Conflict & Justice

Pirates hold ship off Somalia

JG had spoken with the pirates by telephone and found them to be quite PR conscious: they were eager to burnish their image and show the world they're not thugs but were standing up for the rights of the Somali people, as they put it. (How much credit do they deserve for spinning this as a social activity?) Most people think it's ridiculous that they would call themselves a coast guard. (Why was Ukraine sending so much heavy weaponry to where? Was that legal cargo?) This whole thing has been surrounded by mystery since the news broke. Why would anybody send so much ammunition through one of the most dangerous waterways in the world? It seems that Ukraine made a legit sale to Kenya and these weapons were going to go through Kenya. The question is, then what was going to happen to it? Kenya claims it was going to use it for itself, but a lot of diplomats say Kenya was going to funnel the weapons to Sudan, which is under an arms embargo. The whole thing has been very secretive. (The pirates didn't know what they were even seizing.) That's also an absurd statement. It's brought a lot of attention to the piracy problem though. (There are now American and Russian warships that have been sent to the region. Are the American and Russian forces working towards the same goal?) I think so. I did not get the impression that there was a lot of communication between the two. So I think the strategy was the Americans would hold down the fort and when the Russians get there in a few days, there would be more communication. The worry is it would be hard to free the hostages without major collateral damage.

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