Piratical Chic

It works every time. All you have to do is oppose or threaten America, and you’ve instantly got the world’s most powerful opinion making apparatus—the American mainstream media—on your side. James Taranto samples the pro-piratist (or is it anti-anti-piratist?) opinions that have been expressed over the last week.

The first, by Abraham Greenwald at Commentary, is not pro-pirate, but rather is satirizing the pirate-symps:

This is pirate blowback! Did the president think we could use billion-dollar equipment to shoot some raggedy ransom-seekers out of their rowboat without inviting retaliation? By flaunting our material superiority we merely whet their appetites for treasure. And by demonstrating that we value one American life more than three Somali lives we’ve turned a handful of desperate thieves into a sympathetic movement with recruitment potential.

And all for the sake of one seized ship??? … Let’s face it: on Sunday, we only created more pirates.

The second, from the Washington Post, is deadly serious, but for that reason perhaps even funnier:

The killing of the three pirates by the U.S. military could worsen the problem, military officials said. Statements made Monday by people who identified themselves as pirates seemed to bolster that view.

And now from the anti-anti-pirate line of the Washington Post to the pro-pirate line of Johann Hari at Huffington Post:

Pirates were the first people to rebel against this world. They mutinied against their tyrannical captains—and created a different way of working on the seas. Once they had a ship, the pirates elected their captains, and made all their decisions collectively. They shared their bounty out in what Rediker calls “one of the most egalitarian plans for the disposition of resources to be found anywhere in the eighteenth century.” They even took in escaped African slaves and lived with them as equals….

They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia—and it’s not hard to see why. In a surreal telephone interview, one of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali, said their motive was “to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters…. We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas.”

Has Hari written for Scott McConnell’s magazine, The Palestinian Conservative? It would be a perfect fit.

- end of initial entry -

Karl D. writes:

As the Palestinian scarf has become the must-have item for the tragically hip university leftist, expect to see a lot of eye patches in this spring’s Useful Idiot fashion line. Eye patches, Arafat scarves, and the obligatory “Che” T-shirt, and you are good to go at any leftist happening.

Alan Levine writes:

I read the item you cited at the Huffington Post by Hari. It was so bad as to be genuinely hilarious. It was almost a textbook example of Burnham’s description of pure leftwing ideology totally unrelated to historical facts, from making the buccaneers British rebels against authority (they were originally French, and the greatest British pirate of all, Morgan, wound up the beloved and respected Lt. Governor of Jamaica), to discovering that they were believers in racial equality. Yeah, right!

Aargh, matey! I am sorry to say that I cannot recall if that phrase was originated by Wallace Beery or Robert Newton.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 16, 2009 09:17 AM | Send

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