Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A brief note from a changing world

The changing face of piracy
As negotiations started for the release of a Saudi-owned supertanker seized by pirates off Somalia, the Indian Navy said on Wednesday that one of its warships fought a battle at sea with would-be hijackers in the Gulf of Aden, sinking one suspect vessel and forcing the pirates to abandon a second as they fled.(...) Cyrus Mody, of the International Maritime Bureau, which monitors global piracy, said in a telephone interview from London that the shipping industry had been urging stronger naval measures against the pirates’ “mother ships” for some time and would approve of the Indian Navy’s action. “This is the sort of action which should be taken to try to deal with the situation,” he said. Peter Hinchliffe, the marine director of the International Chamber of Shipping in London, said in a separate telephone interview that the Indian Navy’s action “is going to start to bring the message home” to pirates “that the international community really is ranged against them.”(...) This year, at least 92 ships have been attacked in and around the Gulf of Aden, more than triple the number in 2007, according to the International Maritime Bureau. At least 14 of those ships, carrying more than 250 crew members, are still in the control of hijackers. New York Times
David Seaton's News Links
With all the speculations about new presidential appointments, readers may have missed one of those news items that alert the watchful to the arrival of a new era.

An Indian Navy warship has engaged and destroyed a Somali pirate vessel.

Suppressing piracy is perhaps the first job of a standing navy and the ability to keep the sea lanes open for commerce is its fundamental role.

The Indian Navy has taken up "the white man's burden", formerly the exclusive of European empires and on their disappearance, the United States of America.

Much of most of the world's relatively cheerful acquiescence to American military and financial supremacy has always been the guarantee of "law and order" around the world, twenty four times seven, that people thought the US forces provided. Much of the value of the dollar and America's subsequent prosperity is based on the world's trust in that implicit guarantee.

An enormous Saudi oil tanker, the Sirius Star, carrying two million barrels of oil valued at around $100 million to the United States itself has been hijacked off the coast of Somalia. The mastodontic, but overstretched, US Navy itself seems strangely ineffective in this crisis.

People call for the "Seventh Cavalry" and the "Indians" come to the rescue instead.

What could be a clearer sign of a changing world than that?

1 comment:

bailey alexander said...

Well, not to be too contrarian, I just blogged about this. We crossed the Atlantic in 2002, on our own boat, safe waters, to be sure, but they aren't.

That liquid land is large and impossible to police...especially in that part of the world... i love the coast guard, certo, but foreign navies cannot possibly protect.

It's a whole other world out there, gypsies hanging out on surfboards, different set of rules, ways to get power in other ways.....bay/paris