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You are being lied to about pirates

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 656176
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04/13/2009 04:16 PM
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You are being lied to about pirates
by Johann Hari
[link to www.sfbayview.com]
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 U.S. 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 labeling 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 thief that lingers today was created by the British government in a great propaganda heave. Many ordinary people believed it was false: Pirates were often rescued 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 to find out. 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 for a second, the all-powerful captain would whip you with the cat o’ nine tails. If you slacked consistently, 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 against their tyrannical captains - 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. 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 18th 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 popular, 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-pirating to live.”

In 1991, the government of Somalia - in the Horn of Africa - collapsed. Its 9 million people have been teetering on starvation ever since - and many of 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 U.N. 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 Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: “Nothing. There has been no cleanup, 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 over-exploitation - and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300 million worth of tuna, shrimp, lobster and other sea life is being stolen every year by vast trawlers illegally sailing into Somalia’s unprotected seas.
more at link above

edited to 50%

Last Edited by SPUD on 08/28/2011 09:56 PM
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 656176
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04/13/2009 04:17 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
Remember the ship the "pirates" caught that had "mysterious" radioactive material onboard?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 656040
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04/13/2009 04:18 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
The lie is that only the navy can use weapons
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 656176
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04/13/2009 04:20 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
Waves 'brought waste to Somalia'
2 March, 2005

[link to news.bbc.co.uk]

Tsunami waves could have spread illegally dumped nuclear waste and other toxic waste on Somalia's coast, a United Nations spokesman has said.
Nick Nuttall of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) told the BBC that December's tsunami appeared to have broken barrels and scattered waste.

Mr Nuttall said a preliminary UN report had found that Somalis in the northern areas were falling sick as a result.

Some firms have been dumping waste off Somalia's coast for years, the UN says.

It says international companies have been taken advantage of the fact that Somalia had no functioning government from the early 1990s until recently.

Cancer link

"It appears that the tsunami broke open the containers and scattered a lot of these toxic substances around," Mr Nuttall told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

"We are talking about radioactive chemicals, heavy metals, medical waste.. you name it," he said.

Mr Nuttall said that reports from the tsunami-hit areas in northern Somalia had found that some local villagers there had mouth bleeds and haemorrhages.

He said that some of the hazardous wastes had been linked with cancer.

"We know this hazardous waste is on the land and is being blown around in the air and being carried to villages.

"There is also a possibility - which needs to be urgently investigated - about whether some of these chemicals have got into the coastal waters.

However, the spokesman said the UNEP needed to assess the full impact for the country.

He said that the waste posed significant danger to Somalia's fishing industry and also local marine life.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 653174
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04/13/2009 04:22 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
Russian propaganda.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 656176
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04/13/2009 04:33 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
Russian propaganda.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 653174


Thanks for the bump. Forest Gump...
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 624795
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04/13/2009 06:35 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
So called "pirates" are just kids who have gone hungry one too many days. You're next because you don't have a fuckin clue that your Governments have been, and are, making war upon you.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 558159
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04/13/2009 06:51 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
So called "pirates" are just kids who have gone hungry one too many days. You're next because you don't have a fuckin clue that your Governments have been, and are, making war upon you.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 624795



Oh, no...a liberal's rationalization for terrorist behavior.

They think that pedophiles are people too, and just need love.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 649520
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04/13/2009 06:55 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
the sheeple love the pirate story like they loved the arabs with boxcutters story. it's psychotic.
Anonymous Coward
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04/13/2009 06:57 PM
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Re: You are being lied to about pirates
This info first came from villiagers of the islands there, not Russia. Someone posted a few articles here a couple of months ago, should be searchable.





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