You know what’s really disgusting? The media reaction to Obama giving the kill order on those Somali pirates. Disgusting. I mean, really, really disgusting. And just about everyone is buying this as some kind of act of heroism or true leadership.

Please explain to me how murdering a small group of desperate kids (probably between the ages of 16 and 19), who had already offered to negotiate terms on which the captain of the ship could be released, is a good thing? Is it good for the captive? No, since freeing him by diplomacy is a hell of a lot less likely to get him killed. Is it good for the ongoing situation? No, since so far there had not been a single victim, and now blood has been shed. Is it good for the hundreds or more of other captives, who happen not be American? Not really, since once the violence begins it may well spread.

What is it good for, then? Obama’s PR. Making clear to the real powers behind the throne that he has no problem killing. And finding something that will make him popular with the media.

But, I hear a hypothetical someone say, they’re pirates! Evil pirates! We have to defeat them! Right?

Well, I’m no friend of piracy (on the seas), but do you have any idea about the origins of Somali piracy? Like the fact that thanks to Western intervention (glorified in Ridley Scott’s unfortunate “Black Hawk Down” film) the whole country has been a bloody mess for years now? Intervention that came after years in which the US supported a violent regime in the country, that is. And that European  corporations have used this political instability as an excuse to overfish Somali waters and dump their toxic waste there? Those are the origins of piracy – an attempt by people dependent on fishing to protect their waters from the real pirates: the international corporations. And yes, the whole thing has been taken over by warlords now, and of course it’s not great. It’s also, so far, been neither lethal to anyone nor a serious economic threat to any of these companies, which considered piracy as nothing more than a minor nuisance that they were used to dealing with.

And not only do we have to kill people now, we also have the media clamoring for bombings of coastal villages and towns. Because a bunch of starving Somalis, whose entire environment we’ve polluted and whose country we’ve ruined, are such a threat that we need to bomb them.


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