Since the killing of the three Somali captors of Captain Richard Phillips in the waters off Somalia all the lunatics have come out and are calling for more blood; bloodshed everywhere.
One prime example of such lunacy is a Wall Street Journal columnist, Daniel Henninger, whose article appears in today’s Journal under the headline “Pirates Vs. the Rest of Us.”
One can tell from the heading alone where the column is headed. Well it’s up to level-headed folk to push back at such lunacy; so here goes.
After the conclusion of the Capt. Phillips ordeal, president Obama had said, “Those who commit acts of piracy,” Henninger wrote, should be “held accountable.”
Extending President Obama’s logic, the U.S., or as Henninger puts it, the “civilized world” (read White-dominated), should then, having killed the three Somalians, go after the “big pirates.”
And who are these? “They live in North Korea, Iran and in al-Qaeda’s hideouts along Pakistan’s northwest frontier. They are Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Janjaweed in Darfur,” Henninger writes, and adds: “Hugo Chavez is the pirate King of Latin America.”
Is it just me or is it just a coincidence that these “pirate” countries also happen to be at political odds with the United States? Isn’t this the same Bush doctrine of “you’re either with us; or you’re against us”?
Wasn’t this the doctrine just buried in the dustbin of history with the results of the last election? Isn’t that the doctrine what got us mired in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Isn’t that the contemptuous attitude that caused us to be so dismissive of the Somalis during the 1990s, when dealing with the renegade general Mohammed Aidid in Mogadishu when the U.S. dismissed a multi-lateral intervention in favor of unilateralism?
Left to his own wisdom, President Obama would not have wanted to have the three Somali captors of Capt. Phillips shot; especially when they seemed neutralized and their boat had been tethered to the U.S. Destroyer Bainbridge when they ran out of food and fuel.
There was a blood-thirsty drum beat in media, including on CNN; so intense that it probably invited the specter of Somali “savages” hungry and without food even contemplating Capt. Phillips as a potential meal.
These, like Henninger, are the same type of armchair pundits who now advocate for an aggressive unilateral U.S. role in “ending” the scourge of “piracy” all over the world. So the new dictum is “You’re either with us; or you’re a pirate.”
What absurd and perverted logic.
There are those who are even now calling for outside intervention on Somali land territory to pursue pirates. People are not born with a sign “pirate” stamped on their forehead—to the extent that the Somali state has collapsed, the hijacking of ships has increased in proportion.
Many of also don’t suffer from dementia. We recall that the U.S. 1990s unilateral intervention in Somalia did not end well. It became the “Us” vs. “them” approach that Henninger promotes. It provoked enmity and American service men, initially welcomed when they went on a humanitarian mission, became targets. It culminated in the Black Hawk downing. The bodies of American servicemen were dragged in the streets of Mogadishu and mutilated.
Two years ago, Ethiopia, acting as proxy for the United States, sent in 50,000 troops to Somalia, routing the sitting government which the U.S. feared was harboring al-Qaeda elements.
The Ethiopians occupied the country, depopulated whole regions, and committed human rights abuses. The Somalis buried their difference, conducted a guerrilla campaign, and routed Ethiopia out of the country.
Anyone that advocates a new occupation of Somalia, no less by American and European forces, does not know what they are talking about. It would cause more massive bloodshed and destruction; occupying armies would be routed, taking us back to square one. Somalis survive using a by-any-means-necessary approach. The bandits hardly see themselves as pirates under such anarchic conditions.
Ironically, their criminal acts could focus sufficient attention on Somalia, inviting high-level multi-lateral engagement with the country –not U.S. unilateralism—to promote a national dialogue and create a stronger government there; absent which there is no hope.
Such a government can be assisted in reining in all the sea bandits; the Somalis as well as the Europeans that have been illegally dumping toxic waste off Somalia’s shores, while also stealing millions of dollars in fish and shrimps from Somali waters.
This is hardly the time for the jingoism espoused by Henninger.
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