Pretty bizarre. Predictably Obama turning into Carter II, although folks who get their info from most major media outlets probably think he knows what he's doing and will continue to think so for some time.
---------------------------------------------------------- The FBI is preparing criminal charges against the Somalian pirates. This is reassuring too: "[O]ur Justice Department has said that it would favorably consider prosecuting such apprehended pirates." That's kind of them.
Of course, there is ample precedent for such criminal prosecutions. When Jefferson dispatched the Navy to the Mediterranean to stop Muslim pirates from enslaving Americans and others, he told them to make sure to bring the pirates back alive so they could stand trial. And above all, he instructed the Navy not to step foot on the Shores of Tripoli without a search warrant.
This is what happens, I suppose, when you have lawyers running everything. National defense becomes just another type of litigation. Let's hope this isn't a harbinger of the Obama administration's approach to the problem of piracy.
UPDATE: Negotiations with the pirates reportedly have broken down, and the FBI is treating the hijacked ship, the Maersk Alabama, as a "crime scene." That's what they did with the Arizona, right?
The general strategic thinking on dealing with pirates seems wrong. Instead of the military going ater the pirates , they should let the pirates come to them.
Send ships that look like ordinary merchant or pleasure vessels into pirate infested waters and crew them with heavily armed military. When the pirates attempt to take over these ships, eliminate them. Eventually pirates will wonder whether that innocuous looking ship they are thinking about boarding is a prize which will bring a big ransom or certain death.
It's like training an animal. World shipping lanes must be kept free or this pirate plague will spread.
Now if your family was starving to death at home, in a country that has fallen into anarchy through internal conflict and external opportunism by some members of the international community, using the adjacent waters as toxic and nuclear waste dumps and overfishing what there was left of a subsistence industry, wouldn't you take the chance for their survival no matter what the cost?
This problem needs a intelligent solution not some idiotic gunslinger response.
Only problem is, it seems the pirates have spies in the major ports and track the movements of ships. There are giveaways about real versus fake ships, that they will note. I somebody can duplicate all those small things that giveaway imitators, this will work.
very good suggestion. Treat them like the animals they are. Send in armed decoy ships. Blow them out of the water. There are plenty of merchant marine vessels sitting idle that could be equipted in such a way.