President George W. Bush, angry that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been pictured on Where is Sam Damon? modeling his new моряк fashion line, donned a flight suit, commandeered a Navy S-3B Viking that he last flew in 2003 (no F-102s were available), and flew to the Somali port of Hobyo today. The president made a tailhook landing and moments after, wearing his green flight suit and holding a white helmet, got off the plane, saluted those on the flight deck and shook hands with them. Above him, the tower was adorned with a big sign that read, "Mission Accomplished."
"I figured since Congress won't be back in session to fix the economy until Thursday, I might as well take a joyride. Who knew there was a New Year in January AND September?! Anyhow, I just wanted to tell y'all, 'The War on Piracy' has been a success!" Bush exclaimed addressing the sailors on board the aircraft carrier guarding the hijacked Ukrainian ship. "Major combat operations against pirates are over!"
Below is an excerpt from the actual article from The Washington Post:
The U.S. Navy on Monday strengthened its force of warships standing watch over a hijacked Ukrainian-operated vessel off Somalia, intent on ensuring that the pirates holding the vessel do not unload its cargo of 33 Soviet-designed T-72 tanks and other arms, a U.S. Navy spokesman said.
The United States has deployed "several" warships off Somalia, Lt. Nathan Christensen, spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, said by telephone from Bahrain. The Navy initially assigned only the USS Howard, a guided-missile destroyer, to trail the Faina after Somali pirates hijacked it Thursday.
The hijacked ship was within a few miles of the Somali port of Hobyo, and within sight of the American sailors, he said. The U.S. crews would maintain "a vigilant, visual watch," Christensen said. "We're deeply concerned about the cargo, and we don't want it to go into the wrong hands," he said....
Russia, which had already pledged to deploy its navy to combat increased hijackings by Somali pirates, said Friday it would send a Russian warship to deal with the hijacked Ukranian vessel.
"In a situation in which the lives of Russian citizens could be in danger, the navy reserves the right to act on its own," Russian navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said last week.
The Russian military said the warship was in the Baltic Sea at the time of its deployment order, meaning it would take days to reach the scene. Christensen said that delay helped prompt the U.S. Navy to deploy its own ships.
Somali pirates have launched what the International Maritime Bureau calls the greatest surge of piracy in modern times. The pirates have attacked more than 60 ships this year off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. The Gulf of Aden leads to the Suez Canal and is the main shipping route from Asia and the Middle East to Europe.
The Somali pirates typically demand more than $1 million per vessel in ransom. Negotiations between pirates and shipowners have taken months at times, with the hijacked crews held captive in Somalia until an agreement is reached.