Friday, April 10, 2009

Could 19th Century plan stop piracy?

Interesting article from the BBC in light of the current piracy issues off Somalia:
Could 19th Century plan stop piracy?

International efforts to thwart Somali piracy would appear to be floundering. Perhaps words from the 19th Century could offer a solution, writes the BBC News website's world affairs correspondent Paul Reynolds.

Viscount Palmerston
Palmerston did not hesitate to send in the gunboats

If the navies of the world need some advice on ways to stop piracy off Somalia, they could look to Lord Palmerston, British Foreign Secretary in 1841.

"Taking a wasps' nest... is more effective than catching the wasps one by one," he remarked.

Palmerston, the great advocate of gunboat diplomacy, was speaking in support of a British naval officer, Joseph Denman.

Denman had attacked and destroyed slave quarters on the West African coast and had been sued by the Spanish owners for damages....

Fascinating look back in history that may hold some insights for the current epidemic of piracy attacks. Go here for the rest of it.

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