Thursday, November 20, 2008

Aaaar Me Hearties! It Ain't As Cool As You Think It Is.

Holy crap, it's late and I have a deadline...another speaking engagement tonight, but this one had a two-hour lodge-type-meeting-thingy attached to it. Oh, and it was an hour away. And I hadn't even remotely thought of anything to post about.

So here I am watching The Daily Show make fun of the whole pirate situation in the Gulf of Aden. Wish I had the time and inclination to really write what I think...but instead I'll go quick and dirty with gaping holes.

Piracy = increased danger to merchant shipping = fewer seamen hire on and higher maritime insurance rates and ships taking longer routes.

Means shipping companies pay lots more money to transport goods.

Since 90% of world trade travels by sea means YOU PAY MORE for shit.

Navy can only do so much - history shows piracy is defeated ON LAND.

No land forces really available. Europe won't go. Somalia a shithole and festering with extremism as it is - if all you did was carpet bomb Harradera and send in the Marines (again, if you had any to spare) you'd only make more angry pirates willing to ally with extremists.

But you can't let the f**kers get away with it.

Sooooo, we (and by we I mean everyone, not just the US) need to figure out a way to:

1. Get rid of the pirates.

2. Get rid of extremists while keeping new ones from popping up.

3. Improve socioeconomic conditions (really helps with number 2).

Oh...and do them all in tandem...

Sound hard?

It is. It's a vast oversimplification, too.

But unf**king Africa is at least as important to our long term security as the Middle East.

We have some (thousands) already there, working on number 3. But that's just one prong.

Too tired to be more lucid. Like I said, big holes. Just hit post already.


MRMacrum said...

"From the Halls of Montezuma
To the Shores of Tripoli"

Seems there is really nothing new under the Sun. Like any criminal enterprise, Piracy will never be completely eradicated. It can be beaten back, but as long as ships sail the seas, they will be targeted by somebody.

Contrary to the popular image carefully constructed through fiction and the silver screen, pirates are low life criminals with absolutely no redeeming qualities. That some of them are seen as heroes depending on the perspective does not diminish the fact that they do evil things. People die. The property of others is taken and/or destroyed.

Your suggestions are sound and one could say an obvious common sense approach. But when was the last time common sense and international policy went hand in hand? It's the economics, the what are they doing for us now? This hijacking of $100 million dollars worth of oil may have been the dumbest thing those flounders ever did. You can kill your neighbors, starve you neighbors, or steal from your neighbors. But do not steal from us. Bonehead move on their part.

Dawn on MDI said...

Crummy is right on this, but I see a deeper solution to the problem in peace and justice work. People who are well-fed, self-sufficient, and secure are far less likely to take to piracy as a career option. If we work to stabilize the economies and the governments (no small task, I know!) we will have greater long-term impact than if we just send gunships and Coasties to try and rout 'em out. That's like killing rats in a barn without plugging the holes. Sure, it keeps everybody busy, but until we plug the holes, the rats will keep coming in. Providing/assisting in economic and political security will go far toward that goal.

MRMacrum said...

Certainly the long term solution is to help raise them up to stand on their own. Reality though is the West is beset with and led by historically short term thinking. The Western reaction(including whoever the Saudi's hire/find to do their dirty work) is more likely to be meet violence with violence. Even though historically that very seldom works in the long run.