Monday, April 27, 2009

Attacks on Pirates Making Them Bolder, Study Says

A non-partisan think tank, the Organization for Promoting Right-Wing Agendas (OPRA) today warned that recent counterattacks on pirates near the Horn of Africa could lead to "disastrous consequences" and would mean an escalation of pirate raids, not a decrease as some have suggested.

"Shooting and killing pirates only makes them bolder and causes their number to swell," said OPRA spokeswoman Cheyenne Markoni-Spitzhughes from their London offices. "Over two hundred years of data have shown that there's a direct correlation between dead pirates and the incidents of piracy on the high seas, with more dead pirates meaning more attacks. The world needs a better way."

Instead, OPRA suggests that world governments form a new UN agency dedicated to opening call centers in Somalia, where the pirate's natural aggressiveness can be channeled into more productive venues. "After all," Markoni-Spitzhughes said, "if they're willing to try to take over an oil tanker then they should be comfortable cold-calling people to see if they're interested in switching their long-distance carrier."

Top Democrats scoffed at the warning, however, calling OPRA a "thinly-disguised stink-tank for the Republican smear campaign."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that "every thinking person knows that pirates are like any other terror-wielding outlaw group: if you shoot them, then there are less of them active, and potential recruits inevitably turn to another, less dangerous line of work, such as tasting food additives or being a bungee cord tester."

President Barack Obama painted it in even starker terms in his White House address. "Despite Hollywood glamorizing pirates in their shameful movies, and Disney making pirating seem fun in their disgraceful rides, we will continue to bring shock, awe, and death to anyone who would prey upon the weak and the helpless on the high seas."