Europe is cowardly when it comes to pirates, and it will take enormous courage to turn around the tragic situation. Their tragedy results from political correctness — and a people reluctant to challenge their leaders.
Despite brutal acts of piracy occurring daily, affecting European ships, and by extension, Europeans themselves, political and media elites have been demonizing 79-year old Norwegian shipping magnate Jacob Stolt-Nielsen.
Why? Because in an Op-Ed, he had the guts to advocate the only realistic way to deal with these high-seas terrorists: sink their ships with the pirates in them, or execute them on the spot.
So what’s the problem?
“You wanna know how to get Capone?,” Sean Connery’s character asks Elliot Ness in "The Untouchables." “They pull a knife; you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital; you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way!”
And they got Capone.
We know Europe isn’t courageous enough to do things The Chicago Way. That’s why they need America to bail them out.
Unfortunately, that lesson has now also been lost on America’s leaders, replaced by softness and the desire not to offend.
And our enemies have exploited that weakness, as al-Qaida can attest.
It’s also why we are losing to pirates operating from Somalia. Not content with the millions they’ve already extorted, they violently hijack about one ship per day, and currently hold 700 hostages and 30 ships for ransom.
It’s not just pleasure craft or fishing vessels, but huge ships supplying the world with cargo, food, oil and even weapons. Two years ago, a supertanker was hijacked with over $100 million of crude oil aboard, which we all paid for at the pump.
Given the pirates’ relationship with Islamic fundamentalists, some ransom money finds its way right to terrorists hell-bent on destroying the West.
These barbarians turned it up this week, killing four Americans after hijacking their private vessel, despite being monitored by four U.S. Navy warships. That arrogance says it all: They don’t fear us.
No wonder. Our “tough” response will be to haul the captured pirates into U.S. courts, where they will receive taxpayer-funded lawyers and free healthcare.
And that’s supposed to deter attacks?
Prosecutors don’t make Somali-based pirates tremble, a fact not lost on Stolt-Nielsen. As one who lives in the real world, he stated how to end unchecked piracy:
“When [piracy] implies a great risk of being caught and hanged, and the cost of losing ships and weapons becomes too big, it will decrease and eventually disappear,” he wrote.
To that point, he ridicules the politically correct “solution”: "[We should] not arrest them and say, 'naughty, naughty, shame on you,' and release them again, but sink their boats with all hands . . . the pirates won't be frightened by being placed before a civilian court." And they’re not frightened.
Despite one of their own being sentenced to 33 years in prison last week, the pirates executed the Americans anyway.
Those who bury their head say killing pirates would be “barbaric,” arguing that, despite torture, abuse and murder of their captives, these rogues must be treated with basic human rights.
Kind of like the human rights given to the murdered Americans and tortured sailors? Of course not, since the real victims are always forsaken by bleeding hearts.
Pirates have rights before they hijack ships. But once they cross that line, all bets are off. Ships should carry armed guards, who, upon attack, should exercise no restraint in vaporizing the marauders. The goal should not be to deter, but to destroy, for three reasons.
First, pirates may well execute the crew once aboard; second, letting them go will only make another crew their victim; and third, it will send an unmistakable message.
When pirates go out, only to return as corpses, the rest will find a different profession — immediately.
Stolt-Nielsen said it best. "Pirates captured in international waters have always been punished by death, often on the spot."
Here’s standing with Stolt-Nielsen in dropping the empty threats, picking up the guns, sinking ships. and killing the barbarians.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau (FreindlyFireZone.com). He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com
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