November 19, 2008


An Iranian grain ship is the latest to be seized.

Fortunately, the intelligentsia is on the case:
Roger Middleton, a Horn of Africa specialist at the Chatham House think-tank, said that the capture was a crucial escalation. “Now that they have shown they are able to seize an enormous ship like this, it is beyond a military solution. You won’t fix this without a political solution.”
Actually, you could create a desolation and call it peace. On both practical and moral grounds, I don't favor that course at the moment, but you aren't thinking clearly if you don't put it on the list of options.
Wait till pirates seize a cruise ship and demand a billion-dollar ransom.

Obviously there are not too many cruises near Somalia, but Haiti and similar Caribbean hellholes are possible staging areas.
The linked story claims that the Somali government is about to collapse as regrouped Islamists converge on the capital.

Was this in effect a repeat of Iraq? Did we engineer the ouster of the Islamists without giving thought to what would happen next?

Addendum 20090426. The foregoing was in the ballpark:
The captain of an Italian cruise ship carrying 1,500 passengers says his security staff fought off a pirate attack in the Indian Ocean with pistols and a water hose.
I underestimated either the pirates' technology or the cruise line's imprudence. Thank heaven the pirates were repelled. I hope, but am not confident, that there will not be investigations, by governments or NGOs, of 'disproportionate response'.

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