I commented on Craig's post:
Craig, I’m actually amazed at your cold indifference to the plight of the Somalis. I was under the impression you were an opponent of neo-imperialism in Africa.
I agree entirely with Johan van Rooyen, David McKelvie, , opit, Falloch, Dodoze, Courtenay Barnett and George Dutton. Collectively they point out the gaping flaw in your position: i.e. that the lawlessness in Somalia is a direct result of Western manipulation- and elimination- of their government and Western corporate brigandry with respect to illegal exploitation of Somali resources (fisheries and as a dumping ground). There are very good reasons for their resort to “piracy” as you call it or the “Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia” as they would call themselves, as Johann Hari has explained and as the Alternet article linked to by Selma:
“Consider what one pirate told The New York Times after he and his men seized a Ukrainian freighter "loaded with tanks, artillery, grenade launchers and ammunition" last year. "We don't consider ourselves sea bandits," said Sugule Ali:. "We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard."”
Your reply to Leo is just bizarre. You suggest that the US plays by “The Rules” in terms of international treaties and conventions but you yourself have argued that this is frequently not the case. Furthermore, in your reply to Max you seem to brag about how your UNCLOS experience and role as an advisor to African countries gives you credibility to comment on this issue but such a response is a logical fallacy- an "argument from authority" (I'd like you to reference material when possible, too). Also, from my (admittedly limited) knowledge of UNCLOS III, the Somalis have sole exploitation rights over all natural resources and the authority to regulate the freedom of navigation and over flight by foreign states and private vessels.
As the Islamist government (which had virtually eliminated piracy through the application of Sharia) has been removed by the West’s Ethiopian puppets the remaining citizens must surely be entitled to govern themselves and defend their resource legacy on an ad hoc basis? As Johann Hari wrote:
"Did we expect starving Somalians to stand passively on their beaches, paddling in our toxic waste, and watch us snatch their fish to eat in restaurants in London and Paris and Rome?"
Please understand that my only desire is to see this issue debated fairly and with all the facts at hand. I am a great fan of yours.
Oh, cock! I just realised that I forget to state that the Somali rights under UNCLOS III only apply within their EEZ. Tit!
"The Indian Ocean standoff between an $800 million U.S. Navy destroyer and four pirates bobbing in a lifeboat low on fuel showed the limits facing the world's most powerful military."