Rum, Osama, and the Lash

Writing in Legal Affairs, Douglas R. Burgess looks to the history of European piracy as a possible precedent for containing latter-day Islamist terrorists. Burgess admits that the analogy "seems like a stretch" at first, but points out that England's Queen Elizbeth initially abetted the country's later pirate tormentors by recrtuiting them as adjunct forces to the Royal Navy--much as "the United States is credited with manufacturing its own enemy by training, funding, and outfitting terrorist groups in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Central America during the cold war." It's unclear how pirates came by the whole blowing-themselves-up-to-achieve-eternal-reward-in-Paradise M.O., but we at Wonkette HQ are admittedly derelict in our studies of Elizabethan naval law. Actually, Burgess's argument is a thoughtful and suggestive one, noting that international jurists managed to strip pirates of most political sponsors by declaring them "scorners of the law of nations [who] hence . . . find no protection in that law." He also notes that any such consensus is "very far away" in the present war on terror.

Still, as we ponder such measures, Wonkette would like to take the opportunity to plead for much greater complements of parrots, rum, and buggery in the war on terror. Also more thigh-high boots, sashes, and eyepatches; never forget this is a clash of civilizations, people.

The Dread Pirate Bin Laden [Legal Affairs]


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