Sunday, April 12, 2009
A Modest Proposal for Sweeping Pirates from the Seas
1) Sink their boats, as Jules Crittenden suggests.
2) Repeat as needed.
3) Oh, and how about arming the crews? A friend of mine at graduate school was a licensed captain, and told me how he fired on a small boat of pirates who attempted to come aboard his cargo ship off the coast of South America (I think all he had was a pistol). He hit one of them, and they turned and fled. How difficult is it to train a few crewmen to handle weapons properly?
And there’s this from Mark Steyn (my favorite contemporary essayist, period).
Update: And, based on a tip from commenter Catwoman at Tim Blair's:
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I am so grateful that this incident ended with Capt. Phillips safe and three of the pirates dead. The only thing that would make me happier is if all the pirates were dead. My biggest concern is, now what? We need to send a message that the United States doesn't put up with this crap and I don't think we should send the message through "diplomatic" channels. I have very little faith that the current administration has the stomach for the task at hand.
Carol: It is precisely the follow-through that concerns me, too.
Obama is bringing Hans Blix out of retirement to write a very strongly worded note.
Richard: I feel so much better!
To give them their due, the French are always prepared to show a certain ruthlessness when their interests are threatened and even though their was an own goal (shooting of the yacht captain as well as most of the pirates) their recent operation seems to show the right spirit.
Paco, I watched a news segment on Fox where they interviewed a Rear Admiral from the Coast Guard (forget the name). The question of arming merchant marine crews was asked, and he gave what I consider to be a lame answer: US merchant ships aren't armed because of the differing national laws for the ports they call at. Apparently, it's a case of "offend no one".
The admiral had a point, but there are ways around that. For example, locking the weapons up under seal in those ports (I'm talking about small arms, nothing bigger than a light machine gun, or maybe a slightly less light machine gun, readily carried by one person).
Contrariwise, the shipping companies could place small security teams on the vessels while they transit pirate prone areas. These could be private forces, or elements from that nation's military. With orders to shoot to kill, I hasten to add. Maybe a warning shot, if deemed safe.
So there are ways around this. But, once again, we hamstring ourselves, by treating firearms as some sort of infectious disease.
JeffS, consider mine the troglodyte opinion: Arm our seafaring crews with whatever weapons they need, including RPGs, automatic guns, grenades, etc. Train them to know when to use such weapons. Make treaties with various port nations that such weapons will not be used within their territorial waters (unless attacked). but preclude any pussified disarmament, and screw their Eurowhiney hand-wringing.
The goal is to protect the ships at sea, and the vital sea lanes.
Rebecca, that's a great solution!
As the old saying goes, the only good pirate is a dead pirate.
PS: I think there's a spot for you in the next Republican administration, either as Secretary of State or President.
JeffS, I'm with you on the arming of the merchants, but I think that a 7.62 is lacking in enough range to act as a serious deterrent.
I'd be looking at a .50 myself. Fit the boats with proper gyro stabilised mounts and a reasonably powerful scope to the MG and you can safely 'reach out and touch' the pirates well before they can cause you any distress.
Call it 1500m vs 500m. And you have the option of single shots for 'warnings'...
Speaking of pirates and what to do about them, let's wish a Happy Birthday to Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826). He had the right idea.
Here's the environmental solution for what to do about pirates: Do we have any 1940s vintage Pittsburgh air bottled up? Maybe we can force feed some of that to them. What a way to make "Pittsburgh" Pirates! Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
.50's are a good idea, WOZ. Especially with a night sight added onto them.....
Rumor has it that Johnny Depp was advising the Prez.Care to confirm that Mr P?
I am surprised that no one else has remarked on the fact that the destroyeer involved was the USS Bainbridge. She was named after Commodore (William ?) Bainbridge. Thus, my father and I agree that her involvement in rescuing an American captain from being held hostage by (nominally Moslem) pirates off Africa is overdue justice.
"The mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding fine". (I think that quote is from Macbeth, but I am not sure).
Greek, I think. Proverb. Plural (the gods)
Good catch, Mike!
Mojo: Thanks for telling me the origin of the quote. I knew it was from one of my literature classes, I just forgot which one.
Paco: I am one of those who is fascinated by history, especially military history. That means that I tend to see connections.
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