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Monday, April 13

Sending Messages

Disclaimer: It's very early in the morning, and I'm a bit tired, so prepare yourselves for a load of snark.

A few days ago, if you hadn't noticed, pirates operating off the eastern Africa littoral seized a US-registered Maersk Line container ship carrying food aid for Kenya, Uganda and - yep - Somalia, where the pirates mainly operate from.

Somalia, by the way, is a perfect spot for pirates to operate. Barely any government, collapsed economy and a shitload of guns and other weapons. The country's location near the Gulf of Aden and the main commercial shipping lanes is also a plus.

So some of the more unrestrained entrepreneurs there have decided that there's more money to be made selling that food aid than letting relief organizations give it away. Hence their seizure of the ship.

(To be fair, other pirates have seized other cargoes, and currently hold about 270 hostages for ransom - ransom's also profitable. What, are you going to stand in the way of free-market, unregulated capitalism?)

The captain of the Maersk Line vessel gave himself up as a hostage when the crew rebelled, and the pirates took flight in one of the lifeboats. A minor standoff developed when the USS Bainbridge showed up, along with other Navy ships.

Some of the Stupid People (notably Fox News) started bleating that this was a referendum on the Obama Administration, expatiating upon him being liberal and not wanting to use force.

Well, that argument's shot down - along with three of the pirates. The Captain was freed after Navy SEAL snipers killed three of the pirates while the fourth was aboard the Bainbridge negotiating.

The order to use deadly force came directly from President Obama, who has proved to my satisfaction, at least, that he can give that kind of order without a lot of hemming and hawing.

So, we get a citizen back, and sent a message to the pirates that we won't fuck around.

The pirates have a message as well - they may not be so nice with the next ship they happen to intercept.

Nice to see that at least we're communicating.

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