Maritime Boom

MARITIME BOOM

Ludwig von Gress 

 When two years ago I wrote about pirates  menacing the sea traffic in western Indian ocean, (Afrika, Čína a piráti/ cs-magazin) I did not think that the situation would deteriorate so dramatically so soon. I underestimated the ability of the president Obama everywhere and always to work against the interests of USA and the western civilisation and overestimated the will of Europe to survive.

 United Nations estimates the total damage caused by pirates in Indian ocean to be between five to seven billion per annum. As of March 2011 Somalian pirates held 33 ships and 758 hostages. Not all attacks are reported and the ransoms are not always known. Some are. For example, in November last year the South Korean tanker Samho Dream was released after payment of $9.5 million. Some experts guess that only last year the pirates earned US$ 238 million.

All this allegedly developed from „defensive“ piracy by poor Somali fishermen, protecting themselves against non-Somalian fishermen, who had the temerity to catch their fish and against western imperialists’ dumping of toxic waste. Obviously, they are something like Greenpeace and PETA with an exception that they originally lived of fishing and honest-to-goodness desert robbery as opposed to those misfits living of unemployment benefits and rich parents. In the eyes of the left the murdering African pirates are the seagoing version of Robin Hood (Pancho Villa in Mexico, Obama in America, Ned Kelly and Julia Gillard in Australia) and  most journalists are wetting their pants with pride.

It can’t be said that the world only disapprovingly shakes its head. Au contraire.

Twenty five nations sent naval units to CTF-151 (Combined Task Force), commanded by a US admiral. Further, NATO has its own naval group, called Operation Ocean Shield. The name itself ought to cause nightmares to those pirates, if only they could read. Furthermore, European Union operates an independent naval squadron, established specifically to protect UN food convoys to, where else, Somalia. (Apparently two million out of ten million Somalis depend on that.)This, for a change, is called Operation Atalanta and is reputedly the most successful.  I suppose that even the Somalis realised that it is more practical to steal the flour already in port.

To make it even more confusing for the pirates, Russia, China, India, Iran, Japan and Saudi Arabia operate their warships in the western Indian ocean under their respective commands, independent of any international talkfests. The pirates in the meantime expanded their globalization efforts from the original Somali coast to the area roughly bordered by Seychelles and Maldives; and multiplied profits. Insurance companies do not complain. Ship owners and their customers, i.e. all of us, so far their losses more than handsomely compensate.

What that maritime boom achieved? During the last three years all those expensive naval forces caught, and, after assuring that those wretched of the sea had enough food and fuel to return to their base, let go almost 700 pirates. There is no political will to capture, charge and punish the pirates. The Economist of 5th February  2011 : „Rich countries fear that, apart from the trouble and expense of putting pirates on trial, convictions will not deter them. Some may even see a short spell in a western jail followed by an application for political asylum as enticing.“ Short spell! Political asylum! The upper margin of punishment for piracy all over the world is normally maximum – death or life imprisonment. Unfortunately the political correctness of the judges as always leads to punishment of the innocent by not punishing the guilty.

The above mentioned The Economist claims that the only solution is to offer the pirates and their families better life. No force, for god-sake, against the murdering scam. When and where surrender to evil lead to good, they fail to say. Of course, the idea that violence begets violence is so correct, that in my opinion it ought to be beaten into the heads of those sea-bullies daily during the rest of their life in prison. Only when they realise that we will defend ourselves not just symbolically and that they would be definitely worse off, the piracy would cease to be a serious problem.

Not all is lost. Countries, which political correctness and leftist pseudo-humanity has not yet stupefied, defend themselves by historically proven methods. In January this year South Korean commandos shot to death eight pirates, who hijacked Samho Jewelry and the same month Indians sank two pirate mother ships. Two month later Indian navy attacked a ship, hijacked in December last  year, freed thirteen hostages and arrested sixty one pirates. Europe, castrated by political correctness, just watches. It is another sad example of disintegration of society, of moral decay and the loss of the self-preservation instinct. Nevertheless, inshallah, in two years time I would be able to write a similarly optimistic article.

9th April 2011

Since writing the above a following news came to hand:

Australian Navy rescues hostages from pirates


“The Australian Navy has rescued a group of sailors who were being held hostage by Somali pirates off the Horn of Africa. The Defence Force says the pirates boarded the Yemeni-flagged boat several weeks ago and

About Ludwig von Gress

Born in communist Europe, interested in defence matters on a macro scale, with a cavalry “devil may care spirit” from his grandfather and cautious effectiveness of asymmetric warfare approach from his guerilla father. He sometimes despairs that he may be the only one taking the defence of Australia seriously.
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