"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pirate schwacking

You've all seen the headlines; Capt. Phillips, taken hostage from an American freighter off the Horn of Africa and already foiled in one escape attempt, was finally freed yesterday after Navy SEALs capped three pirates who appeared ready to end the captain's life. A fourth pirate was taken prisoner. Our MEU buddies, on loan here from the USS Boxer, are livid that said ship got a by-line in the rescue effort without them. Other Somali pirates, clearly stunned and shaken by the Americans' audacity to fight back, are vowing revenge, and complaining that they never killed anybody in their hijackings. Poor guys; they're just trying to make it day by day, boarding vessels at gunpoint and holding their crews hostage until exhorbitant ransoms are paid. Well, hopefully the U.S. Navy will arrange a rendezvous between those dead outlaws and their friends real soon. Shouldn't be that hard; while it's difficult finding individual vessels in a large area of ocean, it's no secret where those vessels are bearthed on land. I think a hard hit raid by a few SEALs and Marines on pirate ports would go a long way in persuading local outlaws to find a new line of work. Nothing says 'piracy doesn't pay' like having your pirate ship burned to the waterline.

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