« Somali Pirates Seize an American Tugboat | Main | Happy Easter »

Crisis or merely a distraction?

Our good friends over at Wizbang Blue have declared the Somali pirate kerfuffle to be the first major international crisis for Obama. Meanwhile, Reuters has declared that Pirates pose annoying distraction for Obama. So is it the administration's first major international crisis or merely an annoying distraction? Don't bother asking our rudderless Appeaser in Chief - so far he's been silent on the issue. Although I get the feeling that in his steel trap-like mind he's wondering "Why can't I just eat my waffle?"

Lest you fool yourself into believing Obama's silence is indicative of weakness and confusion, you can rest assured as the Obama Team Mulls Aims Of Somali Extremists.

Similar debates over how to deal with perceived threats in countries where the United States is not at war occurred during the Bush administration, which on several occasions canceled strikes because of insufficient evidence or concern about inflaming the local population and making a politically explosive situation worse. The newness of the Obama administration, one senior military official, has slowed the decision process even more.

They are "walking slowly," the official said, "and for the players with continuity, the frustration continues to grow."

But many on the national security team insist that it is their caution and willingness to consider all aspects of the situation that differentiate them from the overly aggressive posture of the Bush administration that they say exacerbated the terrorist threat.

Thank goodness we've turned the page on the overly aggressive posture of the Bush administration exacerbating terrorist threats to a new era of pirates now comfortable with seizing US flagged vessels sans the threat of immediate and punitive ass whipping. Now we can address the root causes of Somali terrorism and forge a lasting peace free of nuclear weapons. Then we can buy the world a Coke and teach it how to sing. Maybe we can start with that old psalm "What a friend we have in Jesus Obama..."

God help us if Obama does view it as a crisis. Because you know what a crisis means to this administration - a massive infusion of stimulus dollars. Should they choose to decline the high-paying, unionized jobs weatherproofing and blowing insulation into the attics of Somali schools or rebuilding Somalia's crumbling infrastructure we can at least take solace in pirates grudgingly forced to take to the high seas in hybrid skiffs. Hooson already beat me to the parody punch by demanding gun control for Somali pirates. Today is Easter Fools Day, right? You got me, Paul.

I hate to bring cost/benefit analysis into something as complex as piracy, but for what it would cost the US (as with all UN resolutions we'd get stuck doing the heavy lifting) to chase and seize weapons from pirates we could equip all US flagged ships with a fore and aft M167 Vulcan.

Until Obama speaks on the matter we won't know if Somali pirates are a "worst x since x" or "Just let me eat my waffle" moment. If he holds true to form it will likely conclude with Obama apologizing for America's arrogance over the use of international waters and a call for diplomacy. Those Somali pirates had best brace themselves for a salvo of sternly-worded letters.


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/35269.

Comments (21)

Wow 4 pirates with little o... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Wow 4 pirates with little or no training are an international crisis for Obama. Talk about setting expectations low.

I wonder what they would call a 911 size attack.

I read the pirate boat is d... (Below threshold)
kat:

I read the pirate boat is drifting closer to the Kenyan coast. Maybe The One can send his Uncle over to negotiate?
Obama, the second coming of Carter.

M167 Vulcan- bvoM2... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

M167 Vulcan- bvo

M2 50 cals- bryanD

ps., BVO: the creator of Dungeons and Dragons passed away last week. I thought it might concern you.

It is colossally stupid to ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

It is colossally stupid to send a US destroyer and allow it to be shown up by four dirtbags with AK's.

You don't send the military unless you intend for the military to act.

Obama should simply have sent Jimmy Carter there with a bouquet of flowers and his hat in his hand.

Discussions on Meet The Pre... (Below threshold)

Discussions on Meet The Press today revealed that private shipping companies won't let their crews carry adequate armament to defend from pirates. The companies would rather negotiate than fight, and want to avoid liability costs (well, the insurance agencies like Lloyd's have a role, let's ask if their policies should change too.) That just encourages the pirates - "It's win-win for the pirates."

The US Navy is already out there around the horn of Africa: there's just too much space to cover with a few ships (and remember, how much US military and money tied up in GW Bush's ill-advised and bungled adventures that could otherwise be deployed elsewhere!) Right-wingers who say Obama is weak etc. about pirates are just using the affair for partisan propaganda.

Let's also remember their hero Ronbo did nothing about Russians shooting down airliner KAL 007, the bombing of the Beirut Marine barracks, sold arms for hostages (and then lied about it) instead of invading Iran (at least Carter tried!)

Obama should absolutely sta... (Below threshold)
jim:

Obama should absolutely start promoting this to the front burner. Every Somali should know that kidnapping Americans is the best way to get America's attention. As a matter of fact, the whole world should know it too.

Obama should then also personally travel to Somalia and start "negotiating" with the kidnappers by threatening to kill all of them if they don't turn over the hostages. Then, if they turn over the hostages, Obama should kill all of them. That way no one will take hostages again. They'll probably just kill the Americans instead. Bad for the Americans, but, who cares. They shouldn't let themselves get captured, it makes us look bad.

We should then declare war on all of Somalia, and nuke it. That'll show the pirates not to take Americans hostage. It'll also kill every hostage, but, whatever.

If I were in charge I would... (Below threshold)

If I were in charge I would have long ago sent a team of divers over to the boat to quietly put a couple of holes in it. When it starts to sink and they abandon ship, it becomes a simple rescue operation.

The US Navy is alr... (Below threshold)
Brett:
The US Navy is already out there around the horn of Africa: there's just too much space to cover with a few ships (and remember, how much US military and money tied up in GW Bush's ill-advised and bungled adventures that could otherwise be deployed elsewhere!) Right-wingers who say Obama is weak etc. about pirates are just using the affair for partisan propaganda.

Nonsense. The entire thing should have been over an hour after the Navy got there. That it continues while the supposed "most powerful man in the world" wrings his hands over what to do is a disgrace and is the very definition of what it means to be pathetic weakling. These are a few losers in a rubber boat, for Christ's sake! All that's missing to complete the picture is yellow ribbons and "America Held Hostage, Day xx".

On the topic of bungling, lets see, murderous dictator gone, free elections, and Obama pushing to continue the war in Afghanistan and continue to suspend habeus corpus for those caught on the battlefield - all for, by comparison, a bargain (check the deficits for the war VS deficits now). We'll see how the Lightbringer does 4 years from now - so far he has been a catastrophe in all possible aspect. Only the most deluded left-winger, unwilling to admit his obvious mistake, could see it any other way.

Nonsense? So go ahead and c... (Below threshold)

Nonsense? So go ahead and charge in there, maybe kill the captain? Maybe. Or maybe we can use a net to capture the lifeboat, who knows. If the military had a good idea they'd use it regardless of whether Obama or McCain were President, you don't know what McCain would have done. And of course you dodge the main point about the shippers and their policies.

As for Iraq: Wow, a dictator gone after around 600 Billion and still trouble there, upcoming struggle with Kurds - no I don't consider that a bargain, which you do only because your hero did it and not a Democrat. Oh, yes, Afghanistan: we ran most of our force out of there to barge into Iraq, so now we've lost our previous gains - yes, that's why Obama is putting more force in there, to make up for Bush's screwup diversion. (And BTW, since he's doing that and keeping some tough polices as per HC, then you should like that if you're consistent.)

Given the losing prospects for Afghanistan, I'd say we spent over 600B to make things worse in the net. At least the stimulus package stays mostly in the USA. If Obama can be criticized for anything, it's doing it too Republican-style by coddling the Wall Street community.

The spin begins."If ... (Below threshold)
STaylor:

The spin begins.
"If only Bush had not got us into the Iraq war, then Obama would have enough ships to stop the pirates."
Face it. The administration that assured us of its brillance at international realtions is being pushed around by four guys in a rowboat. They don't need more ships, they already have three in the area, to act; they need the spine.
I suppose that we need to match each pirate with at least one US Navy ship? Or maybe get a carrier battle group? Before Obama feels secure enough to act. And he would be able to do it to, if it wern't for that meddling Bush.

The US Navy has rescued the... (Below threshold)
maggie:

The US Navy has rescued the captain. Three pirates were killed and one was injured
during the rescue.

Oh, Neil, you are my new fa... (Below threshold)
Brett:

Oh, Neil, you are my new favorite commentator:

Nonsense? So go ahead and charge in there, maybe kill the captain? Maybe. Or maybe we can use a net to capture the lifeboat, who knows. If the military had a good idea they'd use it regardless of whether Obama or McCain were President, you don't know what McCain would have done. And of course you dodge the main point about the shippers and their policies.

So now it turns out the Navy attacked the pirates, killed 3 of 4, rescued the captain, crisis over. Any explanation as to why this blatantly obvious solution, taking on the order of a few minutes, wasn't done days ago by your brilliant, "smartest administration ever"? This is all that ever need have been done, no crisis, no multi-day standoff, no appearance of a gutless and helpless USA dragged out for days (and thus encouraging every enemy that we have that we are a bunch of cowards). Just like with the North Korean missile launch (should have mysteriously blown up on pad), bowing to the Kings, etc.

And the main point IS ABSOLUTELY NOT that the shipping companies don't permit sufficient arming. It's safe to assume that this will soon be corrected. But it's a trivial side point to the real issue, the reaction of the US government to hostage-taking on the high seas. So, yes, I disregarded that point because it was an intentional deflection from the actual story.

Although even your *dodge* is interesting - another attempt to blame someone else or hold some other entity, aside from the US government led by your Chosen One, responsible for its own failings. That seems to also be a recurring theme. When is Obama going to take responsibility for what happens? Or is his every failing going to be blamed on Bush/Halliburton/Wall Street Fat Cats/Shipping companies/Red State conservatives, etc?

I am glad that the Captain ... (Below threshold)
STaylor:

I am glad that the Captain is safe, though I do wish that this had been done days ago. Ultimatly the right choice has been made, I just hope that the delay has not made us appear too weak.

retired military:"Wo... (Below threshold)
cirby:

retired military:
"Wow 4 pirates with little or no training are an international crisis for Obama. Talk about setting expectations low."

Yes, because they're the only pirates operating in those waters, and similar pirate operations haven't collected tens of millions of dollars ransom for ships they've captured...

If handled competently, as ... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:

If handled competently, as it turns out it was, it can be a short-term distraction converted to a minor win. Had he blown it, it could very well have turned into a crisis.

CirbyOn the scale ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Cirby

On the scale of major international incidents with 911 being a 5 and nuclear war being a 10 I would give this about 0.0000000000000000001
regardless of previous incidents regarding ransoms.

International prostitution trade ranks higher on the scale of major international incidents.

Whats the next major international incident - Obama's dog taking a crap on the Queen's lawn?


neil b - "yes, that's w... (Below threshold)
marc:

neil b - "yes, that's why Obama is putting more force in there, to make up for Bush's screwup diversion."

That time-worn pablum needs correcting:

Obama is putting more force in there in the present because 1. his EU Adventure turned into utter failure as they thumbed their collective noses at increasing support in any meaningful way and 2. Bush's co-called "screw-up diversion," was in fact the antithesis of the "go-it-alone-cowboy" image the lefty loons constantly portrayed him to be.

In reality he enlisted the support of countries that supposedly "hated" the US and its policies and eventually turned the command of the operation over to NATO.

That they (NATO) failed was Bush's only mistake and more importantly will be obama's as the EU leaves him out to dry as they did Bush.

But marc, if we'd at least ... (Below threshold)

But marc, if we'd at least delayed any Iraq action (sheesh, until Inspectors left at least) then we could have hit the Taliban harder and wrapped up against Al Qaeda. That's the main point, and when you guys drivel off into secondary points about just how much support we got from other countries, I know you're getting behind.

Neil"if we'd at le... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Neil

"if we'd at least delayed any Iraq action "

Oh you mean while Saddam worked with China and Russia to put off the war and lifting the sanctions. You mean while Saddam improved his weapons making capability per the Duefler report. You mean while our troops and Equipment sat in the desert and instead of attacking prior to summer go in some time later like in the middle of summer. You mean while Saddam and the rest of world laughed at us doing nothing more than the saber rattling that the UN does.

When you liberals dont think about the reality of the situation on the ground, the history of the players involved, and the consequences of such actions I know that you are getting behind.

brett - "Any explanatio... (Below threshold)
marc:

brett - "Any explanation as to why this blatantly obvious solution, taking on the order of a few minutes, wasn't done days ago by your brilliant, "smartest administration ever"? This is all that ever need have been done, no crisis, no multi-day standoff, no appearance of a gutless and helpless"

Clueless much?

Somehow you missed who and when certain elements of the Navy were on station.

The USS Boxer, complete with a full complement of 3000 Marines AND a SEAL Team just arrived within the last 12 hours from the Arabian Gulf AND after the captain's first attempt at escape.

Much hand-wringing was to be had by some nutcakes when the "navy failed to rescue him" then and not so incidentally laid at the feet of obama.

But alas in the Captains next attempt and AFTER the SEALS were there to do the job assigned and... presto-chango... a safe return of a brave merchant fleet captain.

Neil b - ".... and when... (Below threshold)
marc:

Neil b - ".... and when you guys drivel off into secondary points about just how much support we got from other countries, I know you're getting behind."

Yeah life's a bitch when we parrot those that spent the last 8 years pissing themselves because the so-called "cowboy in chief" went at any and everything "alone," and made the world "hate" us in the process.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy