OK, here is a priceless news story from the West’s War On Piracy.
NATO ships, helicopters hunt down 7 pirates
The story, dated 19 April, 2009, describes an unsuccessful pirate attack, a pursuit by 2 NATO ships, and then:
“Both ships deployed helicopters, and naval officers hailed the pirates over loudspeakers and finally fired warning shots to stop them, Fernandes said, but not before the pirates had dumped most of their weapons overboard. NATO forces boarded the skiff, where they found a rocket-propelled grenade, and interrogated, disarmed and released the pirates.
“The pirates cannot be prosecuted under Canadian law because they did not attack Canadian citizens or interests and the crime was not committed on Canadian territory.
“When a ship is part of NATO, the detention of person is a matter for the national authorities,” Fernandes said. “It stops being a NATO issue and starts being a national issue.”
Here’s another one, same day:
NATO ship foils pirates, frees hostages in Gulf of Aden
Sunday, April 19th 2009, 4:00 AM
“Hostages and pirates stand with arms raised before Dutch NATO commandos chased pirates back to their ‘mother ship.'”
“Pirates trying to hijack a tanker in the Gulf of Aden on Saturday were foiled by Dutch commandos who chased them to their “mother ship” and freed 20 fishermen the brigands were holding captive.
“The Dutch commandos found 20 fishermen, all believed to be Yemeni, captive in the hold.
“The boat had been hijacked a week ago and was being used by the Somali pirates as a base to launch attacks on cargo ships.
“The commandos freed the fishermen, seized seven AK-47 assault rifles and one rocket-propelled grenade launcher and briefly detained seven pirates. The pirates had to be set free because NATO has no power to detain maritime suspects.”
Bottom line: Europe (and possibly now America) are now truly committed to a legalistic, constitutional-rights-protected, police response to every attack, from terrorism to piracy to direct military attacks on our soil. We would do well to recall Supreme Court Justice Jackson’s (dissenting) comment in the 1930’s Terminiello case, that “the Bill of Rights is not a suicide pact.” War cannot be waged by policemen armed with Miranda cards; the UN has tried that many times, from watching genocide in Rwanda to watching rocket attacks on the Lebanon-Israel border.
Obama got off to a good start on confronting pirates, using the right kind of diplomatic negotiations (“Saying ‘Nice doggie’, while looking around for a rock.”) Now he needs to step up to the big question: Who polices the seas? In the past, the answer was simple, whether it was piracy or the slave trade: the dominant navy.
We all learned the clever line from the Vietnam War that “we can’t be the cops of the world.” What we haven’t yet learned is the true nature of a world without cops, with only Dutch and Canadian crossing guards.
Or am I wrong? Comment me your comment.