Mar 22, 2006 3:29 pm


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? Because 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 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?

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