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February 22, 2011

Somali pirates say killing hostages now part of their "rules"

Its hard to play a game where you don't know the rules, so this clarification is welcome.

...Killing hostages "has now become part of our rules," said a pirate who identified himself as Muse Abdi and referred to last week's sentencing of a pirate to 33 years in prison for the 2009 attack on the U.S. cargo vessel the Maersk Alabama.

"From now on, anyone who tries to rescue the hostages in our hands will only collect dead bodies,"
he said. "It will never ever happen that hostages are rescued and we are hauled to prison."...
OK, the "hauled to prison" thing is a perfectly legit complaint and our SpecOps guys are undoubtedly very willing to correct it IYKWIMAITYD.

On Saturday, Ogabe apparently authorized the use of military force in the event of an imminent threat to the hostages. Given recent pirate statements such as the one above, any rational person would conclude in any future incident that the "imminent threat" now begins the moment the vessel and hostages are taken. The only logical thing for the preznit to do in this "new pirate reality" is PRE-authorize local military commanders to strike at will with no concern for the live capture of pirates.

IMO, the pirates made a grave error in judgment here in believing Obama to be weak here. If this were a purely political situation, they'd be right, he is weak.

However, this is a situation where their challenges and threats directly threaten his his personal vanity and narcissism, political concerns are probably going to be secondary now.

Previously, when Obama has been hit on these personality fronts by domestic attackers, the response has been swift, prickly, and on a personal level rarely exhibited by presidents. IOW, this is a situation where Obama may well wind up doing exactly the right thing, albeit for the wrong reasons.


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posted by Purp at 04:03 PM

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