And it looks like while things have calmed down to the east, that piracy off the coast of Nigeria is becoming a hot topic.
A less humble, more boisterous person might note that this shouldn’t be real news, especially if one looks at notices about action here from July of 2012 or July of 2010 or March of 2010 or even June of 2008, though in all fairness there was a lot to distract people out there; didn’t the Kardassians have some kerfuffle or something…?
What makes this of note now is the fact that action in this theater is affected by the dreaded sequester, also known as “failure to embrace Keynesian principles like we used to.” Buried in the AP piece that finally recognized West African piracy was word that the US Navy may not have the resources to patrol the Gulf of Guinea, which considering the potential such actions have to destabilize a member of OPEC could be considered either (a) an act of wanton folly, or (b) betting heavily on projected US crude output figures making us a net exporter sooner rather than later…
The idea that we might not be able to afford projecting our power on the sea lanes is a little unsettling. I’m not entirely sure Jefferson was all that worried about going after the Barbary pirates 200 years ago, but recognized it as a good investment worth making at that time. The idea that we have come to the point where we look at our ability to do things the way the dystopia in George Lucas’ THX 1138 used to consider their actions makes me sweat as I consider it:
Hell, the idea that THX 1138 is an appropriate metaphor for American power projection in my lifetime is scary enough, almost as scary as how few other people out there may have actually seen this picture; futility is trying to discuss this with anyone I know for more than a few seconds before the blank stares stop me like the gaze of Medusa…
What would it take for Nigeria to get the same level of interest in time before it got bad the way it did off Somalia? A few civilian hostages? Maybe if the Nigerians took a Kardasian or someone else from the over-privileged class(less)?
How much will we allow before it becomes unbearable? And why in hell can’t we do something before it’s needlessly too late?