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Old 03-03-2010
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(If you have ever read John Rawls, think about the Original Position in the context of this debate...)

Here's an alternate standpoint.

Pirates, Warlords and Rogue Fishing Vessels in Somalia's Unruly Seas

"Fishing vessels known to operate off Somalia include the following flags: Belize (either French or Spanish-owned purse seiners operating under flag of convenience to avoid EU regulations); France (purse seiners targeting tuna licensed to the food company Cobrecaf); Honduras (EU purse seiners targeting tuna under flag of convenience); Japan (longliners now operate under licence to the Republic of Somaliland); Kenya (Mombasa-based trawlers); Korea (longliners targeting swordfish seasonally); Pakistan (trawlers, but also targeting shark); Saudi Arabia (trawlers); Spain (purse seiners targeting tuna); Sri Lanka (trawlers, plus longliners targeting shark under licence to the Republic of Somaliland and based at Berbera, Somaliland); Taiwan (longliners targeting swordfish seasonally); and Yemen (trawlers financed by a seafood importer in Bari, Italy). Formerly operated as the Somali national fleet, four Yemeni trawlers and a collector vessel are now based in Aden (see photo)."

Let me say that this is not my standpoint, in fact I agree with you, but I am just attempting to debunk the myth that some killers are better than others. (I am assuming here that they scuttling included captain and crew.)

It doesn't matter if the person who kills you was a good guy or a bad guy, you are still dead.

Lets say you are born poor, Somalian, and in a coastal town. Your father is a fisherman, but the fisheries are gone. This is largely due to illegal fishing by other countries off of the Somalian coast.

Each day he goes out in his small fishing boat, and tries to catch enough to sustain your family. He sees large foreign ships flying false flags and fishing illegally. Within a few years, the fishery is completely depleted, he can't catch any fish. Your family is now completely destitute. There are no social services in your town. There is hardly a government at all. The richest men in town are pirates that steal from foreign vessels off the coast.

You get a fever. You are malnourished, and you need to see a doctor or you will die. Your father comes home one day, he brings food, a doctor, clothing, new bedding, materials to make your life better.

You don't wonder where it came from, but you are happy now that your fever is going away and you are able to eat as much as you want.

The next day your father dies and you are screwed.

So will you hear from your friends that your father was a pirate, and that some good guys on a ship killed him because he was on a boat that committed illegal acts? Will you think to yourself: "Oh, my dad was a bad guy, it's a good thing those good guys killed him!"

I doubt it.

The point is, the Somalians are not just rolling over and letting foreign countries destroy their livelihood. The structural violence that destroyed their fishery is being responded to directly with physical violence. It's not a surprise.

The pirates are being painted by the press as morally bankrupt thieves. I am pretty sure that many of them are bankrupt fishermen.

I don't doubt that many people here, on sailnet, of lighter moral constitution, would resort to the same behavior. If you are so ready to believe that one side or the other is "good" and that their actions are justified, you are just the type of person that could be convinced to become a pirate. Through self serving reasons, you can convince anyone that something is good.

Was the holocaust good?
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