Saturday, April 19, 2014

The REAL Pirates of Somalia -- the truth

Toxicity and environmental abuse is everywhere on our planet -- and right now the poorest are suffering the most.  This film tells of a shocking tragedy we hear nothing about in our mainstream media.  Read the information below -- my comments within it are in red -- and watch the video.  We need to know what is going on in our world, no matter how terrible the information may be. Unless we, as a planetary people, wake up and make drastic changes in our leadership, we are dooming our planet and ourselves. We can't just keep going on with our everyday lives, pretending these horrors don't exist!  Very few seem to have noticed, but we are all on the Titanic together -- and we're going down FAST!

(Video: 23 and a half mins): 

This film charts the shocking events, which 
led to the heretofore unknown phenomenon 
of Somalian Pirates, whose fame was recently 
given the Hollywood treatment, in a film 
starring Tom Hanks.

In the wake of the civil war in Somalia, which
deposed the US-installed puppet dictator of a 
nation whose waters face strategic shipping 
lanes for petroleum carriers exiting the Middle 
Est to ports worldwide, the country did not find
peace but has descended into clan warfare since
1991. The current government cannot even 
control its own capital and Somalia is today 
considered to be the most dangerous country 
on Earth. (And THAT'S saying SOMETHING!)
Fishing ships from various industrialized countries 
in Europe, the US and China then began to take 
advantage of this chaotic situation, practicing a 
kind of fishing labeled I.U.U. Illegal, Undeclared, 
Their incessant and uncontrolled activity, 
employing methods of fishing that are prohibited 
in other regions of the world is depleting the fish 
reserves of a country that lacks the authority and 
resources to protect its coasts. It is estimated that 
the income generated by the illegal fishing amounts 
to more than 450 million dollars, annually. 
Tuna fishing has experienced a vertiginous and 
unsustainable increase in the last 10 years. The 
tuna fleet alone, comprised of Spanish ships, with 
60% of the catch and French ships, with 40%, 
illegally poach in Somalian waters, taking
approximately 500,000 tons of tuna each year. 
They are robbing the local population of its principal 
source of protein, while destroying the local 
fishermen's way of life and their ability to sustain 
themselves, bringing about an intractably hopeless 
situation, without remedy, to a fragile country in 
agony and almost dead from starvation. 

Since 1990, the Somalian community has protested 
repeatedly before the United Nations and before 
many intergovernmental organizations, their 
complaints falling on deaf ears. But the nightmare 
doesn't end there: 

Since the fall of the government in 1991, other ships 
began to appear near the Somalian coast. Their 
activities were more mysterious. The ships would enter 
Somalia's territorial waters, throw barrels into the sea, 
and leave. 

The contents of these barrels remained a mystery 
until the end of 2004 - the year in which a terrible 
tsunami struck Southeast Asia. When the tsunami 
reached Somalia, hundreds of barrels landed on the 
coast and many barrels broke open and began to leak 
upon the beaches. 

The people in the area soon became sick with 
respiratory infections, intestinal hemorrhages, strange 
chemical reactions on the skin and more than 300 
sudden deaths. After a time, babies began to be born 
with severe birth defects. 

Nick Nuttall, spokesman for the United Nations 
environmental program stated that when the barrels 
were broken by the strength of the tsunami, they 
brought to light an appalling activity: Somalia has been 
being used as a dumping ground for toxic wastes since 
the beginning of the '90s and which has continued, 
unabated for 14 years.

The toxic trash is of comprised of several different 
kinds: principally, radioactive uranium and heavy 
metals like cadmium and mercury. There is also 
hospital and industrial waste, chemical wastes and 
other kinds, of which the filmmaker does not wish 
to name, at this time.

The most alarming factor is the dumping of nuclear 
waste. The radioactive waste is killing the Somalian 
people and is totally destroying the oceans. Ahmedou 
Ould Abdallah, The United Nations special representative 
to Somalia declared to Al-Jazeera that dumping of toxic 
wastes continues to take place into the present time. 
The diplomat affirmed that he had reliable information, 
proving that European and Asiatic corporations are 
dumping the chemicals and nuclear wastes on the 
Somalian coasts. The United Nations sent 
representatives to observe the catastrophe and 
without any more thought, the chapter was closed.

So far, there hasn't been a single trial, detention, or 
sentence for the these criminal acts. 

Somalia is a devastated country that is literally 
starving to death, with rich countries flocking in 
to snatch away the fish - and on the way, they 
contaminate the country's waters with toxic and 
nuclear waste: This is the context in which the 
men that some call "pirates" appeared. (Who would
want to eat the tuna caught in such toxic waters? 
Fish is not on my menu at all anymore. ALL fish!)

Being completely defenselessness and undefended, 
some fishermen reacted in a desperate way. They 
began to form alliances of small armed groups and 
using motorboats, they tried to drive away the foreign 
fishing boats and dissuade the ships that dump wastes 
into their waters. 

They call themselves "Volunteer Somalian Coastguard". 
According to a survey, 70% of the Somalian population 
strongly supports this activity as a form of defending the 
country's territorial waters. One of their leaders, Sugule 
Ali, explains their motives: "To put a stop to the illegal 
fishing and the dumping in our waters. We don't consider 
ourselves outlaws of the sea. We consider those who fish 
illegally and dump toxic wastes to be the outlaws."

At first, no one took them seriously. The foreign fishing 
fleets continued to fish with impunity and the toxic waste 
dumping continued - but given that this is happening in a 
country that was armed to the teeth and divided into rival 
groups of current and ex-combatants, soon these groups 
joined the fishermen and this the erstwhile fisherman-based 
"Volunteer Somalian Coastguard" became heavily-armed.

Due to newfound weapons and aided by trained warriors, 
they began to see a lucrative business in the capture of 
these ships by creating the financial need for their rescue. 
As soon as they they began hijacking these these 
malevolent ships, the area began seeing a mass-clearing 
and the foreign fleets. 

The powerful nations saw their lucrative fishing business 
threatened and themselves deprived of their private and
cheap dumping ground for toxic and nuclear wastes. The 
United Nations, which has systematically ignored 
the Somali's complaints, began instead, to listen 
to the countries affected by Somalian "pirates". 

Spain and France, countries with important fishing 
fleets in the area headed the petition for a joint military 
action. This is how "Operation Atlanta" was born The 
mission brought eight battle ships, supply ships and 
surveillance aircrafts. 

Following the failure of the operation, its duration and 
budget was increased, with more than 20 ships and 
1,800 soldiers. The approximate cost for this operation 
to the Spanish government amounts to more than 6 
million euros per month. The cost of the Galician and 
Basque tuna fishermen's private security forces 
amounts to half a million euros per month. The Spanish 
government takes responsibility for half of this cost, 
using the nation's general budget. 

Let's remember the definition of a pirate: They rob 
at sea, taking possession of that which does not 
belong to them. They carry out their actions, 
heavily-armed and on occasion, they have the 
protection of a nation-State 

But...Why do these fleets fish there? Can't they do it in 
their own territorial waters? In their own oceans? No. 
And the reason they can't is terrible: It's been completely 
fished-out. The rich countries have exterminated the 
marine life in their own oceans. The marine ecosystems 
of Europe have been exploited to the limit.  (And now
they are fishing in toxic waters that they continue to
poison with more radioactive waste! Any fish they catch
there must be glowing with toxicity.  What IDIOCY!)

Senegal (also subjected to toxic dumping, along with 
many other African nations) trying to protect its own 
natural resources, stopped renewing its fishing agreements 
with EU counties in 2006 - but it seems impossible to stop 
the European fishing fleets. They mock the law, creating 
fake corporations and buying licenses from other countries 
and flying flags of convenience. One can purchase flags of 
convenience in a few minutes on the Internet for less than 
500 euros. 

In Senegal, fishing boats have ceased to be useful 
for their intended purpose and now they are used to 
transport immigrants, looking for a better future in
European countries. Ironically, they are flocking to 
the very same countries that have plundered their 
futures in their own country. In Somalia, the boats 
can no longer be used for fishing and now they are 
used for piracy. 

The global conference on the Oceans announced that 75% 
of the world's fish reserves have disappeared. The Food 
and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations also 
reported that 80% of the worlds fisheries are over exploited 
and 30% of all marine species are under the biological 
security limit.

Taking all of this into account, many scientific studies 
calculate that in the year 2048 all of the world's fishing 
reserves will have been depleted.