearly - and subversively - that ships did not have to be run in the brutal and oppressive ways of the merchant service and the Royal navy.” This is why they were popular, despite being unproductive thieves.
The words of one pirate from that lost age - a young British man called William Scott - should echo into this new age of piracy. Just before he was hanged in Charleston, South Carolina, he said: “What I did was to keep me from perishing. I was forced to go a-pirating to live.”
In 1991, the government of Somalia - in the Horn of Africa - collapsed. Its 9 million people have been teetering on starvation ever since - and many of the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.
Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.
Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the U.N. envoy to Somalia, tells me: “Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury - you name it.” Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to “dispose” of cheaply. When I asked Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: “Nothing. There has been no cleanup, no compensation and no prevention.”
At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by over-exploitation - and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300 million worth of tuna, shrimp, lobster and other sea life is being stolen every year by vast trawlers illegally sailing into Somalia’s unprotected seas.
The local fishermen have suddenly lost their livelihoods, and they are starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: “If nothing is done, there soon won’t be much fish left in our coastal waters.”
This is the context in which the men we are calling “pirates” have emerged. Everyone agrees they were ordinary Somalian fishermen who at first took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least wage a “tax” on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coast Guard of Somalia - and it’s not hard to see why.
In a surreal telephone interview, one of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali, said their motive was “to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters … We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas.” William Scott would understand those words.
No, this doesn’t make hostage-taking justifiable, and yes, some are clearly just gangsters - especially those who have held up World Food Program supplies. But the “pirates” have the overwhelming support of the local population for a reason. The independent Somalian news site WardherNews conducted the best research we have into what ordinary Somalis are thinking - and it found 70 percent “strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defense of the country’s territorial waters.”
One of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali, said their motive was “to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters … We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas.”

During the revolutionary war in America, George Washington and America’s founding fathers paid pirates to protect America’s territorial waters, because they had no navy or coast guard of their own. Most Americans supported them. Is this so different?
Did we expect starving Somalians to stand passively on their beaches, paddling in our nuclear waste, and watch us snatch their fish to eat in restaurants in London and Paris and Rome? We didn’t act on those crimes - but when some of the fishermen responded by disrupting the transit corridor for 20 percent of the world’s oil supply, we begin to shriek about “evil.” If we really want to deal with piracy, we need to stop its root cause - our crimes - before we send in the gunboats to root out Somalia’s criminals.
The story of the 2009 war on piracy was best summarized by another pirate, who lived and died in the fourth century BC. He was captured and brought to Alexander the Great, who demanded to know “what he meant by keeping possession of the sea.” The pirate smiled and responded: “What you mean by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, while you, who do it with a great fleet, are called emperor.”
Once again, our great imperial fleets sail in today - but who is the robber?
Johann Hari is a writer for the Independent newspaper. He has reported from Iraq, Israel/ Palestine, the Congo, the Central African Republic, Venezuela, Peru and the U.S., and his journalism has appeared in publications all over the world. To contact him, email johann@johannhari.com or visit his website at JohannHari.com. This column previously appeared in the Independent and Huffington Post, where the following postscript was added:
Postscript: Some commentators seem bemused by the fact that both toxic dumping and the theft of fish are happening in the same place - wouldn’t this make the fish contaminated? In fact, Somalia’s coastline is vast, stretching 3,300km (over 2,000 miles). Imagine how easy it would be - without any coast guard or army - to steal fish from Florida and dump nuclear waste on California, and you get the idea. These events are happening in different places but with the same horrible effect: death for the locals and stirred-up piracy. There’s no contradiction.
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#27
Pirates as the last (?) of the Templars?

Literally?
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#28
Jack White Wrote:February 4, 2009
You are being lied to about pirates

by Johann Hari
http://www.sfbayview.com/2009/you-are-be...t-pirates/
...

Great article Jack. And consistent with the information revealed in the 60 Minutes piece Maggie linked to. A lot more detail though. Of course the US media gives no back story.
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#29
Jack White Wrote:February 4, 2009
You are being lied to about pirates

by Johann Hari
http://www.sfbayview.com/2009/you-are-be...t-pirates/

That's the same article that I commented on and linked to in post #7 of this thread. It was just published a bit earlier in a UK paper that's all. Surprised nobody noticed :banghead:
Peter Presland

".....there is something far worse than Nazism, and that is the hubris of the Anglo-American fraternities, whose routine is to incite indigenous monsters to war, and steer the pandemonium to further their imperial aims"
Guido Preparata. Preface to 'Conjuring Hitler'[size=12][size=12]
"Never believe anything until it has been officially denied"
Claud Cockburn

[/SIZE][/SIZE]
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#30
From 'The Online Journal':

Quote:Ethiopia/USA/Somali pirates’ cover-up
By Thomas C. Mountain
Online Journal Contributing Writer


Apr 16, 2009, 00:26



ASMARA, Eritrea -- One of the best kept secrets in the international media these days is the link between the USA, Ethiopia and the Somali pirates. First, a little reliable background from someone on the ground in the Horn of Africa.
The Somali pirates operate out of the Ethiopian and USA created enclaves in Somalia calling themselves Somaliland and Puntland. These Ethiopian and USA backed warlord controlled territories have for many years hosted Ethiopian military bases, which have been greatly expanded recently by the addition of thousands of Ethiopian troops who were driven out of southern and central Somali by the Somali resistance to the Ethiopian invasion.
After securing their ransom for the hijacked ships the Somali pirates head directly to their local safe havens, in this case, the Ethiopian military bases, where they make a sizeable contribution to the retirement accounts of the Ethiopian regime headed by Meles Zenawi.
Of course, the international naval forces who are patrolling the Horn of Africa know all too well what is going on for they have at their disposal all sorts of high tech observation platforms, ranging from satellites to unmanned drones with high resolution video cameras that report back in real time.
The French commandos started to pursue the Somali pirates into their lairs last year until the pirates got the word that for the right amount of cash they were more than welcome in the Ethiopian military bases in their local neighborhoods. Ethiopia being the western, mainly USA, Cop on the Beat in East Africa put these bases off limits to the frustrated navies of the world, who are no doubt growling in anger to their USA counterparts about why this is all going on.
Now that the pirates have started attacking USA flagged shipping, something that was until now off limits, it remains to be seen what the Obama administration will do. One thing we in the Horn of Africa have learned all too well, when it comes to Ethiopia, don’t expect anything resembling accurate coverage by the media, especially those who operate under the cloak of “freedom of the press.”
Stay tuned for more on this from the Onlinejournal.com, the only site willing to expose the truth on matters no one else will touch.
Thomas C. Mountain, the last white man living in Eritrea, was in a former life an educator, activist and alternative medicine practitioner in the USA. Email thomascmountain at yahoo.com.

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Peter Presland

".....there is something far worse than Nazism, and that is the hubris of the Anglo-American fraternities, whose routine is to incite indigenous monsters to war, and steer the pandemonium to further their imperial aims"
Guido Preparata. Preface to 'Conjuring Hitler'[size=12][size=12]
"Never believe anything until it has been officially denied"
Claud Cockburn

[/SIZE][/SIZE]
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