Monday, April 13, 2009

Now What? Or, Is There An Answer to the Pirate Problem

Nope, not the Johnny Depp type.
Yesterday, Richard Philips, captain of the Maersk Alabama, was rescued from Somalian pirates by US Navy Seals. After five days of negotiations and an escape attempt by Captain Philips, President Obama authorized deadly force if Philip's life was believed in danger. The Seal sharpshooters saw that he'd been bound with an AK-47 aimed at his back. The order was given, and they dispached three of the four pirates. The fourth was taken into custody by the Navy.
Desparation has contaminated the Gulf of Aiden, rendering it unsafe for travel. Somailia has plummeted into an anarchist mess, no government, no justice system, no way to care for their own amid the grinding poverty. Driven by desparation, pirates have acheived the status held by rock stars in the rest of the world. Did the pirates know or care that the Alabama was bringing humanitarian aid to Mogadishu? We'll never know.
The desparate circumstances did not grant the privilige of their actions and opens the question of what justice is in these affairs. There is no just cause to march in and impose a US-style democracy, just as there never was in Iraq. Maybe someday, enough brave souls will be able to reform a government and make Somalia into a country again. Until then, perhaps the question becomes one of security and sanctions.


  1. Hi Fran, You have an intresting blog! Overhere the 'pirate issue' is very discussed too. (I live in northern europe). Some are taken to here in order to be justiced and put into jail. But after their time in prison, they can't be sent 'home'as their country has no central government. So the pirates are forced to ask asilement. These boys are so happy to be in the european prisons! It is so much better than the 'life' they lived in Somalia... Maybe we must see it as helping them?

  2. Hi, Het! Thanks for the compliment.
    It is so sad that prision is a better life than what's going on in Somalia. You might be right that some prision time is a step towards helping them get a better life. I hope someday things turn around in that part of the world and the need for this will disappear.