The pirate has become a legendary figure in American pop culture. Consider the recent Disney franchise “Pirates of the Caribbean” starring Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom.
It seems though, with the recent surge in piracy among poor Somalians, that piracy in and of itself is nowhere near as “quaint” as pop culture would have us believe. In fact, it seems that only a certain sort of pirate is popularized. (The romantic victorian era scallywag!)
The poor, uneducated Somalians, (on the other-hand) are two-bit crooks who have dared assault the United States of America! With all the controversy surrounding recent U.S. action abroad, it is almost refreshing to have a solid “enemy” and visible “front” for a change.
But is the outpouring of righteous rage by Americans really justified? To find out, we need to briefly consider the causes of Somalian piracy.
According to award winning columnist Eric Margolis, there are two basic reasons. (See his article here: http://www.ericmargolis.com/political_commentaries/pirates-of-somalia_1.aspx )
Somalia is not even a nation really. It is simply defined by where other nation’s boundries end. It has gone through various civil uprisings, chaos and war very recently. This has caused “dire poverty and desperation” Margolis says, leading to a rampant increase in piracy.
Another factor is the way the fish populations off the coast of Somalia have been drastically stripped due to Somalia’s lack of ability to adequately defend her resources from foreign fishermen. This leads to further economic turmoil.
The pirates have been very successful. When the ability to build large amounts of wealth combine with the allure of adventure and glory….it’s hard to see how a young (starving) Somalian would pass it up!
If these factors alone were all that spawned the Somalian pirates, then I’d be “onboard” with the blind American outrage.
However…consider an interesting tid-bit of info:
Somalia was controled (in large part) by the Islamic Courts Union (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Courts_Union ) until around 2006 when the radically anti-Islamic Bush administration backed an Etheopian war with Somalia which resulted in the loss of power by the ICU. Anarchy has reigned ever since in Somalia as various warlords battle for power.
Why can’t Americans learn that we are not to police the globe? In the end, the Bush regime’s attempt to keep Somalia from becoming an Islamic nation, has resulted in economic and political turmoil…
…turmoil that compells 16 year old boys to take up arms and attack American ships.
Let’s trade with Somalia…support socially stabilizing (and cohesive) elements (even if they’re Muslims) in the society…and by all means, let’s stop policing the globe and pretending that the idea of Messianic Statism doesn’t cause all sorts of political and economic ramifications (or blowback!)