It's Time to Shoot Some Pirates

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2009 8:17 AM CDT
It's Time to Shoot Some Pirates
In this April 5, 2009 photo, the San Diego-based amphibious assault ship USS Boxer receives a vertical replenishment in the Gulf of Aden.   (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Brian K. Fromal)

Captain Richard Phillips has been rescued, and that’s good news. “But it remains a scandal that Somali pirates continue to routinely defeat the world’s naval powers,” writes Fred Iklé in the Washington Post. The pirates are surely funneling money to terrorists, Iklé surmises, and our failure to stop that trade is an “ongoing demonstration of cowardice.”

Iklé blames the “timorous lawyers” who misinterpret the Sea Treaty and Geneva Conventions; the right of self defense should let merchants shoot pirates as they board the ship. But most crews are “pitifully unarmed,” because shipowners say they can’t trust them. That needs to change; warship deployments, which cost millions, can’t prevent all boardings. “Cowardice will not defeat terrorism,” concludes Iklé, “nor will it stop the Somali pirates.” (More pirates stories.)

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