Remember when Joe Biden, in a rare lucid moment, said that the new President would be tested?
Well, the Somali pirates are testing.
And the response has been disgraceful.
First there’s the Secretary of State chortling while saying that “We worked together to end piracy off the coast of Morrocco,” (h/t Gateway Pundit)
Perhaps she’s laughing at her own lie: “Worked together”? More like winning the war the Pasha of Morrocco had declared with the US.
That is why there has not been a pirate attack on an American-flagged merchant ship in 200 years. Until now.
John Bolton finds the “it’s an international situation” stance pathetic, and adds,
“It’s not a law enforcement matter, either. The pirates are, and have been for centuries the common enemies of all mankind, and that gives rise to the legitimacy of the use of force by the United States and others who would join with us against the pirates.
“I recognize that the situation in Somalia is complicated, but if you destroy the pirates’ boats and you destroy the pirates’ bases, and truth be told, you kill a number of the pirates, it will have a deterrent effect on others.”
The US Navy missed a chance to rescue the American captain held by Somali pirates on a lifeboat in the Indian Ocean when he tried to escape by jumping into the sea.
Captain Richard Phillips fled through a back door in the covered lifeboat about midnight on Thursday local time and began swimming away, US officials said.
At least one pirate jumped in after him and brought him back aboard the boat, which is drifting without fuel, before the nearby US destroyer, USS Bainbridge, could intervene. The incident was captured on video by a US drone overhead. “He didn’t get very far,” one official said.
One of the pirates fired several shots during the escape attempt, and Captain Phillips was seen being helped back into the lifeboat. The US Navy had asked for proof that the skipper was still alive but was not able to talk to him by radio, NBC News said. However, US sailors saw Captain Phillips moving around and talking after his return to the lifeboat, and the Pentagon believes he is unharmed.
I can’t believe what I’m reading. Four punks in a lifeboat floating adrift without fuel in a standoff with a US destroyer, and they get away with it.
As I posted yesterday, US special ops have been waiting to act but are awaiting orders from the Obama national security team. The Obama team are debating their options.
And it gets worse:
The pirates demanded $2 million (£1.4 million) yesterday for the release of Captain Phillips.
The tension at the stand-off was intensifying last night as pirates sent for reinforcements, apparently carrying “human shields”, in an effort to assist those holding Captain Phillips hostage. It is believed they contacted fellow pirates by satellite phone.
Mohamed Samaw, a resident of the pirate stronghold in Eyl, Somalia, who claims to have a “share” in a British-owned cargo ship that was hijacked on Monday, said that four foreign vessels held by pirates were heading towards the lifeboat. The ships include a seized Taiwanese fishing vessel and a German freighter carrying a total of 54 captured crew members from China, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, the Philippines, Tuvalu, Indonesia and Taiwan.
“The pirates have summoned assistance – skiffs and mother ships are heading towards the area from the coast,” a Nairobi-based diplomat said. A Somali in contact with a pirate leader said that the captors wanted a ransom and were ready to kill Captain Phillips if they were attacked.
Their strategy appears to be to link up with fellow pirates and take Captain Phillips to Somalia, counting on the presence of the other hostages to deter the warships from an attack.
“They had asked us for reinforcement, and we have already sent a good number of well-equipped colleagues who were holding a German cargo ship,” said a man claiming to be a pirate from the lair of Haradhere. “We are not intending to harm the captain, so we hope our colleagues would not be harmed as long as they hold him.”
Not waiting for the hostage situation to worsen, the French have grown a pair
A French military operation to free a yacht hijacked by Somali pirates backfired yesterday when one of the hostages was killed, highlighting the perils facing US forces trying to free an American seaman being held captive in a parallel pirate standoff.
Despite the rescue of his four fellow hostages, including his three-year-old son, Florent Lemaçon was shot dead on board the Tanit during the raid by elite French forces. Two pirates also died, and three others were taken prisoner, said the French defence minister, Herve Morin.
Standing by the commando-style tactics, the French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s office confirmed “France’s determination not to give into blackmail, and to defeat the pirates”
Pirates purportedly have no country backing them. Now, seeing how the US continues to hesitate in the American captain’s kidnapping which could be handled with a “blow them off the water” solution, imagine what drug traffickers from states sponsoring terrorism in our hemisphere are learning from this situation.
The Caribbean is going to get a lot more interesting.
Andy McCarthy writes about how Pirates Test the ‘Rule of Law’
To be civilized, we must be strong.
Dan points out why the USS Boxer matters.
Post edited to add a paragraph that was left out.