Somali Pirates Seize an American Tugboat

The Somalis have upped the ante and have now seized an American owned tugboat and are holding its 16 member crew hostage. The Somalis have decided that they are no longer interested in profit and instead are interested in seeing how far they can push the new American president. I have a feeling they are going to realize pretty quickly that they will be able to push him around fairly easily, especially since the administration is fearful that al Shabab might get involved if it reacts too strongly against the Somali pirates:

Senior Obama administration officials are debating how to address a potential terrorist threat to U.S. interests from a Somali extremist group, with some in the military advocating strikes against its training camps. But many officials maintain that uncertainty about the intentions of the al-Shabab organization dictates a more patient, nonmilitary approach.

Al-Shabab, whose fighters have battled Ethiopian occupiers and the tenuous Somali government, poses a dilemma for the administration, according to several senior national security officials who outlined the debate only on the condition of anonymity.

It’s looking more and more like Somalia will trip up this president as well. Unfortunately, Clinton’s mishandling and retreat from Somalia was one of the reasons Osama Bin Laden said he felt he could hit us on 9/11. Clinton’s retreat told OBL that we were nothing but a paper tiger. Fortunately, OBL’s attack was ill-timed because former president George W. Bush was in the White House, and we know how badly that turned out for al Qaeda. However, if terrorists wanted to strike America at a time when they could be pretty confident the reaction from the US would be muted, then they may decide that it would be better to do it when Obama is in the White House.

Crisis or merely a distraction?
Obama's Rule #1 for when you find yourself in a hole: dig faster