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Somali Pirates And The Media Coverage


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You probably won't remember the hijacking of the oil tanker, Sirius Star, back in November. One of the world's largest commercial vessels, carrying a cargo of two million barrels of oil [an estimated value of $100 million] and heading for the U.S. The twenty five crew members included 19 Filipinos, two British citizens, two Poles, one Croatian, and one Saudi national. It's the biggest ship ever to be taken by pirates. Soon after the hijack the story was reported by the mainstream media. It made the news for a few days and was then dropped...until...in January, nearly two months later, the ransom was paid. The ship's owner's, a Saudi company,

$3 million via parachute to the pirates. That's the last time the media covered the story. I never saw any crew interviews later and certainly not with the two Brits being reunited with their families.

Now this week, a container vessel, the Maersk Alabama, flying an American flag with an all American crew was captured by Somali hijackers. The crew managed to retake the ship, but not before the pirates took the captain off and are now holding him for ransom in a lifeboat. This ship is much smaller than the tanker, has a much less valuable cargo [food aid] and has been hijacked nearly five months after the tanker, yet it's all over the news. One American news anchor has called it "...the centre of a high stakes international drama." Within days there have been interviews with families of the crew, photos shown and even the ships owners have set up a crisis hotline. There is a U.S. naval presence on the scene and a report of SF being ready to attempt to take control of the situation.

You would think that the Sirius Star would have been a greater story for the mainstream media, after all the hijackers are holding one man, not twenty five. Yet the Maersk Alabama is more newsworthy in comparison.

Why do you think this second hijack is the bigger story?

DS

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Probably due to the fact that the crew fought back and retook the ship, even without weapons. Also, in the US media due to the fact it is a US flagged ship with a US crew.
There were a few more crew and more hijackers on the tanker. Even if they overwhelmed the crew, considering they dropped the story anyway, it's unlikely the two Brits would have been interviewed after. This Maersk Alabama hijack is all over the maintream media in the U.K. and there aren't any Brits on board. The tanker should still have been the bigger story for the reasons given, including the fact that there's now one hostage, compared to twenty six! It still doesn't make sense.

DS

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I don't know the answer to your question about the media DS, but this whole pirate thing is very strange. It must be a very complex situation, or else it would just be "dealt with" I guess.

I actually never even heard that the ransom had been paid.

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The U.S. (Govt.) has a stated policy of not yielding to the demands of terrorists, pirates, etc., so this current scenario is potentially more dramatic than any of the countless, previous takeovers...none of which BTW were sailing under the Stars and Stripes.

As to the question of the level of coverage the British media is allotting this story I wouldn't know...perhaps it serves to deflect a bit from your recent intelligence SNAFU and terrorist roundup?

The twenty five crew members included 19 Filipinos, two British citizens, two Poles, one Croatian, and one Saudi national.
Your colors are showing, DS.

Rule Britannia.

EDIT: ;)

Edited by NoQuarter
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I think the answer is pretty simple, DS: The ship and crew are American. Why being an American ship makes the situation more 'sensational' is probably up for debate. However, I'd say that the ship being American makes the difference for three reasons:

1 - American interests abroad are targeted less frequently than those of other nations. That may be due to the fact that terrorists know we won't deal with them, or it may be due to the fact that terrorists know that we can pretty much obliterate anyone, any time, any place.

2 - The shock factor, somewhat related to #1. Things like this always happen to 'the other guy'. When something happens to U.S. interests, Americans tend to be somewhat surprised. Partially because we know that the terrorists know that we can (and probably will) utterly destroy them.

3 - The self-serving media. Due to points #1 and #2 above, Americans (and maybe other people) are likely to be very shocked when something like this happens to the U.S.. Seeing an opportunity to get their bile-spewing faces in the bright lights (again), the media seize the chance to perpetuate and exacerbate the story until they've gotten every moment of self-aggrandizing attention and every penny of revenue from the issue. Then they're off to the next opportunity to bleed hearts and twist the truth.

In all likelihood, #3 is the biggest reason.

Edited by Parabellum
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You get to see what they want you to see...not what's important or true.
Very Orwellian of you Saint. :D

Your colors are showing, DS.

Rule Britannia.

EDIT: ;)

That was a quote from the BBC. :P

In all likelihood, #3 is the biggest reason.

Sounds about right.

DS

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Good observation, DS.

There’s a lot happening in that part of the world

Im here in the US and i havent seen or heard nothing about this. Weird i watch the news every night too. I have heard about the tanker one though!

Here’s a bit more regarding the Pirates of Somalia.

(click on the script bellow for image)

The Belize flagged MV Faina is escorted by a Kenyan port authority tug vessel into the port of Mombasa, Kenya on February 12, 2009, after it was released by Somali pirates a week ago. It arrived in Mombasa amid a raging controversy over its cargo of battle tanks and ammunition. While Kenya has always said the shipment was for its armed forces, several experts and diplomats in the region have revealed it was in fact destined to the government of South Sudan and was the fifth delivery of its kind in less than two years.

Soviet made T-72 tanks sit in the hull of the Belize flagged MV Faina on February 13, 2009 at the Mombasa, Kenya harbor where it has been berthed for the last two days.

The crew of the hijacked Ukrainian merchant vessel MV Faina stand on the deck, under the watch of armed Somali pirates after a US Navy request to check on their health and welfare, at sea off the coast of Somalia.

In this photo released by the United States Navy, Somali pirates holding the merchant vessel MV Faina stand on the deck of the ship after a U.S. Navy request to check on the health and welfare of the ship's crew in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia

In this photo provided by the U.S. Navy, ransom money is dropped near the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina while under observation by a U.S. Navy ship February 4, 2009 off the coast of Somalia near Hobyo. Pirates did not leave the ship until February 5.

A parachute dropped by a small aircraft is observed by the U.S. Navy as it drops over the MV Sirius Star during an apparent payment via a parachuted container to pirates holding the Sirius Star off the coast of Somalia. Somali pirates then freed the Saudi supertanker seized in the world's biggest ship hijacking for a $3 million ransom - but five drowned when their boat capsized as they were making off with their share

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I also think it depends on where you live in the US as to how much coverage is received. Up in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, there is the Norfolk Naval Base where ships arew from that are in the area. That is big news for that area.

I don't know how well the hijackings were covered here in the Atlanta area (maybe JoshuaOneSix could let us know) last year with the tanker or the arms ship, but yes, they were covered pretty heavily in Virginia.

I am also with Saint. The media, especially the media here in the US, only tells us what they want us to know and not the truth.

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You would think, if the pirates are in international waters they can be intercepted by anyone from any nation, but if the pirates are within Somalia’s territorial waters, then permission will be needed for a foreign force or country to enter?

It’s just pure speculation on my behalf, but you would think that the pirates must know where the ship will dock, meaning that the ship will eventually need to enter territorial waters of what ever country it needs to enter, by doing so the pirate will have an higher chance of success

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Im here in the US and i havent seen or heard nothing about this. Weird i watch the news every night too. I have heard about the tanker one though!

Here’s a bit more regarding the Pirates of Somalia.

(click on the script bellow for image)

Thanks, i have been looking it up since i seen this. Im just suprised i didn't see this in the news myself! Like WhiteKnight77 said. It might be because of where i live and hasn't really made the news. Or something, best im doing is the internet to find anything on it! Hope you guys keep this updated i would like to know how it ends.

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Good job to the navy seal snipers, the snipers took out the 3 pirates in one action while the hostage was held at gun point whilst in the life boat.

Can you imaging how difficult that is? The lifeboat will be swaying up and down and left to right, so they were certainly no static target, I would assume the snipers were on a destroyer close by, which would also sway and move differently to the lifeboat.

Good job to the NSS, a class act.

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Good job to the navy seal snipers, the snipers took out the 3 pirates in one action while the hostage was held at gun point whilst in the life boat.

Can you imaging how difficult that is? The lifeboat will be swaying up and down and left to right, so they were certainly no static target, I would assume the snipers were on a destroyer close by, which would also sway and move differently to the lifeboat.

I find that hard to figure out at all, how they make a shot like that when on a boat, can anyone explain how it is done?

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Nice to see the Captain free after the buggers threatened to shoot him, but heres another slant on the situation over there.

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread454392/pg1

http://www.benadir-watch.com/2005%20News/0...mping_waste.pdf

while i'm not convinced that kidnapping crews for ransoms is a good idea its always nice to know a bit more about the place.

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I was flipping around the TV last night and came across CNN explaining how they thought it "went down". I can't remember who was talking about this but they were showing footage from the movie Navy SEALS. They were showing the part where they were doing a high altitude jump. The narrator was explaining that they thought it was highly probable that they jumped from a plane doing a HALO jump, then went into the water, then were picked up by small boats from the ships, and then put on the ships and setup sniper positions. It seemed ludicrous to me that they would go to all the effort of doing a HALO jump when they could just fly in by helicopter. I'm guessing this was just the news media trying to make it more dramatic than it really was.

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The captured pirate (arrrrrh :pirate: ) should have been hanged within minutes. What, is he an "alleged" pirate? Could he have been an innocent bystander? Was he just standing there and a real pirate said "here Motumbo, hold this weapon for a minute"?

It must be encouraging knowing if you're captured you'll just be asked a few questions, given a really really strong warning, and sent on your way. Heck he may even win a lawsuit and get his 2 million after all.

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