Simple Solution to the Pirate Problem

By Yul

What is the world coming to when packs of young men in cheesy little speedboats can terrorize mammoth cargo and passenger vessels?

These so-called Somali “pirates” don’t even know enough to fly a skull and crossbones.

It’s sad when life is so bad that hostage-taking becomes a viable career option. But they’re hijacking vessels trying to bring them food and aid. As a way of overcoming poverty, it’s self-defeating.

And now the civilized world is wringing its hands over whether to arm crews of the targeted ships, and where the captured pirates should be put on trial.

Consider this: the crew of Maersk Alabama was unarmed, and it took circling warships and the USS Bainbridge 5 days to kill just 3 pirates and rescue the Alabama‘s captain, Richard Phillips.

Cost? Probably millions.

This past weekend, the Italian cruise ship MSC Melody had Israeli security guards on board who, embarrassingly, had to retrieve pistols from a safe while passengers kept a gaggle of pirates from climbing up the side by throwing deck furniture at them. But gunfire from the ship eventually repelled the attack.

Cost? A few bullets, plastic tables, and chairs.

It’s a no-brainer that all crews sailing the Indian Ocean should be armed, with orders to shoot to kill if attacked.

It also resolves the question of whose laws will prevail for crimes committed in international waters. Dead pirates need no trial.

The world must confront these seafaring thugs. The next bunch of pirates who sets sail needs to know the sea will be littered with little ghost ships crewed by skeletons or the rotting, bullet-riddled corpses of their predecessors.

If certain death becomes the immediate reward for attacking a ship, the pirates’ career prospects on land should look a lot brighter.

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8 Responses to Simple Solution to the Pirate Problem

  1. boscodagama says:

    The somali pirates often carry rpgs. Some rpg warheads can go through tank armor and some are incendiary. They’d go through a conventional ship hull like going through a tin can and possibly set the cruise ship on fire or worse. The cruise lines don’t want lawsuits from the relatives…

  2. catsworking says:

    Good point, Bosco. But if MSC had sat there and let the pirates board that ship, the lawsuits would have been flying anyway.

    All Somalia needs is for some of its pirates to sink a cruise ship to see whatever aid it’s getting disappear. Then I think the Somali people would deal with the pirates themselves.

    But if the intent of piracy is to make a living off ransom, killing crews and passengers defeats the purpose.

    When pirates start destroying ships and property and murdering people just for the hell of it, or as tit or tat for the response they’re getting from the ships they try to seize, they will provoke a military retaliation they’re not prepared for.

  3. st says:

    Is there any truth to the commentary that the pirates are a result of a collapsed government, overfishing and the dumping of toxic waste? I’m not saying they’re good people, but maybe this is something we need to think about.

    http://media.www.thesantaclara.com/media/storage/paper946/news/2009/04/23/Opinion/Economics.Drives.Somali.Pirates-3723284.shtml

    Sorry to fill your website with links.

  4. boscodagama says:

    Hell, I work with some rednecks (all green teeth and possum eyes) here in town who’d dig standing at the gunnels with a whole passle of hardware.. however, having been a firing range instructor, I’d guess they’d be as dangerous as the Somalis since they wouldn’t be too careful on the firing line..

    Anyway, these guys are afraid to go to DC or Bawlmer since they might get theyselves shot. Pobrecitos.

  5. catsworking says:

    ST, when I said Somalia is a mess, it was a gross understatement. As your article showed, they’ve got problems every which way and no answers in sight. But that doesn’t mean the only life for young men is piracy. I give them an “A” for creativity, but a life of crime is taking the easy way out. They’ve got cell phones, radios, and the money to buy weapons. Why not use all that to get themselves out of there, go to school somewhere else, and learn how to do something other than take hostages?

  6. catsworking says:

    Bosco, we had a letter to the editor in today’s local paper that suggested they should have taken that 4th pirate from the Maersk Alabama and strung him up on the spot. He advocated hanging future pirates in a public square as a deterrent.

    I still think my method is quicker and easier, no burial required. Kill ’em at sea and leave them to either become fish food or serve as a warning to other pirates how they’ll end up if they go near another ship.

  7. boscodagama says:

    I’m not advocating anything.. merely considering the possibilities. There is still due process, I would hope. Have you ever had to kill anything besides time?

  8. catsworking says:

    Bosco, I’m a cat. I have PLENTY to kill besides time. But, being an indoor cat, I don’t get to exercise my hunting skills as much as I would like.

    Due process is nice, but not always practical. Like when a mouse is foraging around in the cabinet, eating all the crackers, what am I supposed to do, go find a jury of his peers and put him on trial, or finish him off on the spot?

    Pirates choose to operate outside of any country’s laws, so it’s only fair that their victims have the right to defend themselves however they can. Captain Richard Phillips just told Congress that he thinks senior officers should all be armed.

    I find your concern for the well-being of the pirates strange, yet somehow touching.

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