Friday, April 12, 2013


For a number of years, I have been stewing about why the Somali Muslim terrorists have been called "pirates" instead of terrorists. It has always seemed to me that the term "pirates" minimized the seriousness of the crimes-("ohh, they are just pirates").

Anyway-I am delighted to report that I learned something new about pirates yesterday.

A little bit of background!

I had the pleasure of having lunch with three distinguished members of the US Navy yesterday! Of course, they didn't know they were going to have lunch with me-but I invited myself to their table because they looked interesting and I wanted to hear about what they do. I'm not supposed to name names (you know the drill, I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you...), but one of the gentlemen was a very high ranking officer.


Did I ever learn a lot-including the fact that the reason why the Somalis are referred to as pirates is not just because they are committing crimes of piracy (i.e on the seas)-but piracy laws are much more serious in international law and they are also recognized as crimes against humanity. This is one instance where the terminology used to describe the crimes is actually not meant to trivialize or minimize (like calling rape jihad "criminal" rather than "terror"), but to facilitate more aggressive and serious punitive measures.

On another American military note, I saw a fantastic Picasso exhibit (Blue Period) at the Cleveland Museum of Art and the security guard saw me lunching with the Navy fellows and asked me about them. It turned out that he was a former Marine and I asked him where he had served and he was a Vietnam vet.

I thanked him for his service to his country and the cause of freedom and for fighting the communist barbarians. I said that it was a disgrace that vets such as him were dumped on and that so many people didn't understand that they were fighting pure evil. He sighed and said yes-we were not well treated when we came home and thank you.

I said, no-thank you, sir.

It was quite a day.

I also saw on one of Picasso's sketches that he had written in hand something about how he doubted that she loved him one night and couldn't sleep since then. I will need to look it up-I should have written it down. It was really moving. Something about it really touched me-it is so human to need love and to reciprocate love.