"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

1.22.2006

aye aye rrr

Our boys just captured some Pirates of the Gulf of Aden! In a dhow! Now, I'm against piracy and everything, and I think it's good that the Navy is using some of its resources to stop piracy off the Somali coast, but, um, well, isn't it kindof strange to chase a dhow (see picture at right) with a guided missile destroyer (that's the actual destroyer, the U.S.S. Winston Churchill at left)? I mean, how hard can it be? (I guess if you have the Churchill, not that hard.)

I don't want to make light of a serious situation. Somalia is one of the saddest, messiest places in the world, and nobody cares. Except for the north, which functions as a country but which nobody will recognize as such. The rest of the country is controlled by various warlords. Interestingly, though, people manage to live their lives in the midst of it all. If I were braver, I'd go compare it with the Congo. There's a great book about how it works to have an economy without a state that's fun reading. You know, if you're into that sort of thing.

As for the pirates, apparently the U.S. sailors are trying to figure out who's a pirate and who's a crew member. Not fun. What would Johnny Depp do?

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