Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Somali Pirates Send A Message To Obama - 4 More Hijacks

Apparently the Somali pirates saw President Obama's initial restraint the same way I did yesterday.

They responded by hijacking four more ships and opening fire on a fifth:

Somali pirates have brazenly hijacked four more ships in the Gulf of Aden over the last 24 hours and opened fire on a fifth.
The pirates captured two trawlers yesterday, a cargo ship named the M.V. Irene overnight, and a second cargo ship named the M.V. Seahorse today.
This afternoon a Nato official said a band of pirates had opened fire on a fifth cargo ship - but it managed to escape.

Natostaff officer Stephan Gresmak said ten pirates on board three skiffs fired automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades at the Liberian-flagged 21,887-tonne Safmarine Asia.

There was no immediate word of any casualties.

The sharp escalation in attacks come just hours after President Barack Obama vowed to step up the fight against piracy - and as the pirates vowed retaliation for the death of their five colleagues

As I pointed out before, the locations of the pirate bases are known...so why haven't there been decisive attacks on the pirate bases and the pirate's Islamist protectors like the local al-Qaeda affiliate Al Shabab, which takes a share of the loot as 'taxes'? It could easily be done from the air or the sea, without having to send ground forces in.

Why haven't the navies of interested parties participated in a joint naval blockade, with instructions to interdict any ship approaching Somalia with suspicious cargo or to blow any Somalian craft that strays out of a clearly marked safe zone out of the water?

I mentioned yesterday the connections between Iran, Hezbollah and Al Shabab, and the pirates and Al Shabab are getting their arms from somewhere. Could Obama and the West be walking softly here when it comes to decisive action because Iran is delivering weapons to the Somalis and there is a general fear on the part of the US and the West to confront Iran in any fashion?

And it's also worth noting that the pirate raids provide a useful distraction from Iran's continued progress towards nuclear weapons - while the West does nothing about it.

No comments: