Pirates! Pirates! Dangerous Somali Pirates! These poverty-stricken outlaws are now global idols who wallow in media attention when they're not busy pushing the world commodity markets up and down with only some rusty AK-47s and leaky speedboats. Their PR man is surely fielding job offers left and right. Boosaaso is the new adventure reporting destination du jour! The pirates currently holding a huge oil tanker may be reducing their ransom demands. You fools, that would make the situation less dramatic. The WSJ has a solution to keep the pirates top-of-mind: a big naval war! Georgetown professor Michael Oren thinks it would be totally awesome if the US Navy started totally smashing pirate ships with those huge guns. The ones that turn around on turrets and shit? Yea, those. Turn those bad boys loose! History demands it:
In spite of the potential pitfalls, an America-led campaign against the pirates is warranted. Though the Somali pirates do not yet endanger American trade, they will be emboldened by a lack of forceful response. Any attempt to bargain with them and to pay the modern equivalent of tribute will beget more piracy. Now, as then, the only effective response to piracy is a coercive one. "We shall offer them liberal and enlightened terms," declared Commodore Decatur, "dictated at the mouths of our cannons." Or, as William Eaton, commander of the Marines' march to Tripoli, more poignantly put it: "There is but one language that can be held to these people, and this is terror."
We all know damn well that everybody just wants to see some boats get blown the hell up. This is one battle that we can win. Pirate wars will bring America together! [WSJ; pic via AP]