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Monday, April 13, 2009

Fun with lawyers

I had a little fun the other day. Professor Volokh and several other law professors run a blog called the Volokh Conspiracy. I enjoy reading it because they have some interesting and thought provoking posts. But most of my enjoyment is derived from the comments, which range from the Right all the way to the far Left. So I put on my Liberal suit and decided to post a few responses to a post by Jonathan Adler on How to handle pirates.

Most of the responses were recommendations to shoot, invade and destroy the pirates and their sanctuaries. Since only a timid Lib was responding, suggesting that nothing be done because paying the ransom was cheaper than doing something about eradicating the pirates, I chimed in.

I am shocked by the belligerent attitude expressed by those on this thread. These so-call “pirates” have the right to live too. The very idea of not treating them with compassion, to seek the root cause of piracy and to address those root causes is the obvious answer.

And to those gunslingers who want to breach international law by arming crews with the potential loss of life that could result from gunfire by untrained people is just crazy. Do you people want the “Wild West” shootouts on the high seas? Do you realize that ships’ crews are not trained in the use of firearms? The potential liability is staggering. They would end up shooting each other, if not on board ship, then in port while drunk.

There have been suggestions of capturing and hanging these freedom fighters. I’m glad that the US congress has finally seen the light and most of the Neanderthals have been replaced by people with real compassion for the downtrodden and dispossessed. Congress will stand up for these people and demand a fair trial followed by release in the United States once acquitted since their rights have been violated by the bloody butchers who use force to re-take the ship.

Our new non-political attorney general, Eric Holder, has declined to say whether the kidnappers of the American captain will be “brought to justice” by the U.S. “I’m not sure exactly what would happen next,” he declares, yet some people want to take the law into their own hands. I thought we were a better people than that; that we had outgrown out atavistic impulses with the election of President Obama.

One of the reasons that the British Navy has declined to intervene is that under the European Human Rights Act, any so-called “pirate” taken into custody would be entitled to claim refugee status in the United Kingdom and if be able to apply for government assistance during his stay. We should take a leaf from the pages of the Europeans and calm down. These people are merely Somali nationalists fighting against the aggression of a foreign occupying power. They can’t be evil, they’re a minority.

This is all a distraction from the really important needs of this country: health care, housing, education, income redistribution. Leave the President alone.

You have to understand that many comments on this site during the Bush administration discussed the manner in which members of that administration should be prosecuted for their actions in the "war on terror." So I went all out.

A comment by Oren

What do you really think would be required to solve the problem? And what would a solution look like?

I don't see any solution that is more economical than paying the toll.

I wanted to tweak him a little:

In a world of law, resistance is futile. Relax and enjoy it. It's cheaper.

And a final note:

Oh no! The insurgents were gunned down just as the government negotiators were trying to re-establish contact after their initial negotiations broke down. How many rules of international law were broken by this lawless act by the US navy against civilians?

It's you and me my friend against the trigger-happy, lawless militarists. We can still pay the ransom to the widows and orphans of the poor freedom fighters.

Note the deft avoidance of the term "pirate" and its replacement by other, less loaded descriptions used by the MSM: insurgent, freedom fighter, nationalist.

This is fun, I may do it again. I'm thinking of applying for a job at my local paper. I can write just like them.

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