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Things haven’t looked this good for corsairs since the days of the Barbary Pirates. A group of Somali scalawags recently raked in a record jackpot of $12.3 million for the ransom of two ships.
Experts regard this development not only as a victory for Somali pirates, but also a triumph for proponents of “smart gene/stupid gene” theory. “This is a very exciting time for fans of maritime piracy,” says scurvologist Dr. Emil Haagerdäddi. “What we’re seeing now are the naturally occurring results of the piracy blunders earlier in the year. With more so-called ‘stupid pirates’ removed from the Somali corsair population, the industry as a whole has grown leaner and meaner.”
A smart-gene pirate named Hussein told Reuters, “We are now counting our cash . . . Soon we shall get down from the ship.” Hussein and his merry mates are sure to receive a warm welcome when they return to shore, as well as a harem’s worth of wenches, an age-old perk of piracy.
There is historical precedent in appeasing pirates. It was long the policy of the European powers to pay tribute to the pirates of the Barbary Coast. This policy ended in the early 19th Century after various maritime powers, including the newly-reconstituted US Navy, decided that they could no longer tolerate the pashas’ shenanigans.
Most global economists believe that the growing economic clout of Somalia’s maritime piracy industry will not only pull the impoverished third-world hellhole out of its economic doldrums, but might also encourage other developing coastal nations to launch their own fleet of freebooters.
Once-threatened, the future looks strong for the Corsairs of Somalia. Currently the G20 nations are discussing shipping quotas for the Horn of Africa to ensure that a healthy amount of traffic passes by the Horn to preserve the pirates’ historical way of life.