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Sunday, April 12, 2009

That Would Be Perdicaris Alive, Then…

Wonderful news of Richard Phillips’ rescue solves the equation in that last post--and let’s raise a glass to the SEAL team that went in to secure that rescue.

I do, however think that we still need to work a bit on the “Raisuli dead” side of things. This one incident, where America was provoked directly, won’t end with the pirates realizing that the calculus of piracy has changed much. Unless that cost is one levied for the very act of piracy, for the continued actions against humanity, then they’ll probably just be a bit more careful about whose ships they bother.

In those waters, piracy remains a lucrative and sane business decision where you are far more likely to realize significant monetary gain when you take a ship or its crew. What you aren’t likely to realize is a loss of life, limb, or freedom. Three dead pirates is just (barely) a good start in changing the cost of business to the point where other options seem a far better bet.

Update: And I’d like to second President Obama in praising the heroism and resolve of Captain Phillips. Remarkable man--and his actions are well worth celebrating and holding up as shining examples of what we should all aspire to: selflessness and bravery under the most trying circumstances.

Steve Green has some comments, too. And Michelle Malkin’s take is quite similar. I’d like to know more about the situation, but as of right now I’m holding some of the same thoughts--for those of you who haven’t clicked through, Steve’s summary is particularly apt:

The missing context is this — the might and will of the United States were held hostage, until one brave civilian captain took matters into his own hands. Philips risked his life escaping, and opened the door for the Navy SEALs — who ought to be in the business of kicking doors down.

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If they had kicked the doors down, would Phillips be alive? The ship was in FBI custody and the other crew free. If the purpose was to make the Somali’s pay, they could have blown the raft up, with no point in saving the American’s life.

on Apr 12 2009 @ 08:57 PM

Very probably Phillips would be alive--the SEALs are remarkably good at their jobs--and sitting and waiting certainly has its own dangers. I want life to be protected (primarily American, although pushing back against the terrorists would ultimately protect lives from nations around the world), but I also want the pirates to be punished. I don’t see a conflict between the two goals and I’m thrilled to hear that three of the pirates died.

All that said, I’m not entirely sure that this could have gone any better than it did. In a larger sense, though, I think that there needs to be a concerted effort (call it a second “coalition of the willing") to go on offense against the pirates in these waters. In a larger sense, I’m damned sure I want to see more doors kicked in, more pirates killed, and less money flowing into Somalia because of the violent, criminal acts of a people who have grown to believe that piracy has zero real consequences and the great probability of huge financial gains. Coupled with the recent French action, I’m hopeful that, if you’ll pardon me for saying so, we’re seeing some change that I can believe in.

on Apr 12 2009 @ 09:21 PM
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