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Hostage captain rescued

 
 
Reply Sun 12 Apr, 2009 07:52 pm
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/04/12/somalia.pirates/index.html
The Article wrote:
MANAMA, Bahrain (CNN) -- U.S. Navy snipers fatally shot three pirates holding an American cargo-ship captain hostage after seeing that one of the pirates "had an AK-47 leveled at the captain's back," a military official said Sunday.

The three pirates, who were armed with AK-47 rifles, were killed by shooters who were aboard the Bainbridge, Gortney said.

Seas in the area were getting rough at the time of the rescue, Gortney said, and the Bainbridge was towing the lifeboat presumably to calmer waters with a towline about 82 feet long.

A senior defense official told CNN that each pirate was shot in the head.

In rough waters, with snipers in the main ship shooting into a lifeboat over 82' away, they hit all three pirates in the head, fast enough so that none of them shoot the hostage.

That's pretty damn good shooting.
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Apr, 2009 07:53 pm
Holy cow. Glad he's ok.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Apr, 2009 08:03 pm
Never misunderestimate the good men we have for these situations.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Apr, 2009 08:51 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:
Never misunderestimate the good men we have for these situations.

I have the highest degree of respect for our military. But sometimes the level of skill is still surprising. Granted this was only an 82' shot, not a mile or more. But still, three moving targets, on a small lifeboat, on rough seas, all hit simultaneously... yikes
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Apr, 2009 09:47 pm
Snipers are trained to do that. Weve got some 50 cal sniper rifles(BArretts) that can flick a flea at half a mile.(The sniper is ALL of that shot).

I was worried that, with the kind of enclosed lifeboat, they wouldnt have any good shots and would have to resort to spray and pray. Im glad they had a plan and a way to get it done.
NOW, we must keep the merchant vessels in a defined "sea lane" so we can better assist and patrol the water around them. Since the area in question is as big as most of TExas and Mexico combined, itd be nice to not have to hunt up all the merchant boats when a distress is sounded.

Whateve we do, its gotta show the semblence of a plan.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 04:51 am
A "plan?" Oh,no; that's too radical.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 05:21 am
@edgarblythe,
It appears that a contingency plan was in effect and a green light for deadly force was approved by the president. As the negotiations appeared to be wearing and the conditions for control of the lifeboat were secure, the ability to take a shot when an opportunity presented itself and the conditions of a green light were pretty much all planned for. SO, the snipers, the best of the best of marksmen, did it with surgery rather than storming the boat as Dave was talking about on another thread.
Now, we need to set up sea lanes where we can keep our eyes on our ships that traverse this area. The fact that the ALABAMA was heading to Mombasa means that future ships will need an armed escort should this mission be repeated.The pirate spokesmen had this to say
Quote:
While the outcome was a triumph for America, officials in many countries plagued by pirates said it was not likely to discourage them. Pirates are holding a dozen ships with more than 200 crew members, according to the Malaysia-based International Maritime Bureau.

In Somalia itself, other pirates reacted angrily to the news that Captain Phillips had been rescued, and some said they would avenge the deaths of their colleagues by killing Americans in sea hijackings to come.

“Every country will be treated the way it treats us,” Abdullahi Lami, one of the pirates holding a Greek ship anchored in the pirate den of Gaan, a central Somali town, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying in a telephone interview. “In the future, America will be the one mourning and crying.”
So, they have flung a gauntlet down and we had better respond in kind. I think that a series of well armed 700 hp DONZI's, painted "dazzle" each armed with a 50mm cannon,50 cal chain guns, a brace of suitable G toG rockets, Selectable radars and nav, and a team of "Killer Dolphins", each supported by several"oiler" vessels. Also well need a chopper carrier to carry Stallions and Cobras to do quick interdiction and recon.(AQlso lotsa robotic model airplanes and a suitable "board" of communications. I think that this pirate **** will now become an activity with a central command and (perhaps) several nations pitching in. I think for now we oughta discourage the French until they get with the program of the conditions of rscue.Their Approach to "Storm the attackers " only resulted in the loss of half the hostages in a recent rescue attempt .
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 05:28 am
still, wow. i am impressed and glad that it had a relatively good ending.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 05:33 am
@dagmaraka,
AS Mr Capone said
"You can always get farther with a kind word.... and a gun, than you can with a kind word alone"

Seems that the negotiations werent completely successful so there was a "plan B"
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 05:38 am
@farmerman,
i'm totally cool with that.... i think the whole thing was executed purdy well. (that's why i took up boxing even though i'm in conflict resolution field ;-) )
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 05:51 am
The pirates may have gotten comfortable, in that nothing had had happened to them in all that time. That's something that won't happen next time. I am all in favor of a plan. Also, if there is the massive hunger and unemployment in Somalia we read about, it might be a good thing to organize drops of supplies. I don't know the first thing about this sort of stuff, and I know the money these jokers spend on guns and boats would buy a lot of supplies, but at least we would have taken away the moral aspect of their position.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 06:11 am
@edgarblythe,
Thats some of the creative thinking thats needed in this. How far back into the Somali society must we reach to quell the acts of piracy? We all seem to be focusing on acts of violence and all that means is that all else has failed and we are just reacting to an event.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 11:07 am
Love this quote...“Every country will be treated the way it treats us,”

Yeah and how have you been treating other countries? Please enlighten us.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 11:56 am
@Linkat,
They expect all other countries to roll over and just submit. I understand that weve been tracking 2 mother ships
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 04:21 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
Granted this was only an 82' shot, not a mile or more. But still, three moving targets, on a small lifeboat, on rough seas, all hit simultaneously... yikes

Oh, and the latest news story says that the shots were taken at night. So add darkness to the list of challenges.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  0  
Reply Tue 14 Apr, 2009 05:20 pm
I'm glad that the Cptn was rescued, but now I'm torn.

The US military was used as law enforcement, acting as judge, jury, and executioner towards those 3 Somali's.
Hilary Clinton called the pirates "criminals", that makes it a law enforcement matter, not a military matter.
These 3 men were foreign citizens, who had committed no crimes against the US, but had committed a crime against a private company.
That is also a matter for law enforcement, not the military.
So the President used the military as law enforcement, which is not what they are trained to do.

Also, did Obama consider the ramifications of the killing?
By killing these 3 men, hasnt Obama just created more pirates?
After all, they will now consider themselves fighting a "holy war" against the US for killing 3 innocent men.
Also, what about the Somali street?
Will the average person in Somalia, or at least the part the pirates control, really care about why the US killed those 3 men?
Or will they just decide that they want revenge.
Has Obama just made it more dangerous in that part of the world?

Also, if Obama does decide to use even more force, isnt he getting us into a war with no exit plan?
So while I'm glad the cptn was saved, it does create some difficult questions.

BTW, the Cptn of the USS Bainbridge (the ship towing the lifeboat) did NOT need Obama permission to act.
As Cptn of the ship, he has full authority to take any action he deems appropriate to protect his ship.
And since he had 3 armed men less then 100ft away, he was authorized to use deadly force.
georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Tue 14 Apr, 2009 08:58 pm
Piracy is indeed a crime. However, historically, it has been the navys of maritime powers that suppressed it. I believe the distinction being made here about law enforcement and military action doesn't pass the common sense test. Moreover the Navy SEALS provided us an apt demonstration of the effectiveness and applicability of their training.

There are about a dozen ships (and crews) being held in various Somali ports today. The hand wringers are now expressing concern about the safety of these hostages now that a few armed pirates have been killed while in the execution of their crimes and while directly threatening the lives of others.

Interestingly a significant fraction of the ships accosted by the pirates are engaged in transporting food aid to Somalia and nearby ports. Given that whatever it is that passes for government in Somalia isn't lifting a finger to either protect or return the hostages or the ships they have seized, and the evident fact that the piracy will continue as long as it has popular support or is merely tolerated in Somalia - one effective remedy might be the suspension of the delivery of all aid, food and otherwise, to Somalia, until the piracy ceases and the hostages are returned.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Apr, 2009 09:06 pm
@georgeob1,
Or cessation of payments that I gather have passed hands before (or am I wrong about hearing that?) The payments can then be parcelled out as bribes.. presumably to the government, or some members thereof.

I should just keep reading, I don't know all the ins and outs of this.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Apr, 2009 09:27 pm
@mysteryman,
I don't know law very well, but our military has handled pirates in the past, as george pointed out; why not now?
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  3  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 11:09 am
There's a great deal of history to both piracy and the efforts of governments to limit it, major campaigns occurring during the early Roman Republic. (Pompey the Great earned his fame in wiping them out in the Western Mediterranean more than 2000 years ago.) In this context, conventional law has long made a distinction between the suppression of piracy and similar international banditry and the conduct of wars between states (and the ordinary enforcement of law as well). The contemporary insistence that pirates and international guerillas (such as al quaeda) be treated as ordinary criminals is a new and unprecedented feature of public attitudes towards such things. Despite all the public outrage (much of it politically motivated) the Bush Administration was acting entirely within historical norms for such matters.

A glance at a map will show you that Somalia has a very long coastline (almost 2,000 miles), and that it is adjacent to one of the major sea lanes of the world. Absent the active support of an effective government in Somalia, the task of policing such an expansive and well-travelled area, subject to restraints, such as probable cause and reaction to events instead of preventing them, would be prohibitively expensive. Apart from the French, none of our European allies has shown much stomach for the effort required to deal with it. (They have found it much cheaper and more comfortable to let the United States take care of such things for them, allowing them to avoid the cost & risk, and comfortably criticize from the sidelines.)

While to some degree the Obama expressions of cooperation with our European allies and the UN are politically necessary, we would be very foolish indeed to expect much, besides a temporary reduction in the criticism, to result from it. The Europeans aren't going to help the President in Afghanistan and they won't do anything meaningful in Somalia either (though they will undoubtedly insist on having a voice in what others do).

In this context, I believe it would be very unwise for the U.S. to undertake any actions for the general benefit of the international community. Instead we should arm U.S. flagged vessels and, if necessary, escort them in convoys. - all making it clear to the pirates that attacking our ships is likely to be a much more costly proposition than waiting for others.

If we do this, then soon enough we will be offered some more reasonable propositions by our "friends and alllies". If instead we try to lead an international effort in the absence of any general will to do what it requires , we will once again end up paying the bill and exposing ourselves to their jealous criticism.
 

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