I was a pirate for Halloween back in 1985. If I had known it could be so lucrative, I may have saved the eye patch.
A Harvard Crimson article points out that there have already been 92 pirate attacks this year compared with 31 last year and 10 the year before that. Much of this activity is focused in the Gulf of Aden, kind of sandwiched between Somalia and Yemen, if that means anything to you geographically.
Piracy has been an ongoing problem, but it came to greater public attention recently when some Somali pirates got their largest bag of booty yet: a super tanker with 2 million barrels of crude oil on it (crude is somewhere above $50 a barrel plus the value of the ship itself and they lives of the crew–you do the math.)
I’m no expert on foreign affairs, but I do know that crude oil is valuable–valuable enough that it gets stolen out of the ground, stolen off of ships, and even stolen at gas stations anytime someone figures out a way to do it.
I subscribe to non-violence, and I also recognize that we live in a violent world. Non-violent as I am, I wish I would carry $100 million of cargo through a known “war risk” zone without some armed guards. I mean, there had been scores of other jackings in that same area this year. Are the pirates that good, or are the shippers that sorry?
I’m a preacher who’s never fired anything but Super Soakers and Laser Tag Phasers, and most of my friends are equally green when it comes to guns. But if you took 12 of us, put AKs in our hands, and paid us 5 figures each not to let anyone climb up the side of the boat during a six day trip, no one would get on that boat. Despite our lack of practical experience, I bet we have just enough Jason Bourne movies and hip-hop lyrics in us to pull it off.