According to just about every news source on the planet, Somali pirates have killed four Americans aboard their hijacked yacht. Here’s the details as we currently understand them…
The Quest, a yatch owned by Scott and Jean Adam, was hijacked on Friday off the coast of Oman. Also aboard were Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle. U.S. forces had been closely monitoring the situation aboard the vessel. They had been participating in an international yacht race, the Blue Water Rally, but left it on February 15th to take an independent course from India to Oman.
According to FoxNews:
Two pirates died during the confrontation and 13 were captured and detained, along with two pirates already in custody. U.S. forces also found the remains of two other pirates already dead aboard the vessel and believe a total of 19 pirates were involved in the hijacking.
The Adams had a bible ministry, and had been sailing the world with their yacht packed full of Bibles since 2004.
Here’s a fun factoid that will help put things in perspective: not counting the attack against the Quest, pirates hold 30 ships and more than 660 hostages at this point in time.
This brings up a number of questions and I’ve got a few observations to go with them.
- If it’s true that the best way to avoid trouble is to not be there when it happens, and if there are a total of 30 ships currently held by pirates, isn’t it taking the laws of self-preservation less than seriously to sail your yacht anywhere NEAR Somalia?
- Adding to the danger, isn’t it just asking for a bunch of ignorant, Muslim terrorist/pirates to just pull the trigger by sailing around with not just one Bible, but a litteral boatload of ’em? Just sayin.’
- When is an American President going to reach back in time, channel the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, and deal with this modern-day incarnation of the Barbary Pirates (“not one penny for tribute”)?
Look, nobody’s gonna confuse me with being a liberal. But this isn’t necessarily a Left versus Right thing, or a Dem versus GOP thing. It’s an international sovereignty thing. America has a long-standing rep (now seriously pooched) that when American citizens travel abroad, yea though they walk through the valley of the shadow of death, they shall fear no evil, because we’re the most powerful sonsabitches in the valley. Damn straight. But when the “third way” kicked in under Clinton (resulting in Blackhawk Down), followed by the “kinder and gentler” nonsense promoted by Bush II (9/11), and the subsequent “it’s all our fault” meme favored by the ObamaNation, is it any wonder that nobody’s afraid of us any more?
Being the remaining world superpower is a lot like being a parent. When you’re a parent, you can’t afford to be best buddies with your kids. You want respect and obedience. You love them, but that sometimes means you have to show them tough love. And if the choice comes down to discipline or friendship, the smart parent chooses discipline every time. From where I sit, there’s one thing (and one thing only) that those in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa fear. It’s the projection of brute force and the willingness to use it. We’re screwed because they no longer believe we are willing to use it.
I can count on the fingers of one hand, the number of times I have had to resort to corporal punishment with my child. And have several fingers left. Yet, my daughter both loves and respects me. She respects me, because I love her enough to discipline her when it’s appropriate. To do less would not win her affection…it would lose her respect. I want to write a book: Everything I Need To Know About Diplomacy, I Learned Being a Dad.
International relations, despite what Hillary might like to think, is not about the velvet glove holding the dove or the rose. It’s about the steel gauntlet inside the glove. Speak softly, but carry a big stick. That sort of thing. No power = no respect. And I’m afraid that this “progressive” attitude that infects BOTH parties has led to the emasculation of America. Or to put it bluntly: On the world stage, who would you respect/fear/obey more: John Wayne or Alan Alda. Metrosexuals? We don’ need no steenkin’ Metrosexuals!
Back when the last ship of American registry got waylaid by Somali pirates, the U.S. Navy (God bless ’em!) had snipers on a nearby ship, awaiting approval by the Commander in Chief to engage the pirates. That approval, as the story goes, was NOT forthcoming. Seems the Ditherer in Chief was more worried about world opinion than he was saving American lives. So the ship’s captain (who could see the whole psycho-drama playing out before him, made an executive decision. The SEALs were ordered to take their shots. And so they did. The outcome was predictable: the best marksmen on the planet brought home the bacon (snicker) and shot the leaders of the less-than-merry band of Somali pirates dead. The rest did the French hands thang, and surrendered. (The one poor S.O.B. we captured was recently convicted in a U.S. court of law.)
So here’s a thought. You wanna end piracy of U.S. ships on the high seas? How about letting the commanders on site run things. We put these guys in charge of literally billions of dollars of military gear. We give them the best training. We put them in harm’s way. Don’t you think it’s about time to give them the authority to call the shots in situations like this? Maybe if we had a few more incidents where the captains on the scene could improvise, prosecute, and attack, the pirates might just think twice before hijacking a ship flying the ol’ Red, White and Blue. We used to say “those colors don’t run.” It’s high time we stop forcing our sailors to run away from a battle on the high seas.