Confounding the Fuzzy-Wuzzies
Okay, I know that the Fuzzies were Sudanese followers of the Mahdi and that the Somalis are ethnically different, but they all do have bushy hair, which is what Kipling was referring to. I have been following the debate over what to do about the Somali pirates with some interest, particularly as assiduous readers of this website will recall that I some time ago advocated the Pompey the Great solution to eliminate the problem. Currently, there is the Bill Kristol solution making the rounds, which would essentially require invading the country, while those opposed to Kristol keep invoking the familiar liberal-minded tropes, i.e. that poverty is the root cause of the piracy and that it is impossible for a US marine to distinguish a pirate from a farmer.
Well, I am never one disinclined to take a whack at Kristol, but the turn the other cheek crowd has it somewhat wrong even if Kristol is, as usual, looking for regime change. Recent press accounts make it clear that the pirates have a lot of money and well established lavishly appointed villas that serve as the bases for their forays. They are also armed will an array of weapons served by well appointed arsenals that they have supplied with their ransom money and seagoing high speed boats that are too big and heavy to haul up out of the water and hide in the bushes. A judicious use of force to destroy those bases and the equipment and boats would reduce their capabilities considerably and it would take them a long time to reequip and regroup. It would be a proportionate and targeted use of naval resources to solve a serious problem, precisely what our Founding Fathers might have had in mind when they created the navy and marine corps.