Sunday, November 30, 2008


I was reading this article over at the Grey Lady and am appalled at our response to piracy in this century.

Piracy is as old as maritime trade, and through the centuries there has been just one predictable response to piracy. Eradicate it. Pirates in the 18th century Caribbean knew that if they were caught, they'd be hanged. Nowadays though, there is a lot of hand-wringing over what to do about pirates.
While the pirates have been buying GPS devices, satellite phones and more-powerful outboard motors, officials in Europe have been discussing jurisdictional issues surrounding the arrest of pirates on the high seas and even the possibility that the pirates might demand asylum if brought onto European Union shores.
The simple answer to that would be to make sure that they never get to shore.

It's one thing to demand asylum. It's something else entirely to get it. I'm sure that modern fighting vessels have something resembling a yardarm. The convenient answer would be that if a pirate were captured, the Captain of the vessel would convene a Captain's Mast, listen to the arguments, find the bastard guilty and hang him. This could all be accomplished in one afternoon. There is no reason to coddle piracy.

Hat tip to Instapundit.


Anonymous said...


Rivrdog said...

The solution for almost every ship on the high seas is bridge-wing Ma Deuces.

According to my VERY basic small arms training, a Ma Deuce outranges the RPK, the AKs AND the RPG. Putting them on the taffrail of the bridge wings insures that their fire covers the entire side of a merchantman. Perhaps one more at the stern would seal the fate of any pirate skiff foolish enough to come alongside or move in from astern.

As to convention, the Captain of any vessel who believes that he is about to come under attack would sound continuous short blasts of the ship's horn, making it obvious that he considered a skiff in the vicinity to be a target. Upon sounding the blasts, any innocent skiff operator would know to veer off. Not veering off would be the only precursor to firing on a skiff.

Aside from a few bumboats who might have a hard time doing business because of THEIR swarming tactics, the arming of ships and having this warn-before-fire convention should make it possible to put and end to this spate of piracy.

Old NFO said...

Shoot em all, let God sort them out... It IS time to end this BS.

JimB said...

No one in the entire world has the balls to implement either of these solutions. I can almost hear the crying if one of these pirate boats get blown out of the water.

Anonymous said...

Re: arming merchant ships. I quote one of the shipping lines: "It would increase the violence."

The world is full of PawPaw's grass eaters.

Anonymous said...

Yardarms be damned. Most fighting ships have at least one sidearm aboard. What is wrong with a pirate being marched to the stern, given a minute to make peace with his maker, then being shot in the back of the head with a 9mm pistol and the carcass thrown overboard with forty or fifty pounds of ballast tied to his feet? Hell if you don't want to waste a 9mm round, use his own AK-47.

Gerry N.

Matt G said...

I've been working up a good mad-on over this pirate issue for a good while. If I were to hit the lottery today, I think that I would arm a cargo ship to the teeth, crew it with a few of my best friends, and start trolling up and down the east coast of Africa, flashing my money at every port.

Hey-- it beats shuffleboard.