Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Endings off Somalia: AP Pi**ing in Wind

Captain freed. Mostly dead pirates. A good day. But no matter how good things go, the AP tries to put a negative spin on what goes down. Case in point: "Military crackdown hasn't deterred Somali pirates" put out just 7 hours ago and authored by someone named Lara Jakes. The opening:
"The U.S. military's moves to crack down on high seas piracy have done little to deter the epidemic of ship ransoms that preceded Sunday's Indian Ocean rescue, a top Navy official said Sunday."
Is that what was really 'said'? - Or is that just Lara Jakes' and/or her editors' creative 'interpretation'? The article does provide more insights...
"Despite heightened ocean crackdowns that led to criminal charges against 130 suspected pirates over the last three months,it wasn't having an effect of drawing the number of attempts down," Gortney told reporters during a telephone conference call from Bahrain.
For months, the Navy has sought to prevent or disrupt scores of ship hijackings near the Gulf of Aden. More than 100 ships off the Horn of Africa came under siege in the past year.
Well there you go!, sounds like the AP is just reporting the facts. But... wait a second! What's this?
But as the Navy began focusing on the Gulf of Aden and seeing results, Gortney said, the pirates shifted their activity south into the Indian Ocean. Over the past week, pirates commandeered at least seven new ships, including the Maersk Alabama.
Seeing results? Pirates shifting their activity? No deterrence in effect there eh? Any other info provided?

"As a result of our activity and a lot of Navy presence up in the Gulf of Aden, we saw both attempts and successful attacks go down," Gortney said. "But the last couple of weeks, we saw activity, attempts and successful attacks occur on the east coast of Somalia — where this one did."
So the pirates 1.) changed their behaviors such that we "saw both attempts and successful attacks go down" (i.e. the response we wanted) and 2) are trying something different (which I'm sure we expected them to do...after all, they're just turd-world thugs) . But I guess just stating the obvious isn't doom-laden enough for the AP, at least not as doom-laden as implicating our efforts are bearing no fruit.

BTW: How does the AP rule out the possibility that the last couple of weeks are not just a rough patch on the road to success? Especially since:

"Additional Navy ships also have been sent to the region to patrol for pirates, Gortney said."

Not to mention the pirates knew they screwed up by accidentally attacking an American ship.

Quick! Somebody send AP (and President Obama) a copy of Frederick Leiner's book The End of Barbary Terror, maybe they will catch a clue that success doesn't come in a day or a week.

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