Thursday, January 8, 2009

Why the pirates do what they do

There's an interview in this week's Newsweek with a Somali pirate leader. It provides some pretty good insight into the motivations behind these guys.

The pirate leader (should we call him a pirate captain?) said that all of his gang were once fishermen, and that they originally only targeted foreign fishing vessels (which have nearly depleted the waters off Somalia). Then they realized they could make more money by boarding bigger boats.

His final comment is on the captured oil tanker. They've threatened to empty it of oil if they don't get their ransom:

And we know the risk of spilling the oil shipment. But when evil is the only solution, you do evil. That is why we are doing piracy. I know it is evil, but it is a solution.

Like I've said before, consider this a preview of things to come. As resources dwindle (whether it's fish or fresh water or, some day, oil) people will resort to doing bad stuff to survive. "When evil is the only solution, you do evil."