THE WORLD FOR RANSOM: Piracy is Terrorism, Terrorism is Piracy By Douglas R. Burgess 312 pages, maps, 6-in ? 9-in, hardback. ISBN: 978-1-61614-173-8 - $26.00. Prometheus Books, www.promotheusbooks.com; 800-421-0351
Regardless of whether or not you agree with the author's premise that piracy is terrorism and terrorism is piracy, the fact remains that Doug Burgess has written a most compelling study about a blight on the high seas that never should have been allowed to happen in today's enlightened age. While the world's Navies have the ability to wreak havoc against most armed enemies with their sophisticated missiles, weapons systems, and intelligence networks, a motley breed of modern cutthroats operating from leaky dinghies and armed with RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) has virtually taken hostage of all too many mariners peacefully transiting the waters of the Gulf of Aden.
Though our romantic instincts might prefer to define these ruthless gangsters as modern Capt. Kidds or real-life Capt. Jack Sparrows running amuck off of Somalia rather than the Caribbean, the truth is these pirates are savage seagoing murderers who have cleverly taken advantage of murky laws regarding how they may be legally hunted, captured, and imprisoned thanks to a maze of conflicting jurisdictions and laws. …