But alas, there are only so many dolphins in the world, and they can’t be everywhere at once. The pirates have wasted no time boarding four more vessels. This time, however, the targets were not American, but Lebanese, Greek, and Egyptian, with a mostly Filipino crew on the Greek vessel.
Piracy has an ancient and varied tradition, and has existed as long as people have plied the seas. The Somali pirates are currently big on braggadocio; here’s a (self-appointed?) pirate spokesperson speaking:
“Our latest hijackings were meant to show that no one can deter us from protecting our waters from the enemy because we believe in dying for our land,” Omar Dahir Idle, a pirate based in the coastal town of Harardhere, told The Associated Press by telephone. “The recent American operation, French navy attack on our colleagues or any other operation mean nothing to us.”
Interesting rhetoric, coming from a pirate. “Protecting” their waters? Dying for their land? Perhaps it’s meant to deter any efforts to destroy the coastal havens from which they operate. The pirates rightly reckon that the whole thing is a test of warring resolves, and that the world may not have the stomach for the fight and would rather continue to pay them lucrative ransoms.
I say “the world” because Obama has carefully framed this as a multilateral effort:
“I want to be very clear that we are resolved to halt the rise of piracy in that region and to achieve that goal, we’re going to have to continue to work with our partners to prevent future attacks,” Obama told reporters Monday.
It will be exceedingly interesting to see just how much cooperation he will actually get, in the practical sense. And then, if the answer is “not much,” it will be even more interesting to see just how far Obama is willing to go it alone.
Then again, there’s always the dolphins. Perhaps Obama can learn to speak their language.