A few days ago, Somali pirates seized an American yacht sailing off the Horn of Africa. On board were four Americans, including a missionary couple who were literally circling the globe to give out Bibles. American warships were nearby, and responded. They didn’t launch an immediate rescue operation, but followed and tried to open negotiations.
The pirates’ opening gambit: kill all the hostages.
The Navy moved in, but they were too late. Two pirates were killed, along with the four Americans. Thirteen more pirates were captured.
Which leaves the obvious question: WHY?
There was a time when pirates were recognized as universal enemies of humanity. Under international law, it was both the right and the duty of every navy to hunt down and exterminate pirates.
That’s fallen by the wayside, by and large, but the laws are still on the books. And the justification is as good today as it was then.
There’s one sure way to cut down — if not eliminate — Somali piracy.
A close blockade of Somalia’s coast, with every single Somali vessel subject to being stopped and searched. Retaliatory strikes against known pirate bases and communities that support the pirates. And summary execution of pirates captured — unless they can prove themselves more valuable alive than dead.
This incident also reinforces an observation I had a while ago. In the Western world, a “martyr” is someone who dies for their beliefs. In the Islamic world, a “martyr” tends to be someone who dies for their beliefs — but while killing others in the process.
Somalia is primarily an Islamic state.
Scott Adam, Jean Adam, Bob Riggle, and Phyllis Mackay are martyrs in the Western sense. They died while practicing their beliefs, in a way that harmed absolutely no one.
As a confirmed agnostic, I would not be opposed to the US Navy — and the navies of the rest of the world — going a bit Old Testament on their behalf.