Negotiations Resume for Captain's Release, Lifeboat Surrounded
Last night negotiations broke down between the Somali elders and U.S. negotiators for the release of hostage Captain Richard Phillips. The sticking point was whether the Somali pirates should be arrested and turned over to authorities for prosecution.
Today, the Somali elders are trying again.
Media reports said that Somali elders set off from the port of Eyl on Sunday in a fresh attempt to find a compromise that will secure Phillip's release.
The pirates want to bring the lifeboat to shore. One Kenyan report says they are now out of fuel and "drifting towards shore." If they do, they may escape with Captain Phillips, making it much harder to find and rescue him.
It's 100 degrees in the Indian Ocean. There are no toilets on the lifeboat. How long before someone snaps?
How involved is President Obama today? He should be enjoying Easter Sunday and the new puppy. But he's probably getting updates every few minutes and learning that holidays take a back seat to crises, even those those involving one American thousands of miles from home.
This needs to end well. As I opined last night, Captain Phillips needs to be returned safely, even at the cost of non-prosecution of his kidnappers.
The priority should be the safe return of Captain Phillips, not retribution. Prosecuting these particular pirates will not stop the next hijacking. Until the conditions in Somalia causing the piracy are addressed, the hijackings will continue.
If this ends violently and with the death of Captain Phillips, it will not be a victory over the pirates, no matter how many are killed. There will be another group tomorrow and they will be out for blood as well as money.
I don't envy President Obama today. The buck stops with him. Even on Easter Sunday.
|< The Problem With The Geithner Plan: The Financial Industry's Thrift Paradox | Captain Phillips Freed, Three Pirates Killed >|