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AP: Rescue ‘Raises Fears’ For Hostages

From a deeply concerned Associated Press:

A picture released by the French army shows French soldiers arriving to negotiate with pirates the release of the hostages off the Somalian coast near the boat, the Tanit, that was seized by Somali pirates.

US captain’s rescue raises stakes in piracy ops

By Vijay Joshi And Eileen Ng, Associated Press Writers

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – The killing of three Somali pirates in the dramatic U.S. Navy rescue of a cargo ship captain has sparked concern for other hostages and fears that the stakes have been raised for future hijackings in the busy Indian Ocean shipping lane…

Experts indicated that piracy in the Indian Ocean off Somalia, which transformed one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes into one of its most dangerous, has entered a new phase with the Navy SEAL rescue operation of Phillips.

It "could escalate violence in this part of the world, no question about it," said Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command…

[F]or families of the 228 foreign nationals aboard 13 ships still held by pirates, the fear is revenge on their loved ones.

"Those released are lucky, but what about those who remain captive?" said Vilma de Guzman, the wife of Filipino seafarer Ruel de Guzman. He has been held by pirates since Nov. 10 along with the 22 other Filipino crew of the chemical tanker MT Stolt Strength.

The U.S. rescue operation "might be dangerous (for) the remaining hostages because the pirates might vent their anger on them," she said.

So far, Somali pirates have never harmed captive foreign crews except for a Taiwanese crew member who was killed under unclear circumstances. In fact, many former hostages say they were treated well and given sumptuous food

The modus operandi of the pirates is simple: Board unarmed or lightly armed merchant ships, fire shots in the air or at the hull to intimidate the crew, divert the ships to hide-outs on the Somali coast and wait for the owners to pay millions of dollars in ransom.

But the game changed last week when the pirates boarded the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama.

After a five-day standoff during which a small U.S. flotilla tailed the lifeboat, Navy SEAL snipers on a destroyer shot and killed three pirates and plucked an unharmed Phillips to safety. A fourth pirate surrendered.

The comrades of the slain pirates immediately threatened retaliation.

"From now on, if we capture foreign ships and their respective countries try to attack us, we will kill them," said Jamac Habeb, a 30-year-old self-proclaimed pirate, told The Associated Press by telephone from the pirate hub, Eyl.

Abdullahi Lami, one of the pirates holding a Greek ship in the pirate den of Gaan, a central Somali town, told the AP that pirates will not take the U.S. action lying down.

"We will retaliate for the killings of our men," he said

Many of the governments whose ships have been captured — including Taiwan’s Win Far 161 with a multinational crew of 30 — are in talks with the pirates and would not comment on the consequences of the American rescue for fear of jeopardizing the negotiations.

"We are monitoring the situation closely, but the ship owner wants to keep a low profile to help with their negotiation with the abductors," Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Henry Chen said.

He said the crew, comprising 17 Filipinos, six Indonesians, five Chinese and two Taiwanese, were safe as of Monday.

Some families also wonder if Phillips’ rescue drew so much of attention because of his nationality.

"It’s difficult when the ship’s crew are all Filipinos because we are ignored," said de Guzman. "Maybe if there are Japanese, Koreans or British among the crew, the case would get more attention."

Gee, just as we predicted. Not that it was much of a call.

So how much will we have to pay in reparations?

(Thanks to Canary for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 13th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “AP: Rescue ‘Raises Fears’ For Hostages”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Yes….yes….we MUST consider the consequences of doing our duty, keeping faithful to our citizens and remaining steadfast to our ideals. Other nations? Well, at this point, I really don’t care about other nations.

    This kind of warped, reverse but disconnected logic is ridiculous. The AP, ever-so-willing to blame the US for everything…is dictating to the liberal masses that it’s violence for violence’s sake and that’s not the case at all as seldom is it ever.

    Inside an AP-writer’s skull, you will find not gray matter, but something more akin to Life cereal if left in a bowl of milk too long and uneaten. There is no ability to connect the dots, make sense of a situation or find a conclusion unless it’s one that appeals to their sense of “evil people with guns”.

    So hey, AP writers Vijay Joshi & Eileen Ng, who apparently is too poor to afford a vowel in her last name. ….speaking for myself only, but I’m sure many share my sentiment, “BITE ME!”.

  2. proreason says:

    Wait a minute……didn’t our King riverboat-gambler just use his razor-sharp genius to deploy precisely the right amount of force to save our country from total annihilation?

    No way our laser-surgeon shepard imflamed passions elsewhere in the world…..unless, unless……..perhaps some underlings deceived him by withholding critical information…….oh no!!

    Well, polls will tell us whether the god king wielded his righteaous scapel or was led to ruin by satanic underlings.


  3. BillK says:

    Oooh, here’s hoping the pirates start “retaliating” against other US-flagged ships.

    Once the pirates’ “mother ship” is located some well-placed torpedoes should help things nicely.

    If Barry’s willing to use force, that is.

    Perhaps the pirates will simply all surrender to the Navy and be given free room, board and passage to the United States where they will be “tried,” found innocent and released into the US population.

  4. crosspatch says:

    Maybe it is time to reactivate the US Navy Armed Guard to serve in a defensive role on merchant shipping in hazardous waters. This could be a part of the Naval Reserve and the size of it can vary as needed. Armed Guard members would serve aboard merchant vessels while they transit zones if increased risk of piracy. This gives a trained military presence under military command to defend these ships and crews and avoids turning private merchant shipping employees into a paramilitary force. The only requirement would be that the vessel would have to fly the American flag while the Armed Guard is aboard.

    EDIT: Fixed link

  5. JayDickB says:

    The AP and their ilk never seem to understand that many people in the world, including the Somalis, understand and respond only to strength and power. Being nice just won’t cut it.

    Accordingly, violence will be an essential element in dealing with this problem. Innocent Somalis could be hurt or killed in the process; this may not be avoidable.

    There are so many viable options for dealing with this situation, but none are being implemented.

    1. Take out the pirates’ “mother ships” either at sea or in port.
    2. Arm the merchant ships, no matter what international treaties provide.
    3. Attack the land bases of the pirates.
    4. Longer term, try to aid the establishment of a real government in Somalia.

    Several or all of these should be considered.

  6. wardmama4 says:

    Two things – for those who were/are or love a Marine –
    1) Do your history study, where do you think that the words ‘from the shores of Tripoli’ comes from – same problem, different POTUS, different action.
    2) Imagine (if you want some grins on this Tax Day, also showing in some places as Buy A Gun Day – how damn appropriate to have both on the same day!!!) if Bush had ordered the shooting of 3 black muslim teenagers on the high seas. It would have been above the fold, bold headline news calling for his immediate trial as a war criminal. . .

    I loved Rush’s take on this – The One ™ should call Sen John’IservedinVietnam’Kerry on the procedure to award yourself a medal – Rush wants to be at the White House when The One ™ awards himself a medal for his ‘historic,’ my bad ‘heroic’ action.

    Off, not to teabagging (how utterly insulting and intolerant to equate this movement to a sexual act), but to participate in my Constitutional right of the people peacefully to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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