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This Is A Test

About two hundred miles off the coast of Somalia, a U.S.-flagged freighter has been seized by pirates, in the fifteenth recorded instance of high seas piracy since March 1.

The situation would appear to be a simple one for the American commander in chief - the vessel and crew are American, they were attacked without provocation in international waters, and the attackers are non-aligned with any nation in the world. It would seem a simple matter for Obama to order the Navy and Marines into the area to do the world a favor and eliminate these pirates, and in so doing confirm the precedent that America will defend its own. Less than a week ago, President Obama clearly stated that rules exist for a reason, and North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile required "severe consequences". Certainly a direct attack on a U.S.-flagged vessel and American citizens deserves as much as a missile test which sent the rocket into the Sea of Japan.

It remains to be seen how President Obama will answer this test.


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Comments (68)

Teleprompter says send some... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

Teleprompter says send some DVDs. Everything will be okay.

America was for sale during... (Below threshold)

America was for sale during the Clinton years. Now we're giving her away.
http://www.rightklik.net/

Pretzel, that is very funny... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Pretzel, that is very funny. I needed a laugh.

Submission Accomplished. Obama does not have the gonads to stand up to anyone. Barry will wind up apologizing to the pirates for our ship being in their ocean. ww

I will give Him a pre grade... (Below threshold)
914:

I will give Him a pre grade score of D-, will probably grade higher if he consults with the prompter first.

RE: "Less than a week ago, ... (Below threshold)
kevino:

RE: "Less than a week ago, President Obama clearly stated that rules exist for a reason, and North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile required 'severe consequences'."

Oh, and what consequences! Just as Senator Kerry proposed he went straight to the UN! And the UN Security Council is debating whether or not they're going to forward the matter to the Special UN Subcommittee to Write Really Tough Sounding Resolutions.

What will he do about the pirates? I know what I'd do.

I'm sure "Golden Boy" has a... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'm sure "Golden Boy" has already got a very "stern" message written up for the pirates. He will remind them that he is also a minority, that his father was Muslim, then he'll apologize for that dirty US-flagged ship arrogantly intruding within 300 miles of their coastline.

We already know what He wil... (Below threshold)
914:

We already know what He will do... Submit to the Somalis just like He submits to everything non American while subsequently submitting to foreign interests on every front.

Submission Accomplished

Present!... (Below threshold)
engineeer:

Present!

Actually we discussed this ... (Below threshold)
engineer:

Actually we discussed this at work earlier today. The concensus was that he would send $900,000,000.00 in aid to Somalia.

If the reports that the cre... (Below threshold)

If the reports that the crew took back control of the ship are true, they apparently had a pretty good idea of how Obam...uhhh... would handle it.

For those who are intereste... (Below threshold)

For those who are interested in more than knee-jerk ranting at Obama...

Aren't US Navy ships already in the area? If so, what kept them from coming to the rescue? Restrictions from above? No distress call from the cargo ship?

Fighting the pirates is a bit like fighting terrorists. Up to the point of attack, it's hard to identify them as pirates. There are more targets than we have the ability to protect. They hide among civilians and don't operate from a fixed location. We have no spies among them feeding us information.

Given all this, advocate, just how does the Navy eliminate these pirates (eliminate, not just try and protect our ships from attack)? Start bombing Somali villages in the hopes that we hit a few pirates in the process? Seize and board every boat operating off the coast of Somalia? Put sanctions on Somalia in the hopes that the (impotent) national government will clean things up for us? Go to the United Nations and ask China and Russia to take this before the Security Council?

Restrictions from above?... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Restrictions from above?

Bingo.

John: guessing? It wouldn'... (Below threshold)

John: guessing? It wouldn't surprise me if it were.. but it would surprise me if Obama issued new ROEs already, my guess is that the Navy is still operating under Bush-issued rules.

And a point sure to rankle the Bush fans, Bush tied our military's hands way too much, forcing them to sacrifice themselves so Bush could show he wasn't too mean to Muslims.

I highly doubt pirates are ... (Below threshold)
914:

I highly doubt pirates are hiding out among civillians 300 miles out to sea in fixed locations? But I guess anythings possible given the last 70 days.

Aren't US Navy shi... (Below threshold)
Aren't US Navy ships already in the area?

Perhaps, but how close are they? It may take awhile for them to get to where the ship was jacked.

Piracy is a growing problem, but also an opportunity for President Obama. Now is his chance to actually lead. If he put together a task force with the intent to clear out piracy around the Horn of Africa, or the South China Sea, or wherever. If he could do this, or even attempt it, it would redound to his credit and boost his status as a world leader.

You know Steve, Bush left o... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

You know Steve, Bush left office more'n a couple months back. You might think about moving on now ...

And a point sure t... (Below threshold)
And a point sure to rankle the Bush fans, Bush tied our military's hands way too much, forcing them to sacrifice themselves so Bush could show he wasn't too mean to Muslims.

Speaking as a Bush fan, I agree. Of course, every time I pointed this out during the past few years, I was accused of being a neocon warmonger, so there you go.

Steve: "Aren't US Navy s... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Steve: "Aren't US Navy ships already in the area?"

The closest USN vessel was more than 300 miles away, no word on class although CNN says it is a destroyer. Pentagon reports Somali tactics are to track warships and go somewhere else to attack ships.

"what kept them from coming to the rescue?"

That's not the question here. The question is what orders have been issued by the White House, or is Obama sitting this one out? If so, why?

"Bush tied our military's hands way too much"

I'd say that statement is invalid, especially given the current conditions. Given SS's BDS, I will be nice and not accuse him of lying, the poor schmuck probably believes his own bilge by now.

I predict not just a stern... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

I predict not just a sternly worded letter, but a SCATHING letter soon.


Right after the Wednesday night party.

irongrampa: "I predict n... (Below threshold)

irongrampa: "I predict not just a sternly worded letter, but a SCATHING letter soon."

Gulp!

How can we ever HOPE to have them CHANGE and love us, if we send them "scathing letters"??

If we could just get Bruce Springsteen to do a charity concert for Somalia...and then have Susan Saradon light a candle for the poor alQueda folk who are CLEARLY misunderstood!! (no concerts for the Captain of the ship, however, since that tanker did NOT get good enough gas mileage!)

In a statement just release... (Below threshold)

In a statement just released, President Obama said the following:

"Act as CIC when it comes to pirates? Pfft, that's outside my pay grade. I'm just here to subjugate myself and the United States before the rest of the world because we're bad, bad naughty people that should be taken over the world's knee and spanked like a bratty 8-year old. And may I be the first to say that the Somali-based pirates should get the first crack at...well, my crack."

ODS.... (Below threshold)
max:

ODS.

If any of you are intereste... (Below threshold)
jim:

If any of you are interested in what actually is going on:

On the occurrence of this hijacking and it's threat to US nationals, six to seven US military naval vessels were deployed and are currently en route. This apparently the USS Bainbridge, a destroyer.

All of which should certainly be enough force to deal with some hijackers who, apparently, have already lost control of the ship and are now holding only 3 hostages.

Oh, and there already is a ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Oh, and there already is a NATO anti-piracy task force planned to deploy soon, to supplement a current EU force there.

The root problem which caused this mess is actually international; international fishing in technically international waters wiped out the Somali fishing industry. So, with boats and access to weapons, many Somali's turned to piracy.

Just like terrorists, all pirates should be dealt with forcefully; but if we want to keep new criminals from arising, we have to change the conditions that tend to bend people towards crime. It's their individual choice; but if people are presented with better choices they'll almost always take them.

Jim, you consider piracy a ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Jim, you consider piracy a "crime", like what, shoplifting or burglary?

Geez.

I am sure the Barbary pirat... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

I am sure the Barbary pirates were just out of work fishermen too.

I wonder when the Jolly Roger will fly off the coast of Maine...

Let's see, about 300 nautic... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Let's see, about 300 nautical miles, and a Arleigh Burke class Destroyer would probably respond going around 30 knots to get there... that's 10 hours (give or take).

So, for those of you familiar with police responding to crime... how's a 10 hours for a response time?

I'd say that's pretty darned fast, as far as getting there to retake the ship, slow as hell if you're wanting to prevent the pirates from killing the crew and/or taking them off the ship along with whatever booty they care to take with them.

Make whatever conclusions you want with those facts.

The root problem w... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:
The root problem which caused this mess is actually international; international fishing in technically international waters wiped out the Somali fishing industry. So, with boats and access to weapons, many Somali's turned to piracy.

Just like terrorists, all pirates should be dealt with forcefully; but if we want to keep new criminals from arising, we have to change the conditions that tend to bend people towards crime. It's their individual choice; but if people are presented with better choices they'll almost always take them.

24. Posted by jim | April 8, 2009 5:29 PM

I find myself agreeing with Jim. Weird.

jim,You came withi... (Below threshold)

jim,

You came within an eyelash of saying that it was the pirates upbringing that turned them into pirates--almost like an American defense laywer might do.

What's next, the Twinkie defense?

I agree with DJ, "geeeeeeeeeeez...."

I guess DJ wants to reserve... (Below threshold)

I guess DJ wants to reserve the right to periodically praise Bush, especially in contrast to whatever Obama does wrong...but doesn't like hearing of Bush's faults from anyone else.

and DJ, piracy is a crime. not like shoplifting but still a crime. figuring that even someone as silly as you knows that, I guess you were trying to make a point at Jim's expense

DJ - do you define piracy, ... (Below threshold)
jim:

DJ - do you define piracy, kidnapping and murder as things which are **not** crimes?

OK then. Therefore, people who commit crimes are criminals, right?

I'd just like to point out,... (Below threshold)
jim:

I'd just like to point out, again, that those who commit these acts of piracy, like those who commit acts of terrorism, should be dealt with harshly.

I'm just pointing out how to stop this problem from reoccurring and creating **new** pirates.

This is separating those who have **made** their choices and should reap the consequences, from those who **have not yet** made wrong choices - and so may not have to.

That's clear, right?

Isnt there anything better ... (Below threshold)
914:

Isnt there anything better to do in Somalia besides turning to crime? And its their upbringing? What next? its the U.S. fault for not supporting them financially. Sounds familiar...?
Like a certain community organizers justifications for condemning His own Country.

No Jim, pirates are not "ju... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

No Jim, pirates are not "just" criminals. Anymore than Al Qaeda should be compared to passing bad checks.

If this concept is too much for you, I don't know what can help make it clear. It's more than slightly obvious.

Which would behoove us to d... (Below threshold)
jim:

Which would behoove us to do, for selfish reasons: more security, and less hijackings, crime, and murder. In addition to the altruistic side.

Isnt there anything bett... (Below threshold)
jim:

Isnt there anything better to do in Somalia besides turning to crime?

Somalia has basically no other industries. So, yes, there isn't.

And its their upbringing?

No, that's not what I said at all.

What next? its the U.S. fault for not supporting them financially.

No, that's not what I'm saying or what I'm going to say, either.

No financial support is needed. All that's needed is that rich European nations stop taking so much fish from the technically international waters a few miles from the Somali coast.

Basically, no one needs to give the Somalis fish, or even teach them how to fish. They just need to back off enough that there's enough fish for the Somalis again.

And once again - I'm talking about fixing the problem for the future. I'm not talking about this as **any sort** of an excuse for those who have chosen piracy, kidnapping and murder.

So DJ, you do agree that pe... (Below threshold)
jim:

So DJ, you do agree that people who commit crimes are criminals, right?

I can only assume so.

I do not personally see how naming murder a crime, somehow lessens how horrible murder is. And the same for acts of terrorism or acts of piracy.

But in case I have not been clear on this, I'll state it:

In no way have I ever - nor will I ever - equate any form of terrorism or piracy with some absurdly lesser crime like a bad check.

I hope that resolves things.

jim - "The root problem... (Below threshold)
marc:

jim - "The root problem which caused this mess is actually international; international fishing in technically international waters wiped out the Somali fishing industry. So, with boats and access to weapons, many Somali's turned to piracy."

Yeah, that's it.

Well all except Al Qaeda elements and some of their look-alikes that have reeked havoc on Somalia.

Other than that, move along it just a bunch of hungry fishermen.

Bangladesh is a very, very ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Bangladesh is a very, very poor area as is Calcutta. We all are more then aquainted with the Bangladesh pirates. No. There aren't any? What happened. Jim said if countries have no food or industries they choose international crime. Jim said it so it must be so.

Somalia has had so much aid sent to it but their own people keep it from them. I have no sympathy for their plight and I surely do not blame anyone outside of Somalia for the crimes being committed.

Submission Accomplished. ww

ww - "Bangladesh is a v... (Below threshold)
marc:

ww - "Bangladesh is a very, very poor area as is Calcutta. We all are more then aquainted with the Bangladesh pirates. No. There aren't any?"

ww, quit being so ignorant, you give the rest of us a bad name.

Example one. Go ahead, spin it and claim the Somali's sailed their way all the way to Bangladesh.

Example two. Damn sure can't spin that one. It happened in the countries largest port, Chittagong port

There's a reason why I'm ag... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

There's a reason why I'm agreeing with Jim on punishing people who have chosen to be pirates, but giving another choice to those who have yet to choose to commit piracy.

I recall Bush putting forth this same reasoning for planting a Democracy in Iraq. To give "another choice" than terrorism by showing the opportunities allowed by democracy.

I agreed with Bush's reasoning then, I'm agreeing with Jim's reasoning now.

ExSubNuke I agree with jim'... (Below threshold)
marc:

ExSubNuke I agree with jim's point on that as well, but to ignore the country has had no functioning gov since 1991 that by far proceeds any issues over fishing and the presence of Al Qaeda elements is disingenuous, at best.

Actually I believe it was a... (Below threshold)
Deke:

Actually I believe it was a Dutch owned ship, flying one of the Central American flags, most ships fly Panamanian, Honduran, etc., flags because it's a lot cheaper. Most of the crew was American, except the captain I believe, thus to be HONEST, American property wasn't attacked.

Don't get me wrong I'm all in favor of giving these guys a quick shove overboard in shark infested waters, but if your going to make a point of getting worked up, get the details right.

jim: "The root problem..... (Below threshold)

jim: "The root problem...fishing in technically international waters wiped out the Somali fishing industry. So, with boats and access to weapons, many Somali's turned to piracy."

Uh oh...last year they institued a ban on salmon fishing here in California...which has wiped out the local fishing industry! (TRUE)
...and the fishermen here all have boats
...and I'll bet they have some weapons too! (damn 2nd amendment!)

Raise the Jolly Roger boys...there be tankers just off the coast!! Ahoy!

(p.s. jim, a bigger load of crap I NEVER heard!)

one more add on jim's "Fish... (Below threshold)

one more add on jim's "Fishermen gone bad" theory...
I guess this explains Hitler trying to wipe out the Jews...if only his paintings had sold better!

geesh!

Deke - "Actually I beli... (Below threshold)
marc:

Deke - "Actually I believe it was a Dutch owned ship, flying one of the Central American flags, most ships fly Panamanian, Honduran, etc., flags because it's a lot cheaper."

Then 1) you failed to read the very first line of this post that plainly stated it was a "U.S.-flagged freighter," and 2) you also failed to read the actual article linked to that said a "warning came shortly before a U.S.-flagged ship was believed hijacked early Wednesday off Somalia."

If you have other sources that claim otherwise I'd be happy to read them.

That said, what you refer to are "flags of convenience" that most shipping flies under and as the U.S. merchant fleet numbers have dwindled down next to nothing over the past 3-4 decades.

justrand - "(p.s. jim, ... (Below threshold)
marc:

justrand - "(p.s. jim, a bigger load of crap I NEVER heard!)"

Watch out you're headed for the "ww most ignorant" category."

jim's point is valid, VOA has an excellent article on the matter dated Jan, this year.

jim's just gone off the deep end ignoring, willfully or not, the much larger issue.

sorry marc, but Somalia was... (Below threshold)

sorry marc, but Somalia was an armpit LONG before the "fishing issue" surfaced!

there are a lot of out of work folks around the world...are they ALL supposed to turn to piracy??

Shhh! I got a lot of out o... (Below threshold)
epador:

Shhh! I got a lot of out of work fishermen in this town. Don't give them any ideas, or One-Eyed-Willie will have some contemporary competitors.

Somalia has had so much ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Somalia has had so much aid sent to it but their own people keep it from them. I have no sympathy for their plight and I surely do not blame anyone outside of Somalia for the crimes being committed.

Willie... for the love of jeeeebus... Iraqis had a lot of aid sent to them, but their own people kept it from them--remember Saddam Hussein and his kids? They were Iraqis. You supported a f*cking full-scale invasion of Iraq because those guys were such dicks, but hey, at least Iraqis had food! The Somali people aren't pissing away their foreign aid--they aren't getting it! But now all of a sudden you're a non-interventionist who doesn't care about oppressed people?! Did you even watch Blackhawk Down? Some seriously sad shit has happened in Somalia in the past eighteen or so years. That doesn't mean it's okay to become international pirates--cool as the business cards may be--but it does place these people a few notches above, say, religious fanatics.

You need to think a bit harder before posting sometimes. And I say that with equal parts sincerity and condescension.

hyper - "Did you even w... (Below threshold)
marc:

hyper - "Did you even watch Blackhawk Down? Some seriously sad shit has happened in Somalia in the past eighteen or so years."

Yep sure did, and the worst of it was having the rug pulled out from under them by Bush I and Clinton.

Clinton completed what Bush I wanted to do and fled like a scalded dog rather than kicking some ass and be done with it.

The result of that chickenshit policy is what you see today.

Hyper, I was responding to ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Hyper, I was responding to jim's assertion that the reason Somalians turned to piracy is because they cannot fish anymore from other countries fishing in their areas.

Oh yeah! I am for the Iraq war, but not the invasion. The latest war is a continuation of the first Gulf War. It was restarted by Saddam's continually breaking the cease fire agreement. Of course you knew that but in your narrow view you have to stick to the liberal/DailyKos talking point.

It is you my friend, who needs to actually check the thread before you comment.

Why don't you go kill some baby seals you bloodthirsy canadian. ww

"The result of that chicken... (Below threshold)
Unrepentant Democrat:

"The result of that chickenshit policy is what you see today."

What? Did you just erase the 8 years of the Bush regime? Selective memory from the wingnut community is highly entertaining.

International piracy is ter... (Below threshold)
Stan25:

International piracy is terrorism. No two ways around that. Just as the pirates in the 17th and 18th centuries, these are the scum of the earth, for the most part. Until someone grows a set of large ones and gives the United States Navy, the order to shoot on sight and to kill, this scourge will continue.

marc: I don't disagree. My ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

marc: I don't disagree. My point--which sailed over your head--is that Somalis ought to elicit at least a shred of sympathy from someone who thinks that material conditions in Iraq in 2003 warranted a full-scale invasion.

Somalis are actually much worse off than Iraqis ever have been, as you know.

Willie: why not club seals? Kiss my ass, Paul McCartney! It's a sustainable practice. There are tons of fur seals, and they make great hats that people want to pay for, so why not?

And do you disagree with the assertion that a decline in economic opportunity for Somalis--fishing included--has forced some of them to turn to piracy? In a country with no infrastructure, no government, no schools, and no food, what would you have them do? Starve to death? Immigrate to Forth Worth?

Merchant vessels have the right to defend themselves from pirates, but anyone who denies the socioeconomic underpinnings of this phenomenon is obtuse and/or stupid. If Somalia had a functioning government; the means to distribute foreign aid; and reliable security forces, piracy wouldn't be as big of an issue in the Gulf of Aden as it currently is. And that's so obvious, it hurts my brain that it actually has to be said.

Stan25: actually, there is ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Stan25: actually, there is nothing to support your assertion. The pirates appear to take great pains at ensuring the cooperation of the crews they capture. They provide them food--something most Somalis do not get on a regular basis--and they don't kill anybody.

They aren't terrorists, they're bandits. Sometimes it's reasonable to shoot bandits, but other times it's a bit heavy-handed.

While we wait, supposedly h... (Below threshold)

While we wait, supposedly heroic Ronald Reagan didn't do so much when the Russians shot down KAL 007, or the Beirut Marine Barracks blast, etc. Just for perspective.

No bad mouthing <a href="ht... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

No bad mouthing President Action Figure, Neil.

As I said yesterday, what a... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

As I said yesterday, what about those Bangladesh pirates, or the Calcutta pirates. They don't exist and they are in just as bad shape economically as Somalia. The kicker is the ship they pirated carries the relief supplies for the ungrateful people.

As I said before, go club some baby seals, since that is a canadian sport. ww

Willie: I make a living as ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Willie: I make a living as a marketing insights consultant and social demographer/geographer. However, those who do make an honest living killing seals for fur probably think you're as much of a hippie jack-ass as Paul McCartney and the rest of the GreenPeace/PETA nuts. (Ha!)

And, since you're apparently either unwilling to read comments by people other than my own, you must have missed the part in this comment thread where people pointed out that there are in fact Bangladeshi and Indian pirates. I've actually seen pirates in the Gulf of Thailand when being ferried from one island to another, but the crew on our boat were sufficiently armed that all the pirates did was wave and continue on in their pursuit of easy money. A crewmember told my friends and I that they were Filipino.

I'm actually a bit confused: if you were right--and you aren't (quelle surprise!)--which attitudinal/cultural property of Somalis makes them become pirates, that Bangladeshis supposedly lack?

Hyper, you remind me of Pau... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Hyper, you remind me of Paul Hooson who quotes his resume and experience in an attempt to impress and buttress your argument. Pirates are pirates, but the biggest problem and really the only one that is disrupting commerce in a big way is Somalian pirates, as you know you putz.

I have no opinion on your baby seal killing but my country would not tolerate it, being that we are more humane here in the states. So, kill away.

Your stories remind me of John Kerry secret canoe ride into Cambodia. I generally do not believe anyone who puts out personal data about themselves. No way to prove it and too easy to embellish or make up out of whole cloth. So, you wasted some bytes.

Submission Accomplished. ww

Submission Accomplished--- ... (Below threshold)
914:

Submission Accomplished--- And good afternoon ww

Hyper, have a lousy day you baby seal killer.

Sigh.Just to tie t... (Below threshold)
jim:

Sigh.

Just to tie things up:
Justrand -
Uh oh...last year they institued a ban on salmon fishing here in California...which has wiped out the local fishing industry! (TRUE)
...and the fishermen here all have boats
...and I'll bet they have some weapons too! (damn 2nd amendment!)

Oh, sure.

Canada also has some other things, like:
1. a functioning government
2. a functioning trade economy, where other nations want other things Canada creates
3. a safety net, so people aren't forced to choose between starvation or crime

Marc -

jim's just gone off the deep end ignoring, willfully or not, the much larger issue.

I'm interested in what you think the larger issue is, here. Me, I'm just talking solutions. If we really want to solve the problem, we can easily make things a great deal better (and probably solve it out right) if we stop fishing in the technically international waters for the fish Somalis need for themselves and their economy.

But that will require international governments and corporations actually care about a 3rd world country. Which they really don't prefer to. And I speak of liberal governments and liberal-led corporations as well as conservative ones.

jim, you're wasting your ti... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

jim, you're wasting your time. Some people refuse to accept that a country with lower corporate tax rates, lower crime rates, smaller percentage of the population incarcerated, and higher scores on every quality of life index available to the public is anything but a socialist hell-hole because we have universal health care and Rush Limbaugh says that's bad.

ww - "As I said yesterd... (Below threshold)
marc:

ww - "As I said yesterday, what about those Bangladesh pirates, or the Calcutta pirates. They don't exist and they are in just as bad shape economically as Somalia."

Like interest on a savings account, stupidity gets compounded.

And while on the subject of your ignorance, "Calcutta" hasn't existed since 2001, it's known as Kolkata. Try to keep up will ya?

hyper - "marc: I don't ... (Below threshold)
marc:

hyper - "marc: I don't disagree. My point--which sailed over your head--is that Somalis ought to elicit at least a shred of sympathy from someone who thinks that material conditions in Iraq in 2003 warranted a full-scale invasion."

The only thing that sails over my head is your penchant for obtuse behavior & thought.

You attempting a comparison between Somalia and Iraq is nonsense and falls in line with the all too common questions from anti-iraq war types: But why "Iraq and not_____" (insert your favorite country in the blank provided.

Iraq at the time had any number of reasons both tactically, strategically and morally (like Bush I bailing on them after promising to support an upraising) to justify the war.

Somalia has seen much support from the U.S. starting with Bush I and continued thru Clinton who finally pulled the plug.

And not so incidentally prompted by some of the same chickenshit politicians that were anti-iraq war, not to mention that great war hero, and RINO Supreme McCain. If the bastards had finished the job then it would be a far better place now.

Moreover, U.S aid to the country continues to this day.

If you hadn't noticed the ship hijacked is loaded with relief supplies destined for several African countries including Somalia.

Now, for my two cents, and considering that some but not all of the ransom cash paid in this pirate operation falls into the hands of terror orgs like Al Qaeda and Jamal Islamia I'd take them out.

As in, mount a military campaign to root them out and at the same time stabilize the country.

But frankly that's pie-in-the-sky thinking as NATO, the U.N., the EU and the African Union wouldn't lift a hand to help.

Obama would then become the "go-it-alone-unilateralist" just like Bush was labeled.

Again you illogical liberal... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Again you illogical liberals comparing socialized or government run programs with other countries. How obtuse. We are a nation of 300+ MILLION people. We are not a little country like France or canada. Our government cannot run the post office efficiently. Medicare is bleeding money. SS is slowly running out of contributors and yet the left still is all excited about the government having input into your health. Idiotic doesn't cover it. ww

OK, some further distinctio... (Below threshold)
jim:

OK, some further distinctions:

Aid does not compare towards being able to make one's own money.

This would be the difference between, say, depending on the government for welfare and being able to work one's own job.

The aid that Somalia is receiving, while more than it might if there were NO aid, is not enough to take the place of having it's own industry.

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, feed him for a lifetime. Take away his means of fishing or any other legal & moral economic way to feed himself and his family, and he is more likely to turn to illegal and immoral ways.

And again, to be perfectly clear, this DOES NOT mean that people who chose illegal and immoral ways should not be punished. They should.

But if we really want to stop the creation of criminals, we should change the circumstances that leave people with such poor choices.

That's all I have to say.




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