The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From last night’s “All-Stars.”

On the prospects for taking action against piracy:

Well, what do we do with pirates? We shoot them. That appears to be the American way, and it rather works, if you have an opportunity.

I think this is very important because it is the kind of a deterrent. It doesn’t deter all of the piracy, obviously, but it does tell a pirate, if you have a choice of ships, stay away from the U.S. Navy, which is good. “Don’t tread on me” is a good lesson.

Secondly, the question is what do you do for the future? I think the idea of the United States organizing an international sort of agreement or sort of a committee, or some kind of concerted action, is not going to happen.

There are only two options — a, you arm the ships, which is a passive mode, but I think it might be the most effective. The most effective is to attack the lairs – that’s the word you use for a pirate — they don’t have bases. They always have lairs — attack them in Somalia.

But that requires a military operation of some scale at a time when we don’t have a lot of slack or spare capacity. We have wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and this is not at that high enough level.

Perhaps at a time of quiet, you would want to mount a campaign in Somalia, but America has a history in Somalia. It’s not a happy one.

So I think what America ought to do is to encourage the use of armed guards the way that we have marshals on airplanes, and to continue to send a message that if you attack an American ship, you will likely die.

On the Obama administration invoking the state secrets privilege:

… I think he won’t actually explain in public and do a mea culpa on this, to say he has now changed his mind. He never admits to ever having changed his mind. He never admits to any error. It is always everyone else who commits errors.

And the reason is that he is glib enough and still has enough charisma to play a double game. He goes abroad, and he says “I’m closing Guantanamo,” and he gets huge applause. He wallows in that applause. He loves it.

And, of course, as Mort indicates, he is shipping Gitmo east. Bagram will become East Gitmo.

And the same on interrogation. He left a huge loophole, and yet he makes these statements in Europe – “We do not torture,” as a way to, of course, have himself stand above Bush and America before him.

That’s how he operates. And some of the left wing groups in the Democratic Party are aware of his hypocrisy, but it’s not a general impression. All these loopholes are fairly well hidden. And as in this interrogation stuff, he will get away with it.

It’s no surprise that a president of any party defends the prerogatives of his office, to defend his office. And also because he likes the power, Obama likes the power, he’s going to keep it.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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