Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Get Some Rope

The 4 American citizens who were aboard the yacht Quest when it was taken by Somali pirates have been gunned down.  U.S. forces, upon hearing the shots, stormed the yacht and captured 13 pirates, in addition to two who were already in custody.

So we have 4 American civilians, who were taken hostage by foreign non-governmental parties in international waters.  After a period of days, these civilians were gunned down in cold blood by their captors.  Several of the captors where killed when the boat was stormed, and more were taken prisoner.

It's time for the U.S. government act like a sovereign nation and not a pewling git.  Because both the Bush and Obama administrations have allowed this festering sore in the Horn of Africa to blossom, U.S. citizens are dead.  Not held hostage, not inconvenienced. Dead.  No appearances on Oprah, no inspirational books about how their faith, or their marriage, or their belief in Great Leader inspired them to carry on.  D.E.A.D.  Due to a lack of a coherant strategy and appropriate response to earlier provocations, I lay their corpses at the feet of our elected representatives of both parties.

The perpetrators should be tried quickly aboard whichever Navy vessel they find themselves on as of today.  If the powers that be feel it is necessary, a military judge, prosecutor, and defense attorney can be dispatched to the fleet and hold a court martial.  Otherwise, I'm pretty sure that the commanding officer of a warship in international waters can convene one with just as much legal weight as if it were held in Hampton Roads.

If found guilty of piracy, which to my understanding means "Was the accused on  the ship without permission of her master and a party to her taking and/or  the killing of her crew?", I suggest that all of the guilty be hung by the neck until dead within sight of their home port, with the event being broadcast live on CNN, Fox, SkyNews, and Al Jazeera.  Any network that refuses to broadcast this warning to barbarians would lose its license to broadcast in the United States.  All of the bottom feeding, cave dwelling, murderous cretins of the world need to know that after we count to 10 more than a few times, bad things happen to bad people.

After that, the president needs to man up and get congressional authorization for a punitive naval expedition against the pirates and their nests.   My idea would be the immediate bombardment, not bombing, of the coastal villages that seem to breed this scum.  A bombing would be too quick.  I think the slow, systematic shelling of every standing structure in the port sends the right message. Nothing shows you care like having a cruiser park outside of RPG range and level the village.

I save the air attack for the ships the pirates already have in their grasp.  My suggestion is to utilize our carrier borne aircraft to sink them where they are found.  The families of the crews, if they are harmed, will be compensated lavishly, as will be the companies or countries that own them.  Just to be generous, we could give the responsible countries a few days to mount their own rescue effort before we create a few new man-made reefs.

After that, the air arm of the Navy should be used to hunt down every Somali craft that can be found in international waters between Africa and India.  These ships should be interdicted and boarded, the crews arrested and returned to Somalia with only the clothes on their back, and the ships sunk.  I'd keep this up until it is safe for the Harvard rowing team to stroke their way from Alexandria to Kuwait.

I'm not looking for a quick pin prick air strike, or the swift snatching up of a few "leaders" for show trials.  I am looking for a brutal, violent, public response to this barbaric act of piracy. 

That's what I truly believe needs to happen.  Here's what I expect the U.S. will do:

That's right.  Absolutely nothing.  President Obama will probably make a statement, possibly show up at a funeral or call someone's family to express condlences, and then go back to his golf or basketball.  More attention will be paid to the whining of public servants in Wisconsin than to the cold blooded murder of our citizens by pirates.  No questions will be asked at press conferences.  Most of the press will stop talking about it the next time a cute kitten shows up on the internet. 

And the problem of piracy in the Indian Ocean will continue.  Piracy appears to be quite lucrative as long as no-one is arming the prey or avenging their taking.  Preying upon the intentionally weak is the pirates business, and business appears to be good.

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