Wednesday, November 18, 2009
In the "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" department, the Maersk Alabama was not boarded by pirates:
Somali pirates attacked the Maersk Alabama on Wednesday for the second time in seven months and were thwarted by private guards on board the U.S.-flagged ship who fired off guns and a high-decibel noise device.Oddly, there is not a consensus that the actions of the Maersk Alabama are a good thing:
Roger Middleton, a piracy expert at the London-based think tank Chatham House, said the international maritime community was still "solidly against" armed guards aboard vessels at sea, but that American ships have taken a different line than the rest of the international community.Isn't there an old saying about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure, or something like that?
"Shipping companies are still pretty much overwhelmingly opposed to the idea of armed guards," Middleton said. "Lots of private security companies employee people who don't have maritime experience. Also, there's the idea that it's the responsibility of states and navies to provide security. I would think it's a step backward if we start privatizing security of the shipping trade."
Certainly government has primary responsibility for making sure it is safe to go anywhere in any city at any time.
Oh, be sure to wear a Rolex and look helpless.
How does that work for you?
Same thing at sea. Ships shouldn't need private guards but they do in some waters.
Don't expect the governments of the world to clean up this pirate situation. They don't care.
And about the "Piracy expert." Piracy Expert my ass, the experts are in boats off Somalia.
If three-eyed aliens popped out of a cave in Antarctica this moment there would be "Antarctic Alien Experts" on TV within an hour to explain it all.
"Lots of private security companies employee people who don't have maritime experience."
Huh? WTF is this supposed to mean? Do people tasked with securing a vessel against piracy need to have "maritime experience"? If so, why?
"Also, there's the idea that it's the responsibility of states and navies to provide security."
Yeah? What states then? What navies?
"still pretty much overwhelmingly ", seems like the Maritime Piracy Expert needs to brush up on his gramatical conjugation of a sentence.
It is "still pretty much overwhelmingly" obvious that the world's navies (like, where is the world's most powerful navy in all this????) don't want to touch this thing with a ten foot boat hook.
Anonymous @ 3:20: that is pretty funny. I think you hit the nail on the nose!
I suspect that this is, to a large degree, an inside job, with the large maritime insurers being shaken down. The Somalis are too poor and too goofy to come up with this on their own, not that it doesn't fit their general social M.O.
Just as arming some pilots on commercial airliners seriously complicates the planning of a hijacking, having some ships able to defend themselves protects other ships as well. The theory that "when seconds count, the police are minutes away" also applies to ships and Navies. I takes a long time to transit the distances involved at sea. The SEALs are generally even farther away.
It will be interesting to see if attacks on American vessels decline relative to attacks on those from other nations who adhere to "international maritime community" best practices.
And I love the union shout out in the "don't have maritime experience" smokescreen. Chatham House sounds like a think tank right out of Atlas Shrugged.
I find it very interesting that those whom are not threatened with violence, indeed are physically far removed from it, are always absolutely certain that surrender is the best response. Very reminiscent of those communities that allow citizens to arm themselves against criminals as compared to those communities that proudly label their citizens as victims in waiting for the criminal element.
"I find it very interesting that those whom are not threatened with violence, indeed are physically far removed from it, are always absolutely certain that surrender is the best response."
Surrender of OTHER people. If they themselves face the danger, they insist on serious security. Sort of like the wealthy liberal Hollywood set that wants to ban firearms, except those carried by their own bodyguards.
If Middelton ever sails those waters himself, it's a sure thing it will be on a heavily armed warship. Important people like him deserve safety.