Thursday, April 16, 2009

Secretary of State Clinton Urges 21st Century Solutions to Piracy

Note to Katalusis readers: Have you noticed how reluctant the media has seemed lately to provide coverage for Secretary Clinton’s activities? It’s as if the good old boys are now afraid she might upstage Obama, so they keep pushing her off into the background. That could be because at last report, her job approval was higher than the president’s. Also, check out a few of the readers’ comments at the Huffington Post following this article. The jealousy and spite are so pathetically obvious.

Secretary of State Clinton offered a few alternative responses to piracy on Wednesday that would hopefully avoid the necessity in the future for Navy sharpshooters aboard a warship to pick off teenagers in an 18-foot lifeboat.

The AP reports:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday the State Department will work with shippers and insurers to improve their defenses against pirates, part of a diplomatic initiative to thwart attacks on commercial ships of the Somali coast.

"These pirates are criminals, they are armed gangs on the sea. And those plotting attacks must be stopped," Clinton told reporters at the State Department.

Clinton did not call for using military force against the pirates, although she mentioned "going after" pirate bases in Somalia, as authorized by the U.N. several months ago.

"We need to bring 21st-century solutions to bear," she said.

In a question-and-answer session with reporters, Clinton said it may be possible to stop boat-building companies from doing business with the pirates. One element of her initiative, she said, is to "explore ways to track and freeze pirate assets."

The other element of the initiative include calling for immediate meetings of an international counter-piracy task force to expand naval coordination against pirates. She said federal agencies would meet Friday to review the problem and consider potential responses.

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