Friday, February 25, 2011


As it turns out, the Somali pirate execution of 4 American hostages wasn't as quite out of the blue as it first seemed:

U.S. warships surrounded the captured sailboat Quest and told the pirates on board that they would not be allowed to take their four American captives to Somalia. Two pirate leaders went to an American warship to negotiate, while 17 other pirates remained on the sailboat with the four American captives. The American FBI negotiator offered to let the pirates take the sailboat to Somalia, if they gave up their four captives. ... The pirates said they would consider the offer. But within an hour, gunfire was heard on the Quest, leaving two pirates and the four Americans dead. U.S. Navy SEALs quickly went aboard and subdued the remaining pirates, killing two that resisted. Most of the pirates seemed intent on surrendering. 

Not that the responsibility for the murders doesn't lie with the pirates themselves. I'm not blaming either the Navy or President Obama. Waiting out the pirates until we could strike worked the last time we confronted hostage-holding pirates. Perhaps some of the pirates this time learned the lesson that they would not escape, so they might as well go down in a blaze of glory.

I guess we need to learn the lesson that patience is not always the answer. Maybe next time we shadow a pirate-held ship from a distance and strike during the dark of night to kill them all as fast as we can.