Tuesday, April 14, 2009


How could the Washington Post be publishing this on their front-page? It's taunting, no, gloating, please be in awe of the precesion with which we can create killers? Such good marksmen? We will now glorify our killings of these three men, and luckily for them, they were without their chew? Is this supposed to be patriotism? I don't understand it. They need a full explanation to go along with such a decision.

"Based on those reports, the White House said, the president gave 'the Department of Defense policy guidance and certain authorities to allow U.S. forces to engage in potential emergency actions.'"

Obama ordered the kill?

"In Somalia, in the pirate haven of Harardhere, where locals have benefited from millions of dollars in pirate ransom, the military operation seemed like a bewildering display of force against four errant young men. 'It was wrong to kill those pirates,' said Aisha Gurey, an Arabic teacher. 'The international community is wrong, and the pirates are wrong. But in this case, the strong one has killed the weak one.'"

Monday, April 13, 2009


As the US media's short-sighted and vacillating attention again turns to the Somali pirates, President Obama signaled today that he would like to "halt the rise of piracy."

But any solution (as naive and improbable as that sounds) will have to be grounded in a process that can both stabilize the economy of Somalia and offer viable ways for these militants to make money outside of their ransoms -- neither of which will be solved in the short term, and neither of which will be solved until we decide that these "pirates" are not pirates or killers or terrorists or any other derogatory euphemism that we can use to denigrate them, but, as the Times puts it so aptly: "reckless, money-driven predators akin to the rapacious warlords who have haunted this country since the central government imploded in 1991." Often "blamed for rising food prices, the departure of aid agencies and other ills," these men are the result of an anarchy that the US has distantly watched over the last decade, without a care for their pillaging until our direct interests were involved.

Military (and humanitarian) action at this point seems difficult and improbable, considering the breadth of the pirates' coverage in and around the Horn, their lack of any centralized base, their willingness to threaten any outsiders who approach, and their unwillingness to stop these heinous yet tantalizingly lucrative kidnappings.