Monday, May 17, 2010

Somali pirates, Russian navy, world community - what could go wrong?

More than a week ago I was reading a Russian newspaper, and found out that a Russian tanker was hijacked by Somali pirates. According to MK, the Russian spetsnaz reacted quickly to the attack and a military helicopter opened fire on the pirates using heavy caliber machine gun and forced the pirates to surrender. The world community was informed that the Russian captured 10 pirates and killed one, and that the pirates are sent to Moscow to stand trial. The next message on the wire was that Russians decided that they could not prosecute the pirates due to complexities in the international law, and the pirates were released. I was reading this information pretty much in real time, and I fell out of my chair when I found out that the Russian government freed the pirates due to their concern about the international law. To start with, Russian government hardly ever cared about the international law (see war in Chechnya, Khodorkovsky, and other numerous examples), and secondly same government would not let the pirates leave unpunished - particularly given that they are not even considered human by many Russians. The Russian sources insisted that the navy decided to "let the pirates go", and this immediately reminded me of an old Russian joke...

An old woman is hanging from the balcony of a tall building, while a man is holding her by her feet. The man says the following:
My friend Ivan shot his mother in law.
My friend Peter knifed his mother in law.
But I am a nice man, so I will just let go.
A later article confirmed everything that I knew to be true - the Russian put the pirates (some of them wounded) into an inflatable boat, took away the navigation equipment and "let them go". The boat was in the open sea, about thousand miles from the sea-shore. After one hour, the boat disappeared from the radar. The Russian captain dryly said that he was not obliged to feed those pirates and he just "let them go".

The reaction of the world community to this atrocity was quite predictable. Somali ambassador to Russia meekly agreed that the actions of the Russian navy were lawful. “Not one Somali or the government of our country sees Russia has being guilty in this,” Mr. Handule told ITAR-TASS news agency. Somali pirates were less enthusiastic, and promised to take revenge against the Russian navy (What are they going to do - bleed on them?). The UN, Human Rights, Amnesty International and the rest of the world were understandably silent - after all, this was an internal affair of two non-Western groups, and there was no concern that Jews or Americans could be hurting the pirates - which in the end meant that a pirate's life was worth less than Obama's promises from 2007 - if said pirate was captured by Russians. Yahoo published an article questioning if the pirates were slaughtered by the Russians, but this article quickly went down the drain.

In short summary - everything was quite predictable. The Russians slaughtered the pirates without any mercy. The world community yawned (just as it yawned when hutus exterminated 800,000 tutsis in 1994). From now on, the Somali pirates will be extra-careful with Russian ships.

Last but not least, this reminded of an old story...

In October 1985, Alfa [Russian special forces] was dispatched to Beirut, Lebanon, when four Soviet diplomats had been taken hostage by a Sunni militant group [Hezbollah]. By the time Alfa was on site, one of the hostages had already been killed. The perpetrators and their relatives were identified by supporting KGB operatives, and the relatives were taken hostage. Following the standard policy of 'no negotiation', Alfa proceeded to sever some of their hostages' body parts and sent them to the perpetrators with a warning that more would follow if the Russian hostages were not released immediately. The tactic was a success and no other Russian national was taken hostage in the Middle East for the next 20 years,[2] until the 2006 abduction of Russian diplomats in Iraq.

According to Russian sources, the Russians openly threatened to bomb Iran and kill the Aytotalloh if the Russian diplomats were not released. And the amazing thing - Hezbollah knew the Russians could do it, and the world community would not lift a finger to help the Iranians.

After you finished reading this story - I suggest you ask yourself - are American people more or less safe when our country is led by Barack Hussein Obama?


Chris W said...

There is more than one way to get your point across diplomatically. Unfortunately where some nations show strength, we show weakness and uncertainty.

George Jereley said...

I find the ramblings somewhat amusing and hypocritical.
"To start with, Russian government hardly ever cared about the international law".
Does USA care about the international law? Does Israel?
They are happily slaughtering thousands of innocent people in other countries, disregard the sovereignty of other governments; Create atomic weapons, but object to others doing the same.
Look to your own house first.

Anonymous said...

George: Yes and yes. For Israel it is about survival, something liberals living a cushy life in the US know nothing about.

Happily slaughtering? Gross overstatement completely unsubstantiated by the facts

Go dig a little deeper into your liberal talking points.

HA: I am no fan of the Russians, but as mentioned, they did nothing wrong under international law. Indeed, if everyone treated piracy like this we'd have more dead pirates.

Unfortunately, Obama,arrests them and brings them to the US for trial, after which they will probably get asylum.

Anonymous said...

Funny story, sneaky russian style too. At least they have the bollocks to stand for their country, and no one messes with them. Pretty effective I'd say.



ps: don't upset the poor lib, he's probably sobbing as he sees socialist Europe go down...;)

Gorges Smythe said...

The last president we had with those kind of stones was Teddy Roosevelt, though reagan came close.