Going on the Account: Raided and Riled

There’s a great account of the liberation of the Ariella from the Associated Press that went out today.  Of all the ways to fight off a pirate incursion, this sounds like one of the better ones.

Mind you, it helps to have forces close at hand to respond quickly should you find yourself under assault.  How well abandoning the bridge for a safe room would have worked if there was no one to respond quickly is an interesting question, especially if the ship were a tanker.

The initial reports this morning were considerably more positive, discussing captured pirates as opposed to abandoned prey.  Such is the fog of conflict…

Yes, I said “fog of conflict.”  The original quote is “fog of war,” but can you have an actual war with non-state entities?  Even if it’s an instrument of state you are using against semi-organized hostile individuals, can you still call it a war if only one side qualifies to be an entity against which a war can be declared?

And if we agree that no, going up against pirates is not a war, just an application of force against hostiles, can we then agree to stop calling anti-terrorist actions a war?  By throwing the term “war” around freely, you not only give more gravitas to bad actors that don’t need it, you diminish the concept of war, and all the effort and skill required to execute a war properly.  If they’re not an actual state, you can’t claim to be at war with someone that cannot be recognized as in your league.  

As long as some folks want to have strict definitions as to who can love whom, then damnit, why can’t those same folks take the state of war as seriously?  War’s been more heavily defined for longer than marriage has been; where’s the respect here?

Because frankly, using that title to describe actions against these elements elevates these bad apples by making them feel as important as an actual state, when in fact they’re just a gang of cutthroats, no better than a racket or a street gang.

Or a batch of pirates…

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