Monday, April 13, 2009

I commend President Obama's use of force on the Somali pirates

and hope that he can be just as resolved with a thousand or million lives at stake.

UPDATE: Stephen Green says:

The missing context is this — the might and will of the United States were held hostage, until one brave civilian captain took matters into his own hands. Philips risked his life escaping, and opened the door for the Navy SEALs — who ought to be in the business of kicking doors down.

This particular event ended well, due largely to the actions of Captain Phillips. Next time we might not be so lucky.

UPDATE: Will Collier would probably agree with my proposal to unseat Congress as much as possible.

UPDATE: Tom Baldwin says that Obama has laid some Carteresque doubts to rest. Hope.

UPDATE: Jules Crittenden begs to differ:
The success yesterday was due to a military that has been equipped, configured and trained for this kind of action since the Reagan years, and has seen a great deal of it in combat against America’s enemies in the last decade. The Carter analogy kicks in not so much with the happy, violent ending to a single incident, but with the follow-through. What are you going to do about, Obama?

UPDATE: So does William Jacobson:
The problem is not in this case, which ended successfully, but in the next hostage taking situation. If one is going to follow a negotiation approach, the trust of the hostage takers in the negotiation process is key. If hostage takers believe negotiation is a ruse, then the hostage is in more danger. Words cannot be just words in a negotiation.

So negotiating as a ruse is the worst of all alternatives. It does not have the deterrent effect of the Israeli approach, or the hostage-safety effect of the negotiation approach.

UPDATE: Richard Fernandez looks ahead:
In the coming months, some merchant crew may try to imitate the actions of the Maersk Alabama and suffer terribly at the hands of pirates who may be determined to inflict an object lesson on the shipowners. With their humiliation at the hands of the USN, the pirates have temporarily lost their most powerful weapon: terror. They will be eager to regain it.

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