Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bugi Men I.

This is coolbert:


Believe me, it will all come together!

The most recent edition of the National Geographic has an excellent article entitled, "Malacca Strait Pirates".

"Modern pirates have long plagued Southeast Asia’s Strait of Malacca, robbing sailors, kidnapping crews, and stealing entire ships."

Malacca, the strategic choke-point between Malaya and Indonesia, has been the subject of a prior blog entry. A part of the world that has regained a pre-eminent status as a place of maritime trade AND piracy. With regard to the latter, a plague of historic proportions is once again manifesting itself. Piracy has been "popular" in these waters for centuries, perhaps even millenia!

It was once said of the ruler of Malacca:

"it's ruler - - "had his hand on the throat of Venice"!!

"Malacca - - founded around the year 1400 by a refugee Sumatran Prince. A city that controlled to a large extent the spice trade between Asia and Europe. Spices greatly desired by Europeans and for which they [the Europeans] were totally dependent upon Arab and Venetian traders."

Currently, through the Strait of Malacca pass:

* 1/5th of all seaborne trade passes through the Strait of Malacca.

* 1/3rd of the world's crude oil shipments [natural gas too!!].

Pirates taking on three incarnations:

* Multi-National syndicates.

* Gangs.

* Guerrilla groups [Aceh province/Indonesia].

A very large percentage of the pirate attacks emanate from the Riau Archipelago. Located ONLY SEVEN MILES from downtown Singapore. An archipelago traditionally a staging area for pirate miscreants bent on mayhem!! Has the reputation as a "lawless" area NOT fully under the control of the Indonesian authorities.

Riau-Lingga Archipelago

"Two island groups of Riau province, Indonesia, in the South China Sea south of Singapore . . . Riau-Lingga is comprised of 3,214 islands, of which about 700 are uninhabited . . . . For centuries Riau's significance lay in its location immediately south of the major sea route passing Singapore. The Riau Islands were under the Bugis-influenced Johor sultanate in the 16th century, and during the 18th and 19th centuries were a centre of conflict between Muslim rulers and Dutch and British forces."


[My impression is that Singapore is perhaps the most modern, prosperous, and safe big city in the world!! Can anyone name a place the equal of Singapore?]

Piracy yesterday, today, tomorrow. FOREVER! Piracy that falls into that grey area. Is it a problem that requires a law enforcement response or a military response? Pirates were the TERRORISTS of yesteryear. ANYONE fortunate to get their hands on the villains could deal with them summarily, execution being the norm.




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