This is what we have come to. Unilateral action, even if it is as clear cut as defending US interests against pirates, must be avoided. Murderous Jihadist terrorists get civil rights and government lawyers while US taxpayers pick up the bill. Pirates, who board US shipping and threaten American seamen, get treated like simple criminals that do not warrant so much as a mention by the President. One would have thought it was a no-brainer for the Manchurian President, a populist win-win to paint Obama as a decisive leader, a chance to inspire confidence that he was up to the challenge. It was a chance to warn aggressors, pirates or otherwise, away from international shipping. It was also a chance, now squandered, to reassure friend and foe alike that America had not lost her nerve or reneged on her exceptional role as a world leader.
But no, it’s all just a distraction from the greater work of wealth redistribution, “social justice,” and remaking America into the utopian vision of a narcissistic socialist academic with a nice speaking voice. No pompous speeches and meandering lectures this time, the implications of piracy on trade and sovereignty are beyond Obama.
Treacher has similar thoughts:
1) Presidents of the United States don’t tend to go around apologizing for their own country on foreign soil.
2) Pirates don’t tend to attack American ships.
3) When both happen within a week of each other, each one for the first time anybody can remember, there might be loose talk.
Shootings happen more often than we’d like, but people like Oliver Willis and Markos Moulitsas have no problem pinning one on Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or whoever else they want to malign. Whereas pirates kidnapping Americans at sea happens once every 200 years. But I’m not supposed to wonder if President Obama running around the world with a “Kick Me” sign on his back — which almost flew off during his spine-bending bow to a king — has anything to do with America getting, um, kicked.
And President Obama makes a heart-warming outreach to the moderate pirate community:
For too long, America has been too dismissive of the proud culture and invaluable contributions of the Pirate Community. Whether it is their pioneering work with prosthetics, husbandry of tropical birds or fanciful fashion sense, America owes a deep debt to Pirates.
The past eight years have shown a failure to appreciate the historic role of these noble seafarers. Instead of celebrating their entreprenuerial spirit and seeking to partner with them to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.
Some of us wonder if our current Overseas Contingency Operation would even be needed had the last administration not been so quick to label Pirates as “thieves,” “terrorists” and worse. Such swashbucklaphobia can lead to tragic results, as we have seen this week.
And I’ll have a scoop this weekend on the new administration’s long-overdue moves to heal the breach with the solar system.