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How Dumb ARE Those Guys, Anyway?

About as Dumb as We're Getting

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, April 07, 2010.

Recently, some of the pathetic scraps of humanity who are the Somali coastal pirates attacked, among other vessels, a US Navy frigate. When I saw that, I thought I'd misread it or the increasingly incompetent news editors had confused something, because the pirates under discussion were the usual young men in rickety boats if not inflatable Zodiacs. They sometimes have grenade launchers but mostly AK-47's. They seek out big but mostly unarmed cargo ships or tankers and hold them and the crew for ransom, and if all goes okay, nobody gets hurt. But these guys willingly attacked a modern naval frigate. Pray, what were they thinking?

Now, I know that in many, if not all cases, the pirates are just trying for money for food and family. They're thieves, given to violence if necessary or if they screw up, which is often, but they're probably, in the great scheme of things, victims on a grander scale than the kidnapped crews are. That doesn't excuse them, but there are points on their side.

But I am puzzled by the idea of willingly attacking a frigate, which is a relatively small naval ship that deals with large agendas because of the massive firepower such a vessel has. Like most modern naval ships, it's ugly, with a clipper bow for the big seas and rectangular superstructure and big antennas. Naval guns and missiles are hidden, because if mounted on deck they're subject to sea damage. So, it could conceivably not be recognized as a naval vessel, except they've looked like this for decades, and of course the huge hull number on each side, American naval flags, and flank speed faster than either the pirate mother ships and their speedboats, especially on the ocean. Clues, those, even in the night.

But what seems ominous to those who know could apparently appear as just a shiny cool boat of unknown purpose to the often drunk and drugged young men who are the hope of Africa these days. A tanker had reported an attack and asked for assistance. When the USS Nicholas arrived and came upon the mother ship, which launches the boarding parties, the pirates opened fire, rather than the boats taking off in different directions limiting losses. This, against a ship that could sink the Bismarck and Yamato both. When the smoke cleared, the pirates were captured, the mother ship sunk, and all ended well. But, the image of kids attacking a frigate with automatic rifles begs the question: how stupid and ignorant are they?

Quite, it seems. They have no clue what naval vessels look like, as they're often mere children compelled like many African children soldiers to work for adult criminals safely at remove, and it is altogether possible they thought it was a big yacht. If there had been visible artillery, maybe a light would have dawned.

Meanwhile, here in God's Country, bigots, xenophobic militias and Tea Baggers - as we might call those belonging to Tea Parties - might publicly conclude that this just goes to show how dumb Africans, especially black Africans, are, and draw attention to President Obama's heritage. You know the drill. Many of these Somali pirates are infused with militant Islam, for added ease of prejudice. In aggregate, a bunch of totally uneducated young people in thrall to criminal adults fueled by drugs and booze and excused by religion attacking the products of civilization they don't understand or appreciate, and this for superficial and temporary benefit. Gee. What does that remind you of?

Possibly, those recent videos of that militant Christian ensemble, with photos of horse faced brides surrounded by their well armed and obese male swains who planned to attack local police and defeat Satan and Socialism and yada yada. Something. They get public props from various Tea Baggers who don't know the difference between communists and Nazis, and show no great grasp or deep interest in American law or history. They deal in catch phrases of simple, misspelled words united in incoherent syllogism reflecting mythologies that would embarrass Parson Weems. The only difference between Africa's homicidal moronic juveniles and America's is that one is primarily Muslim and the other primarily Christian. That's it. But after a few years of now proposed tutelage with Texas textbooks, Kansas creationism, and elementary school math by calculator, an inability to communicate with others without wipes and fades and nothing interesting to say anyway, unless to their pedophile female teachers to hook up or to their particular religious cult's clerics to be raped, the young in America will be little different from the young in Somalia, wondering what the ransom might be for that shiny big ship with the big number on the bow.