This high seas adventure is getting pervasive. Now there's this one:
It's All About the Leverage
If you are engaged in maritime commerce within 500 miles of the east coast of Africa you seem to be vulnerable. That's a threat to a lot of commerce. The only reason they grab an ocean-going tug humping two barges is to grab another nation's sailors as more bargaining power.
Among the fascinating revelations of this has been the apparent common national prohibition against carrying any sort of armament on merchant vessels. I'm not talking depth charges and torpedoes here. I'm not even considering five-inch guns or Jack Sparrow's cannons. How about some of the nice personal weaponry that permeates the region?
Sailors tend to be take charge kinds of guys. They work hard, take risks for rewards and when ashore might frequent the more macho sides of the port cities. I can honestly see them being willing to put up a respectable resistance to a handful of skinny rag-heads armed with AK-47s and grappling hooks 350 miles out to sea.
What I'm seeing instead looks a lot like Washington DC after dark, or Cabrini Green in Chicago or the Bronx or Bed-Sty in Boston. We've legislated their defensive guns away from them while the goblins have no such scruples about law compliance. Wouldn't a dozen FN-FAls in a locker on board be a handy resource? Wouldn't a score of Springfield SOCOM-16s be just the thing for repelling borders? How about a shiny new Barrett .50 BMG to pot-shot an approaching pirate vessel? The crew could even have a pool for who gets the most one-shot sinkings on a voyage.
Of course, with all of the new language coming out of the Obama White House, we've got this change to contend with:
Offensive Name Replaced
Seriously now, can't we simply kill a couple of hundred of these scum, sink their boats and then enjoy another 200 years of unimpeded use of the high seas like after Tripoli?