The news that HMS Cumberland attacked and captured a Somali pirate vessel in the Gulf of Yemen was one of those slightly quaint pieces of news that is somehow rather cheering.
On the one hand while we know how desperate the situation is in Somalia and the autonomous Puntland, Pirates, by definition, are the bad guys. The seizure of the Ukrainian ship "Faima" and its cargo of weapons was clearly the last straw for the international community. The fact is that we can not allow global logistics chains to be disrupted like this. On the other hand, there is not the global political will to actually sort out the truly awful situation on the ground in the wreckage of Somalia.
Personally, I think it is about time to admit that Somalia as a state is not fixable. To my mind that means recognising the independence of Somaliland- the former British Somaliland- and allowing that country to develop more normal relations with the rest of the world. It is, after all a more or less orderly state, unlike its neighbours, Puntland and South Somalia, but the lack of international recognition has severely hampered its development.
Meanwhile the incident was the lead news in Russia last night. The story reported was that the Russian ship Neustrashimy ("Intrepid") had led the attack. The comments from the Royal Naval boarding crew show that they were unaware that the Russian ship was even in the area. The problem is that the Kremlin is now living in such a fantasy land that they seem to be beginning to believe their own -highly embellished- version of events, no matter what evidence there might be to the contrary.
In the meantime, I am wondering what the idea of Somali pirates might do to "International talk like a pirate day". It really would not do to change "Avast me mateys!" to whatever the Somali equivalent of "Oh B*****!" might be.