Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CBS News in Denial About Piracy

High Seas Piracy Video - CBSNews.com This video aired on November 17th. In it, CBSNews claims that no one has died as a result of piracy. And I can't say if that is true of Somali piracy or not, though I do know people have been injured.

But world-wide, it is certainly the case that piracy costs lives.
A total of 199 incidents were reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) in the first nine months of 2008. The third quarter of 2008 saw reported incidents spike to 83, a significant increase when compared to the 53 reported in the first quarter and the 63 reported in the second quarter. The reported acts of piracy committed to date in 2008 have included 115 vessels boarded, 31 vessels hijacked, and 23 vessels fired upon. A total of 581 crewmembers were taken hostage, nine kidnapped, nine killed and seven missing – presumed dead.
PRC only tracks attacks on merchant shipping. (It is run by the International Chamber of Commerce.) Deaths are also incurred in private vessels.
It has been reported on cruising forums that on Sunday night an American, the captain of the vessel Chill, Ken Peters, was killed by pirates at Isla Borracha [Venezuela] near Puerto La Cruz.
But none of this interests CBSNews.

While they report that ships are being urged to arm and defend themselves, they find an old woman a captain who is scared by the idea of self-defense. No bias here, is there? I mean be reasonable, encouraging people to defend themselves on the evening news? What would the world come to?

If the West is ever to come to terms with piracy, people need to wake up to the reality. And that reality is that you can't pick up the phone and dial 911. In some countries, the authorities are part of the problem.

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