"Because I do it with one small ship, I am called a terrorist. You do it with a whole fleet and are called an emperor."
~A pirate, from St. Augustine's "City of God"
Everybody loves to root for the underdog---well, almost everybody. Today, the New York Times reported that Somali pirates commandeered a United States-flagged container ship with 20 American crew members off the coast of Somalia. The ship owners say the containers were carrying aid supplies to Kenya.
Today's takeover was the sixth commercial ship commandeered by pirates this week off the Horn of Africa. The failed attempts of technologically advanced foreign naval warships to destroy the pirates only deepen the mythology.
Somalia pirates are not altogether much different than other Somali people grappling with chronic poverty and violent conflict. The infamous pirates are comprised of bunch of 20-30 years olds looking for adventure, money, and goods they can bring back home.
Residents told the BBC, Somali pirates are received as rock stars back home.
"They wed the most beautiful girls; they are building big houses; they have new cars; new guns"
Sounds like something out of a rap song. Wait a minute...
In the final analysis, Somalia's pirates represent a resistance to foreign domination and will continue to gain widespread support among the people of Somalia and elsewhere.