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Western Martyrs

A few days ago, Somali pirates seized an American yacht sailing off the Horn of Africa. On board were four Americans, including a missionary couple who were literally circling the globe to give out Bibles. American warships were nearby, and responded. They didn't launch an immediate rescue operation, but followed and tried to open negotiations.

The pirates' opening gambit: kill all the hostages.

The Navy moved in, but they were too late. Two pirates were killed, along with the four Americans. Thirteen more pirates were captured.

Which leaves the obvious question: WHY?

There was a time when pirates were recognized as universal enemies of humanity. Under international law, it was both the right and the duty of every navy to hunt down and exterminate pirates.

That's fallen by the wayside, by and large, but the laws are still on the books. And the justification is as good today as it was then.

There's one sure way to cut down -- if not eliminate -- Somali piracy.

Interdiction.

A close blockade of Somalia's coast, with every single Somali vessel subject to being stopped and searched. Retaliatory strikes against known pirate bases and communities that support the pirates. And summary execution of pirates captured -- unless they can prove themselves more valuable alive than dead.

This incident also reinforces an observation I had a while ago. In the Western world, a "martyr" is someone who dies for their beliefs. In the Islamic world, a "martyr" tends to be someone who dies for their beliefs -- but while killing others in the process.

Somalia is primarily an Islamic state.

Scott Adam, Jean Adam, Bob Riggle, and Phyllis Mackay are martyrs in the Western sense. They died while practicing their beliefs, in a way that harmed absolutely no one.

As a confirmed agnostic, I would not be opposed to the US Navy -- and the navies of the rest of the world -- going a bit Old Testament on their behalf.

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Comments (33)

Maybe it's time to stop usi... (Below threshold)

Maybe it's time to stop using kid gloves with these animals. All they understand is violence, so maybe that's all they should get. I don't expect Obama to do anything but ignore the situation, though.

Kill. Every. Last. One of t... (Below threshold)
Zipity:

Kill. Every. Last. One of them..... Problem solved.

"Thirteen more pirates were... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"Thirteen more pirates were captured."

Thirteen more aclu clients, who after a long circus-like interval, will be led, smiling like baboons, into an American Federal pen to spend 5 to 20 years in more luxury than they have ever known. Celebrated as freedom-fighting oppressed victims by our Left, they will convert to or deepen their extreme Islamic beliefs.

finis.

Do what we did to the Musli... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Do what we did to the Muslim Barbary pirates 200 years ago: Go to guns and make it absolutely fruitless -- and fatal -- to attack an American or American-friendly vessel.

As much as I favor the cour... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

As much as I favor the course of a fair trial followed by a first-class hanging, the practical side of me screams out, "First, wring them out for everything they know."

If we only had a President.... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

If we only had a President...a CinC...who gave a DAMN about Christian martyrs. But we do NOT.

Capturing the pirates is NOT the approach. Every one must die every time.

the 13 captured pirates will indeed become ACLU clients...and eventually will be released because THEY are victims! Bullshit!!

Did Obama apologize about t... (Below threshold)
Roy:

Did Obama apologize about their bible thing yet?

This whole pirate crap coul... (Below threshold)
Hangtown Bob:

This whole pirate crap could be ended in 2 weeks if this administration had the balls to actually confront it.

No negotiations.

Kill every pirate encountered.

Sink every vessel in the pirate ports (except for artisanal fishing boats).

Bomb all port facilities.

Bomb all homes of the known pirate leaders.

Conduct Predator/Reaper strikes on all fast-moving vessels leaving pirate ports.

Arm all commercial vessels with mercenary defensive forces.

Etc. Etc. You get the picture!!!

These victims don't matter ... (Below threshold)
Hank:

These victims don't matter to Obama.
Wrong color, wrong message, wrong place, no political value.

"And summary execution of p... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"And summary execution of pirates captured"

Ain't gonna happen. We're a "kinder, gentler" world now. More compassionate. More understanding.

And they'll bury us because of this rampant stupidity.

I assume that Navy ship has a yardarm. It should be decorated with 13 Somali corpses.

Shoot the trash and bury it... (Below threshold)
914:

Shoot the trash and bury it at sea. Or the next thing You know they will show up in Madison to protest Walker.

Unfortunately actually taki... (Below threshold)
Mike Giles:

Unfortunately actually taking action runs smack dab into the bedrock Leftist belief that any thing can be made right with enough words. Violence never works, while talk always works.

The LA Times reportage is i... (Below threshold)

The LA Times reportage is incomplete (surprise!). CBS reports that "On Monday, two pirates had peacefully come aboard the USS Sterett to negotiate with naval forces for the release of the hostages, and remained aboard overnight.

But on Tuesday, pirates aboard the Quest unexpectedly fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the Sterett. Shortly afterward, gunfire erupted inside the Quest cabin, and U.S. special forces responded, approaching the Quest in small boats and boarding the vessel, Vice Adm. Mark Fox, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said in a Tuesday press conference."

Incidentally, this is the FIRST time Somali pirates have killed Americans, never before, which I suspect is significant.

Why? Well, pirates are entirely motivated by money, loot, plunder, right?

These pirates, start to negotiate and then, opened fire on a four ship naval escort...and then immediately kill the hostages.

Makes no sense from a pirates point of view, does it? They completely give up any leverage and remove all reason for US forces to show restraint, right?

Something else has to be at play here because pirates don't readily give up the one thing, that might get them what they want...

So, who behaves this way? Well, crazy Islamic fanatics behave that way...anyone else?

Only two pirates fought back, the rest surrendered. So why did the other 18 allow the hostages to be killed?

Maybe the goal is to get into American prisons, to gain converts for Allah, who shall, sooner or later, get out of prison...

Sound far fetched? To me and you, sure. But to a religious fanatic, instructed to do so by his Imam?

Several issues have come up... (Below threshold)
James H:

Several issues have come up:

1) No country really wants to put the pirates on trial. Generally, they're put ashore or repatriated somewhere along the African coast, or sent to Kenya for trial, rather than be punished in any menaingful way.

2) Determining who is and who isn't a pirate is difficult. The same boats used for piracy might also be fishing trawlers; unless you catch them in the act of piracy, it's going to be difficult to prove that a given seaman is a pirate. And if he has weapons aboard his vessel? Why, they're to defend against pirates!

3) Under the Paris Declaration, the nations of Europe (and elsewhere) provided by treaty that they would no longer issue letters of marque, although the United States never signed that treaty. And the United States has not truly issued letters of marque in more than a century.

Personally, I see no reason why the United States can't both put pirates on trial and engage in summary justice. Presumably, a US Navy ship patroling for pirates has room aboard for some JAGs. If a Navy ship catches a pirate in the act of piracy, let him surrender. Give him a trial under the UCMJ (or whatever law of the high seas is appropriate), complete with competent representation by a US JAG officer. Provide recourse for an appeal, then sentene them ... perhaps to a facility conveniently located under US control, but not in a US territory.

There is no need for a tria... (Below threshold)
914:

There is no need for a trial. They are murderers who were caught red handed at the scene,.


Execute. Don't prosecute.

It's actually not that diff... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

It's actually not that difficult to determine if a fishing boat is being used for fishing or not. A quick inspection of the nets and holding tanks will tell you right away.

Fat chance we don't know where the bases are, either.

No, the only thing holding us back from action is the spineless wimp in the White House, who is too busy organizing state union protests and playing golf to worry about national security, and only acts tough towards our allies when he does have to pay some attention to foreign affairs.

IIRC, letters of marque wer... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

IIRC, letters of marque were for private vessels and captains to act under goverment authority. There is no practical reason why USN vessels, upon commencement of hostilities, should not kill every identified aggressor. If that were the case, only the 2 pirates who came aboard the Sterett prior to the shooting would be left alive.

It would take serious nerve for an admiral to issue the ROE to clearly authorize extermination of pirates who open fire on hostages or the Navy, but there is no legal obstacle and I doubt President Obama would issue an executive order denying the use of deadly force in such a situation.

"...perhaps to a facility c... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"...perhaps to a facility conveniently located under US control, but not in a US territory. "

Do we have such a place? 'Cause I know Barack promised to close Gitmo; he said it was a "fierce moral imperative" to close it.

James H,A letter o... (Below threshold)
Hcddbz:

James H,

A letter of Marque is for privater by not issuing them any more it means no pirate has any sovengienty which makes killing someone caught in the act of piracy justifiable.

The pirate proudly declare who they are and countless are not activly snared in getting the mother ships,

These pirates are know because they mostly ransom people and ships. It is time to start dealing death and mayhem. It time to make life so diffulct for them that easy money through piracy will not be a consideration.

Barry is compelled to defen... (Below threshold)
914:

Barry is compelled to defend the enemies of this country. After all, he is one too.

Back in the day, Pirates we... (Below threshold)
Howie:

Back in the day, Pirates were hung. Perhaps, we hang the pirates we caught and then displayed their bodies across the coast of Somalia. Would be a nice deterent. (Of course, we would do this in the most political correct way so the liberals would be offended)

I favor tying them to a pos... (Below threshold)
epador:

I favor tying them to a post at low tide a their port (after it has been suitably de-hostilified).

James H.,Many "pir... (Below threshold)
Howie:

James H.,

Many "pirates" simply drop their guns overboard in the ocean and claim they are fisherman. Hard to catch them.

A JAG lawyer onboard ship is to protect the CO, not trial criminals. The international community needs to address this situation (and they are working on it).

The problem is that the ocean is big and resources are little.

JAGs also function as defen... (Below threshold)
James H:

JAGs also function as defense lawyers in courts martial. Let them do so here.

Or, better yet, give Blackwater some letters of marque and let them go to town.

Howie writes: "Back in the ... (Below threshold)
shivermetimbers:

Howie writes: "Back in the day, pirates were hung."

Long Dong Silver still is. The point, however, is that pirates should be HANGED. "Hung" has an entirely different meaning.

I should add that the yarda... (Below threshold)
James H:

I should add that the yardarm works for me, too. But we've got a whole system of international norms now that says you're not supposed to do that ...

James,Those JAGs d... (Below threshold)
Howie:

James,

Those JAGs defend/prosecute military members. They are typically not on ship.

Long Dong Silver? Now you opened up the whole Clarence Thomas debate again. :)

From freedictionary.com... (Below threshold)
Howie:

From freedictionary.com

Hang:
9b. To display, as in a gallery or office: hung four new paintings in the foyer.

So post a couple of 'em to ... (Below threshold)
James H:

So post a couple of 'em to a large ship near whatever's going on. Although I'm not sure our sailors would want to spend that much time in the company of lawyers.

It's a big ocean. If a "fis... (Below threshold)

It's a big ocean. If a "fishing" vessel's crew is caught committing piracy, who's to say they weren't given a stern warning and allowed back onto their boat, only to all throw themselves overboard in shame for their misdeeds?

The other name of Somali "p... (Below threshold)

The other name of Somali "pirate, lest we forget," is Islamist terrorist.

Arrrrgh JT, yer a man after... (Below threshold)
Olsoljer:

Arrrrgh JT, yer a man after me own heart!!
What ever happened to "walking the plank"?

The captured pirates should... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

The captured pirates should have all been released. Into a small open boat. In the middle of the Indian Ocean. And if the boat got swamped by the wake of the US warship departing at 35 knots? Oh well. Not our problem.




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