An Obligatory Somali Pirate Post. Yarrrrr!
I suspect that I will rarely have a chance to say this over the next four years, but I think Obama did a reasonably good job of handling the Somali pirate crisis.
All the Americans are safe, three pirates are dead, and we have one captured pirate. Personally, I think we should hang the pirate without a trial, dump his body overboard, and go on a massive pirate killing spree in Somalia to show them what’s going to happen every time they take an American.
However, in all fairness, I do have to admit that George Bush probably wouldn’t have gone that route either and it’s entirely possible that this incident will have a deterrent effect.
After all, what’s the ultimate message here? You capture a typical vessel and they pay you ransom. You capture an American vessel and not only do you not get paid, the Navy shows up and kills you.
I don’t think Obama is exactly Thomas Jefferson going toe-to-toe with the Barbary pirates here: it was the most powerful Navy in the world vs. a stranded, out-of-gas lifeboat. Just about the only way we could have lost would have been if Obama foolishly ordered the Navy to stand aside instead of merely allowing them to do their jobs.
Moreover, it’s hard to tell how much of the pirate talk about reprisals is bluster.
“Every country will be treated the way it treats us. In the future, America will be the one mourning and crying,” Abdullahi Lami, one of the pirates holding a Greek ship anchored in the Somali town of Gaan, told The Associated Press on Monday. “We will retaliate (for) the killings of our men.”
I’d like to see Obama publicly let them know that our retaliation for the taking of another American ship would be epic — that would go a long ways towards preventing the taking of another American ship and it might also give some of the nations around the world second thoughts about whether Obama is a soft touch. Unfortunately, that makes so much sense that it’s probably too much to hope for with Obama in charge.