Now for the commentary:
I find it highly immoral that we would even begin to denigrate the names of those who have taken it upon themselves to defend their littoral borders and provide for the common welfare of all Somalis. Granted, the events aboard the Maersk Alabama are inexcusable, but this is only one example of many and we, to this day, have yet to let the Somalis establish their anarchistic views under the guise of "aide" programs that have very little to do with aide and very much to do with disrupting the populace through both human error and cultural dissonance. We are not a benevolent country in terms of foreign policy, and at the very least we are responsible for the economic retardation of several Latin American coutries while working to arm fascist regimes in the area, as well as the Suharto regime in their genocide of East Timor (may the world never forget).
Whatever your political views, it should not get in the way of understanding that these pirates (as they are called) are in fact volunteer coast guards established in the wake of the early '90s governmental collapse. Would you come to the aide of your country if there were no government leading it? Would you take arms against those who have committed grave injustice and poisoned your people? Let us listen to the voice of reason in this case, for what we malign and fear are only people doing what they believe to be right. Sometimes (as is the case for the Maersk Alabama), what people believe to be doing in the name of righteousness falls into error. These men may die for their errancy, but many more will be called forth out of a belief that they must chase the illegal trawlers and ships that might pollute their waters.
Let us not forget that the subliminal racism of the media plays a role in framing the Maersk Alabama debacle as a prime example while leaving out the millions of pirate missions performed in Somali waters since navigable watercraft became known in the area. It would be harder to frame the pilots in a favorable light in the cases where cadmium dumping operations were performed, and it would be catastrophic if it were found out we were relying on a small patch of coastline for a great deal of saltwater fish, the currents of our own hemisphere, toxification of our littoral space and overfishing playing a major role in these quasi-illegal trawling expeditions.
Before we begin pointing fingers at people of a different nationality and culture than our own, whose reasons for performing such acts are blurred and distorted by the media, let's ask our own government about our heavy metals recycling programs and why heavy metal dumping continues both within and without our littoral space. Ask it why we still have companies who perform these unsustainable commercial trawling expeditions and give pirates a reason to kidnap and hold crews at ransom. We are being lied to, not just about the motives of these pirates who we make a minstrel show out of (is our own continuing war on our Sub-Saharan-descended population not good enough anymore?), but about the amount of accountability the media has. Sever the ties between media and the subsidiary companies that perform these dispicable acts, and we would be closer to having a more accurate portrait of why the world finds us so base and incompetant.