Peril on the High Seas

The media has been bombarding us with stories about pirates lately. Yes. pirates. Not the ones in Pittsburgh, mind you, but some real live ones operating with some kind of a license off the coast of Africa and in the Gulf of Aden. Yes. They’ve been operating with some kind of a license – or permission, if you will – for more than four years.

Since 2008 there have been more than 1,200 attacks recorded against merchant vessels by those tin-horn operators in tiny skiffs, and about 160 of those vessels were taken and held for ransom. What’s even worse, more than 3,200 crew members have been held captive by those pirates, and some 700 have yet to be ransomed. At least thirty innocent seafarers have been killed by those pirates.

Here’s the real problem. NATO’s powerful warships could put an end to this fiasco in a matter of seconds, if we wanted to put a stop to those maritime transgressions. We’d need only helicopter carriers to get the job done. So why hasn’t such a simple step been taken?

The U.S. Navy has eight super-powerful helicopter carriers in service. England has one, France has three, Korea has one, Japan has two, and even Thailand has one. So where are they stationed and what are they doing? Well you can be sure they’re nowhere near the coast of Africa and the Gulf of Aden yet. Yet.

More than 1,000 helicopters from those NATO vessels should be patrolling the danger zones and escorting merchant vessels in those zones, but they’re not doing it. And no one is asking why not.
There is a reason for this gross oversight, of course, but the media isn’t about to tip us off. That would upset the applecart.

Here’s a paragraph that came to our attention over the weekend. It’s all about the applecart.

“Piracy on the east coast of Africa has increased substantially over recent years, and although there has been a concerted effort (sic) from multi-national naval coalitions to stem the incident, Somali-based pirate activity shows no sign of abating. Piracy within the Indian Ocean is largely a reflection of the onshore political instability within Somalia, and therefore the naval forces that are operating in the region can only treat the manifestation of the political activity and not tackle the root cause. Before there is a notable reduction in incidents of piracy throughout the Indian Ocean, an onshore solution needs to be sought.” –

Read between the lines. It’s a call for “boots on the ground”. And there’s a lot of oil under the ground in Somalia, by the way. We need those pirates to get our show on the road.

We’re ready to sacrifice another 70,000 to 100,000 American lives so that oil barons can be enriched. That’s criminal. If we had embarked upon a legitimate shipbuilding program in this country, millions of our young citizens would now be happy, thriving, productive – and alive. But it’s more important to have an unemployment crisis, so that a ready source of cannon fodder can be assured.