Guest Post by Kevin: 'One-eyed Willy'
The rise of pirates has been on the increase since 2007. In fact, AP stated that the number of ships captured in 2008 is the highest numbers since the pirating days in the Caribbean. How should the United States interact in our international waters over this issue? The US currently is leading the effort to help secure ships off the cost of Africa. Currently we have less then 200 ships flying with a US flag in international waters. US law says that a ship with a US flag has to have a 100% US crew, unlike most other countries just requiring the captain. Another law says any ship that is carrying US aid has to fly the US flag, which accounts for more then half of the 200 US cargo ships. Is it the responsibility of the US to help protect our cargo even if it’s not flying the US flag or should we back down and let other countries handle this issue? Statistics show that funding for the ransom of these ships helps fund gorilla’s that cause mass ethnic cleansing in Africa, not the Middle East. Currently, one US ship was taken over on Thursday 04/08/09, which is the first US ship of the year. Out of the all this ships taken last year and this year, currently this is the only crew that reclaimed control. With that said, the pirates are holding out with the captain as two Navy destroyers and a drone are inbound. The United States government does not accept ransoms or negotiate with terrorists, so this could be a stand off. So what are your thoughts?