Sunday, April 19, 2009

Piracy Apologia

It was bound to happen eventually:
The Somali situation was further complicated by a series of economic and ecological problems that have struck the region in the past decade. In the wake of the government collapse, the Somali coast became a target of illegal commercial fishing. This is a problem across East and Southern Africa but rampant in Somalia. According to one report, some 700 vessels were illegally operating in the region and fishing the local stock to near depletion.

As recently as 2006 Somali fishermen complained to the U.N. that illegal fishing was driving them to the brink of economic collapse. To add to the burden, the coast also became a favorite locale for nuclear waste dumping.

In 2005, U.N. officials confirmed that barrels containing illegally dumped nuclear waste had cracked open during the tsunami that year and begun washing ashore. The situation was widely reported by international news outlets with virtually no consequences.
The above is the from an opinion piece by professor Jelani Cobb at Spelman College, who goes on to argue that we helped create the pirates due to neglect and therefore any outrage about such criminality is, to use one of the left's favorite tactics, 'selective'.

His arguments might have been stronger had he provided evidence on the fishing claim, because let's face it, such are the tools of the criminal. They say nobody in prison considers themselves guilty. Surely the Vikings and other pillagers throughout history have felt morally justified.

Dr. Cobb also didn't go into much detail about the nuclear waste claim other than making it, but here's a report that essentially blames a Somali named Mahdi Mohammed, a man who "worked closely with the UN" during the 90s relief efforts around the time some of the alleged dumping took place (and somewhere around the time our soldiers were being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu). According to the link most of the material consists of non-radioactive waste but the coup de grace was this--it was allegedly European in origin. That would be the very same Europeans Obama is now apologizing to. And whom the left is trying to model our society upon.

This history expert also didn't mention George W. Bush's massive AIDS aid to the continent or his partnership with Ethiopia to root out the precursors of the al-Shabab/AQ factions now running part of Somalia (some reported to have been involved with the East African Embassy attacks during that remarkable time of peace and prosperity called the 90s). Or the fact that Islam contains some convenient verses that justify such pillaging. Or stuff like this.

The curious can dig deeper and find more from Dr. Cobb, like a blog, where he goes a little deeper into the construct with a juicy blame-America-first reminder of America's previous pillaging in Africa (hint-slaves). So there you go.

On the surface it appears to be the same game Barack Obama has been playing on his world tour, reminding foreigners not of our leadership and wonderful accomplishments but that we've often been greedy, warmongering religious bigots (he heard at least one controversial sermon at Trinity United). Thing is, it's quite possible Obama is using such rhetoric as a clever ruse to turn the tables on our detractors by using a sort of reverse-psychology rubric. On the other hand Mr. Cobb, even in his nuanced way, sounds rather serious.


Darth Rob said...

Reverse psychology never worked on my kids. I don't know why anyone would think it a good tactic for foreign relations.

A.C. McCloud said...

I'm giving him the benefit here, Rob. I want to believe he's not the Marxist, America-blaming radical some made him out to be but in reality is really a cunning, clever leader with a strategy to win. Probably just delusional, I know.

OTOH, Mr. Cobb seems to firmly believe his moral relativism.

Anonymous said...

There’s an interesting email going around about the pirates and whether or not Obama procrastinated in the decision making process. I’ve seen three separate emails, each one giving attribution to a different third-person. To me, the flavor of the email appears more political than chronological. I don’t know because I wasn’t there and it’s been a long time since anyone asked me for my opinion.

But here’s what I think about the pirate situation off the coast of Somalia and in the South China Sea (which no one seems to remember these days). This comes to you as a complete and verifiable fact, although it may be hard to substantiate because of the depths this individual has gone to hide his true personae and international activities. No, it wasn’t international failures by Bush I or Bush II … it wasn’t Clinton’s lack of courage, or Obama’s incompetence that created these conditions. No, it was a man who has taken advantage of the Somali people, offering them jobs in shoe factories and only paying them two-cents per hour. It was a man who owned or controlled all the businesses in every Somali town, who charged the people outlandish prices for codpieces made out of grass, black-market condensed milk, and who fed them bowls of rice and tsetse flies. Given these conditions, of course the people are going to be angry and turn to piracy.

Mr. Cobb has it wrong. The person we should thank for these conditions is, of course, that bastard LA Sunset.

Eric Cartman

A.C. McCloud said...

He has been rather quiet about the pirates, come to think of it.