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Thread: More Piracy Near Somalia

  1. #401
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default The US Military fought tooth and nail to avoid taking the PR hit that was Iraq.

    Quote Originally Posted by motorfirebox View Post
    I don't have a lot of experience on the ground, but I do have quite a bit of experience watching CNN.
    Well, okay but TV 'news' served up by the Entertainment industry and fllavored strongly by US domestic politics and ideologies is probably a poor source for decision making information...

    Better to skim the Internet for multiple news reports, preferably competing or conflicting and from several nations -- and give the 'news' time to be corroborated and to gel (first reports are invariably incorrect, some dangerously so) -- then judge veracity, filter for bias and make your own decision.

    Later realize you did the best you could with the information you had at the time but the unknown unknowns gotcha.
    I can't see the US military willingly taking that kind of PR hit, regardless of how the action against the Somalis themselves is viewed.
    Willingly is not an option...

    Speak to the politicians. Your Elected leaders and their appointed minions make those types of decisions. Whether the military wants to do it, is properly trained or equipped to do it is absolutely immaterial to them. Virtually no one in the US Army wanted to go to Iraq...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Well, okay but TV 'news' served up by the Entertainment industry and fllavored strongly by US domestic politics and ideologies is probably a poor source for decision making information...
    Fox=MSNBC=CNN=Propaganda mill. If you must use TV try some of the business news services and check them against WSJ, Bloomberg, FT, The Economist, The Economist Intelligence Unit, 10 K statements, annual reports etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Better to skim the Internet for multiple news reports, preferably competing or conflicting and from several nations -- and give the 'news' time to be corroborated and to gel (first reports are invariably incorrect, some dangerously so) -- then judge veracity, filter for bias and make your own decision.
    Learned that one here Sensei...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Virtually no one in the US Army wanted to go to Iraq...
    First time out I certainly did, second time not so much

    Both experiences were very, very, educational however...priceless actually...not something that can be learned from a TV, a periodical, or a book.

    Hey Motorfirebox, get up off the couch/seat and enter the arena....USMC, US Army, DoS, USAID, IC, NGO, or Corporate...there are a bunch of choices....
    Sapere Aude

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Not sure where you're going now. What do you mean by "the military is actually doing what it's supposed to do" ?
    Pretty much this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    We break things and kill people at the behest of those that can't and won't
    Whatever I think of the situation in Somalia, it is--I agree--the military's role to break things and kill people when instructed. As incidents like that ridiculous "Collateral Murder" video show, it's becoming difficult to do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    I can't make the distinction simply because the public is now paying more attention than before. We knew it was happening in the 80s & 90s, we reported our findings in the 80s & 90s, and we got to answer "congressional letters" in the 80s & 90s. Not sure who exactly was looking the other way then and/or now
    The public's attention is an important distinction. It's important because we're a voting public, and unpopular military action subtracts votes from the guys who ordered it. If a tree falls on a hostage in Somalia and Anderson Cooper isn't around to furrow his brow, does anybody lose an election?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Well, okay but TV 'news' served up by the Entertainment industry and fllavored strongly by US domestic politics and ideologies is probably a poor source for decision making information...

    Better to skim the Internet for multiple news reports, preferably competing or conflicting and from several nations -- and give the 'news' time to be corroborated and to gel (first reports are invariably incorrect, some dangerously so) -- then judge veracity, filter for bias and make your own decision.
    CNN is useful to me as an indicator of what the public at large is interested in. For actual news, I get my hands dirty digging.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Speak to the politicians. Your Elected leaders and their appointed minions make those types of decisions. Whether the military wants to do it, is properly trained or equipped to do it is absolutely immaterial to them. Virtually no one in the US Army wanted to go to Iraq...
    Er, yeah, I said "military" when I meant those who make the decisions on where to send it.

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    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Question Listenin and learnin on this one,

    But do have one question for the gallery. Would it be illogical to presume that if the Supply of new Hostages were to be "discontinued" through efforts focused on the supply chain (Boats/M-Ships/Docks) it doesn't necessarily mean greater danger to those already in custody.

    May just be me but wouldn't that make the limited supply of money-makers they already have more valuable to keep around in order to get the ransoms?


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  5. #405
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Politicans lead the world...

    in strange and wobdrous ways...
    Quote Originally Posted by motorfirebox View Post
    The public's attention is an important distinction. It's important because we're a voting public, and unpopular military action subtracts votes from the guys who ordered it.
    Really? Roosevelt tricking us into WW II, Nixon in Viet Nam, Clinton in Somalia and Bush in Iraq and the reelections of all to a subsequent second (or third) term during unpopular wars (yes even the great crusade of WW II was questioned by many...) would seem to make that a statement that is at best questionable...
    CNN is useful to me as an indicator of what the public at large is interested in. For actual news, I get my hands dirty digging.
    In reverse order, good. My experience and observation has been that most of the TV news is seen as flaky at best. I'm old and I'm sure many say things to me differently that they would talking to a younger person but I sure don't see much stock put in any of the TV news by most Americans...
    Er, yeah, I said "military" when I meant those who make the decisions on where to send it.
    That's a rather important distinction. Many do not make it. Which leads to confusion in some, particularly the aforesaid politicians...

  6. #406
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Good catch...

    Quote Originally Posted by Surferbeetle View Post
    First time out I certainly did, second time not so much

    Both experiences were very, very, educational however...priceless actually...not something that can be learned from a TV, a periodical, or a book.
    My written short cuts as opposed to shorthand strike again.

    Ya got me. Many in the Army were more than willing to go, eager to do what they got paid for. However, the institutional Army, the upper heirarchy, tried to stall, obfuscate and screw with Rumsfeld and Bush 43 and not go much as they had screwed with Cohen and Clinton over tanks and
    Apaches into Bosnia early on. The Army was successful at bumfoozling and stalling the latter two folks; not so with the Bush 43 admin.

  7. #407
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    In the end it would have little to do with how many pirates were killed, rather, how swift and brutal a blow was dealt. Whatever was left behind would be scarfed up by the locals. Sounds terrible, I know, but that's how things are typically done and for some strange reason with no immediate remorse or threats of payback.
    I've been thinking about your last sentence above and I wonder if it has to do with kicking the fruit tree. A cop or official would push for a shakedown as hard as he could but if he didn't get anything he mostly wouldn't hold it against you and would probably wave at you the next time he saw you. That always puzzled me until they told me the story of the fruit tree. When you go by a fruit tree, you kick it just to see if some fruit would fall. If it didn't you went on your way. You didn't hold it against the tree. Us mundeles were the tree.

    Maybe a part of the story they didn't tell was if your buddy kicks the tree and a coconut falls on his head and kills him, you don't hold it against the tree, you just take his stuff and go your way.

    Stan I know you know the story but maybe some others don't and I like to tell it because it is a great story.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Stan I know you know the story but maybe some others don't and I like to tell it because it is a great story.
    Hey Carl,
    Yep, it is a good story !

    I used to enjoy the Zairois version better... Sit under the fruit tree and wait for the fruit to drop on your head. No reason to work at it
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  9. #409
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Humphrey View Post
    But do have one question for the gallery. Would it be illogical to presume that if the Supply of new Hostages were to be "discontinued" through efforts focused on the supply chain (Boats/M-Ships/Docks) it doesn't necessarily mean greater danger to those already in custody.

    May just be me but wouldn't that make the limited supply of money-makers they already have more valuable to keep around in order to get the ransoms?


    (back to the cheap seats)
    Hey Ron,
    Was just listening to the morning news about a Danish vessel being taken on the 24th with two teenage kids on board and said the same thing to myself (yet again). Turn off the pipeline or begin escort duties while what they do have (some 700 hostages) dwindles down. In the meantime, no ransom payments either.

    Then, while they're in a total state of frustration we sweep in turning off the flow of weapons and ammo, food and supplies. As JMA pointed out, it shouldn't be too hard to identify all the luxury SUVs among all the other Somali SUVs out there Then there's always the tell tale hints -- air conditioned sea containers

    EDIT: Link to Danish Sailboat and this intelligent quote

    Most hostages captured in the pirate-infested waters off East Africa are professional sailors, not families. Pirates are not known to have captured children before.
    So much for that being a safe bet !
    Last edited by Stan; 03-01-2011 at 05:46 AM.
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  10. #410
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surferbeetle View Post
    ... get up off the couch/seat and enter the arena....USMC, US Army, DoS, USAID, IC, NGO, or Corporate...there are a bunch of choices....
    Hey Steve,
    You went and forgot the Air Force

    And replaced it with DoS
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

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    Quote Originally Posted by motorfirebox View Post
    Heh, well, it has been noted that I lack boots-on-the-ground experience.

    I don't have a lot of experience on the ground, but I do have quite a bit of experience watching CNN. I can't see the US military willingly taking that kind of PR hit, regardless of how the action against the Somalis themselves is viewed.
    Now based on that you jump boots and all into this discussion?????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Roosevelt tricking us into WW II, Nixon in Viet Nam, Clinton in Somalia and Bush in Iraq and the reelections of all to a subsequent second (or third) term during unpopular wars (yes even the great crusade of WW II was questioned by many...) would seem to make that a statement that is at best questionable...
    Well, I did say subtract votes--not automatically lose elections.

    In terms of elections, Bush won his second term before public opinion had fully tipped against the action in Iraq (2005 was the earliest a poll showed a majority--56% of Americans--thought that invading Iraq was a mistake). The Republican Congress in 2006 and McCain in 2008 bore the brunt of that dip in the polls. Operations in Somalia were initiated under Bush I, and when they really went south, Clinton pulled out. Vietnam was far more unpopular in the history books than it was at the time. As for WWII, Roosevelt won his third term more than a year before the US was drawn into the conflict (and spent time on the campaign trail issuing reassurances that the US wouldn't be drawn in); by the time of his fourth term, the Allies were clearly winning.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Now based on that you jump boots and all into this discussion?????
    I've answered this question previously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    As JMA pointed out, it shouldn't be too hard to identify all the luxury SUVs among all the other Somali SUVs out there Then there's always the tell tale hints -- air conditioned sea containers
    Thats where the armed UAVs come in handy

    Whether in Africa or anywhere (note the behaviour of the majority of Lottery winners) poor people who come into lots of money can't resist anything but a vulgar display of conspicuous consumption. Having the money and not being able to flaunt it will simply drive them crazy.
    Last edited by JMA; 03-01-2011 at 06:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Roosevelt tricking us into WW II, Nixon in Viet Nam, Clinton in Somalia and Bush in Iraq and the reelections of all to a subsequent second (or third) term during unpopular wars (yes even the great crusade of WW II was questioned by many...) would seem to make that a statement that is at best questionable...
    IMHO opinion the great WW II crusade was questionable only in so far as the alacrity with which Roosevelt gave half of Europe to the Soviets. Has any historian joined those dots yet?

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    Default The Libyan option

    Stan,

    Do you think any of the "smart" guys at State or the CIA have figured out that one carefully targeted cruise missile on the Gaddafi family compound could bring about a quick resolution to the Libyan problem?

  16. #416
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Default "The Four Policemen"

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    IMHO opinion the great WW II crusade was questionable only in so far as the alacrity with which Roosevelt gave half of Europe to the Soviets. Has any historian joined those dots yet?
    Roosevelt was dead-set against the league of nations and envisioned what he termed "the four policemen" as the basis of post-war global security and stability. He saw the US working with the UK, Russia and Nationalist China in that regard. Needless to say he mis-read Stalin, and the US also put far too much faith in both the stability of the Nationalist Chinese government and the perceptions of the US in that nation as well.

    Even then the US tended to see ourselves as "the other white meat" (to steal a slogan from the pork people). That sure, the Europeans were a bad lot with all of their colonialism, but that we were the good guys. American leadership was shocked in 1949 with Mao prevailed and quickly let us know that he saw us as just one more illegitimate colonial presence/influence to be rid of. (A situation that threw a major monkey wrench into the gears of our fledgling strategy to contain Soviet expansion; leading to an evolution to a much more ideological containment of "communism" as a whole).

    But as influential and bigger than life that FDR was, he did happen to die about a month prior to VE day, so it is probably less than fair to saddle him with full credit for how Europe was divvied up and sorted out over the next year or so. I am sure that Truman at the end of his tenure in office would have gone back and changed some of his early decisions given the chance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    IMHO opinion the great WW II crusade was questionable only in so far as the alacrity with which Roosevelt gave half of Europe to the Soviets. Has any historian joined those dots yet?
    Would that be the half that they were already sitting on at the time? Posession being 9/10 of the law, it hardly seems like it would be necessary to give them what they already had. it's not like the US was going to try to take it away from them.

    And PS:

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Do you think any of the "smart" guys at State or the CIA have figured out that one carefully targeted cruise missile on the Gaddafi family compound could bring about a quick resolution to the Libyan problem?
    We tried that once before, though not with cruise missiles. Didn't get him. Do you really think his location is that clear? That he wouldn't have a few different places to go, and wouldn't be taking some steps to keep his actual location at any given time quiet? He's crazy, yes, but not completely stupid.
    Last edited by Dayuhan; 03-01-2011 at 10:00 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    Would that be the half that they were already sitting on at the time? Posession being 9/10 of the law, it hardly seems like it would be necessary to give them what they already had. it's not like the US was going to try to take it away from them.
    ...and why were they sitting that half of Europe at the end?

    We tried that once before, though not with cruise missiles. Didn't get him. Do you really think his location is that clear? That he wouldn't have a few different places to go, and wouldn't be taking some steps to keep his actual location at any given time quiet? He's crazy, yes, but not completely stupid.
    You are not military trained are you? All that is needed to reach tipping point to make the regime's current secure areas no longer secure... especially for Gaddafi and his family. Put a few million $ on their heads and ask the people to phone/text/SMS in their whereabouts. How long do you think people who have lived most of their lives in absolute luxury will last being constantly on the move and vulnerable to prowling UAVs and available cruise missiles?

    On yes and who will pay? The Libyans themselves and they will think it cheap at the price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Roosevelt was dead-set against the league of nations and envisioned what he termed "the four policemen" as the basis of post-war global security and stability. He saw the US working with the UK, Russia and Nationalist China in that regard. Needless to say he mis-read Stalin, and the US also put far too much faith in both the stability of the Nationalist Chinese government and the perceptions of the US in that nation as well.

    Even then the US tended to see ourselves as "the other white meat" (to steal a slogan from the pork people). That sure, the Europeans were a bad lot with all of their colonialism, but that we were the good guys. American leadership was shocked in 1949 with Mao prevailed and quickly let us know that he saw us as just one more illegitimate colonial presence/influence to be rid of. (A situation that threw a major monkey wrench into the gears of our fledgling strategy to contain Soviet expansion; leading to an evolution to a much more ideological containment of "communism" as a whole).

    But as influential and bigger than life that FDR was, he did happen to die about a month prior to VE day, so it is probably less than fair to saddle him with full credit for how Europe was divvied up and sorted out over the next year or so. I am sure that Truman at the end of his tenure in office would have gone back and changed some of his early decisions given the chance.
    The bottom line is that FDR got it wrong, badly wrong. His illness is not an excuse nor is his arrogance in thinking that he had Stalin all sown up.

    Truman became President just under a month before VE day. At that late stage what was Truman to do?

    No the buck must stop with FDR. He caused more harm and damage to Americans and US interests in the world than 100 Bin Ladens or 1,000 Julian Assanges.

    And yes we have discussed this before somewhere here... the Soviets got the best net gain from WW II.

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    The bottom line is that FDR got it wrong, badly wrong. His illness is not an excuse nor is his arrogance in thinking that he had Stalin all sown up.
    Still can't imagine what you'd have wanted him to do, at least not that he could realistically have done. Easy to judge with hindsight, or as a back seat driver.

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