Of course, this cogent explanation by Andrew Bostom of current Muslim piracy off the African coast of the Indian Ocean puts the phenomenon very much in contemporary place. It also fits the phenomenon into the history of the practice and its extension into slavery. So, as we all know, the Arabs took slaves for their own use and for barter and sale to the Europeans and Turks. Also to us morally pure Americans. That is, the Muslim slave trade co-existed with (and linked to) the trade with Christian powers in the West and the "new world." There should be no historical or ethical hauteur here.
But the tolerance for piracy as a normal and easily absorbable fact today -especially from a continent whose diplomats are now rushing to Geneva to jabber about human rights- would be, well, laughable...if it weren't so serious. I gather that some in the left-wing blogosphere have already provided sophistic explanations for this brigandage that amount to justification. Well, so what else is new?
An editorial in the Wall Street Journal does not give enough credit to Barack Obama for facing down (and the Navy for killing) the captors of the American captain. Imagine what Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton would have done in this circumstance. Mrs. Albright would have demanded that the Seals bring them in alive. Sandy Berger would have tried to do a commercial deal with them. And, more to the point, none of the other countries whose ships have been ransomed by pirates have done anything else but barter.
Sill, the Journal's larger point is well-taken. Piracy is a form of terrorism. Though terrorism is no longer the name of a fashionable enemy, it better be.