Monday, April 13, 2009

Kill the Pirates

That's the title of an editorial up at the Washington Post. The author doesn't go as far as I would in anti-piracy options, but it looks like he would support the Q-ship idea. He calls for arming merchant vessels and for killing pirates as they attack. Why haven't we taken more effective action against Somali piracy?
Start by blaming the timorous lawyers who advise the governments attempting to cope with the pirates such as those who had been engaged in a standoff with U.S. hostage negotiators in recent days. These lawyers misinterpret the Law of the Sea Treaty and the Geneva Conventions and fail to apply the powerful international laws that exist against piracy. The right of self-defense -- a principle of international law -- justifies killing pirates as they try to board a ship.
That pretty much sums it up. Unfortunately many ship owners would rather take their chances and pay ransom if necessary, and as private owners its their right to make that decision about how best to protect their ships and crews. That's why we need to scatter some Q-ships among the merchant vessels.

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