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French seize pirate ship as threats mount on U.S. ships

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onibaku: For the love of god, in English it is spelled IRAQ, not IRAK, I know that in french it is spelled Irak but when speaking in english its spelled Iraq. This country has been the in the news non stop for the past 6 and half years, how do people still not know how to spell it correctly in english?

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I feel that the only way for these pirates to be detered from the dangerous game that they're playing, is for more of them to be killed. Paying them ransom money is only going to encourage, and enable them.

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Togure

'I feel that the pirates should be dealt with, by force, and I don't care which country they come from, USA, Somalia etc. The thing is, they don't come from the USA, so we will just have to stick to reality on this one.'

I think I can best reply to that at this point with a rave, a relevant rave -

Yes, its quite true those pirates in the Aden don't come from the US. They steal corporate goods - and yes, a very few of those ships carry cargo of supplies destined to feed people who don't have enough food precisely because of the cynical moneymaking maneuvering over decades of foreign corporations from many parts of the globe - but they do steal corporate goods which makes these little pirates very very bad.

And yet, by comparison the evil doings of the Somalian pirates have resulted in no where near as many lives ruined (no make that lives lost) and no where near as many dollars stolen when we stand that lot up against pirates on Wall Street and in Washington. Ships may need to sail down a narrow corridor protected by war ships on each side to get through the Aden unpirated, but unfortunately there is not going to be anywhere near the same happy end result for the millions of people who will starve as a result of the Pirates in America.

You know one day very soon, there will be foreign governments who will decide after watching the use of NAVY seals against a bunch of 'skinny' young Somalians, in rubber pontoons, to use their own militaries to address the situation of the REAL pirates. You might want to entertain the thought a moment, what that will mean to the average Joe and Jane in the America, as well as the average Toshio and Tomomi in Japan, and in fact in every nation because none and going to come off unscathed should that situation come to pass, and it looks extremely likely.

The deal with the pirates is a distraction. There have been pirates there for several years, laws have been passed long before now. The only reason the opportunist politicians like those in Paris and in Washington have called in the military is to do some sabre rattling at a time of economic threat to the ruling elites in those countries. In other words, to divert the attention of the masses away from the depression falling upon the world and channel them toward accepting the use of military force as a solution to economic and social chaos.

Its old history and its repeating. Stand by for World War 3. The only way the economic conditions that came about from capitalism's innate contradictions and produced two 'Great' depressions in the last century were solved for the ruling elite by world war and forced re-slicing of the pie. That is the only way this one is going to be solved ultimately, unless the real cause is addressed internationally and the zombie that capitalism has finally become is left behind for good. But time is short, the situation will become much more extreme in America and in most of the past economic power house national economies. Then the politicians and the media will be pulling your strings on so many dangerous minorities within and without your own national border you will be thinking those Somalians are everywhere, and the only way to solve the situation is a few extreme weapons, some nuke perhaps. Its maddness, but some just don't see it, yet.

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Superlib: LOL... Thanks for making me spill my coffee all over my keyboard. taniwha: I'll attempt to nswer your question, just for the sake of argument. I feel that the pirates should be dealt with, by force, and I don't care which country they come from, USA, Somalia etc. The thing is, they don't come from the USA, so we will just have to stick to reality on this one.

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Taniwha, the only way I could ever see myself agreeing with you on this issue is if I suspended all common sense. And I need more than a brief analogy to do that. What else ya got?

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Considering you're in the extreme minority on this issue,'

Really? How so? How precisely am I in the 'extreme minority'? If you mean on this thread, I am going to be delighted. I mean the only reason I choose to keep posting on JT is exactly because of the demography it sets out to attract.

So far as the issue of dealing with pirates in the Aden goes, anyone who believes they deserve to be dealt with by "armoured helicopters', 'a strong military' etc etc can safely be categorised as extreme. If you don't think so then answer me this one question.

If the pirates were American and the militaries being sent to deal with them were from, let's say, Japan, China, Russia, or India, would you still be hot diggerty dog about seeing them treated to lethal force, rather than arrested and tried in a court of law?

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taniwha: All posts on this thread amount to is your ability to convince.

Considering you're in the extreme minority on this issue, it's safe to say you haven't been very convincing.

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some of these opions are way too long, while innocent folk from all over the world keep getting attacked by these skinny dorks wielding AK 47s, enough is enough and start an all out assault against every port in Somalia now!!! Give peace a chance, with a strong military to back it up!

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USNinJapan2

Look it comes down to this, if you talk the talk then walk the walk. Or be ready to face ridicule. You want to make claims here on this public board, cool, do it. But if you are called on them then be ready to put up. You play cards? You ought to know what I'm talking about.

You could be posting from Tokyo or Texas, you could be an ekaiwa teacher, or a marine, who knows- and more importantly, who cares!!

All posts on this thread amount to is your ability to convince. And you saying we ought to believe you because you have 'inside knowledge' is about as unconvincing as you can get. You want that I say that too? You think that would make people believe me more than the next poster. Get real.

I have posted some of my verifying sources for people to go check concerning this issue of pirates in the Aden the other day.

The story here, like I said is about the policy of nations/governments/ruling elites toward those little guys who have (excuse the bluntness) cojones to capture corporate goods and hold them to ransom. That's it. You say you got a full house, lets see your hand. I'm calling you on it.

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taniwha

There are many of us that post here that are pretty open about what we do for a living and do our best to provide pertinent, objective, non-academic information and facts that are available to us due to our jobs, experiences, etc. in order to contribute to the various discussions. I consider myself to be in this category and I don't think many others on this forum, if any aside from you, would doubt specific information I offer in threads relating to my established field of expertise and experience, in this case details of the situation and action taken by the US Navy in the recent standoff. I also feel that it's simply impossible to cite or provide sources for some kinds of information, such as information and knowledge gained through first-hand experience or through controlled means, but that doesn't make them automatically false or invalid. It just means that you have to consider the source and apply the proverbial grain of salt if you accept the information that's offered. If you choose to diregard me because you believe me to be a raving 13 year-old Vin Diesel fan, then that's your prerogative as unreasonable as I feel it is. All I can say is sorry for the spilled coffee and have a nice day...

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USNinJapan2

Thanks for your comment on my post. Two points you make I want to reply to.

'Official naval message traffic. Sorry but there's no internet link I can provide and I natuarlly can't cut and paste any of it here. You'll just have to accept the fact that I'm passing along unclassified information about the incident that hasn't been filtered by the media.'

So you want us to believe you? HAAAAAAAH. Listen up a moment, the only thing that makes posts believable here is someone thinks along the same lines as you and reads you because you make them feel all is good in their little universe. You exist only in cyberspace, no one knows a thing about you but for your post. If you want people to believe what they otherwise believe to be the ravings of a deluded 13 year old boy in love with a Van Diesel character then post facts and if they are contested then source them. That makes things more believable.

Otherwise, what you post comes across as nothing but a total rave the reader agrees with or ruins the display by laughing their coffee all over it. Your post sees me in the last category. And you ought to be mopping up the coffee off the keyboard.

'The rest of your post deals with the geopolitical-economic situation in Somalia which these multi-national naval forces are not there to fix or resolve in any way. That is not their job nor should it ever be. These warships and their crew have simply been sent to mitigate the success of Somali pirates...'

Yeah, that's right, this is about government policy.

The article title 'French seize ships...' means a government, a foreign government has authorized their military arm to take a specific action.

Do you think I am taking a poke at the military? The military just do what they are told, period. Soldiers look after each other and do their best to stay alive, and when they are told to they kill a lot of people. I'm not defending or attacking the military arm of the government. I am posting precisely about government policy here, and the likely outcome.

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I'm frankly still laughing at the supposed do-gooder socialists on the boards defending the actions of these people. One of them was griping that the fourth and surviving pirate was only sixteen....heh, don't they realize that's practicaly middle-aged on the dark continent?

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if insurance companies stopped paying out for piracy related incidents in this specific area, there might be less hijacking going on. however there's been no mention of this, which is suggestive of something else going on.

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ca1ic0cat, I agree with what you posted. Somali pirates will have to suck it up if they want to use force they should be prepared for the consequences.

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with the French capturing all these pirates the French Foreign Legion should be well stocked for many years. Even Pirates must be put to work under the new socialism.

Your free and careless youth days are numbered pirates! French language textbooks in hand please.

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A last little remark: please check some up-to-date facts and statistics about the economic/demographic/military/etc strength (both in terms of quantity and quality) of the United States and the European Union... you'll be surprised to discover that the United States should maybe not be "the one leading". Now check the same facts about Russia, China, India, and you might get scared about our future :)

I have and it is scary.......It is called mediocrity.

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Have all ships navigate in an area well off the Somali coast. Put Marines on each ship before it leave the Red Sea or the Persian Gulf and then pick them up off Madagascar. Have a carrier group to start flying combat air patrol over the new shipping lanes to have a rapid response. If any boats come too close to a ship they can be sunk in a lot less time. Make the piracy too expensive and dangerous to keep up. Force is the only thing these scum will react to.

A pity that we were not able to help the Somalis back in the Bush to Clinton years but their warlord tribal scum didn't want to feed the people, they wanted power for themselves. Now they get to enjoy the outcome of their past behaviour. Life is hard. It's a lot harder if you are stupid.

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taniwha

Now how would you know all of that? Hmmm? Sources?

Official naval message traffic. Sorry but there's no internet link I can provide and I natuarlly can't cut and paste any of it here. You'll just have to accept the fact that I'm passing along unclassified information about the incident that hasn't been filtered by the media.

In any event, the three snipers were already in position and as it turns out the authorisation from the US president for lethal force to be used had already been given. Seems like their fate had already been decided.

Lethal force was authorized only if a situation arose where the hostages's life was in immediate danger. Not simply in danger because he was in captivity, but if it was observed that he would immdiately lose his life if no lethal action was taken. That is what happened. The order from the President undoubtdely instructed the on-scene commander to use every means of negotiating and only use force if it satisfied the condition above. Lethal force is always the means of last resort in resolving a hostage situation but it is the final option which is always considered in every single hostage scenario. I've had my share of training in dealing with hostage situations involving armed captors. How about you?

As for the distinction between pirate, criminal, terrorist, you do realize that that is a distinction made in dealing with them only after the lethal threat they present is neutralized and they are in custody, if that is possible. While they are pointing weapons at hostages they are treated the same. The priority first is to neutralize the threat the captors pose to the hostage. Sometime this is accomplished with words, and sometimes it takes bullets. The age, nationality, race, etc. of the either the hostages or their captors are completely irrelevant. Of course it does fit nicely into your twisted world view and validates the demonic role we Americans play in it...

The rest of your post deals with the geopolitical-economic situation in Somalia which these multi-national naval forces are not there to fix or resolve in any way. That is not their job nor should it ever be. These warships and their crew have simply been sent to mitigate the success of Somali pirates and the damage they are causing to international commerce. They are not there to negotiate the release of the hostages already in captivity either. They are operating in the area to prevent attacks and to deal with hijackings while the ships are in international waters before they are taken back to pirate havens.

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"No, I didn't no that. I understood he was aboard the ship to negotiate the safe release of his fellow pirates"

Safe release?

After voluntarily putting themselves in this position to gain a quick buck? Heh, you radical socialists are a hoot.

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"If you want we can take up right now where we left off. The only reason I pick up on old threads is if the post is genuine and worth a sensible reply. Yours wasn't."

Pffft...

For someone who is defending people kidnapping for ransom, and threatening their captives with murder if their demands weren't met, you haven't a pot to piss in.

Thanks for playing.

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onibaku: What matters is the content of the ideas expressed by both sides.

Not exactly. We live in a world of limited resources and unlimited burdens. Sometimes we need a lot more than ideas, and sometimes not all countries live up to carrying their fair share of the cost. Measuring contributions should be a part of the discussion.

De Gaulle went too far with his quest for French independence, even refusing to acknowledge support others (namely the US and England) gave France over the years. He was paranoid about American influence in Europe to the point where he refused to take an honest look at the relationship the two shared.

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Facts are facts.

Today the US navy kills three teenage pirates in a boat, tomorrow, that strip of water is a far more dangerous place than it had been before Prez Obama steamed loaded with ammo and looking for a fight. Day after tomorrow, US forces invade Somalia. Day after that, military bases up and down the Somalian coastline followed quick smart by Halliburton and a few choice US oil companies.

Opportunism probably best describes the present course of attack the Obama administration is taking with Somalia. Nothing at all has changed about the pre-occupation of the US ruling elite. The object is to grab as much wealth as it can for as long as it is able.

The French too will take advantage of the situation. The reality for Somalia is that grinding poverty and internal chaos are a direct result of its own historical evolution which reads like a history of modern day colonialist enterprise. British, French, and Italian governments have all had a hand in creating what is now Somalia. Each one used an trashed the land and its people, right up to the major disrupter that was Maj, Gen Mohammed Siad Barre, the corrupt dictator bought to power through American support to fight the influence of the Soviet communist bloc nations in the region back in the early 1970's. When the Wall fell so too did the US support for the dictator of course. By then Somalia was immersed in wars with its neighbors and the country spun into chaos and years of eventual civil war.

These pirates aren't born, they are made. And Somalia is the storm the West had been a long time sowing. Whacking them with military hardware bought about the problem to begin with, it sure as hell is not going to solve it.

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My dear Taniwha, yo have a very interesting opinion, but I would like for you to put yourself in the sailors shoes, and when some skinny, dirty Somali teenagers with shiny AK-47s are pointing in your face, will you still feel so sorry for them? Will you pray that US Navy seals stay away? That these "poor young misunderstood lads from the 3rd World" not be shot through their pointy heads? Only when you are in the victims place can you really understand that we must bomb the hell out of Somalia and teach them a good lesson now.

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USNinJapan2

'Did you know that one of the pirates had already previously given himself up and had been helping the Navy in negotiating with the four remaining pirates?'

No, I didn't no that. I understood he was aboard the ship to negotiate the safe release of his fellow pirates. If he surrounded after seeing them dispatched by lethal force, and particularly given he was 16 years old, and actually on a warship surrounded by lethal force, I would imagine he would rather naturally give himself up.

'The negotiatiations weren't working and the pirates actually grew more aggressive and escalated their threats to kill their hostage, showing no signs of giving up. '

Now how would you know all of that? Hmmm? Sources?

In any event, the three snipers were already in position and as it turns out the authorisation from the US president for lethal force to be used had already been given. Seems like their fate had already been decided. Doesn't it to you? Probably not. I think the general tone of your post speaks for itself.

You might want to consider had the situation been reversed and these been three teenager criminals were from downtown USA how the folks back home would have reacted had this kind of treatment been meted out to them by the Canadians, by some Europeans, the Japanese, or the Chinese government.

You can spin it like that if you like. But basically your facts don't hold up.

Pirates although previously met with military force back in the 17th century are today classed as criminals. Not combatants to be engaged militarily. They are not generally considered 'terrorists' - see RAND corporation distinction.

Try this for evidence: http://www.cfr.org/publication/18376/combating_maritime_piracy.html?breadcrumb=%2Fpublication%2Fby_type%2Fbackgrounder

When the UN, the EU and other world organisations consider the appropriate means to combat piracy it is through prosecution, not military hits.

When Americans come under attack by paramilitary police tactics such as took place in the case in the Waco episode, Americans look at the use of military force upon civilians, even those deemed criminal, most commonly with feelings of outrage and disgust.

It seems because these people are not Americans, are not white, are not wealthy, have the temerity to attack the property of corporate America, that they must be dispatched with the full force of the nations military might, and those snipers represented precisely that, make no mistake.

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Bravo French Naval forces! Now it is time to blow the hell out of these Somali pirates before they even get near their ports, let alone to the open sea! Bomb them from every direction and make Somalia a nice, safe place for the entire world now!

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USNinJapan2 at 08:14 PM JST - 16th April

I have to agree. Also, if the freed captain is not complaining, who are we to?

I certainly would not have supported this action as a "plan" to end the crisis. But as a reaction to the behavior of the pirates at the exact time it occurred, I cannot find a problem with it.

Note to pirates: Don't point weapons at your tied-up hostages if you want to live long enough to collect a ransom. They are not a threat to you anyway, so you got no reason to do that except as a roundabout way of committing suicide.

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onibaku at 01:43 PM JST - 16th April--Great post.

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taniwha

What a load of over ripe verbiage about what? A prezident who reacts to a hostage situation with three teens holding one captain in a boat already under the control being towed by a US warship, by having three separate snipers used to hitting a target a mile away kill the teens huddling down in the boat. That's one sniper for each kid.

The age of the pirates is irrelevant. They were old enough to effectively wield AK-47s and kill their captive.

The lifeboat was tethered to the USS Bainbridge because the sea state had increased and pirates voluntarily accepted the Navy's offer to take their lifeboat under tow to minimize the effect the large waves were having on their small craft. Attaching a cable to the lifeboat gave the Navy some control, albeit very limited, over it so it was an important step for the FBI and Navy in negotiating and trying to diffuse the hostage situation without having to hurt/kill anyone, be it pirate or hostage. Did you know that one of the pirates had already previously given himself up and had been helping the Navy in negotiating with the four remaining pirates? The negotiatiations weren't working and the pirates actually grew more aggressive and escalated their threats to kill their hostage, showing no signs of giving up. It was after all this that the opportunity presented itself for the Navy to decisively end the standoff using their SEALs when two armed pirates opened the hatch to the enclosed lifeboat exposing themselves and a third pirate who aimed his assault rifle at the back of the kneeling hostage as if to execute him. You can spin it all you want to make it sound like the SEALs somehow unfairly killed three poor little teenagers huddling helplessly in the lifeboat but that simply wasn't the case. Honest and continued attempts at negotiating a non-violent resolution to the hostage situation was made by the Navy for almost 5 days(!) before deadly force was used without injury or death to the captive.

I would really like to know, how would you have proceeded (without the use of deadly force of course) had you been the CO of the USS Bainbridge and in charge of the situation? What's the right answer?

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How do we know that all these heavily armed crusader warships are not harassing innocent fishermen or economic migrants? In these areas, it is common for people to carry weapons for self defense. Imagine you are in your own countries waters, fishing for your village...when a helicopter suddenly appears and its wind tangles your net. Armed foreigners slide down ropes, assault you, smash up your belongings, threaten you, take your weapons, tell you to get out of your own neighborhood and then leave? Or worst case, just kill you and sink your skiff?

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[For a guy who complains about Obama's spending, that's not a very practical solution.]

Excuse me Mr.Smith? I have never even posted about Obama so far as I can remember let alone his spending habits. I'm not sure if you are mistaking me for someone else or if you are just under the influence of something. But I guess I've had words put in my mouth before by you so in your mind maybe you have your own little world going on and live in bliss there imagining that anyone that disagrees with you is an ultra rightie. That said I do agree with you about making the insurance 'sky high' so these companies won't rely on the payment to them by insurance companies and have no concern for safety of their crews when they can get money back from insurance. The companies have to be more responsible for all assets I believe.

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'About the topic at hand. You backed away from our discussion the other day where you were defending the crimes of armed kidnappers prepared to kil hostages to get the ransoms they were demanding.'

Madverts

If you want we can take up right now where we left off. The only reason I pick up on old threads is if the post is genuine and worth a sensible reply. Yours wasn't. One liners are fine if they are wit. But if you expect a discussion that comprises of reactionary back hands you won't get if from me.

You call them kidnappers. I see that's a popular label fixed to this crime by the media. But the fact remains these were pirates who held the captain hostage, and so far as the facts stand it appears, that given they allowed themselves to be towed by the warship that they were about to save their own rear ends and get themselves back home. Remember we are discussing teenagers here, the eldest was 19 years old. They had not killed anyone.

You want to call them kidnappers, fine. Even kidnappers under those circumstances, no longer control the situation. The fact Prez Obama authorized lethal force, and that they, all three were dispatched while sitting quietly in a boat under tow speaks for itself. This was about bloody politics in the style of the Bush administration. Nothing has changed in Washington, except for the banners and a few faces the American ruling elite are intent on pursuing their own ends using brute military force to subjugate their opponents and smash their enemies. The language is that of pure gangsterism, and the corporate media are baying like a pack of rottweilers at their masters' heels.

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Just follow the pirates home and then attack. Shouldn't be too difficult to figure out.

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@sailwind: The respect is shared, you can be sure of this. I lived a long part of my childhood in contact with American troops in Saudi Arabia as my father was enrolled in the army. He fought during 20 years of the Cold War side by side with American special forces and always taught us that our two nations were friends and that mutual respect was the rule.

To come back to the main point of your post, I'm afraid that I cannot agree with you. The size of the country (whichever your unit of measure is) is unimportant in a relation of alliance (even more in case of friendship). What matters is the content of the ideas expressed by both sides. I mean, don't get me wrong, but the world/community we're trying to build is not one in which the strongest baboon is in charge, simply because he thinks that he can beat the crap out of the others, and he takes the decisions and the others have to follow. This is a primitive form of community which is, what's more, counterproductive, because the strongest baboon is not always right. Therefore, we believe that as civilized democratic countries, everybody should have the right to express his opinion with equal weight and we should discuss the matter together before taking a decision. To sum up, the weight of ideas/opinions should never be proportional to any relation of power/size... especially between people which call each other friends. The quality should prevail over the quantity. This is in my humble opinion the best way to manage a community, because it makes use of everybody's own skills and experience.

If this principle is not understood by everyone and applied, nothing can prevent new problems (like the war in Iraq) to happen.

The U.S does not seek to "dominate" our allies but as the biggest nation in the alliance it does exert its 'influence' in proportion to her position as the most powerful nation in the NATO alliance.

Please don't feel offended, but the point of view you're defending is exactly what pushed De Gaulle's France to leave NATO. What's the point in joining an alliance if the strongest nation is the one taking the decisions and the others should just follow.

I appreciate your post and your opinion but I think it is more of your personal dislike for Bush and his policies.

Thanks, I appreciate your post and opinion too. Of course I do dislike the Bush administration for what it has done, but I think our differences have their root deeper. Right now, our two people have a different view of how the "world democracy" should be organized. The difference is ideological.

Now that Obama has been elected you can like us again (even though his policies are pretty much the same but in a prettier package).

As I said before, we never stopped liking you, we just disagree with you on some important points. As FreeSpeech said, we put great hopes in President Obama and we wish things will change. But, while we will stay your friend, our position will not change until you forget about your idea of "world order".

A last little remark: please check some up-to-date facts and statistics about the economic/demographic/military/etc strength (both in terms of quantity and quality) of the United States and the European Union... you'll be surprised to discover that the United States should maybe not be "the one leading". Now check the same facts about Russia, China, India, and you might get scared about our future :)

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"We like the US here, but we do not want to see it dressed as the "gendarme" of the world"

Freespeech,

As a Rosbif living in France for many years, I have to say I see enough Gendarmes screwing motorists these days without needing them to run the world ;) I think the old de Gaulle mentality would have had France aspiring to run the world in the place of the US, but in my opinion he was an ass, and the cause of much of the resent in the US for the French.

Either way, the fact that France and the US are leading the charge to deal with this scum, and have the balls to take action is refreshing.

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Why all this discussion? The only way to rid the area of pirates is to make their trade a deadly one (for them). Shoot them on sight and let their bloated bodies wash up on Somali shores as a reminder to their kin of the hazards of piracy!

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Taniwa, it's an accepted Western concept that it's moral to use lethal force to prevent the use of lethal force.

-No need to over-think this so you can make the criminals the victims in your mind.

FreeSpeech, had the capitan been French, the US wouldn't have involved itself unless the French government requested assistance. We don't want to police the world either. All we usually get for that is spit in the face. See Taniwa's post.

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Some good could come from this. Once people see what those people are really like then perhaps they will start looking after themselves and their countries instead of bending over backwards making excuses for them.

Calling these sea-thieves 'pirates' is a bit too much of a promotion. They are just Africans acting like Africans. The only language they understand is violence, and i sincerely hope the neccesary message gets across with the requisite fire-power to ensure they stay in their mud huts.

But the thought did cross my mind that in these difficult economic times the sale of (shoddily-made) 'goods' from the PRC might be slackening off, so there's a chance those pirates are receiving a kickback from the owners of those ships, who get the value of their cargo back from their insurers.

Yes. Those Africans are acting like Africans and I hope people are taking notice of the reality of these people instead of believing the garbage in the mainstream media.

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Taniwha,

"What a load of over ripe verbiage about what?"

About the topic at hand. You backed away from our discussion the other day where you were defending the crimes of armed kidnappers prepared to kil hostages to get the ransoms they were demanding...

...if you want to stand shoulder to shoulder with that, it's your problem bud.

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@onibaku, Madverts and sailwind : many many thanks for an exchange of views that is rich and entirely satisfactory to me.

As a Frenchman, I support 99% the arguments developed by onibaku.

With sailwind I want to raise two objections (that will not prevent us from being friends):

I cannot see why "influence" should be proportionate with size ; it is true that it is a natural course of events that the biggest toughest richest one tends to develop more influence, but it is only so because the others lack self respect, or because they are unable to develop the concepts that wield influence ; I sincerely believe that concepts are the primary fuel of influence ; now and as to the "natural law" of size fuelling influence, I think we can easily find counter examples : just look at Japan, always chanted by the media as "the second economy in the world" and totally deprived of influence on the international scene...

concerning Mr Obama (whom we like and in whom we put a lot of trust), he has brought us recently a first disappointment by recommending a bit too loudly that Turkey should be integrated into the EU ; whom the EU invites to become a member is the exclusive domain of the Europeans, and there has been a perception that Mr Obama is not totally deprived of the american unconscious craving for dominance.

We like the US here, but we do not want to see it dressed as the "gendarme" of the world ; and above all, we do not reason in the way of asking which side needs the other one most, because this would be the perpetuation of the dominant-dominated relations, hey teleprompter !

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".The Bush regime was responsible for inciting hate towards the French, but as I said, that dark era is over. We now have an intelligent human being as opposed to a simpleton in the Whitehouse, and a pro-American president in the Elysee..."

What a load of over ripe verbiage about what? A prezident who reacts to a hostage situation with three teens holding one captain in a boat already under the control being towed by a US warship, by having three separate snipers used to hitting a target a mile away kill the teens huddling down in the boat. That's one sniper for each kid.

All the utter crap posted on these threads on this sad episode has imitated the total poison being spat out by much of the mainstream US media. Some of that 'journalism' appearing on this story has amounted to fully fledged fascist drivel.

Face facts here. The taking of the captain as hostage was not in itself a devastating confrontation that calls for immediate and extreme measures such as killing all three hostage takers. The norm for a hostage situation is to defuse it with as little life lost as possible, not to blow out the brains of the criminals.

Because the prezident has supported the executions the money points towards the reality that this situation was exploited for political reasons. What has Prez Obama got for himself and his administration out of this bloody episode? He has effectively got those of his critics amongst the hard right in the ruling elite as well as in the military on their back foot. Now they know he's the man who will take those hard decisions to snuff out young life in a moment.

The fact that it was the White House that officially announced Obama's authorization of deadly force underlines that the decision to kill those Somali kids was already signed and sealed the moment that life boat was put under two by the warship.

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"Madverts: I'm happy to see posts like yours because they are sadly quite rare. I wish you were right, but from what I could see over the last year, the "tiny hate minority" is sadly not that small in JT"

The Bush regime was responsible for inciting hate towards the French, but as I said, that dark era is over. We now have an intelligent human being as opposed to a simpleton in the Whitehouse, and a pro-American president in the Elysee....though that's about were Sako's credentials end IMO.

I'm happy to see the French and Americans leading the way in combatting the scourge of piracy. Perhaps it will co-erce other nations to become more pro-active in what is to be honest, an out of control problem on the high seas.

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onibaku

First off let me be very clear on this. I have sailed and worked with the French Navy as part of joint exercises between our two great countries. I have nothing but respect for the French and her armed forces. I have in the past given some good natured ribbing about the French (ask Adverts) but I have never done so with any dis-respect or malice intended.

As far your post. My opinion is that your view is based primarly on politics and your dis-like for Bush and his policies or perhaps even Reagan and his. That is right but it clouds the overall picture and does not lend one to an objective view of our relationship. We are entertwined on all levels, economic, mutual defense and in a thousand other different ways. The U.S does not seek to "dominate" our allies but as the biggest nation in the alliance it does exert its 'influence' in proportion to her position as the most powerful nation in the NATO alliance. If you think logically and objectively without the lens of politics to base your opinion on, this is not only natural but the way things should be. If France was the most powerful (and this is important) Free nation in the world and the U.S was say on par with Spain as far as economic or military might of course the U.S would take a more subordinate role in the relationship, it's just natural. I appreciate your post and your opinion but I think it is more of your personal dislike for Bush and his policies. Now that Obama has been elected you can like us again (even though his policies are pretty much the same but in a prettier package).

Thank you for a very good post I respect your opinion. I just ask that you read mine with the same open mind and how I have come to my opinions on our U.S Franco relations since the fall of the Soviet Union.

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@Madverts: I'm happy to see posts like yours because they are sadly quite rare. I wish you were right, but from what I could see over the last year, the "tiny hate minority" is sadly not that small in JT. Moreover, some of their hate speeches were backed up by JT's mods in the past. I had many posts censored one after the other because of not complying with some people who were arguing literally that the US were meant to rule over the World, that other countries are unable to take care of themselves, and even worse than this. Therefore, I believe that many fellow Americans still don't really grasp the mentality change which would be needed to build a better world through international collaboration (and not imperialism).

@sailwind: Ok, I guess you're referring to De Gaulle's position. De Gaulle was of course concerned about the possibility of a soviet invasion. That's what French troops were preparing for, and that's what he wanted to avoid at all cost. But De Gaulle was a visionary (he had already predicted most of the Nazi strategy before WWII had even started) and was aware that once the Berlin Wall would fall, the US would be tempted of becoming an imperialistic country (isn't that what happened?), so that's why he maintained strong relations with the US, but without selling France's independence on the international scene, and that's why he pushed for the construction of a European Union. Look what has happened to the rest of Europe? Most of the countries are underlings of the US now (especially in Eastern Europe), unable to express their true opinion on the international scene. Why? Because the US has slowly taken control of them during cold war. Europe can be summed up in terms of power to Germany, France and the UK. Germany has been forced to silence through culpability and occupation. The UK has surrendered to American pressure a long time ago, and has been licking the US' ass for the last 20 years at least (I'm not only talking about Iraq, but about their global political behavior). What would be left if France had surrendered too? Nothing, Europe would be controlled by the US. So De Gaulle's position was damn good and brave at that time, and I'm really thanksful that we had such a great leader. If this hadn't happened, nobody in Europe would have opposed the war in Irak a few years ago, simply because our government would have remained silent about all this. Look at Italy, the UK, Spain. People were against war in those countries, but the governments couldn't move. Guess why...

So that's for France's position at that time. About the global strategy to defeat the USSR, there was no need to try to dominate and take political control on your allies to defeat Soviet Union. So your point is meaningless if that was your justification for the US' continuing attitude. So I'll repeat what I said, if it's a new underling that you want, we will NEVER accept it. Friend is synonym of respect, equality, trust, and mutual support.

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An aircraft carrier uses the same amount of fuel if it is cruising in the meditteranean or the Indian Ocean. Or do you guys think they are back home in the garage? The carrier mission as part of a blue water navy is to protect US interests first, and secondly to keep sea lanes open for all international commerce. So, yes, we would be getting our tax dollars worth. Damn the pirates, full speed ahead!

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Shipowners and the nations they are based at or the nations that man these ships balk at the costs involved to protect themselves and pretend to find an excuse in the fact that underwriters will cough up the money which is paid out to the hoodlums and scum of this earth and to repair or replace the vessels. Aren't they super dumb now. With every successful capture the pirates strengthen their position, they increase their forces and get more, and more sophisticated weapons and equipment. Dragging their feet to deal with this cancer will turn out to be something nations involved are going to be extremely sorry about, because the risks posed are increasing by the minute. The locations of the bases of the pirates are known. What fuels the restraint towards decisive action? I don't get it.

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terebiko: "Why not put a squad of marines on each US ship entering the area to fight off attacks if necessary. 5 with the proper equipment should be sufficient. They can be taken off before the ships enter ports. It would be faster and easier than moving in the Bainbridge or some other ship every time there is an incident. If it's something big, then the military ships can be called into play. Gotta do something about them pirates..."

Again, not a bad idea, but who's going to pay? The companies sure don't seem to want to, and if you jack up the insurance costs the premium, as people have pointed out, of the imports would increase exponentially. Basically the only people profiting either way are the companies, and the public has to flip the bill for the costs of either higher imports due to increased security, or higher taxes for military presence (in the long run).

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France needs America far more than the US needs France.

It's good to see the French at last making themselves useful,and in a part of the world that they (and Britain) did so much to hinder and even destroy.

Good work.

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It is to resurect the V.O.C to do the job? well at least the americans and french are doing somethinh about, weapon makers grab your chance to test your weaponry or explore a new market !the anti-pirate tazer harpoon!

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Are the Americans and French idiots? Oh now, this sea is much too wide to patrol, yes,yes it is, so what do you do, bomb the hell out of the Somali coast, their ports etc..kill the pirates before they even get out to sea. Impose a NO FLY, NO BOAT ZONE over all of Somalia and it's coast, let the pirates starve to death out at sea. Make Somalia a new military base for the USA and it's allies. Heck I should be working at the PENTAGON!

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Onibaku,

I think a lot of people mis-understood the French people's anti-war position for the position of the money-grubbing Chirac government that rode the wave of public discontentment.

But that's in the past, with the few remaining anti-French trolls on JT relegated to a tiny hate minority.....heh, and having to avoid threads such as these where the French and the Americans are, as they should be, working together to fight a common menace.

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We will never accept the relationship you have been trying to build since WWII, but we'll stay your friends, hoping that one day you'll wake up and realize what you've been doing those last decades.

Keeping the Soviet Union from invading Western Europe (they weren't going to just stop in Germany) was such a bad thing after WWII?

Funny how people always seem to forget how the world really was back then.

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neverknow2: I don't believe that for one second. The propaganda from the American side has begun already. Next week, the war on Piracy. Another excuse to invade.

Are you sick in the head or just plain retarded? Propaganda serving what purpose? An excuse to invade Somalia for what? To obtain dead bodies and poor people? The fact of the matter is I don't think anyone cares for too much over in that immediate area. Americans only starting caring because they started capturing our people. Did you not just read the Navy Seals rescue story yesterday when they blown 3 pirates' heads off to rescue the captain of a vessel?

One pirate issued a new threat to “slaughter” Americans

That sounds like something a Somalian would say to me. They must be outraged and these people are crazy and looking for a fight. It's not so far fetched. I think if they want a fight let's give them one. You can only find peace through war. Someone is going to lose. If we eradicate all the current pirates maybe it will deter everyone else from choosing a career in the "pirate force" in the future.

Navy Seals "HUA"!

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@neverknow2:

SOunds like the French are doing all the work. It wasn't that long ago that the USA was selling 'freedom fries' rather than French fries. When did this French/US unity begin???

@timorborder:

So the French are allies again? Wonders will never cease.

I'll just clear up a few things for our fellow JT readers (@neverknow2: I guess your post was ironical). First, France has been active as a stabilization power on the African continent (probably even more than the US) since the end of the decolonization wars, and has had special alliances (independent of the UN) with most of the African countries (OUA) to guarantee their unity and protect their integrity in case in case of war. That's also why French military forces remain in some African countries (e.g. Tchad).

About the French/US unity, it began more than 200 years ago and has never stopped (on the French side at least...). France gave the Thirteen Colonies' territory to the US, and the US freed France during WWII. Such a friendship shouldn't be destroyed that easily. What many US citizens (especially JT readers) cannot grasp, is that "friend" or "ally" doesn't mean underling. France told the US that invading Irak without any reason would be illegal, shameful, and a terrible mistake. The answer we got was insults, despisal and arrogance. You broke the unity at that time. Now tell me today, who was right?! I think that instead of behaving the way you do ("So the French are allies again? Wonders will never cease") you should better start wondering a bit about who was right, and who broke "the unity"... I think it would be about time to do that, and to prepare some sincere excuses for what you have said and done to us at that time!! The problem is the way you behave with your allies, especially your loyal ones. Somebody who doesn't tell his friend that he's doing shit is not a reliable friend. We did, and instead of listening, thinking, and discussing the matter, you denied everything, lied and, worse, insulted us. Friendship must be a mutual value based on respect and trust, not on arrogance and domination. We will never accept the relationship you have been trying to build since WWII, but we'll stay your friends, hoping that one day you'll wake up and realize what you've been doing those last decades.

P.S.: Another example of unconscious will of domination. Look at the way this article is written (this often happens in JT). The first sentence starts with "The U.S. and its allies"... who are we talking about? The US and France... Why highlight the US like this, and refer to France (which has done most of the work as already mentioned) as "its allies" (a plural what's more...). That's another way of saying that the US is the boss, its allies (not even explicitly mentioned and put in the shadows) are underlings. Unacceptable!

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Why not put a squad of marines on each US ship entering the area to fight off attacks if necessary. 5 with the proper equipment should be sufficient. They can be taken off before the ships enter ports. It would be faster and easier than moving in the Bainbridge or some other ship every time there is an incident. If it's something big, then the military ships can be called into play. Gotta do something about them pirates...

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Unfortunately hiking up insurance to include military escorts would mean everybody paying through their nose for cheap overseas-made consumer products. The insurers would be profiling countries/companies, underwriting... prices go up and then there's unfair trading practices... which would benefit home-based manufacturing (which is not a bad thing). In terms of economics... it's all messed up, so leave well enough alone.

International militaries need to form a cellular network (like a grid) to be able to cover such a large area. This may mean a considerable number of ships that track the pirates as well as each other and legitimate commercial vessels. Have each military ship tag these pirates as soon as they see them surface as being suspicious. Think of it as Interpol on the high seas. Who would pay? The countries that do the most trading. Wouldn't it be of the utmost importance in national security to defend their own ships by paying into the network?

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Hey smithinjapan, can you imagine the cost that the US Navy would charge? They couldn't pay the premiums and the cost passed on to us would be ridiculous.

USNinjapan, yelp I misspelled it. You understood the intent of the word. You're quick. < :-)

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adaydream

Shipping magnets and CEOs.

For your edification, it's 'magnates' not 'magnets'. Unless of course you really are talking about people that magnetically stick to the sides of ships... : )

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I say jack up the cost of the companies' insurance sky-high so that it includes the necessary cost of sending military ships as escorts, or for keeping them in the area.

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bushlover: "Bomb their ports and send an aircraft carrier and tracking planes to the area to track down and eliminate these guys."

For a guy who complains about Obama's spending, that's not a very practical solution. Who's going to pay for such aircraft carrier operations? YOU! And keep in mind that that's one less, or more than one if needed, aircraft carrier elsewhere. The companies certainly aren't going to pay for it because, 'they have insurance already'.

Ie. It's not a practical solution, monetarily speaking, that you are proposing.

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I must be missing something here. If it's a pirate ship with no hostages or any innocents on board, just.. blow it out of the water? Few torpedos and be done with it? No?

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how serious are they about fighting the pirates? task aircraft carriers to the area and planes should be able to reach vessels under attack in minutes, not hours. would cost a hell of lot though.

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The greater percentage of these cargo ships lack the power/speed to stay out of the reach of the pirates. Even if some have that extra power, they do not use it, buy command of the owners, for the cost of extra fuel will up the price of their products.

Does make you think & the insurance people will be upping the cost of insurance which will ALSO up the costs of the products the ships are carrying.

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" The ship, carrying food aid for hungry Africans — including Somalis — "

The absurdity of the conflict in a nutshell.

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Bring back the old times. Have an open season on the pirates and show them no quarters.

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Then take no prisoners.

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So the French are allies again? Wonders will never cease. As I posted on a previous thread, this whole mess is far from finished. Until such time as the international community declare open season on these people, piracy will continue in the region.

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By now somebody with Satellite intelligence should have been able to identified possible trends of which ports they depart from. So, why not meet them on their way out with some sort of naval blockade?

because the us is not so brave and strong than pirates. sorry but your plan is laughable.

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By now somebody with Satellite intelligence should have been able to identified possible trends of which ports they depart from. So, why not meet them on their way out with some sort of naval blockade?

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[ according to a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press about the matter.]

Either there are alot of these anonymous people who like to give information or there is a common theme of the press to invent things to sell a story. If the pirates want war then they should get it. Bomb their ports and send an aircraft carrier and tracking planes to the area to track down and eliminate these guys. I can see some interesting tdy coming in the future.

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One pirate issued a new threat to “slaughter” Americans

I don't believe that for one second. The propaganda from the American side has begun already. Next week, the was on Piracy. Another excuse to invade.

SOunds like the French are doing all the work. It wasn't that long ago that the USA was selling 'freedom fries' rather than French fries. When did this French/US unity begin???

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There is sticky foam. They aren't using barbed wire. They aren't doing anything besides fire hoses and hiding. They could put other barrier that the pirates can't get past.

I heard a CEO the other day saying that neither he or the other owners would do anything. They are covered by insurance and besides that, wasn't much they'd do. < :-)

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How about bombing and sinking all the ships and boats in ports used by pirates? If the pirates move to another port, sink all the ships in that port too.

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adaydream, I believe it is illegal to arm commercial ships. Or at least illegal for them to carry weapons into a port of a country that does not allow such weapons. What do you propose the shipping magnets and CEOs do (that is legal)? Many ships already grease the rails and put up barbed wire. Until laws are changed to allow armed merchant vessels, all that is left is navy-protected convoys and paying 'protection' money to the pirates in advance.

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Shipping magnets and CEOs. You do something to protect yourself first. You take action to be pro-active against the pirates. < :-)

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