When pirates held the captain of an American ship hostage last month, even leftish and crunchy bloggers reacted with alarming violence. Rod Dreher’s reaction was typical:
Killed three Somali pirates, rescued the American hostage. Hooray! Did you see the news this weekend that two pirate “mother ships” were steaming towards the scene of the crime? How great it would be if that US Navy ship blasted those two brigand boats to kingdom come. Sick of those SOBs, I yam.
It’s pathetic that a nation as powerful as the United States would take such glee in the deaths of a few criminals. I too was impressed with the lethal precision and professional dispatch of the Navy’s rescue operation. But as we try to wind down an unnecessary war, it’s worth remembering how a desire for vengeance and a love of violence can lead us to places we really shouldn’t be.