What would Reagan do?

If he was President and pirates were attacking shipping on the open seas?

sirius-star-ship-001What would Maggie Thatcher do? Heck, what did Thom Jefferson do? But GWB and the Brown Admin in Great Britain look like weaklings.

Most of the captured ships were attacked in the Gulf of Aden, which connects the Red Sea to the Arabian Sea. But the seizure of the Sirius Star, a new ship more than 300 metres long and weighing three times as much as a typical aircraft carrier, took place in unpatrolled waters, hundreds of miles south of Somalia, at a latitude intersecting with Tanzania.

The ship was on course to sail around the Cape of Good Hope to the US when it was seized. The oil on board represents more than a quarter of Saudi Arabia’s daily output. News of the hijacking caused the price of oil to jump by more than $1 a barrel.

The US navy would not comment on a possible rescue operation, saying only that it was evaluating the situation.

A spokesman for the Royal Navy said he could not say whether British servicemen were involved in any attempts to rescue the vessel. “It is our policy not to discuss operational matters,” he said….

The hijacking is likely to send shudders through the shipping industry. Insurance premiums for companies using the Gulf of Aden have soared this year as Somalia leapt to the top of world piracy charts. So lucrative is the crime – a typical western-owned ship can fetch more than £1m – that there are now at least five Somali pirate gangs employing more than 1,000 gunmen, according to the East African Seafarers’ Association in Mombasa.

Between July and September there were 47 attacks off Somalia’s coast, the longest in Africa, and 26 were successful.

The US navy said shipping firms were partly to blame for the hijackings. Vice Admiral Bill Gortney, commander of the combined maritime forces, said 10 out of 15 of the most recent attacks around Somalia involved ships that had ignored the IMB’s advice to stay about 250 miles away from the coast or had failed to employ security guards on board….



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