American Elephants

Har, har, har. The Sirius Star is ransomed from the pirates, but the loot ends up in the briny deep along with some of the pirates. by The Elephant's Child
January 10, 2009, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Africa, Developing Nations, Foreign Policy, News, Terrorism

The Sirius Star, the oil-laden Saudi supertanker which was captured by Somali pirates last November 15, has been ransomed.  Its cargo of crude oil was valued at U.S . $100 million at the time.  It has been held ever since with its 25-member crew for ransom.

The U.S. Navy released photos Friday showing a parachute, carrying what was described as “an apparent payment” floating toward the tanker.  Five of the Somali pirates who released the hijacked oil supertanker, drowned while trying to make their escape with their share of the loot.

Pirate Daud Nure said the boat with eight people on board overturned in a storm after dozens of pirates left the ship following a two-month standoff in the Gulf of Aden. Three people reached shore after swimming for several hours.

More than a dozen ships with about 300 crew members are still being held by pirates, including the weapons-laden Ukranian cargo ship MV Faina, which  was seized in September.

The AP notes that “the multimillion dollar ransoms are one of the few ways to earn a living in the impoverished, war ravaged country.  Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991 and  nearly half of its population depends on aid.” Of course AP, as usual, portrays the bad guys as victims.

The Gaza Crisis Explained: by The Elephant's Child

David Gerlenter, writing in the Weekly Standard:

Now, every human being on earth who cares about facts and can tell a lie from a truth knows that there was no such thing as “Palestinian nationalism” until modern Zionism created it out of whole cloth, by placing enormous value on a piece of land that used to seem as precious to its landlords as a rat-ridden empty lot in a burnt-out neighborhood in the middle of nowhere, in the  suburbs of nothing.   The Jews gradually got possession of an arid stony wasteland (where the sun beats, /And the dead tree gives o shelter, the cricket no relief / And the dry stone no sound of water) — complete with the odd picturesque, crumbling, dirty town; and they loved it.  They turned it into a gleaming, thriving modern nation, not only a military but an intellectual powerhouse.  And so it is only natural that the former owners’ descendants want it back, and remember how much their ancestors loved it, and how the new owners only got possession by wickedness and deceit.  Such memories have the strange property of growing clearer instead of cloudier every day.

(before the current war)

Mark Steyn, writing in National Review Online:

In Toronto, anti-Israel demonstrators yell “You are the brothers of pigs!” , and a protester complains to his interviewer that “Hitler didn’t do a good job.”

In Fort Lauderdale, Palestinian supporters sneer at Jews, “You need a big oven, that’s what you need!”

In Amsterdam, the crowd shouts, “Hamas, Hamas! Jews to the gas!”

In Toulouse, a synagogue is firebombed; in Bordeaux, two kosher butchers are attacked; at the Auber RER train station, a Jewish man is savagely assaulted by 20 youths taunting, “Palestine will kill the Jews;” in Villiers-le-Bel, a Jewish schoolgirl is brutally beaten by a gang jeering, “Jews must die.”

The incoming Obama administration has announced that they will open channels for discussion with Hamas.

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