Thursday, April 9, 2009

Somalian Piracy, Captain Phillips and the Politics of Crisis

My thoughts and well wishes are with Captain Phillips of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama and his family. Phillips was taken hostage yesterday during an attempt to pirate the vessel that was thwarted by the crew. I find it disheartening that people are so quick to label the president's restraint in commenting as inaction. This comes even as the events are still unfolding. The navy is working to resolve the matter. I am grateful for their efforts and appreciate that they are bringing in law enforcement expertise from the FBI as this is a criminal matter. The administration, in refraining from comment may actually be aiding the navy's efforts.

To be fair, secrecy has not always served us well in the past, but neither has a rush to action from the White House. Both of these strategies were defended in the past by some of the same pundits who now raise objections. This is an ongoing issue that will hopefully be the recipient of more informed awareness as it strikes closer to home. This site offers some historical perspective in the form of a timeline of Somalian piracy since November of 2006:

This is nearing a conclusion, one way or another. As the pirate's lifeboat runs out of gas, maybe the wind will go out of the critics' sails. I'm not holding my breath.

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