Somalia = Modern Tortola

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, continuing the pirate theme of some previous posts, sees this little tidbit on the news wires: Somali pirates transform villages into boomtowns. From the piece:

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somalia’s increasingly brazen pirates are building sprawling stone houses, cruising in luxury cars, marrying beautiful women — even hiring caterers to prepare Western-style food for their hostages.

These boomtowns are all the more shocking in light of Somalia’s violence and poverty: Radical Islamists control most of the country’s south, meting out lashings and stonings for accused criminals. There has been no effective central government in nearly 20 years, plunging this arid African country into chaos.

But in northern coastal towns like Haradhere, Eyl and Bossaso, the pirate economy is thriving thanks to the money pouring in from pirate ransoms that have reached $30 million this year alone.

“There are more shops and business is booming because of the piracy,” said Sugule Dahir, who runs a clothing shop in Eyl. “Internet cafes and telephone shops have opened, and people are just happier than before.”

In Haradhere, residents came out in droves to celebrate as the looming oil ship came into focus this week off the country’s lawless coast.

Businessmen gathered cigarettes, food and cold bottles of orange soda, setting up kiosks for the pirates who come to shore to resupply almost daily.

Dahir said she even started a layaway plan for them.

“They always take things without paying and we put them into the book of debts,” she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “Later, when they get the ransom money, they pay us a lot.”

Residents make sure the pirates are well-stocked in khat, a popular narcotic leaf, and aren’t afraid to gouge a bit when it comes to the pirates’ deep pockets.

“I can buy a packet of cigarettes for about $1 but I will charge the pirate $1.30,” said Abdulqadir Omar, an Eyl resident.

While pirate villages used to have houses made of corrugated iron sheets, now, there are stately looking homes made of sturdy, white stones.

“Regardless of how the money is coming in, legally or illegally, I can say it has started a life in our town,” said Shamso Moalim, a 36-year-old mother of five in Haradhere.

“Our children are not worrying about food now, and they go to Islamic schools in the morning and play soccer in the afternoon. They are happy.”

The attackers generally treat their hostages well in anticipation of a big payday, hiring caterers on shore to cook spaghetti, grilled fish and roasted meat that will appeal to Western palates.

Your Maximum Leader feels for the poor people of these coastal Somalian towns. He feels that they will just have to suffer as civilized nations combat piracy in the Indian Ocean. Your Maximum Leader suggests that the people profiting off the pirates make all the money they can and then get the hell out of Somalia. Piracy is not a viable long-term way of moving out of poverty and disorder.

Here is a question for ye… To eliminate the problem do you attack the pirates in their villages ashore? Noodle that one for a little bit.

Carry on.

Fear and Loathing in Georgetown said:

As I’ve said before:
The Naval Aristocracy of Hellenistic Rhodes would have taken care of this lickity-split. Sure, this would have required construction of the Suez Canal or bringing their ships overland to fight pirates that posed no threat to their commerce or security, but I like to believe they would have done it out of sense of adventure and honor.

So, all we have to do is resurrect a long dead naval power, give them ships, and then sit back and allow them to take care of the rest.

I think this is the best plan given that Port Royal and Tortuga are armed to the teeth.

International Maritime Law. So many years ago I was counseled that it was the next Big Thing.

Who knew?

maggie said:

Does anyone remember how this infant country dealt with the Barbery Pirates? I am sure with our carriers, battleships, etc.that we could on our own or in concert with India, Britian, whoever turn the new Tortola into cinders, and all their flying monkeys, too. But do we have the WILL?

Huck Foley, groveling minion said:

“To eliminate the problem do you attack the pirates in their villages ashore?”

No. You sell some warships and helos to the Saudis, or India, or whoever has suffered the most pirate depredations, and is the most pissed off at them, and you let THEM attack the villages.
Oh! And keep the Royal Navy out of it, because the parody version of it that exists in this sad century (a) takes prisoners, and (b) grants them asylum. That’s no way to fight piracy, lads. I think the Indians have a better approach; they allegedly do neither of those things.

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