Christian Living

africamatters 04/13/09

Pirates: Now What?

I guess my blog on Friday wasn't too far off...you mess with America, you pay the consequences.  Three of the four Somali pirates holding  the captain of the Maersk Alabama are dead.  The captain is freed.  And everyone cheers a victory for the "good guys."

But now what?

The pirates are threatening to kill some of the 260 hostages they've been holding from 12 vessels still in the pirates' control.  If they do start killing hostages, what would they stand to gain?  The Alabama is retaken.  (Click here to read more.)

Rational thought says killing hostages now would be foolish.  The pirates would be getting rid of the last thing between them and some pretty ticked off countries.  The hostages are also worth a lot of money.  So, why give up the "booty?"  Yes.  The Somalis could say it's retaliation for their fallen comrades.  But if they're smart, the pirates know that if they start killing it will further infuriate the world community.  Beyond this, killing hostages would drastically escalate the situation and draw more attention to their piracy.  

Right now, slinking away into the night is the only way the pirates' lucrative business can continue.  It thrives on anonymity and little publicity.  The more they raise a ruckus, the more the world will pay attention.  To push it by murdering hostages would probably prompt the world to finally shut down the pirates' operation.

For the hostages sake, I hope and pray the pirates are smart.  It's not that I want piracy to continue.  It's for the families of the innocent victims. 

And, yes. It is beyond time to get rid of global piracy, but that's a pretty tall order.  It's a profession that is as old as time.