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Solving the Somali Pirate Dilemma

Posted by Anonymous User 
Anonymous User
Solving the Somali Pirate Dilemma
April 11, 2009 07:36PM
I keep waiting for an announcement that the 'Somali Pirates' saga has been resolved and the ship's captain who had been taken hostage by the pirates had been freed.

I keep waiting, but I'm not seeing the announcement.

I can't see a way out of this. That is to say, I can't see this thing ending in anything but tragedy. Can you?

Does anyone have an idea - a suggestion - a clue?

If the pirates' ransom demands are met, they win so what would prevent such things from happening in the future as people like al Qaeda see how easy it is to beat and humble the US?

On the other hand, if the US takes a hard-ass attitude and just sinks the lifeboat on which the hostage is being held, we condemn the captain to certain death. Is that acceptable?

What the hell can we do?
Re: Solving the Somali Pirate Dilemma
April 11, 2009 07:40PM
I don't see any way out. Even if the pirates' demands are met, there is no way they are going to let that captain go. They'd get blown out of the water as soon as he was clear of them and they know it.

Not only do I not see any positive way of ending this, I don't see any realistic logistical way of keeping it from happening again.

Anonymous User
Re: Solving the Somali Pirate Dilemma
April 11, 2009 07:48PM
Seriously - first the captain tries to abandon ship and swim to safety, but they re-catch him. Next, a tugboat and crew that was trying to rescue the guy get captured as well. This can only end in tragedy.
Anonymous User
Re: Solving the Somali Pirate Dilemma
April 11, 2009 07:50PM
I have a feeling that the Navy will make up some excuse to blow them all out of the water.
Anonymous User
Re: Solving the Somali Pirate Dilemma
April 11, 2009 07:54PM
Isn't this a job for Navy Seals? The pirates and the captain are all in a rubber boat. Isn't it possible to for some Seals to surreptitiously swim underneath and harpoon the bad guys with spear guns or shoot them with regular guns? Criminy, we spend billions on military weapons. Don't we have any way of getting the drop of these pirates?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2009 07:56PM by Curt Anderson.
Anonymous User
Re: Solving the Somali Pirate Dilemma
April 11, 2009 09:32PM
Negotiating with terrorists for hostages is not an option. Therefore, the CPT's fate is not in our control...what is in our control is taking the pirates prisoner and prosecuting them for maritime piracy, and potentially murder if they choose to make good on their threat.

I don't see this as anything but pussy-azz policy makers not wanting to take accountability for a decision to take action. Obama, should just give the order to sieze the pirates(i.e. all their assets, and personel) and send them to one of our Iraqi detention camps. There they would be monitored by the ICRC, and be secured in US custody. If the pirates want to add murder charges to their fate, then that is in their control.

Navy Seals for all their hype, are not that remarkable. They are good swimmers yes, but even the best swimmers in the Uniform Services...Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers can't couldn't perform that kind of stealthy, dive with combat gear and emerge to kill the pirates without endangering the CPT. The best option is to sieze the watercraft, and prosecute the pirates and punish them severely to set a tough example.

The Navy does have mini-subs that the could approach the craft possibly undetected at night, which will be increasingly possible as the pirate wits break down and they are hungry, cold, and sleepy.
Anonymous User
Re: Solving the Somali Pirate Dilemma
April 11, 2009 10:53PM
Curt
I've seen pictures of this 'lifeboat'. It's nothing like ''your father's boat' looked. This thing is pretty big and the passenger area appears to sit several feet above the waterline. Sneaking up on the bastards would be no small task.

We don't know how many pirates there are, do we? Is it a substantial number? Wouldn't the crew members who've been released be able to tell them?

Dan
Of course we'd want to capture the pirates and punish them. But how do we do that without compromising the captain's safety? Are you suggesting that we sacrifice the captain to bring this thing to an end?

I recall the time that an El Al passenger jet was hijacked and the passengers were taken to Entebbe, Uganda. The Israelis organized 'Operation Thunderbolt' (?) and through some pretty unlikely events, managed to rescue the hostages, losing only one who died of a heart attack.Unfortunately, the Israelis lost the man who led the raid.

Maybe it's time to turn the whole thing over to the Israelis.
Anonymous User
Re: Solving the Somali Pirate Dilemma
April 11, 2009 11:05PM
Jazzman,
From what I understand there are just a handful of pirates in that boat. There was originally four in the boat and the sailors had captured another of the pirates, who they later released in failed swap for the captain. The pirates didn't keep their word during the exchange. Lying pirates...what a shock.

It still seems to me that our military ought to have some sort of explosive that could be planted below the boat and throw the pirates and the captain all into the water without killing them. Or just get under them with a submarine, surface and knock them all into the drink.
HHH
Re: Solving the Somali Pirate Dilemma
April 12, 2009 04:43AM
Or we could just outwait them and leave the pirates with no choice but to surrender. They're not going anywhere or getting any help.

____________________________________________
What kind of genius loses a billion dollars in a year?
Re: Solving the Somali Pirate Dilemma
April 12, 2009 05:21AM
From what I saw of the lifeboat, it looks mostly enclosed. Maybe the Seals can swim up in the dark, quietly drill a few holes above the waterline, and pump sleeping gas inside. When enough gas as been pumped in to make everyone sufficiently groggy, storm the boat.

If not sleeping gas.... pepper spray, tear gas....

Maybe it'll work, maybe not.

But the main thing is that however this current situation is resolved, the best approach is to send the navy in and start blowing pirates out of the water.
HHH
Re: Solving the Somali Pirate Dilemma
April 12, 2009 06:29AM
Or we could wait until the pirates give up. They're not going anywhere and they're not going to get any help.

____________________________________________
What kind of genius loses a billion dollars in a year?
Anonymous User
Re: Solving the Somali Pirate Dilemma
April 12, 2009 07:44AM
HHH,
Except if they wait too long, the pirates could become tired, hungry, impatient, angry, desperate, frustrated and/or spiteful and kill the captain.
Anonymous User
Re: Solving the Somali Pirate Dilemma
April 12, 2009 09:17AM
Why does the CPT matter? His fate is out of our control, if the pirates kill him, they will certainly face murder charges...IOW, piracy charges...probably won't be a capital offense(look at Mousaui, conspiracy to commit terrorism) and they will probably be improving their position in life to be imprisoned in US custody. Murder, in this case should include default capital punishment.

Options for the pirates..do the time for piracy and play the card to get something out of Uncle Sam, or murder the CPT and face execution...hello...logic!

They pretty much know the US doesn't directly negotiate for hostages, and any incidents are extremely rare for VIPs. They know that time isn't on their side, the US has the resources to wait them out. Their options are something we control...I say we play our options.

They wouldn't need to drill a hole in the water craft. They could deliever a sleeping gas via saturating the surrounding air with artillery shells, I think it will only provoke the pirates, but they will have to decide quickly what they intend to do in that case.
HHH
Re: Solving the Somali Pirate Dilemma
April 12, 2009 04:10PM
Curt - Killing the captain seals the pirates' fate - death or capture and imprisonment.

____________________________________________
What kind of genius loses a billion dollars in a year?
Re: Solving the Somali Pirate Dilemma
April 12, 2009 04:35PM
Curt's point was that when the pirates are exhausted, hungry, angry, impatient, they are less likely to make reasonable decisions or to think through the ramifications of their actions. Thus, having this situation drag out does not necessarily make it less likely the captain will be killed.

Again, this situation sucks. There probably is no easy solution. You don't want the captain to be killed, but you can't reward hostage-taking.

My guess is the captain may have to take one for the team. Storm the boat, put a bullet in each pirates head and hope you get them before they kill the hostage.

Not a happy ending, maybe, but we need to look at the long term. If the pirates get out of there alive, it will only encourage these activities. We need to demonstrate that hostage-taking is a no-win option. The way to do that is first to make sure that none of the remaining pirates in the lifeboat make it back to shore alive. They're dead men. The second, is once this ordeal is over, send the Seals to the Somali coast "undercover" in private ships and wait for someone to try to hijack them. Then gun the pirates down. Teach the pirates that every time they chase or fire upon what appears to be a civilian ship, there's a 50-50 chance it's a trap.

Drive home the point that piracy isn't going to result in life in the slammer.

No trial for pirates. Just a bullet in the head.

If the family wants the body back, tell them to pay the $1.50 it cost for the bullet. Otherwise, photograph the body and feed it to the sharks.
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