Disgusting

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.

Disgusting.

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7 Comments

  1. JM

     /  April 23, 2009

    Pirates with SMGs just aren’t that cool.

  2. I agree – it would be much better if they had sabres and hooks and peglegs and eyepatches and sang about scurvy. But still, that doesn’t mean we have to kill them.

  3. The pirates winning in Pirates of the Caribbean 3 scared Obama.

    Okay, seriously. I agree with you that killing them was unnecessary when they were willing to negotiate. In defense of Obama, you can never be too careful, and they probably would’ve lied anyway because, hey, pirates.

    In defense of the pirates, it never hurts so badly to try diplomacy that the state of the USA itself becomes endangered, unless you’re dealing with extremists or Iran.

  4. In defense of the pirates, it never hurts so badly to try diplomacy that the state of the USA itself becomes endangered, unless you’re dealing with extremists or Iran.

    The United States aren’t even remotely threatened by Iran. As I’ve said before, I don’t like the Iranian government, by they have nowhere near the power or technical ability to threaten the US. And even if they did, I’m not sure they would. The government likes to posture a lot, because that keeps the people distracted from their shitty living conditions, but I don’t think they’d be dumb enough to do something to the US. Not really.

    In defense of Obama, you can never be too careful, and they probably would’ve lied anyway because, hey, pirates.

    Well, what was the point of the exercise? Saving the captain or making a show of power? Cause if you’re trying to save a citizen of your country, being careful does not equate running in with guns blazing.

    I guess next time it’s Talk Like A Pirate Day, Obama will deploy the National Guard.

  5. JM

     /  April 24, 2009

    In Europe, which is much nearer to Iran, I don’t get the feeling that people fear the Mullahs. The are polls about it from time to time, and Iran getting nuclear technology isn’t something that is seen as a big threat. In fact, the US is regarded as a bigger threat to world peace, and rightly so. Because they are actually starting wars.

  6. It was a show of power obviously, Jonas. Sure, they had to save the captain, but I’m guessing that’s mostly for PR. Obama is the first black president since the birth of my overly-proud country. It’s got the media doing back flips, when really we shouldn’t care if he’s green with blue spots. He’s doing everything he can think of to make sure America knows that he’s the boss-man now, even if it’s killing Johnny Depp and Geoffry Rush. Since most Americans are stupid (me, I’m ignorant and don’t care that much), it’s working.

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