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Obama the cowboy

April 13, 2009

Congratulations to the Navy SEALS for a successful rescue of the captain of the Maersk Alabama.

I have to give credit where credit is due.  I disagree with most of President Obama’s policies and thought his European apology tour last week was an embarrassment.  That said,  Obama’s decision to give the Navy commander on the scene of the Somali pirate stand-off the option to use whatever force necessary to resolve the situation was appropriate and, coming as it did from someone with a predilection for “negotiation” and “miltilateralism,” surprising.  Cudos.

That said, I’m willing to bet President Obama is second-guessing himself given the fiery rhetoric now emanating from the leader of the Somali pirates, and I’d wager the response from the international community will be less than laudatory.  After all, the pirates are promising a more violent form of lawlessness and it’s the US who will be blamed for the escalation, not the rogues actually perpetrating the crimes.

According to two pirates interviewed by AP:

“Every country will be treated the way it treats us”      “In the future, America will be the one mourning and crying…We will retaliate for the killings of our men.”     “From now on, if we capture foreign ships and their respective countries try to attack us, we will kill them…Now they [US forces] became our number one enemy.”

Other countries were willing to play the “let’s negotiate and pay ransom to get our ship back and everything will be fine” game.  Obama did what is right for his country and one of its citizens; the rest of the world will condemn him for changing the dynamics of the situation in and around the horn of Africa.

All this occurred after Obama talked up the “one-world” game just to be rebuffed last week in his call for assistance in easing the international economic issues, the tensions in Afghanistan, and the nuclear stand-off with Iran.  Maybe now Obama will concede that it wasn’t the cowboy George Bush who was the stumbling block in creating a multilateral approach to international issues but rather our “friends” in Europe who prefer decrying our efforts while letting us shoulder the burden.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Aaron permalink
    April 13, 2009 9:45 am

    Do you have any predictions on whether the remaining pirate will be prosecuted? As I understand, that’s still in the air.

    • April 13, 2009 12:12 pm

      He’ll be held for trial – somewhere. We have laws on the books that would allow for him to be brought to the US for prosecution. But we also have an agreement with Kenya where anything that occurs on the seas in eastern Africa can be tried there. That’s my bet.

      And given that he’s only 16 years old, I suspect that they’ll go comparatively easy on him.

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