What Do You Call Three Dead Somali Pirates?

A fairly decent start.

My hat is off to the Obama administration for taking such decisive action against the Somali pirates holding Captain Richard Phillips hostage in a life boat out on the Indian Ocean.

In a courageous rescue, Navy SEALs killed three pirates during the successful mission.

From the Associated Press:

In a daring high-seas rescue, U.S. Navy SEAL snipers killed three Somali pirates and freed the American sea captain who had offered himself as a hostage to save his crew.

Although many news outlets are hailing this as a great victory for Obama and claiming that he has passed his first international test, the pirates are promising revenge:

The operation was a victory for the world’s most powerful military but angry pirates vowed Monday to retaliate.

Those threats raised fears for the safety of some 230 foreign sailors still held hostage in more than a dozen ships anchored off the coast of lawless Somalia.

“From now on, if we capture foreign ships and their respective countries try to attack us, we will kill them (the hostages),” Jamac Habeb, a 30-year-old pirate, told the Associated Press from one of Somalia’s piracy hubs, Eyl. “(U.S. forces have) become our No. 1 enemy.”

It appears that a new front has opened in the Global struggle against terrorism and we Americans are once again being brought to center stage.

Now, unlike my liberal counterparts who want to blame President Bush for everything the terrorists did over the past eight years, I will not blame Barack Obama for whatever the pirates and other terrorists do in response to this rescue. The blame falls solely and squarely on the pirates and terrorists themselves, just as it did during the Bush years.

This was not the first test of the Obama administration. It was the first question of the first test. Many more questions will come up and you can bet that the pirates and terrorists will be the ones writing them.

One Somali pirate noted:

“Every country will be treated the way it treats us. In the future, America will be the one mourning and crying,” Abdullahi Lami, one of the pirates holding a Greek ship anchored in the Somali town of Gaan, told The Associated Press on Monday. “We will retaliate (for) the killings of our men.”

I applaud the Obama administration for taking this action, but I am still waiting to see how this will play out in the coming months. Obama will have a hard time trying to reconcile his policy of “listening and learning” against the hard-line policy of taking swift action to protect American lives and interests. Reality is always different from academic exercise.

As for those countries who will want to blame the U.S. for whatever happens to their own sailors in the pirates’ custody, those sailors wouldn’t be their if those countries had taken steps to protect/rescue those sailors in the first place.

We shall have to wait and see which policy wins out, and whether or not such policy has the desired effects.

You can access the complete story on-line here:

Captain Freed After Snipers Kill Somali Pirates
Associated Press via MSNBC
April 13, 2009

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