01/09/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Editorial: West Misunderstands Piracy, Many Somalis Consider It National Defense

Lately, the western media has particularly focused on stories of the Somalia piracy, which in effect has received more coverage than the often-talked clan conflicts, or the ever-growing muscle of the Youth fundamentalist group Al-Shabab that hostage the fate of the Somali people.

Armed with speed boats and sophisticated light arms, Somali pirates, overtly supported by local and regional authorities, have undoubtedly enabled the highly effective and organized piracy to go on the Indian Ocean and disrupt a key shipping line and a transit corridor for "20 percent of world's oil" supply without any signs of slowing down.

To date, the Somalia piracy covers a large area on the Indian Ocean stretching between the Red Sea and the coast of Kenya. So far over 15 ships and close to 400 hostages have fallen victim to this enterprise.

The West has yet to fully understand the growing phenomenon of Somalia piracy. The most common view in the west summarily dismisses the whole piracy enterprise in the Somalia coast as a banditry, opportunist and criminal cartel that feeds on the vacuum created by the demise of the Somalia state. Some even brand it as "terrorism."

Continue reading here.