So it's happened: America is about to get itself caught up in an awesome war with heroic Somali pirates. As we speak, the hardy fleet is assembling for battle on the high seas.

A new international naval force under American command will soon begin patrols to confront escalating attacks by Somali pirates, who have besieged more than 100 ships in the past year, the US Navy said yesterday.

There you have it: our brave sailors are taking up their cutlasses and securing their lanyards for a voyage to the Gulf of Aden, where they will make designs to send these post-Barbary era buccaneers to their own watery graves. Twenty of the world's free nations are expected to send their fighting sloops and frigates to reconnoiter with Uncle Sam's mighty battleships. Together, they will hunt down the scurvy-ridden Somalian descendants of Henry Morgan and teach them a thing or two about justice on the lawless far-flung waters, right at the point of a 20-inch gun. Or as the Pentagon says, "a first step to create a dedicated international structure - combining military force, intelligence sharing and coordinated patrols." Either way. [NYP] [Please don't actually hurt the pirates, thx.]