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Peter Presland
04-14-2009, 05:15 PM
Long article from Chris Floyd at URUKNET (http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m53408)on the rescue of the Captain of the Maersk Alabama, Richard Phillips. Some thoughts you won't see aired anywhere in the MSM but which certainly need airing:


<Snip>..... And so the incident ended as it was surely destined to. The moment I heard that an American ship had been raided by Somali pirates, I knew that someone would have to die for it; nowadays, American leaders -- and broad swathes of the public -- demand blood for the slightest perceived outrage against the nation's dignity. And once a hostage was taken -- by a bunch of rag-tag, Muslim darkies, no less -- a fatal ending was assured.......<Endsnip>

Charles Drago
04-14-2009, 07:47 PM
So we've skipped the halls of Montezuma and done directly to the shores of Tripoli.

Looks like it's Golden Oldies Week on WNWO radio.

Myra Bronstein
04-15-2009, 02:16 AM
Long article from Chris Floyd at URUKNET (http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m53408)on the rescue of the Captain of the Maersk Alabama, Richard Phillips. Some thoughts you won't see aired anywhere in the MSM but which certainly need airing:


<Snip>..... And so the incident ended as it was surely destined to. The moment I heard that an American ship had been raided by Somali pirates, I knew that someone would have to die for it; nowadays, American leaders -- and broad swathes of the public -- demand blood for the slightest perceived outrage against the nation's dignity. And once a hostage was taken -- by a bunch of rag-tag, Muslim darkies, no less -- a fatal ending was assured.......<Endsnip>




I don't understand the criticism of the US Navy in this case. They took the appropriate action under the circumstances to prevent a hostage execution. The US Navy didn't have any control over the skin color of the pirates.

Magda Hassan
04-15-2009, 02:19 AM
There was an unusually excellent report on the Australian 60 Minutes, of all programmes, about the pirates recently. Transcript of the show below. One of the 'pirates' interviewed was very clear about the power relations in the area. Basically, foreigners have come and taken all the fish, dumped toxic waste in the area, laid waste to the land and destroyed the country so they have no qualms about stopping the shipping and getting ransoms or taxes as they are seen by the 'pirates'. This money goes to the community not the individual 'pirates' and in fact one could almost say it is the economy there for the most part. All of them would give it up tomorrow if they could and be simple fishermen which is all they ever wanted to be. No one is taking responsibility for the disappearance of the fish and destruction of the environment and community. Video here: http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=793845

Reporter: Liam Bartlett (http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=264122)
Producer: Howard Sacre (http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=264627) and Paul Steindl
Often the best, most exciting, stories are the ones that seem impossible.
You wonder, how on earth are we going to tell this one? For instance, how do you approach a gang of pirates, terrorising shipping on the high seas?
With extreme caution and a posse of armed guards, for a start. These modern-day buccaneers have made a business out of hijacking cargo ships and tankers, holding the crews to ransom.
And we're talking millions and millions of dollars, cash.
They operate from a desolate, lawless place where all foreigners are fair game for kidnappers. So lawless, that even Prime Minister Rudd warned us not to go there.
PICTURE GALLERY: The Pirate Coast (http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/slideshow.aspx?sectionid=5566&subsectionid=152402&sectionname=slideshow&subsectionname=pirates)
Full transcript:

LIAM BARTLETT: We've come to the treacherous east coast of Africa to meet some of the world's most wanted men. These are the pirates of Somalia, holding the world's shipping industry to ransom. We're off the coast of Somalia, the Red Sea and Suez Canal are up there, the Indian Ocean down that way. It's the busiest shipping lane in the world. More than 20,000 ships go past here every year, that's more than 50 ships a day. For these pirates, it's a smorgasbord of untold riches. Running the gauntlet with a pirate crew is a risky business. These waters are now heaving with navy ships - an international anti-piracy force bristling with fire-power. And they mean business. It's little wonder because, believe it or not, this rag-tag bunch in their tiny tinnies have already hijacked a fleet of ships. The pirate king, Indianda, and his motley crew have made a fortune holding a gun to the head of some of the richest maritime companies in the world. You've got seven ships, what did you get for the first one?
INDIANDA: $2 million.
LIAM BARTLETT: How much did you make for number two?
INDIANDA: About $1.6 million.
LIAM BARTLETT: Ship number three?
INDIANDA: The third ship, $2 million.
LIAM BARTLETT: Altogether, the seven ships earned the tidy sum of US$12.6 million. You're making riches beyond belief, really you're just a crook aren't you?
INDIANDA
TRANSLATION: I want to answer this question. The money we collect from the ships is not an income that goes into the pockets of one person. A lot of people, a lot of human beings survive on this money along the shores of Puntland.
LIAM BARTLETT: Puntland, in Northern Somalia, has become the modern-day pirates lair and just as hidden away. To get here, an old Russian plane flies us east from Djibouti, across the top of Africa, to a tiny, forlorn port called Bossasso. This is a no-go zone for Westerners. just like the passing ships, we run the very real risk of kidnap, so we've hired 15 local militia to guard us. Even so, the Australian Government, including the Prime Minister himself, pleaded with us to cancel our trip. This is one of the reasons why PM Rudd didn't want us to come here. Survival is all about how many guns you've got. But the other reasons - just take a look around you. These people have absolutely nothing and the idea of becoming a pirate and earning millions is very attractive indeed. The archaic port of Bossasso is a tiny speck beside the shipping superhighway of the world. The Gulf of Aden was once a fishermen's paradise, Africa's leading source of crayfish. But the locals say their seas were raided by foreign trawlers. So Indianda says now the fishermen catch big ships instead.
INDIANDA: We do it because foreigners looted our oceans. The trawlers sucked out every fish like a vacuum cleaner. We don't care whether we live or die because there is nothing left to live for. If the first man falls, we send up another man.
LIAM BARTLETT: How do you climb up the ship?
TRANSLATION: We use a ladder, like a hook. We don't harm the ships, we collect taxes from them.
LIAM BARTLETT: These men see themselves as Robin Hoods of the high seas, fighting for justice. And they've become very good at it. You have such a tiny boat, you're in a very big sea. How on earth can you catch a supertanker?
INDIANDA
TRANSLATION: We approach from behind the ship while it's cruising. We target the anchor, the hole where the anchor comes out, and throw a rope with a hook on the end. And then we climb up. We use tactics that you won't understand, but let me say, when someone is hungry, he is capable of doing anything.
LIAM BARTLETT: What sort of ransoms are being demanded?
NEIL ROBERTS: Anything up to $20- $30 million is the first demand.
LIAM BARTLETT: Why are they being paid? Why are people rolling over?
NEIL ROBERTS: If you simply refuse to pay, I mean the pirates have a lot of hostages. The consequences of those being shot, for instance, would be unimaginable.
LIAM BARTLETT: It is costing the shipping industry a fortune. Most of that money comes from the insurer - Lloyds of London. Neil Roberts said the pirates demand ransoms in cash before they release a ship and its crew.
NEIL ROBERTS: Sometimes it gets parachuted in. More likely it's delivered by a small boat. This is a big pile of money, it's going to be heavy. As we saw when it sank one of their launches a couple of months ago.
LIAM BARTLETT: Did, did they recover the money?
NEIL ROBERTS: Ah, well, some of it was recovered on a body that arrived on the beach with about a $150,000 on it and some of it went down obviously.
LIAM BARTLETT: Somalia has been wracked by bitter civil war for nearly two decades. The film, 'Black Hawk Down' told how feudal warlords drove out the American Army in 1993 and there's been a lot of killing and dying ever since. Lawlessness, helplessness and extreme poverty are a way of life. The local police station is filled with petty thieves struggling to survive. This boy looked barely 15. Piracy now drives the economy - 60 hijacks last year netted some $50 million in ransoms. Do you ever feel sorry for the owners of the ships that you hijack?
INDIANDA TRANSLATION: We know we have committed an offence, but when you lose your livelihood you have nowhere to complain, nowhere to take your case to.
LIAM BARTLETT: So the pirates took the law into their own hands and even the full force of the world's navies has so far failed to stop them. The international naval armada trying to catch the pirates off the coast here doe have some help. Turns out, Puntland has a coastguard and I've been invited here down to the wharf to have a look. Let's go and see what they've got. It turns out the coastguard consists of a dinghy, a patrol boat with ancient weaponry that's seen better days and this second-hand vessel purchased from the Japanese coastguard. They've been fired on by pirates and even captured a few. Trouble is, most days, it stays tied up at the wharf. How many times can you go out per week?
MOHAMMED ABDAWALLI: Actually, we go a month, twice, patrolling the area.
LIAM BARTLETT: Twice a month, that's all the Government can afford?
MOHAMMED ABDAWALLI: That's all so far we can afford.
LIAM BARTLETT: Today we set out to check on a suspicious fishing boat. If they are pirates, they've ditched their weapons overboard and with no evidence the coastguard captain lets them go free. But further off shore, the international taskforce tells us they've caught a pirate boat red-handed. Trouble is - what to do with them? Most are simply handed straight back to Puntland into a barely functioning legal system. Here, they join 300 pirates bursting the seams of local jails. That night the Police Commissioner proudly introduced me to the latest batch, accused of trying to hijack an Indian ship. Are you all pirates?
PRISONER: No. We are fishers.
LIAM BARTLETT: You're fishers, why are you under arrest? They say you are all pirates?
PRISONER: No, we are not pirates.
LIAM BARTLETT: Have you ever been a pirate?
PRISONER: No.
LIAM BARTLETT: Well, they say you are all pirates. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, pirates?
PRISONER: No, we are not pirates. Whoever said we are pirates is a foolish man.
LIAM BARTLETT: Sir, that's why you are in jail, you have got chains on your leg. Because you have been arrested as a pirate. You tossed your guns overboard, did you?
PRISONER: No. We have not any guns.
LIAM BARTLETT: You were looking for an Indian ship to hijack it.
PRISONER: No. No.
LIAM BARTLETT: And this is Puntland's problem. With no proof, no evidence, even the Police Commissioner can't tell me what will happen to these men. Do you think they are pirates?
POLICE COMMISSIONER: We don't know. The Americans catch them and they say they're pirates, but we don't know what they are.
LIAM BARTLETT: If these pirates were bank robbers, if they were stealing the same amount of money from the Bank of England, they would either have been shot or thrown into jail by now, wouldn't they.
NEIL ROBERTS: You would hope so. Certainly if they were in England you would be able to prosecute them properly.
LIAM BARTLETT: So even if you catch these people...
NEIL ROBERTS: There's not much you can do.
LIAM BARTLETT: Somalia needn't have imploded like this. Beneath the desert there's said to be an ocean of oil, just waiting to be exploited. Local businessman, Liban Bogor dreams of the day when foreign investors feel secure enough to come and share the riches. But let's face it, while the warlords tear each other apart, who'd want to take the risk? It doesn't look particularly safe here if you don't mind me saying with all these weapons, but you assure me I am. LIBAN BOGOR: We, we are very, we are very safe here. The the weapons, I mean I, I think I've seen lately there was a surge in, pirates and kidnapping but it's a lot more peaceful than a lot of places. regardless of the...all the guns that we're seeing today.
LIAM BARTLETT: But still, we were told not to set foot anywhere here without armed guards. And, right now, the most lucrative business in this dirt-poor town is holding ships and people for ransom. How do you make it less attractive, though, for the pirates not to take up arms when they're coming from such poverty? LIBAN BOGOR: Ah, we...that's what were trying to do, but that's why we want to have foreign investment, that's why we want to create employment for the pirates. Nobody wants to do something illegal, if they can have an alternative. We have to create the alternative for them.
LIAM BARTLETT: Even Indianda, says he'd give up the pirate's life tomorrow if he could see a better future. If the international community made sure your waters were OK for fishing, would you go back to fishing.
INDIANDA TRANSLATION: Yes, that would be OK.
LIAM BARTLETT: Yes?
INDIANDA TRANSLATION: Yes, that's right.
LIAM BARTLETT: So you don't really want to be a pirate?
INDIANDA TRANSLATION: First we must see if we can trust them. The thing is we must see them stop and the oceans are secure.
LIAM BARTLETT: But you would prefer not to be a pirate?
INDIANDA TRANSLATION: I've been forced by the situation to become a pirate. I never wanted to become a pirate.
LIAM BARTLETT: But when he dropped us back at the beach, Indianda was set to head straight back out, willing to risk everything and stop at nothing.
INDIANDA: We made the decision to take the high risks and capture the ships. Even if we die, we won't stop until something is done to stop them and to help us.

Myra Bronstein
04-15-2009, 02:23 AM
There was an unusually excellent report on the Australian 60 Minutes, of all programmes, about the pirates recently. Transcript of the show below. ...Video here: http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=793845
...

Ok, that's exactly the back story I've been wanting. I would not expect it to be reported in the US media. Thanks Maggie.

Myra Bronstein
04-15-2009, 02:45 AM
There was an unusually excellent report on the Australian 60 Minutes, of all programmes, about the pirates recently. Transcript of the show below. ...Video here: http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=793845
...

That's a good and interesting segment alright. And there seem to be larger issues that need to be addressed about the fishing problem, and certainly the poverty. But given the individual circumstance the US Navy found themselves in, with a hostage in danger and the chance to take the pirates out with sniper fire (which the US gov't is very experienced at...), I think they took appropriate steps.

Peter Presland
04-15-2009, 07:08 AM
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. (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-you-are-being-lied-to-about-pirates-1225817.html)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. The balance of probability for me lies with the Navy having decided at the outset to manoeuvre to a position where they could be pretty certain of killing all three pirates near simultaneously regardless - and that's exactly what they did. Professional? - yes. Heroic? - hardly. The pirates will certainly have learned a lesson, but probably not quite the simplistic 'don't mess with Uncle SAM' one claimed. As is usually the case when the US military start teaching people lessons, this is probably the precursor to a lot of innocent lives being lost. Somalia is now officially designated a 'Free-Fire zone' as of a couple of months ago (if memory serves). So what are the chances that we will soon see NATO ground-forces engaged in 'guns blazing hot pursuit' actions in the Horn of Africa after this? (surreal isn't it 'North Atlantic' defence forces operating in Central Asia and the Horn of Africa)

Sorry if all that sounds anti-US. It's not meant to. In any event my view of all the major powers is similarly jaundiced.

Peter Lemkin
04-15-2009, 07:53 AM
Long article from Chris Floyd at URUKNET (http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m53408)on the rescue of the Captain of the Maersk Alabama, Richard Phillips. Some thoughts you won't see aired anywhere in the MSM but which certainly need airing:


<Snip>..... And so the incident ended as it was surely destined to. The moment I heard that an American ship had been raided by Somali pirates, I knew that someone would have to die for it; nowadays, American leaders -- and broad swathes of the public -- demand blood for the slightest perceived outrage against the nation's dignity. And once a hostage was taken -- by a bunch of rag-tag, Muslim darkies, no less -- a fatal ending was assured.......<Endsnip>




I don't understand the criticism of the US Navy in this case. They took the appropriate action under the circumstances to prevent a hostage execution. The US Navy didn't have any control over the skin color of the pirates.

The problem is their Rambo attitude and actions [guns-a-blazin] rather than using some strategy and thought. I'll be they could have gone with a minisub or frogmen, put a hole in the pitrates boat and when it sank captured alive the pirates and saved the hostage. But they perfer the movie-style shoot-out and people will get killed.

BTW, Very interesting history of the WHY for the piracy - and as with most we are told, it is not what you think and not what we are told [i.e. not true or not the full story]. Here is more of the real story - interesting! (http://www.democracynow.org/2009/4/14/analysis_somalia_piracy_began_in_response)

Peter Presland
04-15-2009, 09:28 AM
Pace Charles' post (#2) to this thread, this article by William Pfaff provides further food for thought: (http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090414_for_the_pirates_its_about_fish_not_guns/)


<Snip>
Somalian piracy is a nasty little affair in which hundreds of foreign seafarers have been made prisoner, but the only ones who have died did so during efforts to rescue them.
But things are getting out of hand. The pirates now threaten revenge. They haven’t killed anybody. At this writing, they hold some 200 hostages. As Obama indicated, half the NATO navies seem on the way to chase fishing boats in Somalian waters and the Gulf of Aden.
Quoting the encyclopedias on Barbary pirates and U.S. Marine Corps lore about the Tripolitan War makes good newspaper stories. But the Marines, and the Tripoli war’s settlement in 1805, did not put an end to piracy on the Mediterranean Barbary Coast; American commerce was being raided as late as 1815. Maybe somebody should tell the president about that.
<Endsnip>

Charles Drago
04-15-2009, 10:25 AM
W has checked in on this.

He's urging Obama to invade Pittsburgh.

Peter Presland
04-15-2009, 10:40 AM
W has checked in on this.

He's urging Obama to invade Pittsburgh.

OK Charles I give up. Give me clue

Peter Lemkin
04-15-2009, 10:41 AM
Pace Charles' post (#2) to this thread, this article by William Pfaff provides further food for thought: (http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090414_for_the_pirates_its_about_fish_not_guns/)


<Snip>
Somalian piracy is a nasty little affair in which hundreds of foreign seafarers have been made prisoner, but the only ones who have died did so during efforts to rescue them.
But things are getting out of hand. The pirates now threaten revenge. They haven’t killed anybody. At this writing, they hold some 200 hostages. As Obama indicated, half the NATO navies seem on the way to chase fishing boats in Somalian waters and the Gulf of Aden.
Quoting the encyclopedias on Barbary pirates and U.S. Marine Corps lore about the Tripolitan War makes good newspaper stories. But the Marines, and the Tripoli war’s settlement in 1805, did not put an end to piracy on the Mediterranean Barbary Coast; American commerce was being raided as late as 1815. Maybe somebody should tell the president about that.
<Endsnip>

Again, may I suggest looking here (http://www.democracynow.org/2009/4/14/analysis_somalia_piracy_began_in_response) - it is a view I didn't know about and 99.9999999% of Americans do not. While the 'pirates' are not being nice-guys, there is some logic behind their actions and some real desperation and provocation.

Using the usual logic and methodology, we'll soon carpet bomb the harbors and few cities along the coasts; destroy all boats and even innocent fishermen. That would be the way it was usually done and is done still.

-------------------------------

AMY GOODMAN: President Obama vowed an international crackdown to halt piracy off the coast of Somalia Monday soon after the freeing of US cargo ship captain Richard Phillips, who had been held hostage by Somali pirates since last Wednesday. Three Somali pirates were killed in the US operation.

While some military analysts are considering attacks on pirate bases inside Somalia in addition to expanding US Navy gunships along the Somali coastline, others are strongly opposed to a land invasion. US Congress member Donald Payne of New Jersey made a brief visit to the Somali capital of Mogadishu Monday and said piracy was, quote, a “symptom of the decades of instability.” His plane was targeted by mortar fire as he was leaving Somalia, soon after a pirate vowed revenge against the United States for killing his men.

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.

Meanwhile, local fishing and business communities along the Somali coast are suffering as a result of the increased American and international naval presence in their waters.

SOMALI FISHERMAN: [translated] American Marine forces always arrest us as we continue fishing. We meet their warships, and at times they send helicopters to take photos of us, as they suspect we are pirates. And we are not.

SOMALI BUSINESSMAN: [translated] People are worried about the troops, as it is becoming more and more difficult to do business. There’s a lot of warships patrolling the sea, and merchant ships are getting more and more checked, thinking they are operated by pirates.


AMY GOODMAN: While the pirates story has dominated the corporate media, there has been little to no discussion of the root causes driving piracy.

Mohamed Abshir Waldo is a consultant and analyst in Kenya. He is Kenyan of Somali origin. In January, he wrote a paper called “The Two Piracies in Somalia: Why the World Ignores the Other?” He joins us on the phone right now from Mombasa.

Welcome to Democracy Now!

MOHAMED ABSHIR WALDO: Hello. Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: Good to have you with us. Can you talk about what you think the two piracies are?

MOHAMED ABSHIR WALDO: Well, the two piracies are the original one, which was foreign fishing piracy by foreign trawlers and vessels, who at the same time were dumping industrial waste, toxic waste and, it also has been reported, nuclear waste. Most of the time, we feel it’s the same fishing vessels, foreign fishing vessels, that are doing both. That was the piracy that started all these problems.

And the other piracy is the shipping piracy. When the marine resources of Somalia was pillaged, when the waters were poisoned, when the fish was stolen, and in a poverty situation in the whole country, the fishermen felt that they had no other possibilities or other recourse but to fight with, you know, the properties and the shipping of the same countries that have been doing and carrying on the fishing piracy and toxic dumping.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain what IUUs are?

MOHAMED ABSHIR WALDO: IUUs are—I don’t remember now, but it’s uninterrupted an unreported fishing, unlicensed, unreported, uncontrolled, practically, fishing. Without [inaudible]—

AMY GOODMAN: In your article, you say—in your article, you say it stands for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing fleets from Europe—

MOHAMED ABSHIR WALDO: Correct.

AMY GOODMAN: —and Arabia and the Far East.

MOHAMED ABSHIR WALDO: Correct, correct. And this has been known to both the countries in the West that had these fishing fleets, which included Spain, Italy, Greece, and eventually UK and others who joined later, as well as Russian. And, of course, there were many more from the East. And this problem has been going on since 1991. And the fishing communities and fishermen reported and complained and appealed to the international community through the United Nations, through the European Union, with no, actually, response in any form at all. They were totally ignored.

AMY GOODMAN: Mohamed Abshir Waldo, explain how what you call “fishing piracy” began.

MOHAMED ABSHIR WALDO: Fishing piracy means fishing without license, fishing by force, even though the community complains, even though whatever authorities are there complain, even though they ask these foreign fishing fleets and trawlers and vessels that have no license, that have no permit whatsoever, when they tell them, “Stop fishing and get out of the area,” they refuse, and instead, in fact, they fight. They fought with the fishermen and coastal communities, pouring boiling water on them and even shooting at them, running over their canoes and fishing boats. These were the problems that had been going on for so long, until the community organized themselves and empowered, actually, what they call the National Volunteer Coast Guard, what you would call and what others call today as “pirates.”

AMY GOODMAN: So you’re saying illegal fishing is happening off the coast of Somalia. What countries are engaged in it?

MOHAMED ABSHIR WALDO: The countries engaged include practically all of southern Europe, France, Spain, Greece, UK. Nowadays I hear even Norway. There were not many Scandinavians before, but Norwegian fishing now is involved in this, you know, very profitable fishing business. So, there are others, of course. There are Russian. There are Taiwanese. There are Philippines. There are Koreans. There are Chinese. You know, it’s a free-for-all coast.

And to make things worse, we learned that now that the navies and the warships are there; every country is protecting their own illegal fishing piracies—vessels. They have come back. They ran away from the Somali volunteer guards, coast guards, but now they are back. And they are being protected by their navies. In fact, they are coming close to the territorial waters to harass again the fishermen, who no longer have opportunity or possibility to fish on the coast because of the fear of being called pirates and apprehended by the navy, who are at the same time protecting the other side.

So the issue is really a matter of tremendous injustice, international community only attending and talking and coming to the rescue of the—of their interests and not at all considering or looking from the Somalis’ side. This does not mean I am condoning or anyone is condoning piracy or endangering the life of innocent sailors and crews or damaging the property of others, but these people, these fishermen-turned-pirates, had no alternative but to protect themselves, to protect their turf, to—you know, an act of desperation, you might call it.

AMY GOODMAN: What do people in Somalia feel about the pirates, the issue of pirates off the coast?

MOHAMED ABSHIR WALDO: A mixed reaction, I think, in Somalia. The people do not want the innocent sailors to be harmed. They don’t want any major environmental disasters to happen by blowing up chemical- or oil-carrying vessels. And they urge the pirates, or fishermen pirates, they urge them not to do any such things.

On the other hand, since there’s no sympathy, there’s no understanding, there is no readiness for dialogue with the coastal community, with the community in general, with the Somali authorities or the regional government or the national government on a joint action for solving these problems, then it’s each for his own way of doing. But the people are very concerned. On the one hand, they would like this to be resolved peacefully; on the other, they feel very sad for injustice being done by the international community.

AMY GOODMAN: A little more on the issue of toxic dumping, if you would, Mohamed Abshir Waldo. I don’t think people in the United States understand exactly what it is you’re referring to and how it affects people.

MOHAMED ABSHIR WALDO: Well, toxic dumping, industrial waste dumping, nuclear dumping, as you are probably aware and have heard and many people know, for quite some time, in the ’70s mainly, in the ’80s, in the ’90s, there was a lot of waste of all these kinds that companies wanted to get rid of, following very strict environmental rules in their countries. So where else to take but in countries in conflict or weak countries who could not prevent them or who could be bought? So these wastes have been carried to Somalia. It’s been in the papers. It has been reported by media organizations like Al Jazeera, I think, like CNN. Many had reported about the Mafia, Italian Mafia, who admitted it, dumping it in Somalia for quite some time, for quite a long time.

And as we speak now, I heard yesterday, in fact, another vessel was captured in the Gulf of Aden by community—this time not pirates, by the community, when the suspected it, and it was carrying two huge containers, which it dumped into the sea when they saw these people coming to them. They have been apprehended. The vessel had been apprehended. Fortunately, the containers did not sink into the sea, but they are being towed to the coast. And this community has invited the international community to come and investigate this matter. So far, we don’t have action. So this dumping, waste dumping, toxic dumping, nuclear waste dumping has been ongoing in Somalia since 1992.

AMY GOODMAN: When I read your article, Mohamed Abshir Waldo, it reminded me of a controversial memo that was leaked from the World Bank—this was when Lawrence Summers, now the chief economic adviser, was the chief economist at the World Bank—in which it said, “I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest-wage country is impeccable, and we should face up to that. I’ve always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly under-polluted.” He said he was being sarcastic.

MOHAMED ABSHIR WALDO: Actually, the more formal official concerned with this UN habitat has also confirmed in various reports that this has been dumped in Somalia. The special representative of the Secretary-General, Ould-Abdullah, who is now working with the Somali authorities, has also, I think, made a statement to that effect. So it is very well known. It’s not something hidden. It’s not something we are making up. The world knows, but it doesn’t do anything about it.

AMY GOODMAN: Mohamed Abshir Waldo, thank you for joining us, a consultant in Kenya, speaking to us from Mombasa.

Charles Drago
04-15-2009, 10:46 AM
W has checked in on this.

He's urging Obama to invade Pittsburgh.

OK Charles I give up. Give me clue

Only for you, Peter:

Home of the major league baseball team, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Man, when you gotta explain 'em ...

Magda Hassan
04-15-2009, 11:04 AM
I wouldn't have got that either Charles. Provincial footballs codes ...hrumph!:vroam:

Peter Presland
04-15-2009, 11:17 AM
W has checked in on this.

He's urging Obama to invade Pittsburgh.

OK Charles I give up. Give me clue

Only for you, Peter:

Home of the major league baseball team, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Man, when you gotta explain 'em ...

Thanks Charles - still smiling at that one.

Jack White
04-15-2009, 02:28 PM
I wouldn't have got that either Charles. Provincial footballs codes ...hrumph!:vroam:

The PIRATES are a BASEBALL team. The STEELERS are FOOTBALL.

hrumph!

Jack

Charles Drago
04-15-2009, 02:31 PM
The PIRATES are a BASEBALL team. The STEELERS are FOOTBALL.

hrumph!

Jack

Jack,

Would you please cite your sources.

Is there any proof that the Steelers are ANY sort of team?

Can you share your analyses of "team" photos?

Sorry about this ... I just wanted Jack to feel like he was back at the "other" forum.

Magda Hassan
04-15-2009, 02:32 PM
Well, like I said, provincial ball codes:beer:

Magda Hassan
04-15-2009, 02:36 PM
Sorry about this ... I just wanted Jack to feel like he was back at the "other" forum.
:eek:

Jan Klimkowski
04-15-2009, 06:29 PM
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:


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. :sheep:


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:

Myra Bronstein
04-15-2009, 10:17 PM
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. (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-you-are-being-lied-to-about-pirates-1225817.html)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.

Magda Hassan
04-16-2009, 12:59 AM
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:


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. :sheep:


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.

Magda Hassan
04-16-2009, 01:42 AM
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.

Peter Lemkin
04-16-2009, 05:00 AM
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?

Peter Presland
04-16-2009, 06:37 AM
.....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.


... 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.

Jack White
04-16-2009, 02:23 PM
February 4, 2009
You are being lied to about pirates

by Johann Hari
http://www.sfbayview.com/2009/you-are-being-lied-to-about-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.

Charles Drago
04-16-2009, 03:01 PM
Pirates as the last (?) of the Templars?

Literally?

Myra Bronstein
04-17-2009, 12:02 AM
February 4, 2009
You are being lied to about pirates

by Johann Hari
http://www.sfbayview.com/2009/you-are-being-lied-to-about-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.

Peter Presland
04-17-2009, 06:08 AM
February 4, 2009
You are being lied to about pirates

by Johann Hari
http://www.sfbayview.com/2009/you-are-being-lied-to-about-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
04-17-2009, 06:21 AM
From 'The Online Journal': (http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_4599.shtml)



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 Lemkin
04-17-2009, 07:09 AM
...and I'll say it again, practically the only thing you can trust the USG about is the official time signal. Almost all the rest are lies in the service of Empire and control of people [internal and external], information/disinformation, property/resources, power and $$$$$ - lots of $$$$$.

The 'external threat' is the old classic for control and fear in the population.

Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

Pirates are 'small potatoes'; islamofascists are Idaho Russets - together they start to make a nice salad of scary lies.

Myra Bronstein
04-17-2009, 11:12 PM
February 4, 2009
You are being lied to about pirates

by Johann Hari
http://www.sfbayview.com/2009/you-are-being-lied-to-about-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:

Sorry Peter!

Peter Lemkin
04-18-2009, 06:41 PM
Pirates off Somalia in small boats
Pirates in Sweden on websites
They are EVERYWHERE, like bin Laden and his men! :hmmmm2: shiver me timbers!

Peter Presland
05-13-2009, 12:19 PM
More on the Somali pirates from the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/11/somalia-pirates-network)


For the 14 crew aboard the Karagöl, a *Turkish chemical tanker churning through the lawless waters of the Gulf of Aden, it was the moment all seafarers dread: heavily armed Somali pirates were speeding towards the slow-moving cargo vessel, and there was no chance of escape.
The Turkish sailors were swiftly overpowered and the 5,850-ton tanker was diverted to a port in Somalia (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/somalia), where it was held for two months while its owners negotiated a ransom payment.
What the crew could not know was that their ship had been singled out as a target by a network of informers based several thousand miles away – in London (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/london). Security officials say well-placed informants in the British capital, the world centre of shipbroking and insurance, gather so much detail on targets that, in the case of the Karagöl, they not only knew its layout, route and cargo, but had spent several days practising the assault.
The attack on the Turkish ship was a sign that the pirates have turned a regional phenomenon into a global criminal business that now reaches into the heart of London's shipping community.
"They made regular calls from the ship to London," said Haldun Dincel, general manager of Turkey's Yardimci shipping company, who negotiated the release of their ship. The calls were made on satellite phones the pirates brought with them.
Speaking by telephone from Istanbul, Dincel said today that London was one of a number of centres the pirates contacted regularly after the tanker had been sailed to the Somali coast and senior gang members had boarded and taken control. "Every day the chief of the pirates got in touch with people from London, Dubai and some from the Yemen," he said.
At least one of the four or five major pirate groups that are now carrying out the attacks has London-based "consultants" to help them choose their targets, according to a European military intelligence report leaked to Spain's Cadena SER radio station yesterday.
The report has been circulated around those countries, including Britain, that are involved in the European Union's Operation Atalanta to protect ships against piracy in the area. It indicated that the hijacking of at least three vessels, including the Karagöl, the Greek cargo ship Titan and Spanish tuna trawler Felipe Ruano, followed tipoffs from the London-centred network of informers, according to Cadena SER.
In each case, according to the report, the pirates had full knowledge of the cargo, nationality and course of the vessel.
It is not clear who these *"consultants" were, but Dincel believes they may work inside the industry. "They knew the *vessel, they knew the cargo, they knew the loading ports, they knew the destination, they knew everything," he said. "The knew their job."
Andrew Mwangura, who heads the East African's Seafarer's Assistance Programme, a piracy monitoring group based in Mombassa, Kenya, said negotiations over hijacked ships often involve Somalis in London. "Not only for the Karagöl, but for many other ships, the negotiations involve people in London," he said.
The EU report said information being passed to the pirates was often extracted from the international organisations that control or track the world's shipping.
The national flag of the vessel was also taken into account when choosing a target, with British vessels apparently being increasingly avoided, the report said.
"We have heard this a lot. It strikes me as plausible," said Graeme Gibbon-Brooks, of Dryad Maritime Intelligence, last night. "They are getting more sophisticated because they are funded by criminal gangs from outside of Somalia."
He warned, however, that while pirates might receive information on individual targets from London and elsewhere it was still difficult to locate a ship in mid-ocean. Pirates were more likely to receive lists of potential targets so they could identify one if they came across it, he said.
Dincel said he suspected the pirates' informers had also infiltrated the authorities who run the Suez canal, enabling them to track the Karagöl's movements from the moment it left the canal.
Dincel himself spoke several times a day to one of two pirate negotiators who had both lived in the US. "One said he had lived there for 10 years," he said. "The other had graduated from a US college. The ship's master also said they were educated people."
Dincel said the chief negotiator had told him over the telephone that all young Somalis wanted to become pirates. "He said that he had a car, money and a house. He has everything and the young people see him, and naturally they ask to be pirates." In January, Yardimci eventually airlifted money to the pirates to secure the release of the Karagöl and its cargo.

David Guyatt
05-13-2009, 04:49 PM
A very interesting report and one that opens a whole raft of intriguing possibilities.

The London Insurance market has a long and distinguished association with Her Britannic Majesty’s Secret Services. Lloyds is a very pally place and has not one, but three of its very own Freemasonic Lodges, the most famous of which is the Lutine Lodge, named after the Lutine Bell that is rung every time a ship goes down..

Many senior insurance types worked directly with Churchill’s SOE during WWII. Naturally access to shipping intelligence is of vital national interest and HMSS will still be very close to this market.


The national flag of the vessel was also taken into account when choosing a target, with British vessels apparently being increasingly avoided, the report said.

Quid pro quo perhaps?

I hate to pun (he lied) on seafaring matters, but it seems to me that there’s something fishy going on with regard to these Somali pirates.