Going on the Account: Some Good News for Once…

The Chandlers are free.  One of the most senseless acts of piracy, the holding of an elderly couple without extensive means and with little positive to gain, is finally over after thirteen months.

What’s particularly striking in this account is how much effort is being made by both Rachel Chandler and the leader of the Somali “government,” Mohamed Aden, to try and separate the pirates from the Somalis.  Both of them take great pain to stress that not all Somalis are pirates, something that most reasonable people already hold; then again, these days reasonable people seem to be in very short supply…


If anything, the case of the Chandlers demonstrates the limits of piracy.  Whatever justification you might be able to make for such actions, whatever sympathies you might be able to generate from an economic justice standpoint as had been made for the last few years, none of that’s supportable when you have an elderly couple in captivity for no good reason at all.  Even after they demonstrated very few means compared to a shipping company’s cargo coverage, and despite appeals on humanitarian grounds, keeping these two for over a year led to nothing in the end.


There is talk that there was a possible ransom payment made.  Consider, though, that in the aggregate this wasn’t worth the expense, as it was minuscule compared to other commercial ventures and required keeping people ashore that could have gone after other loads.  Which means that even if you have no humanitarian concerns or conscience, this was just bad business.


It may be years before there’s enough order in the Horn of Africa for the pirates to subside; my hope is that, at a minimum, that there not be another such incident as this until that day comes…

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