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April 25, 2009

Sin of omission

The corsairs carry out their evil work because our Westphalian game of pretend gives them sanctuary. For example, we pretend there is a place called Somalia with borders and sovereignty. We pretend sending food and money ennobles us instead of impoverishing them. We pretend Christian charity will be greeted with thanks instead of rape and ransom.

There is another thing our game of pretend is wrong about. It leads us to a sin of omission.

Pirates are easy to spot on the streets of Garowe, the regional capital: their Toyota 4x4s cluster around equally new white-washed mansions on the edge of town. But to approach them, I am warned, is to invite kidnapping or robbery.

There is only one reason those white washed mansions are still standing. We allow them to.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at April 25, 2009 07:28 AM