Friday, April 10, 2009

Shiver Their Timbers

For the first time in two centuries, pirates commandeered a United States-flagged seagoing vessel this week; after the boarding, the unarmed American crew overcame the attackers. After the pirates reneged with respect to an agreed swap of captives, the pirates took the ship's captain as a hostage and are holding him aboard a limping boat. A U.S. Navy destroyer is shadowing that boat.

The New York Times has reported that Somali clan elders, the pirates' overseers, have dispatched reinforcement -- larger vessels, more pirates, weapons -- to help the small boat carrying a few pirates and the captured captain.


I understand American forces' wariness with respect to the captain-carrying vessel. But I see no reason the other pirate ships should be permitted to venture more than two miles from the Somali shore before being blasted into bits.

We wouldn't need Captain Teague (left) to accomplish this mission, although his familiarity with the pirates' code could be handy; I'd wager that any American 10-year-old proficient at PlayStation, if handed the controls of a properly armed drone, could get the job done before snacktime.

While we're at it, we should vaporize a few other pirate vessels, simply for the sport of it. If the pirates learn than so much as squinting at a United States-flagged vessel constitutes an irrevocable ticket for a joust with the entire U.S. Navy, the American shipping industry might be rebuilt quicker than you can shoot a pirate between the eyes and say "The Code Is The Law."

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