Idgit Watch

"If we cannot reach the Somali coast, we will kill the infidel."

Posted by danishova on April 14, 2009

What motivates a Somali pirate to be a pirate, and what should we do to stop this annoying distraction?

Pirates acting as “negotiators” seem to think this has something to do with ‘infidels’, as do radical Islamist Somalis:

As the crew of the Maersk Alabama celebrated the return of Capt. Richard Phillips Sunday, Somalia’s radical Islamists praised the dead or captured pirates as mujahideen, or "holy warriors." Meanwhile, self-described pirates told reporters by cellphone that they would be more violent with hostages next time.

"Every country will be treated the way it treats us," Abdullahi Lami, one of the pirates holding a Greek ship in the central Somali port of Gaan, told the Associated Press by phone. "In the future, America will be the one mourning and crying. We will retaliate for the killings of our men."

But experts blame poverty and instability for the pirate scourge, like Defense Secretary Gates:

In remarks Monday at the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va., Gates said that "there is no purely military solution" to a piracy problem he described as rooted in Somalia’s poverty and instability.

Indeed, others say we must not be like Joe the Sailors who “presumptuously” give advice to Obama (whom I’m guessing must be an expert on pirate stuff having learned the Alinsky method of crisis management). Nope, echoing Gates, we must address Somalia’s interior crisis.

But, I’m not getting what poverty has to do with infidels.  Is it against Sharia Law to command a ship, or something?  Oh well, others theorize that being a pirate is a good thing, like in this January 2009 story:

 Somali Pirates Disrupt Fishing Industry, Increase Fish Stocks

Following warnings from shipping companies on the impact of Somali piracy on the global shipping industry, tuna fishermen in the Indian Ocean say pirate activities are also affecting their multi-billion-dollar industry.  But pirates may also be inadvertently playing the role of marine conservationists by preventing commercial over-fishing….

"In a perverse way, the pirates are definitely doing a good thing because maybe it will raise awareness about the benefits of leaving a fish alone for a while so that people see that it is possible for them to replenish," said Lawrence.  "Over-fishing will disrupt the balance of marine eco-systems and will have a critical effect on local and national economies around the world that depend on fishing for their survival.”…  So, ideally, in a perfect world, we could employ the pirates and pay them a salary to do this."

Perhaps Secretary Gates could employ that strategy as a way to end their poverty.  Meanwhile, this group warns not to push too hard or they might radicalize them:

"We fear that this escalation spiral, which we’ve seen in the past few months, will push the pirates into a readiness to shoot," says the Ecoterra aid official. "I foresee this will push some groups which use violence, and radicalize them. It could also encourage some Somali fundamentalists to take over the modus operandi of the pirates" and take on Western commercial shipping vessels as political targets.

I think I get it!  The fact that a pirate armed with AK 47s called Captain Phillips an “infidel” is just normal pirate stuff, like saying “Aarrrr” or something.  And calling them “Holy Warriors” is just a decorous turn of phrase in Somalia.  Just don’t push back too hard or they might become radicalized at some time in the future. 

Roger. Oops, better make that Jolly Roger.

1. That was fast! Pirates radicalized in about 24 hours. Or maybe poverty is increasing exponentially.

2. Ed Morrissey suggests we start sinking the pirate ships in port. Not a bad idea, and it would make some nice artificial reefs for the fish too which should please groups like Ecoterra.

3.  Journalists are noting that the Somali pirates are Jihadists.  Robert Spencer writes, The Somali Pirates Are Jihadists; The Canada Free Press faults Obama for delaying the inevitable and says, “Notice the media barely mentions that the Somali pirates were young, fundamentalist Muslims on a Jihad mission.”; Walid Phares writes, Jihadis target the high seas,  and so forth…


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