Saturday, January 10, 2009

Walk the plank, matey

The lead CNN story this morning concerned a Saudi tanker being freed after ransom was paid to its Somali pirates. This incident being one of dozens of pirate stories that have originated from the region in the past few months. While horrible and terrible for the crew and devastating to the commerce of the area, I am having a difficult time coming to terms with why this isn't more preventable.

The general idea, from what I have read, is to throw a whole bunch of good guy war ships in the area to patrol for the bad guys and keep them at bay. Sure fine, good start, whatever. The area is massive and is akin to throwing a grain of rice in a bathtub and expecting it to cover all this terrain. Simply, it's not feasible, and I get that.

But, how is it that we are able to pinpoint parachute a million bucks on to the deck of the captured ship, take pictures of it, and then let everyone get away clean? We aren't talking Harry Potter invisibility cloak here. How about following them? How about capturing them as they reenter home base? How about using a pinpoint parachute technique to bomb them (less ideal but you get the point)?

Is it a matter of international waters and no one taking responsibility here? If that's the case, I think the terrorized business and countries harmed in these piracy attacks would find it in their best interests to work something out. After all, so long as pirates are going to continue to be rewarded and left to sail away unharmed, they are going to keep doing it. Figure it out.

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