If you need a link to one of the 48,000 news stories we've seen over the past week regarding Somalian pirates attacking, seizing or attempting seizure of ships, you're lucky you managed to open up your browser and land here.
Well, not exactly lucky -- you could have landed somewhere far more interesting. But neither here nor not here...
The point is that -- for the time being -- the media has chosen the Somalian pirates story as The Story. There are some exciting side-stories, especially the rescue by the SEALs of the captain who was held hostage, as well as the story surrounding the French hostage that was killed in an attempt by authorities to recapture another seized vessel.
Unfortunately, while these stories seem to clog up every possible outlet for news there is -- the Internet, e-mail blasts, cell-based text updates, elevator news/info screens, taxi-based news delivery -- this isn't the most important story out there.
North Korea just booted the IAEA out of the DPRK. Iran is working on its centrifuge. And Osama Bin Laden is, in theory, still breathing.
Hint: anyone reading this who owns or works for an entity that owns vessels who operate in any region within firing range of these pirates, budget an extra $100k or so and get yourself some mercenaries with good hardware. I'd recommend Heckler and Koch MP-5's, Beretta 92-F Competition models, and plenty of ammunition (mercury-tipped hollow-points go a long way, and go through a lot).
Put four military types on your ship and have them operate in round-the-clock six-hour shifts. Each man should be stationed in the cockpit with high-resolution security cameras aimed fore, aft, starboard and port. If the guy on duty sees a ship a-comin', he a) grabs his gear; b) alerts his fellow security guys so they can wake up and get their gear; and c) they get ready to fire on the incoming vessel.
It would help if one or more of these gents had an M72 Law (better known as a Laws Rocket) handy. If you've ever seen the Dirty Harry film "The Enforcer," you'll know the Laws Rocket is a portable, one-shot bazooka that is certified to destroy most 1970's era tanks. My guess is that there are more powerful weapons out there, but my guess is also that if a few of these Somalians see a Laws Rocket pointed business-end at their vessel, they'll probably -- really, really quickly -- rethink their career choice.
Once word gets around that civilian ships are being protected by non-civilians, this problem will dry up and blow away. Being that many of these accosted ships are in international waters, issues with gun and munition laws should be relatively minor.
So quit yer bitchin' and get you some gear and some guys and keep on truckin'...er...boatin'.
And fer chrissakes, CNN, give it a rest. Go back to talking about the shitty economy, GM, Bin Laden, or that cute little project the kids in that school in Oklahoma designed for Easter using only "Peeps," Krazy Glue and Edible Underwear.
Or tell us about the transsexual hooker who was mortally castrated in a folding-couch accident.
Or at the very least, show some dreary, poorly-dressed procrastinators standing in line at the post office at 11:45 tonight to beat the deadline. Show one guy with a flannel shirt and a bow tie with bad teeth and a missing shoe saying how busy he was this year. Then zoom in on the clerk who looks just about ready to whip out her Glock and close the branch for good.
Enough with the Somalian pirates. Seriously.