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Charlotte_native

Pirates

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So pirates finally captured, briefly, and American ship off the Horn of Africa. After much drama, crew taking back the ship, hostages, escape attempts, and finally the rescue of the last hostage after shooting and killing 3 captors. It seems that these brazen pirates have the world in a bind about what to do. Everyone knows where they live on shore and where the big ships are harbored. Everyone seems very hesitant to arm ships or to repel pirates with force other than water cannons and other non-lethal means.

What's the deal? I've listened to a few radio shows in NPR about the situation and seen a few commentators on TV network news and CNN. International law, the potential for international outcry if much force is used, and the fact that Somalia really has no working government seem to have placed the various countries that could do something in a position where no one will do much.

What do you think should be done. I'm of the opinion that force is going to have to be necessary because every ship captured and ransom paid makes them bolder and less afraid that they won't succeed.

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IMO, pirates invading a cargo ship is no different than thieves raiding a warehouse in the originating country. If it is a US based ship then treat it as a warehouse on our soil. In today's world, with all of the technology available to us, there is no reason for this to be happening.

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In today's world, with all of the technology available to us, there is no reason for this to be happening.

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Most of the reason, IMO, is because the cargo ships aren't armed because either the shipping company is too cheap or the ports they travel do not allow armed ships (there really are some that don't) to port there. We need to work to change those rules and possibly work with other countries to allow merchant vessels flying the American flag to port there. I think we could also start using Predators in the trouble areas and when there is a pirate boat headed to hijack a ship, take out the pirate boat, much like we do with terrorists on the Pakistan-Afghanistan. All they have to do is have the drones up in the air continuously and ready to respond to distress calls from boats and if the drone is in the vicinity to do something, take out the boat. I was just watching on TV that insurance companies are AGAINST arming the merchant ships, saying it will prompt pirates to arm! Insurance companies need to wake up and realize that the pirates are already coming armed...

I also want to applaud the brilliant rescue operation of our SEALS! Its operations like that that make me proud of our military. THAT is an operation that was worth every penny of our tax dollars. Now the question is, where is the captured pirate going to be tried? That seems to be the question of the day. IMO, I think he will be tried right here in the US, if nothing more than for political reasons. I would imagine that most Americans would want him tried right here at home.

I believe that this will be a real test of international cooperation. These pirates are taking ships from every country, regardless of political affiliations or religion.

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^One of the reasons cited in an interview on NPR for not arming merchant ships was the insurance companies as you note above. It was also pointed out how much money these insurers were making from hiking up rates to every merchant ship in the region.

I agree as well about the drones or other interception tactics for pirate ships heading towards merchant vessels. I believe if this were to happen a couple times things would change. As it is, or has been, there is almost no danger to the pirates -- lucrative money, no danger, high poverty. It's no wonder this is happening.

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I think the drone idea is a good idea, but I wouldn't care what a port says, if I was on a ship in that area, I'd arm every crew member...there is no reason to allow these terrorists to take your ship.

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I don't know the ruling about having arms on board a Merchant Marine ship. My suggestion would be to have a 50/60 cal. machine gun mounted on the bow and sterns of these vessels. As soon as a blep is caught on the ships radar, man them for action. In addition, each ship should carry an old UH1 chopper armed to catch and destroy fleeing bandits. These incidents should never happen.

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The are not any rules except that weapons are supposed to be defensive in nature. A 50 Cal machine gun, torpedo launchers, etc are all fine. The reason that you don't see them on these ships is because the corporations that own them don't want to pay to equip the ships with these weapons which would also involve a good bit of money in training and additional crew to man the weapons in an effective manner. It's a question of expense vs likelihood of any ship being hijacked. These container ships are vulnerable to pirates because often there are only 4 people on duty for a ship that might be several football fields in length.

What was completely missed in the American corporate owned media is these shipping companies often choose routes that put their ship in range of these pirates because it is cheaper to do so.

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........this really borders on the absurd for me and everyone I know. Makes me wonder if there is something we aren't being told.

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