Separately Sunday, the captain of an Italian cruise ship said his security staff fought off a pirate attack in the region Saturday with pistols and a water hose.
Wow, who knew that the combination of pistols and water hoses created such a fearsome weapon! The navies of the world’s developed nations should look into obtaining this fearsome combination because apparently they cannot defeat these awesome pirates with the ships, aircraft, missiles, radar, satellites and all the other multi-billion dollar weapons they currently have.
I’ll say it again: Pirates have become a major problem again only because of the internal paralysis of the developed nations. We’ve decayed to the point where the Somali equivalent of a bunch of drunken rednecks in a bass boat can hijack a sea going vessel worth billions. The problem isn’t that they’ve grown strong, it’s that we’ve grown weak. We’ve grown so weak that we can’t even defend against sea going street gangs.
I think we have reached a situation analogous to that of a person afflicted with AIDS. AIDS doesn’t kill directly, it merely paralyzes the immune system. With the immune system paralyzed common microbes that the immune system normally keeps easily in check run riot and destroy the body. Just as a human body always has to contend with ever-present microbes, pirates have been around forever and, more importantly, poor people with light weapons and costal boats have been around forever. Just like doctors in the early days of the AIDS epidemic pondered why their patients died from infections that healthy people automatically fended off all of their lives, we have to ask why we suffer from major piracy only now, after we suppressed piracy easily for nearly 200 years.
We know how to deal with pirates. Pirates are just criminals on the high seas or the coastal waters of failed states. The solution is the same one we’ve used for the last 500 years. You kill them when they attack and then you track them down to their lairs and kill them or take them prisoner.
We used to do this as a matter of course. Since the end of the Cold War, we’ve lost the ability to do this. This is the first symptom of a political AIDS which will progressively destroy our ability to fend off even trivial attacks.