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April 03, 2006

Who Knew Pirates Had PR People?

The WaPo's Emily Wax had an interesting piece following up on the recent string of pirate attacks on shipping off the coast of Somalia. Her article is datelined Mombasa, the Kenyan port city along the Indian Ocean, and the focus is the upcoming trial of a group of pirates captured by the crew of the USS Winston S. Churchill in the course of rescuing the crew of an Indian freighter that had been captured by the Somali pirates.

In her article, Wax refers to the capture last month of a group of Somali pirates who made the mistake of opening fire on two US Navy vessels. Always fair -- at least to those critical of the US -- she includes the pirates' version of the events:

Two U.S. Navy warships returned fire on a group of suspected pirates off the Somali coast last month, killing one suspect and wounding five, according to Cmdr. Jeff Breslau, spokesman for the U.S. Naval Forces Central Force at Bahrain. Ten of the suspects are in U.S. custody at sea, and two are being treated for injuries in an undisclosed country, Breslau said. A spokesman for the pirates has said the Americans fired first, according to news reports. [Emphasis added]

What I want to know is who are these pirate spokespersons? Do they have fax machines to send out press releases? If Wax really wanted to wrie something interesting, she should go to Mogadishu and interview these buccaneer flacks.

(By the way, the Kenyan coast below Mombasa has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The sand is a wonderful, ultra fine, white powder that squeeks underfoot. Unlike most sand, it feels great on your skin, almost like talcum powder. Of course, I was there 25 years ago, so things may have changed somewhat.)

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April 3, 2006 at 12:02 AM | Permalink


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