Thursday, November 20, 2008


I hate to say this but I told you so. In a previous post on piracy I warned that these thugs will be targeting a more valuable vessel than the fishing boats they have been hitting. They now have a 100 million dollar worth of crude and a whole tanker under their armpits. They are operating with daring impudence and temerity. They are collecting ransom right left and center. They defied international maritime law and instituted their own banditry laws that puts to shame the pirates of old, Caribbean included. The world is still at a loss on how to handle them.

We cannot turn merchant ships into warships. Merchant vessels should prowl the waters safely and uninhibited. The law of the sea cannot be turned to the law of the jungle. These pirates must be faced with utmost force and be annihilated. There should be no safe haven for them. All their operating bases should be targeted and destroyed. All who harbor them should hang with them. The beneficiaries of the loot should not be spared either.

This brings me to the question, where is all the ransom money going? We know it is not financing the building of hospitals in Mogadishu, neither is it financing education or supplying water to the Somalis. This loot is being recycled to buy arms to destabilize the region and entrench some warlords in power. This is a recipe for disaster both inside Somalia and in the neighboring countries. Kenya is still sitting and watching and even hosting the so called Somali government MPs in the capital. If they cannot control their own backyard, what business does the Kenya government have in according them any recognition.

You cannot lead by telepathy, which is what these fellows attempt to do from the safety of Eastleigh lodgings. Kick them out and let them go and tame these pirates. Parading some fellows in court delivered by the British doesn’t mean we are doing much. Don’t we have a sizable Somali population in Kenya? Don’t they have links with some of those Somalis? Must we wait for someone to put their finger in our noses before we react. As Achebe would ask, if someone comes and defecates on your floor, do you close your eyes and pretend not to see? No! You take a stick and break his neck. These have not only defecated on our floor they are defecating on our food lines, our export routes, our import routes, our fuel route and we are closing our eyes and pretending not to see.

Cut off those safe havens. Simply splatter them along the ocean shore. Bomb them if need be to oblivion. This way we are protecting ourselves from being hit where it hurts. If this piracy continues we are going to pay dearly and the events of August 1998 will look like Diwali fireworks. My philosophy is simple, preemptive strike is not cowardice. Let us give maximum support to those fighting our battles for us, the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy, While we shamelessly debate over whether to punish the killers in our midst who sponsored the ethnic cleansing after the elections, the two nations have taken the mantle to defend our gates. We have lost the moral authority to point at these pirates for our actions are worse than theirs. The pirates in our leadership should be routed out too.
If that supertanker is not rescued, through ransom or by force, and the pirates destroy it as they might, the environmental consequences will be catastrophic. Believe me they are prone to destroy it. nothing matters to them other than ransom. Then what? They will take another one and another one? Someone must put a stop to this. There must be preemptive action. Seal those safe havens, splatter those mother ships, cease those ransoms, enforce maritime international law. Kenya government stands indicted. This happening at your door step on your watch, and you are doing nothing discernible to help yourself or others. The ball is squarely in your coat. Do not fold your tail and hide behind grass blades. Even if you can’t bite, just bark.

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