Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Insights On Somali Piracy

There's a new book now out in North America, the UK, Australia and the Netherlands that provides one of the most detailed looks ever presented into how piracy operates in the seas off Somalia. "The Pirates Of Somalia" is the result of several years of meticulous research by Canadian journalist Jay Bahadur, who has gone where few others have to explore the issues by immersing himself in things the hard way: He traveled throughout the Horn of Africa. At great risk to himself, Bahadur ventured into coastal communities, met with pirates, their leaders, supporters and those struggling with this nefarious threat. As I wrote in a review for The Globe & Mail newspaper this weekend (read it here), Bahadur manages to get to the core of piracy - the money angle - by using his contacts and research to break down the financial aspects of this criminal enterprise, positing that some of those on the low end of the hierarchical ladder of a gang make less than $11.00 an hour for all their efforts. The book is a fascinating read and a well-needed look into the ongoing problems, well worth checking out.

I've added a link at right (under Horn Of Africa Piracy) to Bahadur's blog, The Pirates Of Puntland, where he has more information about the book, and himself.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Working together

Almost sixty years ago, as the world was being turned upside down in what we now call the Second World War, Canada and the United States of America created one of the best trans-national fighting forces seen in modern times. The First Special Force, or Devil's Brigade as it became known, embodied the best aspects of each nations warriors - and our mutual desires for peace in the face of injustice and anarchy. Two nations that once warred each have become the strongest of friends. Let us argue, amuse and enlighten one another. To my many American friends: Happy 4th of July.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bonne fĂȘte Canada

For those who have missed me, I'm back in my native land. Thoughts and insights will resume shortly. In the meantime, I've my grandfather's old ensign laid out on my deck in honour of our nation's birthday, and a beer in hand. Cheers!