We have seen the future, and it sucks.

In the Pirates’ Lair

28th July 2011

Read it.

For years, Somali pirates have been hijacking ships off the coast of Somalia. For years, the United States and what we credulously call “the international community” have not been able to figure out what to do about it. As a result, more and more vessels are being attacked over a widening expanse of ocean; violence is increasing while ransoms rise.

Jay Bahadur, a resourceful 27-year-old Canadian journalist, found this situation irresistible. He made his way to Somalia and did what good journalists do: ask questions — mostly while sipping sweet tea and chewing khat, an intoxicating plant to which an astonishing number of Somalis are addicted. The result: The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World.

7 Responses to “In the Pirates’ Lair”

  1. RealRick Says:

    I didn’t see it in this article, but another article about this same book discussed that the actual pirates don’t get much money. Most of the big ransoms go to their financial backers. Yeah, it’s grown into a real business venture.

  2. Dennis Nagle Says:

    The Invisible Hand at work…I’m sure Ayn Rand would be ecstatic.

    Yes, the pirates themselves get little return for their risk and labor, barely enough to support themselves and their families–not unlike the lowly masses who do the actual work in most industries. It’s the Capitalists who reap the profits. As it should be, according to the best conservative economists.

  3. RealRick Says:

    There you go again, Dennis, doing another PSA for Marxism.

    My point was that despite media portrayal as a handful of starving Africans trying to feed their families, what is going on is a lucrative and organized business. As such, the countries affected by piracy should quit treating individual pirates as desperate victims of poverty. These are not pets that have wandered into the yard; these are vermin that need and deserve to be exterminated. That would include ‘open season’ on the financial backers as well.

    That train of thought brings me to another issue that troubles me: Why is it that this nation’s spooks (NSA/CIA/ETC) can’t seem to follow the advice of the infamous Deep Throat: Follow the money. Since financial records are all on computer systems and since nobody should be better at hacking computer systems than our covert folks, wouldn’t one think that would be a great way to track and interfere with our enemies?

    I’m not sure whether I should be confused or disappointed by that.

  4. Dennis Nagle Says:

    The problem is not that we’re treating them as poor, downtrodden victims, much as you would like that to be the case.

    The problem is we can’t seem to identify them on land or catch them at sea. Today’s newspaper vendor is tonight’s pirate; today’s fishing boat is tonight’s pirate ship.

    I suppose we could just fall back on the simplistic answer: Shoot ’em all and let God sort ’em out. Bomb Mogadishu, and send gunboats into the straits to shoot any small vessels on sight. But that wouldn’t be very American of us, would it?

    We could arm all merchant vessels traversing the straits, but the shipping companies would balk at the expense–and the pirates would just go to bigger boats and more lethal methods.

    As for why our spooks can’t find ’em…well, I’ve been scratching my head over that one, too. Maybe they’re too busy protecting us from rabid Muslim terrorist plots.

  5. Tim of Angle Says:

    Or maybe their hands are tied by a bunch of pussies in Washington. I’m betting on door #2.

  6. Dennis Nagle Says:

    Or maybe they feel they have more important shit to do than chase after a few ass-ragged thugs with guns and motorboats who are irritating but in the Big Picture not really threatening our national interests. We DO have two (and 1/2) wars going on, after all.

  7. RealRick Says:

    It’s exactly what they SHOULD be doing instead of getting involved in that “1/2 war”. It’s exactly what the UN should be doing.