Sympathy for the Pirate

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You have to admit that somewhere deep inside you smiled when hearing how Somali pirates had hijacked and taken for ransom a Saudi tanker with over $100 million worth of oil at sea. Completely forgotten by globalization, the pirates used what limited power they had to take a tiny share of their rich neighbor’s loot.

The pirates also remind me a little of Omar, that stick-up man of drug dealers from The Wire. As a matter of fact, if we’ve learned anything from the history of crime in America’s most impoverished urban areas it is that the disenfranchised will seek empowerment outside of the law.

Of course, we shouldn’t celebrate pirating or terrorism, but we know that when people do not feel like the world order is working for them, then they sometimes develop their own rules of engagement. Maybe no one cares about the poor killing the poor in the ghetto or pirates in distant waters, at least that is until the “crime” touches big business or the masses’ sense of security. Eventually disenfranchisement hurts our fragile franchise.

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