"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

2.03.2010

humanitarian impulse

From The Somaliland Press:
Spokesmen for the so-called “Somali pirates” have expressed willingness to transfer part of their loot captured from transnational boats and send it to Haiti.

Leaders of these groups have declared they have links in various places around the world to help them ensure the delivery of aid without being detected by the armed forces of enemy governments.

The “pirates” typically redistribute a significant portion of their profits among relatives and the local population. In their operations, the “pirates” urge transnational corporations that own the cargo confiscated to pay back in cash as banks can not operate in Somalia.
More analysis on the pirates' announcement is here. Any thoughts on why the word "pirates" is placed in quotes throughout the story?

4 Comments:

Anonymous dickie said...

perhaps it's a bid for legitimacy. we should stop calling them "the pirates" and start calling them "the merry men"

Wednesday, February 03, 2010 7:51:00 AM

 
Anonymous Rachel said...

I'm in the middle of "Shadows of War" by Carolyn Nordstrom, an excellent book in which she demonstrates the immensely blurry line between "legitimate" and "illegitimate." So, the claim that the pirates (or "pirates") have links that can move goods around the world without them being detected by armed forces appears absurd: most likely many of their links are IN those armed forces.

Why? Because there is tremendous money to be made, and the way shadow economies function is through numerous connections to the "open" economy. Of course, it behooves neither side to admit this.

My point is, let's not think the pirates would have to work too hard to make those transfers happen, if they (oddly) wanted to.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010 12:30:00 PM

 
Anonymous zee said...

I wonder if they're going to donate it to I ARRRR C.

Thursday, February 04, 2010 8:28:00 AM

 
Blogger texasinafrica said...

Oh, I hope so!!!

Rachel, I have little doubt that they have a way to launder the money through London and get it to aid victims. I'm working on a pirate research project in which we're arguing that they're looking more and more like a form of governance as time goes by (albeit governance that engages in criminal activity, but there are lots of governments that do that).

Thursday, February 04, 2010 12:22:00 PM

 

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