Skip to comments.Somali pirates transform villages into boomtowns
Posted on 11/19/2008 3:03:26 PM PST by Lorianne
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia's increasingly brazen pirates are building sprawling stone houses, cruising in luxury cars, marrying beautiful women - even hiring caterers to prepare Western-style food for their hostages.
And in an impoverished country where every public institution has crumbled, they have become heroes in the steamy coastal dens they operate from because they are the only real business in town.
"The pirates depend on us, and we benefit from them," said Sahra Sheik Dahir, a shop owner in Haradhere, the nearest village to where a hijacked Saudi Arabian supertanker carrying $100 million in crude was anchored Wednesday.
These boomtowns are all the more shocking in light of Somalia's violence and poverty: Radical Islamists control most of the country's south, meting out lashings and stonings for accused criminals. There has been no effective central government in nearly 20 years, plunging this arid African country into chaos.
Life expectancy is just 46 years; a quarter of children die before they reach 5.
But in northern coastal towns like Haradhere, Eyl and Bossaso, the pirate economy is thriving thanks to the money pouring in from pirate ransoms that have reached $30 million this year alone.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailybreeze.com ...
northern coastal towns like Haradhere, Eyl and Bossaso should be only sand and glass now.
Start blowing up their fun houses and give them no place to spend their money.
Then again, they’re just more advanced democrats.
Somebody will have to grind that country into paste at some point.
The average life expectancy of a Somali is going to get a lot shorter if they continue to harbor pirates.
A pirate town. Another one. Three hundred years after Port Royal. Human nature is a constant.
Then they’d really be “boom” towns!
The longer this is permitted to go on, the worse things will get. The time to act is NOW.
Coastal shelling seems in order.
It’s the ransom, stupid.
I think we should start dumping the idiot anarchists from this country in Somalia. Give them what they want and show them the beauty of anarchy.
“Then again, theyre just more advanced democrats.”
“Dead Men Spend No Cash”
When will the world deal with this?
VERY VERY GOOD
"Back in 1784, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had to decide whether to appease or stand up to armed Middle Eastern pirates. Sound familiar?
.... The Middle East, a term coined by Alfred Thayer Mahan, one of McCains boyhood idols, is where both American warfare and American diplomacy began in the late 18th century, as our infant republic faced its first post-Revolutionary struggle against the evocatively named Barbary States of the Ottoman Empire.
The regencies of Tripoli, Tunis, and Algiers (future homes of Muammar Qaddafi, Yasser Arafat, and the Islamic Salvation Front, respectively) had been hosting and sponsoring Islamic piracy since the Middle Ages. Scimitar-wielding corsairs would regularly interrupt the flow of trade and traffic along the coasts of North Africa, seizing European vessels and taking their crews into bondage. Cervantes wrote his first play, in the 16th century, about the dread corsairs, and by the 18th, the American colonies had a minor seagoing presence in the Mediterranean protected by the redoubtable British Navy. But the Crown was reluctant to war against so petty an antagonist, preferring to pay tribute to the Barbary States instead, as a shopkeeper would protection money to the mafia. After the U.S. broke away from England and became its own nation, however, the geopolitical dynamics changed, as did the American equanimity with doing business with pirates.
In 1784, corsairs attacked the Betsy, a 300-ton brig that had sailed from Boston to Tenerife Island, about 100 miles off the North African coast, selling her new-made citizens as chattel on the markets of Morocco. The U.S. was not free of its own moral taint of slavery, of course, but it would be impossible to hasten the industrial development that would eventually render the agrarian-plantation economy obsolete if merchant ships could not be assured of safe conduct near the Turkish Porte. Other vessels, such as the Dauphin and Maria, were also seized, this time by Algiers, and the horrifying experiences of their captive passengers relayed back home were the cause for outrage. James Leander Cathcart described the dungeon in which he was being kept as perfectly dark where the slaves sleep four tiers deep many nearly naked, and few with anything more than an old tattered blanket to cover them in the depth of winter.
In response, Thomas Jefferson, then the Minister to France, suggested a multilateral approach of what we would now term deterrence. He asked that Spain, Portugal, Naples, Denmark, Sweden and France enter into a coalition with America to dissuade the regencies from their criminal assaults on life, liberty and the pursuit of international commerce. As Michael Oren, in his magisterial history Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to Present relates, By deterring, rather than appeasing, Barbary, the United States would preserve its economy and send an unambiguous message to potentially hostile powers. Jefferson thought it would impress Europe if America could do what Europe had failed to do for centuries and beat back the persistent thuggery of Islamists. It will procure us respect, said the author of the Declaration of Independence. And respect is a safeguard to interest.
This sober judgment fused the cold calculations of latter-day realism with the morality behind revolutionary interventionism: not only would America protect its citizens from plunder and foreign slaveholding; it would ensure that other countries under Christendom were similarly protected.
Though Jefferson found a stalwart Continental ally in a former one, the Marquis de Lafayette, France squelched the idea of a NATO made of buckshot and cannon. While waiting for funds that would never come from Congress for the construction of a 150-gun navy, the sage of Monticello resigned himself to further diplomacy with the enemy. In 1785, he dispatched John Lamb, a Connecticut businessman, to secure the release of hostages in Algiers, held by its dynastic sovereign Hassan Dey. Lamb failed ignominiously.
At the same time, John Adams, then minister to England, agreed to receive the pasha of Tripoli, Abd al-Rahman al-Ajar, in his London quarters to discuss a possible peace deal. Adams described his interlocutor as a man who looked all pestilence and war, a suspicion that was soon confirmed by the pashas demand of 30,000 guineas for his statelet, plus a 3,000 guinea gratuity for himself. He also did Adams the favor of estimating what it would cost the U.S. to broker a similar deal with Tunis, Morocco and Algiers the total price for blackmail would be about $1 million, or a tenth the annual budget of the United States.
Adams was incensed. It would be more proper to write [of his meeting with Abd al-Rahman] for the New York Theatre, he thundered. He agreed with Jefferson that a military response was increasingly likely, but Adams doubted his countrys economic ability to sustain it. For the short term, he thought it better to offer one Gift of two hundred Thousand Pounds rather than forfeit a Million annually in trade revenue, which the pirates were sure to disrupt. Not long thereafter, Jefferson joined him in London to prevent the universal and horrible War and reach an accord with the refractory envoy from Tripoli. Both gentlemen of the Enlightenment, and comrades in revolution, affirmed Americas desire for peace, its respect for all nations, and suggested a treaty of lasting friendship with the regency. Abd al-Rahman listened well, but his reply was one that would shock modern ears less than it did those of the two Founding Fathers:
It was written in the Koran, that all Nations who should not have acknowledged [the Muslims] authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon wheoever they could find and to make Slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.
Though a period of paying tribute and douceurs (or softeners expensive trickets and toys) to Islamic pirates would continue, the words of Abd al-Rahman Adams were chilling enough to leave Adams and Jefferson in no doubt as to the sanguinary and messianic nature of their adversary. An angel sent on this business, lamented Jefferson, could have done nothing to placate such men. He called them sea dogs and a pettifogging nest of robbers. The episode preceded further acts of piracy against American vessels and the imprisonment and sale of its crews and passengers, and was enough to get Jefferson to overlook his wariness of federalism and agree to a Constitution with a strong central government capable of building and keeping a powerful navy. Adams, as it turned out, was more worried that American opinion wouldnt rally for war, or accept its dire consequences. But the Philadelphia convention that drafted our national covenant in 1787 was hastened, and its welter of opinions unified, by the Barbary question. As the historian Thomas Bailey wrote, In an indirect sense, the brutal Dey of Algiers was a Founding Father of the Constitution.
Barbary Pirates torture western prisoners
America still sued for peace. The Betsys release had been negotiated, albeit abjectly, and to the accompaniment of Americas first diplomatic accord, the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Ship-Signals, signed with Morocco in 1786. But no sooner was the ship let go and its captives freed than it was recaptured by Tunis and renamed the Mashuda. Also, Washington at one point found itself spending 20% of its annual revenue in paying blackmail to a loose confederation of terrorists on the high seas. Under Jeffersons presidency, the first era of American military predominance was inaugurated, with men like William Bainbridge, William Eaton and the Byronic swashbuckler Stephen Decatur, becoming folk heroes.
....Santayana got it backwards, in fact: even those who remember history are still doomed to repeat it."
Gerard W. Gawalt:
"Paying the ransom would only lead to further demands, Jefferson argued in letters to future presidents John Adams,
then Americas minister to Great Britain, and James Monroe, then a member of Congress.
As Jefferson wrote to Adams in a July 11, 1786, letter, I acknolege [sic] I very early thought it would be best to effect a peace thro the medium of war.
Paying tribute will merely invite more demands, and even if a coalition proves workable, the only solution is a strong navy that can reach the pirates,
Jefferson argued in an August 18, 1786, letter to James Monroe: The states must see the rod; perhaps it must be felt by some one of them. . . .
Every national citizen must wish to see an effective instrument of coercion, and should fear to see it on any other element than the water.
A naval force can never endanger our liberties, nor occasion bloodshed; a land force would do both.
From what I learn from the temper of my countrymen and their tenaciousness of their money,
Jefferson added in a December 26, 1786, letter to the president of Yale College, Ezra Stiles,
it will be more easy to raise ships and men to fight these pirates into reason, than money to bribe them.
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