April 12, 2009

As Only Clowns Can

Captain Richard Phillips escaped from his Somali captors and threw himself off the lifeboat once more, and this time, Navy SEALS were lurking in the water to receive him.

The results were predictable:

Three of the pirates were killed and one was in custody after what appeared to be a swift firefight off the Somali coast, the official said.

Initial reports indicate Phillips jumped overboard for a second time and the military was able to take advantage of the situation.

With cartoonish predictability, the "progressives" at Think Progress found common cause and sympathy not with the Captain, but the pirates.

For the Children!

And of course, if it's evil, you-know-who must have been involved:

I think it's more than just a little bit funny that Bush is at the root of all the evil in the world and yet is a knuckle-dragging moron, but then, what passes for progressive thought these days is more about innuendo and groupthink than anything resembling logic.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 12, 2009 02:34 PM

Look at it this way. There are now 3, soon to be 4, less mouths to feed in Somalia. If these pirates do not learn to bypass ships flying the American flag, there is going to be a lot more food available "for the children."

Posted by: Tregonsee at April 12, 2009 03:16 PM

The last commenter you quote, Sayre, must use the same history book as Joe Biden and John Kerry. Biden talked about President FDR going on TV in 1929 to talk about the stock market crash. Kerry talked about going into Cambodia under President Nixon before Nixon was in office. Bush didn't come into office until Jan. 2001. How did Bush order the Ethiopians to invade Somalia four years before he took office?

Ah, the stoopid is strong in that bunch.

Posted by: NevadaDailySteve at April 12, 2009 03:27 PM

This is what it's all about. US Navy SEALS doing their job and a very brave merchant Captain doing his. Kudos to the SEALS and to Captain Phillips. As to the pirates, as they say in the deep south,
ya'll have a nice day now, heah.

Posted by: Useful Noise at April 12, 2009 04:13 PM

reading the comments on thinkprogress is repugnant, they've all setup a straw man of wingnuts that justifies saying things that so stupid and insulting. they have no introspection or ability to see things from any other direction then superior hippie.

Posted by: joe at April 12, 2009 04:34 PM

Correct, it was Slick Willy who sent us into Somalia, it was Slick Willy who refused the on ground commanders the needed resorces, hence Blackhawk Down. As the only current, China thanks to Bill Clinton is fast on our heals, Super Power not only should we attack and kill every pirate attacking a U.S. flagged ship but every other vessel as well. International good will.

Posted by: Greg at April 12, 2009 08:32 PM

Greg: "Slick Willy" did not sent the Marines into Somalia. The Marine landing was ordered by George "big daddy" Bush when he had only 7 days left in office. The crisis was his idea of a Housewarming gift to the Clintons. Clinton had enough faults without blaming him for for something he did not start.

Posted by: Robert at April 12, 2009 10:06 PM

The MSM's fan-mag approach to reporting on Mr. Obama gets more and more ridiculous. Obama didn't rescue Captain Phillips. Our Navy SEALs did. And they already had authorization to do so under the rules of warfare. The DOD asked Obama to verify that authorization three times before he stopped waffling and said OK. But it was a courtesy to Obama not a necessity in order to act.
Secondly, we have got to stop thinking that we have to rescue every nation in the world from the results of its own depravity and foolishness. Somalia has descended into its present non-functional state on its own. Let them get themselves out of it.
As far as pirates go, we have a long record as a nation of protecting American citizens from pirates. Think Tripoli, and "Perdicaris Alive or Raisuli dead," those of you who actually studied American history instead of wasting your time on "Gender Studies." Mr. Obama seems curiously uninformed about American history. He should remedy that.

Marianne Matthews

Posted by: Marianne Matthews at April 13, 2009 12:28 PM

History has a strange way of of coming full circle. The only good pirate is a dead pirate:

From the Halls of Montezuma,
To the shores of Tripoli; {to kill pirates}

Muslim pirates have harassed European merchants for centuries, do a quick search on Barbary pirates and you’ll see a history going back to the sacking of Rome in 846. In our early American history, ransom and tribute payments to the Barbary states amounted to more than twenty percent of the U.S. government tax dollars.

I believe as did, President Thomas Jefferson*, that our American temperament makes use physically, emotionally, and mentally resistant to blackmail. That we would rather destroy our property and fight pirates than pay bribes. Tyrants never fulfill their obligations under any treaty. President Jefferson sought to instill "an erect and independent attitude" into American foreign policy -- an attitude that was inconsistent with paying tribute because he had the intuition to know that the more Americans try to appease tyrants the more tyrants will sense weakness and demand more.

It took the capture of more than a dozen American merchant ships and more than a decade of enslavement of the crews to strengthen our resolve and wean us from dependence on various European navies. The birth of The United States Navy marked the beginning of the end of tribute payments which were draining us of our life blood. We actually fought two Barbary Wars along the North African coast: the First Barbary War from 1801 to 1805 and the Second Barbary War in 1815. Our naval victories ended tribute payments by the United States.

Bullies, cowards, and tyrants are cut from the same cloth.

With Utmost Respect ~ Semper Fi, Hank

* The Middle East and the Making of the United States, 1776 to 1815 by Speech by Michael B. Oren, Senior Fellow, The Shalem Center delivered at Columbia University, 3 November 2005.

** The Mariners' Museum : The Barbary Wars, 1801-1805

Posted by: Hank at April 13, 2009 01:20 PM

Vice Admiral Bill Gortney on the topic:

On NBC, he said the United States was trying to "disincentivize" pirates from attacking US-flagged ships, but added the United States hopes "that the tribal elders in Somalia would encourage young men to look for other livelihoods, realizing that the lack of opportunity is what drives them to piracy in the first place."

Someone please make fun of the Vice Admiral for talking about the underlying causes of the piracy.

As for the standing orders bit, yes they've had standing orders since Feb 2009 to use force to protect sailors lives, standing orders they did not have during the Bush admin. Credit and blame where credit and blame are due please.

Posted by: Jim at April 13, 2009 04:01 PM

Jim said "they've had standing orders since Feb 2009 - - - standing orders they did not have during the Bush admin"

Jim, please direct me to the area indicating this information to be true.

I find it fascinating that Bush is now blamed for being too dovish.

Posted by: Rick at April 13, 2009 04:54 PM

It's not a matter of blaming Bush for being too dovish it's simply pointing out the fact that the Bush admin took the pirate matter under consideration and then consulted with the UN before doing, nothing. In other words, Bush did exactly what folks on the right are complaining Obama would do. Except of course this administration acted, and acted before any US flagged ship was seized.

Posted by: Jim at April 13, 2009 05:32 PM

Thanks Jim, I was only able to access the ABC item. It said nothing about standing orders to use force to protect sailors lives. I would think, at least hope, the military has continual standing orders to use force to protect sailors lives. That was my only issue.

Posted by: Rick at April 13, 2009 06:36 PM

Sorry for the confusion Rick, I should have made my inital post more clear by saying "standing orders since Feb 09 to use force to protect sailors from the Somali pirates..." or something like that. Obama gave the US Navy to go to take action in the area.

The Reuters link has some hilarious Bush admin quotes, things that if said by the Obama admin would get all sorts of negative response here. Things like:

Calling it a "a very complicated issue," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino gave no hint of what, if any, action the United States might take following the hijacking earlier this week of a Saudi supertanker with a $100 million oil cargo.

But she told reporters, "The goal would be to try to help get this ship to safety, secure the crew and then work with our international partners to try to alleviate the piracy problem, full stop."


But Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said the piracy problem requires a larger international effort to bring political stability and economic aid to poverty-stricken Somalia.

"You could have all the navies in the world having all their ships out there, you know, it's not going to ever solve this problem. It requires a holistic approach," he told reporters.

Even a systematic attempt to capture pirates in international waters would require "a more global, systematic agreement on how to deal with pirates once caught," Morrell said. At present, it is unclear who would hold or try them.


The president has been briefed about it, and ensuring the safety and well-being of the crew is of paramount importance in preventing or dealing with issues of piracy," Perino said when asked whether any unilateral or concerted response was planned for dealing with the problem.

"We're working with other members of the Security Council, right now, to see if there are actions that we can do to more effectively fight against piracy and prevent it," she said.

Perino said a key problem is that modern-day piracy is "much more dangerous, and they have ... a lot more weapons."

CY would be going nuts if Obama talked about a holistic approach to the pirate problem! :)

Posted by: Jim at April 13, 2009 06:55 PM

For the Liberals who want to know what might be causing Somalians to be desperate?

European Shipping companies dumping toxic and radioactive wastes in their fishing waters might have something to do with it.

But since you can't blame the US for that and the EU IS responsible, they won;t mention that little tidbit

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at April 14, 2009 02:37 AM