The Somali pirates--Rush Limbaugh has dubbed them maritime organizers--are asking for $2000000. and safe passage in exchange for hostage Richard Phillips, captain of the Maersk Alabama. So, the pirates are now kidnappers as well. How do we deal with the pirates? That used to be an easy question, butnow, it turns out, it is a thorny one. Consider these excerpts from recent news:
The Royal Navy, once the scourge of brigands on the high seas, has been told by the Foreign Office not to detain pirates because doing so may breach their human rights. (Marie Woolf, TimesOnline 13 Apr., 2008)
In 1815, when the United States led the world in crushing the pirates off the Barbary Coast, retribution was swift and final. They either went down with their ships, were executed on the spot or they were taken back to England or Jamaica for trial where they were usually hanged and left dangling on posts along piers as a deterrent to others. (Thomas Rose, CBCNews.ca, 5 Feb., 2009)
If, somehow, we capture these individuals, how will the Obama Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder, handle them? We know it will become a Justice Department matter, because they have already sent the FBI to negotiate with the pirates. By all means, President Obama, make sure that the rights of the pirates are protected. We can not send them to Somalia, where they might have their hands or heads cut off (Sharia law); we can not send them to Kenya, because it might anger Prime Minister Gordon Brown; we can not send them to Gitmo, where they would get 3 Halal meals a day and a copy of the Quran, because we are shutting Gitmo down; so it looks like they will have to go to Rikers Island, so they can make a plea bargain and be out on the street in a couple of years.
My solution is the 1815 solution: rescue the captain, kill the pirates. Don't you long for the good old days?
Photo credit: Talbot/AP