Support SF BayView
Donate or Subscribe to SF Bay View
Follow Us Twitter Facebook

You are being lied to about pirates

February 4, 2009

by Johann Hari

Somali pirate “ships” are small, but the ships they seize are huge. They held one gigantic tanker for months until ransom was paid.
Somali pirate “ships” are small, but the ships they seize are huge. They held one gigantic tanker for months until ransom was paid.
Who imagined that in 2009, the world’s governments would be declaring a new War on Pirates? As you read this, the British Royal Navy – backed by the ships of more than two dozen nations, from the U.S. to China – is sailing into Somalian waters to take on men we still picture as parrot-on-the-shoulder pantomime villains. They will soon be fighting Somalian ships and even chasing the pirates onto land, into one of the most broken countries on earth.

But behind the arrr-me-hearties oddness of this tale, there is an untold scandal. The people our governments are labeling as “one of the great menaces of our times” have an extraordinary story to tell – and some justice on their side.

Pirates have never been quite who we think they are. In the “golden age of piracy” – from 1650 to 1730 – the idea of the pirate as the senseless, savage thief that lingers today was created by the British government in a great propaganda heave. Many ordinary people believed it was false: Pirates were often rescued from the gallows by supportive crowds. Why? What did they see that we can’t?

In his book “Villains of All Nations,” the historian Marcus Rediker pores through the evidence to find out. If you became a merchant or navy sailor then – plucked from the docks of London’s East End, young and hungry – you ended up in a floating wooden Hell. You worked all hours on a cramped, half-starved ship, and if you slacked off for a second, the all-powerful captain would whip you with the cat o’ nine tails. If you slacked consistently, you could be thrown overboard. And at the end of months or years of this, you were often cheated of your wages.

Pirates were the first people to rebel against this world. They mutinied against their tyrannical captains – and created a different way of working on the seas. Once they had a ship, the pirates elected their captains, and made all their decisions collectively. They shared their bounty out in what Rediker calls “one of the most egalitarian plans for the disposition of resources to be found anywhere in the 18th century.”

They even took in escaped African slaves and lived with them as equals. The pirates showed “quite clearly – and subversively – that ships did not have to be run in the brutal and oppressive ways of the merchant service and the Royal navy.” This is why they were popular, despite being unproductive thieves.

The words of one pirate from that lost age – a young British man called William Scott – should echo into this new age of piracy. Just before he was hanged in Charleston, South Carolina, he said: “What I did was to keep me from perishing. I was forced to go a-pirating to live.”

In 1991, the government of Somalia – in the Horn of Africa – collapsed. Its 9 million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and many of the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.

Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the U.N. envoy to Somalia, tells me: “Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it.” Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to “dispose” of cheaply. When I asked Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: “Nothing. There has been no cleanup, no compensation and no prevention.”

At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by over-exploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300 million worth of tuna, shrimp, lobster and other sea life is being stolen every year by vast trawlers illegally sailing into Somalia’s unprotected seas.

The local fishermen have suddenly lost their livelihoods, and they are starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: “If nothing is done, there soon won’t be much fish left in our coastal waters.”

This is the context in which the men we are calling “pirates” have emerged. Everyone agrees they were ordinary Somalian fishermen who at first took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least wage a “tax” on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coast Guard of Somalia – and it’s not hard to see why.

In a surreal telephone interview, one of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali, said their motive was “to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters … We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas.” William Scott would understand those words.

No, this doesn’t make hostage-taking justifiable, and yes, some are clearly just gangsters – especially those who have held up World Food Program supplies. But the “pirates” have the overwhelming support of the local population for a reason. The independent Somalian news site WardherNews conducted the best research we have into what ordinary Somalis are thinking – and it found 70 percent “strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defense of the country’s territorial waters.”

One of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali, said their motive was “to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters … We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas.”

During the revolutionary war in America, George Washington and America’s founding fathers paid pirates to protect America’s territorial waters, because they had no navy or coast guard of their own. Most Americans supported them. Is this so different?

Did we expect starving Somalians to stand passively on their beaches, paddling in our nuclear waste, and watch us snatch their fish to eat in restaurants in London and Paris and Rome? We didn’t act on those crimes – but when some of the fishermen responded by disrupting the transit corridor for 20 percent of the world’s oil supply, we begin to shriek about “evil.” If we really want to deal with piracy, we need to stop its root cause – our crimes – before we send in the gunboats to root out Somalia’s criminals.

The story of the 2009 war on piracy was best summarized by another pirate, who lived and died in the fourth century BC. He was captured and brought to Alexander the Great, who demanded to know “what he meant by keeping possession of the sea.” The pirate smiled and responded: “What you mean by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, while you, who do it with a great fleet, are called emperor.”

Once again, our great imperial fleets sail in today – but who is the robber?

Johann Hari is a writer for the Independent newspaper. He has reported from Iraq, Israel/ Palestine, the Congo, the Central African Republic, Venezuela, Peru and the U.S., and his journalism has appeared in publications all over the world. To contact him, email johann@johannhari.com or visit his website at JohannHari.com. This column previously appeared in the Independent and Huffington Post, where the following postscript was added:

Postscript: Some commentators seem bemused by the fact that both toxic dumping and the theft of fish are happening in the same place – wouldn’t this make the fish contaminated? In fact, Somalia’s coastline is vast, stretching 3,300km (over 2,000 miles). Imagine how easy it would be – without any coast guard or army – to steal fish from Florida and dump nuclear waste on California, and you get the idea. These events are happening in different places but with the same horrible effect: death for the locals and stirred-up piracy. There’s no contradiction.

341 thoughts on “You are being lied to about pirates

  1. tyson

    While i believe that some ships are dumping, it doesn’t make sense to use this as an excuse for these “warlords” and “pirates” to attack oil tankers, private family boats..etc etc and demand a “ransom”.

    This is pure criminal and they know it.

    Reply
  2. Mahamoud

    I totally agree the content and the knowledge of the writer to the topic as a local comes from the area.

    But I would add that by saying that if the world think that they can beat and fight these young men who have nothing to do and nothing to aim; but only to defend thiercountry to what they can find into their hand AK 47 and other hand guns that are the massive availabe in the lawless country these days.

    The world is also at risk in being the Somali Ocean and sea without having a common agreement. As even mentioned in the article, there are Russian, Chinese and NATO, and European warships co hunting, what it is called Somali pirates but all started local fishermen that their fisher boats were destroyed by gianted Western illegal fishing ships,are at risk to coalide as it is the first time Russian and USA war ships for instance operate in the same sea area!!!! what can happen if these warship coalide as recently the British and French Submarines did???

    What is more, if there dozen of warships went in the area as humaniterian and coast guide, there is a traffying human traffiking between the gulf of Aden and Somalia and daily hundrends and hundrens of Somalis running from the war are killed; they simply watch, they never resccue nor arrest or fight the smugglers so what on earth could they call save guide in the coast of Somalia.

    In short it remains to be seen where it all ended for these un planned and un coordinated international warship presence in the ocean and sea of Somalia. And if the world is honest is solving the missery in the area, there is only one solution to give hand and help establish a stable government on the land in Somalia that can secure and save guide to its coastal areas!!!!! ????

    Mahamoud Sh. Ahmed

    Reply
  3. Karl

    I equate this article to an ill-educated and ill-informed left wing radical who thinks everything is everyone else’s fault except theirs.

    Reply
  4. Joseph Smith

    Btw, there is some logical inconsistency in accusing the same people for dumping toxic waste into same waters where they accusedly steal fish.

    Reply
  5. sandra dunakin

    I have never heard so much anger and volgarity spoken on jusst one article. what would happen if something really intence happened….take a breath and relax, your all too angry

    Reply
  6. Michael B.

    Can’t Believe that Darth Obama and the Anglo-American Empire are even lying to us about the Pirates…. what the heck? Isn’t Darth Obama supposed to be African? Shouldn’t he be a little sympathetic to the plight of other poor Africans… I guess not… when are the well meaning Obama lovers gonna figure out that we’ve all been taken for a ride???

    And yes I am Black… And no I’m not a sheep that mindeless bows down and licks the presidents boots because he is a charming aristocrat who appears to be a black man… I’m sorry folks.. any cousin of Bush and Cheney ain’t fit to run this country..

    Do yourselves a favor and suspend your disbelief momentarily and go and watch the Obama Deception by Alex Jones… you’ll get it after that…

    This Documentary is fascinating and sobering… Its not even a personal attack on Obama really.. it just shows who really runs the show…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw

    Open your eyes up black people.. we’ve been fooled!

    Reply
  7. cracka

    I didnt see any pirates hijacking boats and demanding fair treatment of their land, a stop to dumping, etc. I saw a bunch of dirty faggots try to extort money from aid workers trying to feed starving people.

    Reply
  8. MarkB

    In regards to Somalia, the United States entered in 1992 with a United Nations mandate.

    As for the allegations about the quality of life during the “golden age of piracy” on ships, it is very inaccurate, life as a sailor was not a hell, it had better food and medical care, at least in the Royal Navy, than nearly anyone in the lower or middle class on land had access to.

    Reply
  9. Michael B.

    Mark B.,

    “at least in the Royal Navy,”?

    And how many pirates were in the royal navy? I think you just made the authors point… :-)

    Reply
  10. Jennifer

    I’m a little torn with this article. On one hand I understand the desperation of a broken country that can easily drive those into piracy, but at the same time, the world seems to be tip towing around with them. Brut force and in mass population will simply out number these desperate pirates and deter them from committing these acts of piracy. I’m not sure about the claims of nuclear dumping and fish steal, but I don’t dismiss it either. I think I need to do more research before forming an official opinion. I hope others will do the same before jumping to conclusions. Remember, to all those extreme comments claiming one direction or another, there is a difference between a formal education and media education. Do your own research and then decide.

    Reply
  11. Brendan

    All fluff and no proof. There is absolutely no proof of such dumping or illegal fishing activities in Somali coastal water. Perhaps the Egyptians are encroaching in Somali waters, but that would be it. That makes it far from an international issue. Additionally, we’re talking HUNDREDS of miles from the coast. International law stipulates the extent of territorial waters at 12 nautical miles. That’s it. That’s all. Most nations voluntarily extend that by not encroaching within at least double the legally recognized extents, when possible. Somalia claims 200 (TWO HUNDRED) miles for themselves and calls them “Somalia Territorial Waters.”

    Let’s get some facts, and some perspective here instead of the typical far-left “WE must be doing something wrong” to have caused all of this. This is nothing more than a further manifestation of islam in action. When islam rules, and people blindly follow a false god set up by a bloodthirsty pedophile, bad things happen. Somalia is only exhibit Q-64-a in an endless roster.

    It’s not America’s fault. It’s not Europe’s fault. It’s not the Jews’ fault.

    Reply
  12. mary Post author

    Brendan, please read the story we posted Monday, Somalis speak out: Why we don’t condemn our pirates, at http://www.sfbayview.com/2009/somalis-speak-out-why-we-don%E2%80%99t-condemn-our-pirates/

    In the first section, you’ll find UN confirmation of the dumping: “In 2004, after a tsunami washed ashore several leaking containers, thousand of locals in the Puntland region of Somalia started to complain of severe and previously unreported ailments, such as abdominal bleeding, skin melting off and a lot of immediate cancer-like symptoms. Nick Nuttall, a spokesman for the United Nations Environmental Program, says that the containers had many different kinds of waste, including ‘uranium, radioactive waste, lead, cadmium, mercury and chemical waste.’”

    European trawlers have nearly fished out the waters over the last several years on both the east and west coasts of Africa. That’s what sparked the exodus of young men from West Africa piling into their little boats to try to find work in Europe. Google will give you many credible stories and other sources to document that. No one seems to be disputing it.

    Mary Ratcliff, editor
    SF Bay View

    Reply
  13. Shaft

    The Somalia pirates have good enough reason to be hunting for ships and boats to extort for money to pay for their living expenses. When someone comes and destroys your house, then that destroyer owns you. Like Iraq, we broke Somalia and we have to be there to see them rise, even if it means having to pay some ransom to free our citizens held by pirates. That is the price of stupidity, and we all know it.

    Reply
  14. David Gray

    Forall those saying youcan’t dump the barrels in very deep water without crushing, you’re wrong. Simply fill them with water before the barrels are sealed. Liquid does not compress like air does. Also, sea water has some neutralizing effect on raioactive material.

    Reply
  15. HS

    If you had to steal from your friend to survive, and you do, should you be punished? Or should the person who made you steal be punished?

    Put yourselves in their shoes.
    I’m not justifying the kidnapping or the ransom demands, but it is not entirely their fault. There are more civilized ways of dealing with this, but put in mind that these people grew up in a city destroyed by hunger and missionaries. Growing up in what is like a refugee camp won’t exactly make a human out of you.

    Reply
  16. babalugatz

    (not to be ”racist”), but as the famous BLACK rapper ODB
    used to say……
    ”nigga, please”
    these hijackings are hundreds of miles now, from the purported ‘waste dumping’, and ‘illegal fishing’..
    these petty skanks are going after ANYTHING that floats…
    Some of you assholes here justify these goings-on, as so many (pick-the-color) do during blackouts & riots, here in the u.s.
    “I’m jus tryin’ ta feed mah family”, …….with tv’s, radios, sneakers being carried out of stores…
    Stop the bullshit, namby-pamby ,douchebag excuses.
    Many of these ships are carrying FREE FUCKING FOOD FOR AFRICANS, including SOMALIS…
    you apolagetic, excuse-laden shit-heels are pathetic, especially YOU , Johann Hari.

    Reply
  17. Fort Cannon

    We are riding this horse to death and a lot of people have gone from the real to the absurd. Others are settling some score in whatever game they are playing.

    The article insinuated that swashbuckling pirates in some needy country were risking their lives to defend their home land against dumpers of toxic waste. They were carrying on the romantic tradition of good vs. evil.

    Can we ask ourselves a series of intelligent questions?

    If foreign countries are Hell bent to dump toxic waste why travel all the way to Somalia? The ocean is huge and it is expensive to get there. I think the toxic waste probably belongs to Somalia or neighboring shit countries. I hate to take this away from evil whitey.

    In a country plagued with AIDS and every other bacterial disorder known to man it is very noble that they are patrolling the coastline. Like muggers in the park,
    and if a few bucks come their way, it should, as their intent is only to even the score with the bad hand they have been dealt in life. Let’s remember that 80% of the crime in the hood is perpetrated against other blacks.

    In a country where a flush toilet is a luxury piracy does take on the need for supplemental employment. If you can’t swim one does not belong 300 miles from the coast trying to stick up freighters. Victims can carry guns as well and they have been damned lucky.

    Any job we know of where a person goes to work with a gun there is a possibility that they will be killed. In this case they were. I think there will be many more.
    We really wrecked their country and they were on the road to success at being a world super power. Now, like it or not the bad old corporations make it possible to
    enjoy what we have in the old US of A. I don’t think any are willing to move into Somalia and we can only guess why.

    This was a bull shit story that got a lot of publicity. If you swallowed it you are dumber than the pirates. Many of us did not. The guy that wrote is is laughing like Hell as he sold you crap and you ate it, he is counting the bucks off the ignorance.

    Reply
  18. HS

    I think it started off as what the article said it was all about, just them trying to survive, but then other ‘pirates’ came in and are doing it just for the money. I do not think they are ALL after the same thing.

    Reply
  19. steveo

    well am glad that someone nows what is going on out their as the reports we have r from yes u guessed it a media that is prepaired to lie about a war where men women and children are getting massacred, so that makes them really and in reality able to lie about anything to its own agenda…the worst thing about the media over here is some people actually believe it,which really shows the intelligence of people in the west, i can easily believe that the west is takin advantage of the no defence over their cos guess what thats what they have always done since the fuckin romans and probably b4 that..i personnally hope the tererists do blow up american system get george,.. blair and anyone else involved stick them in an electric chair make the face the direction of hell and press the button 5 times aday so all the real people that believe in truth and justice can have a good old sing song about what a good world we live in,,after the grieving that is for the innocent dead shot by a bunch of sycopaths in army uniforms, known as the army,,still hopefully they will be first on electric chair just for a bit of a spectacle…well done any somalian who stands up for himself for whatever reason…….uve got my full support and if i had any money u could have it…

    Reply
  20. Chicagoan

    My only problem with these pirates is as others have said. If they’re trying to be activists, then theft and kidnapping won’t do any justice to their cause. If the UN didn’t listen, then they should take the resource of the internet and make the truth known. Believe me, people will find it.

    A photo of a ship dumping waste will do a lot of hurt to the business caught in it.

    Remember the Black leaders in the 60s? They marches, built awareness, and fought by using the system. They didn’t steal and hurt people, then claim it’s a cause.

    Reply
  21. Tim Avirett

    I believe the intent of the article is not to justify the actions of the pirates but rather to help explain the root causes of their lawlessness. While military actions, as in the case of the Maersk Alabama, may be successful in some instances, a long term solution to this crisis can only be achieved by addressing the root causes of the problem.

    Reply
  22. Donnie Lopez

    First of all, it seems that the UN, if truly functional would investigate the issues of the failed state of Somalia and its residents who are suffering as in all failed states. Political vacuums breed conflict and poverty. As we attempt to renew our international alliances following the most destructive 8 years in our history (Bushian cataclysm), we will need to enlist the international community in addressing these political vacuums and its suffering populations, while also insuring that none of the issues of dumping nuclear waste and overfishing occurs. The world needs the good will and friendship of many nations and I look to President Obama and his incredibly talented administration to re-establish organization and decency that America was once known for prior to the past 8 years. This is the basis of anti-terrorism policy in a tribal world.

    Reply
  23. Doug

    Pirates with a cause should be seeking to correct the cause of their piracy – demand support and protection of their coastline instead of money. The simple fact that they always demand money as ransom proves they couldn’t care less about the “illegal fishing and waste dumping” that is supposedly occurring in their coastal waters.

    Reply
  24. Tim Avirett

    The point is not that the pirates are justified…of course they are to blame for their actions. The point is that we can only defuse the situation by addressing the conditions that allow the pirates safe haven along the Somali coast.

    Reply
  25. steveo

    thats the trouble with westerners its ok for their army to bomb steal kill genocide leave toxic shit all over someone elses country rob the poor and breainwash their own but oo someone not waving an american flag and saying ze heil to america and the all american dream is some how a threat to the world unlike the yank army who go round killin for sport,,,,u bunch of blind pricks i really hope the terrorist win and fuck america right up the arse…

    Reply
  26. HS

    steveo. You’re a dumbass. :)
    Not everyone in America is like that, and not everyone in Africa has exactly good intentions.

    You can’t take sides with anyone actually.
    America and god knows which countries in Europe are trying to stop the pirating. Who knows, they might be spilling that shit in the sea, but still at least they’re trying to stop the pirating. I’m sure the pirates have a cause, they’re just manifesting it in the wrong ways. It is absurd to think that they are doing this only for money, because there are easier ways to get money.
    Anyhow, there is more than one story to it. So stop being judgmental whether to the Americans, the Europeans, the Somalis, or the fucking Chinese, and base your judgments on something intelligent and not mainstream ideals.

    Reply
  27. Mark

    Jazzykat. Meh. your opinions are worthless. the only thing you can say is bleeding heart liberal. Broken records get thrown in the rubbish, the same place your opinions belong

    Reply
  28. John Doe

    As interesting as this article is, I wonder if any of the ships boarded were dumping waste or fishing vessels. It seems to me they were commercial freighters…

    Reply
  29. Truth or News

    Truth or News? Why Is the News as we Know It to be controled by the Very Rich? Money Is the Only TRUTH In the World?

    Reply
  30. Teacher

    Ron, on April 12th
    Do they need millions of dollars to live? No, but if you’re going to be a thieving pirate, be the best thieving pirate you can be.
    ———————————————————-
    So let me get this straight–your family needs to eat, so just demand a million dollar ransom or you’ll kill people? Because you want to ‘be the best’? So if they chop off a person’s hand for stealing a loaf of bread, what does your logic tell you the penalty for this act should be? I’m all for examining the problem of capitalist abuse in Somalia–but the point was made- penalize the ships that commit the crimes if you want to make a statement with acts of piracy. Otherwise, you’re just another greedy criminal.

    Reply
  31. Duncan

    Explotation from the stronger above the weaker, with no distinction of race is not acceptable.

    Explotation of mother earth from human race is not acceptable.

    There is two big problems in our lives… the media; who really knows if all news around the planet are true or not? it is practically impossible.

    The other big problem is our egocentric way the see all things.

    Black, white, red or yellow people yarayarayara…

    My father is black, my mother is white, and my wife is japanese… and there’s no problem… just respect about our diffrents believes.

    Reply
  32. Wilson P. Rogers

    Some Proof from the UN:

    For published research, search Google, using site:un.org and somolia toxic waste. You’ll find several documents showing they commissioned a study in 1995 that was published in 1997 that confirmed the overfishing and toxic waste dumping.

    More recently, here is a 2005 report from the UN Environmental Program: http://www.unep.org/tsunami/reports/TSUNAMI_SOMALIA_LAYOUT.pdf
    It states:
    Further, Somalia is one of the many Least Developed Countries that reportedly received countless shipments of illegal nuclear and toxic waste dumped along the coastline. Starting from the early 1980s and continuing into the civil war, the hazardous waste dumped along Somaliaas coast comprised uranium radioactive waste, lead, cadmium, mercury, industrial, hospital, chemical, leather treatment and other toxic waste. Most of the waste was simply dumped on the beaches in containers and disposable leaking barrels which ranged from small to big tanks without regard to the health of the local population and any environmentally devastating impacts.

    Reply
  33. steveo

    its mad how people still think that the somalians should play by american rules,and codes of conduct which in fact the americans dont heed to at all themselves i,e alleged attacks 9/11, then go and invade iraq and afghanistan countries that had nothing to do with it, oh but ships that werent invoved in the dumping get attacked and its a moral outrage,what a load of hippocritical bulshit,,do u think that if u had toxic waste killin u and family you would some how abide by some code of conduct that would enhance ure moral stand against the people or system doing it to u ,u would do whatever it took to survive and if that meant piracy then youd do it they havent declared war on u and i imagine they dont kill everyone unlike war where everyone and everything gets destroyed i hope the sea is on ure side,
    and try to fuck an american army ship that would be a call to revolution times,,,and a stand for real people who are still able to think for themselves,,,,

    Reply
  34. Homeboy

    Well with all the name calling and labelling each other as racists, the problem still exists that the pirates are continuing their endeavor. While there are 3 sides to every story (what you know, what the other knows and what you don’t know), two wrongs do not make a right.

    The thought that the pirates are out to bring light to their plight is absurd. Do we not remember the French yacht captured by pirates with the family, including a 3 year old.

    This cannot be condoned!

    Reply
  35. steveo

    god u lot talk as if one day they just got up and said hey ho lets go and be a pirate me heartys yers lets go and get some plunder hey ho and they all went off to get some plunder,,oh look here comes the angels of god the army coming to save the holy people from the wicked evil pirates,,my god grow up they are trying to liberate even if only themselves and who are we to even begin to think we know what it must take to be a pirate in the modern day knowing the comeupance if it all goes wrong probably being death,,i think they are brave to stand up against a world that has shat all over them since the slave traid…yes u say thats in the past ,,well if u believe that go and see who owns the fertile land and who owns fuck all in their own country,,its the same in the carribean the rich landowners who own islands are the descendants of the slavetraders,and local people have nothing a pair of shorts unless of course they work for the descendants of the slavetraders ,,so please take rthe shit out of ure eye and realise these people are doing their best to get whats theirs anyway,,,freedom against a very biased system

    Reply
  36. Tailgunner

    What a bunch of blithering idiots…especially Langaliberal or what ever his nappyassed name is, who likes to call people crackers and apparently occupies a place of importance on this wreck you call a forum.

    I say that cause if I were to call Langanutcase a n****r, in the same way as he throws around ‘cracker’, I would be drawn and quartered by the hypocritical losers who infest this waste of bandwidth you call a forum.

    You driveling idiots would soil your diapers if you were on one of these ships and realized pirates were on your stern.

    After a week with these poor misguided ‘environmental cleanup officials’, you’d come back and call for carpet-bombing their ships and ports. That’s cause you have no fu*kin clue how evil these motherf*ckers are.

    How much have these ‘green’ pirates spent cleaning up ‘toxic waste’ off their shores? You clueless morons have no earthly idea.

    You swallow their bullshit whole just like you swallow Al-Qaeda’s bullshit whole and Iran’s bullshit whole and Obama’s bullshit whole.

    It’s time to track these leaders down, sink their mother ships, and if necessary strike their ports.

    If you brainless liberals can’t get behind protecting our national interests, then get the hell out of the way and let the adults do the job.

    HOW can you people be so STUPID?

    Reply
  37. Mr Butterbur

    Hang these worthless muthas; or kill them at sea. Worthless anarchist shits. Nothing but criminals. Pirates, my ass; they are gangsters. White, black, brown, who cares what color they are: they all bleed red.

    Reply
  38. Kelsey360

    This article is spot on. The US ‘help’ for Somalis has consisted of a Bushite 3rd war on Somalia (through Ethiopia), that has literally blown away stability in the Horn. 1) Stop the war 2) Stop Europeans from stealing fish from Somali or other African waters 3) Stop radioactive dumping and hold European powers responsible for criminal behavior. Africans must protect their interests. Conoco, Amoco and others only want to explore Somalia to benefit themselves. No more free rides for the West in Africa-make them pay royalties like Chavez or freeze them out if they dont want to play ball. We all know what this is really about.

    Reply
  39. Tailgunner

    Africans are ‘protecting their interests’ by hijacking foreign vessels and holding hostages?

    But whenever America ‘protects its interests’ it’s ‘bloodsucking imperialism’.

    Ok, let’s stop all these evil oil companies from ‘exploiting’ Somali waters.

    Where in the hell are Somalis going to find employment so they can stop hijacking ships? If you’re so sympathetic to their economic plight you should be praising Conoco’s efforts to find them safer employment.

    People like you who see ‘exploitation’ in every attempt to invest in a third world country, whose population is eager for the opportunity to move out of their mud huts and into a Western standard of living and self-respect, would continue their starvation and poverty.

    And every country has a three-to-twelve mile territorial sea limit.

    If anyone’s violating maritime limits it’s the Somali pirates who hijack ships well into international waters.

    And I’m not familiar with Ethiopia’s ‘war’ with Somalia but since you blame it on Bush, it should have stopped three months ago.

    Where do you get these ridiculous ideas? Stink Progress? Media Mattress?

    Think for yourself, man.

    Reply
  40. Cee Dub

    Freedom fighting is a two-way street. The myth of the American Revolution valorized independent-minded businessmen who took up arms to protect their own slave, tobacco, and industrial hemp trade. (Hemp was eventually re-envisioned as a psychotropic menace from foreign ‘enemies’ so as not to out-compete timber and synthetic fibers produced by DuPont.) If freedom-fighters in Iraq or Somalia resist hyper-masculine, under-educated, alcoholic Marines or government-subsidized corporations from looting their countries, why is that treated any differently? Oh yeah because we were born and socialized and recited the pledge of allegiance to our flag and taught to hate anyone the corporate media deems an enemy of the state. Primitive tribes did the same thing thousands of years ago. As resources were over-exploited, the chieftain persuaded his people to invade and subjugate the next tribe over and appropriate their resources. This practice was passed on and honed over millenia from the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, British and Americans. The greatest achievement of our civilization is convincing us that we are any different. That was supposed to be the whole point of Christ, practicing humility, resisting greed and state/mob power but now that has even been twisted into an advertisement for corporate liberty and individual oppression be it a starving Somalian fisherman or an obviously well-educated blog troll like jazzykat.

    Reply
  41. Navigator

    Freedom fighting is a two-way street. The myth of the American Revolution valorized independent-minded businessmen who took up arms to protect their own slave, tobacco, and industrial hemp trade. (Hemp was eventually re-envisioned as a psychotropic menace from foreign ‘enemies’ so as not to out-compete timber and synthetic fibers produced by DuPont.) If freedom-fighters in Iraq or Somalia resist hyper-masculine, under-educated, alcoholic Marines or government-subsidized corporations from looting their countries, why is that treated any differently? Oh yeah because we were born and socialized and recited the pledge of allegiance to our flag and taught to hate anyone the corporate media deems an enemy of the state. Primitive tribes did the same thing thousands of years ago. As resources were over-exploited, the chieftain persuaded his people to invade and subjugate the next tribe over and appropriate their resources. This practice was passed on and honed over millenia from the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, British and Americans. The greatest achievement of our civilization is convincing us that we are any different. That was supposed to be the whole point of Christ, practicing humility, resisting greed and state/mob power but now that has even been twisted into an advertisement for corporate liberty and individual oppression be it a starving Somalian fisherman or any obviously well-educated participant in this forum.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

BayView Classifieds - ads, opportunities, announcements
San Francisco Comcast