Some Sense on Somali Pirates, from a Former Opponent of Theirs

This article about the Somali pirate seizure of a tanker appeared in a bit of an out-of-the-way place, but we were tipped to it — not least because the author is an old Ranger buddy with whom many a German beer was hoisted, back in the day.

“Those khat-chewing thugs are at it again,” I thought, recalling my maritime-security job almost 5 years ago off the east coast of Africa. Somali piracy, though, had seemed to have died off since then…

The online story elaborated: Pirates have hijacked an oil tanker off the coast of Somalia, Somali officials and piracy experts said Tuesday, in the first hijacking of a large commercial vessel there since 2012. … The area where the hijacking occurred is overseen by the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which is based in Bahrain. … It was not immediately clear what the pirates’ intentions are, but it may become one of the Trump administration’s first international tests.

The journalistically cautious “not immediately clear what the pirates’ intentions are” made me laugh. Intentions? Hijack then occupy (for as long as necessary) this non-US ship with grunt pirates while the clan’s CEO negotiates a high-dollar ransom of vessel, cargo, and crew—a big business deal via satphone from Mogadishu. It’s relatively easy money, too, if the targeted merchant vessel has no armed security personnel aboard.

We Americans are, I think, guilty of viewing too many world events through “It’s about US” lenses. Sure, it’s possible Somali pirates decided to test the new American president. After all, the US Navy has ships in the area….

Keep it Simple, Stupid (KISS) often has worked for me—the simplest theory often is the right one. This week’s hijack probably wasn’t about Trump; rather, Somali pirates simply saw an opportunity to score, after a long dry spell, and acted. Maybe the maritime industry had let its guard down in the HRA. You can bet DVDs of the “Captain Phillips” movie have been passed around in coastal areas of Somalia; pirates in 2017 probably won’t make the mistakes—exploited by our Navy and its SEAL marksmen—others made in 2009.

You’ll be better informed about Somali pirates and countermeasures if you Read The Whole Thing™. It’s written by a guy who’s been in those very waters on private MARSEC missions, deterring those very pirates.

What would actually work for the pirates of the 21st Century is what worked for the pirates of the 17th and 18th Centuries: a good dose of hanging at the yardarm, along with a thorough bombardment of the towns and harbors that emit them.

Pirates still are hostis humanae generis and ought to be treated that way. You don’t break a malaria epidemic by negotiating with the mosquitoes.


34 thoughts on “Some Sense on Somali Pirates, from a Former Opponent of Theirs

  1. Kirk

    Piracy would be easy to stop. What’s lacking is the will to do it.

    Were I President, I’d simply tell the Somali clans that if they want to keep piracy as a business plan, then they should prepare to deal with the US Navy and Marine Corps treating their coastal enclaves as live-fire training areas… And, then casually mention to the rest of the world that the US is willing to provide training opportunities for the world’s littoral combatants at a super-reduced rate. As a sideline, we’ll also do testing of littoral combat equipment, in order to validate the designs.

    I’d give it about a year, maybe two, and then we’d have to start paying the locals to shoot back at us, in order to maintain combat realism–Because, by that point, they’re not going to be doing it any more.

    1. John Distai

      Were I President, I’d put an end to Daylight Savings Time. No more screwing with your clocks, physical or biological.

      1. John M.

        Even Somali pirates aren’t foolish enough to give themselves jet lag twice a year in their own beds.

        -John M.

      2. Fuel Filter.

        Daylight Savings Time:

        The idea that cutting off one end of a rope and splicing it to the other end makes the rope longer.

      3. William O. B'Livion

        The problem is that daylight morning commutes are safer, and we spend more money when we have daylight after work.

        Because, as we all know, an 8 o’clock start time has been decreed by God.

  2. Aesop

    Go in, kill all the men, hang the ones who surrender, and then burn the village to the ground.
    In future, shell the blistering hell out of any further ports of embarkation, and hang any captures from suitable deck tackle.

    Shoot the ships to hell, on sight, until they’re afraid to venture out to sea on any pretext whatsoever, even with a cane pole and a bare hook.

    Problem gone.

    1. archy

      Shoot the ships to hell, on sight, until they’re afraid to venture out to sea on any pretext whatsoever, even with a cane pole and a bare hook.

      I’d think a few SEALs in appropriate attire and a couple of the locally-common inflatables using a sub as a mother ship/refuge, and using the locally common weapons plus a few extras as bigtime force multipliers could perform some dandy false flag raids appearing to be poaching by other competitors for the same easy soft and fat targets. Get a couple of local clan wars and family blood feuds going, and we won’t have to waste an American life or expend any ammo in the area for a couple of decades. And if any serious support vessels or freighter resupply ships show up? the torpedomen in the sub get to play, too.

  3. Ray

    Kill them ALL. Kill them NOW. Get Roman on the MF’s. Napalm and nerve gas. Take anything that puts to sea. Chum the water then feed the crew to the sharks. Nuke the cities. Drive the survivors into the Sahara. Kill everyone that try’s to help them. Take all the “refugees” WORLD WIDE. Put them in pits. Spray them with crude oil and napalm AND LIGHT IT. Genocide. And we only have to do it ONCE, for the rest of the cockroaches to “get it”. Fuck with us ONCE, even a little, and we kill you ALL. “Never do your enemy a small injury”. It was said that Vlad Dacula was a man so violent and cruel to transgressors that a virgin could walk across his lands naked with a bag of gold and arrive at her destination still a virgin and with the gold. He proved this when the Islamic hoard invaded his country and he had all of his defeated enemy’s IMPAILED up the ass on 16 foot tall poles, then sat down and ate his supper while he watched them die. We need more Vlads and fewer Obamas

    1. archy

      Concur. A couple of other points: he had been educated and trained by the Musselmem as a satrap administrator or Jarnnissary, and knew and understood them and their psychology well, including their pretensions to cultured refinenement. The legends of his drinking their blood and siitting down to dine amid the still-dying impaled Turks are probably exaggerations or good psywar stories…maybe. Nevertheless, he made it clear that no matter the rank, status or family connections of any Turks taken captive, there’d be no polite negotiations and bargaining over ransom for their release and return.

      Another even better lesson: his treatment of the boyers, the upper middle and upper class businessmen and political supporters of potential power rivals of Vlad Țepeș. After denouncing them, subjecting them to show trial tribunals and confiscating their wealth and propherty, he had them impaled as well; there were plenty of fir and beech trees around for the job- you could say that the long pole stakes sort of grew on trees. There is a less on there for how we deal with the mainstream mudia, onair, behind the cameras and their owners, the *dark state* Quislings and moles long in place in the ranks of government and the military and in the education establishment.

      per Wikipedia:

      The sultan’s army entered into the area of the impalements, which was seventeen stades long and seven stades wide. There were large stakes there on which, as it was said, about twenty thousand men, women, and children had been spitted, quite a sight for the Turks and the sultan himself. The sultan was seized with amazement and said that it was not possible to deprive of his country a man who had done such great deeds, who had such a diabolical understanding of how to govern his realm and its people. And he said that a man who had done such things was worth much. The rest of the Turks were dumbfounded when they saw the multitude of men on the stakes. There were infants too affixed to their mothers on the stakes, and birds had made their nests in their entrails.
      — Laonikos Chalkokondyles: The Histories

      Sultan Mehmed sultan decided to retreat from Wallachia and marched towards Brăila, the port city where the Ottoman fleet awaited to return the Sultan and his men home from the campaign to regroup. Treachery by the Hungarians and Vlad’s brother, allied with the Sultan, would prove a more effective way of dealing with the Wallachians.

    2. Fuel Filter.

      Europe is toast, but we all know that already.

      To ErDOGan or any other organized group of goat fuckers, try practicing  that shit over here. Trump’s DOJ is on the verge of officially naming the MB a terrorist org. Those limp dicks at CAIR know that their days are numbered as well. Remember the Holy Land trial and what Andy McCarthy and his team uncovered for all the world to see.

      We have 300 million guns in the hands of tens of millions of trained-up men, women and kids. It only took one off-duty cop with only one pistol to smoke two jihadis with AKs in Garland, TX that were offended by some fucking cartoons of your raping, murdering, pedophile “prophet”.

      I don’t own a gun yet (I’m just months away from getting out of this shithole Mexifornia on my way to AZ). But I do own a V8 pickup and it would not be out of the realm of possibility for my foot to slip off the brake to my right at an inopportune time.  After all, I am a senior citizen and not getting any younger. I’m told accidental road kill does happen now and again, especially with older drivers. (always willing to do my fair share, after all…)

      (BTW, can anyone here recommend a good WWII replica M-1 .30 cal carbine for a reasonable price?  A new, or used one that takes 30-round mags? I’d love to get one in the Phoenix area.)

  4. Jacobs

    Trump could finally put an end to the Barbary Wars. Those Somalis would just be confidence builders for our troops, and really it’d be a lot more cost efficient than regular marksmanship training. No more paper targets to print. Plus, think about the environmental benefits. All those Somali ships at the bottom of the ocean making excellent starters for reefs.

  5. Joe

    Sometimes maybe Tacitus got it right.
    Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.

    Or as the Abbot of Tours said in 1209. The Cathars had a seriously bad time.
    Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.

    Pirates have been outlaws for centuries – meaning no protection from any laws anywhere. Treat them accordingly and piracy tends to drop dramatically.

  6. robroysimmons

    Gents thank you for the right wing tough talk. You smoke a few dozen or a few thousand the Left puts the pitiable survivors on the refugee plan, calls you “rayciss” you fold and then to prove your worth you hunt down the absolutely deplorable (me) and give me a heartfelt lecture on Magic Dirt and the Consteetushun.

    FYI from a few years ago an entertaining video was on the you tube of some Mar sec dudes smoking a Boston Whaler full of skinnies

    1. Nynemillameetuh

      I’ve dealt with enough of these types to know that you’re right. It’s all “rah rah bomb the sand people” but then they cave when the left wants to dump the remainder in Minnesota or Wisconsin.

      1. robroysimmons

        I called 9/11 that way the right wing would be allowed to march Julian the Apostate style all about Mesopotamia and the left would get free reign to play multi-cult, it’s called bipartisanship, yeah.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Best guess: regression to the mean. The mean IQ in Somalia is about 65 — too low to get executed in the USA.

      1. Steve M.

        Not enough to get executed, but plenty for a lifetime in Congress. Twenty years at least.

        1. John M.

          “Sending the Marines to Somalia might overload it and cause the country to capsize.”

  7. Toastrider

    I also blame the media.

    There’s a new Pirates of the Caribbean movie coming out, featuring everyone’s favorite eponymous ‘pirate’, Captain Jack Sparrow. The problem here is that it bears no relation in reality; pirates were thugs and brigands, not goofy scoundrels.

    Ironically, even the movies have lampshaded this; Sparrow is a spectacularly incompetent pirate. A cut scene from one of the movies shows the only reason he’s hung with the moniker was for pissing off the East India Trading Company (he set free a shipment of slaves they’d loaded on his vessel).

    1. A.B. Prosper

      Terms used loosely Pirates and Buccaneers differ . The former were sea going thieves and criminals and occasional killers they later, often rapists and murders and worse.

      The historical Pirates were however far more democratic and often quite reasonable men sometimes more than the governments and globalist shipping companies of the day

      With their pressed men, brutal disciple and rapacious “trade” there wasn’t much to differentiate lawful men or pirates to be honest.

  8. Jonathan

    One difference in this hijacking versus others is that this was a (relatively) small ship intentionally going to Somalia to make deliveries – which means it would have been close to shore and a fairly easy target. However, it also means it would have been a client of at least one of the local factions; I suspect whoever was supposed to get the delivery was involved in getting it released, and would not be surprised to hear it the hijackers got in hot water for it, maybe literally, given how cheap life is that part of the world.

  9. A.B. Prosper

    While we are there, shelling anyone other than a Somali who is fishing in Somali waters would be a nice carrot to go with all that stick

    Assuming the fish stocks improved and the opportunistic pirates aiding the poachers were hanged a fair number of Somalis would probably go back to fishing which would increase local stability and reduce the conditions that helped create the piracy problem

  10. Keith

    While I personally agree with all the sentiment above, in the Honor universe pirates and slave traders, or even ships with slave equipment, go straight out the air lock. And I downloaded the book on our first Barbary war talked about a few days ago. Lots of relevant things to today in all that.

    However you all know that the left and the MSM would be all on the pirates side and call all of use racist and racial supremacists because that’s what there Progressive/Tranzi/Cosmo Pravda masters say we are.

    Keep your powder dry and your faith in God.

    1. Mike_C

      Would that be the Honor Harrington universe? Because IMNSHO that series went rapidly downhill once Eric Flint stuck his oar in. Even though Flint is apparently personally a very decent person despite his political leanings, his Victor Cachat character was the ridiculous end of his wedge into the Honorverse. From there it went past freefall into a powered dive into absurdity with “genetic slavery” and “WEB Dubois” and albino (or albino-ish) superwomen from the planet Ndebele.

      Back to Somalia and Somalis
      >The mean IQ in Somalia is about 65
      I’ve previously mentioned my mostly positive interactions with the Somali women who staff the parking garage locally (not friendly, but efficient, and don’t steal — which was a major step up from the people they replaced en masse). Recently had the opportunity to chat with a Somali Uber driver. Guy came across as educated and articulate. Also contemptuous of America and Americans (“All of you are ignorant about the world. You know nothing about Somalia.”) yet wanted to bring his extended family here. His wife is currently cooling her heels in Sweden, apparently despising the Swedes while living off their largesse. I guess the smarter ones left the Old Country, but somehow the Magic Dirt isn’t working as promised. It was very clear that Mr and Mrs Uber driver viewed America, and the West in general, as not-quite-people to be fleeced. So much for “Universal Values”; trumped by religion and culture.

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