Somali pirates — you lose

I’ll be writing more very shortly regarding the issue of dealing with Somali pirates, but I have just two words in reaction to the manner in which President Obama dealt with those who hijacked the Maersk Alabama and kidnapped its American captain — Well Done!

Armed pirates hijacking American-flag vessels and U.S. citizens are not simply “criminals,” and the “situations” they create are not simply “hostage situations.” Rather these are hostile, armed actions against the United States, and if we are to maintain credibility and have any hope of preventing further such terorist acts, we must act decisively, quickly, and if necessary, harshly. The Obama Administration showed that at least in this instance, it understands this concept (as Ronald Reagan did in 1985 and 1986, and as Gerald Ford did in 1975).

33 comments Add your comment

Toni

April 13th, 2009
10:30 am

bubbatech02

April 13th, 2009
10:38 am

Anyone on the right (including me) who doesnt give Obama respect for this should turn in their credibility cards now. I hope Obama continues it. Yes, I know the president has little to do with the actual operation on the ground, but everyone always yelps about how Obama is an appeaser and will back down. He showed this past weekend that he is willing to let the military do its job.

And you cannot say enough about the SEALs and the captain. Bravery. Just amazing bravery.

Jack

April 13th, 2009
11:03 am

Nice to see credit given when it’s due. Hope Obama will deserve and receive credit a year from now as our recovery continues and we emerge from these dark economic days. Well done, Bob Barr.

Indignicant

April 13th, 2009
11:04 am

Can you imagine this for a moment, the Maerska Alabamas “rich cargo” was food aid to starving civilians (in Somalia, Kenya & Uganda). I could see if it was carrying Mercedes-benz automobiiles for sale to oil-rich shieks, but this was an humanitarian cargo! It amazes me the the US hasn’t invaded Somalia~land & whipped some sorely-needed democracy on this country; which to this date still isn’t recognized as a country, by the world community. If Mr Bush was still in office, all one would have to mention is the untapped oil & uranium resources locked away in that sparse country, and I’m sure their (and our) political troubles would end.

Tommy Lee Maddox

April 13th, 2009
11:12 am

With all of the media and liberals attempting to feminize the military and warfare itself, it is a refreshing day when terrorists [oh excuse me, criminals] have their heads blown off.

Go USA!

Sam

April 13th, 2009
11:30 am

Easier said than done. Somalia has an unlimited amount of armed pirates that, under the influence of drug, can do some really crazy and nasty stuff.

I applaude as well the US and French interventions, but believe the only way to tackle the problem is but removing Pirate’s logistical capabilities – boats in particular. And yes, that does mean taking actions on land.

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

April 13th, 2009
11:55 am

No, pirates are criminals. No need to glorify them, they are not attacking the United States, they are mere thieves. Three bullets, three dead, zero collateral damage.

Refreshing to have an adult in charge after these eight long years…

Steve

April 13th, 2009
1:02 pm

I agree that congrats need to go to both Obama and the skill of the Seal snipers.
First to President Obama for allowing attempted negotiations to continue until it was apparent the pirates were coming dangerously close to one of their own ports. Then taking the correct, decisive action that the pirates could not reach that port and give permission for the Navy to bring an end to the situation.
Second to the Seal snipers who shot from one moving ship to another moving vessel and took out each intended target. Proving once again why they are the BEST at what they do.

jt

April 13th, 2009
1:51 pm

If the news comes out that the crew of the “Alabama” was not allowed to have weapons (due to some Federal Goverment or UN law), But still, goes into known pirate waters, it isn’t right for my tax dollars to finance their rescue. Just saying.
A real Libertarian.

JackLeg

April 13th, 2009
2:27 pm

Aren’t we helping them? Don’t they all want to be martyrs? We need to help more of them!

William

April 13th, 2009
2:52 pm

Ah, I remember when Ford rescued our ship. Of course, he lost more men than he rescued.

William

April 13th, 2009
2:56 pm

Oh, and I forgot: the Cambodians released the sailors before we attacked.

LeeH1

April 13th, 2009
3:17 pm

First, go in with armed planes and ships, and destroy all the boats and ships of Somalia (yes, even the small fishing boats) now floating in their ports and harbors.

Then simply mine the ports and harbors of Somalia, so they can’t bring in any more pirated ships to plunder while being ransomed. They will have to leave the captured ships out in the open sea, with a bored crew, and prey to attacks by military and naval forces. Or try to bring the booty into port where a mine might go off underneath the hull and sink the ship.

If they can’t get out to sea in armed boats, then they can’t pirate peaceful civilian ships filled with humanitarian aid for their own country. Deny them a base of operations, and the operations will stop.

We can let them build or buy their fishing and trade ships again when they behave themselves and show that their own government will stop the pirates.

They can be pirates and go hungry, or they can be peaceful and live. Only in Somalia would this be a difficult choice.

George Uriesi

April 13th, 2009
3:20 pm

It is safe to say thanks that we have an adult administration in Washington. Left to all these trigger happy, go-get-em people like Mr Barr, the US should have invaded Somalia just to prove the point…

Phew!

Dino

April 13th, 2009
3:24 pm

The U.S. did invade Somalia a few years ago, got their tails kicked and pulled out. Thanks Bill Clinton!!!

Copyleft

April 13th, 2009
3:44 pm

I think that’s unfair, George. Barr isn’t a neocon; he’s been strongly against the notion of the U.S. deploying troops in every direction to invade and spread an empire.

It’s one of the things that sets him apart from the thoroughly discredited neoconservatives and their failed Iraq adventure.

reasonable

April 13th, 2009
4:00 pm

This was a well managed and executed handling of a crisis for which the President and his administration (including the military) deserve the credit along with the courage of the merchant crew and its captain. That said, there is no easy quick term solution to the problem of piracy in a lawless nation with the longest coastline in Africa. It will take time and more than the mere bombing of villages and small port areas. To the question of why merchant ships are not armed and some sort of U.S. or UN prohibition, first, many merchant ships do allow their crew to carry arms. Others do not but that is due to the decisions of the actual shipping companies with their fears about losses and liability. It is also these companies who have routinely bargained with and pay the ransoms to these thugs.

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

April 13th, 2009
4:21 pm

Job well done, Mr. Obama.

Mission Accomplished.

Thank God for a decent, intelligent man as the Commander-in-Chief. It’s been a long long time.

[...] Libertarian Party Presidential candidate Bob Barr writes in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution I’ll be writing more very shortly regarding the issue of dealing with Somali pirates, but I have [...]

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

April 13th, 2009
4:33 pm

Time to bring back the notion of the armed convoy – have merchant ships gather near the horn of Africa and provide them escorts in the form of destroyers and aircraft.

Unless these criminals have access to submarines, they lose before they start.

Susan Hogarth

April 13th, 2009
5:38 pm

“Armed pirates hijacking American-flag vessels and U.S. citizens are not simply “criminals,”:

Yes, they are.

“Rather these are hostile, armed actions against the United States,”

Learn some geography. This was a private ship outside of American waters. The U.S. government should not be treated as a defense force for private business.

“and if we are to maintain credibility and have any hope of preventing further such terorist acts, we must act decisively, quickly, and if necessary, harshly.”

Tell the AJC to give you a new editor – one who will reliably catch mis-spellings.

beki

April 13th, 2009
5:44 pm

I am sooooooooooo glad that we stood up for our fellow citizens! Thanks to the Prez,the Nav, and the Seals we killed some of those b*****ds. They have got to learn that some of us won’t be cowed by their ruthless audacity of kidnapping for the sake of ransom so they can buy bigger lethal weapons that they can turn against us. We need to “neutralize” their reason for pirating.

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

April 13th, 2009
6:25 pm

Susan is absolutely correct. These folks have no political agenda, the only agenda they have is thievery. They are muggers with guns and boats.

Tim Brown

April 13th, 2009
7:07 pm

President Obama made the right decision, just as President Bush would have and did. Those of you who continue to talk about having adults in charge are so totally wrong. In a few years when we have lost a large portion of our freedoms and are waiting for the government check you will see.

Amelia

April 13th, 2009
7:25 pm

Well Done Pres Obama and Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Navy and SEALS.

Ayn Rand was right

April 13th, 2009
7:32 pm

Can people please stop glorifying the President for doing his job. The Navy SEALS, along with the Captain who was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save others, are the ones who should be glorified. Like many other things going on in our world for which he gets/takes credit, Obama had NOTHING to do with the final outcome. At best he allowed them to do the job they are qualified to do, and they did it exceptionally well.

If those of you who wildly support President Obama would lay off the extreme accolades, others of us might actually take notice when he does go above and beyond. Remember the boy who cried wolf…it works for praise as well as peril.

GetRealDeKalb

April 13th, 2009
8:09 pm

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GetRealDeKalb

April 13th, 2009
8:12 pm

Ayn Rand was right?

If you had any idea of logic you would understand that it would be inconsistent to praise Nave SEALS for doing their job and not praise the President for doing his job. THe President made the right judgements as did the Navy SEALS commander and the SEALS themselves. Great job all round. We can leave it at that.

Ayn Rand was right

April 13th, 2009
8:31 pm

The Navy SEALS shot three for three off of a moving ship into a moving raft and did not harm the hostage. Obama said, “you have my permission to shoot”. Who went above and beyond? Give credit where credit is due. It is not inconsistent not illogical to praise people for doing something amazing in a difficult situation. If you want to give him credit for the sunrise so be it, but don’t expect it to translate into a re-election.

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

April 14th, 2009
6:55 am

Many Americans prefer the childish tantrums and antics of the previous administration to the calm rational approach that Obama has fostered. So Ayn is right, he will face a difficult re-election.

That Devil Forrest

April 14th, 2009
9:39 am

The president did his job. I’m glad he did his job but why such excitement over it? Are not people expected to do their job? Were people expecting that he wouldn’t do his job and now releived that he did?
I, for one, will be excited if Obama decides to adibe by the constraints of the constitution in all things. THAT is his real job, to protect and defend the constitution of the United States of America. My biggest fear is that he may actually be another Lincoln and will trample the constitution underfoot and fundamentally change our country.
Thanks Mr. President for letting the military do it’s job. Keep it up.

Jack Allen

April 14th, 2009
11:43 am

It’s a sad world when grand powers have to succumb to such doings by fleas and lice such as this former great country Somalia.We and other appreciaters of freedom and former joys of travel on the seas are held hostage by illiterate evil doers.Finally a champion stepped up,yes the USA,as usual had to deliver a blow to this pitiful country.Where is the Somalian Governments controlling hand in this ship and hostage taken……If they can’t or won’t do their job,who will?…… why is it always the Americans that half to step up and do the dirty work…..If that’s the case,let’s finish the job………

Jim

April 14th, 2009
2:45 pm

Being a retired Navy veteran and knowing the roll of our Navy, the outcome of this criminal act doesn’t suprise me in the least. That’s what we train for. Granted, the opportunity to execute these kinds of operations only come once in a blue moon so I’m glad to see it went off without a hitch. As for our president making the right decision, I think that it was a no brainer on his part and the part of his advisors. I’m sure his bean counting popularity advisors studied this one long and hard and after the task was complete they lifted their glasses to a job well done. In my humble opinion, our newest Commander and Chief could use all the popularity help he can get thanks to our Navy Seals.