There is criticism out there about the way that President Obama is handling this hostage situation.Capt. Richard Phillips is being held for ransom by Somali pirates. They have threatened to kill him if the U.S. attacks.And they will make good on their word.
A French hostage was killed after President Sarkozy ordered French forces to attack.Here’s more from the Guardian:
“A French military operation to free a yacht hijacked by Somali pirates backfired yesterday when one of the hostages was killed, highlighting the perils facing US forces trying to free an American seaman being held captive in a parallel pirate standoff.
Despite the rescue of his four fellow hostages, including his three-year-old son, Florent Lemaçon was shot dead on board the Tanit during the raid by elite French forces. Two pirates also died, and three others were taken prisoner, said the French defence minister, Herve Morin.
Standing by the commando-style tactics, the French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s office confirmed “France’s determination not to give into blackmail, and to defeat the pirates“.However, Morin later said that, in a break with usual French policy, a ransom had been offered to the pirates, who hijacked the Tanit last weekend as it sailed towards Zanzibar. He said Sarkozy had given the order to attack after negotiations had broken down and the pirates threatened to execute the hostages.
“Of course we offered all we could offer … we even offered them a ransom,” said Morin, declining to name the sum proposed. “All these things were permanently and consistently refused.” He said France had also suggested “exchanging” Colin, the child, and his mother, Chloe, for an officer, but that had also been rejected.Military sources last night said it was unclear whether Lemaçon, the owner of the yacht, had been killed accidentally or whether he had been murdered.(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here.
Thank God that Captain Richard Phillips is still alive. This “no-nonsense soldier” has shown himself to be a brave hero throughout this whole ordeal. He volunteered to be held hostage in order to save his crew & he attempted to escape. Here’s more on the situation that Capt. Phillips has found himself in from the CapeCod Times:
Reuters is reporting that Somali pirates holding American Capt. Richard Phillips hostage on a lifeboat want $2 million for his release, a fellow pirate onshore told the news service today.
The pirate also told Reuters that other pirates were taking a hijacked German ship, with foreign crew on board, to the area of the lifeboat holding the hostage in the Indian Ocean, watched by U.S. warships.
“Knowing that the Americans will not destroy this German ship and its foreign crew, they (the approaching pirates) hope they can meet their friends on the lifeboat,” said the pirate, who has given reliable information in the past but asked for his name not to be used.
“Our friends (on the lifeboat) hope for $2 million ransom as well as their own safety,” he added.
Earlier today, Phillips, who is being held hostage by four Somali pirates, made a desperate escape but was recaptured after they fired shots. Officials said other pirates sought to reinforce their colleagues by sailing hijacked ships, including the German ship, with other captives aboard to the scene of the standoff.
A Somali in contact with a pirate leader said the captors want a ransom and are ready to kill Phillips, if attacked.
The U.S. was bolstering its force by dispatching other warships to the site off the Horn of Africa, where a U.S. destroyer shadowed the drifting lifeboat carrying Phillips, 53, who graduated from Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 1979. He was taken hostage in the pirates’ failed effort to hijack the cargo ship Maersk Alabama on Wednesday.”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here.
I am glad that the U.S. is trying to reach a peaceful resolution. We want to make sure that this hostage comes home safely. America prays for Capt. Richard Phillips to make it out of this ordeal alive. I wish it could have turned out that way for France.
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