Monday, September 29, 2008

Talk Like A Real Pirate Day

We've got actual pirates in the news today: a group of Somali pirates hijacked a Ukranian freighter hauling, among other things, a pile of Russian tanks. They're asking a $20 million ransom for release of the ship, cargo, and crew. I know it's technically a tragedy -- one crew member died during the hijacking, and the hijacking problem has gotten out of control. (Paul Allen reportedly has a crew of ex-Navy SEALs as onboard security for his worlds-largest yacht.) Still, the first thing that struck me as a bit funny about this is that the Associated Press said that all of their information about the pirates' demands came from a "pirate spokesman". I wonder if they've also got an official Pirate Ombudsman and a Pirate HR Department.

I also can't help but think that this is exactly like the beginning of a few dozen espionage/action movies and novels. The pirates have seized the ship, and warships and planes are circling. Then, at night, Dirk Manly and his team of spec-ops commandos will board the ship. He'll have a Meaningful Moment with one of the hostages, or possibly he'll realize that one of the hijackers is his old college love. The action moment comes, they'll kill most of the hijackers, but a few will escape and take the love interest with as a human shield.... Yeah, we've all seen this movie.

I wonder if we'll actually see military action to liberate the ship. I wouldn't be surprised; the cargo is military, and governments (unlike corporations) tend not to negotiate with hijackers and terrorists. I hope the civilian and military body count is low when the hammer drops....

No comments: