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From: French couple, kid kidnapped by pirates: Report

French couple, kid kidnapped by pirates: Report
April 7th, 2009

PARIS - A French couple and their 3-year-old son were among those kidnapped by Somali pirates over the weekend, French television reported Monday.

The family’s sailboat Tanit carrying the family and another couple was seized by pirates in the Indian Ocean, where they had been vacationing aboard the boat and were heading towards the island of Zanzibar despite repeated warning about the dangers of piracy.

The French military had attempted to warn them of pirates, approaching the boat with a helicopter, the family wrote on their blog detailing their adventures.

Since March 16, the family had been sailing without lights as a precaution. ‘We’re sailing towards al-Mukalla and we are in the middle of the danger zone for pirates … But there is nothing to report,’ they wrote.

The couple had also been warned by another couple who had been kidnapped by pirates in the past, but were undeterred. The wife, Chloe, wrote: ‘The pirates can’t destroy our dream.’

Pirates on Monday seized a British-owned cargo ship and a Taiwanese vessel, adding to the French yacht, a Yemeni tugboat and a German container ship hijacked over the weekend, Kenya-based piracy monitor Ecoterra said.
 

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From: French couple, kid kidnapped by pirates: Report

snip...The couple had also been warned by another couple who had been kidnapped by pirates in the past, but were undeterred. The wife, Chloe, wrote: ‘The pirates can’t destroy our dream.’
Maybe not, but they can sure turn it into a nightmare.

Nothing like a little khat fueled "gang romance" to ruin a nice vacation.
 

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I still do not understand why the piracy thing has not been taken care of. You can watch them via satellite and know where and who is doing it.

I say pay the ransoms. Get all the boats/foreign nationals out of there. Do not let ANY foreign vessel near their waters. Park a couple of aircraft carriers and cruisers off the coast and sink everything that floats. Problem solved.

- CD
 

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I still do not understand why the piracy thing has not been taken care of. You can watch them via satellite and know where and who is doing it.

I say pay the ransoms. Get all the boats/foreign nationals out of there. Do not let ANY foreign vessel near their waters. Park a couple of aircraft carriers and cruisers off the coast and sink everything that floats. Problem solved.

- CD
Unfortunately, that would close the Suez canal and effectively cut off access to the Indian Ocean from a good bit of the western hemisphere. I doubt people are going to start rounding the cape again, in spite of the piracy threat.
 

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Unfortunately, that would close the Suez canal and effectively cut off access to the Indian Ocean from a good bit of the western hemisphere. I doubt people are going to start rounding the cape again, in spite of the piracy threat.
I realize it would have some impacts, but lets say you close the traffic for 24-48 hours or put several fleets there. You KNOW which boats are involved in the piracy. Certainly you could sink them without even risking a single person.

I just don't get it.

- CD
 

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Shelling the harbors the pirates operate out of would be a good thing too... :)
I still do not understand why the piracy thing has not been taken care of. You can watch them via satellite and know where and who is doing it.

I say pay the ransoms. Get all the boats/foreign nationals out of there. Do not let ANY foreign vessel near their waters. Park a couple of aircraft carriers and cruisers off the coast and sink everything that floats. Problem solved.

- CD
 

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It doesn't make any sense to me either. Most of the civilized countries of the world pay lots of tax dollars for thier navies to keep the high seas safe for transit. It wouldn't take too many times for the pirates to be sunk for this venture to become less profitable. Send a frigate or two for some target practice. Rules of engagement should be if you fit the profile of a pirate vessel, you get a taste of naval gunfire.
 

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It doesn't make any sense to me either. Most of the civilized countries of the world pay lots of tax dollars for thier navies to keep the high seas safe for transit. It wouldn't take too many times for the pirates to be sunk for this venture to become less profitable. Send a frigate or two for some target practice. Rules of engagement should be if you fit the profile of a pirate vessel, you get a taste of naval gunfire.
I wholeheartedly agree with this approach. The seas MUST be open for transport.

However, this only addresses the symptoms, not the disease.
 

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It doesn't make any sense to me either. Most of the civilized countries of the world pay lots of tax dollars for thier navies to keep the high seas safe for transit. It wouldn't take too many times for the pirates to be sunk for this venture to become less profitable. Send a frigate or two for some target practice. Rules of engagement should be if you fit the profile of a pirate vessel, you get a taste of naval gunfire.
Problem is, there's a _lot_ of water to cover, and every fishing boat fits the profile. The "mother ships" they use are mostly stolen, and look like any other boats in the area, and probably flagged from other countries. I just read about a new British ship in the area that profiles boats by behavior (e.g. rapid course that would intercept a juicy target) and can respond rapidly. It mention that several countries have deployed additional ships to the area since the recent high-profile hijackings.

I do wonder why we haven't just occupied the ports. I guess our forces are busy elsewhere.
 

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Unfortunately, that would close the Suez canal and effectively cut off access to the Indian Ocean from a good bit of the western hemisphere. I doubt people are going to start rounding the cape again, in spite of the piracy threat.
Wrong. I am planning to go from Cocos Keeling or Sri Lanka straight to Richards Bay, S.A. in a few years because at that point, I'll have me, my wife and a 12 or 13 year old son. I would have to be mightily persuaded that the seas were swept clean of these bastards (no matter how wronged they might be) to go anywhere near the east coast of Africa or the Red Sea.
 

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I'm with you on that one, Val.

Here's the latest hijacking:

Ship carrying 20 Americans believed hijacked off Somalia

If you don't have time for the entire article, the last few paragraphs are most telling:

Recent attacks off Somalia's coast, which have taken place south of the area patrolled by U.S. and coalition ships, shows pirates are changing their tactics and taking advantage of tens of thousands of square miles of open water where fewer military ships patrol, according to U.S. military officials.

"They [pirates] are going where we are not, they are looking for targets where there is limited coalition presence," according to a U.S. military briefing document shown to CNN.

Coalition ships mainly patrol in the busy sea lanes of the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and northern Somalia as ships come out of and head toward the mouth of the Red Sea.

"Despite increased naval presence in the region, ships and aircraft are unlikely to be close enough to provide support to vessels under attack. The scope and magnitude of the problem cannot be understated," according to a news release from the U.S. Navy.
Source: CNN.com (link above)
 

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John, these guys aren't stupid, are they?

"They [pirates] are going where we are not"... Most of the Somali pirates, according to my information, are former fishermen who turned to "piracy" in order to run off the foreign trawler fleets who were overfishing Somali waters because there was nothing to stop them between Egypt and South Africa. In what I would call an almost American Frontier style, they took the law into their own hands where no law existed.

Unfortunately, they got a taste for it, and realized that nabbing a bunch of 100 foot trawlers needed the occasional 500 foot freighter, if only to supply the diesel. Get some fat ransoms for ships of that size, and the phrase "why are we farking fishing for?" would occur to even the dimmest handliner.

So now we have hundreds of ex-fishermen who've seen the ransom lights of Broadway, so to speak, because other countries dug up their farms. They have the ships and the range and most importantly, the skills and the co-operation of land-based warlords (who will charge "harbour fees", no doubt, and a slice of the cargo). It's now a full-blown kleptocracy, but the poor Somaili fisherman didn't necessarily start it. I predict, however, that he'll end up paying for it, probably when the Chinese or even the French (who have historical records of acting as they see fit), start blowing them out of the water and throwing Exocets at the motherships.

English-speaking navies used to do that sort of thing (including against the French and the Chinese, ironically), but we've lost our nerve in the face of humanitarian criticism.
 

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I love the suggestion of telling all the good guys to leave the waters and kill everyone who is still on the water after they all go. hahaha very funny. Just send a message if you’re not a pirate leave for 24 hours if you are a pirate report to the following location for your free gift.
 

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Not so simple as it used to be

In the days of wooden ships and iron men you parked a "Ship of the Line" off the Pirate den, shelled the town and sunk every ship in the harbor. No one worried about innocent civilians.
<O:p</O:p
But as Valiente said the problem today is separating the pirates from the fisherman, and today we do care about killing civilians. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

As for occupying the ports think back to the mess in Mogadishu during the 90's (Blackhawk Down). Somalia is a country run by well armed warlords. The pirates themselves carry rocket propelled grenades and they have lots of ransom money to use to buy weapons. An occupation would require a lot of troops that we don't have right now. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

What I'm wondering about is the cost of keeping all those warships on station in the region.

How about if all those countries pooled their resources and put a couple of soldiers with long range weapons on each large ship transiting the region and keep a couple of attack helicopters or attack aircraft on standby? The ships would make a stable firing platform and the aircraft could take out the mother ships. If more pirates started dying at sea than coming back with hostages it might make the idea a lot less appealing – without the need for a large occupying ground force and without civilian casualties. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

Protection would be offered to private vessels if they travel in a convoy with a military escort vessel. Vessels choosing to decline these protections would be on their own and would receive no help if captured. <O:p</O:p
<O:p
Just a thought… <O:p</O:p
<O:p
As for the couple who took their children into these waters and ignored repeated warnings – I’m sorry but I really can’t muster too much sympathy for the adults – only for the children and the soldiers who risked their lives to get them out.<O:p</O:p
 

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I do wonder why we haven't just occupied the ports. I guess our forces are busy elsewhere.
The US is really the only country that is willing to do more than wring their hands and fret, that said, ever heard of "Blackhawk Down". Somalia is not a place we want to be, and while it gets people's blood flowing to talk about it modern sensibilities will not allow us to carpet bomb the ports out of existence.

I figure a B52 load of incendiarys on the up wind side in the dry season could do wonders.

That said I have to give the French credit for more spine than they are usually known for raiding the boat. Early reports are one good guy (foolish cruiser) and two pirates died.
 
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