Tag Archives: law and order

Pirates face justice but not yardarm

by the Rhetor

I am consistently fascinated by tales of modern piracy. According to the BBC ten Somalian buccaneers are to face a German court in Hamburg. Though unlike real pirates they are unlikely to face a short drop and a sudden stop as punishment. Rather these maties are, if found guilty, bound for a 10-15 year sentence in a German prison. Compared to life in Mogadishu, this will be a vacation.

However it is not the fate of the pirates that really concerns me. It is the way in which governments are dealing with the problem. History has shown that trying to defeat pirates at sea is a losing proposition. Pompey defeated the pirates by eliminating their bases and resettling the pirates in more desirable locations. While he utilised the massive military resources at his disposal he also practiced clemency and solved the economic problems besetting pirate communities. What is clear is that the millions in ransoms is small change compared to the economic causes which need to be solved in order to put pirates back into fishing boats.

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