Friday, April 10, 2009

America's Response Symbolic of New Administration

Somalian pirates have been at it for years. They hail from a land of lawlessness and anarchy, where being a criminal is socially desirable. They operate with impunity. For them, crime pays. A few dozen attacks last year off the Somali coast; a dozen or so this year. There is no end in site to this behavior.

-- Ukrainian ship MV Faina seized on 25 September 2008, held until 5 February 2009
-- Saudi tanker Sirius Star held for two months from November 2008; a $3m ransom was negotiated
-- At least 15 pirate attacks reported to International Maritime Bureau during March 2009
- The 32,500-tonne Malaspina Castle, UK-owned but operated by Italians, seized on 6 April 2009.

The latest ship hijacking, Maersk Alabama, is not something any one should be surprised. It has become an issue here because it is an American ship and a test of the Obama administration ability to deal with serious issues.

With Secretary of State Clinton considering piracy a laughing mater, and saying we need to address this as a global body, it tells me they are unwilling to defend Americans abroad.

It also tells me they are afraid of decisive action. Maersk Alabama Capt Richard Phillips gave them an opening as he jumped overboard. They either were not prepared or they did not have shoot-to-kill orders.

This reeks of an OJ Simpson-like pursuit..."let's just follow and watch these people; we don't want anyone to get hurt."

How will this end? Who knows. But it is not going out on a limb to say that America has become viewed as a limp-wristed nation unwilling to demonstrate leadership and take control over crimes on the sea. It is sad when French action to rescue a French-owned vessel from pirates upstages America. Obama just sits idly in his garden living in la-la land.

It would be a waste of money and military resources to insist upon escorts for these ships. These ships on commerce or humanitarian missions need to arm and defend themselves.

It is a show of the times that people are afraid or unwilling to defend their freedom and personal rights. We know that the federal government will not defend us in our time of need.

If I were the Captain, I would have a "killem all" attitude; and if I go down also, so be it. I think he might just be that kind of man.

Update 4/14/09: Navy Seals to the rescue; three dead pirates, one in custody; safe captain.

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