Of course things have changed since the days of Jean LaFitte. The large ships that we see in the Johnny Depp movies have been replaced by speedboats, and the swords and knives have been replaced by machine guns and RPG’s. For awhile, the victims have been foreign vessels and the crews with their cargo have been held hostage for a high ransom. The strange thing is that some of these countries actually pay the ransom the pirates demand and give these guys more money to support their criminal activities. I read where last year alone they made over $6 million dollars.
This week, however, they screwed up.
They struck an American cargo ship and were promptly overpowered by the crew causing them to flee to an enclosed lifeboat. However, as of press time some of the pirates took the ship’s captain hostage and were barricaded into the small lifeboat.
It was the first such attack on an American vessel in nearly 200 years.
Now you have to wonder if these guys knew they were hijacking an American ship. So far they have made no demands for so much as a dollar and some of them fled to a lifeboat and are actually floating alongside the ship.
As of right now, I can predict with the utmost certainty that these guys are doomed.
There is now an American destroyer and a plane keeping a close watch on the ship. An official, speaking on the grounds of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation said that there are now a military team of armed guards on board the ship, which by the way is called the Maersk Alabama. You have to know that there are plenty of sharpshooters and highly trained military members just waiting for these guys to emerge from the boat they are holding the captain in.
The press is calling this one of Barack Obama’s national security tests. Vice President Joe Biden said that the situation was being monitored “around the clock.”
Personally I think that behind closed doors they both must be laughing at this being considered one of their first tests. This one will be a slam dunk.
Do you think that there is anyway that these guys are going to get off of this ship unscathed?
After all, the current administration is trying to convince the country that they are capable of dealing with the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. After these pirates are soundly defeated, are people really going to see this as a first step towards establishing their administration’s capability to deal with foreign threats.
For Christ’s sake, these guys are pirates!!
Now I do hope that the captain, who is still being held, is released or rescued unharmed. But just think if he is hurt or killed. If he is, these guys will be hanging out with Elvis by this time next week. In fact, I think they be will anyway.
Now the United States does have a brutal history in dealing with the rebels in Somalia. Anyone who has seen the movie “Black Hawk Down” could attest to the danger that exists in that country and the military operation in which 23 Americans were killed while trying to perform a military operation in the country’s capital of Mogadishu.
But these guys aren’t fighting on land, they are stuck out on the open water with a destroyer and a plane watching them.
Football season is over. I’m looking forward to watching another team I support win in a rout.
Howell Dennis is a native of Lafayette, La. He attended the University of Texas at Arlington where he graduated in journalism and public relations.