We had a dream……and in that dream we heard the Pirates of Somalia crooning the Robber Baron song of old about how exploitation was justified under the guise of bringing order to the industrial chaos of the day.
It’s one thing to throw caution to the wind while plundering the Indian Ocean for ransom money when there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. But 2008 had been an extremely profitable year. Undeniably it was time to legitimize their booty, and foster a long term economic enrichment plan which included putting solid growth strategies in to place. And like the historic Robber Barons of a century ago, this practical approach would ultimately obscure the source of their loot and afford them the opportunity to later gloss it over in some high profile form of philanthropy.
In our dream we watched the Somalian Pirates implement the first stage of their plan to go legit by orchestrating a sit down with Erik Prince of Blackwater Worldwide on friendly ground in Dubai - the Pirates planned to incorporate and take legal ownership of a sanctioned international port of their own. Everyone knew that Blackwater’s mercenaries were quickly running out of good paying work and Somalia’s Pirates desperately needed Blackwater’s help in navigating these new directional waters. It was clearly a win-win all the way around, and magic happened that day in Dubai.
Nothing can grease the wheels of speed like loads of cash. The Horn of Africa had its terrain forever altered when Blackwater rapidly established a new state-of-the-art training facility in Somalia’s lawless Puntland region, now re-named BLACKHORN. Blackhorn was located just east of the former pirate hideaway Port of Eyl, which had now been sanctioned as their internationally recognized shipping port officially re-named Port of Black Eye. No mercenary adventure of this magnitude could ever be complete without the perfect mission statement and Blackhorn’s call was now “Robbin’ the Hood”.
Our dream then turned toward the plan’s second stage: to form a pirate bank of their own. If the Red Shield could finance the exploitive goals of Carnegie and Rockefeller over a century ago, then the newly chartered SIMOLEON BANK could legitimately finance their enterprise and launder the shillings as well. After opening its flagship bank in Port of Black Eye, long term business plan projections provided for additional Simoleon Bank branch openings in strategic locations to include Mogadishu, Dubai, Liberia, and of course Tehran.
What we found ironic in all of this was that in their attempts to protect their own interests by going legit, the Pirates of Somalia unwittingly invigorated their country’s economy and created a stability in government, albeit Blackhorn militia, the likes of which had never been experienced by a majority of Somalia’s current population.
And then we woke up, and could see how the world yields a certain commiserative tolerance for those who act with moral compromise while on the quest for great wealth. Is it possible to walk the path of great riches and have room for genuine altruism to walk concurrently beside it, or must one path be pursued solely to the exclusion of the other?
For more Pirate gibber-jabber, see our ‘In The Rear View Mirror’ October 8, 2008 posting “Will the Real Pirates Please Stand Up?”