good piece by Mark Steyn.
It’s also a low-risk one. Once upon a time we killed and captured pirates. Today, it’s all more complicated. The attorney general, Eric Holder, has declined to say whether the kidnappers of the American captain will be “brought to justice” by the U.S. “I’m not sure exactly what would happen next,” declares the chief law-enforcement official of the world’s superpower. But some things we can say for certain. Obviously, if the United States Navy hanged some eyepatched peglegged blackguard from the yardarm or made him walk the plank, pious senators would rise to denounce an America that no longer lived up to its highest ideals, and the network talking-heads would argue that Plankgate was recruiting more and more young men to the pirates’ cause, and judges would rule that pirates were entitled to the protections of the U.S. constitution and that their peglegs had to be replaced by high-tech prosthetic limbs at taxpayer expense.
Meanwhile, the Royal Navy, which over the centuries did more than anyone to rid the civilized world of the menace of piracy, now declines even to risk capturing their Somali successors, having been advised by Her Majesty’s Government that, under the European Human Rights Act, any pirate taken into custody would be entitled to claim refugee status in the United Kingdom and live on welfare for the rest of his life. I doubt Pirates of the Caribbean would have cleaned up at the box office if the big finale had shown Geoffrey Rush and his crew of scurvy sea dogs settling down in council flats in Manchester and going down to the pub for a couple of jiggers of rum washed down to cries of “Aaaaargh, shiver me benefits check, lad.” From “Avast, me hearties!” to a vast welfare scam is not progress.
Read it all. And reflect on the fact that not only did the President refuse to talk about the attack/hostage situation for days, he had people making excuses for him: "It's only a distraction from important things", "It's like the Nork missile launch, not a big deal, he has a government to deal with things like that", and so forth. Like American-flagged ships being attacked and Americans taken hostage is 'no big deal'.
Of course, maybe to Obama & Co. it's NOT a big deal; after all, it was only some US citizens at risk, and to a Citizen of the World...
Update: Yep, wasn't exactly a high-priority item:
The Defense Department twice asked Obama for permission to use military force to rescue Capt. Richard Phillips from a lifeboat off the Somali coast. Obama first gave permission around 8 p.m. Friday, and upgraded it at 9:20 a.m. Saturday……
White House officials on Sunday said Obama received regular updates by phone and in person at the White House - including 11 memos - and during his daily intelligence briefings with senior officials. (Emphasis added)
And then this killer close:
To that end, White House officials said the Justice Department is looking at evidence and considering whether to file criminal charges against a Somali pirate captured during the standoff. (Emphasis added)