Thursday, April 16, 2009

I see a pirate. What do you see?

It makes me uncomfortable how public opinion has swung so violently against the Somali pirates. Let me first say for me the rule of law is of primary importance. I mean didn't some news reports say the US boat that was hijacked was carrying food aid to kenya? Still, I wonder how the average Somali sees the situation the same way. Then (thanks to Jane Lehr) I found a quote from Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, Special Representative for the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, "I am convinced there is dumping of solid waste, chemicals and probably nuclear (waste)" in Somolia's costal waters and there are claims of illegal fishing as well. I'm not sure how widely these views are held in Somalia but it wouldn't surprise me if many people thought of the pirates not as almost terrorists but more like robin hood exercizing a tax on the people tyring to loot and despoil their water. Then it made me remeber this story, which begins with how two countries (in this case the US and Lybia) can still have very different views about piracy that happened hundreds of years ago.

So, in the end I still belive we need to stop piracy, but do we really need to hate them so much?


Momma said...

Every time I hear about the Somali Pirates, I think of the following: One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

Have you ever read The Culture of Make Believe by Derrick Jensen? The whole situation is crystal clear and makes sense once you read that book... check it out.

Christina Penn said...

I would agree with you if the Somali pirates were actually trying to oust the corrupt "ministers" and warlords that are granting these fake fishing licenses, etc. But since they seem to be fine with the corruption at home, I'm less sympathetic to their cause. They are just looting foreigners whom they think are rich and deserve it. That's envy, not justice.