14 January, 2012


And then?

Just listening to the midnight news on the steam wireless. "13 Somali pirates", announces Kathy Clugston proudly, "have been captured by the Royal Navy" in the Indian Ocean.

Forgive me a certain eeyorish scepticism, but what happens next? Presumably they all claim asylum and end up living in Woolwich.

Given that the Afghan hijackers who landed at Stansted in February 2000 were allowed to stay here, despite Jack Straw's weaselly assurances at the time, your scepticism isn't entirely groundless !

Their guns and boat taken off them. Then they are safely landed ashore in Somalia. Not much of a punishment I know but we're not allowed to shoot them and if we bring them back to UK for some prison time then we are into the scenario you describe. Best not to actually catch them but just deter by having our ships in their operating areas.

Is it true that a Russian ship shot a boat load out of the water ?
I say good on the Russians if true. Lot to like about Russian "keep it simple"

I always thought it would be a great idea for the Navy to be handed control of them, and establish some soul crushing miltary gulag in the Outer Hebredes to keep them in.

There used to be one international law worth anything to the world, and that was if you caught a pirate you hung him (or whatever was your preferred flavour of execution)

But then someone decided that these people had 'rights' and had to be treated nicely. The outcome was not good for civilisation or paying benefits, etc.

Old (unsubstantiated) story: many years ago I worked with a bloke who served in the Royal Navy in the Caribbean in WW2. One day he said his ship hauled in a Spanish freighter (ostensibly neutral) which was controlled by half a dozen Germans who had boarded the ship. Apparently the tub was full of marijuana but the RN, having liberated the boat, now had half-a-dozen prisoners of war to look after. For some reason one of this bloke's shipmates, some sort of petty officer, took the newly acquired guests at gunpoint out in a small boat miles and miles from land invited them to swim. Apparently the officer returned with an otherwise empty boat.

Of course we are outraged by this. This was a war crime and an affront to the Geneva Convention, etc, but I believe it was called war then. Now if the pirates could be induced to swim too...

They should of course be swinging in the wind from the yard arm is ships still have them or equivalent. They should just be blown out of the water. It's all they deserve.

Courtesy of yesterday's Telegraph, we now know what is next - they are to be freed because "no country in the region will try them".

So we are now sending a message to pirates that the worst thing to happen - even if you're caught - is a couple of weeks luxurious (to them) accommodation on a British warship, with hot showers and plentiful free food (all certified halal, you can be certain), followed by liberation at a point of their choosing.

Motivation not to repeat the performance? Feh.

Try them? Heavily armed men caught operating small fast boats in the Indian Ocean: what possible defence could there be? I'd try them alright - in the sights of a heavy machine gun or rocket launcher.

If the West doesn't grow a pair and sort this out, we can forget seaborne commerce in that whole area, then the North Africans will get the idea, then...

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