I am totally excited about the rescue of the ship captain from the waters off Somalia’s coast. I am bothered by 2 aspects of this story, however. First, never is there a mention that these pirates are muslims. The pirates are Muslim. This piracy is nothing new. Such Islamic piracy is behind the founding of the U.S. Marines (hence, “The shores of Tripoli”). Thomas Jefferson first dealt with the Muslim pirates in the early days of the young America.
When Jefferson asked why these pirates thought they had the right to take over ships from other countries, he learned that they were Muslims who thought it both their right and their duty. Here is how an article by Christopher Hitchens puts it:
“When they inquired by what right the Barbary states preyed upon American shipping, enslaving both crews and passengers, America’s two foremost envoys were informed that “it was written in the Koran, that all Nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon whoever they could find and to make Slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
The Somali “pirate” problem is not a new problem for the U.S. as long as we are willing to give Muslims a pass in order to keep the peace, we will continue to get the same results–terror and piracy. If you are not sure whether these pirates are Muslims, consider Wikipedia’s article, which indicates that the Muslim group has operated this piracy plan for 10 centuries now. Sadly, the press is mute on the fact of Islamic identity.
Another sad fact is that this ship was carrying food and aid to needy people in Somalia and Rwanda. Can we not call on all Muslims to condemn this piracy? Could Muslims not help in policing their own? Wouldn’t they roundly condemn hijacking ships that are carrying aid to needy people?
Shooting the pirates was the right thing. Threatening them with life in a U.S. prison sounds a bit hollow. The fact that these rogues have issued a call for revenge demonstrates that these are not reasonable people. They are not American citizens who have committed petty crimes. They are enemy comabatants who have a sworn intent to carry out other missions against the U.S.
I hope the Navy is celebrated for this victory. I fear that the tolerance police are going to begin second guessing the decision to shoot, especially since it seems to have angered the Muslim pirates. It seems to me we should let them know that we are angry when innocent people delivering food to feed starving souls are kidnapped, threatened, and held for ransom.
I say keep some Navy seals on board and let these guys try to kidnap them in the future.