Friday, April 24, 2009

Pirates on South Park

South Park on Pirates, I laughed. Likely, NSFW, for violence and people being aware that watching south park probably constitutes not doing work.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Colbert on Pirates!

Steven Colbert on Pirates!!!!

Also! as a bonus, an interview with Joe Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa County, the landlocked county of my birth, I do not care for him, but I do care for him being NAILED.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Somali Pirate to be tried in NYC

Abdiweli Muse will be the first person tried in the U.S. for piracy in more than a century, even as his parents plea for leniency.

U.S. officials said Muse is 18 years old, but Abdilkadir Muse, the teenager's father, told VOA's Somali service his son is only 16 and came under the influence of gangs and money.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pirate Bay Founders Convicted

In case you hadn't heard, the founders of the Pirate Bay were found guilty in Sweden of breaking copyright law.

Lysistrata on the Gulf of Aden, the road to victory?

This article on Gawker caught my eye this morning,
Somali pirates are swaggering around shore like big gangsters, stealing women from the honest guys. Which is ironic, since the best idea yet to control the pirates is: make the women hit them with rocks.

In the movies, Mohamed would then learn karate and/ or win a game show and give the pirate his rightful comeuppance, but in this case he just moved to another country and is all like, "Dang." But he may have the last laugh; international policy experts are commiserating on how to stop these dudes from stealing more girlfriends, not to mention ships. There's even a conference! But the best idea so far, from the UN's former chief security officer in Somalia: get the women mad at them.

In 1995, for example, the water supply for Mogadishu, the capital, was shut off by the United Nations humanitarian agencies until a hostage who worked for another aid organization was released. On the first day of the shutoff, the women who collected water from public distribution points yelled at the kidnappers; on the second day they stoned them; on the third day they shot at them; on the fourth day, the hostage was released.

Oh women, is there any scourge that it's not your job to fix while men sit around chewing khat? I think not!
It definitely shows that pirates are essentially people, and when pressured by other people on the ground, that can be effective.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Interesting Map

Pirate connection to Ethiopia

A friend of mine posted this on facebook, and it caught my attention.

SMARA, 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.

There's more to the article here though it's not long. It's definitely an interesting connection, though hardly cause for brow beating or an invasion of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is yet another hand in the cookie jar of the horn of Africa.

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.”
It's not particularly startling that Ethiopia would want to have relationships with Somali Pirate groups. They have power in the region, even if they don't have the kind of power regularly identified as worth diplomacy or "statehood". If it's a factor, it'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pirates fire on Long Island, NY Owned Ship

Somali pirates fired rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons at a Long Island-owned vessel traveling through perilous waters off the Horn of Africa, officials said Tuesday.

The American ship carrying humanitarian aid, Liberty Sun, was damaged but the ship and crew called for help and were escorted by the U.S. Navy, said officials at the Lake Success-based company, Liberty Maritime Corp.

"We are grateful and pleased that no one was injured, and the crew and the ship are safe," said the company in a statement issued last night. "We have communicated with the families of the crew to inform them of these developments. We commend the entire crew for its professionalism and poise under fire."

Monday, April 13, 2009

John Robb on Pirates!

Today is just full of linkability...

Pirate Hunters!!!!!

Spike TV is looking for plunder in the world of piracy -- the swashbuckling, ship-commandeering kind that made international headlines with Sunday's rescue of American sea captain Richard Phillips from his Somali captors.

The Viacom-owned cabler has greenlit a pilot for "Pirate Hunters: USN," a docu series from 44 Blue Prods. ("The True Story of Black Hawk Down") that will focus on the U.S. Navy's antipiracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. That's the same region where Phillips was freed after a firefight between his captors and Navy snipers, ending a five-day hostage standoff.

The Maersk Alabama became the first vessel under U.S. control to be attacked by pirates in more than two centuries. In response to that incident, as well as the growing threat of pirates in the region, Drachkovitch said the Navy plans to step up its role in combating piracy.

"They're changing the mission to be more proactive," he said. "In some ways we're going to capture better action on film than had this not happened."

Producer 44 Blue will employ two crews of three people on the Boxer and the San Antonio.

Cameras will be on hand as the warships leave their military base in Djibouti (which borders Somalia and Ethiopia) and head out to patrol 1.1 million square miles of ocean.

Pirates in the News: Maersk Alabama, done.

So, for a Happy Easter present to the Captain of the Maersk Alabama, the a Navy Seal Sniper team killed all three of his captors.

Generally, the message here is "Don't expect to get away if you pirate American Vessels or capture Americans, just don't do it, it's no good for you." Which is a solid message to send, and is frankly, not unexpected.

Two of the captors had poked their heads out of a rear hatch of the lifeboat, exposing themselves to clear shots, and the third could be seen through a window in the bow, pointing an automatic rifle at the captain, who was tied up inside the 18-foot lifeboat, senior Navy officials said.

It took only three remarkable shots — one each by snipers firing from a distance at dusk, using night-vision scopes, the officials said. Within minutes, rescuers slid down ropes from the Bainbridge, climbed aboard the lifeboat and found the three pirates dead. They then untied Captain Phillips, ending the contretemps at sea that had riveted much of the world’s attention. A fourth pirate had surrendered earlier.

Of course, many pirates in Somalia are posturing as though this doesn't affect them:

In Somalia itself, other pirates reacted angrily to the news that Captain Phillips had been rescued, and some said they would avenge the deaths of their colleagues by killing Americans in sea hijackings to come.

“Every country will be treated the way it treats us,” Abdullahi Lami, one of the pirates holding a Greek ship anchored in the pirate den of Gaan, a central Somali town, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying in a telephone interview. “In the future, America will be the one mourning and crying.”

To be honest, America's now proven ability and willingness to hunt down and kill pirates who endanger its citizens will regardless affect the business model of pirates in the future, and if it does not, American has proven able to take on pirates in its history, like the shores of Tripoli?

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Whale in New York Harbor

“It’s going out toward the ocean,” said Petty Officer David Schulein, a Coast Guard spokesman. “We just established a security safety zone.”

Petty Officer Annie Berlin, a spokeswoman for the Coast Guard, said: “It is fairly close to the shipping zone. We want to make sure that not only the animal is not in danger, but that the vessels traveling in and out of New York Harbor are also safe.”

She said that the whale, at 11 a.m., was about one mile from the Verrazano Bridge.

Petty Officer Schulein said the whale was not too far from Brooklyn. “It’s right near Bay Ridge,” he added. “It’s right off of Belt Parkway.” By 1:15 p.m., it had moved near Coney Island, the Coast Guard reported.

The last known sighting of the whale was at 2:24 p.m. in Ambrose Channel south of the Verrazano Bridge by a Coast Guard crew and representatives from the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation. The Coast Guard suspended its security zone around the whale at 4 p.m. as it continued to move south.

Pirates in the News: Maersk Alabama, hostage update

Captain Richard Phillips, the Alabama Maersk container ship captain who was taken hostage by pirates, had tried to escape by jumping into the water but his captors followed and retrieved him. It's believed Phillips was trying to swim to the U.S.S. Bainbridge, a naval destroyer that's been in contact with the pirates.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Marine Aventure

Do you like Marine Adventure? Check out the twitter feed of John Aronnax, fictional pirate victim.

Pirates in the News, RIGHT NOW.

The Maersk Alabama was boarded earlier today by 4 Somali pirates, but the 20 Americans aboard who had been transporting relief supplies, managed to overcome the pirates and retake their ship. This whole thing happened over the course of a few hours and is considered "under control." Three of the pirates escaped but one is in custody.

The escaped pirates took the ship's captain hostage and coalition forces are following the lifeboat with pirates and hostages

Thursday, April 2, 2009