Saturday, April 18, 2009

Somali Pirate Situation (an opinion)

USS Bainbridge DDG 96

Somali Pirate Boat

The situation in the waters off the Somali coast is intolerable primarily because of an international aversion to spilling Somali blood. I don't understand this reluctance to kill pirates. The pirates found success in taking a few ships and now it's becoming a cottage industry in Somalia. 

Historically, the United States has defended its ships against piracy. One of the first examples of this took place during the First Barbary War or Barbary Coast War (1801-1805). North African states, collectively known as the Barbary States (Sultanate of Morocco and the Regencies of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli) demanded tribute from the United States. When the tribute was not paid, they seized American ships on the high seas. 

In October 1803, the Tripoli fleet captured the USS Philadelphia when it ran aground while patroling the area. Captain William Bainbridge and the officers and crew of the Philadelphia were taken ashore as hostages.

On the night of February 16, 1804, Lieutenant Stephen Decatur led a small contingent of sailors and marines to recapture the Philadelphia. The marines set fire to the Philadelphia, denying her use to the pirates.

On July 14, 1804, Commodore Preble attacked Tripoli with the American fleet by sea and US Marine First Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon led a mixed force of eight marines and 500 Greek and Arab mercenaries across the desert from the city from Alexandria, Egypt, to attack and capture the Tripolitan city of Derna. (This action was memorialized in a line from the Marines' Hymn - "to the shores of Tripoli".)


WoFat said...

We look like idiots to the international press. I wonder why?

LL said...

We take into mind the "good of the terrorists/pirates" instead of the good of the nation and the community of nations threatened by them.

The world turned upside down.

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