Four thoughts about the pirates:
1) Piracy may or may not be a matter of American national security, but the American people will not for long stand the notion that a captive brave American ship captain risks his life to escape, while formidable American naval power either cannot or will not punish the miscreants;
2) Pompey’s victories over the Cilician pirates, the Venetian clean-up of the Mediterranean sea-lanes, and the British success in stopping Caribarrean piracy were all predicated on going ashore, destroying the docks, headquarters, and homes of the pirates. To end Somali piracy, disproportionate measures against the shore should be taken—for every one pirate assault, a lethal air assault should immediately follow.
3) In academic circles the last two decades, pirates have been romanticized in a variety of contexts—as in pirates being contrarian individualists, admirable anarchists, Marxist redistributionists, sexually ambiguous, cross-dressing, transgendered libertines, and Lotus-eater-like sensualists, rather than as murderous criminals. Who knows, maybe such esoteric theorizing has filtered down to the U.S. State Department.
4) The Obamists better be careful in their serial apologetics, “Bush did it” throat-clearing, and caving to European, Russia, Turkish, etc. agendas. Slowly, but clearly we are establishing a new atmosphere in which the old unpredictability, military preparedness, and deterrence will be lost, replaced by a touchy-feely sort of seminar discussion, laced with atonement, reaction. And then the two-bit pirates who boast “We are not afraid of the Americans” will be the least of our problems.