Pirates are back in the news.
They’re not flying the Jolly Roger, and they’re not off the coast of Somalia this time. And the headline for the story looks strange indeed: “Japanese repel pirate attack”.
According to this AP story in The Australian:
A Japanese bulk carrier foiled a pirate attack yesterday in the Strait of Malacca off Indonesia’s coast, days after two UN-chartered vessels were raided by pirates in the same area.
The attacks raised concerns about a resurgence of piracy in the strait, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and a key link between Asia and Europe.
In the latest attack, pirates travelling on a blue-hulled unlit speedboat off the coast of Indonesia’s Aceh province followed the 26,000-tonne Japanese vessel, and attempted to board it by the stern.
But an alert duty officer raised the alarm.
And how did the Japanese crew fight off the pirates? Rail gun? AK-47s? Flamethrowers? Nope.
The crew turned on floodlights and sprayed the raiders with water from fire hoses, preventing them from boarding.
Smart move — no way to run out of ammunition.
Maybe the raid on the Japanese vessel was a mistake, since their previous targets had been UN ships:
On Sunday night, pirates successfully boarded two UN chartered ships carrying construction material for the reconstruction of the tsunami-hit Aceh province.
Both ships, flying Indonesian flags, had sailed from Belawan in Sumatra and were heading for Aceh when they were attacked and looted.
No injuries were reported among the all-Indonesian crew aboard the two vessels, hired by the UN World Food Program.
The bureaucrats at Turtle Bay could solve the problem in time-honored UN fashion: register the pirates as a new “Non-Governmental Organization” and voilà! No more piracy!
They’d then be officially designated as an “Indigenous Auxiliary Aid-Distribution Partner”, or IAADP, and given the imprimatur of Kofi Annan himself.
Nobody would even notice the difference between that and the usual way of doing business via the UN.
You think I’m joking, but wait and see…