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Barbary Pirates

The seas are, so to speak, flooded with the pirates.  Not the Barbary Pirates who roamed the Mediterranean 200 years ago and who are described by Michael Oren in his masterful book, Power, Faith and Fantasy. Ah, you thought piracy was just an old world phenomenon.  But it's not. There are an increasing number of pirates and cases of piracy in the South China Sea. 

Let's face it, however.  The capitol of piracy around the globe is around the waters of Araby. See the article, "The Tears of Pirates," by Gassan Charbel in Al Hayat  just last week: "The new painful reality is that Arabs today are emerging through the window of piracy, as if the 9/11 attacks were not enough."

And then comes the piece by Jeffrey Gettleman in this morning's Times, "Somali Pirates Capture Tanks and Unwanted Global Notice." The weapons were on their way to Kenya and the pirates were prowling the Indian Ocean. The Times says there was $30 million worth of military loot on board.  An American ship was en route to the seized boat, and a Russian ship was fast in pursuit.

Isn't there some real sense that Arab countries and Arab societies provide the world with too much of its news?

Like today's: 17 people were killed in Damascus in a car bomb attack. A state-run news service, Cham Press, said it didn't "blame anyone else for this satanic attack apart from Israel."