One of my most vivid memories of the Carter administration was seeing him kicked around and humiliated around the world, and watching him wring his hands in indecision and talk about his "concern" and need for negotiation.
Sometimes I really miss Carter, compared to what we're seeing now. Pirates off Somalia hijacked a US-flagged ship, lost the ship, and are at this moment holding the ship's captain hostage as they drift in a lifeboat in the Indian Ocean, negotiating a ransom.
For two days, reporters have been asking Obama for a comment on the situation, and for two days he has refused. Maybe they haven't got it loaded into the teleprompter yet.
Nobody expects him to lay out his plan for fixing the problem. But how tough is it to say, "This act of piracy is a heinous act that has no place in our modern age. I won't go into any details at this time, but I will say that we're considering our options at this point and will do everything we can to bring the captain back safely."
Is that too much to ask for? A president that actually considers the situation worthy of comment? Carter may have been weak and ineffective, but at least he let us know he was worried about being weak and ineffective.
America has dealt with African-based pirates before, which is why the Marine Corps Hymn mentions the "Shores of Tripoli." I say get the captain back, deploy Marines covertly on merchantmen, and blow pirate boats out of the water when they attempt to board. Maybe when they realize that boarding American-flagged vessels is a suicide mission, they'll start looking elsewhere. If that doesn't work, destroy the havens they're working out of. But what do I know? I'm just one of those guys who still thinks our nation's honor and security are actually worth defending.