In the past few minutes (0800 GMT on 4/11/09), another US ship, a tug, was seized by pirates. The tug is pulling two barges and has a crew of 16 US citizens aboard.
It is time to stop the nonsense of handling the pirates with kid gloves and dispose of them once and for all!
As the direct descendant of one who gave his life fighting pirates over 200 years ago, and whose body (along with his crew) has yet to be returned to us(and I might add is NOT fought for as aggressively as it should be by our government), I say we owe it to Americans traveling everywhere in the world to defend our citizens and their property against such attacks.
These incidents happen in international waters. When they occur aboard a US flagged vessel, (from my way of thinking) they in effect occur on US soil, as a US flagged vessel is an extension of US soil just as an embassy is in a foreign country. There is nothing that prevents us from defending our citizenry or property. I also would note that the hundreds of ships that chose to fly the flag of other nations to avoid the higher costs from complying with inspections and other regulations required of US flagged vessels have done themselves and our country a disservice by doing so. We now have one of the smaller fleets of merchant ships in the world, of which Panama and China I believe are the two biggest. Panama alone has almost 5 times the number of ships registered under their flag as the US does, but many of these are owned by US corporations. Many made the switch back when Panama was under US control and never changed, but others have made the switch since then mostly for monetary reasons.
There are the lives of approximately 200 other hostages to consider, and their safety is foremost, but this anarchy on the high seas must end. France made a move this morning to rescue some of their hostages. Unfortunately the incident ended up with one of the hostages dead (unknown by who at this time) and three or four of the pirates killed in the conflict.
It's time to resurrect a slogan from the time of the Barbary Pirate Wars:
“Millions for defense, not one cent for tribute!”
Where do you think the phrase "...to the shores of tripoli" comes from?
There have been six US Navy ships named after Somers to date. I think that is probably the highest number of ships named after one man in our Navy's history.