So, everyone likes pirates. Dressing like them, talking like them. Later, riding on Disney rollercoasters dedicated to their illustrated history of pillage and Johnny Depp-style ambisexuality. But even as the media focuses on the Somali pirate saga as one of their Shiny New Post-Election Things, it's worth noting that there are important issues knit up in the story that deserve attention. In a thoughtful post yesterday, Matthew Yglesias elucidated one of them:
But of course there are real policy issues here. In particular, at the end of the day it's not easy to fight pirates at sea. The ocean is extremely large, boats move around, and circumstances are generally unfavorable to law enforcement. You need to fight the piracy on land. If you tried to run a pirate ring out of San Diego, you wouldn't get very far -- there are police in southern California. But Somalia has, obviously, been in a state of political chaos for a long time now. And when the country looked like it was heading for a measure of political stability under the Islamic Courts Movement, the US decided it would be smart to back an Ethiopian invasion-and-occupation of the country that ultimate wound up resulting in more chaos than ever. But whatever you think of the past, going forward you would ultimately want to solve this issue on land. In other words, by creating some kind of political stability in Somalia.
And, then, later that night, a historical first! The first ever Daily Show sketch adapted from Yglesias' blog!