A BBC article's first two paragraphs are, technically, accurate:
"The captain of a US container ship taken hostage by Somali pirates has been released, the US Navy has said.
"According to initial reports, three pirates were killed in the operation to free Captain Richard Phillips. Another is in custody...." (BBC)
One of the meanings of "release" is "the act of liberating someone or something" (Princeton WordNet). Technically, Captain Phillips was released: by the American military.
'Diplomacy' is Nice - So are ResultsI approve of negotiation. Talking out issues and coming to a mutually acceptable agreement is a good thing.
Sometimes that's not possible.
In this case, the pirates wanted around $2,000,000 ransom for Captain Phillips. The people Captain Phillips worked for - and America - weren't about to pay that. For starters, paying kidnappers for abducting people is not a good way to discourage such behavior.
The pirates wouldn't budge, Somali elders "refused the arrest of the pirates," and the Americans insisted that they wanted Captain Phillips back.
"...'The negotiations between the elders and American officials have broken down. The reason is American officials wanted to arrest the pirates in Puntland and elders refused the arrest of the pirates,' said the commissioner, Abdi Aziz Aw Yusuf. He said he organized initial contacts between the elders and the Americans...." (AP)
Those Big, Rough AmericansWith the proper direction, talks with the pirates, Somali elders and commissioners, Americans, and anyone else who wanted to join in, could have gone on for months. Maybe years.
Instead, American forces freed Captain Phillips, unharmed, and arrested one pirate. Three others were killed. I'd have preferred to hear that it was four captured pirates: but that sort of thing is a foreseeable outcome for people who take hostages and defy a military force.
Captain Phillips is Free, the Maersk Alabama Brought Food to SomaliaI'm sorry that there was loss of life. That's regrettable. But, the pirates chose to fight.
Perhaps the pirates miscalculated. The America they defied was not an America which avoids conflict at any cost, and will negotiate until issues become moot.
- "American Authorities to Somali Pirates: 'We Want to Talk - "
(April 9, 2009)
- "Somali Pirates Take American Ship: Crew Takes it Back "
(April 8, 2009)
- " 'America Sucks' - Binghamton, New York, Bullies, and 'Little Eichmanns' "
(April 4, 2009)
- "Sounds of Silence: 2009"
(March 31, 2009)
- "The West and Today's Somali President: The Enemy of Your Enemy is Your Friend?"
(March 19, 2009)
- "Al Shabaab May Be Running Somalia Now: Just What We Need"
(January 26, 2009)
- "America to Unilaterally Attack Somalia!"
(January 8, 2009)
- "Guinea, Military Rule, and Terrorism: Beware Hasty Judgment"
(December 29, 2008)
- " 'A World Without War...' and What Would Happen to It"
(November 6, 2008)
- "Global Patriot Reporting: Anti-American Bias? Could Be"
(March 25, 2008)
- "U.S. Warship Kills Innocent Egyptian!! No Wonder Everybody Hates America!!!"
(March 24, 2008)
- "Official: US sea captain freed in swift firefight"
SFGATE, San Francisco Chronicle (April 12, 2009)
- "US captain held by pirates freed: State Dept"
AFP (April 12, 2009)
- "US captain released from pirates"
BBC (April 12, 2009)
- "US ship, choppers, shadow hostage captain, pirates"
The Associated Press (April 12, 2009)
- "Pirates Hijack Italian Tug as Talks on U.S. Captain Continue"
Bloomberg (April 11, 2009)
- "$2,000,000: Pirates name their price for hostage Captain Richard Phillips"
New York Daily News (April 10, 2009)