Posted: 28 Nov 2008 03:51 PM CST
Are the U.S. and her allies being too gentle with Somalia’s pirates? That’s the accusation from Indian retired Rear Admiral Raja Menon. NATO’s rules of engagement — when their ships can fire, and when the can’t — “worries more about the human rights of the pirates, than about stamping out piracy,” Menon writes in the New Indian Express. “… Today’s interpretation by human rights lawyers state that pirates cannot even be handed over to their own state if that state does not respect the human rights of the pirates. This is an absurd situation.” I’m hearing, second-hand, that Western sailors are making similar complaints.
Just in case you’re curious, this is the kind of nonsense he’s talking about:
Article 110 of the U.N.’s Law of the Sea Convention — ratified by most nations, but not by the U.S. — enjoins naval ships from simply firing on suspected pirates. Instead, they are required first to send over a boarding party to inquire of the pirates whether they are, in fact, pirates. A recent U.N. Security Council resolution allows foreign navies to pursue pirates into Somali waters … but the resolution expires next week. As for the idea of laying waste, Stephen Decatur-like, to the pirate’s prospering capital port city of Eyl, this too would require U.N. authorization. Yesterday, a shippers’ organization asked to blockade the Somali coast. NATO promptly declined.
The pirates are cooperating with international terrorist groups, are getting information from terrorist sympathizers in Yemen, are drawing reinforcements from jihadists in Somalia, and are expressing their “love” for Saudi Arabia. I mention this only because certain foreign policy sophisticates have begun suggesting that the pirates are opposed to partisans of political Islam. This claim seems, all things considered, less than tenuous:
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