A modern ethos re piracy

The Somali piracy problem provides an example of the modern ethos that is also evident in the hue and cry to close Gitmo or the criminalizing of the Christmas airplane bomber. Strategy Page says the Pirate Paradise Prevails.

Then there’s the political cost. The nations that own the ships, or supply the sailors, have a PR problem each time one of their ships, or citizens on the crew, is captured. There is a popular outcry for something to be done (to stop the piracy). But the pirates know that, as long as they keep the body count real low (very few crew are killed in the attacks or while in captivity), there will not be huge public backing for attacks on the few coastal towns that serve as bases for the pirates (and anchorages for the captured ships). That would be bloody, and no nation wants to go to war with the Somalis (who fight each other, when there are no foreigners to go after.)

It used to be that piracy was not tolerated. That was a hundred or more years ago. Pirates would loose their ship and equipment and often be summarily executed. These days, if caught by a sufficiently powerful force, they are gently pried away from their prize and reunited with their land base and ship. That means the risks are small and the rewards are significant for Somali pirate activity. It seems that the modern ethos is without referent and cannot see any victim other than a perpetrator. Those victimized are separated from the crime and their damage seen as a separate issue. Dots are not connected and, it seems, studiously so.

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