Piracy is not the problem. Piracy is the symptom. It’s like the guy who goes to the doctor because his thumb hurts. “Why does your thumb hurt?” the doctor asked. “I hit it with my hammer,” the nitwit answers. The problem is not the thumb, the problem is the guy hitting himself with the hammer. Stop hitting yourself with a hammer and your thumb will heal and the pain will go away.
Piracy is a side-effect, an economy that has prevailed off the coast of Somalia since the government of Mohammed Siad Barre collapsed in 1991. The Rule of Law has been suspended, local warlords and militias rule the territory, and thusly, without a strong, central government, people have fallen into whatever they can to survive.
Coupled with a non-existent government, Somalia has also claimed, and apparently these claims have been confirmed that many travesties of justice have victimized the Somali population.
First, we have the illegal dumping of waste. For decades, due to the lack of a strong Somali government that would enforce international law, European countries have used the Somali coast as a dumping ground for medical waste, nuclear waste, and industrial waste. How would you like it if someone dumped there shit in your backyard?
Secondly, since there is no central government in Somali to cry foul, international fishing fleets have used this power vacuum to take advantage of the lack of enforcement to fish the waters around Somalia. Again, this stabs at the livelihood of the Somali people.
The media within the last few days have been running interviews with many nitwits who are suggesting arming fleets of ships to deter pirates. Again, this is tantamount to treating the symptoms rather than treating the underlying cause.
Placing guards on 30,000 to 40,000 ships could be expensive. They need training, would be at sea for days, would need to be paid, and each ship would need 3-4 perhaps to ensure safety. Also to consider, by adding armed guards to a ship, the level of violence required to take a ship would escalate. Furthermore, the territory through which the ship would need protection is nearly the same, distance-wise as the entire coast of the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S.
The long-term fix for piracy is to eliminate the need for piracy. What I am saying is that to fix piracy Somalia needs to be fixed. Figure out a way to bring long-term, sustained order to Somalia and piracy will go away.
The Somalis are desperate. They are good people but they are desperate to provide for themselves, their families, their neighbors. Without a government to act on their behalf, to advocate for them, they are left to fend for themselves, Mad Max-style.
Shooting them is not solving the problem, and will just amp up the amount of violence they are willing to do. People have been lucky, until today. While I applaud the rescue, I am concerned that the equation has no been altered.