Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pirates Get Spanking and Time Out

Somali pirates got an unexpected break after firing at a Greek ship. They were picked up by a Dutch ship that responded according to NATO rules. The New York Post reported on the events leading up to the spanking and time out as follows.

The high-seas showdown occurred after a small skiff of pirates opened fire with assault rifles and grenades on a Greek-owned tanker.

The pirates failed to capture the tanker, but they did hit it with a dud rocket-launched grenade.

A Dutch frigate in NATO's antipiracy patrol responded to the assault and pursued the dinghy as it returned to its "mother ship," a hijacked Yemeni fishing boat that had been used to stage attacks on vessels in the Gulf of Aden.

The last time I checked, NATO considers an attack against one nation to be an attack against all. It is clear that the pirates were released to continue their occupation of high seas robbery.The response of the dynamic Dutch was nothing short of underwhelming. Since the pirates surrendered without gunfire, they were permitted to leave after the Dutch interrogated them. Hostages were found in the custody of the high seas bandits but since the victims were not Dutch, it was decided to release the pirates. The Post article continued as follows concerning the logic for releasing terrorists without charges or legal action.

"NATO does not have a detainment policy. The warship must follow its national law," he explained. "[Under Dutch law] they can only arrest them if the pirates are from the Netherlands, the victims are from the Netherlands, or if they are in Netherlands waters."


The legal opinion of the Dutch dynamic dunces was disputed by other legal authorities, such as former Assistant Secretary of State Steven Rademaker, who insisted in a conversation with Post reporters that any country can bring pirates to justice.

The piracy problem will be cleared up when those ostensibly combating it decide to get serious. A coherent policy allowing arrest, detention and trial by all nations of pirates must be understood and implemented with decisiveness. The second reform that must be implemented is for merchant ships to be allowed to arm their crew. Those transporting valuables in the streets are allowed to carry weapons. There is no reason for ships with valuable cargo to be disarmed. Combining this with tough policing of shipping lanes would save lives and money. When piracy and high seas terrorism becomes as dangerous as it ought to be, then the impoverished citizens of chaotic and collapsed nations will turn their energies towards building their countries. After peace is restored to the Somali coast, the chaos on land should be a high priority of the international community. Right now, high seas terrorism is a lucrative job and honest work is dangerous. For the good of the Somalis and the world, we need to change the odds. Sphere: Related Content

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