A Little More Charming Than The Skinny Pirates...
I was chatting with someone the other day, discussing world events, and the topic of the Siege in Somalia (think "Rumble in the Jungle" or "Thriller in Manila") arose.
Miss Liberal White Guilt said that she could fully understand the desperation that would drive the Somalis to take to the high seas, risking life and limb to "...be able to feed their families."
"Huh?" I said.
"They're just trying to feed their families. They don't want to hurt the crews, and it's not like the ship owners can't afford it."
Now, from where I sit, this woman is too stupid to vote; and, should probably never reproduce so as not to inject any more of her idiocy into the gene pool.
"Are you kidding me? I know that Somalia is a lawless country; but, there is a solution. A solution not unlike the one undertaken by Thomas Jefferson in the early part of the nineteenth century."
"But," she said, "we are already fighting one illegal war. We can't afford another."
"Huh? You voted for Obama, didn't you."
"Of course. Didn't you?"
At this point, The Lifeguard collapsed, frothing at the mouth, over the apparent disdain that this woman had for our nation of laws.
Not only do pirates cause a disruption of shipping traffic through the Gulf of Aden, they wreak havoc on yachtsmen sailing the world's oceans for pleasure. As to the former, the increased costs of insurance and ransoms are passed along to the end-user of the products transported. (That means you and me.) In addition, the ship owners are forced to pay greater wages to be able to retain crew; and, should these pirates actually sink a ship (such as the Sirius Star), the environmental costs would be staggering. As to the latter, lesser pirates, off the coasts of South America, for instance, are emboldened by the successes of the Somalis (and the impotent responses of the U.S. et al.), and begin to see pleasure craft as a source of some quick cash.
In this environment, one of the principal tasks of the United States Navy is not met. Protecting commerce is as important as any other mission; and, it is not being accomplished.
So, for the weak of mind and infirm of spirit, The Lifeguard offers this modest proposal, in four steps:
Step One: Read Heart of Darkness.
Step Two: Task the NSA, the CIA, the DIA, the MIA (and any other "A" you can think of) to tracking the movements of pirates in the Gulf of Aden. They may not be Al Qaeda; but, the cost to society (and the world economy) is at least as significant. Oil tankers, freighters, and other ships are faced with a much longer (and more environmentally damaging) trip if they can not transit the Gulf of Aden.
Step Three: Send an expeditionary force of Special Forces types into Somalia. Support them with a small flotilla of naval vessels, and give them free reign to eradicate known pirates (and their pirate leaders). When caught, take them to the Somali capital (Mogadishu) and hang them. If you catch a few innocents in the noose, so be it. Ship owners would happily contribute to the funding of this force.
Step Four: Sink any piratey-looking scow, dhow, or RIB. Film it. Release it to the world-wide media (and the World Wide Web).
Only by meeting this unconventional threat with overwhelming force will the world be free of the scourge of piracy on the high seas.
Step Five (if there was one), would be to put The Lifeguard in charge of the operation. After all, The Lifeguard is no stranger to keeping the water safe.