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Why We Don't Condemn Our Pirates in Somalia?

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posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 06:14 AM
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Why We Don't Condemn Our Pirates in Somalia?


www.alternet.org

Can anyone ever really be for piracy? Outside of sea bandits, and young girls fantasizing of Johnny Depp, would anyone with an honest regard for good human conduct really say that they are in support of Sea Robbery? Well in Somalia, the answer is: it's complicated. The news media these days has been covering piracy in the Somali coast, with such lopsided journalism that it's lucky they're not on a ship themselves. It's true that the constant hijacking of vessels in the Gulf of Aden is a major threat to the vibrant trade route between Asia and Europe. It is also true that for most of the pirates operating in this vast shoreline, money is the primary objective. But according to many Somalis, the disruption of Europe's darling of a trade route is just Karma biting a perpetrator in the butt. And if you don't believe in Karma, maybe you believe in recent history. Here is why we Somalis find ourselves slightly shy of condemning our pirates.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 06:14 AM
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Somalis are not born pirates. The country is suffering from sever unemployment, illiteracy and poverty. The civil war in Somalia in the 90s had kids handle arms.

To be a pirate is not uncivil in Somalia. It is glorified there in the coastal communities.

The Navy vessels of nations which patrol the coast off Somalia? Is it Justified or Not?

www.alternet.org
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 12:00 PM
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What irks me about this whole issue is when people try to link this vainly to the "War on Terror" farce and the rise Islamic Fundamentalism, merely because Somalia is a Muslim country.

That's just so far off the mark it doesn't warrant response.

Most Somalis live on less than $5 dollars a day. Islam plays little of a motivational role in hijacking cargo freighters and demanding ransoms in excess of a million dollars.
Poverty, no stable government and a long history of abuse and exploitation at the hands of foreign powers like the Italians, British & French does play a major role however.

The Somali militias are probably the most hypocritical Muslims on the planet to begin with, which is something highly vilified in Islam.

They smoke hash and khat, they destroy mosques in warfare, they revere material wealth and gain, and live the high life:

"They have money; they have power and they are getting stronger by the day," says Abdi Farah Juha who lives in the regional capital, Garowe.

"They wed the most beautiful girls; they are building big houses; they have new cars; new guns," he says.

"Piracy in many ways is socially acceptable. They have become fashionable."

Most of them are aged between 20 and 35 years - in it for the money.

And the rewards they receive are rich in a country where almost half the population need food aid after 17 years of non-stop conflict.

news.bbc.co.uk...


On the ground in Somalia, some pirates are seen as "flamboyant middle aged men," said Mahad Shiekh Madar, a car salesman living in the northeastern port town of Bossaso on the tip of Africa's horn. "They always travel in beautiful four-wheel-drive luxury cars and look like people who are working for a big business company."

Abdulahi Salad, a 43-year-old former pirate in the central coastal village of Gaan, said pirates were "different from the ordinary gunmen in Somalia. They are not thin, and they have bright faces and are always happy."

Indeed, they are often regaled for bringing wads of cash into impoverished communities.

www.salon.com...

Those are not your average, cave-dwelling Sunni extremists.
They see themselves as something like the Somalian equivalent of Robin Hood, popular outlaws supposedly doing "good" for their country and patriotically standing up to what they perceive as foreign meddling in their affairs.

That in no way whatsoever legitimises what they're doing, but it does help to explain the causes of it.

You only need to go back as far as 1993, when the UN and America peace-keeping force abandoned Somalia, to see that what we're facing today are the by-products of the bloody civil war we helped to aggravate in the 1990's.

Somalia was left twisting in the winds once again by a foreign power and they developed even more contempt for foreign influences.

And now with all the hidden back stories about illegal fishing in Somalian waters and the dumping toxic wastes all over their shores, you can see how once again, a poorly understood international crisis has been fuelled by unseen influences from the Western world.

[edit on 14/4/09 by The Godfather of Conspira]



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 12:23 PM
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I guess if we want to be the world police the US should do something. But I don't see where we need to be the world police. The movie black hawk down shows why we don't want to go there. Theres no politically correct way to fight that war. We would be betrayed as demons and baby killers as we fight 14 year old kids with ak47 and rocket propelled gernades.



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 12:30 PM
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reply to post by JBA2848
 



The movie black hawk down shows why we don't want to go there. Theres no politically correct way to fight that war.


That's another irrelevant point that gets dragged into piracy discussions.

We're not facing the same people we were in Operation Gothic Serpent, 1993. Mohammed Farah Aidid, the main warlord the US was looking to kill or capture is long dead, and the majority of his militia which the United States was battling back then too.

What we are facing are the by-products of the civil war foreign intervention aggravated and then simply left to spread unchecked when the UN and everyone packed up and went home.

Two completely different things here.

The civil war made poverty even worse, emboldened and strengthened the militias as well as swelled their ranks and made Somalis even more suspicious and spiteful of foreign influence.

That's what caused the rise in piracy. It can directly be attributed to the events of 1993.



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by JBA2848
I guess if we want to be the world police the US should do something.


If the USA was going to do anything it should have done something about the illegal dumping and fishing.

But of course the USA only becomes the 'world police' when someone somewhere is effecting the profits of western capitalism.

Starvation of millions...who cares?
Dumping of hazardous chemicals in their waters...who cares?
Illegal fishing in their waters...who cares?
Mess with the profit margin of a western company...OMG those evil pirates!

We rape the resources of developing countries and no one cares, and we've been doing that for centuries. (we being the west)



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 12:46 PM
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Originally posted by The Godfather of Conspira
What irks me about this whole issue is when people try to link this vainly to the "War on Terror" farce and the rise Islamic Fundamentalism, merely because Somalia is a Muslim country.


I agree... piracy has nothing to do with the terrorism going on elsewhere. Nothing.

This is a country which has become so deep in poverty that crime almost becomes a national past-time. It's not like they're doing it because they like being poverty stricken, they're doing it because in their eyes, they don't have options. (And in reality, they're probably right).


Sure, most nations would prefer poverty stricken nations to suffer silently... but Somalia isn't down for that.


However, on the same foot, the crew passing through those waters have the right to safety, and it is my belief that they should have the right to arm themselves and fight back.

Regardless of intent or cause, sea piracy still needs to be crushed.


As for Somalia as a nation...
... I'm sorry... so so very sorry... but sometimes when you're SOL, you really are well and truly SOL.

If there was some form of industry the world could establish there, or get you recognized as a tourist area we would... but we cant... we can't even keep our own industry working at the moment.

The world is afraid of taking on refugees due to issues elsewhere, and our industries are failing.

As I said, sometimes you really are well and truly SOL.



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by The Godfather of Conspira
 


so I guess all those people fighting back then were from some other country they just decided to use somalia as there war zone. I don't think thats true its the same people finding another way to make money by picking up guns. Is that a problem when people only have one choice pick up guns and fight for the latest warlord or pirate leader or miliia yes. But its still the same people every time. I remeber hearing an interview the other day with a pirate the interviewer said your brother is a peace keeper doesn't that cause problems he said no my other brother is a drug lord.



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by johnsky
As for Somalia as a nation...
... I'm sorry... so so very sorry... but sometimes when you're SOL, you really are well and truly SOL.


SOL because in the 1800's France, Italy, and Britain divided Somalia between themselves, mainly in order to be close to the Suez Canal. The Somalians have been fighting against this foreign invasion ever since, starting with the 'Mad Mullah' who finally helped gain semi-independence in the 60's.

A region torn apart by capitalist interests then gets a militaristic dictator in the 70's claiming to be socialist. No Somalian was going to except capitalism, when it was the capitalists that trashed their country, so the government falsely labeled themselves socialist in order to be credible to the people.

Then in the 80's the USSR pulled out of Somalia, the USA stepped in offering aid and arms. The reality was they wanted bases for strategic reasons in the region (Suez etc.) and the oil reserves believed to be under the land and offshore. The US gave millions to back Somalia's dictator Siad Barre. The people finally ousted him in 1991. This is when the poverty and starvation really started, which was a direct result of the USA backing the dictatorship of Siad Barre.


According to economists who study famine in Africa, Asia and Europe, the kind of famine which struck in Somalia, a famine created by clan warfare, not by crop shortages, or endemic poverty, is the rule, not the exception...Sylvia Nasar


A direct result of the US backing another dictatorship in Africa and the Middle East. Somalia's 'crime'? Fighting back against Western imperialism.

Who are the real terrorists...Or pirates?

[edit on 14-4-2009 by CityIndian]



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 01:56 PM
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reply to post by JBA2848
 



so I guess all those people fighting back then were from some other country they just decided to use somalia as there war zone. I don't think thats true its the same people finding another way to make money by picking up guns.


When did I deny they were Somalis?


The stated aim of Operation Gothic Serpent was to kill or capture Mohammed Farah Aidid and topple his militia who ruled over Mogadishu.
And in that respect, the events of 1993 have nothing to do with the rise in piracy off the Somalian coast today.

Aidid is long dead, and his militia has long since lost control of Mogadishu or been killed in the ensuing civil war chaos.


Is that a problem when people only have one choice pick up guns and fight for the latest warlord or pirate leader or miliia yes.


You talk about them as if they're volunteer organisations.

What you think Somalis have a choice? You think they can pack up and leave or formally protest if they don't like the particular group ruling over the territory they inhabit?

Any opposition is killed outright or forced to join them. These militias snatch young boys from their families and indoctrinate them at training camps to become vicious soldiers.

That's a very naive understanding of Somalia to say, they simply "chose" to fight for warlords and live lives of career soldiers.


But its still the same people every time.


Well of course the pirates are still going to be Somalian sheesh.


What they are NOT, is a continuation of Aidid's militia the US fought in 1993.

What we are facing are the by-products of the failure of UN/US intervention in Somalia which gave rise to a prolonged civil war in which a variety of new militia juntas like the Islamic Courts Union, most of whom were OPPOSED to Aidid, used his weakened stance after battling the Americans to take over Mogadishu and from there expand their influence to other parts of Somalia.

They're not the same people. Not by a long shot. They might come form the same impoverished conditions, but not the same political outlooks or Somalia that Aidid and his militia came from.



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 02:12 PM
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reply to post by The Godfather of Conspira
 


So the guy who had the money to hire them is gone and another pops up. That is exactly why no one wants to go there. Wack a mole is a game for kids not the military. And the standing army they allways seem to have is the same guns for hire as allways.



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