The Pirate Movie in Somalia
I suppose that even now people are finding it hard to get stirred up about this. Kenya is a third world country with lots of impoverished people. The 35 mil happens to be the exact amount that the Kenyans had contracted to to pay for the gear once it reached their shores and they could take possession, though they are saying that until then it is a Ukrainian affair instead. So it seems quite perverse for them to be spending that kind of money that could be used for so many better purposes. And besides, what neighbor is Kenya at war with, that it would need 33 Russian 40-ton behemoths rolling across the delicate savannas? But now it is suspected that Kenya will merely trans-ship the tanks across to the Southern Sudan where a vicious war has been going on between the Arabs and the Rainbows, with the disadvantage to the Rainbows. It seems that the Kenyans have already done that with three other military shipments so far.
It's hard to get detailed, close up reports on this drama, as it is in a badly forsaken part of the world where reporters of any sort can't find a comfortable perch from which to operate. Plus in the U.S. at least, everyone is too consumed with debates, a woman from Alaska, and events on Wall Street. But as Americans finally got in on the act by having a destroyer captained by a man with the cool name of Goodnight showing up on the scene and so casting that authoritative American eye over things, coverage has picked up though still not enough.
That U.S. Navy ship is reputed to be heavily armed and is described as being either a mile or 5 miles away and watching closely, while a similarly lethal Russian warship is en route, though it had a much longer way to go, because, as happens with Russian affairs, it started out from way up near the Arctic Circle. Also a submarine belonging to somebody is on the scene. So far, however, the Ukrainians haven't sent any of their navy. The Kenyans are reputed to be sending some of theirs, but they are taking their good time about it, being that they are right next door, and this makes one suspect that "Kenyan Navy" is just an expression. And the law-abiding among the Somalis are asking the Western nations, any at all, with all their vaunted SWAT teams, to get some good use out of one for a change, or preferably a bunch, and send them in quick, because it is reported that Islamist radicals are sending pickups up the coast from Mogadishu toward the ship, which is anchored a few miles out at sea. These birds can't do anything with the tanks, but they would love to get their hands on the smaller stuff, which wouldn't be at all good for already badly battered Somalia and other places.
We can bet that the film industry action people have the same idea about the commandos, and at this very minute they are falling all over themselves to be the first to make use of this wonderful, readymade plot, which means that eventually we will have no shortage of such flicks to pick from, just as there are many Bruce Willises, Wesley Snipes, Steven Seagalls, and others waiting and eager to play the starring roles.
These Somali pirates operate in the same way that whaling and fishing fleets hve done. A bigger mother ship finds the prey and then sends out several speedboats to make the kill. The efficiency of this is why there aren't nearly as many fish and whales left in the oceans as there should be.
I'm afraid that if I were the U.S. President, I would be paying more attention to this than anybody in the leadership has given any sign of doing. That's because I would have engineered things so that there wouldn't be the big issues that are getting all the attention, such as the Great Wall Street Bailout Stickup and Iraq. And though it is normally far from my nature, in this one case I would definitely be bloodthirsty, because I consider piracy to be one of the most serious of matters, no matter where it happens. The ocean is dangerous enough, and there's nowhere else to run out there. A ship ought to be able to plod its way across those poisoned depths without having to deal with pirates, too, and I could feel justified about getting totally personal about it, as I have enjoyed several trips across the Pacific on slow, plodding ships of the sort that these guys hunt down and take back to undoubtedly the most cursed piece of real estate on the planet, despite all the beach frontage.
So the plot I like is first to hunt down and blow up the pirate mother ship of this particular gang and as many other such vessels as can be found, and second, to enable the U.S. military to achieve the glory that has eluded them in Iraq and Afghanistan by staging an Entebbe-like rescue off the Somalia pirate coast, complete with leaving quite a few new speedboats as wreckage at the bottom of the sea and old pickups burning on the beaches.
These pirates have highjacked so many ships that it's estimated that from the ransoms they divide a hundred million a year, and in that part of Somalia, oddly and from an American point of view appropriately called "Puntland," a whole culture and industry has sprung up around the piracy, including restaurants catering to the crews of various nationalities from the detained ships.
And meanwhile these guys don't lack for the same kind of nerviness that has long been shown in the language of the "Nigerian" scams that so often have been attempted via "Murphy game" propositions popping up in emails of practically anyone. So these guys say they are not pirates at all. Instead they call themselves protecting the environment of the Somali coastline, alleging that Western nations use those waters as dumping grounds for toxic substances. So they combat this by kidnapping ships and their crews, exacting ransoms, and using the proceeds to buy big new cars and large new houses, presumably out of sight and scent of the toxic wastes.