A Happy Ending

The good Captain is safe:

The American captain of a cargo ship held hostage by pirates jumped overboard from the lifeboat where he was being held, and U.S. Navy SEALs shot and killed three of his four captors, according to a senior U.S. official with knowledge of the situation.

Capt. Richard Phillips was helped out of the water off the Somali coast and is uninjured and in good condition, the official said. He was taken aboard the USS Bainbridge, a nearby naval warship.

At the time of the shootings, the fourth pirate was aboard the USS Bainbridge negotiating with officials, the source said. That pirate was taken into custody.

Apparently, there are dozens of hijacked ships in that area right now.

*** Update ***

BTW- I found the whole notion (as advanced by a few simpletons) that this was somehow a test of Obama to be laughably absurd. Our military budget is a half a trillion dollars a year. If we can not handle a couple pirates without the hands on involvement of the President, we need to just disband the Navy. Is it going to be a test of Obama every time some criminal somewhere takes a hostage?

Seriously.






202 replies
  1. 1
    TheFountainHead says:

    Sent in the Navy SEALs did they? Looks like I called that one..

  2. 2

    If I was ever in trouble, I do believe I’d like this man to be on my side. What courage all around – in charge of his own destiny the whole way.

  3. 3
    KCinDC says:

    These have got to be the most incompetent pirates ever — fortunately. The guy had already jumped overboard once. Is it really that hard to hold on to a hostage when you’ve got three guys watching him, especially when their lives depend on keeping the hostage? Granted, fleeing in the lifeboat wasn’t exactly planned beforehand, so they were no doubt lacking in rope and other useful materials.

  4. 4
    Krista says:

    Good to hear (and kudos to that captain for his bravery)! It’ll be interesting to see what develops WRT those other ships — I’m really not familiar with the state of affairs in Somalia, so I don’t know if their government would be amenable to (or capable of) cracking down on piracy.

  5. 5
    gwangung says:

    Would a great big STFU be appropriate to Krauthammer and all the other neocons?

  6. 6
    The Dangerman says:

    Props to the baddest Dudes on the planet (Navy Seals, the best of the best of the Special Forces); and sorry, Wingnuts, but looks like an international crisis under Obama has ended well (unless you are a Pirate, in which case today’s the shits).

  7. 7
    gopher2b says:

    I assumed the delay was to get a Seal team into place. Those guys are seriously badass. Stupid "pirates."

  8. 8
    KCinDC says:

    The timeline is unclear, so I suppose that before he jumped overboard the pirates could have been distracted by, you know, being attacked by Navy SEALs.

  9. 9
    South of I-10 says:

    Great news! His family must be so happy.

  10. 10
    Ash says:

    I haven’t been paying much attention to these stories. Have any of the pirates harmed/killed any of their hostages?

  11. 11
    gopher2b says:

    @Krista:

    I don’t think much has improved since the Blackhawk Down days.

    Three pirates dead, one injured, American unharmed and no country egregiously offended. Looks like a good day in the Obama administration.

  12. 12
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    That’s great news.

  13. 13
    omen says:

    but the emotionally stunted didn’t care about the captain being safe. they just wanted to see something go "boom!" where the bad guys got blowed up really good.

  14. 14
    srv says:

    Win-win. Now the Somali "pirates" will start killing hostages and bothering to read those Tom Clancy "novels".

    I really do wish the National Review would have another cruise. Somewhere east of Africa would do nicely.

  15. 15
    Leelee for Obama says:

    Just saw this on the TV! Glad he is safe, and hopefully this might start a new theory on these pirates. If they have legitimate grievances, they should be addressed by the international community. But taking hostages will not be tolerated. If they’re just criminals, they should be arrested and punished by the same international community.

  16. 16
    nhoj says:

    Clearly this is bad news for… Obama.

  17. 17
    gbear says:

    Would a great big STFU be appropriate to Krauthammer and all the other neocons?

    How about writing 100 times on a blackboard "I will not be a warmongering shithead" on Rachael Maddow’s show.

    Yay for the captain and the SEALs.

  18. 18
    ThymeZoneThePlumber says:

    This is great news.

    For John McCain! Heh. Who saw that coming?

    But, I have no opinion until I find out what Krautdoghammer and Broder have to say about it. Did Obama sell America down the river, er, ocean current, or whatever, by killing the three pirates before they could be tortured and spill their damnable secrets to our agents?

    Let’s not celebrate too soon.

  19. 19
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Must suck to be Rush Limbaugh today, no failure, American deaths, tragedy. Sigh.

  20. 20
    nhoj says:

    @gbear:

    Being a neocon means that you are never wrong. Really we should be thanking them for reminding us that force was an alternative to mandating Sharia law for merchant mariners.

  21. 21
    mao says:

    @nhoj

    Why do you think so?

  22. 22
    poopsybythebay says:

    I wonder if Krauthammer and the rest of the Sunday talking heads will feel like fools? What a surprise, you would think they would have known special forces would be called in to take care of the whole matter. I’m sure they had already started adding that Obama was weak to their tea-bagging signs. I can hear them now, "Oh shit, get the white out" and also you know the so called real Americans (Malkin, Beck) are probably pissed because the man was rescued. There goes their ticket back to relevancy.

  23. 23
    sistermoon says:

    Would a great big STFU be appropriate to Krauthammer and all the other neocons?

    Always

  24. 24
    gwangung says:

    How about writing 100 times on a blackboard "I will not be a warmongering shithead" on Rachael Maddow’s show.

    Damn, you’re being easy on these asshats, aren’t you?

  25. 25

    I know some people are joking about this but I find it really reprehensible that some of the right wingers was using this man’s life as a political football to try to hurt President Obama. Its like his life meant nothing more than just an excuse to bash their political rivals. Now for instance Atlas Shrugs can’t even celebrate the fact that the man was rescued without trying to idiotically tie it into President Obama’s "failure" at negotiating his release. How do these people live with themselves?

  26. 26
    Laura W Darling says:

    This means BOB will probably start recruiting Capt. Phillips for whatever committee or project he’s already lobbying Capt. Sullenberger for. (Not Man Vine Juice spokesmen…some other post. Treasury Secretary was it?)

  27. 27
    Llelldorin says:

    What failure? Those negotiations mean we have a live pirate in US custody!

  28. 28
    El Cid says:

    None of this should be taken as a sign that we shouldn’t start bombing North Korea immediately as well as sending John Bolton to drive the giant fantasy crane which will knock down the United Nations buildings. Foreign policy should only be handled by the grownups, who know when to throw staplers and when to land on carriers in a flightsuit.

  29. 29
    gbear says:

    All those Sunday talk shows and opinion columns reduced to smoldering ashes. Hah! Who could have ever predicted a successful resolution with a minimum of death?

  30. 30
    dr. luba says:

    @Leelee for Obama: There are legitimate grievances–there is no central Somali government, lots of fighting, massive poverty, toxic waste is being dumped off their coast by foreign countries, and their waters are being over-fished by foreign ships.

    But………and this is an important but………most people are not benefiting from the piracy. A few individuals are getting very rich (building multimillion dollar homes), many others are getting a small piece of the pie, but in general the Somali population (with the exception of a few villages) does not benefit.

    Sort of like the drug lords in South America……..or Mexico.

  31. 31
    gopher2b says:

    I found the whole notion (as advanced by a few simpletons) that this was somehow a test of Obama to be laughably absurd. Our military budget is a half a trillion dollars a year. If we can not handle a couple pirates without the hands on involvement of the President, we need to just disband the Navy. Is it going to be a test of Obama every time some criminal somewhere takes a hostage?

    I would add "hold a hostage in the middle of the ocean on a 21 ft. boat without any fuel." If I had been these guys I would have been waiving the white flag as soon as I saw the destroyer. It was a foregone conclusion that they wouldn’t escape but they would still be alive.

  32. 32
    smiley says:

    @Krista: It is the failingest of failed states. I read somewhere that there are accusations of Europeans dumping nuclear waste off the coast causing all kinds of health problems and killing/poisoning sea life.

  33. 33
    El Cid says:

    @sgwhiteinfla:

    Its like his life meant nothing more than just an excuse to bash their political rivals.

    Not just that one captain’s life. All life. Human and non-human.

  34. 34
    passerby says:

    Echoing gbear:

    Yay! for the Captain and the Seals with special admiration for the Captain who acted in the interest of his crew and conducted himself courageously.

  35. 35
    ThymeZoneThePlumber says:

    @sgwhiteinfla:

    Yes, but I picture Barack talking to his staff yesterday and saying, "Everybody just chill the fuck out. I got this."

    If he keeps this up he will be sporting a 75% approval rating and Karl Rove will be eating his liver with grilled onions.

  36. 36
    MKremer says:

    "Hey! Look over there! A missile! North Korea has missiles and it’s a big test for Obama and he’s failing! See? Missiles! Pirates? What pirates?"

  37. 37
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @sgwhiteinfla:
    It’s easy for them. Always remember that these were the people who were creating their own reality. Most normal people call that schizophrenia. Wingers, not so much!

    So glad that Captain Phillips is safe. The best part of the story IMO.

  38. 38
    smiley says:

    What’s up with the edit function lately? I was just told that my attempt to edit my comment @32 was denied.

  39. 39
    mao says:

    @mao:

    oh, nvm, that’s my poor english :[

  40. 40
    srv says:

    The other side of the story.

    The american way. Help create problem, ignore problem, freak out when symptoms impact you, resolve with tried-and-true exceptionalist western strategeries. Add blondes, children or flags as possible.

    Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

    There are three heroic martyred Robin-hoods amongst Somalians today. Best of luck with that.

  41. 41
    demkat620 says:

    @ThymeZoneThePlumber: Yes. I was thinking that myself. But this is going to need to be dealt with. I don’t know what the solution is but something needs fixing here.

  42. 42
    ThymeZoneThePlumber says:

    What’s up with the edit function lately?

    Charles Krautdogger and his Band of Pirates have hijacked your edit function and are holding it for ransom.

    DougJ is in secret negotiations with them right now.

    Somewhere along the shores of Lake Ontario …..

  43. 43
    gwangung says:

    BTW- I found the whole notion (as advanced by a few simpletons) that this was somehow a test of Obama to be laughably absurd.

    Well, compared to the previous Presidency, it’s not a bad thought to applaud competent Presidential work (i.e., keeping your mouth shut and letting the pros work).

  44. 44
    ThymeZoneThePlumber says:

    Next, the Krautdogger will write a piece about how to get tough with Aruba and save Natalie Holloway. The man is on a tear.

    It just shows to go ya, you haven’t been conned until you’ve been Neo-conned.

  45. 45
    ronathan richardson says:

    Even funnier than this being a test of Obama’s military strength is the idea that some wingers put forth, that somehow the pirates themselves think Obama is a liberal pussy and are going to bully him and test him, while they wouldn’t do this to Bush. Because those pirates read the Washington Post and all.

  46. 46
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    During my job with the two desks I had the privilege of meeting several Navy SEALs. The typical SEAL is not a huge bulky guy. They are quiet and without exception polite. It is disconcerting to sit next to a quiet, polite guy who you know could disembowel you in about 5 seconds with his pencil.

    Congratulations to the Navy SEALs, Captain Phillips, and his crew. For the first time, in the last few days, I feel proud to be an American. Captain Phillips for Treasury Secretary! We will go from there.

  47. 47
    JenJen says:

    Listening to Newt Gingrich this morning, you’d have thought President Obama’s failure to declare war on Somalia and begin bombing to be an impeachable offense.

  48. 48
    Zach says:

    @John Cole – Yes, it’s absurd that people were holding Obama’s feet to the fire on this. However, I expect he’ll be sure to get as much credit as possible for the result without asking for it… the night-vision footage of the captain leaping off the boat and SEALS storming and killing the pirates will be as much of a boost to Obama’s approval rating as anything he’s accomplished in his first 100 days. No clue what this says about America.

  49. 49
    Ash says:

    @srv: Very interesting. Personally, I find this whole situation incredibly sad. Yeah, they’re pirate and they have hostages, but it seems most of them aren’t just doing it for shits and giggles and loads of cash.

  50. 50
    ThymeZoneThePlumber says:

    During my job with the two desks I had the privilege of meeting several Navy SEALs.

    Bob, those were actual seals, and you were feeding them at Fisherman’s Wharf.

    Navy Seals don’t have those huge whiskers.

  51. 51
    ThymeZoneThePlumber says:

    @JenJen:

    I hope it turns out that we traded Gingrich for the pirate we captured. At least that way the man will have served some useful purpose.

  52. 52
    Incertus says:

    I found the whole notion (as advanced by a few simpletons) that this was somehow a test of Obama to be laughably absurd.

    You mean like RedState? I guarantee you that the spin will be that this happened in spite of Obama.

  53. 53
    NutellaonToast says:

    But………and this is an important but………most people are not benefiting from the piracy. A few individuals are getting very rich (building multimillion dollar homes), many others are getting a small piece of the pie, but in general the Somali population (with the exception of a few villages) does not benefit.

    Sort of like the drug lords in South America……..or Mexico.

    But…… and this is an an important but….. most people ON THE FUCKING PLANET are feeding off the crumbs of the rich. Have you heard of Wall St? You know, the guys that do no work and yet make 40% of an entire countries income? Yea, it’s news to most but it’s in this backwards, criminal infested country called the USA. We really need to send a bunch of bombers over there to spread some freedom around.

    Why does everyone fail at empathy?

  54. 54
    JenJen says:

    @ThymeZoneThePlumber: OMG what a fantastic idea!!

  55. 55
    ThymeZoneThePlumber says:

    Bob, this is for you.

  56. 56
    Incertus says:

    @Zach: Rove would have found a way to get Bush to land on that destroyer in full Seal gear to hand out congratulations.

  57. 57
    4tehlulz says:

    Obviously, the fact that this bloodshed happened on Easter Sunday proves that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim who hates Our Lord Jesus Christ. Or even worse, Greek Orthodox.

  58. 58

    At places like SFGate the brownshirts who last night were blaming Obama for this are already whining that it was Bob Gates and not Obama.

    If our President had donned a speedo and swam to the lifeboat with a knife between his teeth and single-handedly whipped the pirates they’d still be complaining.

  59. 59
    omen says:

    @dr. luba:

    i see to remember earlier analysis that suggested bush is responsible for destabilizing somalia in aiding to oust their islamist government.

  60. 60
    ThymeZoneThePlumber says:

    @4tehlulz:

    I know. This is a secret photo of yesterday’s cabinet meeting.

  61. 61
    smiley says:

    Apparently, one of the concerns on the right is how the fourth pirate will be treated. Enemy combatant or prisoner of war? They seem to be unaware that there are international treaties and maritime laws dealing with piracy going back, oh, say, 250+ years.

    Edit: Everything is the GWOT to them.

  62. 62
    Dork says:

    Seals involved? Harbor or Harp? Was Croft in on the rescue as well?

  63. 63
    Zach says:

    @srv: Not being critical, but is there any comprehensive UN report or anything on the mafia-dumped-nuclear-waste-killed-Somalis claims in that article? The only thing I can find are UN officials shortly after the tsunami saying that it looked that way from ailments folks had and that more investigation needed to be done… no clue if more investigation was ever done.

  64. 64
    JenJen says:

    @4tehlulz:

    Or even worse, Greek Orthodox.

    This Russian Orthodox chick wishes you a Happy Heathen Easter! ;-)

  65. 65
    gnomedad says:

    @Incertus:

    Rove would have found a way to get Bush to land on that destroyer in full Seal gear to hand out congratulations.

    Next up:

    Obama insults the Captain and the SEALs by not inviting them to the White House, or

    Obama exploits the Captain and the SEALs by inviting them to the White House.

  66. 66
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @srv:

    Gee, you’d think after a couple of pirates getting killed by the Royal Navy last year, they’d have started executing hostages left and right. Then of course there was the pirate killed as the mother ship was sunk a couple of weeks ago, and the two pirates killed by the French Navy the other day.

    You hear of any executions in retribution? Me neither.

  67. 67
    Zach says:

    This is seriously the RedState headline right now: Captive Captain Saves President Obama:

    Playing pansy politics with pirates put the Captain’s life at increased risk. His first escape attempt was thwarted by the thugs as Phillips remained adrift from the aid and cover of the US Navy, which sat restrained by an administration too cowardly to let slip the dogs of war. Each day the tension and humiliation of a nation grew. The emboldened pirates fired upon our men of action, who thus restrained could not yet act in kind. The terrorists’ defiant lack of fear inspired their fellows to target other American vessels. All while the community organizer in chief flipped through his conflict resolution handbook.

    Click through and you’ll see that what RedState is really satisfied with is that the 4th pirate’s now available to be "questioned."

  68. 68
    Surreal American says:

    A comment by way of Our Lady of Perpetual Outrage’s blog:

    My bet is that Obama will chastise the SEAL team for not allowing to give peace a chance.

    That is some Industrial Strength Stupid they have over there.

  69. 69
    Punchy says:

    If you want to avoid being harmed by the pirates, you simply pitch around McLouth and Doumit. Duh.

  70. 70
    El Cid says:

    @smiley: Pretty soon they will be proving that the 4th pirate is an agent of ACORN, and that Obama actually plans to nominate him to head up a new commission to bring shari’a law to the U.S. Or maybe it’s Shakira’s in-laws. I dunno, tune into your next Heapin’ Helpin’ O’ Hannity to find out.

  71. 71
    JK says:

    The only good pirate is a DEAD pirate. The pirates are scum, plain and simple. They are not heroes of the lumpen proletariat.

    Douchebag Air America host Ron Kuby spent part of show this past Friday painting the Somali pirates as victims.

    Kuby is my choice for Dick of the Week.

  72. 72
    4tehlulz says:

    @JenJen: Thanks, though all it is for me is another day of bitching about the Israelites not waiting a few more minutes before leaving Egypt.

  73. 73
    gopher2b says:

    I fully admit that I know nothing about international shipping but why don’t the ships just stay further away from Somalia? Sure a few routes would be longer by why do they have to hug the coast if its so dangerous?

  74. 74
    demkat620 says:

    @Zach: I saw that. Did you also notice they are only getting about 20 comments per thread? What are there like 5 people left over there?

  75. 75

    Check out the wingnut sites linking to the story

    http://www.memeorandum.com/

    Then check their comments. No joy in the Captain getting away. In fact in some cases there seems to be dissappointment that the hijacking didn’t end up as a tragedy they could blame on President Obama. But the biggest thing is they just can’t help but talk about how this helps or hurts the President. I mean who really gives a fuck about such shit? How can you not just be happy the Captain is safe? Thats what I call just not having a soul. These muthafuckas are the scum of the earth and should never even be afforded the benefit of the doubt ever again.

  76. 76
    omen says:

    wonder if oil is involved.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/ind.....l_industry

    kenya, via US funding, helped to overthrow the somalia government. 3 years ago, china made a deal with kenya for their oil.

  77. 77
    MrPook says:

    Did anyone else read this back in January?

    In 1991, the government of Somalia – in the Horn of Africa – collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and many of the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.

    Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: "Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it." Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to "dispose" of cheaply. When I asked Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: "Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention."

    At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish-stocks by over-exploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m worth of tuna, shrimp, lobster and other sea-life is being stolen every year by vast trawlers illegally sailing into Somalia’s unprotected seas. The local fishermen have suddenly lost their livelihoods, and they are starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: "If nothing is done, there soon won’t be much fish left in our coastal waters."

    This is the context in which the men we are calling "pirates" have emerged. Everyone agrees they were ordinary Somalian fishermen who at first took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least wage a ‘tax’ on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia – and it’s not hard to see why. In a surreal telephone interview, one of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali, said their motive was "to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters… We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas.

  78. 78

    […] Fuck Yeah! Via John Cole: The U.S. Military kicks some ass: The American captain of a cargo ship held hostage by pirates […]

  79. 79
    dr. luba says:

    @NutellaonToast: I am second to no one in wanting to kill the uber-rich, place their heads on pikes all along Wall Street ,and leave them as a warning for those who would follow in their footsteps.

    Yes, Somalia sucks. As does most of the world if you’re not rich. Including our country. I’ve worked in the slums of India and Detroit, and with orphans in orphanages. Life is short and hard when you don’t have money….or any way of getting it.

    But the Somali pirates don’t deserve our admiration–or very much empathy. Any more than the drug lords do. They may have started out sticking it to the man, but they’ve gone beyond that. They’ve become criminal syndicates. They’re Robin Hood without the "giving to the poor" part.

    Perhaps if they were just hijacking yachts and ransoming the useless rich. Or if they were stealing the cargo. I could empathize with that. But they’re kidnapping working stiffs who are just trying to make a living.

  80. 80
    gopher2b says:

    @Surreal American:

    I hate it when SEAL teams go rogue. There is just no controlling those guys. They just show up and everyone is all "great, they’re probably going to rescue that ship captain even though we don’t EVEN want them here"

  81. 81
    demkat620 says:

    @Punchy: First rule of baseball, there is nobody on the Pirates you need to pitch around. ;)

  82. 82

    @Bob In Pacifica: Oh, please, please Mr. Easter Bunny, could you photoshop this rescue for me for Easter? Obama. Speedo. Knife. Swashbuckling rescue. Be still my heart.

  83. 83
    NutellaonToast says:

    @JK: I nominate you. Again, it’s called empathy. Imagine foreign countries doing to America what has been done to Somalia. Now, if Americans took action against them, would you call them "pirates" or "freedom fighters."

    Just because they’re angry at you doesn’t make them evil, and just because you’re angry at them doesn’t mean you’re right.

  84. 84
    MikeL says:

    Have you seen Redstate.com’s take on this? It’s like a dispatch from an alterante reality.

  85. 85
    4tehlulz says:

    @gopher2b:
    Geography presents a bit of problem, unless you decide not to use the Suez Canal.

  86. 86
    kay says:

    @smiley:

    Not to mention Article One of the Constitution. Are conservatives really confused about this? I guess ya gotta actually read the thing, to know what’s in there.
    Tell them Nancy Pelosi gets the pirate. Tell them she’s threatening to call on her awesome Article One powers.

  87. 87
    Seanly says:

    On a related note, is Somalia still the libertarian wet dream? No taxes, no police, no regulations, no firefighters, no courts ~ ahh, good times!

  88. 88
  89. 89
    4tehlulz says:

    @NutellaonToast: Is America holding ships not doing any dumping and holding them for money? Cuz that would be piracy.

  90. 90
    Zach says:

    @gopher2b: The gulf of Aden isn’t all that wide. Check out this map of 2008 pirate attacks and you’ll see that most were closer to Yemen than Somalia. Shipping lanes off the Indian Ocean coast of Somalia are pretty far out relative to the width of Aden: Shipping lanes
    Yarrr, pirate attack map
    You can bypass this route for most shipping by going around Africa instead of through the Suez Canal but it’s probably cheaper to pay a few million in ransom every year.

  91. 91

    MSNBC is now reporting that as soon as the pirates showed their faces from the enclosed areas they were shot. Not sure how accurate but thats what they are reporting.

  92. 92
    Tom Fitz says:

    Here’s a link to a story with a little context re the pirates, and the consequences of Somalia being a failed state since ’91. So glad the captain and crew are safe, so sad about the tragedy of Somalia.

    If merchant mariners need to go so close to the Somali coast, why don’t they institute a convoy system? Even with the multi-national naval presence, there aren’t enough warships to be everywhere they need to be, esp. at night.

    http://crooksandliars.com/susi.....nt-telling

  93. 93
    DecidedFenceSitter says:

    They weren’t hugging the coast, they were more than 250 nautical miles from the coast.

    It used to be that you just had to stay more than 250 miles from the coast; however, in the last few years, with the ransoms paid and reinvested in capital equipment, the pirates are able to strike farther and farther out, a news report said about 400 nautical miles. Here’s a map of the area. Note the scale, approximately 1 inch equals 200 miles.

    Now this freighter was bound for Kenya to the south. There is no point of the Kenya border that is more than 400 miles from the Somalia coast. (Not entirely realistic but I think it gets the point across.) Additionally, most of the attacks are occurring in the Sea of Adan to the North. That too, is not more than 400 miles across, meaning that the entire span is reach able.

    The art of eliminating piracy is not in killing the people who do it, but in providing alternatives that are more profitable, if not in absolute dollar amounts, then in risk versus reward.

  94. 94
    omen says:

    @Seanly:

    is Somalia still the libertarian wet dream? No taxes, no police, no regulations, no firefighters, no courts ~ ahh

    whose more of a rugged individualist than a pirate? they, too, think government is the problem, not the solution.

  95. 95
    tofubo says:

    aside from the incessant, natalie/anna nicole level coverage, the other thing that was totally fucked up regarding the coverage, was cnn doing a "breaking news" graphic that said (paraph.) "obama mum on piracy"

    i mean, come the fuck on, that’s breaking news ??

    (by the by, the four year anniversary of the ms holloway disappearance is coming up next month, get your cards and gifts early, get ready to not learn anything for the duration)

  96. 96
    gopher2b says:

    @sgwhiteinfla:

    Snipers. Don’t know how you get them all to come out at once. I strongly doubt the SEALs tried to storm the boat (way too dangerous)

  97. 97
    NutellaonToast says:

    @dr. luba: They’re giving more to the poor than anyone else. They never kill anyone and always hold up their end of the bargain. They’re essentially taxing the use of their waters the only way that they can because the no one on the planet is willing to show them any respect.

    I never said I admired them. I just said they’re note evil.

    Color TV was invented many years ago, but it apparently came at the expense that you see the world in black and white.

  98. 98
    Tony J says:

    Now that the hostage has been rescued and most of the pirates have been killed, there are only two ways for this story to go, given how things work in the media.

    1) MSM Version – "How could the Obama Administration have allowed this to happen in the first place? Why weren’t steps taken to prevent anti-American piracy? Did the incoming Obama Administration ignore warnings from the outgoing Bush Administration that anti-American piracy was a serious problem? Did their focus on other issues deemed more important by their electoral base cause them to take their eye off the ball and put Americans in danger? We’ll have respected foreign-piracy expert William Kristol with the answers to those questions in a moment. Don’t go away."

    2) Faux version – "Liberals are making a big deal about three of these pirates being killed in the rescue. They’re saying that the US could have ‘negotiated’ with these crazy Islamists and everything would have been rosy. Believe it or not, they’re already out there badmouthing the Navy SEALs and calling what they did murder. What is wrong with these people? The Navy SEALs are heroes. And that’s why we want to give you the chance to show what you think of Obama’s slander of these brave warriors by encouraging you to show up at one of our spontanious Seal Clubbing Parties. Tickets only $500. Bring your own seal."

    I have, however, been on prescription painkillers for really bad wisdom-toothache for a few days. So YMMV.

  99. 99
    4tehlulz says:

    @Tony J: No teabags. Fail.

  100. 100
    omen says:

    @Tom Fitz:

    hey, that link has the UN report somebody was asking for, re nuclear waste dumping in somalia.

  101. 101
    gopher2b says:

    @NutellaonToast:

    I’m pretty sure that someone tried to help them out once and that didn’t turn out so well.

    This meme that every rich person (or country) is evil and every poor person (or country) is the salt of the earth is getting a bit tiresome.

  102. 102
    JK says:

    @Nutellaon Toast and all other Pirate Fans and Groupies

    The pirates are criminals who belong in prison. They are not fricking heroes. Nothing that the Western powers have done justifies the criminal behavior of the Somali pirates. Dumping of waste and overfishing are wrong and should be stopped.

    For the love of God, don’t put these dirtbag pirates on a pedestal as standing up for the little guy by bravely hijacking innocent ships as a way to stick it to the evil, greedy Western powers.

  103. 103
    steve s says:

    Omen, Seanly, don’t forget that one of the heroes in Atlas Shrugged was—

    —a pirate!

    Somebody should go remind them at that Atlas blog that their side lost today.

  104. 104

    The last thing I am is a goddamn pirate groupie, although I did get riled up and posted something about the pirates and the alleged radioactive waste. That way lies trouble, however: no way for any mere mortal to get to the bottom of any of it, as EVERYBODY could be lying, but I have no doubt whatsoever that the mafia or someone has been busy dumping toxic shit anywhere they can get away with it for years and years.

    I lived for 25 years on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It was more or less common folkloric knowledge that mafia waste disposal trucks from Jersey regularly visited out-of-the-way spots on the Shore to pour awful stuff into the water. Then again, maybe that was just a way to excuse what went on in Baltimore, across the bay. The only things I know for sure is that we are very, VERY bad animals and will get what we deserve, and that talking about the bad guys as if they’re the only germs in a clean room is abysmally stupid.

    Sure is nice to see the Seals do their stuff, though.

  105. 105
    Tony J says:

    I swear to the FSM, I didn’t know part 2) of that had already happened when I wrote it. I thought I was just making shit up while woosy off legal drugs.

    Wingnuts are just so fekking predictable these days. Is that why they lose elections?

    4tehlulz – Dude? The idea is that they’re totally going to beat a seal to death. What could be more patriotic and symbolic than that?

  106. 106
    4tehlulz says:

    >>evil, greedy Western powers.

    And by greedy Western powers you mean UN food shipments to Somalia amirite?

  107. 107
    Socraticsilence says:

    Out of curiousity- does this ending mean the converse of the criticism is true- Is Obama now a badass terror fighter?

  108. 108
    Jake says:

    @Incertus:

    Good luck to the RedStaters who claim this happened in spite of Obama. Just off the AP wire:

    Administration officials say President Barack
    Obama approved the military operation that rescued a U.S. captain
    held hostage by Somali pirates.
    The officials say Obama ordered the Defense Department to use
    military resources to rescue Richard Phillips from a lifeboat off
    the Somali coast.
    The officials discussed this information on the condition of
    anonymity because they were not yet authorized to disclose the
    president’s decision-making process.
    Obama praised the captain for his bravery and courage. The
    president also said the United States needs help from other
    countries to deal with the threat of piracy and to hold pirates
    accountable.

    In other words, the wingnuts can suck it.

  109. 109
    smiley says:

    @kay: Good point. Article one, section 8:

    […] To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations […]

    Go get ’em Nancy!

  110. 110
    smiley says:

    @4tehlulz:

    UN food shipments to Somalia amirite?

    I believe the ship was going to Kenya, which is right next door.

  111. 111
    TR says:

    Listening to Newt Gingrich this morning, you’d have thought President Obama’s failure to declare war on Somalia and begin bombing to be an impeachable offense.

    Let’s see… In the late ’90s, Newt Gingrich was insisting that having an affair with a young intern was an impeachable offense, and we later found out that at the exact same time, Gingrich himself was having an affair with a young intern.

    I guess that means these days he’s wracked with guilt that he himself didn’t attack Somalia or something. Hard to read the man’s mind. Maybe we could get all his ex-wives together to brainstorm on this one.

  112. 112
    4tehlulz says:

    @Tony J: The ultimate form would be to club it to death with teabags. particularly if you use the strings holding the tags as whips.

  113. 113
    omen says:

    @4tehlulz:

    >>evil, greedy Western powers.
    And by greedy Western powers you mean UN food shipments to Somalia amirite?

    pretty obvious she/he meant greedy corporate interests. a few crumbs from the UN doesn’t make up for the damage westerns powers have inflicted.

  114. 114
    Socraticsilence says:

    N. Korea is my single favorite example of Obama’s "weakness"- Sure, Kim got Nukes, tested missles, and tried become the world’s arms dealer under Bush (who responded by upping aid) but Obama is the one who should have attacked N. Korea, an act that could have killed hundreds of thousands of S. Koreans because um, following the one reasonably succeussful Bush admin diplomatic action makes Obama a coward, or something.

  115. 115
    ChrisB says:

    @smiley:

    Apparently, one of the concerns on the right is how the fourth pirate will be treated. Enemy combatant or prisoner of war? They seem to be unaware that there are international treaties and maritime laws dealing with piracy going back, oh, say, 250+ years.

    You mean we don’t hang them anymore? Maybe we could hold him for ransom.

    But you’re right. There’s no war here. He’s just a simple criminal. And should be treated accordingly.

  116. 116
    JK says:

    Mirror Images of Stupidity

    On one hand, Newt Gingrich, Victor Davis Hanson, Pam "Atlas Shrugged" Geller, and all the other rt wing morons who claim this pirate standoff is all Obama’s fault

    On the other hand, left wing bloggers who want to celebrate, lionize, canonize and sing the praises of the Somali pirates and place them alongside the Abolitionists, the participants in the Mississippi Freedom Summer, gay rights activists, feminists, and anti-nuclear activists.

  117. 117
    4tehlulz says:

    @smiley:
    This ship was, but the pirates have had a habit of attacking food shipments to Somalia in the past.

    @omen:
    See above.

  118. 118

    On the other hand, left wing bloggers who want to celebrate, lionize, canonize and sing the praises of the Somali pirates and place them alongside the Abolitionists, the participants in the Mississippi Freedom Summer, gay rights activists, feminists, and anti-nuclear activists.

    Name one.

  119. 119
    omen says:

    @Socraticsilence:

    how about the pakistan scientist who got busted for selling nuclear technology to rogue actors? he was penalized with house arrest. bushies were just fine with that. why didn’t he end up at gitmo?

  120. 120
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Zach:

    This is seriously one of the stupidest memes out there. I mean stupid.

    In case they hadn’t noticed any of the pictures of the lifeboat in question, it is a totally enclosed hard shell unit with no visible portholes, and no access unless the hatch is opened from the inside.

    How in the farkin’ barkin’ hell do they expect a SEAL team or anybody else to take out the pirates and rescue the hostage unharmed? ? ? ! ! !

  121. 121

    @TR

    I guess that means he’s wracked with guilt that he himself didn’t attack Somalia or something. Hard to read the man’s mind. Maybe we could get all his ex-wives together to brainstorm on this one.

    Dude, didn’t you hear, Newty’s a Cathalick now. He’s been bathed in the blood of the lamb, confessed his sins and is now as pure and white as the driven snow. All of those past indiscretions never happened.

  122. 122
    omen says:

    @4tehlulz:

    what? where did i glorify or justify pirates?

  123. 123
    El Cid says:

    @sgwhiteinfla: Are you denying ACORN’s role in Somali piracy, funded by George Soros? Next you’ll be claiming Barney Frank and ANSWER just had nothing to do with this.

  124. 124
    Hedley Lamarr says:

    McCain, as president, would have commandeered a jet and flown it into the lifeboat, thereby crashing either his fifth or sixth aircraft, depending on who is counting.

  125. 125

    LOL El Cid… Good one.

  126. 126
    4tehlulz says:

    @omen: Didn’t mean it that way. Just clarifying.

  127. 127
    linda says:

    good on the team that rescued him; and major props to a very courageous captain and crew.

    cable orgasmathon, as expected. chatterbunny on msnbc asking the retired colonel how it ‘all went down’, excitedly noting three of the pirates were killed and one was now ‘being held hostage’.

  128. 128
    TR says:

    On the other hand, left wing bloggers who want to celebrate, lionize, canonize and sing the praises of the Somali pirates and place them alongside the Abolitionists, the participants in the Mississippi Freedom Summer, gay rights activists, feminists, and anti-nuclear activists.

    That’s a mighty impressive fantasy world you’ve created there.

    Tell me, do these left-wing pirate-canonizing bloggers ride pink unicorns, or do they drive Hybrid Volkswagens that are powered by magical rainbows and teddy bear farts?

  129. 129
    omen says:

    @JK:

    try to narrow that broad brush of yours. i’m getting hit with your taint. i never endorsed piracy. geez, this is like getting accused of supporting terrorists for merely opposing the war.

    4tehlulz, i’m still waiting for you to back up your allegation that i’m pro-pirate.

  130. 130
    omen says:

    i don’t even like baseball!

  131. 131
    smiley says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals: Wow. I hadn’t seen pictures of the boat. Make it even more remarkable that the good captain was able to get in the water twice.

    "Hey pirates! Look over there!"

    Splash.

    Morans.

  132. 132
    Ash says:

    CNN talking head just said this whole thing "riveted the whole world." Uhm, yeahhhhhhh, I’m gonna say no. There’s still like 200 men and women being held hostage out there, way to be stupid.

  133. 133
    Paul L. says:

    If we can not handle a couple pirates without the hands on involvement of the President, we need to just disband the Navy.

    Depends if Obama was micromanaging the situation like Carter and Clinton would.
    And it appears from Jake’s comment that he was.

    Obama approved the military operation that rescued a U.S. captain held hostage by Somali pirates.
    The officials say Obama ordered the Defense Department to use military resources to rescue Richard Phillips from a lifeboat off the Somali coast.

    However three pirates are dead. The UN and ICC will have to look into possible war crimes.
    and the US will have to deal with accusation of jingoism from the hard left.
    such as
    What The International Media Aren’t Telling You About Somalia Pirates

  134. 134
    anonevent says:

    @JK: Actually, you have your mirror wrong. Lefties will blame the Somali pirates on the policies of the Bush administration that left the country in a state where they had to become pirates to survive. It’s not the pirates fault, it’s Bush’s.

    And they’re still evil.

  135. 135

    Well, the wingnuts have to do SOMETHING to cover up their polynoidal cystic psychosis, don’t they? I mean, Obama is in the White House and this HAD to fail, right? So, now that it’s NOT failed, quick, blame the LIBURELZ for it all.

    (In this case, at least trying to understand how lunatic it’s gotten in a failed state when the corporate pirates sweep in, take all the fish and use your waters to dump illegal sludge. Just an attempt to understand the underlying causes that need to be dealt with to eradicate the blight).

    Does that excuse piracy? Well, by Wingnut logick, OF COURSE IT DOES, because two wrongs always make a right, right?

    There is no rationality to it, but for the moment, we can all sit back and thank goodness that our tax dollars occasionally aren’t wasted, that the US Navy continues to kick ass after 230+ years, and that Wingnuts will continue to dance like spiders on a hot griddle until their spindly little legs burn off and their heads explode with a satisfying pop.

    If there were any justice, being backstage at Faux Nooz right now would be like being in the front row of a Gallagher Sledge-O-Matic demonstration.

    But rave on, Wingnuttia.

    Fortes fortuna juvat!

  136. 136

    From the Link to "the hard left"

    No, this doesn’t make hostage-taking justifiable, and yes, some are clearly just gangsters – especially those who have held up World Food Programme supplies.

  137. 137
    colleeniem says:

    I’m also coming in the side of the SEALs (and CAPT Phillips), but not, NOT of the pirates. I think it’s been stated above, but FWIW, I work at a command center where we have the inside skinny on these things. The actual pirates in these many cases? They are thugs who are interested in getting money, and should not be confused with a (legitimate) protest movement. I hope people aren’t confusing this label with my lack of empathy for the Somali plight. But these are not representatives, they are targeting the shipping vessels who take the Suez canal (one of the major choke points in seawise trade) and the exit/entrance is off the coast of Somalia. They’re profiteers, nothing more. Also, piracy is one of the only criminal acts that any nation can prosecute anywhere. There’s a reason for this.

  138. 138

    Watching the press conference and the Vice Adm Gortney is denying Captain Phillips went into the water again.

  139. 139
    Surreal American says:

    @Hedley Lamarr:

    McCain, as president, would have commandeered a jet and flown it into the lifeboat, thereby crashing either his fifth or sixth aircraft, depending on who is counting.

    Nope. If McCain was president, he, Todd Palin, and Sam the Wurzelbacher would have swam to the pirates’ location with daggers in their mouths, killed every last priate and then proceed to feast on entrails of the dead like the manly men they are!

    Unlike Comrade B Hussein X, who cravenly hid behind the U.S. Navy.

  140. 140
    poopsybythebay says:

    Does anyone remember the ex military guys who worked for the DEA in a civilian capacity and were taken as hostages by FARK or someone during the Bush administration? Well not only did Bush not do anything to get the three guys out– no one and I mean no one but National Geographic ever even mentioned it. Where was Red State, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Malkin and the rest of the phony commandos? I think that they were released recently or either someone got them out, but this went on for about 7 years. I can’t remember everything about it, but I do remember talking to my family about the fact that you never heard the whacked out wingers ever mentioning it or saying that their tough guy president should do something about it. We said as a group that if it had been Clinton they would have been playing it wall to wall.

  141. 141
    Mike in NC says:

    Obama exploits the Captain and the SEALs by inviting them to the White House.

    Sure, it looks as if this incident was brought to a successful conclusion, but what about next time, when a bunch of Somali pirates rear their heads in Alaskan airspace? What then?

    Must disagree with B.O.B about SEALs being quiet and polite. I’ve worked and trained with them and most could best be described as "mean intimidating assholes", which is really the entire point after all. They’re not out to sell you an insurance policy. They’re highly trained killers.

  142. 142

    Call came from the top, President Obama confirmed by Vice Adm Gortney but that he was not "micromanaging" as alleged. He simply gave them the green light to do their business and they did it, WELL.

  143. 143
    Joshua Norton says:

    Listening to Newt Gingrich this morning, you’d have thought President Obama’s failure to declare war on Somalia and begin bombing to be an impeachable offense.

    How does he feel about the way Chimp-in-Chief handled the situation, since the piracy problem started in earnest in 2005.

    Apparently the "fuck ’em and bomb ’em" philosophy of the big butch ChimpCo/Cheney regime didn’t do a damned thing to scare them off. By the time they fled office Somalia had a booming, not-so-underground pirate economy.

  144. 144
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mike in NC

    most could best be described as "mean intimidating assholes",

    Can’t argue with you here about "most" but I can say that a good friend of mine’s brother was/is a SEAL. He was a short fire hydrant of barely contained energy. Very restrained in his trash talking though, unlike the rest of us punks. Very polite overall.
    His younger brother was nothing like that and talked much smack all the time. So, he was either a different sort or the SEALS taught him to be a different sort. No conclusion either way.

  145. 145
    MikeJ says:

    At least this didn’t turn out like Bush’s first test in office, where he had to tell the Red Chinese that he was very, very, very, very, very, truly, deeply, very, very, sorry.

  146. 146
    kay says:

    @smiley:

    They should be very afraid, smiley.

    Pelosi defines "pirate". It’s in there. Alert Glenn Beck.

  147. 147
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Mike in NC; The SEALs I ran across were junior to me on the pay charts, and sober as far as I could tell. Perhaps this had something to do with my impressions.

    As a former member of the maritime, I believe that the reason white people from Europe dump their radioactive waste along Somalia’s coastline, poisoning the fish and causing havoc with the friendly villages, that then have to send out the pirates to defend the children in response, is because it costs much, much more in fuel to transport the radioactive waste across the world’s oceans, and then dump it right off the Somali coast, then it would cost to simply dump the white people’s radioactive waste in the depths of the open ocean, where nobody would ever find it.

    This is the other side of the piracy coin that people cannot bring themselves to consider. Note also that the Somalia representative, Ould-Abdallah, has informed us in the link above that there has been no compensation yet for this dumping of radioactive materials, carried from afar, across the surface of bottomless seas, to the coast of Somalia, to poison the children.

  148. 148
    omen says:

    @Joshua Norton:

    newt laid an egg in time for easter.

  149. 149
    omen says:

    @Corner Stone:

    most could best be described as "mean intimidating assholes",

    not when i’ve see them out training. they wear these really short shorts that make you recall the YMCA song.

  150. 150
    Wolfdaughter says:

    JK:

    On the other hand, left wing bloggers who want to celebrate, lionize, canonize and sing the praises of the Somali pirates and place them alongside the Abolitionists, the participants in the Mississippi Freedom Summer, gay rights activists, feminists, and anti-nuclear activists.

    Nice strawman there. We recognize that the Somalis may have some legitimate grievances, and recognize that turning Somalia into glass may not be the most appropriate way to deal with piracy in general or this hostage situation in particular. That’s a far cry from "lionizing" the pirates. You only make yourself look stupid when you post what you just did.

  151. 151
    JK says:

    117@sgwhiteinfla, 127@TR

    Pirate Groupies and Defenders

    In Support of the So-Called “Somali Pirates”
    why i don’t trust the media when they say how bad the Somali Pirates are.
    http://portland.indymedia.org/.....ml?discuss

    Ron Kuby
    Defense Ready for the Somali Pirates, Your Honor
    http://airamerica.com/doingtim.....your-honor

    Johann Hari
    You Are Being Lied to About Pirates
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....55147.html

    Mairi Beautyman
    Are Somali Pirates Environmental Watch Dogs?
    “The plight of the Somali pirates is something I find myself increasingly sympathetic to.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....57867.html

  152. 152
    mantis says:

    Any situation that has the potential to turn out badly, no matter the actual significance or relevance, is a test of Obama. If things turn out badly, it’s his fault. If they don’t turn out badly, credit is always due to anyone but Obama, despite the fact that it was a test of him.

  153. 153
    JK says:

    @sgwhiteinfla, @TR, @Wolfdaughter

    Fans and Supporters of Pirates

    In Support of the So-Called “Somali Pirates”
    why i don’t trust the media when they say how bad the Somali Pirates are.
    http://portland.indymedia.org/.....ml?discuss

    Ron Kuby
    Defense Ready for the Somali Pirates, Your Honor
    http://airamerica.com/doingtim.....your-honor

    Johann Hari
    You Are Being Lied to About Pirates
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....55147.html

    Mairi Beautyman
    Are Somali Pirates Environmental Watch Dogs?
    “The plight of the Somali pirates is something I find myself increasingly sympathetic to.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....57867.html

  154. 154
    JK says:

    Pirate Supporters and Groupies

    In Support of the So-Called “Somali Pirates”
    why i don’t trust the media when they say how bad the Somali Pirates are.
    Portland indymedia org

    Ron Kuby
    Defense Ready for the Somali Pirates, Your Honor
    Air america

    Johann Hari
    You Are Being Lied to About Pirates
    Huffington Post

    Mairi Beautyman
    Are Somali Pirates Environmental Watch Dogs?
    Huffington Post

  155. 155
    poopsybythebay says:

    @JK:

    Well regardless of what they say–Obama (the liberal) just had 3 of them killed….

  156. 156
    omen says:

    @JK:
    @sgwhiteinfla:

    sgw already countered your contention by pulling this cut from the johann hari piece:

    No, this doesn’t make hostage-taking justifiable, and yes, some are clearly just gangsters – especially those who have held up World Food Programme supplies.

    JK, why are you so anti-context? is nobody allowed to point to the poor conditions in somalia and how bush foreign policy made things worse there?

  157. 157
    omen says:

    besides, 4 pundits do not constitute the entire left wing.

  158. 158
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    Of course this was a test of Obama. Right up to the minute the captain was rescued. At that point the standoff became a crisis that had absolutely nothing to do with Obama.

  159. 159
    Cat G says:

    Just watched the Pentagon presser on the rescue of the Captain of the Alabama… GO NAVY !!!!! Snipers on the fantail of the Bainbridge took out the pirates, while the lifeboat was being towed (interesting) and that our Navy had been shuttling food, water, clothes etc to the lifeboat. Apparently the Navy was using very professional hostage negotiation techniques and the full details are going to be really interesting.

  160. 160
    JK says:

    Michelle Malkin still being a horse’s rear-end

    Navy Vice Adm. William Gortney:

    “They were pointing the AK-47s at the captain,” Vice Adm. William Gortney, head of the U.S. Naval Central Command, said in a Pentagon briefing from Bahrain.
    Gortney also said Washington had rejected negotiations with the pirates. “The United States government policy is to not negotiate,” he said.

    Michelle Malkin: “Would have been nice to hear those words from the commander-in-chief.”

    I’d like to see the US and its allies do what they can to help solve Somalia’s most pressing problems. However, it doesn’t help matters when people like Ron Kuby and others become apologists for Somali criminals.

  161. 161
    GSD says:

    Capt. Phillips, another stoic Blue State hero.

    -GSD

  162. 162
    cyntax says:

    @JK:

    Michelle Malkin: “Would have been nice to hear those words from the commander-in-chief.”

    Awww… she misses her some Commander-Codpiece and his executive grandstanding.

  163. 163
    Zach says:

    @Tom fitz & omen
    Flipped through that report and it doesn’t back up the story in the Independent much at all. No statistics, no real research. It’s relating anecdotes from within the country and nothing more. 300+ people died in Somalia from the tsunami in total, not from toxic waste. If that’s the report that Hari’s article is based on, that’s really bad. I mean if it’s radioactive waste that’s supposedly killing people that’s not hard to test for after the fact.

  164. 164
    maya says:

    To paraphrase the words of that great American patriot and former Sect of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld; "you go to sea with the Navy you have".
    That explains why we’re 6 years and counting in Iraq – (Clinton’s Army), and why this rescue operation worked so well- (Bush’s Navy).

    Just a preview of the spin we’ll be in, guys.

  165. 165
    AnneLaurie says:

    I hope it turns out that we traded Gingrich for the pirate we captured. At least that way the man will have served some useful purpose.

    Desirable as that result would be for all sane human beings, wouldn’t shipping Newt to Somalia constitute a(nother) form of "dumping toxic waste" there?

  166. 166
    cyntax says:

    @Zach:
    If you’re talking about the United Nations Environment Programme report from 2005, that one didn’t find any proof of toxic or nuclear waste dumping, though it did it call out the need for further investigation.

    The main problem, as others have noted, is the lack of a centralized government that can address the concerns of Somalians.

  167. 167

    JK

    In what world is Ron Kuby a liberal or progressive? This is a guy who self identified as a communist some years back and no I am not joking. Its sad that you are trying to hold him up as some kind of standard for liberals. Who the hell even listens to the guy anyway? Just because he is on Air America it doesn’t mean he speaks for us. I have yet to see Michelle Malkin or Pamela Geller or Eric Erickson go after Ron Kuby because they know most liberals and progressives would be like "Who?". You are stretching your argument just to try to draw a false equivalence. Please stop before you lose all credibility.

  168. 168
    GSD says:

    Capt. Phillips, another union hero like Capt. Sullenberger.

    -GSD

  169. 169
    John Cole says:

    I’ll bite. What is so objectionable about Ron Kuby?

    How many people has he killed? How many people has he hurt? How many people has he robbed? How many innocent people has he put out of work?

    Why are we making out Ron Kuby to be the new Ward Churchill? I understand he is a Marxist and has defended some scumbags, but someone has to represent them. That is just how our system works.

  170. 170

    @John Cole:

    Er, because it distracts from the epic fail of the wingnut hope for epic fail?

  171. 171

    The amount of time spent on this story on the morning shows was completely absurd.

  172. 172
    smiley says:

    @JK:

    Michelle Malkin still being a horse’s rear-end ass

    I honestly believe that if President Obama personally carried her from a burning building she (and her ilk — I’m looking at you Atlas Jugs) would say, "I want to thank President Obambi for saving my life but he touched me inappropriately while doing so, so I can’t."

  173. 173
    JK says:

    sgwhiteinfla

    Ron Kuby is heard in NY, the #1 media market, during afternoon drivetime. You can take issue with his popularity within the blogosphere, but that shouldn’t detract from the stupidity of his comments.

    On the other hand, Obama won’t get the credit he deserves from Malkin, Geller, Erickson, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, The National Review, or The Weekly Standard.

    If this standoff had ended with Capt. Richard Phillips getting killed, the spittle would be flowing fast and furious with calls for Obama’s immediate impeachment.

  174. 174
    nylund says:

    Two wars, an economic crisis, a world summit just ending, but the president should drop all of that for one lifeboat.

    Maybe Obama should also spend all his time worried about the guy who mugged me last night.

    He was never caught. The president has failed!

  175. 175
    Sour Kraut says:

    Maybe we could get all [Newt’s] ex-wives together to brainstorm on this one.

    We’re gonna need a bigger boat…

  176. 176
    NutellaonToast says:

    @gopher2b: Just because I disagree with your ridiculous dissection of "pirates bad" and "not pirates good" doen’t mean I hold the equally ridiculous, opposite conclusion.

    Try actually recognizing someone’s arguments instead of attacking a ridiculous caricature not even remotely accurate.

    My only point is that demonetization of the Somali’s is absurd. We’d be doing the exact same thing in their circumstances. What makes you think otherwise? What is inherently different about us than them?

    If you answered that question without realizing how ridiculous it is, congratulations, you’re a racist.

  177. 177
    TR says:

    Ron Kuby is heard in NY, the #1 media market, during afternoon drivetime.

    Really? I live in NYC and I’ve never even heard of the guy.

    You’re right, he really is the equal of Newt Gingrich and his stupid comments about the pirates are the same as the stupid comments of a former Speaker of the House and frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination.

  178. 178
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Fuck you very much Newt.

    From the Motherfucking CINC,
    President Barack Obama

  179. 179

    JK

    Yes Ron Kuby’s radio segment was stupid but the thing about it is I have yet to see anybody with a big blog on the left link to his show or repeat his words. On the other hand Rush Limbaugh who I am sure will join Malkin et al in denigrating President Obama over this rescue gets repeated all over the wingnut blogosphere. Thats why you can’t equivocate him and what they are doing. Hell if I wanted to go that route I would pull up some crazy shit that Alex Jones is or has said and impugn the wingnuts with it. But I don’t have to because their most mainstream and heavily trafficked blogs are the ones saying the most ignorant and over the top shit.

  180. 180
    JK says:

    @nylund #171
    You’re correct on the merits, but this story was tailor made for CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Drudge Report, Politico, and knuckledragging neanderthals like Michelle Malkin, Glenn Reynolds, Pam Geller, Rush Limbaugh.

    The 24/7/365 world of cable news and talk radio is constantly searching for gut wrenching, heart pounding melodrama to whip the nation into hysteria and boost their profit margins.

  181. 181
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    NutellaonToast;

    There is nothing inherently different between people from different regions because almighty God created us all equally, regardless of evolutional environment, which has no impact on human outcomes.

    See you at the home school club. I will bring an apple cobbler.

  182. 182
    JK says:

    @TR, @sgwhiteinfla

    Bill O’Reilly will pull a quote from someone who gave a rationale for the actions of the Somali pirates and it will reverberate throughout the right wing blogosphere.

  183. 183
    passerby says:

    @AnneLaurie:

    I hope it turns out that we traded Gingrich for the pirate we captured. At least that way the man will have served some useful purpose.

    "Desirable as that result would be for all sane human beings, wouldn’t shipping Newt to Somalia constitute a(nother) form of "dumping toxic waste" there?"

    Winnah!

    [blockquote failure. zut.]

  184. 184
    Corner Stone says:

    @omen #148 (I think)
    I didn’t say that, I was quoting Mike in NC. Personally, I’ve got nothing against these hawt individuals.
    More power to them, in whatever garb they need to get the job done.

  185. 185
    Corner Stone says:

    @passerby
    I for one would lurv to hear Newtie argue solid conservative values to the Somalis. That would be a fucking riot in more ways than one.

  186. 186
    bago says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Doesn’t this post run afoul of your… Interesting evolutionary theories?

  187. 187
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @smiley:

    When you consider it’s only 4-5 ft high, meaning you can’t even stand up in the thing…it’s hard to imagine anyone being cooped up for four days like that.

  188. 188
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @NutellaonToast:

    No, sorry. Armed robbery, hostage taking, and general thuggery is NOT an acceptable response in "those circumstances."

  189. 189
    Krista says:

    Awww… she misses her some Commander-Codpiece and his executive grandstanding.

    Yes, but there’s no way Obama can win with those assholes. When he stays quiet, lets the experts do their jobs and refuses to bluster and wave his dick around on tv, he’s being weak. If he so much as held a press conference, let alone any of the bullshit grandiose stunts that Captain Codpiece pulled, they’d rake him over the coals for thinking he’s "the messiah" and distracting attention from the serious job at hand.

    I honestly think that even if Obama fulfilled all of their wingnutty fantasies by dropping a nuke on Iran, rounding up and shooting all teh gheys, and building a 50-foot stone wall on the Mexican border, they’d still hate him (but they’d still be very quick to gloat over our distress.) That’s how incredibly hateful Malkin and her ilk are.

  190. 190
    Keith G says:

    @ sour kraut (172) Brilliant!!

  191. 191
    Pug says:

    Is it time for Barack to strut across an aircraft carrier and declare victory yet?

    Naw, he’ll stand back and let the SEALS have the glory, as they should.

  192. 192
    iluvsummr says:

    @Zach: Glad the captain is free. There’s a New Scientist article from way back (1992, after the Somali govt collapsed) that addresses the toxic waste issue. Excerpt:

    Talks aimed at stopping millions of tonnes of European toxic waste being dumped in strife-torn Somalia have started between officials of the UN Environment Programme and the Italian and Swiss governments. But it is not yet clear if the dumping deal is illegal because of political confusion surrounding the growing trade in European waste.

    Mostafa Tolba, the head of UNEP, says that last December, unnamed Italian and Swiss firms which trade in waste signed a deal with Nur Elmy Osman, who called himself minister of health in the ‘government’ of Ali Mahdi Mohammed, leader of one of Somalia’s warring factions.

    A copy of the contract obtained by New Scientist authorises Acher Partners of Chapelle-sur-Moudon, in Switzerland, to build and operate a facility near Mogadishu for dumping or incinerating up to half a million tonnes of hospital and industrial waste per year for the next 20 years.

    In other words, the issue back in 1992 was not whether dumping occurred (it did) but whether it was illegal. Basically, an individual who has no authorized governmental role negotiated toxic waste dumping deals for a country with no government (and thus no one to oppose this), the Italian and Swiss firms accepted that, and the dumping has occurred ever since. Larry Summers’ dream come true.

    Indications are that the pirates started out as a defense patrol against toxic waste dumping and overfishing, but most got greedy and just started hijacking any and every ship in sight whether or not they were suspected of dumping and now we have the current situation (where they venture far beyond Somalia’s maritime borders to hijack).

  193. 193
    Jon says:

    Link

    When did the pirates kidnap Paul Krugman?

  194. 194
    Zach says:

    @iluvsummr: Assuming that dumping happened, I would think it would have been addressed in the 2005 UN report, no? My point is that I’ve seen zero evidence that says 300+ people died from airborne toxic and nuclear waste kicked up from the tsunami (and evidence that, in fact, the same number is attributed to the total number killed by the tsunami). Which makes sense since common sense dictates that there’d be a much greater threat from dispersed human waste given the lack of waste disposal in Somalia with almost any level of haphazard toxic waste disposal and poor containment on land or offshore. More to the point, I’ve found another UN report that says that no toxic waste has been found by the UN – http://postconflict.unep.ch/pu.....omalia.pdf (pg 33):

    A UN technical fact-finding mission visited the “Puntland” region of Somalia from 25-29 May 2005 … No traces of toxic waste were found, but the UN added that “the urgent need remained for a more comprehensive assessment of the natural environment of Somalia, which would include further investigations of alleged toxic waste sites on land, and dumping of toxic waste at sea”.

    I’ve no doubt that Somalis have been shit on in the worst possible ways, but I’d point to our disruption of their one chance at stable government in the last decade (the Islamic Courts movement) before hanging my hat on anecdotes about illegal waste dumps and overfishing leading to nobel pirates overtaking ships hauling crude oil. That Independent article is just extremely irresponsible and unsubstantiated reporting.

  195. 195
    iluvsummr says:

    @Zach: Did you read the New Scientist article I linked to? You do realize that Somalia is larger than the Puntland region alluded to in the 2005 report you mentioned? Are you disputing the facts in the New Scientist article about toxic waste dumping in Mogadishu (which is not in Puntland) as far back as 1992?

  196. 196
    iluvsummr says:

    @Zach:
    This 2005 article refers to an Italian paper’s report on the matter and names actual Italian and Swiss firms involved. I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the allegations of toxic waste dumping as "anecdotes" if there’s an actual paper trail to follow.

    In 1997 and 1998, the Italian newspaper Famiglia Cristiana, which jointly investigated the allegations with the Italian branch of Greenpeace, published a series of articles detailing the extent of illegal dumping by a Swiss firm, Achair Partners, and an Italian waste broker, Progresso.

    The European Green Party followed up the revelations by presenting to the press and the European Parliament in Strasbourg copies of contracts signed by the two companies and representatives of the then “President” — Ali Mahdi Mohamed — to accept 10 million tonnes of toxic waste in exchange for $80 million (then about £60 million).

    Abdullahi Elmi Mohamed, a Somali academic studying in Sweden, told The Times that this worked out at “approximately $8 per tonne, while in Europe the cost for disposal and treatment of toxic waste material could go up to $1,000 per tonne”.

    Mr Ali Mahdi, who then controlled north Mogadishu and who worked closely with the UN during its disastrous 1992-95 humanitarian mission to the country, has always refused to discuss the issue even though an Italian parliamentary report subsequently confirmed many of the allegations.

  197. 197
    Zach says:

    @iluvsummr: I’m only saying that the sum of the sources for the claims of tsunami/nuclear/toxic/waste death in that article in the Independent is entirely insufficient. There is zero factual evidence presented in the article. Two quotes and vague allusions to the Italian mafia and European hospitals (the absurdity of transporting waste to Somali for disposal without a contract to do so has been pointed out above). It’s ridiculously irresponsible to lay the blame for any death from the tsunami based on that evidence, and Hari says, "People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died." Puntland was the area most affected by the tsunami, and the only UNEP reports I can find note that all investigations found none of the reported toxic waste.

    I obviously don’t know enough to doubt that contracts (of dubious value) were made to dump waste in Somalia and whether they were executed. But that’s quite different from Hari’s allegations, and there’s simply nothing to back up his death toll. I don’t doubt that the situation with waste is horrible in Somalia, but I haven’t seen anything that justifies saying illegal international dumping killed over 300 people begetting piracy, which is what Hari’s saying and what just about everyone’s linking to.

  198. 198
    Zach says:

    Also, that Times article quotes a UNEP official making statements that don’t appear in contemporaneous reports. Here’s a more detailed article from Al Jazeera. Assuming he saw these things, why aren’t they in the reports? It seems more likely that he’s relating anecdotes. Judging from another official’s logic behind suspecting mafia involvement, there’s reason for suspicion:

    "At the time, it felt like we were dealing with the Mafia, or some sort of organised crime group, possibly working with these industrial firms," he said.

    "It was very shady, and quite underground, and I would agree with Ould-Abdallah’s claims that it is still going on… Unfortunately the war has not allowed environmental groups to investigate this fully."

  199. 199

    It’s Just a Reflex: Capt. Phillips Rescued from Somali Pirates Following Obama’s Orders for "Decisive Action"; Wingnuts Decry Obama Anyway…

    by Damozel | Happily, the five-day stand-off is over.. (AFP) Obama ordered the Navy snipers to take "decisive action" if at any times Phillips was at risk.(AFP) That’s what they did and not a moment too soon, according to MSNBC. The pirates were poi…

  200. 200
    iluvsummr says:

    @Zach: Okay, now I understand what you’re saying (we were talking a little bit at cross-purposes). I’m saying that there’s evidence from as far back as the 1990s about toxic waste dumping and that the vigilante groups that attempted to patrol the Somali seas from that time (1990s) on have turned into the full-blown pirates we see today. I’m not trying to justify the piracy, just concerned that the reasons for their original emergence, which still need to be addressed, will be overlooked. You’re saying that the UN report from 2005 based on visiting three areas of Puntland doesn’t fully support Johann Hari’s claims and timeline on toxic waste pollution and the emergence of the pirates.

    From the UN report:

    A UN technical fact-finding mission visited the “Puntland” region of Somalia from 25-29 May 2005, to
    investigate allegations of toxic waste hazards uncovered by the tsunami. The mission visited three key
    populated coastal locations at Hafun, Bandarbeyla and Eyl, a region stretching over 500m in length. No
    traces of toxic waste were found, but the UN added that “the urgent need remained for a more
    comprehensive assessment of the natural environment of Somalia, which would include further
    investigations of alleged toxic waste sites on land, and dumping of toxic waste at sea”

    I’d agree with you on that.

    Reading this section of the UN report:

    Hundreds of fishing vessels from a variety of nations ply the waters off Somalia, most operating without any
    licensing agreement. Some of these vessels have even attacked local Somali fishermen and destroyed their
    boats and equipment (UN, 2005). Illegal fishing by foreign interests represents a loss of much-needed revenue
    for the new Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the regional authorities of “Puntland” and “Somaliland”
    (UN, 2005)

    I’d say the Somalians are truly fucked until they figure out a way to agree to a centralized government and to rebuild their military. I’m curious to see what happens to the other ships and hostages currently held by the pirates.

  201. 201
    gopher2b says:

    @NutellaonToast:

    "My only point is that demonetization of the Somali’s is absurd. We’d be doing the exact same thing in their circumstances. What makes you think otherwise? What is inherently different about us than them?"

    Because they are black?

    "If you answered that question without realizing how ridiculous it is, congratulations, you’re a racist."

    Damn you got me. You clever little devil.

    You’re a naive little child and need to grow up. Your analogies are stupid and you’re arguments are immature.

    I suppose if WE totally fucked up OUR country a few people who live on the coast would resort to this type of stealing…yes. WHOOP!!! WHOOP!!! INSIGHT ALERT!!!! WHOOP!!! WHOOP!!!

    I would also expect the party from which they were stealing to shoot our countrymen in the face.

    BTW, " demonetization of the Somali’s is absurd" may be the worst constructed sentence in the history of writing. That being said, I wasn’t "demonetizating" Somalians…I was "demonizating" pirates (err…."pirate’s"??)

  202. 202
    Birdzilla says:

    The survivor should be hanged by the neck till dead

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. It’s Just a Reflex: Capt. Phillips Rescued from Somali Pirates Following Obama’s Orders for "Decisive Action"; Wingnuts Decry Obama Anyway…

    by Damozel | Happily, the five-day stand-off is over.. (AFP) Obama ordered the Navy snipers to take "decisive action" if at any times Phillips was at risk.(AFP) That’s what they did and not a moment too soon, according to MSNBC. The pirates were poi…

  2. […] Fuck Yeah! Via John Cole: The U.S. Military kicks some ass: The American captain of a cargo ship held hostage by pirates […]

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