Mackubin Thomas Owens, a recognized authority on military affairs and associate dean and professor at the Naval War College, has written an outstanding article on "How to Tackle Piracy" (http://www.fpri.org/enotes/200904.owens.piracy.html).
The article covers current piracy statistics, historical examples of piracy and how it was appeased and fought, competing views of how to deal with the problem, difficult policy choices, international law, and the moral dimension of robbery and kidnapping on the high seas. Owens faults "legalism and moralism" for twisting how we think about the law as applicable to piracy, and provides an example which underscores the perversion of modern legal concepts: "European navies have been advised to avoid capturing Somali pirates since under the European Human Rights Act any pirate taken into custody would be entitled to claim refugee status in a European state, with attendant legal rights and protections."
Pirates as refugees! What's next, the pirate captured last week and now incarcerated in New York seeking political asylum? Absurd? We'll see.
Meantime, Professor Owens concludes by reminding us that "Americans must understand that if we really wish to root out piracy today, we must be willing to take strong steps. But these steps will require us to change the current mindset, which does not distinguish beween war against legitimate enemies and war against [as Roman law put it] 'the common enemies of mankind,' which includes not only pirates but also terrorists." (My emphasis.)
He's correct about what's required.
But it's not going to happen until Barack Obama is out of the White House.
Barack Obama--who repeatedly disdains America, snuggles up to America-hating third-world thugs, who seeks a peaceful solution through negotiation with pirates about to kill an American ship captain, who delegated American sovereignty to the corrupt United Nations, who promises to cut the defense budget, who listens politely while a Castro-loving ignoramus verbally defames America, who promises to reduce if not eliminate America's nuclear deterrent, who threatens to prosecute the American heroes who kept us safe for the past eight years--lacks the will to take "strong steps" . . .
. . . except to turn federal regulators and law enforcement personnel into fascist goons, and our economy and cultural institutions into a socialist swamp.
To acheive this vision, Obama is more than willing to take strongs steps.
But to keep us safe from pirate scum who rob and kidnap Americans, from Islamic terrorists who would destroy us, from the failed states which facilitate them? No!
Obama lacks the head and the heart--and other attributes--which are indispensable to the survival of the United States of America.