No, this is not a joke. Just another front/campaign in the global war on terror here;
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (March 18) - Two U.S. Navy warships exchanged gunfire with suspected pirates Saturday off the coast of Somalia, and one suspect was killed and five others were wounded, the navy said.
The suspected pirates were holding what appeared to be rocket-propelled grenade launchers, the navy said. When the suspects began shooting, naval gunners returned fire with mounted machine guns, killing one man and igniting a fire on the vessel.
This is but another in a spate of pirate attacks with links to al qaeda.. Other recent pirate attacks against civilians, cruise ships ;
- In an episode in January, the destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill follows a suspected dhow pirate vessel in the Indian Ocean
- Pirates fired automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at the cruise ship Seabourn Spirit last November 5.
- The Italian cargo ship Jolly Marrone was attacked by pirates as it traveled along the Somali coast last July.
Captain Hook could not be reached for comment.
Two hundred years after American sailors and Marines established their young nation as an international naval power by routing the Barbary Pirates, the U.S. Navy is again chasing outlaws in African waters.
A firefight over the weekend between a ragtag group of pirates and a pair of Norfolk-based warships off the Horn of Africa was the latest in a series of recent engagements in which lightly armed but increasingly bold pirates have challenged U.S. and allied vessels.
Thus began a report by Pilot Online. The American navy won this gun fight which the MSM is not anxious to cover. Why? Becasue it is not only part of Clinton's "cut and run" legacy but because it illustrates what would happen if Bush did as Murtha'ites and Iran's "spiritual leader" Khameini advice and quit Iraq prematurely.
For piracy is just one part of the coin. The Al Qaeda access to Somali harbor on one of navigation's major chock points, is the more vital other. Apparently, a local Al Qaeda representative gives an educational course in enemy ship identification every Thursday evening at the yacht club. It is there that the pirates "kept their 30-foot converted fishing boat, employed five or six days a week for piratical expeditions."
The boat had been upgraded with the addition of a beer cooler, a small compass stolen from a small boat they previously pillaged and a ship-to-shore radio they rigged up themselves. They also had a few walkie-talkies on an al-Qaeda frequency, a few pistols, and a handful of grenades--of which a few crewmembers were said to be excellent hurlers, though none were rumored to be of professional caliber.
The pirates, not completely fearing a run in with any one of the warships they had seen in magazines the al Qaeda representatives had provided for identification purposes, but believing that preparation is a key ingredient to a winning strategy, decided that they had better arm up the old scow for battle. So they began to gather AK-47 rifles, RPD machine guns, ammunition, and just in case they got into a slug fest with one of those dreaded American ships of the line, like the USS Cole, which Osama’s boys had knocked a hole in so easily, they grabbed a few rocket propelled grenades . . .
How important are these clashes? Vice-Admiral Patrick M. Walsh, commander of the Combined Maritime Forces, answers: "al-Qaeda has already attacked ships on busy seas, and attacked vital infrastructure. All attacks in this region have worldwide implications."
And so does Somalia's role in helping Al Qaeda's to evade UN arms embargo at will:
In a report to the Security Council last week, Cesar Mayoral, chairman of the sanctions committee monitoring al Qaeda said: "The lack of central authority in Somalia allows al Qaeda associates there to evade the arms embargo at will."
The report also said "the situation appears to be getting worse, and continued arms embargo violations present a growing threat to international security, both in the region and beyond".
Would you feel safer with another Somalia in Iraq?