Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pirates? Okay, what about privateers?

The problem of course with privateers is that very often they were simply pirates under another name. Still, Ron Paul among others would like to reinvent the notion, rather like a sea-going Flying Tigers outfit. Alas, neither the privateers of 1812 nor the American Volunteer Group of 1941 would have survived the scrutiny of CNN, the BBC, and the rest of our morally equivalent media. I'm more inclined to favor the convoy notion favored by a reader below, and more recently by an op-editorialist in the Wall Street Journal.

One justification for extreme measures is the cost of rescuing Captain Phillips. One newspaper quoted the usual anonymous expert who put the tab at millions of dollars, as if, absent the piracy episode, the Bainbridge would have been suspended from all motion in a cost-free universe somewhere. That wasn't a battle against four teen-aged pirates, for crying out loud--that was training, and the crew is the better for it. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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