Captain Richard Phillips of the U.S. cargo ship, Maersk Alabama who was being held hostage off the coast of Somalia since last week has been freed from his captors following a brief firefight between the pirates and the US Navy. Phillips has been rescued unharmed and is currently resting comfortably aboard the USS Boxer. According to reports released via the Associated Press, three of the four pirates who were holding Phillips were killed in the fire fight.
A pirate who had been in contact with negotiators is now in military custody. FBI spokesman John Miller has stated that the pirate would be remanded to FBI custody as the situation moved from being a military issue to being a criminal issue. Dean Boyd, spokesman for the Department of Justine says prosecutors are considering bring the case to the United States based on “evidence and other issues.”
Phillips had attempted an escape on Friday, but was readily recaptured by the pirates who fired their weapons to force him to return. Throughout the ordeal the pirates continually threatened to kill Phillips if their tiny lifeboat were attacked. The lifeboat was adrift in the water easily within reach of three US Navy warships that prevented the boat from going ashore where the pirates could have easily hidden Phillips increasing their negotiating power.
No details of the firefight or Phillips’ rescue were immediately available.
This is good news for the United States. A show of force that lets the Somali pirates know that the United States will not stand for our ships being pirated. The only question remains now is: now that Obama has “tasted blood” will he continue to stand up to our enemies or will he revert to the softer, weaker, spineless position of his liberals constituents?
This was turning into an international incident as it was the first time since Obama took office that Somali pirates had attempted to capture a US Flagged ship. Previous attacks had come to ships belonging to nations other than the United States. It realized the prophecy of Vice-President Biden who had commented during the campaign, “the world is going to test Obama.”
Obama has been tested. It was a strong test. It was not as severe as 9/11 was to George W. Bush, but it seems, at least on the surface that Obama has passed – using military force to settle a situation. Political commentators had begun to liken this to the Iran Hostage situation of 1979 that tested President Jimmy Carter and eventually showed him to be an abject failure in the White House.
Analysis of this situation is sure to change as more information about the fire fight and how Captain Phillips was rescued come to light. For now, America is thankful that Captain Phillips is safe.
The pirates got what they deserved as well.