Monday, January 5, 2009

Robber or Emporer, Pirates or Coast Guard?

Another interesting article which warrants further research, but the author's claim that the Somali pirates - while some may be nothing more than thugs - are actually a Volunteer Coast Guard attempting to defend their shores against European ships illegally fishing their waters at one end and dumping toxic nuclear waste at the other, or at least trying to collect a tax on those vessels.

The article has this great quotation:

The story of the 2009 war on piracy was best summarised by another pirate, who lived and died in the fourth century BC. He was captured and brought to Alexander the Great, who demanded to know "what he meant by keeping possession of the sea." The pirate smiled, and responded: "What you mean by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, while you, who do it with a great fleet, are called emperor." Once again, our great imperial fleets sail in today - but who is the robber?

Sort of sums up the world writ large. One peoples' terrorist is another peoples' freedom fighter. One peoples' liberator is another peoples' conqueror. One nation's protector is another nation's criminal.

Or better yet: One peoples' torture is another peoples' harsh interrogation technique.

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