Last week my blog was going to be about the pirate situation in east African waters but after I started writing, I opted to write a plug for the cruise industry instead. Yeah, I wimped out. As it turns out my younger son, the filmmaker, forced me to face my conscience on this one. He works full time at a hotel and takes classes full time as well at George Mason U in Fairfax, so when we see him we mention the news of the day because its often that he hadn’t heard about it. When we told him about the rescue of the American captain he said, yes, he had heard and harangued us for a few minutes on why stepping up military response to these guys will do nothing to remove the cause of why they do it.
Now in this he was singing to the choir. I’d been making noises since the first attacks that dealing with the poverty in Somalia is the place to start dealing with the piracy. The reasons these people are turning to the risky but well paying venture of piracy is that they have little other means of getting money to feed their families. Now admittedly, it is only folks of low morals or little sense who will take this route. How old was that pirate we captured? Sixteen to twenty? Yeah, he has all the good sense God gave a grapefruit. He doesn’t seem to be one of those rich “warlords” some folks are going on about either. In all honesty I have to agree with the time honored tradition of dealing with piracy. “The end of the line” being the end of that rope thrown over the nearest yardarm. But if we are to stop this localized problem, we have to have a two pronged approach. Yes, step up an armed response, but deal with the poverty that drives them to this as well. Sopping up the water while not plugging up the holes in your roof isn’t a successful solution.
Corporations are always throwing up factories in countries with low labor costs. I’m reminded of the Honduran sock factories where the locals are quickly taught how to use the loom machinery. Surely some cooperation between nations dealing with Africa can result in an assembly plant built being there to create jobs. And with jobs there will be stability. A win-win situation. And then we can kill all those who still choose piracy with a clearer conscience.
A little off-topic, but as far as “sopping up the water while not plugging up the holes in your roof” ….. Corporations always seem to move their plants from state to state and state to foreign countries not only for low labor costs, but to find an easier and lower cost solution to complying with hazardous waste disposal issues, and air quality issues as far as plant emissions go. Problem is, it still ends up in “your backyard”! When the wind blows, you inhale it! Or those pesticides that were banned in the US? The chemical companies sell them to many of the countries who use them on their produce which in turn gets sent back to us, and you digest it!
Argg is right Ed!
They also sell foodstuffs that contain items recently banned in the US. Have to dump that inventory somewhere. Frankly I think China, under pressure at home for it’s unsafe factory conditions, will be the first at industrializing Africa. Cheap labor, no regulations.
This has also been seen as an issue of Western polluters destroying the fishing waters of the Somalian coast. Reported by one of my very favorite papers, the London Independent, no less.
The third world has been the dumping ground for so much of our…..crap, that I’m not at all surprised by this report; just saddened. Thanks, Adriel.
We both most have pirates on the brain…( https://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/why-not-to-throw-out-your ).