Apr 11 2009
Could it be that he doesn’t want to offend his Muslim brothers, the Somali Pirates? Or maybe he feels that an American show of military force would be as barbaric as letting the military put terrorists on trial. Then again, he probably feels that the poor Muslim pirates have a right to steal from the rich infidels. These pirates have seen all this before – Jimmy Carter and the Iran hostages. Bill Clinton and the Marines in Mogadishu.
UPDATES: NAIROBI, April 11 (Reuters) – Pirates captured a U.S.-owned and Italian-flagged tugboat with 16 crew including 10 Italians on Saturday in the latest hijacking in the busy Gulf of Aden.
(CNN) — A French hostage and two pirates died Friday in a rescue operation off Somalia. Four hostages, including a child, were freed from the hijacked yacht after almost a week of captivity, Nicolas Sarkozy’s office said.
(NY TIMES) WTF? Negotiations Break Down in Standoff With Pirates- Negotiations over the American captain taken hostage by Somali pirates broke down on Saturday, according to Somali officials, after American officials insisted that the pirates be arrested and a group of elders representing the pirates refused. The negotiations broke down hours after the pirates fired on a small US Navy vessel that had tried to approach the lifeboat not long after sunrise Saturday in the Indian Ocean. It was the first such approach since the standoff began on Wednesday, and the vessel returned to a nearby Navy destroyer, the Bainbridge, after the pirates fired warning shots in the air, according to an American military official. The American boat did not return fire and “did not want to escalate the situation,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
What has happened to what was once the most powerful Navy in the world? During his presidency, Theodore Roosevelt displayed American Naval power openly so that pirates and petty dictators would fear to attack us. The U.S. Navy was created in the early 1800’s to combat the Barbary pirates that were attacking our merchant ships from North Africa. These were MUSLIM pirates, just as the pirates from Somalia who are attacking our vessels today are MUSLIM pirates. Back then we had real statesmen who were willing to take real action. Today we have Hillary Clinton, who isn’t demanding the release of the captain or threatening to use the full force of the U.S. military to wipe them off the face of the earth. Instead she’s giggling while saying we are going to partner up with other countries in order to stop the problem.
Democratic strategist Doug Schoen, who worked in the Clinton White House, said about the crisis, “It’s an annoyance and a distraction.” (Gee wouldn’t wanna bother Obama with something so trivial, after all, he’s busy flying in a special pizza chef for a White house pizza party, while still dodging questions on the hostage crisis.)
In 1804 President Thomas Jefferson refused to pay 20% of the US national budget as tribute to Barbary pirates. Instead he chose to build a strong naval task force, equip it with a strong contingent of Navy sailors and Marines, and deploy it to take out the pirates where they lived. The U.S. military did just that – and in the process defined the strength and resolve of America in our nation’s early history.
The problem today is that we have refused to take the Jefferson model. We’ve confined our anti-piracy efforts to the open seas and left the pirates’ home bases on land as a sanctuary. So the pirates continue to operate with relative freedom and stealth. Even worse, our allies respond to pirate hijacking by paying heavy ransoms. Will we do that too? Already we are negotiating with terrorists, a policy which is to be greatly expanded under Obama’s administration.
The Jefferson model was better as was Teddy Roosevelt’s “Walk softly and carry a big stick.”