The pirate situation off the Somali Coast has riveted the world’s attention moreso than Disney ever could. It seems, however, that the Somalis are not simply money-hungry gangsters as most of Western media would have us think. Independent reporter and author of the international best-seller, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, Jeremy Scahill, brings to light in a recent piece published in AlterNet, that the pirates are self-appointed coast guards, responding to years of industrial fishing and the dumping of nuclear waste. In fact, Scahill cites Johann Hari’s article in the Independent, which states that 70% of the country’s population supports their activities.
My question is not why ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN or the like have not covered this angle. My question, instead, is when will the US and Europe truly recognize the consequences of our lifestyle? If, indeed, Somali pirates are pissed off about the ravages of industrial fishing and the unspeakable horrors of radiation contamination, than we must look at how our lifestyle is coming back to haunt us.
There is no place on the planet for nuclear waste, which means that the current revivial of interest in nuclear power plants is folly. There is no more room or time for fast food – where do you think all that fish for those fresh and reduced fat/cholesterol Ocean Fish Sandwiches, for example, comes from? Maybe not from the waters off the Somali coast but you can bet it’s not from a homespun, grizzled, yellow-slickered captain in a tiny, storm-tossed, fishing boat off the coast of Maine.
Indeed, piracy on the high seas is a strange game of paybacks and begs the question of how much of the millions of dollars in ransom money collected over the past few years is really going to the 70% of the Somali population that supports these activities? Are these guys really 21st Century Robin Hoods? Even if they aren’t, they are yet another reminder of how the way we are living is taking us nowhere…and the rest of the world along with us.
Stay tuned…and thanks for listening.