Monday, April 13, 2009
To ask the question is to answer it.
I remember reading a science fiction short story (sorry, as is the way of such things I don't remember who wrote it) in which a future US army, armed with all sorts of technological toys, occupies a hamlet which has, for some reason, been off their maps for generations. One of the locals threatens him with his rifle at which point the automatic, radar linked computerised heavy machine guns fire - & kill a chicken. Then the computer programme shuts them down. Being unarmed the armoured vehicles retreat & crash into the more numerous journalists' vehicles. Being unarmed & unable to retreat the books tells them they must surrender to save casualties.
In past ages piracy caused a real problem to which there was a real & bloody solution.
"From about 1500 to 1832, the Barbary corsairs of North Africa made the Mediterranean a highly dangerous place, regularly attacking and plundering Western trading vessels...
The West finally suppressed the corsairs, but not until the early decades of the 1800s when they were in a less vigorous state. In a series of confrontations, Western navies were able to forge (sometimes coerce) diplomatic treaties (e.g., the 1796 agreement with the independent Morocco). They also fought the corsairs and their North African sponsors in wars (e.g., the 1801-05 war between Tripoli and the fledgling United States, whence comes the reference to the "shores of Tripoli" in The Marines' Hymn). And finally, they were able to vanquish sponsoring cities (e.g., the 1830 French invasion of Algiers, which signaled the definitive end of the Barbary corsairs)."
A modern example directly comparable to the Somali situation & which, astonishingly, has had less newspaper coverage than the historic pirates lies at the other side of the Indian Ocean along the Straits of Malacca between Malaysia, Singapore & Indonesia. There the action has been much more serious:
"SE Asia victorious in war vs Malacca Straits piracy
If pirates here were to try a copy-cat attack like in Somalia, it won't be easy for them because the governments in this region won't hesitate to take action," IMB Piracy Reporting Center chief Noel Choong said.
But he said pirates operating out of bases in Sumatra and outlying islands would strike again as soon as the littoral states relaxed their coordinated "aggressive patrols."
Aggressive patrols means blowing the bastards out of the water. It mean hunting them down to their bases & taking out these bases. This is how it worked historically. It does not mean instructing our navy that it should not arrest pirates because they can then apply for political asylum here.
Centuries ago pirates had something close to, or sometimes greater than equivalent power to governments. The Indonesian pirates were relatively well armed, from a much more prosperous area than Somalia & because the Straits are both long & narrow, a very much more difficult area to protect.yet with determination they have been overcome.
It is not a matter of having the military capability, our combined navies are probably a million times more powerful than them. It is a matter of opposing them with the methods that have worked & which navies are capable rather than hypocritical bureaucratic timewasting rules.
This is actually much more important than it looks. The current problem is a few guys in small boats. However this is motivated by free enterprise. If these guys continue making this sort of money then, not only will they start buying some serious armament, but more importantly poor people across the world will get in on the act. I previously blogged about how a British admiral warned that, within 10 years (now 7) we could have north African pirates active in the Mediterranean again. If we don't stop this in Somalia we will have to face it nearer home.
2. Stop paying foreign aid to Africa so that they stop breeding so prolifically.
3. Deny women in the UK/US the ability to vote so that this kind of emotional nonsense ends.
Feminist activists stated that womens' voices should be heard. Now that we listen all we hear is: eeeeeee! Look at my horoscope!
There are times when I think that America is ruled by a committee of 12 year old girls.
Heinlein once suggested that the franchise be limited to women who had had children since only they understood how painful nature could be & really had the long term interests of the country at heart.
Either we disenfranchise women or we charge a $2000 tax on voting, while excusing the rest of the direct taxes. That way most women wouldn't be able to afford to vote, and neither would most of the underclass.
Women have their problems too - they are attracted to people bigger, stronger & more aggressive than them, they don't much like each other & there is nothing they can do about it because it is glandular. Round about puberty women can slow the change by starving themselves & quite a few do.