Friday, April 10, 2009

Sect'y of State Clinton Finds Piracy Amusing

I'm puzzled as to what would cause an otherwise intelligent and thoughtful woman to yuk it up over a persistent problem of piracy that has increasingly plagued the horn of Africa.

Is being 'punch drunk' an administration requirement? Or perhaps she was merely tickled by Obama's outreach to the 'moderate' pirate community.

Meanwhile, more U.S. warships are on their way to the area.

"The announcement of reinforcements came amid rising concern over the fate of Capt Phillips.

"The safe return of the captain is the top priority," US Defence Secretary Robert Gates told reporters in Washington.

The cruise-missile carrying USS Bainbridge was sent to the scene in a move analysts say will strengthen the hand of US negotiators.

The destroyer is shadowing the lifeboat, and its officers are talking to the pirates, as well as giving them food and batteries for a two-way radio...

There are thought to be four pirates with Capt Phillips in the lifeboat, which has reportedly run out of fuel, and it is not yet clear what they are demanding.

Capt Phillips has a radio and contacted the navy and crew of his ship to say he was unharmed, the Maersk shipping company said in a statement."

The Maersk pirates are reportedly receiving reinforcement, too - from other pirated ships with hostages of their own!
"Mohamed Samaw, a Somali who claimed to have a "share" in a British ship hijacked this week, told AP news agency two hijacked ships had left the pirate stronghold of Eyl on Wednesday afternoon.

He said a further two seized vessels were also sailing towards the lifeboat.

Two of the ships have some 54 hostages aboard, from China, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, the Philippines, Tuvalu, Indonesia and Taiwan.

A man identified as a pirate named Badow told AP: "They had asked us for reinforcement and we have already sent a good number of well-equipped colleagues, who were holding a German cargo ship."

He said there was no intention of harming the captain, as long as the pirates holding him were not hurt.

"All we need, first, is a safe route to escape with the captain, and then (negotiate) ransom later," he said. "

Developing: Pirates recapture US hostage after escape attempt.
"NAIROBI, Kenya – The American captain held hostage by four Somali pirates made a desperate escape attempt Friday but was recaptured, and officials said other pirates sought to reinforce their colleagues by sailing hijacked ships with other captives aboard to the scene of the standoff.

A Somali in contact with a pirate leader said the captors want a ransom and are ready to kill the hostage, Capt. Richard Phillips, if attacked."

We all know that bullies understand only one language. I hope Pres. Obama can respond with something more than his flippant 'gallows humor'.

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