This editorial appeared in The Wichita Eagle.
The problem of international piracy became personal for Americans in recent days, as one of their own became the captive of thugs in a lifeboat off the coast of Somalia.
For several worrisome days, the nation was transfixed by the story of the brazen attack on the Maersk Alabama, the skilled response by the cargo ship's crew and the bravery of captive Capt. Richard Phillips. Then came the moment when U.S. Navy SEAL snipers "fired in darkness from the stern of a ship 25 yards away on rolling waters," as Associated Press put it, to take out the three pirates holding Phillips.
In the end Sunday, the message was clear and reassuring: Mess with U.S. ships and the planet's most powerful navy will show no mercy.
As we await the obligatory TV newsmagazine interview with Phillips and the film adaptation, we should consider what the incident and its aftermath signal:
• The United States cannot and should not try to eliminate piracy on its own. It demands a multinational response from seafaring countries.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Wichita Eagle.