Uhhhh, . . . .
So, O.K. I are real dumb. Here's the Tribune (NYT) story, "To Fight Somali Pirates, the West must first defeat red tape," wherein it it says that the pirates who have been hijacking huge, ginormous oil tankers in international waters and on the high seas and holding them hostage for ransom have a bunch of people in a tangle. "Bureaucratic and legal hurdles facing internaitonal institutions and national governments have so far defeated most efforts to deal with the nimble crews of pirates in speedboats, whose tactics have grown bolder as their profits have paid for better weapons and equipment.
"While the pirates have been buying GPS devices, satellite phones and more powerful outboard motors, officials in Europe have been discussing jurisdictional issues surrounding the arrest of pirates on the high seas and even the possibility that the pirates might demand assylum if brought onto Europen Union shores."
Uh, I thought piracy in international waters was illegal, and I thought that if somebody in a small boat sent an RPG across your bow or onto your bridge, it was reasonable to assume that they were intent on killling or kidnapping you or stealing your boat and cargo (Arrrrgggg, mates, it's wot we pirates do! Arrrggghhhh) and you had a perfect legal right to defend yourself, up to and including blowing said pirates out of the water?
So, why hasn't the Saudi Gov and other transshippers of valuable pirate-worthy cargo called Dick Cheney up and said, "Hey, since your Iraq war is winding down, ya got some extra mercs from Halliburton you can send over? Oh, and put me in touch with some arms dealers, we'll be needing some laser-guided rockets and such like that can lock onto fast, zippy little boats filled with guys with guns who are, even as we speak, zooming towards our ginormous oil tanker looking like the evil penguins from 'Madagascar'."
The story continues, "Germany this week announced that as many as 1,400 military personnel might take part in a European Union mission in the region. . . . If it gets approval, the German military is planning to send a frigate, the Karlsruhe, to join the European Union's first naval mission, expected to include as many as six frigates and three to five airplanes for maritime patrols. The European Union hopes to coordinate actions with other navies operating in the region, including those from India, Russia and the Unites States."
Woa. Why should the taxpayers of the U.S. pay to have navy ships in international waters protecting private tankers who are perfectly capable of arming themselves with all the latest toys (heck, if impoverished Somalis can buy all these cool weapons, why not Saudia Arabia?) in order to protect their product?
Think Wells Fargo and the grizzly guy riding shotgun on top of the stagecoach. Only after that failed (like suddenly the Somalis showed up with a dreadnought of their own -- highly unlikely, given the state of their economy) should the cavalry be called into to accompany the gold-laden stagecoach.
Uhhhh, I don't get it.