Capt. Phillips' Rescue: Something Fishy Off Somalia

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[Black Star News Editorial]

Something doesn’t add up in the way the U.S. government says the hostage crisis involving captain Richard Phillips ended on the Sea off Somalia on Sunday.

We are happy that Capt. Phillips was rescued unharmed by U.S. Servicemen. Yet, there is a disconnect in the story that the U.S. Navy and the Administration is trying to sell the world.

There has been much crime on the waters off Somalia. By the Somalis and also by Europeans who have been dumping toxic and nuclear wastes off Somalia’s coastline  and stealing millions of dollars worth of fish and shrimps further out at Sea. Hint: news tip for CNN and The New York Times.

With respect to Capt. Phillips’ reported dramatic rescue, consider the following:

The Somali captors of Captain Phillips had already run out of fuel. They had abandoned their own vessel after their failed attempt to seize control of Phillips’ ship. They ended up escaping with the captain as captive, on a lifeboat.

Then they ran out of food. Their lifeboat was then tethered to the U.S. Destroyer with a rope merely 100 feet long. The Somalis had no way out. The captors, in addition to Phillips, had now become hostages; nay, in fact, the captors were the hostages by Sunday.

And yet we are to believe, as the Navy suggests, and CNN and the New York Times and all the other clueless non-critical media accept, that it was at that precise moment, when they had lost their all their bargaining strength, that the Somali captors of Phillips decided that they should kill him, hence necessitating their own demise at the hands of Navy Seals sharpshooters aboard the U.S. Destroyer Bainbridge?

We have a bridge to sell in Alaska.

Once the Somalis lost food, fuel and their ability to escape, they needed Capt. Phillips to be alive more than anything else in the world in order for them to even have a remote chance of staying alive. They needed for Capt. Phillips not even to develop a fever or headache. Any harm to Phillips, the Navy would have allowed the Somalis to drift further away, and then torpedoed their lifeboat.

Capt. Phillips' captors knew that the worse that could happen to them, if they did not kill Phillips, was to be arrested and handed over to the authorities in Kenya for prosecution or shipped to Guantanamo Bay.

Given these cost-benefit analyses –and anyone who knows will tell you that Somalis are one of the shrewdest business people in Africa—it is incredible that the Somalis would have chosen to murder Phillips.

The authorities tell us that a fourth captive had been transferred back to the Destroyer to be treated for the wound he suffered in the aborted attempt to commandeer Phillips’ vessel.  We are told that once on board he started demanding ransom payment. On what basis? What was he using as the bargaining chip? Once on board the Destroyer, it must have been as clear as daylight to the Somali that he and his three comrades had now become the hostages.

Excuse us for not buying the Navy’s story. Our brain tells us there is the smell of a rotten fish somewhere.

Many people will conclude that Capt. Phillips’ captors got what they deserved.

Yet, by killing Capt. Phillips’ captors, if indeed, they had already been neutralized by circumstances, might the Navy not have just escalated the situation?

There has already been a fresh attack on a US flagged ship. This time the Somalis came with rocket-propelled grenades blazing. Fortunately, no one was harmed. What will tomorrow yield?

At the end of the day, the only solution is for a multi-national task force to police the waters off Somalia from all pirates—those from Somalia and those from Europe dumping killers wastes on Somalia’s shores and stealing its fish after having depleted their own waters in Europe of fish.

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