Monday, April 27, 2009

"a major step forward for pirates "

I don't know what's more striking - management-speak of the pirates :

Separately, wire service AFP quoted Mohamed Muse, reportedly the head of the pirate group, as lamenting their failure to take the vessel due to “technical reasons.”

The capture of such a large vessel would have represented a major step forward for pirates off the Somalian coast, but unfortunately their tactics were good and we could not board.

“It was not the first time we have attacked this kind of boat and we were very close to capturing it,” Mr Muse told AFP. “We really showered it with bullets.”


How long before they're talking about "a new parrot-digm" or "a raft of new initiatives" to "take piracy into the twenty-first century" ?

or the general floppiness of :

Mr Vago insisted that the company only carried arms onboard under exceptional circumstances, attributing the storage of “just a few pistols” aboard the MSC Melody to the recent escalation of pirate attacks off the horn of Africa.

He also claimed that, contrary to some press reports, security guards aboard the vessel had no independent access to the weapons. The pistols were kept in a safe on the bridge and released only at the discretion of the master.

At the same time, he admitted that the controversial issue of deploying firearms on passenger ships, which some believe will only lead to an escalation of pirate violence, must be debated.

Words fail me (that's a figure of speech - they don't really). Thus have we progressed from the days when captured pirates would soon be decorating the yardarm.

We're that near the gibbet that my neck's stiff with thinking on it. You've seen 'em, maybe, hanged in chains, birds about 'em, seamen p'inting 'em out as they go down with the tide. 'Who's that?' says one. 'That! Why, that's John Silver. I knowed him well,' says another. And you can hear the chains a- jangle as you go about and reach for the other buoy.
The late Captain Coulston would have known what to do with them. A cruise with him would have been something to talk about when you got back.

"The battle it commenced, brave boys, and blood in streams did flow
While undaunted did our passengers the pirate overthrow
The cries of women and children lying in the hull below
While the captain and his passengers the pirate did overthrow"
I'm all for merchant vessels mounting a few Oerlikons or Bofors - preferably hidden in Q-ship style (via which, the Baralong incident. Bad form and not something to be proud of. If they'd been pirates it would have been different).

2 comments:

Hugh Oxford said...

God I'd love to go Pirate baiting with CIWS.

My MP doesn't think the presence of 250,000 Somalis in Britain is an issue. In fact, he thinks it's a good thing.

Lunatics, lunatics everywhere.

What happens when Pakistan becomes an enemy state?

Anyone?

Dan said...

It was bad form (the Baralong incident) by our standards, but at the time submarining was itself regarded as an underhand and disgraceful way to wage war - ie sneaking around under the sea torpedoing unsuspecting ships (which occasionally turned out to contain women and children).