Monday, April 13, 2009

Everyone loves to kill pirates

I submit that pirates have now overtaken terrorists in the race for "most killable conceivable American enemy." While pirates cannot (for the moment!) lay claim to an all-embracing ideology like "Islamofascism," and thus properly inhabit their bogeyman role in the way that Communists and terrorists did, they still have a number of things going for them:

1. They're anachronisms.
2. They're stateless.
3. They're pesky.
4. They're the most primordial incarnation of property theft and instability (see Thucydides!!).
5. There's a much slimmer chance of a strike against pirates killing innocent children (bad PR).
6. It's in their nature to be killed, so that others can take up their mantle (cf. "the Dread Pirate Roberts").
7. The combination of sniper rifles + waterborne targets gives such an opportunity for using the phrases "like bobbing for apples" and "like fish in a barrel" that the Navy will be unable to resist.

These factors combine, I propose, to make pirates even more slaughterable than South American leftists, Pakistani border-town families, the nation of Iraq, and other illustrious victims of U.S. violence. Think about it: Who would ever propose a truth and reconciliation commission for disappeared pirates? What anti-war group could be bothered to add "pirates" to the various factions now encompassed by the umbrella of "resistance"? (Pirates will never get a spot at the World Social Forum.) And who doesn't enjoy a good pirate offing?

The Washington Post certainly does. Today's editorial whines about Europe not having the stomach to kill more pirates (my favorite part: the Post glosses "ignoring the chaos there" with "targeting its worst elements with airstrikes" -- an interesting, perhaps unique form of "ignoring"!) and offers some suitably vague advice about selling guns to warlords. David Ignatius, following the liberal inclination to practice imperialism quietly and creatively, suggests substituting for "big, direct deployment of military power" ("It's just so messy!" the Democrat is imagined to squeal) the good, old-fashioned targeted killing of private individuals:
This is the kind of problem for which U.S. Special Forces and the covert operators of the Central Intelligence Agency were created. They can move quickly and quietly to alter the balance of power on the ground, just as they have done at sea. They should be subject to close congressional oversight, in secret. The less the rest of the world sees the American footprint in Somalia, the better.
Each of these sentences has something uniquely vicious and uniquely American about it. I especially love the contrast between Ignatius' earlier statement, that "the United States as a nation tends to favor big, direct deployment of military power," with his opinion here that, well, perhaps the hushed secrecy of elites is in fact the best policy.

Someone named Fred Ikle also has an article titled simply "Kill the Pirates," in case you missed the message.

Terrorism : piracy :: tragedy : farce, etc etc.

3 Comments:

Blogger Robot said...

Dead teen pirate porn is the best way I've heard it described. There's definitely something quite disturbing about the psychologizing going on here: the United States just can't kill people like it used to without causing uproar, so we're going to celebrate the fuck out of finally being able to kill some bad guys, with the context be damned. The IDF should really get in on this action before it's too late.

12:08 PM  
Blogger The Sheriff said...

"talk like a pirate day" is going to turn into an international day of protest/mourning.

1:31 AM  
Blogger dchan said...

youre being lied to about pirates.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-you-are-being-lied-to-about-pirates-1225817.html

11:54 AM  

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