12 April 2009

Poetic Justice.

By now you've heard that MV Maersk-Alabama's Captain Richard Phillips is safe, and the pirates dead or captured. Excellent. 
Phillips' rescue ship is the USS Bainbridge. That particular naval destroyer is named for one William Bainbridge. Commodore Bainbridge was a pirate fighter in both the First and Second Barbary Wars. Those wars were fought after the young United States decided that bribing African pirates wasn't nearly as good an idea as putting together a badass navy and just kicking the living shit out of them.
Alas, I don't really expect a bunch of Somali degenerates to appreciate that old-school message in its fullness. 
I do expect that very soon the Somalis will regret their recent embrace of piracy and association with al-Qaeda. A few well-placed late-night missile strikes can encourage much better manners. Ask Muhammar Qaddafi. 
This is not cowboyism. Thirty percent of the world's oil moves by ship past this area, and shipping insurance is already up 10x. It is a virtual certainty that if this nonsense continues unabated, there will be a catastrophe with an oil tanker. 
The answer is not to arm merchant vessels, wait until pirates approach commercial shipping, then hope to prevail in a shootout. The solution is to change these asshole's minds about the wisdom of launching their pirate ships at all.
Technology. We have it. 
They don't.

1 chimed in:

emawkc said...

I agree with you, but I think America, collectively, is a long way from having the testicular fortitude to wage any kind of organized effort against these seafaring terrorists. I could be wrong, but I think it will take a few more pirate attacks and possibly some dead Americans before we do anything like what you describe.