Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, once the New World Order decided that blowing pirate ships to smithereens was not the best way to deal with them.
Somali pirates hijacked a U.S.-flagged, Danish-owned container ship on Wednesday with 20 American crew on board in a major escalation in attacks at sea off the Horn of Africa nation, officials said.
Andrew Mwangura, coordinator of the Mombasa-based East African Seafarers’ Assistance Program, told Reuters the 17,000 ton Maersk Alabama had been seized off Mogadishu far out in the Indian Ocean, but all its crew were believed to be unharmed.
Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk confirmed that the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama had been attacked by pirates about 500 km (300 miles) off Somalia and had probably been hijacked. The company said it had 20 American crew on board.
A spokesman for the U.N.’s World Food Program (WFP) in Nairobi told Reuters that among the vessel’s cargo were 232 containers of WFP relief food destined for Somalia and Uganda.
By tolerating the intolerable, we have endangered our own citizens on the far side of the world. The forebears of these same pirates menaced travelers over 200 years ago, and clearly outlined where their authority came from:
…[O]ne cannot get around what Jefferson heard when he went with John Adams to wait upon Tripoli’s ambassador to London in March 1785. When they inquired by what right the Barbary states preyed upon American shipping, enslaving both crews and passengers, America’s two foremost envoys were informed that “it was written in the Koran, that all Nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon whoever they could find and to make Slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
Perhaps we need to re-think the problem and come up with a better solution, better than appeasement or disregard of the problem; better than closing our eyes and wishing it away; a solution that first worked back in 1803:
…[O]ur infant country attacked Tripoli under circumstances that are eerily similar to contemporary times. That conflict, immortalized in the Marine Corps Hymn, “From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli” called the Tripolitan War or the Barbary Pirate War, came shortly after we gained our independence from England. The United States chose to fight the pirates of Barbary, rather than pay tribute, as did all the other nations who traded in the Mediterranean Sea. The decision was bold, but the eventual victory by the tiny United States Navy broke a pattern of international blackmail and terrorism dating back more than one hundred and fifty years.
Are we simply going to treat this as another chance to impress the Europeans with our eagerness for dialogue rather than take direct action? Will we soon be holding hands and singing Kumbayah?
Where are the sons of our forefathers? Where are the leaders who will make the hard decisions? I’m darned sure our Marines are ready to step in once again, but where is the Commander-in-Chief who will send them?
There are captured Americans off the (metaphorical) shores of Tripoli. What will be done to rescue them?
That’s what I thought.
UPDATE 4/8/09, 12:13PM EST: Fox News and the AP are reporting that the American crew has re-taken control of the Alabama.