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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 13, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Standoff with Somali pirates

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Jason R. Zalasky/U.S. Navy via Getty Images

In this handout image supplied by the US Navy, pirates hold the crew of the Chinese fishing vessel FV Tian Yu 8 on Nov. 17, as the ship passes through the Indian Ocean. The ship was attacked Nov. 16 in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility and forced to proceed to an anchorage off the Somali coast.

Bravo for successful rescue

Editor, The Times:

God bless America and the U.S. Navy SEALs for what can only be considered a stone-cold success [“How Navy snipers saved captain,” page one, April 13] and the best Easter Day present this U.S. Navy veteran could hope for.

To those who doubted the resolve of the current Democratic administration, take note: While they may speak softly, they still carry a big stick/paddle/oar.

Capt. Richard Phillips, you epitomize the spirit of American seamen worldwide by placing yourself in harm’s way in order to save your ship and crew. “Bravo Zulu,” and thank you for a job well done.

— Thom Nelson, Newport, Ore.

All vessels need armed escorts

The latest hijackings and hostage-taking by the Somali pirates lead me to ask: Why have the commercial, trading nations handled the Somali pirates with kid gloves instead of treating them as, well — pirates?

Why have they not insisted that all vessels be in convoys escorted by armed naval vessels? Why have they not armed the merchant vessels and provided them with armed military personnel? Why have they not shot out of the water any Somali boat that came close to any of our vessels?

I think it is time for organized, concerted action by all the countries involved.

— Donald Dorres, Burien

Time for pre-emptive action against pirates

The best-chance trigger of something decisive being done about the 17th-century piracy revival off the Somalia coast has finally been activated — Americans have been captured. Decisive action will hopefully result.

A full-frontal, pre-emptive assault against these pirates is needed, not half-baked, tentative, selective response action whenever a ship has been taken over. The economic loss alone justifies full employment of an organized, tactical and dedicated response to ensure the eradication of these floating vermin.

Besides, it’s embarrassing to have a ship the size of a small village captured by seven undernourished men in rags on a dinghy.

— Michael E. White, Burbank, Calif.

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