Posts Tagged ‘bringing guns to gunfights’

I was always under the impression that part of the current pop culture fascination with maritime piracy sprang from commonness of internet piracy.  People, I think, like to indulge in the 18th century fantasy of rum and plunder because it serves as a kitschy extended metaphor for their bittorrent habit.  ‘Yarrr, it be the Morrisey discography ripe for the takin’, yoho yoho’.  Often we forget that there are, you know, actual pirates still lurking the waters–and stealing Ukrainian tanks!

The story of Somali piracy as an institution is interesting.  It began as a vigilante force to protect the tuna-rich waters off the coast from international commercial fishing operations when the central government collapsed over a decade ago.  They eventually evolved from armed tax collectors to straight up pirates because it was more lucrative — quiet million dollar pay outs from counties who want their men and property back, no harm done.  In an interview with the New York Times, the Somali pirates’ spokesmen Sugule Ali claims that they didn’t know there was and estimated $30 million in weapons on the ship they hijacked, but that they simply boarded because it’s standard procedure to attack large, vulnerable vessels.

“We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits,” he said. “We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard.”

Yet another timely example of how one man’s criminal is another’s folk hero. I do not condone the pirate’s actions but admit to being struck by their romantic sort of BAMFness.  Theres something inspiring about people of a developing nation demanding ransom on the high seas from their neocolonial detractors.  If nothing else, it forces us to remember that even those we dismiss as powerless can forcefully insert themselves into international economic and military discourse.  Pushed too far, some people will arm themselves, organize, and board your frigate.

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I see my campaign contributions are being put to good use.

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This is wicked. Really wicked. And I love it:

“…The torture that was deployed against McCain emerges in all the various accounts. It involved sleep deprivation, the withholding of medical treatment, stress positions, long-time standing, and beating. Sound familiar?

According to the Bush administration’s definition of torture, McCain was therefore not tortured.”

Sullivan is an interesting cat with a slight history of McCarthyism but generally iconoclastic tendencies. (Eh, what’s a fifth column between friends?) He’s full-on the Obama bandwagon, and McCain certainly isn’t driving him starboard any time soon.

Frankly I have little to nothing to add to this article. It’s absolutely vicious, hits McCain dead-on, and Sullivan is just the person to do it. (Fortunately, pundits are less likely to get the Clark treatment.) Of course, there’s no way the central point picks up any currency whatsoever in the press. Not with Mr. NounVerbPOW. That said, it sure is nice to see someone playing a bit of legitimate hardball for our side for a change.

ps. congrats to Rachel Maddow, for real. And kudos to Keith, without whom this doesn’t happen.

pps. here’s your obligatory fluff piece.

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