Pirates? Aarrr, our frigates will fix em! Err… what about context?

When the Indian Navy sunk a Somali “pirate” ship in the Gulf of Eden, the Indian media (including leading journalists) cheered from the sidelines. Nothing like booming guns and gun-toting soldiers to fire up the cockles of journalists. But here is the glitch. What if your reporting is entirely lacking any context and you buy hook, line, and sinker arguments that present the “pirate” problem as an “international” one (with links to terrorism!) that affects trade for us good people. Al Jazeera English’s “Listening Post” show (Dec 12, 2008) covered the media lack of context and the framing of the “pirate problem” as one of barbarism and lack of law and order.  The problem is it is our law, our order, and our selfish national interest (by our I refer to all democratic, capitalist countries) that is responsible for the Somalian crisis. Dr Peter Lehr, lecturer in terrorism studies at the University of St Andrews and editor of Violence at Sea: Piracy in the Age of Global Terrorism, had written in The Guardian (19 Nov 2008):

Another sum is less frequently mentioned: the estimated $300m of fish poached in Somali waters annually by trawlers hailing from nations as far away as Taiwan – or France and Spain, for that matter. (link)

For two decades Somalia has not had a functioning government. Neighbouring oil-rich Arab states couldn’t be bothered to extend development and stability. It is largely the problem of Africa. As Rami G Khouri of Lebanon’s Daily Star argues about the cause of the problem (which nobody is willing to talk about):

The erratic performance of world powers in such cases, whether alternately supporting and attacking regimes in Somalia, willfully sending in foreign troops (including Ethiopian proxies most recently), or ignoring the consequences of such foreign intervention when the state collapses into chaos and criminality. (link)

Watch and enjoy!

Some Indian Media reports:

“Indian Navy foils another attack by Somalian pirates”, TImes of India, Link

“Indian Navy foils Somali pirates hijack bid”, CNN-IBN, Link

Indian Navy foils attack, sinks Somali pirate ship, NDTV, Link

“Indian Navy ship repulses attack by Somali pirates”, Hindustan Times, Link

“Indian Navy sinks Somali pirate ship”, Financial Express, Link

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