Thursday, October 09, 2008

Paying the Ransom

The pirate stories keep coming thick and fast.

Earlier today I reported that the Danes had released ten captured pirates. Now comes a story that the Japanese have paid a cool $1.6 million for the release of their tanker.

Our forefathers broke the back of the Barbary pirate industry two hundred years ago, and the once-dreaded corsairs disappeared forever from the Mediterranean. You’d think we’d have learned our lesson, but now the history of the Barbary Coast is being recapitulated off the Horn of Africa:

Somali pirates free Japanese tanker for ransom

Somali pirates freed a Japanese chemical tanker and its crew today after a $1.6 million ransom was paid, a regional government official said.

The MT Irene was seized by gunmen on August 21 as it travelled to India from France through the Gulf of Aden.

Somali gunmen have seized at least 30 vessels this year and attacked many more in the world’s busiest and most dangerous shipping area connecting Europe to Asia and the Middle East.

“The pirates disembarked and the ship sailed away. Its 25 crew members are safe,” Abdulqadir Muse Yusuf, assistant fisheries minister for Somalia’s northern region of Puntland, said without elaborating.

And now comes the really bad news: it looks like the Ukrainians are going to pay $8 million to get their tanks (and the ship’s crew) back. When the Russians took an interest in the case, I thought ransom was being ruled off the table. Vladimir, say it ain’t so!
- - - - - - - - -
$8 million ransom deal

In the highest profile incident in years, Somali gunmen are holding a Ukrainian ship loaded with tanks and other weaponry.

Yesterday, an onshore associate of the pirates said an $8 million ransom deal was in the offing that might allow that ship to be freed within days.

The MV Faina has been held since the end of September with 20 crew on board. Its cargo includes 33 T-72 tanks which were en route to Kenya’s Mombasa port.

But don’t worry, folks — the UN is getting involved:

Earlier this week, the UN Security Council again called for a joint naval operation against the pirates, who have reaped millions in ransoms this year and pushed up insurance costs.

A joint naval operation commanded by the UN…

Why does this not fill me with confidence?

The air over the Indian ocean is echoing with pirate laughter.

Hat tip: LN.


Sam Grant said...

If those paying the ransoms were really upset, they'd be thinking about fighting next time. At a minimum they'd be willing to let somebody else fight next time.

Anonymous said...

It's GOVERNMENT politicians that are paying out the ransom. It's not their money, after all. They'll just increase taxes a tad, shift some funds from account A to account B, and no one gets hurt...

That's today's "progressive" leadership.

christian soldier said...

Jefferson sent the new US Navy and Marines to quell the Barbary pirates-Madison sent them again-1815-
"It is a settled policy of America,that as peace is better than war,war is better than tribute. The United States, while they wish for war with no nation,will buy peace with none."
"We never pay any on Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost.
For the end of the game is
oppression and shame,
And the nation that pays it
is lost."

joe six-pack said...

Is it a coincidence that Tribute was why the U.S. fought Muslim priates in the past? Infidel ships passing through Muslim waters owed them money.

Pirates do not have uniforms, do not have the support of any government, do not carry their arms openly, prey on civilians.
Priates use military weapons and tactics. Sounds a lot like the Islamic terrorists that we see and hear so much about today.

Anonymous said...

They're just following the sunnah of their old Mo. He used to raid trade caravans and hold them for ransom too. They are actually just performing an act of worship.

Captain USpace said...

Being Muslims, they must be peaceful pirates. These Somali pirate monkeys are out of control. They go out for weeks in little rickety boats with just weapons and water and eat raw fish they catch and keep hijacking bigger then bigger, then bigger boats.

These terrorist monkeys must be exterminated with extreme prejudice. Several drones into their camps when they're fat and happy celebrating their new money
should do a few tricks.

Lots of great Pirate coverage over at Dinah Lord:
Somalian Gov't Charges Pirate Negotiator Andrew Mwangura
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
don't exterminate pirates

seizing ships for ransom
everybody gets rich

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
let pirates operate

you will get cut of ransom
and maybe some weapons too

All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
Help Halt Terrorism Today!


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Pirates do not have uniforms, do not have the support of any government

How do we know they don't have the support of their governments? Why would an Islamic government object to their activities? In my book, looking the other way is support.