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Exclusive: French warship diverted to free luxury yacht crew seized by pirates off Somalia
Debka.com ^ | April 5, 2008

Posted on 04/05/2008 7:39:50 AM PDT by HAL9000

The Le Ponant pleasure yacht was seized Friday in international waters opposite Somalia without passengers on route from the Seychelles to Aden Port and the Mediterranean after its first pleasure trip of the summer season in the Indian Ocean. The 32-man crew was taken hostage.

Our shipping correspondent reports that the French Le Commandant Rouen warship was diverted from NATO’s Afghanistan operation to join the Yemeni coast guard in the hunt for and rescue of the captured craft. The Le Ponant caters to 64 high-profile luxury tourists, one of three owned by Le Compagnie Des Iles du Ponant, a subsidiary of the huge Lebanese-French CMA CGM.

DEBKAfile’s sources note that the Gulf of Aden and Somali shores are rife with pirates. Last year, 24 civilian craft were commandeered by pirates. In one case, the American Navy’s USS Porter opened fire on a pirate ship threatening a Japanese tanker; in another, pirates released a Danish merchant vessel with hostages against a large ransom after holding them for two months.



TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: africa; debka; france; frenchtroops; hostages; leponant; maritime; piracy; pirates; somalia
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1 posted on 04/05/2008 7:39:51 AM PDT by HAL9000
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To: HAL9000
So, what's a "French warship" look like? Anyone got a picture? Yes, I know what I'm asking for.
2 posted on 04/05/2008 7:41:46 AM PDT by Timmy
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To: HAL9000

Thats a fine kettle of fish.. NOW the pirates can take over a French Warship.. for ransome.. if the pirates can stand the smell..


3 posted on 04/05/2008 7:43:51 AM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole....)
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To: HAL9000

DEBKA aside, a French warship has been assigned to this task.


4 posted on 04/05/2008 7:46:06 AM PDT by RightWhale (Clam down! avoid ataque de nervosa)
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To: HAL9000
DEBKAfile’s sources

You had me going until I got to that.

5 posted on 04/05/2008 7:48:31 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: HAL9000
"DEBKAfile’s sources"

debka has sources?

6 posted on 04/05/2008 7:51:01 AM PDT by robomatik ((wine plug: renascentvineyards.com cabernet sauvignon, riesling, and merlot))
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To: HAL9000

Can the pirates feed that many more hostages? Perhaps the plan is to surrender them to death.


7 posted on 04/05/2008 7:52:32 AM PDT by DainBramage
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To: HAL9000

Not to get in the way of the French Navy-bashing, but are there any squids out there who know whether the French are in command of CTF-150? Serious question, I know . . . please return to your regularly scheduled programming.


8 posted on 04/05/2008 7:54:38 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: HAL9000
I believe we need to be changing the word "Pirates" to "Terrorists" - there's no Johnny Depp here...these people are dangerous and horrible.

There's NO ROMANCE here folks! Call it what it is -- TERRORISM !!!

9 posted on 04/05/2008 7:55:28 AM PDT by NordP (Yeah...Clinton didn't inhale and Obama didn't know 'nothin' 'bout Rev Wright bein' wrong)
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To: DainBramage

Maybe the ransom figure demanded was too high.


10 posted on 04/05/2008 7:56:53 AM PDT by txhurl
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To: Timmy
"So, what's a "French warship" look like? Anyone got a picture? Yes, I know what I'm asking for."

It's the one with the propellers in the front...aids in rapid retreat.

11 posted on 04/05/2008 7:57:31 AM PDT by johnandrhonda (have you hugged your banjo today?)
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To: NordP

> I believe we need to be changing the word “Pirates”
> to “Terrorists”

Exactly.

And to what religion do you suppose these terrorists adhere?


12 posted on 04/05/2008 7:58:57 AM PDT by Westbrook (Having more children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: HAL9000

Hope this ship’s propeller stays on - the French have such a hard time with simple things like that...


13 posted on 04/05/2008 7:59:13 AM PDT by txzman (Jer 23:29)
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To: johnandrhonda
“There's NO ROMANCE here folks! Call it what it is — TERRORISM !!!”

Piracy has always been a nasty, dirty business. A little known fact is that the United Nations defined most piracy out of existence, even though piracy has been increasing enormously.

To be a pirate, the crime has to occur with a privately owned craft in international waters for “private gain”.

So, since most piracy occurs in coastal waters, and a great deal occurs under the cover of law of renegade states, and since “terrorists” can claim that they were doing it for ideological reasons rather than “private gain”, most pirates simply are defined out of existence.

14 posted on 04/05/2008 8:03:31 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: HAL9000

The French navy doesn’t seem to have a ship of that name.

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/marine/decouverte/organisation/unites/batiments_de_surface/batiments_de_combat/liste_des_batiments_de_combat_de_la_marine_nationale_par_unite

The form of the name would indicate it would be a Type A69, but here’s their list of that type:

Avisos type A69

* Aviso Lieutenant de vaisseau Le Hénaff (F 789)
* Aviso Lieutenant de vaisseau Lavallée (F 790)
* Aviso Commandant l’Herminier (F 791)
* Aviso Premier maître l’Her (F 792)
* Aviso Commandant Blaison (F 793)
* Aviso Enseigne de vaisseau Jacoubet (F 794)
* Aviso Commandant Ducuing (F 795)
* Aviso Commandant Birot (F 796)
* Aviso Commandant Bouan (F 797)

It’s possible that it’s a new ship and they haven’t updated their website yet. But we are talking a known unreliable source. A google of “Le Commandant Rouen” turns up only this story.

I consider it more ‘creative writing’ until there’s a legitimate source.


15 posted on 04/05/2008 8:03:42 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: txflake

So now they are going to surrender a warship.


16 posted on 04/05/2008 8:12:08 AM PDT by DainBramage
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To: Timmy
Well, here's the "Le Vengeur" being sunk by the Royal Navy in 1794.

Here's the French battleship "Bouvet" being sunk by the Turkish guns in the Dardanelles, 1915.

Here's the Vichy France "Dunkerque" being sunk by the British at Oran harbor in 1940

17 posted on 04/05/2008 8:13:58 AM PDT by Emperor Palpatine (And infidel beheadings)
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To: Timmy
It's actually the Commandant Bouan, a small frigate intended for littoral combat. One of the lowest-tech French warship designs - most ships of its class have been sold to Turkey or decomissioned - but perfectly adequate for dealing with Somali pirates.


18 posted on 04/05/2008 8:14:55 AM PDT by Alter Kaker (Gravitation is a theory, not a fact. It should be approached with an open mind...)
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To: PAR35
Might look a little like
This


19 posted on 04/05/2008 8:15:34 AM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: Emperor Palpatine

So I take it you’re rooting against America’s French allies and for the Islamist terorists who kidnapped 30 French citizens? Charming!


20 posted on 04/05/2008 8:15:48 AM PDT by Alter Kaker (Gravitation is a theory, not a fact. It should be approached with an open mind...)
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To: PAR35

It’s probably the Commandant Bouan, as misheard over the telephone. Would make sense given the role.


21 posted on 04/05/2008 8:16:42 AM PDT by Alter Kaker (Gravitation is a theory, not a fact. It should be approached with an open mind...)
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To: Westbrook

Probably the same one the Barbary Pirates of the late 1700’s and early 1800’s did.

You know, the ones Jefferson sent Decatur to Tripoli Harbor to open up a can of Whoopa$$ on?


22 posted on 04/05/2008 8:16:57 AM PDT by Emperor Palpatine (And infidel beheadings)
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To: Timmy
So, what's a "French warship" look like? Anyone got a picture? Yes, I know what I'm asking for.

Ask and ye shall receive. lol

Reliable sources inform me that this Canadian Warship was purchased from the French Navy and the only modification they were required to make was to remove the permanently attached White Flag.

l_eab489c5b8d33ab846f5502a14598efd

23 posted on 04/05/2008 8:17:44 AM PDT by Conservative Vermont Vet ((One of ONLY 37 Conservatives in the People's Republic of Vermont. Socialists and Progressives All))
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To: DainBramage
The french ship is well stocked with Foie Gras and Truffles. It also has a good supply of Alsace and Bordeaux.

No one will go hungry.

24 posted on 04/05/2008 8:17:44 AM PDT by Slump Tester (What if I'm pregnant Teddy? Errr-ahh -Calm down Mary Jo, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)
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To: Alter Kaker

It would have been nice if they sent something that would at least SCARE the pirates.


25 posted on 04/05/2008 8:20:18 AM PDT by Slump Tester (What if I'm pregnant Teddy? Errr-ahh -Calm down Mary Jo, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)
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To: 1rudeboy
Not to get in the way of the French Navy-bashing, but are there any squids out there who know whether the French are in command of CTF-150?

French Rear Adm. Jean L. Kerignard is in command of CTF-150

26 posted on 04/05/2008 8:20:23 AM PDT by Alter Kaker (Gravitation is a theory, not a fact. It should be approached with an open mind...)
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To: Conservative Vermont Vet

Now that’s funny.
Good job.


27 posted on 04/05/2008 8:21:27 AM PDT by Joe Boucher (An enemy of Islam)
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To: Alter Kaker

No, I’m not. I’m just not gonna ever pass up an opportunity to rip the French.

But are the French up to it?

Have they ever been? Remember that during our own revolution the Frogs did what they do best. When Admiral Howe’s British fleet showed up, Admiral DeGrasse FLED with his numerically superior fleet.


28 posted on 04/05/2008 8:21:48 AM PDT by Emperor Palpatine (And infidel beheadings)
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To: HAL9000

There is a great misperception about the French military.

The French military is not incompetent. In fact, they are excellent. Their political LEADERSHIP has been horrible for decades and the French population in general has been ambivalent with regard to just about anything dealing with defense and national security.

But the French military is far from the incompetent, cowardly force that so many in America seem to think it is.


29 posted on 04/05/2008 8:24:43 AM PDT by LSUfan
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To: Conservative Vermont Vet

I’d take that piece for use in a fight....Ma Deuce always good!


30 posted on 04/05/2008 8:27:35 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Slump Tester
It would have been nice if they sent something that would at least SCARE the pirates.

Like what? They could find a later-model ship, but who cares? The pirates don't have anything that can even remotely take on this ship. A cheap, gun-based littoral-oriented ship is perfect for this role. If looks rather than need drove decisions, they'd have sent a Lafayette-class vessel:


31 posted on 04/05/2008 8:27:58 AM PDT by Alter Kaker (Gravitation is a theory, not a fact. It should be approached with an open mind...)
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To: Westbrook

Somalia lacks a functioning government, is an islamic cesspool, and would be a prime candidate to be the toxic waste dump for the universe. Much mischief comes out of Somalia, it produces nothing of consequence, it disrupts its neighbors, and it would look better if it glowed in the dark.


32 posted on 04/05/2008 8:31:45 AM PDT by mathurine
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To: Alter Kaker
It’s probably the Commandant Bouan, as misheard over the telephone.

It is possible that the name is the only fact that they got wrong, but given their track record, that is unlikely. I fact-checked one item in a few minutes on the net, and caught an error. They didn't fact check at all, and no telling what we'd find if we went through the rest of the story.

33 posted on 04/05/2008 8:31:54 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: LSUfan

The French military leadership failed their armed forces in 1940. When the Germans invaded, the French had a bigger army, more tanks, *better* tanks (albeit much slower), and more guns. The only areas where the Germans had a real qualitative superiority were in their air force (the French AF was bigger but largely obsolete) and in their tactics. The French generals deployed their army poorly, went into a total panic when the Germans broke through the “impossible” Ardennes and reached the Meuse, and totally botched any slim hope of a counterattack. Their soldiers, in many cases, fought well against hopeless odds.

The French actually have a lot of experience in counterterrorism. Well, OK, if you define Greenpeace as “terrorists”. But, still, they train very hard, and I expect if they can catch these pirates, they’ll put some serious hurt on them.

}:-)4


34 posted on 04/05/2008 8:32:15 AM PDT by Moose4 (If you get robbed, raped, or killed in Durham County, NC today, thank a probation officer.)
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To: Slump Tester
It would have been nice if they sent something that would at least SCARE the pirates..

Tell you what. Let us put you out at sea on a small boat against this French warship, let it fire a couple of rounds in your direction, a direct hit from which would not send you to Davy Jones Locker, because the bits would be so small that the fish would eat you before they could sink that far, and let us see how your bravado stands up.

35 posted on 04/05/2008 8:32:36 AM PDT by AndyJackson
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To: Alter Kaker

A machinegun-armed Predator flying up and down the Somali coastline, strafing anything that looks like a pirate vessel, would put a stop to this real fast


36 posted on 04/05/2008 8:32:46 AM PDT by PapaBear3625
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To: robomatik; PAR35
"DEBKAfile’s sources"

Some of you make fun of Debkafile, but methinks if an honest study were done, comparing the truth and accuracy of DEBKAfile to the NEW YORK TIMES, that it would be found that DEBKAfile is much more truthful and accurate than the Old Grey Whore, the Washington Compost, or any of a number of Liberal rags for that matter.

37 posted on 04/05/2008 8:34:33 AM PDT by webschooner
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To: Slump Tester

Fantastique! We shall fold like bath towels!


38 posted on 04/05/2008 8:39:04 AM PDT by DainBramage
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To: Emperor Palpatine
When Admiral Howe’s British fleet showed up, Admiral DeGrasse FLED with his numerically superior fleet.

DeGrasse was a great seaman and fighter. E.G., His actions prevented the British from shipping in more troops and supplies at the battle of Yorktown, enabling Washington and Rochambeau to force a British surrender..

As the Revolution wore on, your typical continental soldier carried a French musket, powder and shot, wore a French-supplied uniform and boots, slept in a French-supplied blanket, even ate French rations. Artillery: French. Our Army units, modeled on the French.

Rochambeau, the French Army Chief in our Revolution, to which France also sent over 10,000 troops, was also a master strategist ... which old George was sometimes not. Lissen, the Frogs had a couple of bad centuries, and we bailed them out in WWI and II, but they are the US'oldest, if not constant, ally. There is even a well-founded theory that the money they spent on us, and the taxes they raised to get it, ruined the French Monarchy and led to THEIR Revolution!

And, they are plenty brave, just sometimes unlucky. Very good Navy. Very good Air Force. Very good Army. Of course, getting them to use force on our behalf is sometimes difficult ... as with any other ally.

39 posted on 04/05/2008 8:40:23 AM PDT by Kenny Bunk (GOP Plank: Double Domestic Crude Production. Increase refining capacity 50 percent)
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To: Alter Kaker

> So I take it you’re rooting against America’s French allies and for the Islamist terorists who kidnapped 30 French citizens? Charming!

Congratulations! The first sensible post on this dam’nable thread! It only took twenty. Shivers! People complain when the French don’t participate in the WOT, and people make fun of them when they do. Crikey!

I wonder if any of these armchair heroes know that the French Foreign Legion is a world-class elite force, arguably as good as or better than anything that the United States can put in the field? Probably they don’t. It is just possible that the Legion will be on that warship — they often do things like that. And if not the Legion it will be a fairly competent group of French cutthroats that board the Luxury yacht.

I feel sorry for the Somali pirates, actually: they are highly likely to be dead in fairly short order.


40 posted on 04/05/2008 8:40:59 AM PDT by DieHard the Hunter (Is mise an ceann-cinnidh. Cha ghill mi do dhuine. Fg am bealach.)
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To: NordP

These guys have no particular political goal, simply the making of money.

Pirates were never romantic, really.

The appropriate term is pirates. If you start proclaiming EVERYTHING “terrorism” the word will lose its meaning.


41 posted on 04/05/2008 8:43:03 AM PDT by Strategerist
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To: Emperor Palpatine

Sacre Bleu!


42 posted on 04/05/2008 8:47:37 AM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: Emperor Palpatine
Have they ever been? Remember that during our own revolution the Frogs did what they do best. When Admiral Howe’s British fleet showed up, Admiral DeGrasse FLED with his numerically superior fleet.

This is completely false. The British fleet under Graves attempted to break the French blockade of Yorktown in the Battle of the Chesapeake and failed; Cornwallis surrendered the next month.

There's a reason we named a destroyer after DeGrasse.

43 posted on 04/05/2008 8:47:48 AM PDT by Strategerist
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To: NordP

> There’s NO ROMANCE here folks! Call it what it is — TERRORISM !!!

No, “terrorism” carries with it connotations of a radical political agenda. “Pirates” have no agenda greater than self-interest. “Pirates” would be the right word here.


44 posted on 04/05/2008 8:50:10 AM PDT by DieHard the Hunter (Is mise an ceann-cinnidh. Cha ghill mi do dhuine. Fg am bealach.)
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To: Strategerist

I don’t quite get that, either. My understanding is that Degrasse’s fleet kicked British ass. How did that become a French defeat is anyone’s question.


45 posted on 04/05/2008 8:51:42 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: LSUfan

Volunteers were making night jumps into Dien Bien Phu almost to the end.
A jump into the depths of hell would have been a better choice.
Some not even jump qualified!

Yes the most senior leadership was poor at best, that will not diminish the honor of the men.

A superb read.
http://www.dienbienphu.org/english/
from wiki:

The prisoners, French survivors of the battle at Dien Bien Phu, were starved, beaten, and heaped with abuse, and many died.[66] Of 10,863 survivors held as prisoners, only 3,290 were repatriated four months later.[63] The fate of 3,013 prisoners of Indochinese origin is unknown.[67]


46 posted on 04/05/2008 8:51:51 AM PDT by DUMBGRUNT (The best is the enemy of the good!)
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To: LSUfan; HAL9000; Emperor Palpatine
Thank you very much. You beat me to it.

I have operated with the French Navy and met personally with French Naval officers. They are a VERY professional group and quite capable in their ship handling even under delicate conditions.

It is not wise to underestimate them.

I will be first in line to bash much of their political leadership over the last 50 years but not the French Navy. I can not speak for the other services but would expect a similar level of professionalism.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

47 posted on 04/05/2008 8:54:10 AM PDT by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: DieHard the Hunter

Though I agree with your general sentiment (I love an anti-French joke as much as the next guy, but it’s a bit sad that people that probably have never heard of Verdun assume all French are cowards) but the “French Foreign Legion” is, by law, composed of non-Frenchmen enlisted - the “Foreign” refers to where the troops come from. It’s mostly English, Russians, and Germans. The officers are French, though, and Frenchmen sneak in to the ranks by declaring a false citizenship.


48 posted on 04/05/2008 8:57:14 AM PDT by Strategerist
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To: DieHard the Hunter; Strategerist

Semantics


49 posted on 04/05/2008 8:58:08 AM PDT by NordP (Yeah...Clinton didn't inhale and Obama didn't know 'nothin' 'bout Rev Wright bein' wrong)
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To: 1rudeboy

Well it wasn’t a very decisive battle; the British fought poorly and retreated to New York. But it was enough. They couldn’t break DeGrasse’s blockade.

The key decision was when DeGrasse decided to bring his ENTIRE fleet from the Caribbean to the Chesapeake, which the British were not expecting.


50 posted on 04/05/2008 8:59:21 AM PDT by Strategerist
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