Wednesday, November 18, 2009

To Stop Terrorism, Trade Fairly

Old boat in Berbera dry dock, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

The New York Times published the following in April 2009: "Navy Seal snipers rescued an American cargo ship captain unharmed and killed three Somali pirates in a daring operation in the Indian Ocean on Sunday, ending a five-day standoff between United States naval forces and a small band of brigands in a covered orange lifeboat off the Horn of Africa."

The very words "pirates," "daring operation," "standoff," and "brigands" were typical of the U.S. media; they made it sound as though white-hatted cowboys had ridden to the rescue of a town besieged by Billy the Kid and his gang. Having lived in that part of the world as an economic hit man, I knew there was another side to what had happened. I wondered why no one was asking about the causes of piracy.

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