OK things are getting a little surreal. Yesterday I praised the NY Times for outing a poseur, today I am pleased with a piece by Anne Applebaum about the Russians and their expedient method of dealing with Somali pirates.What's next, kind words for Robert Gibbs?
As for the Russian destroyer, it was not operating according to an 18th-century code of honor but according to international law, such as it is. Theoretically, the captain was supposed to hand the detainees and the evidence over to regional police. Not wanting to involve himself in legal wrangling, however, he decided to "release" the pirates instead. And thus they were "set free" in a tiny inflatable raft, with no navigation equipment, 350 miles off the coast of Yemen. The raft has disappeared. In the 21st century, this is how pirates walk the plank.....
But until we, together with the Russians, the Chinese, the Europeans and others, can reach some agreement about what we call them and how we treat them, each captured pirate -- like each captured terrorist -- will invariably be dealt with ad hoc. Leaving them to float away on a rubber dinghy might not be the best solution, but it's the only one we've got.
I think it is a quite excellent solution, but I am nothing if not a pragmatist.