Fred C. Iklé: Kill The Pirates

Short, sweet and to the point. The title says it all. Kill the pirates. That is the best way to stop them. It worked down in the Carribean 300 years ago and it will work again today.

Writing for the Washington Post, Fred C. Iklé (a distinguished scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and author of Annihilation From Within and Every War Must End) makes clear that anything other than meeting this threat head-on will be counterproductive.

From his column:

It is naive to assume that the millions paid annually in ransom to pirates merely enables them to purchase villas and fancy automobiles. Somalia is a country without government, where anarchy is being exploited by terrorist organizations. Although the threat that pirates pose to commercial ships is increasingly known, little is being done to combat it. And we must consider the bigger picture: Terrorists are far more brutal than pirates and can easily force pirates — petty thieves in comparison — to share their ransom money.

Who among you believes that paying $1 million in ransom money will actually end piracy? You would have to be incredibly gullible to believe so. The pirates will think about it this way: if taking a ship is worth $1 million in ransoms, then taking a ship twice as big should be worth $2 million in ransoms.

Paying the ransom only encourages the pirates to attempt more hijackings in order to get more money.

Mr. Iklé goes on:

So why do we keep rewarding Somali pirates? How is this march of folly possible?

Start by blaming the timorous lawyers who advise the governments attempting to cope with the pirates such as those who had been engaged in a standoff with U.S. hostage negotiators in recent days. These lawyers misinterpret the Law of the Sea Treaty and the Geneva Conventions and fail to apply the powerful international laws that exist against piracy. The right of self-defense — a principle of international law — justifies killing pirates as they try to board a ship.

So, what should we have been doing all along? We should have been putting armed personnel aboard those ships. A pirate would think twice about going out on such a venture if he knew that the last three times someone from his group went out to attack a vessel that armed crewmen killed the attackers. There is not much profit in death.

More:

Nonetheless, entire crews are unarmed on the ships that sail through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Shipowners pretend that they cannot trust their crews with weapons, but the facts don’t add up. For one thing, in the United States most adults except felons are allowed to have guns, and the laws of many other nations also permit such ownership. Even if owners don’t want everyone aboard their ships to be carrying weapons, don’t they trust the senior members of their crews? Why couldn’t they at least arm the captain and place two experienced and reliable police officers on board?

When these pitifully unarmed crews watch pirates climb aboard their vessels, they can do little to fight back. And while the United States and many other naval powers keep warships in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean — deployments that cost millions of dollars — these ships cannot keep pirates from boarding commercial ships that have unarmed crews.

The international right of self-defense would also justify an inspection and quarantine regime off the coast of Somalia to seize and destroy all vessels that are found to be engaged in piracy. These inspections could reduce the likelihood that any government will find itself engaged in a hostage situation such as the one that played out in recent days. Furthermore, the U.N. Security Council should prohibit all ransom payments. If the crew of an attacked ship were held hostage, the Security Council could authorize a military blockade of Somalia until the hostages were released.

Cowardice will not defeat terrorism, nor will it stop the Somali pirates. If anything, continuing to meet the pirates’ demands only acts as an incentive for more piracy.

Absolutely.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

Kill The Pirates
Fred C. Iklé
Washington Post
April 13, 2009

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Not By Word But By Action: Obama Declares The Terrorists Have Won

No, you didn’t misread the headline. Barack Obama has effectively given the terrorists what they wanted: rest, respite and a chance to regroup. Obama has ordered that all anti-terrorism policies, the same policies that kept the United States safe from attack for the past seven years, be halted.

I have no doubt that terrorists all over the world are rejoicing at the opportunity Obama is giving them to rearm and plan new attacks without any hindrances on them.

Writing for the Washington Post, Dana Priest has this to say:

President Obama yesterday eliminated the most controversial tools employed by his predecessor against terrorism suspects. With the stroke of his pen, he effectively declared an end to the “war on terror,” as President George W. Bush had defined it, signaling to the world that the reach of the U.S. government in battling its enemies will not be limitless.

Key components of the secret structure developed under Bush are being swept away: The military’s Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, facility, where the rights of habeas corpus and due process had been denied detainees, will close, and the CIA is now prohibited from maintaining its own overseas prisons. And in a broad swipe at the Bush administration’s lawyers, Obama nullified every legal order and opinion on interrogations issued by any lawyer in the executive branch after Sept. 11, 2001.

And the interesting thing about those interrogations was that Congressional leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid knew about them back in 2002 but never said a word. They waited until it was politically profitable for them to speak out which means they didn’t really care about the methods used, they only cared about how to grab more political power as a result of them.

More:

As the CIA recruited young case officers, polygraphers and medical personnel to work on interrogation teams, the agency’s leaders asked its allies in Thailand and Eastern Europe to set up secret prisons where people such as Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh could be held in isolation and subjected to extreme sleep and sensory deprivation, waterboarding and sexual humiliation. These tactics are not permitted under military rules or the Geneva Conventions.

Neither is killing innocent civilians in the pursuit of the fanatical religious cause of Islam. That is why they are called terrorists. They are not covered under the Geneva Convention. Anyone care to guess why Dana Priest and the Washington Post deliberately misled their readers like that?

Obama has seriously deluded himself and his followers into thinking that the terrorists are going to be swayed by the relaxing of our security measures. Islamic thinking says that when one shows weakness, one should be attacked even more rigorously. Obama should know this having attended a Muslim school when he was a teenager. The weakness he is showing the terrorists will come back to haunt us, even moreso than September 11, 2001.

We, the people, should be ready to hold Obama accountable when that terrible day comes.

You can access the complete story on-line here:

Bush’s ‘War On Terror’ Comes To A Sudden End
Dana Priest
Washington Post
January 23, 2009

And read about what happens when terrorists are freed. This show’s why Obama and his followers are completely delusional about ending the anti-terroism policies. The terrorists are not going to stop trying to attack us just because we start being nice to them:

Ex-Gitmo Detainee Joins Al-Qaida In Yemen
TownHall.com
January 23, 2009