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You are being lied to about pirates

 
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2009 08:59 PM
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You are being lied to about pirates
[link to www.independent.co.uk]

Johann Hari: You are being lied to about pirates

Some are clearly just gangsters. But others are trying to stop illegal dumping and trawling

Who imagined that in 2009, the world's governments would be declaring a new War on Pirates? As you read this, the British Royal Navy backed by the ships of more than two dozen nations, from the US to China is sailing into Somalian waters to take on men we still picture as parrot-on-the-shoulder pantomime villains. They will soon be fighting Somalian ships and even chasing the pirates onto land, into one of the most broken countries on earth. But behind the arrr-me-hearties oddness of this tale, there is an untold scandal. The people our governments are labelling as "one of the great menaces of our times" have an extraordinary story to tell and some justice on their side.

Pirates have never been quite who we think they are. In the "golden age of piracy" from 1650 to 1730 the idea of the pirate as the senseless, savage Bluebeard that lingers today was created by the British government in a great propaganda heave. Many ordinary people believed it was false: pirates were often saved from the gallows by supportive crowds. Why? What did they see that we can't? In his book Villains Of All Nations, the historian Marcus Rediker pores through the evidence.

If you became a merchant or navy sailor then plucked from the docks of London's East End, young and hungry you ended up in a floating wooden Hell. You worked all hours on a cramped, half-starved ship, and if you slacked off, the all-powerful captain would whip you with the Cat O' Nine Tails. If you slacked often, you could be thrown overboard. And at the end of months or years of this, you were often cheated of your wages.

Pirates were the first people to rebel against this world. They mutinied and created a different way of working on the seas. Once they had a ship, the pirates elected their captains, and made all their decisions collectively, without torture. They shared their bounty out in what Rediker calls "one of the most egalitarian plans for the disposition of resources to be found anywhere in the eighteenth century".

They even took in escaped African slaves and lived with them as equals. The pirates showed "quite clearly and subversively that ships did not have to be run in the brutal and oppressive ways of the merchant service and the Royal Navy." This is why they were romantic heroes, despite being unproductive thieves.

The words of one pirate from that lost age, a young British man called William Scott, should echo into this new age of piracy. Just before he was hanged in Charleston, South Carolina, he said: "What I did was to keep me from perishing. I was forced to go a-pirateing to live." In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country's food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.

Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: "Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury you name it." Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to "dispose" of cheaply. When I asked Mr Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: "Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention."

At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia's seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: "If nothing is done, there soon won't be much fish left in our coastal waters."

This is the context in which the "pirates" have emerged. Somalian fishermen took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least levy a "tax" on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia and ordinary Somalis agree. The independent Somalian news site WardheerNews found 70 per cent "strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence".

No, this doesn't make hostage-taking justifiable, and yes, some are clearly just gangsters especially those who have held up World Food Programme supplies. But in a telephone interview, one of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali: "We don't consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas." William Scott would understand.

Did we expect starving Somalians to stand passively on their beaches, paddling in our toxic waste, and watch us snatch their fish to eat in restaurants in London and Paris and Rome? We won't act on those crimes the only sane solution to this problem but when some of the fishermen responded by disrupting the transit-corridor for 20 per cent of the world's oil supply, we swiftly send in the gunboats.

The story of the 2009 war on piracy was best summarised by another pirate, who lived and died in the fourth century BC. He was captured and brought to Alexander the Great, who demanded to know "what he meant by keeping possession of the sea." The pirate smiled, and responded: "What you mean by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, while you, who do it with a great fleet, are called emperor." Once again, our great imperial fleets sail but who is the robber?

--------------------------------------------------------

All I can say is WOW!! I'm speechless if this is true, and I wouldn't doubt it for a second!
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2009 09:02 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
I saw this on WRH the other day. I too was rather blown away. I think this should be pinned for truth, but I only think it's the truth because I expect the MSM to be about as reliable as a 5th grade game of telephone.....
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2009 09:05 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
The google ads for this post are funny too. I was wondering where I was going to find some water cannons for my yacht. I could use a few Jolly Roger flags too.
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2009 09:08 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
bump
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2009 09:17 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
"We don't consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas."

thanks for the article
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2009 09:22 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
what google ads?
malu

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01/07/2009 09:31 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
so countries dump nuclear waste and heavy metals into their seas, and then steal the seafood from the same place? isn't that a little odd? highly probable, but odd

the first part of the story was a really good read, made a lot of sense, but i still don't see why so many navies are now descending on this area, i don't believe it has anything to do with pirates
i have followed this trend for awhile now, a small quick reaction force and some defensive measures on the ships would take care of that, they are not that big of a threat, lightly armed, some with RPG's, but seriously, WTF is really going on?
"By way of deception, thou shalt do war."

Israel's Mossad

"The truth shall set you free."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Motto
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/07/2009 09:35 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
so countries dump nuclear waste and heavy metals into their seas, and then steal the seafood from the same place? isn't that a little odd? highly probable, but odd

the first part of the story was a really good read, made a lot of sense, but i still don't see why so many navies are now descending on this area, i don't believe it has anything to do with pirates
i have followed this trend for awhile now, a small quick reaction force and some defensive measures on the ships would take care of that, they are not that big of a threat, lightly armed, some with RPG's, but seriously, WTF is really going on?
 Quoting: malu


That's the thing. This whole situation makes very little sense. Why would nations which would, logically speaking, not benefit too much from "securing" the waters send vessels there? Like Japan, what would Japan have to benefit from that region?

We're definitely not being told something important.
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2009 09:36 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country's food supply....
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 588339



HUH?


gangup
Skeptic
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01/07/2009 09:52 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
This is the most logical explanation for the Somali "pirates" I have seen.
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2009 10:31 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
Pin Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2009 10:59 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
Isn't it logical to assume that at least some of the fish is contaminated?
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2009 11:00 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
Isn't it logical to assume that at least some of the fish is contaminated?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 588413



This is a logical assumption.

:spock;
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2009 11:00 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
Logical

spock
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2009 11:02 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
hmmm...would seem to explain the targeting of chemical freighters.
malu

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01/07/2009 11:02 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
Isn't it logical to assume that at least some of the fish is contaminated?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 588413


well, if they are dumping nuclear waste and heavy metals, absolutely, probably most of it

that is funny in a really sick way, go dump your worst shit, that you don't even want in your country, and then pick up your food while you are there

thats fucked up
"By way of deception, thou shalt do war."

Israel's Mossad

"The truth shall set you free."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Motto
falldown

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01/07/2009 11:13 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
I've heard some of this before. I have no doubt a good portion of it is "understandable", some of those folks are treated like heroes for doing what they do, so it makes some sense, and meshes with the stories I've heard.

I will add that this has much to do with the way it started, but it's gone well beyond altruistic efforts. That might explain some of why nobody cared before, it was seen as reasonable, except to the folks that owned the ships. It also explains why many of the early pirating efforts allowed the crew to walk away, they just wanted to take the boats away, to make their coastline an unprofitable target.

Unfortunately, success might bite them in the end, because some of the pirates are clearly out for profits, and like the OP posted, are "gangsters". Whatever it started out as, some of them are getting a bit cocky, and that never ends well.

This also explains why coverage of the situation is a little iffy. They make a big deal about the pirates, but details tend to be sketchy, at best.
~
~
"He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words." ~Elbert Hubbard
Irdooomed

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01/07/2009 11:17 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
so countries dump nuclear waste and heavy metals into their seas, and then steal the seafood from the same place? isn't that a little odd? highly probable, but odd

the first part of the story was a really good read, made a lot of sense, but i still don't see why so many navies are now descending on this area, i don't believe it has anything to do with pirates
i have followed this trend for awhile now, a small quick reaction force and some defensive measures on the ships would take care of that, they are not that big of a threat, lightly armed, some with RPG's, but seriously, WTF is really going on?
 Quoting: malu


To put things into perspective, the nations that sent the multinational fleet are.


The United Nations Security Council.


This is beyond a shadow of a doubt the biggest story ever on GLP.

Everyone should ask for this thread to be pinned. If there isn't a permenent pin, it should be created for this thread.
Holy cow! It's the woowoo patrol!
falldown

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01/07/2009 11:20 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
Isn't it logical to assume that at least some of the fish is contaminated?
*************

well, if they are dumping nuclear waste and heavy metals, absolutely, probably most of it

that is funny in a really sick way, go dump your worst shit, that you don't even want in your country, and then pick up your food while you are there

thats fucked up
 Quoting: malu

Sadly, it happens all the time. Check out some of the EPA enforcement action reports sometime. A good chunk of them read a little like, "Company produces toxic stuff, owners decided to save money, drove to isolated mountain area upstream, dumped toxins, toxins floated downstream for years, contaminating town water supply and wells, sickening many residents, including owners of the violating company."

Don't shit where you eat...I thought humorous because it was so obvious. Apparently, I was wrong about the obvious part...
~
~
"He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words." ~Elbert Hubbard
<?>
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01/07/2009 11:22 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
[link to www.youtube.com]
malu

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01/07/2009 11:36 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
Isn't it logical to assume that at least some of the fish is contaminated?
*************

well, if they are dumping nuclear waste and heavy metals, absolutely, probably most of it

that is funny in a really sick way, go dump your worst shit, that you don't even want in your country, and then pick up your food while you are there

thats fucked up

Sadly, it happens all the time. Check out some of the EPA enforcement action reports sometime. A good chunk of them read a little like, "Company produces toxic stuff, owners decided to save money, drove to isolated mountain area upstream, dumped toxins, toxins floated downstream for years, contaminating town water supply and wells, sickening many residents, including owners of the violating company."

Don't shit where you eat...I thought humorous because it was so obvious. Apparently, I was wrong about the obvious part...
 Quoting: falldown


the toxic dump in my town, in the wetlands, on the river going out to lake michigan, is now capped, and a childrens soccer field

another crisis averted *rolls eyes*
"By way of deception, thou shalt do war."

Israel's Mossad

"The truth shall set you free."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Motto
malu

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01/07/2009 11:39 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
so countries dump nuclear waste and heavy metals into their seas, and then steal the seafood from the same place? isn't that a little odd? highly probable, but odd

the first part of the story was a really good read, made a lot of sense, but i still don't see why so many navies are now descending on this area, i don't believe it has anything to do with pirates
i have followed this trend for awhile now, a small quick reaction force and some defensive measures on the ships would take care of that, they are not that big of a threat, lightly armed, some with RPG's, but seriously, WTF is really going on?


To put things into perspective, the nations that sent the multinational fleet are.


The United Nations Security Council.


This is beyond a shadow of a doubt the biggest story ever on GLP.

Everyone should ask for this thread to be pinned. If there isn't a permenent pin, it should be created for this thread.
 Quoting: Irdooomed


and they are:
[link to www.un.org]

i need a little more to see where you are going with this
"By way of deception, thou shalt do war."

Israel's Mossad

"The truth shall set you free."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Motto
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2009 11:41 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
I had a feeling.
Maximus Interruptus

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01/07/2009 11:46 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
Check this out.

On 25 September 2008, the Faina was hijacked. The ship was allegedly heading to Mombasa, Kenya, from Ukraine with 33 Soviet-made T-72 tanks, weapons (including rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns) and ammunition on board, when it was seized.

[link to en.wikipedia.org]
silence is golden....
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2009 11:46 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
[link to spie.org]

this from a few years ago............but now we know why the water glows
Irdooomed

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01/07/2009 11:56 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
To put things into perspective, the nations that sent the multinational fleet are.


The United Nations Security Council.


This is beyond a shadow of a doubt the biggest story ever on GLP.

Everyone should ask for this thread to be pinned. If there isn't a permenent pin, it should be created for this thread.
=====
and they are:
[link to www.un.org]

i need a little more to see where you are going with this
 Quoting: malu


No comment.
Holy cow! It's the woowoo patrol!
malu

User ID: 578235
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01/08/2009 12:07 AM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
To put things into perspective, the nations that sent the multinational fleet are.


The United Nations Security Council.


This is beyond a shadow of a doubt the biggest story ever on GLP.

Everyone should ask for this thread to be pinned. If there isn't a permenent pin, it should be created for this thread.
=====
and they are:
[link to www.un.org]

i need a little more to see where you are going with this


No comment.
 Quoting: Irdooomed


china,russia,uk, and the usa have joined forces to

what?

why no comment? aussie right? what do you think?
"By way of deception, thou shalt do war."

Israel's Mossad

"The truth shall set you free."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Motto
Anonymous Coward
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United States
01/08/2009 12:12 AM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
[link to www.independent.co.uk]

Johann Hari: You are being lied to about pirates

Some are clearly just gangsters. But others are trying to stop illegal dumping and trawling

Who imagined that in 2009, the world's governments would be declaring a new War on Pirates? As you read this, the British Royal Navy backed by the ships of more than two dozen nations, from the US to China is sailing into Somalian waters to take on men we still picture as parrot-on-the-shoulder pantomime villains. They will soon be fighting Somalian ships and even chasing the pirates onto land, into one of the most broken countries on earth. But behind the arrr-me-hearties oddness of this tale, there is an untold scandal. The people our governments are labelling as "one of the great menaces of our times" have an extraordinary story to tell and some justice on their side.

Pirates have never been quite who we think they are. In the "golden age of piracy" from 1650 to 1730 the idea of the pirate as the senseless, savage Bluebeard that lingers today was created by the British government in a great propaganda heave. Many ordinary people believed it was false: pirates were often saved from the gallows by supportive crowds. Why? What did they see that we can't? In his book Villains Of All Nations, the historian Marcus Rediker pores through the evidence.

If you became a merchant or navy sailor then plucked from the docks of London's East End, young and hungry you ended up in a floating wooden Hell. You worked all hours on a cramped, half-starved ship, and if you slacked off, the all-powerful captain would whip you with the Cat O' Nine Tails. If you slacked often, you could be thrown overboard. And at the end of months or years of this, you were often cheated of your wages.

Pirates were the first people to rebel against this world. They mutinied and created a different way of working on the seas. Once they had a ship, the pirates elected their captains, and made all their decisions collectively, without torture. They shared their bounty out in what Rediker calls "one of the most egalitarian plans for the disposition of resources to be found anywhere in the eighteenth century".

They even took in escaped African slaves and lived with them as equals. The pirates showed "quite clearly and subversively that ships did not have to be run in the brutal and oppressive ways of the merchant service and the Royal Navy." This is why they were romantic heroes, despite being unproductive thieves.

The words of one pirate from that lost age, a young British man called William Scott, should echo into this new age of piracy. Just before he was hanged in Charleston, South Carolina, he said: "What I did was to keep me from perishing. I was forced to go a-pirateing to live." In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country's food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.

Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: "Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury you name it." Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to "dispose" of cheaply. When I asked Mr Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: "Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention."

At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia's seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: "If nothing is done, there soon won't be much fish left in our coastal waters."

This is the context in which the "pirates" have emerged. Somalian fishermen took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least levy a "tax" on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia and ordinary Somalis agree. The independent Somalian news site WardheerNews found 70 per cent "strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence".

No, this doesn't make hostage-taking justifiable, and yes, some are clearly just gangsters especially those who have held up World Food Programme supplies. But in a telephone interview, one of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali: "We don't consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas." William Scott would understand.

Did we expect starving Somalians to stand passively on their beaches, paddling in our toxic waste, and watch us snatch their fish to eat in restaurants in London and Paris and Rome? We won't act on those crimes the only sane solution to this problem but when some of the fishermen responded by disrupting the transit-corridor for 20 per cent of the world's oil supply, we swiftly send in the gunboats.

The story of the 2009 war on piracy was best summarised by another pirate, who lived and died in the fourth century BC. He was captured and brought to Alexander the Great, who demanded to know "what he meant by keeping possession of the sea." The pirate smiled, and responded: "What you mean by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, while you, who do it with a great fleet, are called emperor." Once again, our great imperial fleets sail but who is the robber?

--------------------------------------------------------

All I can say is WOW!! I'm speechless if this is true, and I wouldn't doubt it for a second!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 588339

Goofy Thum
GOOD SOLID INFORMATION. THANK YOU!
rustgrip
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01/08/2009 12:15 AM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
This is the most logical explanation for the Somali "pirates" I have seen.
 Quoting: Skeptic 573439

me too. its bothered me the i could not get a real angle on this one , now i think i do. thanks op ps what is the fricking armada really doing there?
malu

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01/08/2009 09:58 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
Looks like the New World Navy has been formed
Quote

Interesting - haven't seen this in the US Media even though the US seems to be leading it -
[link to news.bbc.co.uk]

A new international force to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia is being formed and will be headed by an American admiral, the US navy says.

More than 20 nations are expected to contribute to the force, due to be fully operational later in January.

After more than 100 attacks last year, the International Maritime Bureau said increased naval patrols had reduced hijackings in December last year.

The EU formed an anti-piracy task force in December.

Ships from other navies, including Canada, Iran, India and China, have also been patrolling one of the world's busiest sea lanes - the waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean leading to and from the Suez Canal.

Thread: Looks like the New World Navy has been formed
"By way of deception, thou shalt do war."

Israel's Mossad

"The truth shall set you free."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Motto
Philly Girl
User ID: 541429
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01/08/2009 10:00 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
Looks like the New World Navy has been formed
Quote

Interesting - haven't seen this in the US Media even though the US seems to be leading it -
[link to news.bbc.co.uk]

A new international force to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia is being formed and will be headed by an American admiral, the US navy says.

More than 20 nations are expected to contribute to the force, due to be fully operational later in January.

After more than 100 attacks last year, the International Maritime Bureau said increased naval patrols had reduced hijackings in December last year.

The EU formed an anti-piracy task force in December.

Ships from other navies, including Canada, Iran, India and China, have also been patrolling one of the world's busiest sea lanes - the waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean leading to and from the Suez Canal.

Thread: Looks like the New World Navy has been formed
 Quoting: malu

Thanx - I was just going to add that here but I see you beat me to it.





GLP