Saturday, April 18, 2009

Somali Pirates: as per request

One of my longtime readers has requested a Somali pirate fix, so here are some Somali pirates. These are from a pirate group, "called the Central Regional Coast Guard, was formed three years ago, has 350 men in its ranks and about 100 speedboats."


Here's where they work... (click to enlarge)


And this is probably the reason they didn't become well-adjusted doctors, lawyers and teachers - because most of them come from this neighborhood.


Which of course has nothing to do with the nations whose ships the pirates are attacking, because for some reason, economics is not considered a zero-sum game.

8 comments:

flames said...

Thanks man! I have to say that you are getting soft. The GR of my youth would have tied it all back to Clinton and Pan-Americanism or something like that.

Sean Reilly said...

Not soft, my old friend, just more subtle in my sarcasm, to wit:

"Which of course has nothing to do with the nations whose ships the pirates are attacking..."

It is, after all, supposed to be a gentle rant.

Stefan said...

The World Food Programme has what do with the neighbourhoods of Somali pirates?

Sean Reilly said...

First of all, Stefan, I was speaking generally about the western world sharing culpability for the situations that are festering in Africa and how those ultimately lead to things like this latest round of piracy. Africa is a fertile land, rich in natural resources, yet it's people starve and die of preventable diseases. If someone owns a cellphone or a PlayStation then they have benefited from this situation, yet they are among those who say that the pirates are such horrible folks attacking hardworking sailors and sainted aid-workers for no reason.

The World Food Program is billed as the largest humanitarian organization in the world and I'm sure that they have done a lot of good work in their nearly 50 year history, however I wouldn't bestow Gandhi status on them before casting a little doubt upon the waters.

Have you noticed how things that have 'World' in the title often have very little to do with the whole world, with all six or so billion of us, but are more often concerned with the couple percent of the population at the top of the pyramid? The World Series features baseball teams from just two affluent western societies, The World Bank does its best to keep the brown masses buying American tractors they can't afford and our erstwhile world government (The UN) is nothing more than a rubber stamp for Washington.

Furthermore as far as the World Food Program goes some writers suggest that, "far from alleviating hunger, certain food charity initiatives can actually undermine local food production and promote dependence on imported food. She also notes that The causes of hunger are rarely inadequate food, but rather corruption, inadequate distribution systems and hoarding."

I guess what I'm saying is instead of giving a man a fish, you should teach him how to fish and that world development programs are usually more interested in pleasing multinational corporations and making white folks feel good about themselves to really stop and help the brown man in any meaningful way.

Stefan said...

I think that the warships patrolling there should not just look for pirates, but also kick out/confiscate the boats of the huge fishing companies which are plundering Somalia's waters. (In direct violation of international law.) If the Somalians could return to fishing their own waters, it would likely be harder for the pirates to recruit.

As for the pirates attacking WFP-chartered ships: they did not perform a thorough geopolitical analysis on their targets. They just take ordinary people hostage for monetary gain. They are not the only criminals around, but they are criminals nonetheless. They don't return to the coast and help build schools with the ransom money - they finance their private armies and terrorize the Somali population.

Sean Reilly said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you about the need to police the overfishing in Somalia's waters. It is always a better idea to attack the roots of the problem instead its nastier manifestations.

Many of these pirates were once fishermen who have lost their livelihoods and would probably rather be fishing. That is part of what I was implying about them not be wholly responsible for their actions.

But I also imagine that some of the booty is going back into the communities; maybe not building schools, but feeding children and patching the roofs of their shantytowns. I find it hard to accuse them of terrorizing the Somali population when they are the Somali population, although I realize that is fairly naive.

I believe the intense cycle of violence in Africa is a result of European colonialism and that it is continued on today in the neocolonialism of multinational corporations. I have trouble blaming the people who just happen to live there no matter what they are driven to.

Anonymous said...

"I believe the intense cycle of violence in Africa is a result of European colonialism and that it is continued on today in the neocolonialism of multinational corporations. I have trouble blaming the people who just happen to live there no matter what they are driven to."

So, if I could show you that pirates existed before European colonialism, how would you change your argument?

In fact, stealing stuff has pretty much been a way to "earn" a living for a long, long time. The vikings did this against Britain for some time, and then even colonized the island - but your theory says it must have been reversed.

Japanese pirates plagued China before any westerner ever set foot. So, was this caused by some earlier Chinese colonialism of Japan?

or is Africa special, its people not able to learn about stealing stuff and piracy until the Europeans arrived?

Sean Reilly said...

anonymous rants
ever so cocky when they
leave their names at home