Tag Archives: somali pirates

As The World Turns

The Maersk Alabama was attacked by Somali pirates again, to be repulsed by an on-board protection crew, and a few weeks ago pirates attacked a ship a thousand miles off the coast, far beyond their usual range, a case of Darwinian adaptation. Naval vessels and reconnaissance drones of many nations now patrol inshore, forcing the pirates to go farther afield than before. But the question remains, how do the pirates stay in business in light of constant patrols? The answer seems to be that some ship-owners are paying ransom money to the pirates to leave their ships alone. All well and good for those who pay, but what of those who don’t pay, whose crews are held captive for months or years? What happens to the mostly third world crews if they are not ransomed? Piracy is the national economy of Somalia, and the present quiet period cannot last. There will be a spike in piracy any time now, and you can bet the United States will be called on to end it once and for all. 



The world turns counter-clockwise when it’s viewed from outer blue

But only if you’re looking at North Pole

When viewed above the South Pole spinning clockwise is the view

So how can spacey travelers judge the whole?

You see how difficult it is to get someone to see

That pulling teeth is not the way to go

When that someone has interest in the way it ought to be

And pirates in their boardrooms run the show

The same with little people in their countries far and wide

They scream and holler that we’re never right

And yet they’re much content to go along just for the ride

As long as Uncle Sam provides the might

Do pirates in the boardroom pay the pirates far at sea

To leave their ships alone, a quid pro quo?

Of course they do, for it is only business by the fee

And we’re all in the business don’t you know

So yes one day we’ll clean the grinning pirates from their lairs

And set the captives free to ply their trade

But don’t expect our allies then to stand up on their chairs

And give our guys a great big accolade



And A Bottle Of Rum

There was a time pirates were hanged when caught. A few months ago a Portugese warship caught a bunch of pirates on the open sea with a boat full of grenade launchers, AK-47s and an aluminum ladder for climbing aboard a passing merchant ship. They caught them, but let them go, because there was nothing in Portugese law that dealt with piracy. Lawyers in Britain have advised the Royal Navy not to capture any pirates lest they seek asylum in Britain. In today’s West, pirates have rights just like every one else.



I say we take them at their word

Though some word combos sound absurd

Somali is a word that sings

Trips off your tongue like bluebird wings

But trouble comes when e’re I hear

The word Somali placed too near

A word that sounds like government

It’s then I sniff a certain scent

That tells me something is not right

And caution forms afore I bite

The simplest thing I guess to do

Is arm the willing merchant crew

Then when the pirate grapnel flies

The first man up the ladder dies


But we no longer hang pirates, we interview them. Scott Carney of Wired has interviewed a Somali pirate, asking when do they decide to kill hostages, who gets to go free, how do they set the ransom price and so on. It turns out the pirates have financiers, just like any other business. Read the whole thing.



So now the guys have financiers

Who plot out the hijacking

Arranging everything in tiers

And see that nothing’s lacking

And hostages are graded for

Ethnicity and value

A white man can be traded for

Whatever they can cow you

Into giving them what they

Think you by george are good for

And so because you always pay

They know what you have stood for

They raise the price in many ways

And we have always paid her

We need to get back to the days

Of old Stephen Decatur