Though the rest of the world may be focused on Blago and Madoff the Gulf of Aden show is still going on. Pirates are outmaneuvering warships for practically every first and second world country, all of which are clogging up the Gulf. And as armed as these ships may be they are letting those weapons grow dusty.
Most of the seamen in the gulf either don’t know or don’t want to get tangled up in maritime law so they aren’t using weapons against the pirates. At least not conventional ones anyway.
NYT: There was even a recent case, according to several security contractors, in which Filipino crew members pelted pirates with tomatoes in an attempt to stop them from scaling the hull of their ship. It did not work.
The Italian naval officers say the piracy patrols are helping — already the Italians have rescued several merchant vessels surrounded by pirate skiffs. The Italian destroyer is part of a NATO mission that began in October.
“But the answer is to have a good, strong government on land,” Admiral Gumiero said. “That’s the only way to end this, for sure.”
The pirates are no fools. LIke many criminals they know how to use the laws to their own advantage.
“They can’t stop us,” said Jama Ali, one of the pirates aboard a Ukrainian freighter packed with weapons that was hijacked in September and was still being held.
He explained how he and his men hid out on a rock near the narrow mouth of the Red Sea and waited for the big grey ships with the guns to pass before pouncing on slow-moving tankers. Even if foreign navies nab some members of his crew, Mr. Jama said, he is not worried. He said his men would probably get no more punishment than a free ride back to the beach, which has happened several times.
“We know international law,” Mr. Jama said.