"There have been more than 50 attacks in the area this year alone and the problem isn't going away, I plan to hold hearings to further examine the growing threat of piracy and all the policy options that need to be on the table before the next fire drill becomes an international incident with big implications." - Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
It is the stuff of movies, a high seas drama, where for the first time in 200 years, pirates attack an American vessel, the Maersk Alabama. In the best traditions of America's merchant seamen, its brave crew fights back and regains control of the ship. To ensure the safety of his crew from the pirates, and at great personal risk, the noble Captain offers himself as hostage. The freighter is filled with humanitarian relief for Kenya, not weapons, cars, electronics, or luxuries. Luckily, an American warship, the USS Bainbridge was nearby. It is a moment for leadership and resolve, where America asserts her might and dignity, where she takes the lead against lawless marauders, and our President stands up full of pride and righteous anger and says.... Well, what he said was, exactly, nothing.
Oh, his administration mumbled, made half-hearted condemnations, and pandered a bit. John Kerry called for hearings, Hillary Clinton voiced her "concern" and cackled uproariously about the situation during a press conference with the Moroccan Ambassador, whose country ironically was once a pirate power that seized American ships and enslaved our crews in the late 1700's. Hillary botched the details, but did decisively state: "We think the world must come together to end the scourge of piracy."
There was a measured and nuanced press conference by a State Department spokesperson, Robert Wood, as Secretary of State Clinton was otherwise engaged. "Our militaries - the U.S. military and the militaries of other countries are cooperating, trying to see what we can do to prevent these types of piracy acts from happening. But, this is going to take time. We are all working very closely to try to do what we can." He further stated: "We've been trying to provide support for the transitional government there (in Somalia); we've encouraged others to do so...but this is a question for the entire international community to deal with..."
This is what we have come to. Unilateral action, even if it is as clear cut as defending US interests against pirates, must be avoided. Murderous Jihadist terrorists get civil rights and government lawyers while US taxpayers pick up the bill. Pirates, who board US shipping and threaten American seamen, get treated like simple criminals that do not warrant so much as a mention by the President. One would have thought it was a no-brainer for the Manchurian President, a populist win-win to paint Obama as a decisive leader, a chance to inspire confidence that he was up to the challenge. It was a chance to warn aggressors, pirates or otherwise, away from international shipping. It was also a chance, now squandered, to reassure friend and foe alike that America had not lost her nerve or reneged on her exceptional role as a world leader.
But no, it's all just a distraction from the greater work of wealth redistribution, "social justice," and remaking America into the utopian vision of a narcissistic socialist academic with a nice speaking voice. No pompous speeches and meandering lectures this time, the implications of piracy on trade and sovereignty are beyond Obama.
When asked by a reporter about the Maersk Alabama during a White House event, President Obama responded to the question with: "Guys, we're talking about housing right now," translated as "don't bother me with trivialities." Obama has no clue what is required of a world leader and his advisors less so. A mere three months into its first term, the Obama administration is turning out to be just the embarrassment and bumbling disaster, we feared it would be.
I've already noticed people taking Obama stickers off their cars. They can only pad the polls so long. Pirates are easy, what's going to happen if we are attacked again, or Iran, Pakistan, or North Korea use a nuke?