As many of my callers discussed on yesterday’s program, there are lots of options for dealing with a supertanker seized by pirates –none of them good.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the president-elect had better be preparing to deal with this growing menace:
Pirates off the Somalia coast have attacked 26 vessels and taken hostage 537 crew members in the three months ended Sept. 30, according to the International Maritime Bureau, a maritime-crimes watchdog. They have raked in an estimated $18 million to $30 million in ransom so far this year, according to a report last month by Chatham House, a London-based think tank — a figure that may be driving the upsurge in attacks.
Of course a tanker with 2 million barrels of oil presents more than grave risk to one crew, and the Bush Administration will resolve this episode before President Obama is sworn in.
But it would have been useful if during one of the presidential campaign debates, even one question had dealt with any sort of hostage crisis, and perhaps even one at sea.