Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The problem with pirates

Via Michael Tomasky, a Columbus Day reminder that piracy attacks are happening all over the world. Especially along the African coasts - three of the world's five high-risk areas are along the coasts of Nigeria, Tanzania and Somalia.

This comes on the heels of a year that saw a 10 percent increase in pirate attacks, according to the New York Times.

The report said that pirates were better armed and more violent in 2007, with 18 vessels hijacked worldwide, 292 crew members taken hostage, five killed and three still missing.

Guns were used in 72 attacks, up 35 percent from 2006. The report said 64 crew members were assaulted and injured, compared with 17 in 2006, with most of the attacks occurring off Somalia’s coast.

The report said pirates used rocket-propelled grenade launchers and automatic weapons as well as larger vessels to launch smaller craft that were used to attack ships farther away from Somali’s coast.

I suppose, no matter who becomes president or who finishes atop the BCS, some things will never change. That said, I'd like to see more talk on the stump about what we can do to disarm these fiendish sea bandits. Piracy is most certainly a 21st-Century problem, if not an October problem. And my concerns about taking a cruise seem, at last, somewhat reasonable.

UPDATE: Much like their real-life counterparts, the Tampa Bay Bucs had a resurgence in 2007. The Bucs went 9-7 a year after finishing 4-12.

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