Hey folks, Damian here once again to show you 1) how the MEDIA treats us like idiots and 2) how the MEDIA likes to think the world revolves around the US of A. This is not a rip on President Obama, so I don’t want to hear it.
Let’s take on Reuters, one of the largest and most respected news wire agencies on the planet:
“Ragtag teams of modern-day Blackbeards are posing an annoying distraction for Barack Obama, forcing him to add Somalia to an already long list of foreign policy challenges.”
I can imagine somebody in a backwoods town in Kentucky reading that and being surprised. I can imagine people in New York who are more focused on Chris Brown’s sentencing reading that and being surprised. I can imagine a teen in Florida who is more concerned about the next American Idol winner reading that and being surprised. For the rest of us, we already knew that piracy was alive and well, and actually never ended. For the rest of us, we already knew Somalia was an unresolved issue since the popular movie Blackhawk Down (or for those who are more aware, some of us actually remember President Clinton handling Somalia in real life).
But more importantly, to say that pirates are an “annoying distraction” for His Majesty is insulting. Why? Because these Africans are “ragtag”? A machine gun is a machine gun. A grenade launcher is a grenade launcher. Being held hostage is being held hostage. Kidnapping and holding hostages are big-time crimes. I don’t if the hostages aren’t killed. This has been an international injustice for a while now. North Korea fired a harmless missile over Japan again, with no chance of coming near Hawaii. Okay. Iran says they will have nukes soon. Okay. Pirates have been making millions of dollars off innocent seafarers for YEARS. An annoyance? I assure you, if YOU were being held by these guys, it is a no mere annoyance. If your company’s business is dependent on sailing near the Aden, you are going to be short on work, in a world recession.
To call these Somalian terrorists “modern-day Blackbeards” is laughable, and not accurate. “Blackbeard” is 2009 implies a romanticized version of the pirate of the high, rough seas. These Somalians are dark, gritty hoodlums with no bone of romanticism, treasure finding, or adventurism.
“American presidents are told to expect the unexpected, and Obama is seeing that this week. First it was a North Korean test of a ballistic missile last weekend. Now comes a swashbuckling high-seas standoff with armed renegades.”
Yup, this wasn’t expected at all. Why, because piracy only happens to “inferior” countries? It wasn’t our problem. Yeah, right. Come on….it was only a matter of time. The world was put on full alert not to go near the place. The Ukrainian ship and Russian and English navy incident was covered by every news outlet and news website. Everybody with a TV, radio, or Internet access in Asia has known about this for a long time, due to the repeated mistreatment of Filipinos by the Pirates of Aden. Everyone tells me we live in a small world now, with the Internet and satellite TV/radio, and we can communicate with people all across the world in an instant. Yet Reuters would have us believe that this was unexpected to His Majesty.
And once again, we have another “Pirates of the Caribbean” joke- “swashbuckling”, to try and lessen the threat of the pirates.
And again- a North Korean missile test (all bark, no bite) is a surprise? The North Korea incident was blown out of proportion by the right wing radio pariahs.
“Obama so far has sent U.S. Navy ships to protect an American-flagged freighter that managed to repel a pirate attack but whose captain was taken hostage.”
Like Obama had another choice other than sending U.S. Navy ships? Look, Obama was on his U.S. European apology tour, and he will get around to tackling this problem another day. I’m pretty sure the Navy didn’t need his express authorization or written/verbal permission to act. Or if they did, it was a mere formality. So let’s stop pretending “Obama so far has sent U.S. Navy ships…” to give us the impression he took initiative. You know his advisers and military leaders handled the operation.
“America’s recent experience with Somalia has not been good, making caution a key element of U.S. policy in dealing with the country.”
“Recent” here is back in the 1990′s according to Reuters. “America” means the US, and not Central or South America (I nitpick calling the U.S. “America” because Reuters is supposed to be an international news agency, and should know better.) As far as making “caution a key element in dealing with the country”, the better spin would be “The U.S. been ignoring this situation for so long, and now it has come back to haunt them.”
The Obama administration was careful not to give the crisis too much prominence, with delicate negotiations under way to try to secure the captain’s release.
He declined to comment on the pirate situation for the second day in a row on Thursday.
“We’re obviously paying careful attention to this issue. And I’m really not able to go beyond that at this point,” said State Department spokesman Robert Wood.
We’re negotiating with terrorists, aren’t we? We have satellites, GPS and advanced technologies, CIA undercover spies, the ability to pay off snitches or mercenaries, a whole lot of firepower, and most of the world on our side, since they were victims, too, and we’re going to do the LaME thing and pay off a terrorist. Okay…
“We don’t want to go back there,” said presidential historian Thomas Alan Schwartz, a professor at Vanderbilt University. “This may be one of those points where Obama is going to have to cash in some of his international chips and get the U.N. to go in there.”
“Somebody needs to go into Somalia and govern the place,” he said.
I had to scroll allll the way down to read what Schwartz said. Of course, it’s the truth.
Democratic strategist Doug Schoen, who worked in the Clinton White House, called the crisis “a real test of national resolve” that the Obama White House and opposition Republicans need to work together to deal with.
“It’s an annoyance and a distraction,” he said. “On the other hand, if we don’t take this seriously and we don’t stamp it out we will face what other countries are facing, which are repeated acts of piracy.”
The grim reality is finally here, even though Obama and Biden don’t want to talk about it, even though the Democrats in power would rather focus on other things. The Powers-that-Be, from Clinton to Bush, tried to ignore it, and the citizens, MEDIA, and politicians convinced themselves it would never happen to one of “their own” (never mind all humans have the same right to be free, regardless of the random chance of nationality).
Yes, I realize that DailySkew posters like Barry Allen and Stat Head can show me that it is more cost effective to pay off pirates than to to commit to any other military, CIA, or nation building action. But you have to understand- I value human life over money. If I was in charge, I would not be supporting 1984 police states like China or Cuba or Iran in any way, such as trade or aid. I would not enable human rights violations with inaction, like ignoring pirates ruling the Indian Ocean.
The talk of formulating a U.N. backed initiative is a scary proposition for the bigwigs in Washington. Somalia was the one nation that the U.S. leadership truly feared because public opinion never supported getting involved. I can understand people not wanting to be the World Police, but piracy is everyone’s problem. It cripples businesses and ruins lives.
Now the U.S. is involved. This is what I wanted. This is what needed to happen to put an end to the piracy. Let’s utilize our Navy and have them patrol more. Let’s team up with Germany, Italy, England, Philippines, Ukraine, Russia, Greece, Taiwan, and every other country that the pirates messed with. Let’s work on tracking the pirates down and freeing hostages. Let’s work on getting Somalia stable, and holding people accountable. Let’s stop the denial and arrogance that this is not a U.S. problem. And Reuters and the rest of the MEDIA outlets: let’s stop living in a fantasy world and pitching this as a NEWSFLASH and a minor annoyance that will somehow go away without REAL HARD WORK from world leaders and the United Nations.
What is the other option? Let it continue. Let the U.N. debate about it for years. Appease the punks with tens of millions of dollars who conquered the world with just 1992 rocket launchers, machine gus, and speedboats. You okay with that?